Last month, we kicked off a new series called Content Curators. It's about the people behind some of the most influential websites around. They're the ones who sort through hundreds of blogs a day, who find the creative content that thousands, if not millions, of trendspotters see each month. They're our modern-day curators, the ones who not only possess the power to start trends, they have the confidence and courage to bring new ideas into the mainstream.
Mike Payne of TheCoolist.com was our first guest (see Part I and Part II). He shared with us his very personal stories and we can't thank him enough for taking the time to answer our questions. Today, we want to introduce you to Herman Yung of DoobyBrain.com. If you follow any of the gadget or trendspotting blogs, you may have seen a link back to DoobyBrain.com. Even though Herman's only 24 years old, he's been blogging since 2002. Check out his site to keep up with the latest trends in photography, bikes, technology, and pop culture. Herman's always putting out fun and amusing content that will keep you up-to-date and entertained.
Now, without further ado, here's our interview with Herman Yung.
Please introduce yourself to our community?
My name is Herman Yung. I'm 24. I'm originally born in Miami, FL but I grew up in Manhattan, NY. I went to high school at “The Fame School” (LaGuardia HS) and then went on to attend Parsons The New School for Design and majored in photography.
Why did you start Doobybrain.com back in 2002?
I started Doobybrain.com back in the day mainly because of laziness. It was back when just about everyone I knew was using AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) and away messages were popular things to update. There were limits to how many characters you could put in your away message though and I always wanted to share multiple things with all the people on my buddy list. Needless to say, the away message just didn't cut it. So with the help of my brother, I set up a static IP web address and started posting some of my links on an HTML page and simply put that IP address as my away message. Never changed it after that really.
How has it evolved over the years?
In the very, very early days, Doobybrain.com was just an HTML page that I updated and added to whenever I felt like it. When the page got too big to load for most viewers, I simply archived the page and started a new HTML document and continued from the date I left off. It stayed this way up until 2006 when I finally switched the site format over to WP (this explains why the archives on WP only go back to 2006 instead of 2002 when the site was started). But my posting style remained the same — I would do one large entry every time I felt like updating and simply stuck all of my found links into one post. It made it hard to search for things so sometime in 2007-2008, I began posting individual posts for each link/topic. That's mainly how the site publishes content now.
I remember the post where you announced that you were devoted yourself full-time to your website. What changed or led you to that?
Haha, as for the full-time thing, that didn't last very long. I had a terrible job at this company that I won't name that led me to quit after just 7 months. I thought I'd be out of work for a while so I made that post. But I was lucky to find another position elsewhere in about a month's time. So all in all, I did Doobybrain.com full-time for just 30 days.
How has the internet helped you or what kind of surprises or lessons have you learned along the way?
I think I find out a lot of interesting things from other people on the internet. I get to see a lot of artwork from around the world and I get to be inspired by people doing amazing things with their talents. As for surprises…well, the internet is never short of surprises.
Which websites do you go to for your own inspiration?
I think a lot of the inspiration I get for post ideas come from those Tumblr websites that merely post image after image without any description or relevant information at all. I'll see something there and it'll get me thinking about something else which then gets me thinking about another thing and the whole process goes on until I've exhausted my web search for posting. On the flipside, a lot of the stuff I've been finding lately have come from Twitter followers (thank you!!). I think Twitter is a fantastic way to get in touch with my readers and so far I've been very entertained by the links I get sent over there.
Passions…hmm. Well, I actually love updating the site. It's a sort of stress reliever for me at the end of each day. Going through articles, catching up on news, and just watching videos on different things. It's very relaxing in a way. Actually, Doobybrain.com is the single most consistent thing I've kept up with in all my life. I don't think I've practiced, played, or ran anything as long as I have run Doobybrain.com. As for my other passions, definitely eating, cycling, and taking photos. I like cats, does that count as a passion?
How do you see yourself or your business evolving?
I actually don't see Doobybrain.com as a business. I've given up my fair share of business ventures with the site in order to keep it the way it is now with minimal ads (so far, nothing really has sparked my interest all that much in terms of making Doobybrain GO BIG). Sure, the site makes revenue from the ads but a good chunk of that just goes back to paying off servers and other miscellaneous costs. I really do just enjoy updating it for myself as a way to be able to backtrack on things that have inspired me at certain times in the past. I like being able to pick a date and read entries to see what my mind was thinking and/or being influenced by.
What's been your favorite post to date and why?
Oh man, this is a hard one. I've published over 12,000 posts since 2006…I'm not sure how I can even begin to pick a favorite one!
What are some trends that you see are happening online?
With the decrease in digital camera and video equipment, I've been seeing a lot of people start to create their own content. Content isn't coming from a few big media companies anymore, it's coming directly from people you know. If there's an event, you or somebody you know is probably filming it for a post somewhere online. That's just awesome and I'd like to see it go even further in the next couple of years.
Thanks for the interview, Herman! Appreciate you giving us a look into your world.