Entrepreneur: Benjamin Bennett

Tilt: Sitting and smiling

Scene: YouTube (347K)

Snack Bite: Benjamin thought the internet was lacking someone willing to sit in front of a camera and smile for hours on end.

Why We’re a Stan: It’s a quirky content tilt that we didn’t know was needed, but Benjamin did. And he perfected the sit-and-smile videos before he expanded to walk-and-talk videos.

The Story

YouTuber Benjamin Bennett sits in a room for hours staring at a camera with a smirk on his face. This act is recorded live and streamed to thousands of viewers. His Sitting and Smiling playlist (and its over 300 hours-long videos) has caught the attention of 347K subscribers, including Vice magazine.

Vice asked his inspiration. “It seemed like something that the internet was lacking. It seemed like it needed to be done, and nobody else was going to do it,” Benjamin told them. “You could definitely place this into a performance-art context, and I definitely am interested in performance art and relational aesthetics.”

Benjamin Bennett found a surprising #ContentTilt. He sits and smiles for hours. His @YouTube channel has 340K+ subscribers. #Stan #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

Later, he created the series Walking and Talking, which wasn’t far from his original content tilt. This collection of videos shows Benjamin exploring the outdoors, mentioning anything that comes to mind for hours. 

Over the years, Benjamin has slowly become a YouTube celebrity. There’s even a Wikipedia page dedicated to his sitting-and-smiling craft. Mouthing Off magazine assumes Benjamin’s lack of clarification that must draw people into the content. The author notes that the channel also has amassed a group of cult followers who have created a (false) conspiracy theory that the YouTuber is being held against his will and forced to make these videos.

Whatever the reason, 25 of his supporters subscribe to his Patreon, spending $5, $20, or $50 a month for previously unreleased content. 

After mastering his Sitting-and-Smiling video series, Benjamin Bennett added a Walking-and-Talking series on his @YouTube channel. #Stan #ContentEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

Why We’re a Stan: Even though onlookers didn’t take his personal art piece seriously, Benjamin continued to create “Sitting and Smiling” and “Walking and Talking ” related content, building a cult following on YouTube that continually wanted to know the “why” behind his projects.

About the author

Shameyka McCalman is a wordsmith whose work often centers around fashion, art, and other creatives of color. She earned her communications degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston and enjoys sifting through clothes in local vintage shops, frequenting nearby plays, and gazing at exhibitions on view in museums.