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CROSSING THE CHANNELS

After a decade of amateurism and exploitation, YouTubers are getting organized

@stokel

DOWN THE TUBE: French vloggers Kemar, right, and Natoo prepare to broadcast earlier this year.
ALAIN JOCARDA/AFP/GETTY

ON THE INTERNET, everything works at hyperspeed. Ten years ago, a small website just past its first birthday had 20 million users, who loaded up clips of cats to watch online. Today, YouTube boasts more than a billion users—one-third of people around the world who have an internet connection. Between them, every day they watch hundreds of millions of hours of slickly shot videos produced by committed amateurs and fulltime professional video bloggers, or vloggers.

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