Emily Eifler (MFA 2011) has little time for sleep. She writes, directs, edits, and stars in her own YouTube channel, works full-time for a software research lab, and is a freelance columnist for KQED. Every aspect of her life has a common thread: her lifelong fascination with technology and culture.
On her YouTube channel, Blink Pop Shift, she posts new videos weekly on topics pertaining to her enthusiasms -- the history of search engines, say, or GIF artists -- in a way that’s funny and accessible.
“I was really interested in the possibilities of YouTube -- what you could do with good writing and ideas,” she says of her original inspiration for the series. “I started thinking about my personal relationship to technology, and my first videos were based on that. Literacy today is more than reading text. It’s reading interfaces and functionality as well.
“Discussing the history of technology gives people context for what we think of as the ‘digital revolution.’ To describe it as a singular event is an inaccurate representation of all the work that’s been done to get us to this point.”
The channel currently has more than 4,500 subscribers. Eifler is committed to keeping it online rather than migrating to some other format. “Putting my videos on TV would be a terrible idea. This channel is meant for YouTube, and I want it to be a really great web channel, not a stepping stone to old media. There are some cool collaborations in the pipeline, and some funded projects that I’m very excited about.”