Pipelines : Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine


Pipe Lines

The YouTube pipe community
Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has changed many things. It’s changed the way people find entertainment, learn new skills and get exposed to new hobbies.

Not surprisingly, YouTube has also had a major impact on the pipe community by providing would-be pipers with the ability to gain the perspectives of hundreds of pipers before making the plunge themselves. This is valuable because, for many of us, our entry (or re-entry) into the hobby took place over the course of a few weeks and curious contemplation. Common questions new pipe smokers ask themselves include: Will I like this? Is it worth the investment? Will I be able to master it? What pipe/tobacco should I try first?

We are biased of course, but we believe the questions faced by the average would-be pipe smoker far exceed the list faced by would-be cigar smokers. Simply put, the new cigar smoker frets over what cigar to buy and how to cut it, whereas the new pipe smoker frets over the type of pipe and type of tobacco he or she should buy, and then is presented with various techniques on how to smoke the pipe. Add the self-awareness, or social awkwardness, that pipe smoking sometimes brings in public spaces, where most people have forgotten about pipes, and you are left with a perfect storm of new pipe smoker anxiety.

Fortunately, YouTube offers a free video encyclopedia that covers all of these questions and more. Today, a new pipe smoker can find dozens of alternative views on most any question he or she can imagine. The result is that intimidation and frustration can be considerably reduced with the resources that other pipe people have provided on YouTube, making the hobby more accessible to a wider audience.

YouTube also has much to offer the seasoned piper because it can play a major role in how pipers connect with each other. Through watching videos and posting comments, new connections and friendships are quickly born. Like other types of social media, friendships started through YouTube often spill over into more personal communication platforms, including Skype, Voxer and the old-fashioned telephone.

In addition, many people are surprised to learn they live within a short drive of dozens of fellow pipers, letting many know that they are not alone in this sometimes very private hobby. In short, YouTube is a great tool for the community because it helps us become more connected. And that is something we could all use.

Public Piper and Wisdom Junkie
(screen names on YouTube)

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Category: Pipe Lines, Winter 2016

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