by, Caroline McCarthy, Nicole Rodriguez, Kelly Kennedy, Staff Writer & Asst. Production Editors
The Offices of Student Engagement and Student Government hosted a live Zoom webinar with famous YouTuber Cody Ko on Tuesday Oct. 27, bringing in the largest amount of student engagement of the 2020-2021 school year to date.
Over 300 Manhattan College students tuned in to the webinar, all eager to hear “what the eff” the celebrity would have to say, especially with Lasallian restrictions on his patented curse words and stories. Although Student Government has had two other guest speakers, Ko made for the biggest virtual event of the year in terms of attendance, reception, and interaction among students.
The highlights: Justin Beiber has blocked Cody Ko on Instagram; Ko found that our Fraternity and Sorority names have a striking resemblance to genitalia and STDs; a Jasper is a dog or maybe a town in Canada; and Ko is in the process of writing a comedic musical — maybe.
The panel, hosted by Shannon Gleba, student body president and Quadrangle staff member, and Isabel Gardner, vice president of student life was orchestrated by Student Engagement as a “virtual meet and greet” for Manhattan College students.
“It was our biggest virtual event turnout,” Gardner said. “We had two other guest speakers, and those were around 100 maximum. And this was maxed out at like 300 students. So it was a great turnout. I feel like everybody had a great time. And then obviously, Cody and Cody’s agent said that this was the most interactive virtual event they’ve done and that the questions were really good.”
Student Government encouraged students to send in their own questions for Ko to further engage the audience. Many of which asked about Ko’s many different platforms, the creation of his content, and what he has coming next.
“It was so nerve wracking [to interview him],” Gardner said. “I was so nervous the whole time. And you could definitely tell but, it was really fun. He was super friendly.”
Ko first gained public attention via his short comedy skits on the now defunct video-making platform Vine and has since branched out his audience across multiple platforms. Apart from seven-second situational Vines, the multi-talented creator is known for his commentating and critiquing YouTube videos, being a part of the comedy rap duo Tiny Meat Gang alongside fellow YouTuber and former Viner Noel Miller, and his role on the satirical scripted series The Real Bros of Simi Valley.
Unlike other creators, Ko has a unique background, having graduated from Duke University with a degree in computer science and creating the viral iPhone application “I’d Cap That” prior to his rise to internet fame.
Ko attributes his background in programming to how he has managed to stay creative across multiple platforms and recognizes the similarities between writing code, writing jokes, writing videos and writing music.
“There’s a lot of similarities,” he said. “It’s just about recognizing patterns and then capitalizing on those patterns or using them in interesting ways.”
Ko relates copying and pasting drum loops in his rap songs to coding. He even goes on to claim that coding itself is music because of the similar patterns.
“I feel like programming slowly taught me how to be creative for Vine or anything YouTube ever did,” Ko said.
To continue his career after Vine, Ko strategically brought his following to other platforms, one of which being Youtube.
“I really enjoy the creative part of all this,” Ko said. “That’s what I like. Having an idea and making it come to life. So you know, the transition was pretty natural up until the point that Vine died. And then I had to switch to YouTube and start from scratch. Going from seven seconds to 10 minutes or however long, you know, there’s infinite possibilities of the content you can choose on YouTube.”
Admittedly, Youtube has become Ko’s favorite means of producing content. To create a Youtube video, Ko writes and records up to an hour of content which is then edited down into a 10 minute finished product. He feels the extra work of planning, filming and editing makes posting a YouTube video more rewarding than shorter segments on other apps.
“It’s really tough,” he said. “And that’s why so many YouTubers burn out because it’s just like, it’s just highs and lows. And it’s rough. But it’s also super, super rewarding.”
Ko expressed his immense appreciation for those who have continuously followed and supported him since his career began on Vine.
“That means the world to me, because that means that no matter what I’ve done, because I’ve hopped from one medium to another, and I’ve tried to do so many things and keep challenging myself, it means that people have stuck with me,” Ko said.
As for what’s in store for the creator, possibilities are endless. Ko remains inspired in content creating through constant change and experimenting with different formats.
“I just constantly push myself. I want to get better at whatever it is. I want to do different things. You know, I think it’d be cool to do a movie next, or a cookbook. I don’t know, we’ll see,” Ko said.