The cool thing about being creative on the internet is that it breaks down the gatekeepers. Putting an awesome video on YouTube costs nothing. Nor does starting a blog, self publishing a book, or constructing a browser-invading digital art project. It’s all free. There are no rules. You can be bold and experimental and strange.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone will actually enjoy your creative output. Most of the steadily-producing internet goldmines were staked back in the late 2000s. If you’re going to make it big on a modern digital platform, you’ll have to catch lightning in a bottle.
In 2011, Hannah Hart did exactly that when she launched My Drunk Kitchen. The show started as a lark when Hart recorded herself cooking while drunk for a friend. The tone was perfect and the series took off almost immediately. Fans latched on to Hart’s engaging style and positive vibes. She’s also very funny (both drunk and sober).
The success of My Drunk Kitchen led to the Harto Network and a wide range of other projects (including two movies and a best-selling book). In the meantime, Hart steadily built a community. Interaction is as important to her platform as the videos themselves, her fans are so plugged in that they join up for volunteer days across the country. Not surprisingly, this ability to cultivate a loyal audience has caught the attention of major brands. Hart currently stars in While the Water Boils — a series produced and funded by Barilla — in which she talks to tastemakers and big thinkers like Hebru Brantley and the beloved Bill Nye.
A few weeks ago, Hart swung by the Uproxx offices and we got the chance to chat with her about her various projects, the idea of being “internet famous,” and the inexplicable success of SnapChat.