Busted. I’ve got 50/50 odds that you’re one of those people that secretly videotapes others. So I don’t want ANY more shit about my prank antics, okay?
Harris Interactive polled more than 2,000 adults and found that 50% of Americans would use a Smart phone to make a secret video (note wording is “would” not “did”). So what would we videotape?
• 23% – people in embarrassing outfits
• 20% – athletes at a sporting event
• 15% – someone tripping/falling
• 10% – sexy waitress at a restaurant
• 9% – shirtless hunk mowing the neighbor’s lawn
• 7% – cheerleaders
• 7% – boss or coworker sneaking a second doughnut
• 6% – disgusting grooming habits
• 5% – couple kissing or making out
• 8%- other
Do you know what your student is doing? What if you strapped a camera on his/her head and then crunched the numbers to compare activities like reading, videogaming and watching television? The answer, my friends, is on the tip of the head. Thanks for the contribution, Jan.
This is part two of a series featuring direct advice from YouTube “stars” about what keeps them going. In part one (click to read), we heard from Brittani Louise Taylor, Rhett and Link, and Charles Trippy.
Now let’s thank four more of the most prolific and prominent YouTube creators: Michael Buckley, Venetian Princess, MysteryGuitarman and Happyslip. They’ve shared — in their own words — what keeps the “fire burning in their bellies.” I believe they’re all profiled in Beyond Viral (I frankly haven’t read it), but this is new perspective on how they’ve continued to stay fresh. We can learn a lot from these people who aren’t just early sprinters, but marathon runners of this medium.
First and foremost, JOY. I know that is a gay answer! HA! But I still LOVE YouTube as much as I did when I became a “YouTube Star” back in 2007. Obviously, YouTube is very different now but I still love it so much and take great JOY in making videos and engaging the community. I am grateful every day that this is the life I am fortunate enough to lead. I LOVE MAKING VIDEOS! I LOVE YOUTUBE! This is the greatest career you could ever have!
b. MY SCHEDULE AND FORMAT:
YES! This is a big one that keeps me going! I think being on a SCHEDULE and having a set FORMAT has made it easier for me to stay on track. I never stop and think “Oh what should I make a video about?” – which I imagine would be stressful if I didn’t have a set format. Some people might tire of this but for me I thrive with the structure and consistency of it. My format is not ideal in 2011 YouTube and maybe someday I will tweak it but I enjoy it.
So yeah- that is a big part of what keeps me going. Having a schedule but then being able to flexible with it when I need to be is a luxury that I do not take for granted.
c. I LIKE MY VIDEOS AND FIND ME FUNNY! HA!
This is going to sound like a strange answer and it’s a personal one- that maybe I shouldn’t share- and may sound dumb – but – I think I am very funny. So when I think “What keeps me going?” – I think about how much I enjoy writing What the Buck. I love love love writing and making jokes and filming it and when I watch it back- I think it is very funny. (Which reminds me of 2006 when I would have a video up with 60 views and 4 comments – I didn’t care if anyone was watching –I watched it 60 times and thought it was hilarious!) So I am very motivated to come up with funny jokes and see if I can deliver them in a humorous way. I think you have to like your own videos or you are screwed.
d. LOOKING FORWARD:
I don’t look back. I don’t sit around and think “Oh I wish YouTube was small like it was in 2007” or “I wish I was the big fish I was back in 2008” which I find a lot of YouTubers who lose their motivation find themselves reflecting back to “when they were popular”. I just look forward and remained focused on creating my content. I am never threatened by other people becoming successful on YouTube. I am happy if my success inspired anyone and I am inspired daily by so many people on the site!
e. THE MONEY:
Getting paid to do something you love is the cherry on top!
“For the videos, I try to focus on what entertains me, what entertains my family and friends around me. That is what I started with and I suppose it is a niche that will always have a loyal following. The audience definitely varies in demographics and most are not tweenies who live on their computers ready to devour their new subscriptions. Without that first huge burst of viewers that descend upon a new upload, the videos don’t make the homepage and therefore the snowball that used to accumulate so fast and large just accumulates at a slower pace.
So some of the reasons that keep me going:
I would make videos or entertain people even if I weren’t paid.
I remind myself constantly that my value doesn’t come from YouTube #s or income that is coming in.
I try to focus on what makes my content unique rather than try to make similar videos to other popular creators. (at the same time, I try to throw in some non-filipino vids which are just subjects that inspire me or make me laugh)
I only pay so much attention to comments on the videos, and definitely don’t read them if I’m in a bad or fragile mood haha.”
Joe Penna has been making videos since the dawn of YouTube (he wrote my theme song when he was living on Ramon Noodles), but he vanished for a while and returned with a parade of hits. How has he endured as one of the most-subscribed YouTubers?
“It’s tough to keep going. Back in 2010, when my channel was growing rapidly, I went through various phases. I had a phase where I played music with random objects, where I did a bunch of different music looping videos, a bunch of crowd-sourced videos, etc.
Nowadays, for example, if I post a stop motion videos there will be at least one comment with dozens of thumbs up saying “you’re boring! stop making stop motion videos!” If I post something different, I’ll get at least one comment with dozens of thumbs up saying, “you’ve changed! the reason I subscribed is for the stop motion video!“
I think what keeps me going is that the feedback I get is almost always overwhelmingly positive. I just chalk it up to me having a channel where it’s not the same format every single time. There have always been and there will always be the vocal minority who won’t think my latest video is up to par with whichever video they found me, or who won’t agree with something new I’ve started.
That’s why I’m on YouTube. To experiment. To create something new. You can come along for the ride, if you so wish. If not, good riddance.
Her song parodies have been seen more than 330 million times, and she’s one of the most-subscribed female YouTube musicians. But she took a break and rebounded.
“Last year I took a hiatus from YouTube, and pretty much all other internet platforms. I was dealing with family medical issues, I bought a house that ended up being a nightmare, and then I got hit with those copyright claims on my videos which really took the fun out of making videos for me. I was so upset about it, because now I would have to totally rethink all my material and a lot of the video content I had already shot for parodies were now useless. So I took a long time off. From June 2010 – February 2011, I didn’t make any big videos. I’d do a small crappy video here and there, but my full-on productions were now out the door. I was too bummed out which made me lose my creative spark and I needed to step away. Because of my viewers, I managed to stay up there on the charts as top female for about two years.
It took 4 months of no videos to finally push me down the charts, which I knew was inevitable. In all honesty, numbers never really meant that much to me. Sure, it was exciting to get a lot of views. But all I really cared about was a) having fun and b) having people that would watch my videos. The whole “beating Miley Cyrus” thing was a campaign I did for fun because I knew my viewer demographic was into her. When I got hit last year with all of the difficult stuff on YouTube and in real life, I lost all of my drive. I needed to take time away from YouTube and rethink everything. Coming back to it this year, I have a completely different view of it. Of course, YouTube changed ALOT since I left too. The most viewed and subscribed lists are not as significant as they used to be. The lists are now all buried and very hard to find while navigating the site.
Another thing I noticed is that everyone and his brother does parodies now. I think I was one of the first YouTubers doing music video spoofs. Now it’s like 3 hours after a new music video comes out, there are already 20 parodies on YouTube. It wasn’t like that before, which played to my advantage. Now I’m just another spoof channel, and the one-woman-show thing that used to appeal to people is now not as cool as full-on casts with production crews. I’m a big fan of Key of Awsome myself, so I can totally understand. It just goes to show how YouTube keeps evolving.
I now approach the site with a new perspective. Youtube has become almost too big to think of it as a community anymore. I see it now like each channel has it’s own viewer base and I just focus on creating content for my audience. I have learned that if I am enjoying what I am creating, the majority of my viewers will pick up on that and enjoy watching it. If I push something out just for the sake of putting a video up, it’s going to show. Again, numbers never motivated me to create. But at the same time, my pay is dependent on those numbers. So I try not to think about that. I find that if I just do the videos that make me happy, they will do well enough to continue paying the bills. And I’ll still be able to say I love my job.
Here are some things I do differently now that keep me going:
I only allow myself to read the first page of comments. Usually they are from subscribers and are positive, so they leave me feeling positive about the video when I close out & leave the computer.
I post videos that I know I would enjoy watching. I’m not going to post something just because it tends to my demographic.
I don’t watch as many YouTube videos as I used to. It’s inspiring to watch other tubers do their thing, but watching too much YouTube can be unhealthy. (And talking about it too much can annoy friends and family lol).
I’ve discovered vlogging. I have a different channel (Skydiamondz) where I post vlogs a few times a week of my real life. It’s a nice way for me to make videos that don’t take a hundred hours to make. I shoot it on my iphone, edit for like 10 minutes, and poof it’s uploaded and viewers get a glance into my life without the all the lights and glitter they see in my parodies. It’s a different kind of experience for me.
I’m active on twitter and facebook, it’s a great way to connect with my viewers in a different environment. I can post video-related topics on my facebook page and get instant feedback from them.
The other thing that is important to mention is that I’ve been making videos since I was 8 years old. Making the costumes, experimenting with special effects, the whole shebang. So with or without YouTube- I’d still be doing this on some level. I’m just blessed to now actually have a lot more than 4 people to watch. 🙂
Big thanks to these four… if it’s one thing more impressive than enduring new-age talent it’s the folks willing to share their tips.
Lots of news today about Net Neutrality, and basically little changed at all. You’re still entitled to your free Internet, and you’re still entitled to whine when you start paying for more broadband. And you will.
But so you sound smart in work, school or at holiday parties, let’s give you “the least you need to know” (also “the most I care to understand” about Net Neutrality). It’s a top 10 list. Hang in there.
Let’s start our story with the two main characters. There’s the internet service provider (Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner) I’ll call pipes. And there’s the content provider or application vendor (YouTube, Netflix, Vonage, Skype) I’ll call the shit. (Via this analogy you’re sucking sewage down the pipe… hey kids, don’t forget to subscribe!).
Net neutrality means the pipes can’t tier their shit like HUV (high occupancy vehicle lanes, which allow cars with 2 or more passengers to get a fast lane). Net neutrality means the shit has to have equal access to the pipes so it can be poured into the spot where your head used to be. Net neutrality means all shit is equal. Democratic shit pipes.
There isn’t exactly “neutrality” in most markets, but we try to keep people from being dickheads in America. Triage happens on television and just about everywhere else. But people get their “knickers in a knot” with the web because hippies are concerned about the internet providers (pipes) being dickheads about it.
Left to their own devices, the pipes will be dickheads about it. The hippies are kinda right.
Furthermore, left to their own devices, the pipes wouldn’t develop any new shit. They don’t innovate unless forced by customers or market conditions because they’re like giant leeches.
Here’s the central problem. The service providers are competing with some of the crap you enjoy free through their pipes. They’re pipes and shit makers. The pipes would rather you eat their shit instead of someone elses. Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner wants you to buy their shit, and they benefit from putting the squeeze on the shit makers that don’t have pipes. That can piss off a market.
Good news, however. There are two forces to prevent the pipes from abusing their position of power. First, we have laws against monopolies. They can’t exist (at least for long). Second, as long as we have decisions, we can shop. We have economics. Supply and demand. That takes care of a lot of stuff you don’t have to worry about.
In fairness, the internet service providers did build the infrastructure, and theoretically should have the right to tier and segregate the shit based on the marketplace. They can be greedy but hopefully the two conditions in point 7 prevent them from being dickheads.
Sorry- If you’re sucking down loads of streaming content (Vonage, YouTube and Skype), you’re costing the internet providers (pipes) money and you’re going to eventually pay for it. Otherwise you’re being subsidized and acting like an entitled whiner.
You’re not entitled to free shit or pipes. Free isn’t sustainable for businesses or evolution. It cost money to build infrastructure and keep it alive. It cost money to crank out shit. You don’t have to buy it.
With apologies to you seasoned film enthusiasts, I’d like to introduce the Wilhelm Scream to those still left oblivious to it. You see, I used the sound effect in a recent YouTube video and was again reminded that it’s not as widely appreciated as I should think.
The scream, which originated in a 1951 film called Distant Drums, has appeared in countless movies since. You’ve heard it in Star Wars, Indiana Jones, King Kong (Jack Black’s version), The Family Guy, and many films you may know by heart. Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas have celebrated the sound effect, originally dubbed “man getting bit by alligator and he screams” (source: Wikipedia so it must be accurate).
My sister, who sent me this clip, became aware of it when her son began to notice its repetition (a remarkable feat for a child who was 7 at the time).
I would like to challenge all video creators to find a special place for it in coming months, and make it an Internet meme that is abhorred by Anonymous and 4Chan.
Now enjoy some classic film moments, and listen for it in your movie and Internet-video watching.
Today, December 17, is the third-annual “Project for Awesome,” where thousands of Nerdfighters will be using online-video to “reduce world suck.”
Even if you understood nothing in the headline or lead, I encourage you to keep reading because you’ll learn a lot about online-video through this story.
John and Hank Green were brothers who lost contact over the years, and decided to change that through daily vlogs to each other (which they posted for the rest of the world as Vlogbrothers). I find myself increasingly frustrated with people in online video that don’t know their name… and give them the look of disgust you get from a sports enthusiast when you say “I hope Tiger Ruth helps the New Orleans Rangers make it to the Superbowl.”
Unlike other popular online video creators, the vlogbrothers put their loyal viewers, ideals, intellect and charity above themselves. This has created a genuine fan base of people (we call ourselves Nerdfighters), who would pretty much do whatever the Green brothers asked unless it involved hurting small animals. We’re bonded on the pursuit of increasing awesome and decreasing suck. After all a good planet is equal to awesome less suck (put mathematically, that’s GP=A-S). In my opinion, increasing awesome is easier that decreasing suck. It’s easier to bond around a cause than a complaint.
Today, like the two prior years, hundreds of video creators will make “Project for Awesome” videos to promote good causes (here’s mine, which is to promote awareness of autism). “We want to make the world a better place, and so we’re thanking people who have dedicated their lives to do that, and promoting their cause with our time and our money,” the brothers write on their website.
So here’s what to watch for today:
Hundreds of videos will be posted to YouTube with a specific thumbnail (icon).
Via Twitter (using hashtag #p4a), hundreds or thousands of people will be giving these videos “5 star” ratings, and commenting aggressively on them (to push them to most-discussed and most-viewed pages, which are as important as the homepage itself.
As a result of this, many newer YouTube users will be perplexed, but then find themselves amused and perhaps compelled to participate.
Now let’s say your heart is made of ice, and you really don’t care about community or charity. What can you learn from this as a marketer? Well to keep it real, you’d unlikely be able to replicate this, because people tend not to rally around a brand or commercial effort like this.
But it does show the influence that a few people can have on a larger group (the YouTube “community” that is still vibrant), and in turn to a much wider audience of YouTube grazers (the rest of the world). Give people something to care about that’s bigger than your brand or you, and do something selfless (to help reduce world suck). That’s a noble cause, right? And maybe we’ll see major charities or brands tossing their hats in the ring this year or next.
Dear video creator… Somewhere on the web you found this collection of keywords, and someone convinced you that they’ll drive views. The good news is you’re not alone. It’s a batch that appears in many videos, and evidence that some “view genius” has promised you it will get you famous.
Remember- Google no longer crawls metatags of websites, so I’m seriously doubting that tag junking is going to do much for you on YouTube… except for annoying creators who monitor their own usernames to see who’s hating on ’em this week…
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