How Curated Video is the New Black: Example eGuiders

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.

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Let’s summarize:

  1. Nalts knows YouTube editors
  2. Curating is important
  3. YouTube isn’t really curating
  4. 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).
  5. Lots of people will curate (like videos-sharing sites) until there’s a natural thinning of the herd
  6. 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.

31 thoughts on “How Curated Video is the New Black: Example eGuiders”

  1. Take my word:

    *YouTube is working on making it so users can “curate” easier on channels. This means new channel features or another design sooner rather than later.
    *This means a popular YouTuber/YouTube Channel will have “curating power” (And what if said popular channel got a cut of pushing views on it? Revver used to have something like this)
    *This fits with Nalts’ assertion that trusted, personal people-brands on YouTube will continue to be the valuable channels through which content is discovered and advertisers should acknowledge and embrace.

  2. Excuse me? Who had all last week off? I took Thanksgiving off. That’s it buddy. Just because you got to laze around all last week doesn’t mean the rest of us had that privilege.

  3. Cicadas FTW! I’m sorry, I stopped there. My favorite insect growing up. Bugged (haha! “Bugged” Get it?) the shit out of me when people called them locusts.

    Oh alright, I’ll read the rest…

  4. @5 I ate about half a turkey (my mom cooked three this year) along with about half a gallon of cranberry sauce and at least three entire pies as well as some of the other Thanksgiving stuff. So yeah, I’ve had to poop at least three times since Thanksgiving.

    I think I’ve gained two or three pounds. That will probably disappear before the end of the week though.

  5. heck, I actually read this and didn’t think I would, but I remember the topic coming up several times over the past few years and as usual the world is finally ready to catch up – it’s only a matter of doing it, tossing a few ads here and there, make it self-supporting and a few other things…

    I think this was the last one on the topic:
    I Proclaim Myself the Stupidest Social-Media Expert EVER

    Say, is Chris Brogan the guy who said he was going to give me $100k by December 2, 2009?

    quote of the day:
    “customers that bought that bling also bought this shizzle.”

  6. Nalts, I haven’t liked taking walks in the woods since I found that dead cat that one time. That isn’t a very good comparison to the, because last time I checked, there aren’t dead cats on there.

    Also, I see it’s that time of year to get WWFF some Selsun Blue. HAHAHAHAHAH GET IT? Dandruff…

  7. Dang- great comments, and I’m missing them since they’re getting buried visually. BOBJENZ- digging it. I found some random YouTube commenter that had subscribed to 37 channels… almost all channels I dig (and a few I didn’t know about). So I’d totally “follow” his subscriptions and what he watched, as we obviously shared the same taste. Here’s the random dude’s subscription page:

  8. Cicada man…funny you should mention that.

    When I was a little kid, we had a friend who we called the cicada man. I don’t remember what inspired it, but that’s what we always called him. I remember when he would send us letters or Christmas cards he would always sign it “C MAN” and draw a little cicada man like this:

    (I drew that picture copied best I was able from a letter he sent us detailing his adventures to the south pole.)

    When was the last time you saw a cicada with a mustache and glasses?

  9. @15 It’s not a cicada, you nitwit. It’s cicada man.

    I thought it was rather endearing regardless of any entomological aberrations.

    You’re probably offended that Micky Mouse isn’t anatomically correct too, right?

  10. OK, then… That’s the worst cicada/human hybrid I’ve ever seen as well. And he’s clearly an arachnid.

  11. You obviously know almost nothing about arachnids if you think that is “clearly an arachnid”.

    Where are the chelicerae and pedipalps?
    Since when do arachnids have antennae and only two eyes?

    Either accept it for what is or don’t. You cannot reclassify it with any more accuracy as an arachnid.

    Who is Alex?

  12. OK, you out-geeked me. I was only going by the leg count. I thought you would probably get me for the antennae, at the very least.

    Still, I can’t make out any human features. I think you’re just steamed because you know it’s a crappy looking cicada.

  13. OMG is Marquis getting blocked? Jan- how do we give him full license to post whatever the hell he wants? Oh- by the way… Sxephil inspired me. I’ve got to revive naltsgetsfit and drink more prune juice. On day 3 of the treadmill. Wait- is that real snow?

  14. Hi Nalts,

    Thanks so much for checking out and writing about it… Let me know if you would like to join the party and be an eGuider yourself.

    Co-Founder, eGuiders

  15. @21 You’re actually going to resurrect naltsgetsfit? Cool!
    I hope you realize that it takes more than prune juice and 20 minutes a day on the treadmill to get fit.

    I guess anything that gets your butt off the couch is progress for now, but if you actually want to get fit you need to do some form of strength training.

  16. The worst thing is, you tricky cuss, I end up showing up like the Devil when you say my name. : )

    Did you get the referral I sent to you yesterday? Some dude asked ME if I could make him a viral video. Um, no video I’ve made has broken 10,000 views. More like the sniffles.

    Anyhow, here I am. Your point is right. See Baron’s Another curation perspective. I kind of like it.

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  18. I think you’ll see “Follow” replace “Friends” altogether on YouTube very soon. And I hope Partners are able to communicate with their subscribers without having to upload a video – why should brands/channels have to rebuild their audience on Twitter? (Although, that ship has pretty much sailed, kinda)

  19. We all need smarter filters and curators are just that. I think you rambled around and summed up the concept pretty nicely.

    Until Google can present me with pretty wrapped presents of perfect content on my doorstep that it knows I will like because of XYZ algorithm (and I am cool with that), people are the smart filter. And people might always be the smart filter.

    I mean Google itself is run by trying to figure out what people like by tracking what they link to. Digg is filled with people’s votes. Many people follow the links of Brogan or Scoble or their besties in Google reader. It is all about finding people that can CURATE content, but not just any content. It comes down to being relevant to you. Every community curates content. It is just today there is so much damn content and so many tools to gather and distribute it creatively and quickly, that it is it’s own ecosystem.

    If I start following throngs of Twilight obsessed American teenagers tomorrow, I am sure there will be some initial entertainment (and nausea), but I will likely find little content being curated that is relevant for my tastes. The heard will then as you say, but it will also grow (sprawl is more accurate) as there are a lot of freaking people with weird and individual interests out there. Every niche needs a few good curators.

    To some up:
    1. Nice post
    2. People are the smart filters
    3. All communities curate
    4. It’s bigger than it ever was
    5. Find YOUR smart filters

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