FORBES.COM March 10, 2020 – With more than a million and half subscribers, Forgotten Weapons has become one of the most popular firearms-related channels on YouTube, and part of the success is that its creator has largely been apolitical when it comes to gun-related issues. For Ian McCollum instead of pushing an agenda he’s a social media influencer that is all about sharing the history of small arms – one video at a time.
McCollum didn’t expect that he’d make a career out of producing historic firearms videos, but like many others who found a particular niche on YouTube it was a matter of being there at just the right time.
“Honestly, I never thought about it,” he admitted. “When I started posting videos it wasn’t because I wanted to build an audience. I started out with a blog – so I’m quick to admit I’m an old man on the Internet who remembers a time when blogs were the big thing for these small topics. I was writing text articles and trying to explain how the strange firearms actions work, so I found it was easier to film it and show people.”
The problem was that even in the Web 2.0 era video wasn’t easy to post and then there was the issue of bandwidth.
“Back when you had to pay for the traffic that came to your site, having videos could bankrupt me, but then YouTube seemed to be the solution,” McCollum added. “I could embed it in a WordPress site and post it with what I wrote.”
With that, in 2011 ForgottenWeapons.com launched a YouTube channel, and a year later the response was such that YouTube offered McCollum a chance to join the partner program. [Read More]