Building a platform with Trip පිස්සෝ | Sunday Observer

Building a platform with Trip පිස්සෝ

29 November, 2020

It has become increasingly apparent that social media is essential to the vitality of communities, especially communities whose lifeblood is the internet and its use can be a distinct demarcation between a successful community and a fad.

YouTube, though a platform of titanic influence in other parts of the world, is still in its infancy in Sri Lanka, the most trending videos still belonging to TV stations, music videos and comedy skit channels.

Though YouTube in Sri Lanka is steadily maturing over time, the diversification of content is needed in order to expedite the process. One such community, still struggling to get a foothold is the Travel Vlogging community, which has immense potential in a tourism heavy nation such as Sri Lanka.

Despite its relative obscurity of local travel vlogging in the Sri Lankan YouTube community, some channels can still relatively thrive on the platform.

One such channel is Trip Pisso, a local travel blogging channel which has surpassed the 100,000-subscriber mark, something most channels in general have difficulty in clearing, let alone travel blogging in Sri Lanka.

We had the opportunity to speak with UdayaHewagama, the founder, who along with his friends and fellow content creators, Hashan (@hashan_madushka_) and Asela (@asela_malli) make up the core team of Trip Pisso. Speaking to them, it became apparent the pride they have in the platform they forged with exclusive local content on their journeys off the beaten track.

They outlined the difficulties they have in staying relevant in such a competitive environment, especially without the benefit of appealing to the most popular trends, which as they see it, gossip and comedy-based channels.


Even as a travel vlogging channel they faced a distinct disadvantage over other channels which showcased journeys abroad as well as channels that have an attractive model to build a travel blog around. Hashan said that they could have changed their content to fit those moulds better, to become more like a comedy skit channel, however, they were unwilling to change their vision of a travel vlogging channel that focused on giving an authentic and practical travel experience though they do sometimes diversify their content.

Despite this, they felt that the handicap also doubled as a boon that helped them create a real audience that respected and agreed with their vision, something they felt was more important than gaining a quick boost in popularity.

Also contributing to their success was their collaborations with those other channels, not just with other travel bloggers such as, Travel with Wife, but with popular comedy channels such as Ratta, which, along with several stints near the top of the trending page helped raise their exposure to the level they are at today. Hashan also said that their inherently humorous personalities as well as the title of Pisso also netted them some popularity.

Heavy excursion costs

Despite this relative popularity, Udaya made it clear the channel never focused on making money or seeking popularity. Though they do make some sponsorship money, YouTube definitely does not allow them to make a profit, each excursion cost them heavily, for the trip and for their video equipment.

He explained that no one in Trip Pisso has YouTube as a fulltime career, though Udaya expressed hope that he would eventually like it to be, as travelling and video content creation is his passion. Slowly but surely, being a content creator has become a part of their life, Hashan expressing the need to pull out a camera or phone whenever something remotely interesting happens.

Unfortunately, like for most people in the world, Covid-19 has significantly impacted Trip Pisso. Especially as a travel brand, not being able to go out on trips has cost them many months of no content which put a stop to their steady climb in popularity over the past couple years.

They attempted to make a few videos limited to the city, unable to go out on trips, such as videos of helping the homeless and needy to promote charity, especially during this time of crisis.

But despite the clear disadvantage they will face in doing so, Udaya assures us that they will continue as a travel vlogging channel as they have never functioned on the condition of success. A sentiment he hopes more content creators will choose to adopt in Sri Lanka as he attributed the lack of more genuine local YouTubers to those wanting quick and easy results.

He hopes that any prospective content creator would choose and stick to something they love doing and continue doing it despite not having an immediate positive response as he believes that eventually, success will come to them.