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julia vidcon

Work Diaries: on the ground at VidCon with Julia Lee Harter

We’re peeling back the curtains with our series, Work Diaries, where you can experience the inner workings of YouTube. Today, we’re giving you a peek behind the curtain at the coolest job of all — writing for YouTube’s blog! Ok…so maybe I’m a little biased.

My name is Julia Lee Harter and if you frequent this site you’ve probably seen my work! I’m a blog writer and editorial creative here at YouTube, and today I’ll be recapping my week on the ground at VidCon 2024.

julia flight


8:00 a.m.: Today’s the first day of VidCon, so it’s time to catch my flight from Austin to Anaheim. I’m a fairly new addition to the YouTube Editorial team, but I’ve been a YouTube superfan for as long as I can remember. I’ve been dreaming of attending VidCon since middle school and now I’m finally on my way! Can you believe it? I can’t! I’m so nervous (and sleepy) that I almost miss my boarding group.

10:30 a.m.: During my flight I go through the conference schedule and add all the events I want to attend to my personal itinerary. There are so many talks, panels, expos and meet ups going on, so it only takes a couple minutes for my Google calendar to start resembling a horribly arranged Tetris grid.

11:30 a.m.: Thanks to the good old Pacific Time zone, I make it to Anaheim with plenty of daylight left. I check into my hotel room and coordinate with our on-site team to make sure everything is set for the week ahead.

4:15 p.m.: It’s badge pick up time! Walking to the expo hall, I’m struck by how many attendees traveled in from another state or even another country. YouTube means a lot to people and it’s pretty surreal to get to be a part of the magic. I can’t wait for tomorrow.

in a pickle julia


9:00 a.m.: The first item on my agenda is a particularly exciting one. Readers of the blog may remember a video series we launched last year called In A Pickle where creators are given the option to a) answer a potentially spicy question or b) take a shot of very spicy pickle juice. It’s an absolute blast and today we’re filming season two! We have so many great creators lined up this time around, so stay tuned.

11:30 a.m.: After that, I head over to the convention center to catch some panels. YouTube’s Creator Liaison, Rene Ritchie, does a great job at breaking down YouTube’s algorithm alongside Gwen Miller from Mythical, Todd Beaupré, Head of Growth & Discovery at YouTube. The key message: multiformat success comes when you adapt, and YouTube offers so many tools to help you figure out when and how to do just that.

3:00 p.m.: After an excellent talk about YouTube’s explosive growth on connected TV, I have the opportunity to escort creator Kinigra Deon to a press interview alongside my PR counterparts. I’m new to the world of consumer press, but I’m learning so much just by watching my peers.

5:15 p.m.:Next, it’s time to talk to some creators at the sports-themed All Star Lounge. Between games of flick football, I learn about the projects people are currently working on and think through opportunities for future blog collaborations. Some even offer to share advice for aspiring creators on the YouTube Liaison channel.

8:00 p.m.: Finally, I end my day by catching up with two of my teammates over dinner. We live on opposite sides of the country, so I’m always so grateful for opportunities to reconnect in person.

julia vidcon


9:00 a.m.: My work day starts on my laptop in the hotel room. It’s amazing how quickly emails can pile up when you’re out of town! I work with Rene to get his weekly blog edited and uploaded and start pulling together the content we’ve collected so far.

12:45 p.m.: I’ve been so busy between panels and events that I haven’t actually gotten to explore. I take a slow lap through the expo hall to take it all in before stopping by YouTube’s Minecraft Experience. This pop up was created in honor of the game’s 15th birthday and the 1.5 trillion views it’s drawn in through the years on YouTube and, let me tell you, YouTube Gaming knows how to throw a killer celebration. It had everything — interactive photo ops, a creeper birthday cake, surprise gifts. On my way out, I even received a tote in the shape of a Minecraft chicken. I know what bag I’ll be carrying this summer!

3:00 p.m.: I always say my favorite thing is learning about other people’s excitement and interests. There’s nothing I love more than seeing somebody light up when talking about the thing they love, and there's lots of that going on at the Cosplay Creator Collective. Decked out in costumes ranging from macabre to kawaii, creators came together to make new friends and celebrate the growing cosplay community on YouTube.

5:00 p.m.: Next comes a conversation that’s both important and incredibly entertaining. I’m behind-the-scenes for a special filming of the Creator Insider podcast with Kinigra Deon and Alan Chikin Chow. Tucked behind bulky cameras and sound equipment, I’m awestruck as they discuss storytelling, the intricate operations that go into their businesses and the shifting landscape of the media industry.

7:00 p.m.: On my way out of the hotel we’re filming at, I run into my favorite creator and long-time inspiration, John Green. Talking to creators is literally my job, but this time I can’t stop shaking. His work has had such a profound impact on my life. It’s what sparked my interest in YouTube in the first place, what led me to become a writer and to this day I don’t miss an upload. It’s a perfect full circle “pinch me” moment.

collage julia


It’s my last day at my very first VidCon and I’m overwhelmed with emotion. The convention was everything I’d dreamed it would be and more. I learned from some incredible creatives, met fans from all over the world, connected with my team irl and collected content for future blogs that I’m very excited for you all to see. I take one last lap through the convention center and soak it all in — the colorful pop ups, the events stationed at every corner, the starry-eyed kids who love YouTube just like I did 10 years ago. I guess some things never change.