More Advice from YouTube “Stars”

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.

1. Michael Buckley

He’s the host of “WhatTheBuck,” and one of the most participatory YouTubers around. You might have read about him last fall in Advertising Age. What keeps him spankin‘ and rolling?

Michael Buckley hosts "What The Buck" on YouTube

a. JOY:
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!

2. HappySlip

Happyslip parodies her family and has more than 700K subscribers

 

She’s one of the first YouTubers with whom I “collabed” and she’s been at it before YouTube was on the map.

“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.”

3. MysteryGuitarMan

MGM is one of the most-subscribed YouTubers and has gone from living in the back of a van to living in the front of one. How?

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!
The same goes for any of the little phases I went through. I responded about 4 months ago by posting this video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=SMJhcn0t8kI (check it out at 2:19).
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.

4. VenetianPrincess

She's picked herself up several times, but has continued making videos since she was 8.

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.

 

 

Celebrating 100,000 Subscribers (and 65 million views)

100,000 subscribers on YouTube, and Nalts gets a little toast from some folks.

Thanks to Scott Campbell of Net New Daily, who not only profiled me for this article but put together this exceptional group o’ talent for a 100,000 subscribers toast. Yey! Much obliged! 🙂

It wasn’t long ago that I could read ever subscriber’s name (with help from my guests) in a video under 2 minutes.

Scott- how’d you get Barats & Bereta? They’re harder to track down than LisaNova. And Matt, who proved that YouTube has been around since the 80s. And I was psyched to see Buckley, until I realized that was his look-alike named Mason.

YouTube’s Homepage Not as Important as Google’s “Secret Sauce”

The power of YouTube’s ability to commercialize is not based on the homepage, but “The Secret Sauce.” Here’s a glimpse into it, and what you can do to advantage yourself.

There’s been a fascinating and widespread reaction to YouTube’s redesign, which was based somewhat on superficial changes to YouTube’s homepage (phase one referenced in YouTube’s blog, and a broader change is planned per NewTeeVee and ClickZ).

But the fate of YouTube’s partners, professionals and user-generated content is driven less by the homepage than the “secret sauce.” What, you ask, is “the secret sauce”? Hang with me for a moment first. I promise we’ll get there, and I’ll even give you tips for giving yourself a competitive advantage.

In this horrifically long post, I’m going to analyze the homepage, show why most reactions are missing the point, explore how a video gets “love” on YouTube, and give you some tips for getting views.

Since the redesign, we’re seeing the homepage’s vitality wane. Those homepage videos fetch fewer views than they once did. Where a featured (now “spotlighted” video) once got 100,000 to 500,000 views, the YouTube homepage is less of a driver than before. In case you missed the memo, here’s the latest vernacular.

  1. Spotlight Videos: Highlighted videos YouTube thinks you’ll want to watch, and a “thematic” approach to showcasing the best of the community and partners.
  2. Promoted Videos: Those driven by advertising.
  3. Featured: Includes YouTube’s partner content, other popular content, or those previously spotlighted.

Compare these two screen shots as exhibit A & B: The first is a shot of today’s “Spotlight” videos (aka featured), and the view counts are perhaps 200K on average.

picture-2

Now see YouTube (via archive.org) about 2 years ago when “Farting in Public” was on it. This is not a scientific study, but you’ll see higher average numbers despite the fact that YouTube’s traffic today is exponentially higher than it was one or two years ago. We’d expect to see today’s YouTube homepage videos commanding views that are exponentially higher. So what gives?

picture-3

The coveted YouTube homepage is still prime Internet real estate, of course, and the slippage of average homepage views isn’t entirely driven to the recent redesign — because this phenomenon is not new. A year ago I spoke with an interactive director of a popular company that had its video ad featured on the 2006 homepage, then again in 2007. Before asking him about his results, I told him I imagined far fewer people watched his most recent homepage-featured ad. He asked how I knew, and I explained that we regular YouTubers had grown immune to the large ad on the homepage.

Alas, the power of the YouTube homepage has become, and will continue to become, less important in influence, at least relative to other secret tools at the disposal of The Commercializers of YouTube. Why?

  1. First, only a small portion of daily YouTube visitors even actually see the homepage. They dive deep into YouTube for a specific video, and then out.
  2. Regular visitors (those who spend 20-60 minutes per day on the site) have largely customized their experience to give primacy to their favorite creators via “subscriptions.”
  3. That leaves only the people inclined to visit a homepage of any site, or those that are new and eager to explore. This is a minority, and the longer we spend on YouTube the less we care about the homepage.

YouTube, now behaving more as a division of Google than a standalone UGC/video sharing site, will continue to reward content based on two factors: relevance to viewers, and the premium of the ads they generate. Google prides itself on a legacy of innovation that is often instinctive and not customer driven — we didn’t know we needed Google search in a crowded market. And we didn’t know we needed Gmail, which has more traffic now than YouTube itself.

But most of us miss this fact. Let’s look at some comments about the redesign (from blogs/discussion groups, especially NewTeeVee and ClickZ). They’re focused mostly on the homepage and organizational principle, but are overlooking the more powerful dynamics driven by YouTube’s “secret sauce.”

  • They’ve been disenfranchising us more and more. Eventually we’ll migrate elsewhere and youtube won’t have an audience to advertise too.
  • I think the trend is going towards compartmentalizing video content 1. Quality + Professional free with the hassle of advertising 2. Mixed Quality + free between terrible and good UCG that can be found on sites like youtube and howcast with the hassle of advertising 3. Paid entertainment, video content that can be purchased through itunes 4. Paid, quality instructional content that can be purchased
  • I reckon that for four tabs.: Music-25% , Films-10% , TV-15% , UGC-50%
  • In effect, they are garden walling all the UGC on YT into a section so that if you want to ignore it you can.
  • I go to youtube because I *like* seeing good UGC (gasp)! I totally get that advertisers worry about what stupid crap their ads show up next to, but if youtube can’t patrol their homepage – why can’t they let their trusted users do it
  • I feel this change will marginalize UCG content, but it’s still a million times more democratic than the TV model.
  • The creation of a premium “sand box” for professional content will allow independent producers and large media companies to showcase and monetize their content more efficiently. Also, all content producers on the site will benefit from the inevitable increase in ad spends that are pushed to Youtube.
  • Hilarious! “Premium content” is just what the many millions of YouTube watchers don’t want!
  • I think this will give websites like Viddler and Vimeo a chance to grow their communities to the height of YouTube’s current level of success.
  • The UGC community on YouTube can succeed if they are able to monetize more easily and if established and rising “stars” are identified and receive promotion that positions them as “must-watch,” “YouTube only” content. They can be seen as complementary, and the more YouTube facilitates a parity the better.

Well you’ve made it this far, so it’s time to reveal “The Secret Sauce” of Google/YouTube. As I said, video content will rise/fall based on consumer relevance (duration of view, relevance by keyword, ratings, view counts, favorites, etc.), but the most vital aspect is “black box,” or confidential. We can deduce some things using “Google search” as a proxy. Google’s search results rewards advertisers who bid high prices for “paid placement,” and organic (natural) results based on whether the content is “relevant” (as defined by inbound links and whether we engage, or return Google to refine the search).

Not surprisingly, YouTube is replicating that Google model — giving “love” to content that either satisfied viewers and/or can be monetized via the Partners program. Unfortunately, YouTube is less transparent about whether a video receives primacy because of relevance or ad dollars. There isn’t a clear visual divide between paid and organic videos, even though the new labels (spotlight, promoted, featured) are a step in that direction, and this will continue to become more clear to even the naive surfer that still can’t distinguish between an ad or organic result on Google.

To consider how a video fails or thrives, consider the experience of a typical viewer navigating YouTube. They may choose to engage in the following ways:

  • Visit a specific video based on a link/forward from a friend. They may hang around, or dash.
  • “Hang out” with the community — and that segment continues to grow, but represents a smaller share of overall traffic. It’s also less important from a commercial standpount.
  • “Browse” related videos, and passively accept the “related content” YouTube serves after a video.
  • Dive into a favorite creator (and subscribe)- that could be a pro or an amateur.
  • More and more, visitors search for what they want — whether it’s the latest video gossip about a news figure, or “how to play a jawharp.”
  • Few, I believe, use the homepage design to delve into specific segments or such areas as “most watched” of the day, week or month. It’s possible that YouTube’s user interface (tabs, categories) can be important, but less so than most think.

THE SECRET SAUCE

The “secret sauce” is Google’s proprietary scheme for keeping the viewer engaged, and ensuring that the content continues to not just satisfy their curiousity, but more importantly “hook” them for more viewing (and it works based on average views consumed by a YouTuber relative to a Yahoo Video viewer). The “secret sauce” is, and will always remain, highly confidential and in flux. Otherwise we’ll “game the system” through various tricks. The algorythm that makes up that sauce will get smarter, and more difficult to fool.

We can complain about the “secret sauce,” or accept it and evolve. That means our video content needs to be relevant and captivating. Partners have a distinct advantage, because YouTube would be foolish to favor videos it can’t monetize. So we’ll see powerful and deep-pocketed commercial networks/producers (and advertisers) get an increasing “leg up” on amatuers by giving YouTube a financial incentive to show their videos “love” through paid buys, and favored placement. These entities can pay for “love,” or YouTube may give them free “love” to hook new audiences and mutually monetize their content long term. Recall how much premium placement PopTub had for a while. And sometimes an amateur gets lucky because their content gets “stuck” on the homepage (we saw that last month with CommunityChannel and a few others).

In the meantime, here are some basic tips, and some haven’t changed since last year when I wrote my free eBook (“How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent“).

  1. Create videos about content that is topical and searched. That’s how Buckley and Sxephil attracted a following that is now somewhat self sustaining.
  2. Build a distinct niche, and market your videos via like-creators and via properties (blogs) beyond YouTube.
  3. Continue to reply to videos that are already popular. The viewer will see the thumbnail, and your video will pick up “spillover.”
  4. Ensure the videos are tagged appropriately, but are also compelling, and engage the viewer. Otherwise algorythms will mistake those for spam. It doesn’t work anymore to tag your video with “sex” and expect that video to sail.
  5. Those thumbnails are as vital as ever. If a video is promoted, featured or spotlighted, the viewer will decide to engage based on the title, thumbnail and duration (we still want short videos).
  6. Here’s a doozy: Leave blank space after your video, so your viewers are less likely to “escape” via “related videos” served involuntarily by YouTube after the video plays (you want your viewer instead choosing a thumbnail for your own video, and those appear beneath the video).
  7. Finally, you’d better monetize your videos and become a YouTube Partner. Sponsored videos that aren’t monetized are not likely to thrive as well as entertaining videos that earn Google and its partners ad dollars.

It’s indeed harder to become an “overnight” success, especially when we have a “vicious cycle of fame”: it takes lots of views to qualify as a partner, and partner status to get more views. So the rich may get richer, and the bar is rising. But don’t despair! JeepersMedia is surpassing 100,000 subscribers, and had only had 4,300 subscribers 10 months ago. So there’s still room for new video creators who tap distinct audience niches, and manage (like Jeepers) to rank continually among the most highly-rated videos of the day.

And as long as the “subscription” model remains important to new YouTube addicts, your success breeds success. A good video can prompt a YouTube noob to subscribe (especially if you ask them to), and then your chances of that individual watching your future videos are much higher.

Topicality: The Killer Driver of Video Views

Want lots of views on your video? Timing and topicality is important. The reason sxephil and whatthebuck are two of the most-subscribed YouTube amateurs is partially because they vlog about what’s hot. That means the next day, their videos are found when people search YouTube (and even Google, which is rather kind to videos).

The implication to marketers? Be ready to approve a campaign quickly. And for video creators? Stay current, create quickly, and tag your videos with the keywords that are hot. My Superbowl “top 10 commercials of 2009” video is among my most-viewed videos now (2.7 million) in part because I posted it just as the game was starting. That placed it above other videos when people searched, and the result was primarily because of topicality and search. The booby thumbnail didn’t hurt. 

By linking that video to this blog for information about seeing full commercials on various sites, I also helped this blog get a jolt of visitors (even temporarily). That will help WVFF on search engines and Alexa placement. 

So now… how do you keep current? Well you can watch the news, but you’re probably too late by then. So here are two other options. An oldie and a new one:

    • Go to Yahoo Buzz. Yahoo, unlike Google, shows what’s hot. Here are a few hot items, and you can see there’s a delay in this reporting:
      • Chris Brown 
      • California Octuplets 
      • Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
      • Westminster Dog Show 2009 
      • Jennifer Aniston 
      • Jeremy Lusk 
      • Katherine Heigl 
      • American Idol 
      • Economic Stimulus Package 
      • Biggest Loser
    • Check out Twitscoop for the top searches “real time” on Twitter (a microblogging site for short messages). For instance, as I type, the hot searches are Gmail (apparently it’s buggin’ out, and people hope it’s a sign that a better version will come out). Also at the top: earthquake magnitude indonesia and brett favre retires. 

    Now if you have a big subscriber base on YouTube, your video about any of these will get an immediate lift, and then place highly on the search results. But if you do a smart parody about these topics, it will be found on search results, and also shared among blogs and even media (who are always looking for b-roll to use for these stories).

    Popular YouTube Star Quits Denny’s. Goes Full-Time.

    Michael Buckley, writer and host of “What the Buck Show,” has left his full-time job as regional assistant director at Denny’s to plunge full-time into online-video entertainment. Read about it in this New York Post article (found courtesy of this relatively new blog, “YouTube Reviewed“). Here are some quotes about his departure from a recent blog.tv show Buckley hosted.

    In a phone interview, Buckley told WillVideoForFood that he’ll miss serving Grand Slam breakfasts, and his co-workers and customers. “It made me cry a little bit, and not just because I’ll miss the 30% off employee discount,” said Buckley.

    It is exciting to see a person leave a day job to commit to online video, and other YouTubers (CharlesTrippy, Sxephil, MrSafety) are finding their online work brings more income than day jobs.

    Note in this interview with MrSafety Tyra Banks announces that Cory (smpfilms) makes $20,000 a month on YouTube. His response: “who told you?” I happened to be in NYC with Cory the day prior, and I hope he doesn’t mind me telling you that the shirt he bought for this interview cost more than my first suit.

    Now we just have to figure out how to do this when you have four kids, a mound of debt, and a giant mortgage.

    HBOLab’s “Hooking Up” Web Series Debuts Today. Satire Ensues.

    HBOLab’s “Hooking Up” series debuts today (see premier episode), and here’s a sneak preview of photos of the cast. There’s also a new YouTube channel with a trailer for the series at YouTube.com/hookingup. I don’t know much about the story because I only read my own short scenes with Michael Buckley. The plot revolves around relationships in a world where most of our communication is electronic. Of course I play a professor, and Buckley’s a junior professor. SxePhil and Jessica (LonelyGirl15) play a couple, and I have seen some sneak peeks of their e-mail and Facebook flirting.

    It will be interesting to see how YouTubers receive this series, which involves higher production and scripted dialogue — which they don’t often associate with some of these popular YouTubers like KevJumba, Charles Trippy, and  MrSafety. Being a popular YouTuber involves a lot more than acting (writing, directing, promoting, connecting with crowd, remaining topical, etc.).

    In this web series, however, the YouTube weblebrities have little more than their acting to rely on. I, for one, felt completely out of my element. I’ve done stage acting before, and most of my video stuff is improv with script points. So I didn’t find it easy to stick with a script of a character I didn’t invent — and I’m kinda bracing to groan when I see the clips.

    At least we had a blast in LA. I didn’t see most of the people at the HBOLabs set (the mock Bask University) since my scene involved Buckley alone. But we did catch up later doing the Retarded Policeman, and then a brief dinner before a red eye back to the East Coast to… be a marketer.

    One thing’s for sure. You’re gonna find out what a bunch of fat asses we are when we aren’t vlogging directly to the camera, and don’t have the privilege of editing out unflattering body shots. Especially that Jessica. She must weigh about 95 pounds.

    P.S. If you’ve seen the Hooking Up Trailer, then you’ve got to watch FallofAutumnDistro‘s biting satire of it titled “Selling Out.”

    A Stay-At-Home Dad That Makes Videos About God and Vaginas?

    I struggle constantly with the battle between consistency and variety. And balancing the family-friendly image but allowing the adolescent in me free. And this struggle, paranthetically, doesn’t get easier when I catch yesterday’s Doctor Phil (while on the treadmill, so kinda had no other option thank you very much) interviewing people about Facebook photos that might come back and haunt us. Okay- crossed that bridge a long time ago.

    But then I see Jon Lajoie doing a video where he raps about being a stay-at-home dad. Given his edgy style, I was expecting him to pull the rug from under us. But it was a playful reflection of the fact that being a dad can indeed be cool, and there was no surprise shocker in that video. Then weeks later Lajoey is back to his irreverant style with this ear-worm called “Show Me Your Genitals” (Vagina, Vagina).

    For some reason Lajoei’s work comes across as a parody of perversion instead of perversion itself. There are times where I think I’d trust him babysitting my kids more than SxePhil). Come to think of it, I think I did dump my kids wtih Phil at the Washington, D.C. gathering but that’s because there were only two or three other attendees.

    There’s something intriguing about someone who can vary their style (either by format or tone) and maintain a regular audience. Some of the most popular creators are known for consistency (Sxephil and whatthebuckshow). Others are known for predictably well written sketches (Smosh, Lisanova, and Baratsandbereta).

    Like Lejoie, BaratsandBereta also show that us that you can do videos like the recent Bible in a Minute and the timeless Second Coming of Christ, but still return to wholesome skits like the popular Mother’s Day video. Of course, the duo’s Mormon-like style ranges less than Lijoie, who also boasts “Friends With God?” And how in the world is that video not at 10 million views?

    Whatya think? Can you appeal to a large, sustained audience if your tone and format ranges, or is it better to find a formula and stick with it? The history of television would tell us consistency is fairly important, and there’s a fuzzy but important line between edgy and perverted. But maybe those rules change with a new medium. Especially if we can segment our content to give viewer’s a choice between the style they’ll accept.

    Lady Bitches About Husband on YouTube. Goes to Court.

    Interesting story about a wife that is in court for bitching about him on YouTube.

    Tricia Walsh-Smith, 49, is fighting a claim by her estranged husband, Philip Smith, that she engaged in “spousal abuse” by making the videos, which she says have been viewed more than four million times.

    She says he was planning to leave her penniless, and that she discovered 77-year-old Mr Smith hoarding the impotence drug Viagra even though they never had sex.

    Her videos are pulled down, but a few maverick copies are still available. I like this one from 2 months ago: Jump to 2:45 for a fun commentary by Michael Buckley.