This is a disjointed post… but I summarized things at the end. Of course the summary makes no sense unless you read it.
So just read it. Geez- you had all last week off. Really?
Yeah, so I’m chatting with one of the YouTube editors last week. Can’t say which one because that would be name dropping. But my video shows up before his if you search his name on YouTube.
- Anyway, data point one: This edgy Scottish former comedian* — who fancies “stand-up” comedy as a higher form of art than improv — uses the term “curated content.”
- This odd phrase flashed me back to data point two; a recent article (I now can’t find) which outlined how we increasingly need help finding good videos… I think the piece used that “curated” term too. Jan you’ll know where it is because we e-mailed about WVFF helping curate. I suppose that’s what I was doing with CubeBreak (I haven’t touched this in years). But it sounds more topical and valuable when we use the term “curate,” which meant otherwise to refer to a dusty cicada-like man who knows how to use microfiche.
- Then today I see data point three: a Tweet by Daisy Whitney alerting me that my Glee video was featured on eGuiders. Yeah, I hadn’t heard of it either.
You need two data points to draw a line, but three is enough to indicate a trend (and you can use that quote if you credit me, or win a free piece of cheese if you can manipulate Chris Brogan into saying it). Hey, Marquis… let’s make Chris Brogan this blog’s new ZeFrank.
So along comes “curating” again… just like the days when YouTube had 2-3 videos on its homepage a day. Mind you, YouTube is wonderful if you know who to watch or how to search for videos. Remember how you’d check daily to see what’s hot? Not anymore. If you’re logged in, it’s one site. If you’re not logged in (like most) then it’s probably one of 10 people spotlighting through the homepage. I don’t think anyone considers YouTube a curator anymore.
- It’s not the kind of place a novice will necessarily browse and find the best content like such sites as TheOnion or CollegeHumor… sites you love but often forget you love and so you stop visiting… kinda like a walk in the woods.
- The “most popular” section won’t necessarily please the masse,s and I find few people digging into the sub navigation. In my “7 Secrets YouTube Doesn’t Want You To Know,” I joked that editors have been replaced with Google algorithms.
- The reality is that I live and love online-video but I can’t possibly keep up. I rarely miss a massively popular video, but I rely on friends and family to help me find the best stuff… Is that curated video or mini-viral? Are they different ends of a continuum I just invented based on Brogan’s writings?
So here comes today’s lesson (it’s not that I buried the lead, I just have to get there by writing around it).
I see “curated” video as an essential long-term driver of views. One day when my organic regular audience runs screaming, I’ll hope curators send me some love. But here’s the thing… when my video is featured on a YouTube sub-navigation page (like comedy) it maybe picks up only 10-30K views (contrast that with a YouTube homepage feature that would fetch 100-1 million views). That suggests to me that few go to the various pages… maybe they’re too broad or not human like a curator is supposed to be. Maybe if if it was “Mark’s comedy picks,” we’d be more likely to follow them… if we found Mark’s comedic taste to be similar to ours.
Eventually YouTube will actually be accurate when it shows related videos… it will become as useful as Amazon’s “customers that bought that bling also bought this shizzle.” Until then, the curator serves an important role. But since our tastes all vary, there will be lots of curators at first until each category (music, entertainment, comedy) has a few leading curators.
- Nalts knows YouTube editors
- Curating is important
- YouTube isn’t really curating
- WilVideoForFood has found a new ZeFrank: Chris Brogan (there’s really no reason… these decisions are arbitrary and not well thought out, but they do stick).
- Lots of people will curate (like videos-sharing sites) until there’s a natural thinning of the herd
- This post read like a teenager’s recount of a movie
*Footnote: Mind you, none of the rest of this post was inspired by this particular tight-lipped bald YouTube editor, who thankfully has more than enough to do besides feature comedy videos (and what, son, do you do after 9:00 am each day?). He gave away no secrets to Unclenalts.