Interview With Al, YouTube’s Algorithm Monster

We at WillVideoforFood were honored to be granted the first interview with Al, YouTube’s Algorithm Monster. Al makes critical determinations about what videos get seen, which subscribers see what content, what videos are placed as “related video,” and what videos are “spotlighted” throughout the site. He recently took many amateur creators down to 25% of the views they had this summer, effectively dropping their income by the same amount.

Al, YouTube's Algorithm owner, is seen here in his San Bruno Apartment where he has been sad and depressed.

WVFF: How are you, Al?

AL: Al scared and not happy. Very sad.

WVFF: Why?

AL: Al made changes for YouTube bosses to make people stay on YouTube longer. It work. YouTube visits increase in duration by .0005%.  But Al accidentally punished amateurs. Now amateurs upset with Al. They come to Al’s swamp with torches.

WVFF: Can’t you change them back?

Al: Al no make backward changes only forward. Evolve not devolve.

WVFF: So how about a forward change that keeps independent content creators steady on their views.

Al: Why Al do that?

WVFF: I don’t know. It seems it would keep independent creators motivated and loyal, and ensure that YouTube has content that can’t be seen on TV or other places.

Al: YouTube masters told me professional content more important. We go professional. No more cats and vloggers. We go “2 and a Half Men.” Me do what told.

WVFF: Al. Do you honestly think YouTube is poised to compete with networks and cable companies? That’s waging war, and it’s not what people want via online video yet.

Al: Al sad. Eyes leaking.

WVFF: Why, Al?

Al: Because you right. But masters at YouTube tell Al what to do. Al get blamed. They hurt Al.

WVFF: Sometimes, Al, you’ve got to show uncommon courage… doing what you know is right, not what people are asking you to do.

Al: Al feel better now. Al make it fair for amateur creators again. Al not want video creators sad like Al.

WVFF: Thanks for your time, Al. Just one final question.

Al: Yes, Nalts.

WVFF: How do you make changes to the algorthym while you’re in this swamp?

Al: Al only do interviews, poop, and sleep in swamp. Al walk to YouTube campus and bathe. Then Al make program changes.

Weirder Book Comments Anyone?

So the book site (BeyondViral) is pretty darned live for this weeks’ official release.

From now on, if you put your hands in this position you're stealing intellectual property.

Now c’mon WillVideoForFood “backrowers.” You’ve done majestically on Amazon’s ratings. Let’s show David M. Scott (he’s like the Fred of social media) how fun people respond to blogs. He and Steve Garfield helped get me into Wiley’s New Rules for Social Media, and he’s blogged about Beyond Viral. Who’s got some comment humor in him. Rumor has it even Sukatra’s got WVFF access from her phone.

Who wants to read thoughtful reactions to literature? I’m guessing David M. Scott has never experienced a mathematical correction from Alexis (apparently “exponential” is not what I think), a bowel joke from Nutcheese or a Reubnick quip. Jan’s probably got a funky political angle. Here’s hoping Marquisdejolie links back one of his bazaar videos, a term I’d use more often but for Maryln. What ya got Punchy, Zack, Coffin, JimmerSD? How about my sisters and bro? They visit. Really.

I got a few notes that the book is in stores, which tells me either:

  • This isn’t some elaborate prank on me, or a dream.
  • Or that I’m still dreaming

Wow. I blog in my dreams? That’s kinda lame.

Amazon sent me a gift certificate for free copies, but I think I’m going to use it to buy a remote-controlled airplane toy with a video camera instead.

TubeMogul and DynamicLogic to Prove Video Sells

In this NewTeeVee piece by Liz Shannon Miller, Tubemogul CEO Brett Wilson announces research with DynamicLogic that will finally show the ever debated link between online video and sales.

He also proclaims his disdain for the words “viral video” and “view.”

TubeMogul's Brett Wilson Hints at DynamicLogic Study to Show Sales and Video Relationship. DynamicLogic is One of the Leading Web Research Firms.

With my luck this study will be released the day after my final manuscript is due for Beyond Viral. Don’t ask me when this book is published because I can’t remember. I see manuscript in a few weeks.

Beyond Viral by Kevin Nalty. You Can't Judge a Book By Looking at Its Cover vs. Bifurfacted Visitors

There are two different people who will read this post. Help me out in dealing with this bifurcated audience, will ya?

  1. There are those of you who may, for reasons that elude me, like my videos or my banana-shaped head and disturbing personality. Maybe you RSS this page, used to visit it from my YouTube channel banner, or check it occasionally from bookmarks. Or maybe you stumbled here because of a URL on one of my videos. You people comment sometimes but only about .05 percent of the time.
  2. Then there are online-video industry watchers: video creators, agency employees, marketers, employees of video-sharing sites, analysts, journalists or new-media junkees. You people NEVER comment unless you’re Mike Abundo. That makes me wonder if you’re even reading, and whether I should publish/syndicate these kinda musings via better-read channels for online-video (like Advertising Age, NewTeeVee, TheDailyReel (kidding), iMediaConnections, Micropersuasion or TechCrunch and stuff). It’s not like I make a dime off this blog anyway.  

Now I used to brand my videos and send them to that site I’d manage manually. Then I automated that site (which still exists)  with Revver, and promptly lost all search-engine rankings because there wasn’t any fresh content as perceived by mother Google. So I forgot about the site. I later created WillVideoForFood primarily for amateurs looking to monetize their content via ad-sharing or sponsored videos, and starting using WillVideoForFood on my video slates.

Stupid move.

Why is it stupid? First, most YouTube video creators with their own websites have “fan” sites. They extend the content, blog related content, sell branded things and provide a community for their fans. That said, I’ve long rejected the idea of having a fan site because, frankly, I find it creepy and even more egotistcal than me. Plus I’m not HappySlip or Smosh if you know what I mean. But I also recognize that there are people who stop by this WillVideoForFood site to interact with me or mutual friends (probably the latter, but shut the hell up for a damned second… you’ll get your turn).

Kevin Nalts official homepageI still haven’t figured out how to make all this work, but for now here’s the model I’m currently envisioning: is my new vanity site and I’ll probably start providing that link after the video instead of People who visit a URL from a video about farting or pranks aren’t likely looking for a blog about online video. They want more farts or pranks. remains my website for online-video industry trends, and it reserves the right to self indulge about Nalts too (since I don’t have the energy for a friggin’ Nalts blog).

Then there’s the Forum (which cost about $200 to setup and takes Jan time to maintain). So you’d better darn well use it. I also got Ning crazy this weekend and set up a willvideoforfood ning and even a ning for Nalts (it’s called NaltsNing since NingofNalts isn’t possible). Nings are “off the shelf” social networks, and most of them are empty shells but some people run their entire website using a paid version of ning and you wouldn’t know it’s costing them a fraction of coding their own functionality.

The alternative to YouTube Gatherings, by Creepy Paul Podcasting101

I even created a YouTubeLive Ning (see above image), only to soon realize after I spent 2 hours making a banner and logo that Podcasting101 (aka Creepy Paul) already had created a YouTube Gatherings Ning with 147 members.

A first I felt really bad at creating more confusion by strating a new Ning (but was looking for somewhere to exchange information about the YouTube gathering in Philadelphia July 12 (YoTube). I’ve made it clear that YouTubeLive is not meant to replace Creepy Paul’s YouTube Gatherings. He’s WAY more into physical gatherings than I am, even though he’s super creepy (and I say that with love).

I like to promote and attend these Star-Trek like events, but can’t stand the politics and logistics (like the hot dogs but don’t need to see the factory). But now I really want to get more “members” to YouTube Live Ning just to tease Creepy Paul. So go join YouTubeLive’s Ning if you have a Ning identity- even if you don’t care about YouTube nerdy events.

And if you haven’t heard of Ning, remember you learned about it from me. I was the first guy in my school to own a Swatch and a Mac 128 so I’m totally hip on trends.

What’s Better than Free AND Royalty-Free Music & Sound Effects?

What’s better than my previous list of free and royalty-free music and sound effects? A longer list, which includes video effects too! Thanks to you, we’ve got a few new ones to share. Let me remind you that I’m tagging this entry “hellen keller” so we can all find it easily later using the Orb of Knowledge we call Google. I’ll use fuzzy pickle too, since that’s even more memorable. So search willvideoforfood, hellen, keller, fuzzy, pickle. Or come to willvideoforfood and search those terms.

not obsessiveOr bookmark these links if you’re one of those hyper organized, early potty trained middle children… who pretends to exert futile control over the universe by keeping everything in its perfect place… And can’t relax when there’s a tissue on the floor. My wife, Jo, and babysitterofnalts fall into this category, and I’m deeply grateful for their OCD. When I need to find a triple A battery, I check one of the ziplock bags and save myself 20 minutes of whining, only to end up at Radio Shack buying another pack. What? This is a friggin’ blog. I can meander. It’s not like you have anything else to do right now.

Let’s clarify the difference between free and royalty-free:

  1. Free means you can download the music without paying the artist.
  2. Royalty-free means you can have perpetual commercial use without having an issue down the road. This is far more important, because if you use copyrighted music and don’t have a Creative Commons (see “more” below for a quick explanation of this) or royalty-free agreement than you’re breaking the law. That can get you booted from websites, restrict the use of your contents upstream (like television), and get you sued.
  3. Free AND royalty-free is rare, but some amateurs aren’t interested in commercializing their work or simply want to market it. Let me know if you’ve found definitive sites for these people. There’s a desperate need for a nice exchange between well-known video creators and hungry musicians looking for exposure.

mullet bandNote that $10-$30 per song is a fair price for good music that brings a video to life and isn’t used on 100s of other videos. I’ve spent more than $500 buying every GarageBand loop CD (try Mixcraft and Beatcraft if you’re not an “out of the closet” Mac user yet). So I can compose my own music fairly easily (to time with my edited video, retain control of how it sounds, and live in the bliss of of being above copyright infringement.

I’ve yet to buy a canned collection of music because many are too expensive (hundreds of dollars) or simply too cheesy. And most of our videos won’t earn even the $20 price on YouTube. It’s like buying $20 lemons to make $10 at a lemonaid stand. Not good bid-ness unless you have a big hit, monetize it in other ways or have a rich aunt.

Now onto your contributions (and I’ll add to these if you send more). I’m especially interested in finding more individuals like Kevin MacLeod that offer some of their music for easy and free download, and without royalties. If you’re a musician and you’re not signed, I’d strongly suggest you do this to select pieces. Once you do this, you can’t exactly revoke that permission (I don’t know if this would effect a record label’s interest in picking you up). But it’s excellent marketing.

FindSounds: This is a delightful search engine that serves up a simple interface for finding, sampling and downloading sound effects. And it’s free to use. BUT if you want to be safe, you need to find the original source and read the terms of use.

SmartAssMusic: Not free, but royalty free. Limited selection and confusing navigation bar, but a few really professional pieces for a decent price (around $20). There are a few free ones, but you need to register and credit the site. More importantly, these free ones are not for commercial use (so buy if you’re a YouTube partner).

Detonation Films: Ever wonder where Davideo gets his explosions when he doesn’t feel like making them himself? Here’s the site. But you’ll need to know how to overlay these on your footage, which is too much for my caveman brain.

Continue reading “What’s Better than Free AND Royalty-Free Music & Sound Effects?”

Where Can I Find Royalty Free Music, Sound Effects and Video Footage?

Pickle phobia maria pickle girl mauryNo knocking Kevin MacLeod from He’s saved us from many default musical loops and countless copyright infringements. But now and then, we need a bit of variety. And here are some additional options for music, sound effects and even video footage.

To help you return to this post, I’ll add the words Helen Keller. Then you can just do a Google search for Helen Keller and WillVideoForFood, and you’ll be back on this page. See, Helen Keller couldn’t hear or see, so she’s not a name you’d expect to see as a mnemoni, and… oh never mind. You’ll remember it.


  • I’ve got some of my Nalts themes (recorded using every loop I could buy for Garage Band).
  • Jonathon Mikel Taylor Roberts has a nice MacLeod-like site at
  • Candace Bilyk has “project loop” to encourage more royalty-free artists to promote their music. She also has some of her own songs on her site.
  • DigitalPh33r (a creator for identifies two sources, and does so without sounding as angry as usual. He credits
  • Then there’s RoyaltyFreeMusic, which seems a bit pricey for the amateur and a bit cheesy for the pro.
  • The MusicBakery is a mixed bag. Some fantastically cheesy 1980s music mixed with some robust classics. Prepare to dig, but you may find something worth the $30-$50 price tag for a song download.
  • was also hot and cold, but I quite like this contagious whistling song called “Easy Stroll.” Prices range for $3 to $30 per clip, depending on how much you want.
  • Free Sound Project is one that’s a bit more complex, but interesting. Sounds not songs.


  • DigitalPh33r lists
  • PartnersInRhyme has a nice mix of free and pay-as-you-go sound effects… all royalty free.
  • I’ve also used SoundDogs before, and you’ll need to dig around but usually find what you need.
  • Avoid the CD-ROM collections since they’re usually not royalty free, even if they’re inexpensive.


Sneak Preview: “How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent” (Free eBook)


On Friday I’m releasing a free eBook titled “How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent.” I won’t make any money for each copy downloaded, but I’ll make it up in volume.

Below is a draft that still needs some fine tuning, but I’d appreciate some feedback from some of you core WVFF readers. Here it is as a PDF (version 1.3, which includes some of  your edits on 01/03/08): How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent

If you’re a blogger, I know I can’t stop you from posting this, but it would be great if you could wait until the Friday (January 4). Unless you’re some big-ass blog like TechCrunch. Then you can do whatever the heck you want. The several days I spent on this would be time well spent if it resulted in an inbound link from a big ass blog (BAB). Up until now, TechCrunch has only given the black-hatted viral marketers a spotlight. 😉

That said, I’m kinda hoping to “soft launch” it to the WillVideoForFood regulars before it’s officially released. I’m somewhat anxious about releasing something via pdf, and knowing I don’t have the ability to fix some horrible mistake that’s bound to be lurking within.


PS Here’s a synopsis of my forthcoming “The Prophet (Profit) of Online Video: Book synopsis,” which is being written to help marketers, agencies and creators capitalize on the growing field of online video.

Coming Soon: Best of Nalts DVD

Best of Nalts DVD sleeve

HappySlip is selling “best of” DVDs, so I had to do it too. I may not be as hot, but at least I’m not as funny.

I’m using CreateSpace because it looks easy, and a couple others have used it. Anyone use ’em? I didn’t realize, until I’d started my account this morning, that it’s an Amazon company. Of course, you give away about 40% of your profits (after the fixed cost per DVD) when it’s sold through Amazon, so I’m kinda hoping people buy it at I get proceeds beyond the fixed cost of production and their cut of the sale.

It’s not live yet because I’m mailing the master to CreateSpace, and then they send me a proof. I’ve listed the videos below. I’m sure I unintentionally missed some good ones, but it took most of yesterday just to locate the best versions of these (and some were destroyed by a dead Seagate external hard drive).

Will I sell a lot? Nope. There’s not a huge market to purchase amateur video content — especially when you can see it free online. Maybe some people will be compelled by the notion of seeing the videos in high resolution and without ads.

I was impressed with how good some of them look on an HDTV (after I’ve been used to seeing them on YouTube all grainy and compressed). You notice little things- like the name of a book on a bookshelf that was otherwise obscure. And you can why my face was made for low-resolution video.

Price point is $19.99, but most of the revenue goes to CreateSpace and Amazon. Well- if I make $100 on total sales, it’s worth being called a sellout.

The videos:
Farting in Public
Airport Crawling
Computer Falls
Cash to Buzz
Drunk Interviews
America’s Bloopers
Fast Food Outsourcing
Candy Swiper
Google Head
Google Earth
GPS with PMS
Mall Pranks
Killer Weed
Gum Tree
Coffee Baby
Banana Man
Garage Sale
Kids Steal Van
Lay Me Off
Mad Turkey
Viral Video Genius
Chicken Prank
Stupid Computer
HappySlip’s Pad