A field guide to YouTube talent companies

As YouTube’s self-made stars have grown in popularity, a number of companies have been founded to maximize their online influence across multiple platforms. Here’s an overview of those working behind-the-scenes on big deals for Ryan Higa, Annoying Orange, ShayCarl and Mystery Guitar Man.

Josh Sundquist Might Be the Most Inspiring Guy on YouTube

YouTuber Josh Sundquist was named today as YouTube’s On the Rise star for January, getting a featured spot on the front page. Looking at his videos, it’s not hard to see why — the author, Paralympian and motivational speaker’s work isn’t just fun, but truly inspirational.

Partners Project Pushes Behind the Scenes With YouTube Stars

Partners Project, which focuses on YouTube creators finding success with full-time video making, is not for anyone who hasn’t heard of Sxephil or LisaNova. But for those who are invested emotionally or financially in the future of online video, there is much of interest here.

5 Questions With…YouTuber Phil DeFranco

This week’s 5 Questions With… features Phil DeFranco, a YouTube star who regularly tops the Most Viewed page. Here, Phil talks about the power of being an Internet personality and how he manages to keep up with his own YouTube channel as well as other projects.

Jon Lajoie’s Success Not Keeping Him Away From YouTube

It’s been almost two years since we last wrote about Jon Lajoie — whose comedy sketches and songs helped him build international fame online — but while he’s been doing pretty well for himself thanks to acting gigs and an original album, he’s still maintained his web popularity.

Have Weezer’s YouTube Cameos Helped Boost Album Sales?

In the first 24 hours of Weezer’s YouTube (s GOOG) invasion, timed to promote their new album Hurley, the multiple videos featuring cameos by the band earned a combined five million views. But the promotion may not have had much effect on record sales.

Weezer Invades YouTuber Videos To Promote New Album

The band Weezer has been a YouTube enthusiast for ages, and to promote their new album Hurley (coincidentally, available in stores today!), they gave YouTubers like Mystery Guitar Man, Fred, and Hot for Words a chance to put the band in their videos.

The Lessons YouTubers Teach Us

Recent coverage of popular and successful YouTube creators making a profit off their content has lead to a backlash regarding the quality of what’s being created. But dismissing YouTubers means dismissing their genius at audience engagement, doing all of web video a disservice.

What I Learned at VidCon: It’s All About Connection

Attendees of the inaugural VidCon conference last weekend were largely on the young side, but watching fans interact with their favorite YouTube creators made it clear that entertainment is changing, with audiences expecting a greater level of connection with creators than ever before.