Something terribly frightening occured to me this morning. I’ve always enjoyed taunting YouTube with prank calls, pizza deliveries and rants. I criticized the GooTube acquisition, and have generally visited YouTube like a parent chaperoning a high school dance.
Most video creators start with a desire to entertain and are only now (1 year later) trying to make money from their work. But I started with a financial goal, and now I’m finding non-monetary perks of video creating.
Unlike most video sites, YouTube viewers provide the most comments — in fact probably half my daily e-mails at home are “YouTube comment alerts.” I like reading them — especially when they’re specific. I’ve interacted with other YouTube creators, and if I cut my son’s hair these viewers notice. This sense of community doesn’t exist on other sites. It’s really odd for me to admit this… but I’m starting to feel like I belong in the YouTube community. It’s like when your new co-workers become acquantances. Work feels different.
So to analyze this frightening evolution, I’ve combined my rusty undergraduate degree in psychology with my passion for online video. I give you the YouTube Hierarchy of Needs. This is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which Wikipedia explains as “a theory in psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation. His theory contends that as humans meet ‘basic needs’, they seek to satisfy successively ‘higher needs’ that occupy a set hierarchy.
How does a video submitter progress on the YouTube Hierarchy of Needs? Your first need/desire when submitting videos to YouTube is “view counts.” You check daily like comments are a food supply. Only once this need is satisfied will you consider more interesting metrics like subscribers, comments, and references to your work. Eventually you can move into “social needs” and “self esteem.” For instance, my work has been featured in the videos of other creators (like LouRyder‘s “Faces of YouTube” video) and I’ve received several videos of people watching my videos.
So now YouTube is a fourth “place” for me. My routine is including home, work, the gym and YouTube. I look forward to seeing comments and videos from the regulars… Pipistrello, Mark Day, Haynes1994, NutCheese, TrippleHelix, CheezeWizard, Aquadad, and ZackScott. Is that a little sad?