With her traditional greeting of Hey Yall, its Lemonette, Romes Lanette Greene kicks off another video blog on the popular Internet site Youtube.
The 53-year-old grandmother has become something of an Internet celebrity. Her sometimes sassy, sometimes poignant vlogs under the username Lemonette have earned her quite the fan base.
Incidentally, Lemonette is a nickname she has carried every since she was a girl, when a friends little sister would mispronounce Lanette.
Youtube is a video sharing Internet site where users can upload, view and share video clips. They post videos of everything from news and sports to home movies and movie clips to music and personal thoughts. And thats just what Lanette has done for the last two years.
What started out as a response to a video she saw on Youtube, has snowballed into her own channel and 166 videos posted.
I signed up on the site because my son sent me a video and I decided to respond to another video that I saw on there, said the 53-year-old grandmother. I had no idea it would become what it is.
What it is, is a collection of videos of nothing more than Lanette and her endearing Southern drawl, talking about everything from her friends to her job to her arthritis. And if you dont think anyone would be interested in that stuff, think again.
Lanette has over 7,000 subscribers and each of her videos have gotten hundreds of views. The most popular, The Perfect Relationship, has gotten over 900,000 views.
Its amazing when I realize that people actually watch what I do, Lanette said. Theres nothing too special about me except that Im honest and I try to bring a smile into everyones day. Sometimes the topics are serious but sometimes Ill just make fun of myself and a lot of people appreciate that.
While many Youtube vloggers (video bloggers) sit at their computers and use web cameras to record themselves, Lanette takes a slightly different approach.
Almost all of her vlogs are recorded as she commutes to work in Cartersville.
That drive is so long and boring, its the perfect time for me to record, she said. Its very safe because the camera is off to the side and all I do is talk while Im driving. Its just like listening to music and singing along.
As shes driving down U.S. 411, Lanette uses a standard digital camera with video capabilities and records herself talking. When she gets home in the evening, she edits the video and posts it on the site
Shes coined the term automoblogging for her style of videos.
Her Southernisms as she calls them, have attracted a lot of attention from subscribers all over the world.
Inspiration comes from different places, she said.
It could be something funny or touching, but I try to keep it on the light side. People love to laugh and see someone smile. Im not some polished Hollywood looking person. Im just a regular gal, someone most peole can relate to.
Lanettes subscribers range in age from teens to seniors and represent a wide variety of professions and even nationalities.
And theyre not afraid to let Lemonette know how they feel about her blogs:
Hey, just wanna thank you for all your videos. They all make so much sense. Youre such a down to earth lady and you make me a laugh a lot.
Lets be friends! You are such a sweet, funny gal. I am from North Carolina so Im a Southern belle too. Have a great day Lemonette.
Thanks for the laugh
But not all her viewers are fans. Lanette admits that with thousands of eyes on her videos there are bound to be some people unhappy with what shes saying or who just dont seem to like her. But thats fine.
I call em haters, she said with a smile. Some people say shut up, they call me fat, old, they call me a hick. People can be very unkind. But theyre entitled to their opinion. And it doesnt deter me from posting more videos. Even if theres just a few people who want to see them, thats fine with me.
Lanette said shes more than happy to be seen as a representative of Rome and the South in general. Always aware of that status, she keeps offensive or obscene language out of her videos as well as derogatory statements.
I hope Im a good ambassador, she said. Ive got subscribers all the way over in China. So I hope they look at the videos and see that there are some people in Rome and in the South who are polite and who just want to laugh and smile and bring a little sunshine into their lives.
Perhaps the most important thing about Lanettes videos is the sense of family and community she gets out of them. She has developed a close relationship to many of her subscribers and they meet at such events as the upcoming Southtube which takes place in Nashville, Tenn. in October.
Lanette said posting videos on Youtube and wathching others videos have allowed her to speak with people from all over the country and around the world that she would otherwise never have met.
The community aspect is wonderful, she said. These bloggers get to know each other and we really make great friends.
Lanette can be considered a celebrity of sorts, with her own fans and subscribers eager to watch her latest video. And she even gets recognized around town sometimes.
But she doesnt care about any of that. She just likes making her videos and hoping theyre helpful to someone out there.
I think Ill keep doing this for a while, she said. Its so much fun. And I strongly encourage anyone who wants to do it to give it a try. Once you make that first video then it becomes a piece of cake.
Visit online at www.youtube.com/lemonette to view her videos