Ramblings of a Nutbar

You’ll probably regret this.

6k&Under – Keep or kill?

So a couple weeks ago I started a program on my YouTube channel called 6k&Under, a program featuring lesser-known faces on YouTube who are far more talented than you’d guess by looking at their subscriber base. I really enjoy doing the show, but I’m having problems:

  1. Production time – Ever tried finding talent in the seas of less-subscribed people? Finding a needle in a haystack is easier, and it’s probably more fun, too. I can spend 8 hours researching for a 4 minute video. User submissions are helpful, but I either don’t get any, or I get 70, and I can’t sort through all of them right away, which means they get lost in the shuffle.
  2. Low viewership – The people gettng featured are watching, and a few of my regulars are watching, but nobody else is even coming over to say hello. When in it’s first day, my stupid Viagra video gets more hits than the latest 6kU episode got on day 1, I have to wonder if it’s worth the effort.
  3. My third point – Because all good lists need three points or more.

So help me decide if the show is worth keeping on life support, or if I need to pull the plug. Answer a few questions, and then comment below. Be honest! (See more to complete the survey!)

Continue reading

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Making Better Videos, My Random Thoughts, YouTube | , , , | 15 Comments

After piles of mistakes, YouTube GOT IT RIGHT!

I am happy.

Verry Happy.

So happy that I’m dancing around and singing and generally making this recent video look mellow by comparison.

Why is this?

Because today I’ve noticed someting that YouTube has done that will make life for partners on YouTube so much easier.

It’s the custom thumbnail.

 

New Feature to upload a thumbnail. Rock on YouTube!

New Feature to upload a thumbnail. Rock on YouTube!

That’s right. It looks like from here on out that YouTube partners (I checked on one of my non-partner sock accounts, and it’s not there) can specify a custom thumbnail for their videos. 

The implications for this are enormous. No more working your butt off trying to get the perfect shot in the center frame (which YouTube recently fried anyway). No more hoping you don’t get three crappy thumbnails to pick from. From now on, partners can control their thumbnail.

You might find yourself saying “Okay. You can pick your thumbnail, big deal. What’s the hulabaloo all about?” It’s a commonly known fact that the thumbnail is a big part of what drives views to a video. It’s the very tiny window into your show, and sometmes it’s the only thing someone will see of yur video. If yu want to market your videos, the thumbnail is very important. And now, thanks to YouTube, partners can more effectively market their productions.

Thanks YouTube. I take back anything negative I’ve said lately. You rock, at least until I find something else to complain about.

December 9, 2008 Posted by | Making Better Videos, Social Media, YouTube | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tips for getting views & subscribers on YouTube

You’re making YouTube videos. You’re actually pretty good (and that’s not your opinion – unbiased sources have told you this), but for some reason, breaking out of the sub-100 subscriber range just isn’t happening. So how do you climb out of the basement, and into the light? This post should give you some useful tips that I’ve learned myself, and things that I’ve seen from the top YouTube creators out there.

As a disclaimer, I will preface this by saying that I’m not a megastar on YouTube (yet!). I don’t have 100,000 subs and I’m not on the top pages. But I DO have a few thousand subscribers to my channel, and the number is growing literally every day. so with no further ado, here are my tips to gaining YouTube popularity, with important stuff bolded for those too ADD to read it all:

  • Make quality content. This is first and foremost. I’m not saying that you need to go out and buy a $2500 camcorder, or even use anything more special than a webcam. What you DO need to do is produce videos that people (other than you & your family) will want to watch. The secret to learning this is to critically watch YouTube videos. Which ones do you watch? Which ones do you click out of? Watch what the people you watch do, and emulate the positive aspects while making it your own. Important: While this is the first step, as you will soon read, it’s not the only ingredient.
  • Get involved in the community. My friends over at 88improv were the ones who got me to YouTube. They had been there for several months before I was. Today, they have thousands less subscribers than I do. What’s made me more popular? It’s certainly not video quality alone – theirs are way better than mine. The biggest difference I’ve noted is that 88improv is using YouTube more as a storage site; They upload their videos to embed elsewhere, and seldom get involved with comments & community involvement. In contrast, I Was doing shoutouts in my first video, and responding to other folks early on. I made some great friends, and I got involved in the community. If you provide positive feedback to others, they’re more likely to come and see your stuff. And if your stuff is good, they’ll subscribe.
  • Remember that asking for subscribers is okay (sometimes). Not everyone remembers that they can click the little orangish-yellow button to follow your videos. Putting a friendly “Please subscribe” at the start or end of your video is totally cool. If you’re an authentic individual, people will see this. Asking for subscribers CAN be overdone: see the following points on what NOT to do for more.
  • Love thy subs, and be thankful for them. Okay, it might be difficult to thank every subscriber once you hit 10’s of thousands of subscribers, where you might have a few hundred join per day. But since you’re not there yet, go show some gratitude. If someone subscribes to you, click on their name, go to their channel, and in their comment box write something like “Hey (their name), thanks for subscribing. It means a lot”. They like this, and what’s more, anyone who stops by their channel see that you care, and you might catch some incidental subscribers as a result.
  • Collaborate. Make videos with other YouTubers. heck, mak a video with me, I’m always game for a good idea. Collabs typically help both parties in some way (usually the person with fewer subscribers will get the most benefit from the deal, but the extra exposure is always nice for the more popular one). Enter Contests, such as ChristopherMast’s Generic Video Contest. Or better yet, nominate yourself (and hopefully a friend) to be on my new show that features unsung video producers (see below or click here).
  • Enjoy ALL free exposure, even from haters. (Thanks to jischinger for pointing this missed piece.) Any time someone promotes your stuff, it’s a good thing. It’s like they say, “All press is good press”. Sometimes you’ll get promoted in positive places, such as the new show 6k&Under. And sometimes you’ll get views from people called “haters”. These folks range from mild “ur so gay” comments, to more extreme threats and even featuring you on one of their many hater websites.  BUT here’s the rub: everyone knows they’re just haters. Nobody believes them, and in fact, I’ve found many great YouTubers because of them. So don’t hate the haters. They don’t realize it, but they’re doing you a favor.
  • Keep on truckin’. It’s easy to get discouraged. It took me months to break out of the single digit numbers, but it’s a snowball effect. Keep making videos. Keep following the steps above. Eventually, you’ll build a large enough base to get noticed. Patince, grasshopper.

WHAT NOT TO DO: Stuff you should avoid, lest you be riddled with strife and disliking:

  • Don’t Sub4Sub / Beg4Sub. These tactics send a very distinct message to people: I’m not talented enough to get subscribers on my own abilities and terefore I must find other ways to peddle my useless material. Understand this: The people with respected channels will not subscribe to you because you’re offering to sub to them. I am very exclusive about who I subscribe to: I only subscribe to people I want to watch. Sub4Subbing with 10 kids, only to have my subscriptions page filled with hundreds of crappy illegally uploaded Anime videos to the point where I can’t find the people I want to watch is NOT on my agenda, nor the agenda of most regulars on YouTube. And recently I had someone go beyond sub4sub, and just lazily posted a profile comment asking me to subscribe. Again, subbing to a channel full of crappy Animes is not something I, or most established YouTubers will be doing.
  • Don’t be a hater. Some people (mostly dumb kids) think that being a hater (e.g. going to people’s videos and posting stupid comments) will get them noticed, or maybe even get popular YouTubers to respond to them. 99.5% of the time this is futile. When I see a hater, I just delete the comment and block him. Way to ruin your chances of me ever subscribing to your stuff. And besides that, nobody else who comes to my channel will see you now either. Plus, haters are so cliche. Folks, calling me fat, ugly, gay, or stupid doesn’t bug me. I just look at it and laugh at the fact that this is the best you can do.
  • Don’t break the law! PLEASE, I beg of you, obey copyright laws in your videos. As much as you want to use that new Jason Mraz song in your latest video, doing so is a time bomb. Eventually YouTube will find out. Thanks to a recent agreement with the recording industry, YouTube can keep some of these videos on their site now, in exchange for sharing ad dollars with the record labels, but that’s on a case by case basis, and YouTube can pull your video anytime it wants. Stick to royalty free or creative commons stuff. If you don’t know where to find good music, check out incompetech.com for starters.
  • Don’t be afraid to initiate conversations with popular ‘Tubers. This is how I found out Nalts is a pretty cool guy. Just because they’re popular doesn’t mean that they’re not down to earth real people. And if they don’t respond, it’s not that they’re jerks blowing you off – it’s because you were probably one of 500 emails they got that day. Perseverence will usually get you noticed, just remember to be polite and respectful of their time.

In conclusion to my longest blog ever, here’s a great way to get seen: Get onboard with 6k&Under, a new show for unrecognized YouTube Talent.

December 6, 2008 Posted by | Making Better Videos, YouTube | , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Video that won’t suck – a primer

Okay, if you post videos online, and if you’re anything like me, you want to put up videos that people actually watch. That can be a trick if your videos….well, there’s no easy way to put it…Well, if they suck.

Of course, making watchable videos won’t guarantee you more hits. Heck, some of the best content creators I know only have a handful of subscribers. On the flip side however, I can’t think of one super-popular YouTuber that produces sub-par videos. So if you hope to be web-famous someday, then today is the day to stop sucking at your videos.

Below are a few quick tips for you to contemplate while making your next videos. These aren’t canonized gospel by any means, but they might keep you from looking completely insane:

1 – Kill Windows Movie Maker! Let me just say this one thing: Windows movie maker sucks! Don’t get me wrong, if it’s all you’ve got, it’s better than nothing, but I would argue only marginally so.

Most of WMM is tolerable, but by far, the biggest giveaway that you’re using moviemaker and that your videos suck are the horrid effects on that ridiculous blue background. Really, I think Microsoft got the idea for their text fields from their operating software’s most popular feature.

If you have to use Movie Maker, at least have the common decency to replace the blue with black so it’s not so obvious what you’re doing, but again, if you can escape Movie Maker, do it, especially considering that there are better free editing programs out there.

2 – What’s your point? I see a lot of videos on YouTube that are, well, pointless. And don’t think I can’t point the finger without taking some blame. I’ve done it myself.

Even so, every video should have a point, and extra credit if your viewers can figure out what that point is. Is your point that you have a super cool way to get rid of old eggs, that’s cool. Maybe your point is to showcase your warped family. But have a point. If you want to get really detailed, a plot, complete with beginning, middle, and end, is the ultimate deal. Your video is a conversation, and nobody likes the guy who walks up and starts talking to you about a subject you know nothing about, leaving you completely lost.

3 – Be yourself. If you’re trying to make online videos and get popular, you ned to be who you are. I’m not saying make your videos non-fiction. Some of us are character actors, and making up characters is who we are. But don’t try to be something you’re not. It’s just too obvious.

I’ll be posting more later on about video that won’t suck, but hopefully these three points will help you stop sucking just a little, and the world will be a better place.
Peace!

August 13, 2008 Posted by | Making Better Videos | , , , , , | Leave a comment