YouTube History Lesson: Vlogbrothers Through the Ages

Good Morning John! We have recently reached a number of milestones here on the VlogBrothers channel. We uploaded our 1500th VlogBrothers video, We got our 3 millionth subscriber, and we’re about to upload our hundredth episode of Dear Hank and John, as soon as you get back from vaction, no rush! I think this is thus a good moment to take a look back. And we’re gonna do that with the help of the WayBack Machine. This is a product from the Internet Archive, you can look up any website you want to, like go to, and see what it looked like back in the past. Oh god, it’s beautiful! Oh, load it up! Wait, wait… I’m a male seeking everyone between 18 and- was YouTube a dating site? This feels like information I should’ve had in my head! This is beautiful, but it’s not what we’re here to look at today. We’re gonna take a look at what has looked like, starting with today and moving backwards in time. YouTube has looked pretty much the same for the last, like, 3 years. I don’t super love it. I think we have to go pretty far back before we see a significant change in YouTube’s design. So now we’re on 2014, same thing. Let’s check out 2013… Ah-hah, this is new. I remember this. This was the design for quite a long time, and I think I remember it being called, by Youtube, Cosmic Panda? When it was first launching, it was like, ‘Codename Cosmic Panda! The new design is coming!’ Look at this customization you could do, you could, like, all of this is image-mapped, but if we continue to go back, back, back in time… we see that we’ve broken the thing. Oh yeah, got a new one. Oh yeah, I remember th- I like this. You can design around it, you know, you knew exactly how it was gonna display, but it’s sad that we can’t have as much fun as we once had. Let’s pop into 2010 year, back when we had first launched VidCon. Ah yeah, this design. I liked this, yeah, I remember doing this. Don’t know what’s happening all here with the blankness, but we’ve got 344,000 subscribers. We are #82 most subscribed all time with that number. That’s different now! Still pushing the Truth or Fail. It never worked! It was such a good show! I worked so hard on truth or fail! Ohhhh, and it just- it just never- it was destined to fail. Ah, maybe with the new endscreens it could work? I don’t- don’t, don’t do it, Hank. Alright, let’s go to 2009. Alright, yeah, this one. This one that Sharkeye Jones did. Look at, this is gorgeous. Doesn’t this look better than what it looks like now? One of the Short Sisters, Monica, now works for VidCon. She’s running PodCon right now. August 2009, we have 98,000 subscribers, so we’re about to hit 100,000. And look how nice all this looks. I don’t know how we ended up with just John’s face as our channel icon. Alright, we’re gonna pop all the way to 2008 now, and probably lose this cooler design and end up with- yeah, this! Oh god! Edit undo. And then, on the sidebar here, you got like comments on the channel! I think that we have like one channel design left before we are out, and here it is. It’s the first capture had ever made of VlogBrothers. We had 9,700 subscribers. Latest YouTube drama, subscribe to HouseholdHacker, YTwatchdog has 20 videos removed due to TOS violation. Renetto says the YouTube community is on its last breath because of telemarketers? There has been YouTube drama since there has been YouTube. MisKChief says, ‘So since you have cracked most subscribed, guess you can [sic: can’t] just stop making videos.’ Back in 2007. We thought about it, in December 2007. Absolutely. We said we were gonna do it for a year, we’d been doing it for a year, we had 11,000 subscribers. That was super big, back then. It is not super big now. But, yeah, we decided to keep doing it. Turned out okay. Our final archive is from December 1st, 2007. So basically, there’s no record of our YouTube channel for the first 11 months that we did it. But John, if you remember, in the early days, YouTube was not where we, like, has our main community. We had it at And if we go back to 2007, I think that we’re gonna get… Oh yeah we are, oh yeah we are, check it out! “Discussion questions: how should Hank take Nerdfighters to the next level? How comes horseradish looks like mayo and tastes like poison?’ We don’t so discussion questions anymore, that’s fun, how about this one? What was the first book you ever loved? That’s a good one. John, thanks for doing stuff with me. I’ve been recording for 36 minutes, so there’s proabably a much longer version of this video over on Hankschannel. John, I’ll see you on Tuesday.

Comments 100

  • The Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy.

  • I have no idea what the first book I ever loved was due to the fact that I have been reading since about age 5 and was read to probably since my mom found out she was pregnant. However, the first book I ever loved enough to look at stuff on the internet about it was Percy Jackson although that may have something to do with the fact that I read Percy Jackson at around the same time I started using the computer on a regular basis.

  • The first book I ever loved was Anne of Green Gables. Still love it.

  • The first book I ever loved was Wizard's First Rule of the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.
    I was in junior high school and I couldn't stop reading those books. Before then, I'd read a lot, but mostly for those sweet, sweet pizza points. Wizard's First Rule was the first book that made me not care about any completion perks.

  • The first book I ever loved was probably Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs… I've never been so angered by a movie adaptation.

  • OMG. I used to read ALL the books when I was a kid. I don't remember the first one I ever loved but there were a couple I would read over and over. I forgot the title.. but I think there were two girls and one was Peggy and the other Tess(a?) and Tess was a flight attendant and I WANTED TO BE ONE and Peggy did something with horses. And there were guys they fell in love with because it was a soppy love story but I don't remember them now. I would read it every time I was sick. I don't know if it was translated or if it was a Dutch one originally..

  • I'm pretty sure the first book I ever loved was Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. I was deeply affronted by the trailer for the movie version, which I never saw, and held a grudge against Anne Hathaway for a long time.

  • The first book I ever loved was Anne of Green Gables. It still holds a warm place in my heart as I remember how I would laugh and cry and dream alongside Anne as she grew up in hardship.

  • The first book I ever loved was The Giving Tree… because I was a morbid child.

  • First book i ever loved was Warriors: Into the Wild. And then the whole Warrior Cats series.

  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. I remember checking it out from the school library every single year after reading it for the first time in third grade!

  • The first book I ever loved was The Phantom Tollbooth. I should probably re-read it since I was like 9 at the time…

  • The first book… the first series is a tie between Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Encyclopedia Brown. The first book, was Pride and Prejudice in 5th grade.

  • I never liked books. School made me read those weird ones that have pages that aren't rectangles and stupid primary kid issues that i (thankfully) forgot.

    But then I read Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal and I was absolutely invested in its characters. I wanted to know more about the characters and I wanted to reach the absolute end. I just had to! So I read all the books in the series EXCEPT the last one, because it was not in the school library anymore.

  • The first book I ever loved was Where the Red Fern Grows. <3

  • First book loved, either Amelia Bedelia or a Dinosaur book that has been mostly debunked due to it being 35 years old now

  • First book I ever loved: Divergent by Veronica Roth. It really got me into the fandom world and the YA genre. I actually read Hunger Games before Divergent but Divergent grabbed me from the depths of Fandom Life and I've been stuck here ever since.

  • First book I ever loved was Lad, a Dog.

  • The first book I ever loved would probably be Raven by Gerald McDermott, a picture book about the Tlingit myth about how the raven gave light to the world. (Tlingit are a Native American tribe around the area of Alaska.)

  • I had no idea YouTube looked so different before!

  • I first loved East by Eidth Patou

  • The first book I ever loved was Molly Moon, Micky Minus and the Mind Machine (which isn't even the first book in the series, but I didn't know that at the time). I read it when I was about 10. Although I was quite the avid reader before that, this was the first book I can remember being excited about (although it took me like a year to actually decide to read it because it looked boring and was super long). Been a massive bookworm ever since!

  • That archive website is SO COOL. Imagine if we lost all this history?

  • Oh man I joined in 2008 so I definitely remember that channel design! As for first book I ever loved? It took me until about 6th grade to actively enjoy reading so although there were some books I read before then the book that I remember first touching me in a special way was "Frindle" by Andrew Clements. I sought out a bunch of his books after that before taking the big step into reading Harry Potter ^^;

  • Hank you almost got punished uploading a 4 minute video

  • i think the first book i ever loved was chicka chicka boom boom. those were the days, way back in preschool

  • eragon by christopher paolini in first grade

  • I grew up obsessed with the babysitter's club books and I was convinced that no other book would compare until my dad read the first Harry Potter to my brothers and I and from then on I was hooked. Not only on Harry Potter but on all books I could conceivably get my hands on. I am forever grateful to my dad for that.

  • The first book I ever loved (before I could even read) was The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. My mom read a bunch of books out loud to me when I was a kid ❤️. Since then I have loved many books, I would say A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter is a favorite.

  • I've been a sub since June of 07, love you guys! As for the discussion Q, Aliens for Breakfast was the first book I loved. ❤️

  • The first book I truly loved was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's stone. I could read a bit when I was four, but my dad decided to read the HP series to me then, and I became a voracious reader by following along in another copy.

  • First book I ever loved. Chronicles of Narnia by the great C.S. Lewis – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

  • I remember and loved the yellow subscribe button.

  • "Good night moon" and "where the wild things are" I loved these when I was little

  • Percy Jackson!

  • Subscribed since Accio Deathly Hallows…fun trip down memory lane 🙂 (The first book I ever loved was a picture book called Sarah Saw a Blue Macaw. I loved the rhymes and illustrations.)

  • I recognize that ADHD "Dont– don't do it, Hank." I make that face to myself all the time.

  • The first book I ever loved was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I still read it over again every few years. Always a delight. The Great Gatsby comes as a close second though.

  • The first book I ever loved was Brave New World. Sophomore year of high school I had a book report and wanted to both challenge myself and try out a classic. BNW changed my perception of literature and made me realize that it shouldn't be defined by the books English teachers force us to read.

  • Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

  • I think I’ve always loved books, but I don’t ever really remember at one point starting to as Scout described in To Kill A Mockingbird “one does not love to breath”.
    Looking back there is one book that made a major impact on my life- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.
    I remember being swept up in the idea of being able to read to and make things come to life and the main characters empathy and maturity, while she was not much older than myself at the time.

  • The first book I ever loved? Oh wow…it was How to Find a Friend, and Ann Likes Red. Dr. Seuss was fine and all but those two books had me hooked on reading forever…then the next BIG THING for me was A Wrinkle in Time, and Nancy Drew (but after awhile she got on my nerves). I’ve been a reading longer than I can remember. Thank Goodness, because this introverted Nerdfighter never did get a lock on how to find a friend for many years.

  • Omg! Hank has a Tuatara shirt on!!!

  • I encountered first love with Roald Dahl's Esio Trot. I was around 7 and it was an awesome book.

  • i jumped in at 2009 vlogbrothers <3

  • I very much remember the first book I ever loved. It was "The Black Stallion". I was a reluctant and unconfident reader before I was 10. We had this reading program in my school where we had to read books and each one was with so many points and then you took a test to get the points and you had to read so many points… I read little women because it was the highest point book so I could catch up.. and that year my brother also died. SO! After My Gramma reading Harry Potter 1 with me I decided that other books must also be good.
    It's funny how Harry Potter convinced me that other books were also awesome, but it wasn't the first one(s) I loved…
    there's this scene in The Black Stallion where they're on the track training at night and even after 15 years, when I remember reading that scene… I can feel it and taste it and I can fall into that scene so easily.

  • ytwatchdog and renetto….damn that's a long time ago. i love when people complain about the yt drama now….trust me it was bad then too. I wish ytwatchdog would come back he made me laugh all through high school.

  • The first book I fell in love with was… oh my, I can't remember the very first. But, I had a passion for Magic Tree house #17.

  • the first book I ever loved was probably a book from the goosebumps series. I can't remember which in particular but that was all that I used to read when I was little. but first picture book was definitely the giving tree. still love it to this day

  • The first book I ever loved was probably The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe.

  • The first book I loved was Origin by Jessica Khoury

  • The first book I ever loved was also the book that made me obsessed with reading. The 4th Harry Potter movie had just come out and because I was 8, my parents said I could only watch if I had read the book. I picked up the first book and fell in love. I have now read it 16 times.

  • I believe it was Ferdinand the Bull that I would make my parents and grandparents read me over and over. I think the first one I loved that I read myself was The Secret Garden.

  • I was always a big reader as a kid. I'd say the Boxcar Children books or the Magic Treehouse books were the first ones I loved.

  • Harry Potter!!

  • Tornado! First book I ever loved! Read it in maybe 3rd grade. It's about a dog who's doghouse lands in this young girls yard after a tornado 🌪 Still have a copy on my bookshelf today

  • Please quit the 4 minute time limit in 2018! 🙁
    Hank is bypassing it anyway by uploading longer versions on his channel.

  • geronimo stilton

  • Mm, the first book I ever loved was A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas.


  • The Riddle of Penncroft Farm was the first real book I loved. I remember in third grade my teacher would read us books that were like a little too hard for us to read on our own, or maybe just to do it faster. Anyways each day we would sit and she would read us a book. I don't know if this is the first book of that experience I liked because it came after I got on me ADHD meds, or if it was just so good. I loved that book and actually bought a copy as an adult and it totally holds up. My cousin wrote me a book with fun facts when I was 5 and that is still a very important book to me.

  • The first book I loved and read myself was Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren when I was in Kindergarten. I still think it influences me till this day😊

  • The first book i ever loved was Percy Jackson and the lighting theaf. My mom read it to me because i have dislexya and was bad at reading and also why eveything in the comment is spelt wrong.

  • Ready Player One

  • I find it ironic that at the end of 2007 you had 11k subscribers and on this video you have 11k likes

  • The first book I ever loved was Are You My Mother and I, to this day, see giant construction diggers and call them snorts

  • picture book. Amos and Boris. Novel. The Island of the Blue Dolphins. It stands out as the first book that made enough of an impact on me that I remember the title. I don't remember what it was about.

  • First book i ever loved was "The Man Who Counted" and the author published under the name Malba Tahan.

  • I would kill for a Truth or Fail revival.

  • He's wearing a tuatara T-Shirt. I just STUDIED tuataras because of THAT book!

  • I've actually rarely read any fiction.

  • The Two Princesses of Bamarre. Best book I've ever read to this day. Sorry, boys.

  • youtube WAS a dating site

  • "The Gruffalo"

  • My mom's collection of Calvin and Hobbes. I was too young to understand all of the humor, but Calvin has stuck with me through it all

  • The first book I ever loved was 'Step on a crack' by James Patterson

  • The first book I ever loved was The Outsiders by S.E Hinton. I read it first in 8th grade and have read it once every year since then and I find news things to love about it each time I read. It is one of those books that is continually relevent

  • Diary of a Wimpy kid. I was in kindergarten

  • First book I ever loved was this weird book I read in kindergarten called eek and ack

  • The lion the witch and the wardrobe

  • oh wow this is cool. I wish I could have been there in the youtube community to see all these changes to this site and your channel.

  • 1:30 Is that…
    Poptropica writing?!

  • This is nowy favorite comment section of any video because I can come to get great book recommendations. And it's awesome. So many good ones. I can't wait to read them all

  • The first book I remember really enjoying is The Bridge to Terrabithia by Katherine Paterson. Such an amazing book, even with such a sad ending. I remember reading it at the same age as Jess in the book, and we both enjoyed (I still enjoy) running, so I was able to really connect with that book. I would highly recommend it to someone who wants a good read.

  • The first book l ever loved was Harry Potter. I was five and it was 1999. My sister started reading it to me.

  • where the red fern grows

  • First book I ever remember loving was-no joke- The Very Hungry Caterpillar-. I was impressed by this caterpillar's skill and how it came from an egg. It was magic to me.

  • Youtube was that different as recently as 2013?? Wow, how is it that I don't remember that at all?? Sure I didn't have a youtube account back then, but I know I visited the site sometimes and watched videos. That's crazy, I don't remember ever being here when channel pages were that intensely themed… I guess I must just not have gone onto people's pages? Weird…

  • Thanks for donating to the Internet Archive!

  • on an old vlogbrothers binge during midterms
    I think the first book i ever loved was bembleman's bakery because it was about kids being independent and my dad read it with funny voices

  • The first book I’ve ever loved is Harry Potter

  • Late but first official book was Different Dragons.

  • youtube WAS a dating site! i know too much about yt's history for… some reason? i'm sure someone else already talked about this, but the creator was like "wait what if we could make a dating site but with video, and no one could fake stuff… cause video". it was a new thing, okay? but it didn't work so it got turned into roughly what it is now

  • The first two books I ever remember reading and absolutely loving, and were my most favourites as a child were chapter books from my childhood between 1970 and 1974 – although both books were published much earlier. One Book was an Australian novel called the Racketty Street Gang by L.H Evers (1961). This book was set after WW2 in Sydney and involved new immigrants from Germany who hads emigrated to Australia. The book now has its own wikipedia page – The other book was a french childrens novel by Paul Berna. Set in Paris after WW2, it was called A Hundred Million Francs (1955). Berna also has a wikipedia page –

  • I read the hobbit with my dad when I was in second grade. That was the first book that I loved.

  • The first book I remember loving was probably The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

  • First book I ever loved? It would have to be the warriors series. you know, the one about talking cats living in the wild?

  • First book that I loved? Cosmic Cousin by Nancy Hayashi.

  • First book I ever loved: Robin Hood, adapted by J. Walker McSpadden. Today, I can barely understand the language in the book.

  • depends on if you count Mangas as Books, but I completly fell in love with the DragonBall Mangas when I was like 9/10ish when they were first released, if we are talking about non mangas, it was probably Harry Potter a few years later

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *