I’ve been subbing to a bunch of new channels in the last few months, to keep in touch with what’s new and to see what’s up and coming. However, I’m afraid that I’m unsubbing gradually from one channel after the other, and this is a post dealing with why. I’m hoping it will be taken as constructive criticism. There are fantastic channels going these days, but some are shooting themselves in the foot if they want to get an audience worthy of their ideas and presentations.
I’ll say at the outset that I’m not describing “rules” or scientific facts arrived at through extensive research. I’m going to outline two problem areas, as I subjectively perceive them, and I’m aware that it’s possible for channels to succeed and make great videos whilst still running counter to what I describe here. This is pretty subjective, mmmmkay? It describes the reasons why I turn off from otherwise good channels, and I’m guessing, purely guessing, that I’m not the only one.
Keep it short.
Really: who, these days, has time to watch a 25 minute video? Seriously, you could spell out the cure for cancer, but nobody is going to watch it if it’s in a video that warns you, before you click it, that it goes for that long.
Attention spans are short and getting shorter, and you’re jumping into the most incredibly competitive space in human history, as far as attracting and keeping a person’s attention: the internet. The Youtubes. Millions of people uploading billions of hours of content. Don’t call people over to your little stall, and tell them that you need them to give you 25 minutes of their free time on a Tuesday night. They’re going to have gone elsewhere for something less demanding before you know they were even thinking of doing so. Don’t even ask them for 15 minutes. 10 minutes and you’re still pushing the friendship waaaaaaay too far.
Nobody watches long videos from new, relatively unknown channels. Don’t even think you’ll grow a subscriber base if you’re putting out anything longer than 4 or 5 minutes with any regularity.
My channel exploded when I made “Atheist!!!!!”, and not until then. I got the idea for “Atheist!!!” in the shower, had it up on Youtube within two hours, and it went for less than 90 seconds - and everything blew up. It got shared everywhere. I had unheard of numbers of views, which converted into views on all the other content I’d made that had been sitting there doing bugger all. I learned a big lesson.
Nowadays I can get away with making longer videos, but believe me, I’m still searching for the video ideas that can fit under two minutes. I’m repeatedly surprised that I get as many views on the long ones as I do- and I sometimes wonder how much bigger my channel and view count would be if I could get some shorter ideas!
If you want more views, and if you think your videos and ideas are worthy of more views, you’ve got to think like this: 99c is WAY cheaper than $1. Every marketer knows that. A video that goes for 3:50 is WAAAY shorter than one that goes for 4:05. And you’re putting up videos that consistently go for 17 minutes? Forget it, no matter how good they are, you’re not even going to get clicks. Nobody is going to know about how good your ideas are.
As I said from the outset - yes there are video makers that get big views with long videos, I know. And some videos deserve to be long, and some just don’t lend themselves to being cut in half. Take my point here as a general guideline, not a law or a rule. Or don’t take it at all, that’s fine too.
Slow down. Too many videos too frequently.
If you’re putting out videos more frequently than one a week, I think you’re absolutely overloading your audience. I see some channels who are uploading three or four times a week (and I’m not talking about V-logging. That’s a different thing altogether, I know.) I’m talking about content-based, written, scripted, well prepared videos. Even if I like their stuff - I might just not want to see the next instalment in the series the very next day, so I miss one. Then I miss another one, because I don’t want to go back to the one I missed and then watch the next one in one sitting, before the next next one comes out tomorrow or the next day. I give up, because keeping up to speed becomes like a chore.
It’s too “in-your-face” to be dishing up content to your subscribers too often. You want your videos to be a nice, welcome arrival on your subs’ Youtube pages. A nice surprise. “Oh, there’s that guy again, let’s see what he’s come up with now.” Not “Oh, shit, I didn’t watch the one he did yesterday yet,…”
If you’re still getting established and popular, people are not going to give you their attention every day. Don’t expect it of them, and don’t even request that they do by dishing up new content. I’ve unsubbed in such circumstances because it just gets too much. “Oh, another one from him.” “Oh, it’s up to ‘Part 6’ already, and I think I’ve only watched parts 1 and 2. Shit, I don’t have 40 minutes to get back up to speed right now,…”
And - you’ll burn out if you make too many!!! Go ahead and make all the videos in your series if you’ve got the time this week. But then sit on them, and slowly release them over the course of three months, not a fortnight! Let the audience grow at a realistic pace. Let the videos get shared, picked up on blogs, commented on, featured by Youtube,… slow down.
You’re not going to be an overnight sensation, so grow things gradually by putting out consistently good content at a reasonable pace that isn’t intrusive on your viewers’ time, but rather something they look forward to, and wait for.
SO - there’s my four cents’ worth. 2c each.
There are many many more things to say, but these seem the most pressing for now, because as I say, I’m seeing good content go to waste, and I’m on the lookout for good new stuff.
Tell me what you think.
BRACE YOURSELVES: Relentless talk of Noah and his ark is coming.
Glenn Beck, the other day, said that the new Noah movie is "dangerous disinformation". Correct once again, Glenn. And here's your antidote.
Purely as a community service, I've set up a URL and some posters, to help us all assist those who may need a dose of reality, by bringing them to a scholarly documentary containing actual footage from within Noah's office in the immediate lead-up to the flood.
Note: Those who followed my previous blog may recognise this as an edited, re-worked version of something they read in late-2012.
Further note: it contains plenty of f-bombs and even a c-bomb.
I once got a message from someone who wanted to take me to task for having continually cherry-picked the bible, seeking out all of its ugly bits. “After all,” he (she?) said, and I quote, “you have to admit that the vast majority of the contents of the Bible is of love, forgiveness and justice”...
Well. Here is an expanded version of my response. Consider it an open letter. And buckle in: it’s around 2000 words in length. (Not everything I post here will be!!)
Well, here it is. I'm back.
Once again, I'm going to try my hand at blogging, but this time it'll be a little different.
Before I go any further, though, as a nice tie-in to where I left off about a year ago I feel compelled to stir up a shitstorm of gender-based controversy just so I feel like I'm in familiar territory. This ought to be enough to do it, so here goes:
"Women are equal to men."
OK, so with the controversial stuff over, let me fill in those of you whose blood is not boiling on what's going to happen here.
First of all - nothing frequently. I really can't be relied upon to post anything regularly, and I'm not volunteering to put myself under any pressure to do so. I'm expecting to put something up a handful of times per month. When I do, I'll notify the world through Twitter (@NonStampNSC , or via the link at the very top right of the page).
I'm thinking that this blog will replace some of what I like doing on Twitter. I often do long rants there, over upwards of 7 or 8 tweets, which is silly because they need to be read backwards, and even more so because anything that goes on twitter is essentially GONE within about 6 hours. There is no memory on twitter, and sometimes I say things that I'd like to have a shelf-life of longer than that of a mayfly, and I'd like to be able to find things I've written again later. So those kinds of rants and responses will go here rather than on twitter.
Secondly - I like images, pictures, memes, good presentation materials, things that can be shared and move around the net a little easier than text alone can do. So, I plan on making simple little 'posters', that make a point (hopefully), and which I, and anyone who wants to, can use or refer to or link to. I have STACKS of ideas for such things. I hope they're good and useful enough for people to want to share them.
Furthermore, I have a few regular segments planned, one of which I think I'll do called "Epic comments of the [month?] [fortnight?] [week?]". Not for stupid dipshitted comments, but for the good ones that turn up on my videos, or others', and make me laugh or get a lightbulb above my head. HEAPS of such comments came up on my most recent video - I think I'll go there first for some screenshots or some really great comments that I loved.
Also - those of you who did check out my last blog may notice a few re-posts. Before shutting down that blog I saved a handful of posts that I wanted to keep, so I'll be adapting them, rewriting them, and posting them (again?) here in the weeks to come.
In general, I do have a desire to only produce stuff here on this blog that people will find useful. I like that word. That's going to be a general guiding principle that I'll aspire to live up to.
You'll also be seeing advertising occasionally, yes- but get this: it will be hand selected by me. And I don't actually foresee advertising any more than ONE THING. That is; that red box you saw in the right-hand side bar.
SOOO many people I know do not have their computer data backed-up anywhere, and are tempting fate in a way that is INSANELY dangerous. Hard drives crash, folks; computers get stolen. I'm a long-time user and fan of BACKBLAZE, an online backup service that remotely backs up the entirety of your data without you having to do a damn thing about it. I am shameless about spreading the word about BackBlaze, but I will let discretion prevent me from plastering ads up on every single page and post. Perhaps every third or fourth post, you'll see an ad for BackBlaze. This is because I honestly and enthusiastically recommend that you cover your ass by coughing up $50 a year for complete peace of mind. I've had two hard-drive crashes in the last four years - it's an amazing feeling to suddenly have your entire digital life extinguished - every photo, file, song, video...GONE; but I laugh it off because I'm well backed up. If you're not - holy shit, you've got no idea how quickly it can all disappear. Do it.
Anyway, take a look around the site, tell me what you think. And either follow me on twitter to know when I've posted something, or subscribe to the RSS feed somewhere on the right.
Thanks, as always, for your kind support of my rabid, obsessive attempts to convince myself that the bible-god is not real. Living a life of sin isn't easy when one is burdened, as I am, by the sure knowledge that I am a fool who will have to give an account of himself to the Lord Jesus Christ one day. Thanks for being there for me on my journey of attempted self-delusion.