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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

YouTube’s great vlogger is no more

Roger Samway died last week due to meningitis. Ever since, there has been an outpouring of grief on the Web with several videos popping up to pay tribute to the great video blogger, writes Sachin Kalbag.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2008 12:58 IST
Sachin Kalbag
Sachin Kalbag

IF YOU thought your job is boring, how about Roger Samway’s, a Los Angeles towing truck dispatcher on the night shift whose high point in life would be to spit out scatological swear words at unsuspecting truck drivers asking for directions in the night? But then, Roger Samway, was different. Or at least, that is what his friends say.

Roger, also called by his YouTube nick of The Boring Dispatcher, died last week of complications arising from meningitis and pneumonia. Ever since, there has been an outpouring of grief on the Web on the passing of one of the most remarkable personalities on the Web with several videos popping up to pay tribute to the great vlogger (video blogger). YouTube, in many ways, is the ultimate leveler — where else would a towing guy be as famous as a presidential candidate? As of Saturday, there are at least 250 videos dedicated to Roger.

One person who never met Roger, but was in awe of his vlogging, was Tom Guarriello, a management consultant who runs the TrueTalk Blog. “I never met Roger,” he wrote on his February 11 blogpost, “and never spoke with him on the phone. But I knew him. His videos revealed an intelligent, witty, often scathingly critical man whose observations were invariably unique. Were it not for YouTube, we’d have never met. I’m very glad we had a chance to do so and I will miss him.” He’s posted a tribute, too, on YouTube.

Another friend Battim and Roger’s sister Lisa have set up a college fund for Roger’s son, Wayne. Roger’s girlfriend Michelle’s sister says “it was great to see how many people’s lives he affected”.

So who’s this Roger, really, and what makes him so popular across the Web? That’s not a tough one to answer. Roger is one of the iconic representation of the success of Web 2.0. You are no longer a stranger here. In some ways, it could be scary. But then, we would not know Roger either, would we?