You Tube – Clean Up or Censorship?

hot off the press…

A YouTube for All of Us
As a community, we have come to count on each other to be entertained, challenged, and moved by what we watch and share on YouTube. We’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to make the collective YouTube experience even better, particularly on our most visited pages. Our goal is to help ensure that you’re viewing content that’s relevant to you, and not inadvertently coming across content that isn’t. Here are a few things we came up with:

* Stricter standard for mature content – While videos featuring pornographic images or sex acts are always removed from the site when they’re flagged, we’re tightening the standard for what is considered “sexually suggestive.” Videos with sexually suggestive (but not prohibited) content will be age-restricted, which means they’ll be available only to viewers who are 18 or older. To learn more about what constitutes “sexually suggestive” content, click here.

* Demotion of sexually suggestive content and profanity – Videos that are considered sexually suggestive, or that contain profanity, will be algorithmically demoted on our ‘Most Viewed,’ ‘Top Favorited,’ and other browse pages. The classification of these types of videos is based on a number of factors, including video content and descriptions. In testing, we’ve found that out of the thousands of videos on these pages, only several each day are automatically demoted for being too graphic or explicit. However, those videos are often the ones which end up being repeatedly flagged by the community as being inappropriate.

* Improved thumbnails – To make sure your thumbnail represents your video, your choices will now be selected algorithmically. You’ll still have three thumbnails to choose from, but they will no longer be auto-generated from the 25/50/75 points in the video index.

* More accurate video information – Our Community Guidelines have always prohibited folks from attempting to game view counts by entering misleading information in video descriptions, tags, titles, and other metadata. We remain serious about enforcing these rules. Remember, violations of these guidelines could result in removal of your video and repeated violations will lead to termination of your account.

The preservation and improvement of the YouTube experience is a responsibility we share. Let’s work together to ensure that the YouTube community continues to thrive as a positive place for all of us.

The YouTube Team

Brief Editorial:
by Zack Scott

1. Why should videos be demoted on profanity alone? Why not just hide them for people not logged in and are 18 or older?

2. Some of YouTube‘s most popular stars…Bo Burnham, Charles Trippy, sXePhil, Chris Crocker, Mark Day, etc…(name as many as you want) all have used profanity.

3. The new thumbnail idea sucks. Now what if none of the thumbnails are good?

4. YouTube sometimes features videos with profanity.


OK, now I finally understand YouTube’s “Stricter standard for mature content”

“Videos that are considered sexually suggestive, or that contain profanity, will be algorithmically demoted on our ‘Most Viewed,’ ‘Top Favorited,’ and other browse pages.”

They must not like sXePhil.

Vloggerheads: Country Club or Safe Haven?

Jenna Wortham writes a balanced piece about the controversial website, spawned by Renetto (a popular YouTube creator). My previous post on Vloggerheads generated more comments than any other post I’ve written. And, for that matter, brought controversy among a tight-knit group of regular WVFF commenters that usually play off each other like a well-oiled comedy troupe. Group hug?

I hope that whether you’re annoyed by Vloggerheads, or celebrate it as a new safe-haven for a tight virtual community… that you can still appreciate the irony of this random screen shot I took this morning. This just happened to be the most recent videos posted as of 7:30 am on Saturday.

What do almost all of these guys have in common!? I know where I’d advertise if I sold hair transplants.

Now guys don’t get upset. I’ve been known to do whatever it takes to be like Renetto myself. He has that quality. Hold on a second, I have to buy a candle online. Okay I’m back.

Sales of My Free eBook Skyrocket Due to TechCrunch Coverage

Nalts on TechCrunchWell, you loyal readers, please reserve your front row seats, because the auditorium may be filling with some TechCrunch visitors. They actually crunched about my eBook. Here’s my original post about the book, titled “How to Become Popular on YouTube (Without Any Talent).” Here’s my video reaction to the coverage.

Or maybe TechCrunch didn’t write about me, and it’s a weird dream. I’m kinda sleep deprived. But if it’s a dream, then so is this post. So at least I’m not at risk of embarrassing myself by claiming something that… never mind.

Sales of my free eBook have tripled almost instantly. Naturally I promised TechCrunch a return link, because you know how desperate they are for inbound links. Mike Arrington’s always e-mailing me with this “can’t pass reciprocal link deal,” and I’m like… “find your own audience, dude.”

So if you have popped by for the standard 8-second “do I care about this site?” determination, take off your shoes, subscribe and stay a while. I’m Nalts. These are the other people reading this blog. They’re a little more quiet than me, but they’re here alright.

We cover online video trends, personalities and websites. We tracks interesting “viral video” case studies. And we reviews how marketers and agencies can leverage this visceral new online-video medium to engage people relevantly and promote their brands. Oh, and we occasionally self promote ourself. But at least we’re transparent, right? We don’t usually use the “royal” we, but we’re sleep deprived, remember?

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New Weekly Show Featuring 50 Interesting Online-Video Personalities in 2008: The Bubblegum Tree Show. Yey!

Bubblegum Tree Show logoHad enough of horrible big-media interviews of your favorite online-video “weblebrities”? The same questions over and over? The 7 hours you spend, as a video creator, meeting with a television network, only to find your interview has been reduced to a 12-second soundbite?

Well it’s time for The Bubblegum Tree Show! Yey! (See trailer).

It’s my new weekly show that will feature 50 of the most interesting (not necessarily the most popular) online video personalities in 2008. There is, of course, no shortage of shows that feature online-video creators. In fact I also do one for Metacafe called Metacafe Unfiltered. And then there’s Veoh’s Viral.

But this one’s different. You see, there’s bubblegum. The interviewed guest will be chewing gum, and send it to me at the end. Next, the gum will be affixed to the official “Bubblegum Tree,” which eventually will be populated by dozens of pieces of chewed gum (each beside the name of its weblebrity chewer). The show is designed to be fast, quirky, informal and interesting. The balance I’m trying to establish is making it cheeky, but giving people a real glimpse of the creator’s personality.

Subscribe now (only 25 elite subscribers as of this post), and be the first to catch the premier. Who will be first? CharlesTrippy? MarkDay? LisaNova? We’re after all of them. And if you’re an interesting online-video personality with a fat talent agent, send them our way via “bubblegumtreeshow dot com at g mail.” Because before long getting booked on The Bubblegum Tree Show will be like trying to get your book on Oprah (a woman who has a television show).

“Must Read” Blogs & Websites on Online Video

baby-reading.jpgIn a recent WillVideoForFood Forum post, I invited people to submit their “must read” blogs and websites on the subject of online video. As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to find these on Google.

Here’s an initial list, and I’m going to be making a video featuring the best sources. So please let me know what else you read and find indispensable for learning about online-video: industry news, production tips, monetization methods, etc.

Note- some of you regular contributors have really interesting blogs (Marquis, Jan, FallofAutumn), but aren’t necessarily on the topic of online video or are niche. I’ll do a separate “shout out” for websites by my favorite readers and contributors to!

Here’s my draft list… If you have a related blog, don’t hesitate pimping your website in the comments below. Note that I also read many of the blogs done by online-video sites, but those are also a different category.

  1. Inside Online Video by Mike Abundo: Often the first to report on new trends and site features.
  2. OnlineVideoWatch (sorry I missed that site, which is now in my RSS).
  3. ReelPop by Steve Bryant, a columnist and editor living in New York, NY.
  4. Cinematech by Scott Kirsner, who wrote “The Future of Online Video.” CinemaTech focuses on how new technologies are changing cinema – the way movies get made, discovered, marketed, distributed, shown, and seen.
  5. Usertainment Blog, written by Lester Craft Jr., a veteran technology-business journalist.
  6. NewTeeVee– a few of you suggested adding that one.
  7. The Daily Reel has good coverage on the space and is developing a community.
  8. Fred Graver Blog, written by the guy that once helped ABC/Disney to explore “Telefusion.”
  9. Mashable, a site for social networking news.
  10. Web Video Doctor, for tips and tricks to help make better web videos.
  11. ViralBlog, collaborative team of bloggers haunt the globe for great virals.
  12. System Video Blog by Ken McCarthy
  13. StreamingMedia Blog is a bit “techie” for me, but has some nice info. Written by Dan Rayburn.
  14. Xlntads is a website that connects marketers, advertisers and amateurs, and has a nice relatively new blog written by Mark Schoneveld.
  15. WebVideoZone is a terrific resource by Joe Chapuis. Parts are “members only.”
  16. Less of a blog, but this “Online Video Industry Index” has a nice link of online video sites.
  17. WillVideoForFood (how can I not list myself? Note that I’m not here anymore.
  18. NewsVideographer for journalists looking to leverage online video.
  19. ReelSEO– how to optimize your videos for SEO.
  20. Gadget News: Lots of topics, including online video.
  21. Ronamok, by Ron the New Media Evangalist
  22. Hot Air, a new media conservative something or another that is really interesting. Founded by Michelle Malkin.
  23. Web Video Report: The bizzzness of online video
  24. MathewWingram: The intersection between web and media.
  25. Not just about online video, but mentions it a lot.
  26. PandemicLabs
  27. Camcorder Info: More than you’d expect from a blog attached to a camcorder site.

16th Letter Post: Another good source for online-video blog fav’s.

8 Wishes for Online Video

Paul Sanchez — biker, video junkie, PR machine, blogger, and maddman — has started an 8-wishes “tag chain” thingy. He’s asked me and other bloggers to post our 8 wishes and pass along the task to others. Parenthetically, Paul’s first wish was granted, as he recently interviewed Kinkos founder Paul Orfalea.

So let’s be clear that if I really had 8 wishes, they’d be focused around my wife and family, world peace, end of poverty and injustice, etc. However I’m focusing these strictly on online video.

  1. Amateurs develop niche audiences that can economically sustain themselves. That’s what this blog is about. Many of us make videos for fun, but would love to jump into it full time. Currently there are really only two ways to do that. Develop a tremendous following such that advertising (via sites that share ad revenue) sustains you. This is proving to be very difficult so far. The alternative is to develop serialized content and attract one or more sponsors. We’ve done a couple videos for Mentos (Sneaking Mentos into Theater and the recent Team Mentos with MediaMogirl). It would take a lot of these to cover my mortgage, but it’s a good start.
  2. Online video channels will compensate creators. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have almost guaranteed you that community would form around sites that shared ad revenue. This isn’t happening as fast as we all hoped. YouTube does not share advertising with creators, and sites like Revver, and Brightcove are only effective if you have your own audience. None of these sites draws traffic like the big boys. Metacafe has both ad sharing and traffic, but it’s fierce competition to get seen.
  3. Advertisers will hasten their shift from interuption marketing to engagement marketing. Instead of building campaigns that push product, I hope they’ll more deeply engage in social media. The EepyBird Coke deal is a great example. Coke paid the comedic duos, and then drove views via Google Video. Advertisers are starting to realize that the the 60-second spot is dead, and they need to let go of scripted messaging to be viable in a demand-driven content world where they can skip ads.
  4. Online video accessible via any box. I hope that in 2007 we see more power to the explosive collide of television and online video. YouTube and Revver have deals with Verizon, and there is no shortage of models that bring online video to cable, television, media centers and portable devices. The more this happens, the easier it will be for content creators to find audiences and audiences to find niche content.
  5. Niche channels form. There are many of us that create content that is not necessarily mass market. But there are groups of people that love specific niches. YouTube facilitates this connection via subscriptions. In the past week I jumped from 400 subscribers to about 1200 on YouTube and these are people that have self-identified as being interested in my style. Others can RSS my content, but there’s no easy way to turn on the boob tube and surf some of my videos. I hope there will be soon.
  6. The letter V will be removed from the alphabet. You have to have a stretch wish.
  7. The networks will support an online-video show. This will provide mainstream visibility to online-video creators that have interesting content but can’t sustain their own show. We’ll see an SNL-style show that features an assortment of short clips from regular content providers. I want to be one of ’em. Remember how the Simpsons got its start as a segment of The Tracy Ulman show.
  8. My 8th wish is for 8 more wishes. Is that allowed?

Dove Beauty Video (Parody)

zbmouth.jpgYou’ve all seen the Dove viral video that shows a homely girl being transformed into a model. Now watch the spoof video, as Nalts gets transformed from a balding, fat video guy into vlogger celebrity, ZeFrank.

I did ask ZeFrank if he’d humor me with a high resolution version of his face to do this. It was no surprise he decided to ignore me, so I hit Flickr and Google Images to find the best I could.