At the end of 2017, I had lots of people ask about best and worst products, and it was hard to choose, but there is one thing that really bothered me…

When I started reviewing there were some awesome men and women out there doing a fantastic job, like most of us, I had my favourites, those I felt I could identify with and shared vaping styles with, so naturally I gravitated and subscribed to them. These individuals were the inspiration for starting reviewing for me, Rip’s coil building videos used to be awesome, Grimm was always like an American buddy getting excited over the same stuff I did, Ruby had a fantastic view on things, Todd’s easy and relaxed very Scottish approach, Scott’s crazy quality, Damian’s look at aspirational stuff I could never afford, Phil’s incredibly in-depth and factual films, and even Indoor Smoker’s quite mental and entertaining videos all made up the mixed bag that was my subscription list.
Obviously, we are all different so I’m sure you liked or subscribed to some, all, or none of the above, and there is no ‘best’ but for me, I was drawn to people I identified with, people that gave me the information that I was interested in, or plainly people that entertained in their approach and made me feel good about watching a video. I remember watching vlogs wishing they’d be twice as long as I sat their with a cuppa and a vape and having a jolly good time. Plumes of Hazard came along and were great for the same reasons, again, informative, entertaining, and often in excess of an hour, many nights were spent waiting for 2am in the UK so I could watch it live.

Those to me were the ‘good old days’ of reviews, fun, entertaining, factual, and identifiable. To this day, I watch YouTube videos and films on TV etc because of escapism, they make me feel happy, the immersion into a narrative that can make you laugh, cry, or think, but still leave you coming away from it feeling good that you’ve just spent the last couple of hours deep diving into entertainment and left it a happier or more knowledgable person.

My first ‘review’ as if you could call it that, was on October the 30th 2014, for a local group I was part of, and something that scared the pants off me, but it seemed fun, and very quickly I got the bug. I felt could never emulate the people I watched many times a week, but it was a creative outlet for me that took me away from whatever else was going on and gave me a focus (which I’ve discussed in previous blogs). Over the next 3 years or so, that bug grew, I enjoyed what I did immensely, and once I started to improve my product, or end result by learning about lighting, cameras, editing, etc, the desire to be better seemed to translate well to a growing audience. I’ve always said that I wanted to essentially be the viewers mate down at the pub chatting about vaping gear in a way that I understood and that I would watch, and as mindblowing as it is, my dubious sense of humour, dodgy laugh, and relaxed approach attracted an amazing viewership, and that’s something I will never fully wrap my head around but will be eternally grateful for.

I enjoyed what I did so much, and I think that came across on camera, it was a great time to get involved in YouTube.

As time went on I became friends with other people that were also reviewers, not because of the industry we were in, but because we were people that had similar opinions, similar likes and dislikes, and similar personalities. YouTube or reviewing had nothing to do with it, I’m confident the friends I’ve made in the industry would have been just as plausible if vaping hadn’t been involved. Drama was always kept at a minimum or rarely shouted about in public, like regular people in a non-vaping world, if you had an issue with someone you either called, emailed, or spoke to them, or you just unsubscribed from their channel and moved on with your life.

Then something changed, and not for the better.

Image Credit:
Intranet Future

YouTube and other social media seems to have taken a really weird turn, not the services, but the creators, the people that populate them with content. Instagram is overrun by women in bras trying to sensually blow a cloud with varying degrees of success, countless individuals will post 4 terrible pictures and have in their description that they’re looking for sponsors, people creating accounts under false names, false identities, ripping off other content, and all for views, followers, validation.

Were they not hugged enough as a child or is this simply a sign of the times, how 2018 has changed, and a narration of how instant gratification is the new drug, how social media has fucked up our principles and turned us into like hunting scavengers willing to prostitute ourselves for the sake of popularity?

YouTube has not escaped this new desperation for acceptance, there seems to have been a shift in priorities, and it’s quite frankly saddening.

In the world of newspapers, there has always been tabloid journalism and broadsheet approaches, one going for gossip, untruths, and popularity (equalling money, drama causes sales), now while broadsheet integrity is always going to be up for debate, there has been a very significant divide, you wouldn’t have seen the financial times publishing a story on Kim Kardishan’s implants unless it was directly responsible for the share price going up in silicone, but the tabloids would have dined out on it for weeks.

There seems to be a similar divide happening now within vape reviewing, and that’s just sad in my opinion. Drama and insults seem to be the new popular approach to gaining views, subscribers, followers, and I really don’t understand why. We mentioned that it could be the state of the planet in 2018 above, but this new currency to gain popularity seems to have overtaken the desire to actually do a good job, provide better videos, and get out content to the masses that the creator is proud of. I sincerely cannot see how anyone could rant their face off about people they don’t know, and once released to the big wide world sit back and say ‘yep, proud of that, some of my best work’.

Clearly not all ‘reviewers’ will follow this approach and the ones that don’t get involved with this desperation for numbers generally are clear for the world to see, the negative individuals will always have their own followers in the same way that Jerry Springer/Jeremy Kyle will have an avid viewership. We all like to know we’re doing a good job, and numbers often reflect that, but what people seem to miss is that if you have 1,000, 50,000, or 200,000 subscribers/followers, you still aren’t anything special, you’re still not a rockstar, and your primary reason for having what you’ve got is to provide content on products to help people, nothing more.

As unpopular as this statement is going to be, I have a huge respect for Rip Trippers, as a businessman and as a reviewer, he’s had way more than his fair share of hate and negativity, but he’s kept his focus on providing content for his viewers that is based on the reason for his channel and media. Sure, he’s made a few pretty dodgy statements, but the man has been doing it since April 2012 and as far as I know, has never released a public video blasting other people.
With over a million subscribers now he is by far the biggest vaping YouTuber in existence, all without engaging in name calling negative crap, and providing his audience with ever improving content. Love him or hate him he deserves respect for achieving something nobody else has done, and keeping his cool and professional attitude (for the most part and knuckles aside).

Just because there are a lot of us reviewers out there now doesn’t mean we have to all get along – do you get along with everyone in your workplace? Doubtful, because we’re still all individuals with different approaches to life, different likes and dislikes, and to be friends with everyone is ridiculous and unrealistic. Respect is also earned and not given without reason, and as such like in life there are people I respect and others that I think are awful human beings, being on YouTube has no bearing on the subject.

One thing I do disagree with though is the tabloid journalism approach to garnering popularity, hey if you love it then fair play to you, but we’re all allowed an opinion. I have haters, I have people that don’t like what I do, and that’s absolutely fine with me as it has zero bearing on my existence, but for someone to concentrate their time and effort on disliking me or anyone else, they either have very little going on in their own world or are so desperate for attention that in fact I feel sorry for them.

What happened to the days of ‘if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all’, you know, when we had manners, we treated people how we wanted to be treated, and the word ‘snowflake’ purely meant a bit of frozen water that fell from the sky.

It’s wishful thinking, but I do believe that a lot of us could take a page out of Rip’s playbook, and concentrate more on what we’re doing with our own stuff rather than worrying about other people. Trust me, the more popular you get on these things the more crap it brings along with it anyway, so should the drama hunters ever reach the numbers they feel they deserve through an unfounded sense of entitlement, I’m sure they’ll wonder why they pursued it with such ferocity in the first place.

I’m not perfect, I’m confident I’ve been a knob at times, but I always try to be respectful, cheerful, and polite whether it’s in person or online, and while it’s certainly very challenging at times, not engage in the red-top tabloid kerfuffle that inevitably is part of the world we live in now.
One thing I will always do for the time I spend on social media is try to be better, try to improve what I do for the sense of achievement, but also because I want the content to be as watchable and enjoyable for the viewer as I found in the ‘good old days’ – but now with better cameras.

Watching a public argument is always distasteful in the real world, uncomfortable, and rarely has a positive influence on your life, so online should be no different. I’ll take watching re-runs of Parkinson over Springer any day of the week, but hey, that could just be me. It would just be nice to see a little professionalism in the industry, if you don’t like me and feel the need to voice it, send me an email and tell me why, not the base level ‘You’re a c**t’ statement that seems prolific in comments sections across all the platforms and for all creators.
Let’s have a crack at being adults, it’s not necessarily asking yourself ‘What would Rip do’, but ‘What would a decent person do’, it seems to have worked well for non-vaping content creators so why should we be any different.

We could all do with being a little less page 3 in the tabloids, and a little more factual broadsheet, and that’s not just in vaping, but in life in the opinion of your humble scribe.

It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.

L&R

Dean
The Vaping Biker

PS
As always, I’m interested to hear your comments, but any comments bashing other reviewers will get deleted, this isn’t a name and shame kind of article.

30 Comments

  1. Good article Dean and very true. The ranting and bitching by other UK reviewers has got ridiculous. i dont care if someone said something about you , tell us about the vape stuff , thats why we tune in , or used to. Much respect to you for not getting involved in the handbag swinging that went on last year .
    p.s. love the Schwars reviews , funny and informative.
    Keep it Laaaaarge .

  2. Great article Dean and well said.
    I have been a viewer and subscriber of your channel, since Mike Vapes posted a picture of you at the Expo last October (2017), where I had to check your channel as finally there was a UK Vape reviewer. Previously wasn’t a big YouTube reviewer but would check out Rip Tripper and Mike Vapes.

    I really enjoyed and still enjoy Rip Trippers kind of wacky sense of humour and excitement in the product reviews that he presented, was a little saddened by the comments that he was receiving towards the end of 2017, which I think all started from reviewing some liquid which was in a soda can, which at first seeing did not see the problem, but then reading a little more about what is happening around the world from anti-vaping regulations I can kind of understand why some people would have this view, however he still kept professional and responded to viewer a professional manner which I give him full respect for.

    However going off subject a little, Mike Vapes, still really enjoy his channel and also someone I go to when thinking of buying a vape product, cos lets face is there anything that Mike hasn’t reviewed, although now I know there is a community of reviewer out there now, like yourself, Grimm Green, the Vaping Bogan (which I one of the first viewer I had come across, only due to a RTA I had brought which I just couldn’t get wicking right. great f**king d*ckhead and love his content) and now a little bit of the new Scottish Todd.

    Sorry just ranting here.

    Getting back to your article and your success on YouTube, from only watching you now for around 4 months, is crazy as it feels like that I have been watching you for years.
    I thoroughly enjoy watching you vlogs and do try to catch you on your live streams as much as I can.
    Love your honesty and the humour that you bring out within your self and others within the chat and guests on the show.
    No wonder that you are now the UK’s number one review within the vaping community, like I said earlier I had heard of any of the others, but other than that your a pressure at watch and wish you very bit of success going forwards.

    well really am going on a bit now, so let just keep trying to improve ourselves day by day by trying to do something better then you may have done the day before.

    Best regards and have it large.

  3. well said dean . Yes i remember when every reviewer got on so good . Looks like the days of that have gone and it has only been in the last couple of years it has got so bad. There seems to be just a few reviewers that just have a big chip on there shoulders . We all know who he is oh sorry they are anyone for cake . Keep the good work up Dean oh and Mr Todd .

  4. Well said indeed kind sir! ;).seriously though chap, I respect you that fair but more seeing you write this in response to all thats occurred instead of posting a mindless distasteful rant, effectively returning the mud by slinging it right back at its creator.
    This puts you a clear step ahead of those we shan’t speak of in my humble estermation!
    What an extremely polite chap you are.
    shame on those wazzoks!
    I neither, get how people can be such foul creatures but I’m truly chuffed to see you (and Mr Todd for that matter) rise head and shoulders above it all.
    Made my day reading this and I don’t give a monkeys toolbox if that makes me a sad arse :p

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  5. Well said Sir! Its simply about reviewing products with honest information and a little entertainment. If you want drama go watch a Housewives reality show or the Bachelor. I think sometimes we forget the point of all this, which is just to simply stop smoking. If we keep that in mind we can still have fun doing it. Keep it up my friend!

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  6. Hey Dean,

    Mate if all do respect the haters will hate and the wannabees will always be there. Due to the world changing more to comment first and thing later, it became a way of making money. Hence the smart ones are squeezing everything they can out of hence to some tard wannabees it’s a a way. Look just keep on doing what u doing and f… the rest. Although I got further away from the industry I still watch u , grim and that Australian Muppet every morning while I’m having my coffee. Hence big love and keep it up.

    Regards
    just Ed

  7. Well written and basic common sense which is lacking as you state.
    I may also add that it’s bad enough when the issue is real that may be acceptable to a point, a made up drama is always unacceptable.
    Thanks for your effort. xxx

  8. A pleasure to read this. I’ve learned a lot watching the vlogs during the last seven months that I’m vaping, I’ve gladly never noticed much of the so called “drama” maybe ignoring it works best for me. So… a big thank you Dean. Maybe this expression covers it pretty nice: Inhale the good shit and exhale the bullshit.

    Kind regards from the Netherlands

  9. Can’t argue with that, especially “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” Keep on going in your own good way.

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  10. Thanks for this Dean and well said. I watch reviews and vlogs because I want to be informed and hopefully entertained, watching people washing their dirty linen in public is not entertaining. Folks on YouTube have a chance to put across a positive image for vaping, we all know how much we need that. Bad mouthing and nastiness will not get people on side. Let’s all stick together and be nice, who the hell wants to end their day saying “hey, what a great day, I upset and insulted someone today”. Thanks for all you do Dean, your reviews, your entertainment and your genuine commitment to what is, I hope, still a great community. Ave it large Dean

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  11. Well said. With regards to comments it seams to be the annonimity of the internet that causes a lot of it. Also the fact that a large number of them a very young and don’t understand the world. As for drama I avoid it at all costs. If a reviewer is like that I won’t watch them.

    That’s why I watch you, mr Todd, v1ck and a lot of others. I must be following the wrong people on instagram though as all I ever see is middle aged men holding mods and atti’s in their hands.

    Maybe these sorts of views are old school and not modern but that’s ok. There are plenty of us out there your sub numbers show that.

  12. Well said Dean. I am of the same mind. Live and let live and do your own thing. Growing up in the big city I’ve had my share of fights and drama and most of the time it was much more than words so at this point in my life I try to avoid it like the plague. I’m not perfect and I fail sometimes to ignore it as it is bred it me to never back down from a fight and always stick up for yourself but in this age of the internet it is ultimately just a war of keyboard strokes. It isn’t like the old days where a quick talk or even a fair “fist to cuffs” to squash a beef and move on. Now it’s all about who can be louder and more colorful for attention. The days of solving issues like men are very foreign. Anyway, I’m gonna keep doing my thing and ignore the bullshit and I hope you do the same. Slainte.

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  13. Eloquently put, Dean. Thanks for all the work you do, especially this post. I too, don’t subscribed to negativity, life’s just too short. Peace.

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  14. Well said Dean. Respect and integrity are hard to find anymore. Not impossible. Or maybe that’s because I’m an old coot. Big respect for taking the high ground. Followed you then and I follow you now. Keep striving for better. Thanks for all you do.

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  15. Absolutely correct & probably not a 2018 problem but one that has been ongoing (but getting worse) for some years now. I thoroughly enjoy watching numerous vaping reviews as it has turned in to a hobby as well as a way for me to quit cigarettes and rarely comment but just “like”. I may not agree with the reviewers point of view but to me that is natural & shouldn’t & doesn’t mean I will slag off the review. More people should see it as a form of information (as well as a bit of fun depending on the reviewer) than anything more serious. Unfortunately a witless minority seem to think they have the right to use comments in a personal manner rather than what they were originally meant for. As a wise man once said Dean “Don’t let the B*stards grind you down” & be very aware that the majority of your viewers enjoy your reviews & would be saddened that you take stupid comments to heart, so don’t.

  16. Couldn’t agree more mate. It’s always better to concentrate on doing your own thing better than it is to criticise the way others are doing it. Those that build their channel on drama are attracting the sort of subscriber that will happily turn on them if they drop the ball for a moment. And to be honest, they deserve it. Keep doing it your way pal, it works and you’ve got the loyal subscribers to prove it.

  17. Yes, it is more important to be nice. That’s why we love you, Dean.

  18. WELL SAID !! Not hard to explain though…
    GREED for anything, money, fame, etc. combined with a severe lack of IQ/parental love/proper upbringing will do that to a human.
    As to social media, it has alredy been said that hundreds of fb friends will not buy you a cuppa/put you up for the night and certainly will not lend you money… :-))
    BTW, on the title photo does it read Oh My God or 0mg ? 😛
    Cheers mate!

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  19. Well said Dean, spot on description of the state of play.
    It’s a shame some “reviewers” act so pathetically.
    I am sure the Green Eyed Monster live on their shoulders

  20. Very well stated. I have unsubscribed from some reviewers, unfollowed instagram accounts, stopped shopping at certain shops due to their unimpressive behaviour.
    I also find that some of the live vape shows with several hosts have a tendency to veer towards some poor behaviour. At times it seems like they’re having a private chat with their buddies and forget that they’re broadcasting to the entire world.
    I’ll continue supporting and enjoying the content that is produced for me, the audience and consumer, and steer clear of the crap made for ego and self indulgence.

  21. Well put Dean! People get what they deserve in end. Not engaging in there BS gives them no credibility. It would be nice to think that people would have manners and respect for all around them. Sadly as you said this has deminished in society.
    Keep up the good work and file this situation under S for Shite!
    Peace Brother

  22. Very true what have been change since last 3 years. I still remember the 1st time I saw your review and found it very interesting and entertaining, so I subscribe your channel.
    3 years back I subscribe to many channels but recently I found many reviewer creating many drama and those I don’t follow them anymore. Really disappointed those we as a community and this people trying to many others look bad. We should worry is what happened to our vaping world now as government trying to ban us from vaping.
    Keep up your good work Dean. You will always get my support.

  23. Well said Dean! Respect to you sir!

  24. Well said brother! The drama b.s. is why I don’t watch and have unsubscribed to probably half of the reviewers I once have. Keep up the good work and great attitude!!!
    ML&R

  25. Totally agree with this and recently across all vaping communities there seems to be drama hunters. I don’t know if its cos they want their “15 mins of fame” or if its just who they are but they have all made me unsub very quickly. I love your reviews and quite a few of the ones you mentioned. This is cos they are likeable and give me the info i want. Thank you for doing what you do

  26. Hi Dean
    I must say that you sum things up in a good way and i must agree that decency has shifted and isn’t what it used to be earlier.
    Getting known because of publicly insulting someone else is just ludacris and a lot of people should be ashamed over their behavior.

    Keep on being you and proud of it.

    Norseman

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