Hey everyone, Flobo here!
You know what? Having an online presence is hard work. Spare me the world smallest violins and #firstworldpains for a second and hear me out. With the Internet, theoretically it should be easy for a creative-centered person to find their audience. Whether its selling eBooks, posting short films on sites like Vimeo, or even getting your friends to “like” (or +1) a page, everything just sounds so simple on paper. I’m pretty sure the same thing happened when people invented highways, believing it would eradicate traffic delays forever. Well, what happened?
We bought more cars.
And that seems to be the going trend with social networking and sites of their ilk. Five years ago a YouTube video was something that was a byproduct of a camera catching something in the moment. There’s still that today, but some of the videos being pegged as “viral” are slick to the touch like a moss covered rock. (Aww yeah, I’m bringing back similes). I’ve talked about breaking through the clutter before on this blog, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to single out YouTube for this entry. For those of you that don’t know, I have a page over on YouTube. I’ve actually had the little corner of the web since 2006, and I’ve uploaded content to the page regularly since 2008 or so. Sometimes I ask myself why, because I do get a tad discouraged when I see my paltry view counts. Then again, as a writer I should be used to the cold response. Not being bitter, but there’s a twinge of “ouch” when a well thought out vlog or short film gets a couple dozen views, but someone falling in a puddle snags north of a million. In fact, when I post a vlog about writing and end up with fifteen views or so I always end up doing a bit of soul-searching. “What’s the use?” and all that jazz.
YouTube has changed their channel layouts on the site recently. Called YouTube One, the look is supposed to be uniform among members while offering a seamless experience for viewing the channel on mobile devices, televisions, and desktops. Why am I telling you this? Well a part of a new layout now has a place for a “Introductory Trailer.” In short, you are supposed to place a little intro video explaining what your page is about. Here’s mine:
I made it muh’ self.
Making the video had a strange effect on me. You see, with real life becoming more and more…er…”adult” now that I’m getting older, it was easy to forget the adventures I had gotten myself into the past couple of years. Seeing it mashed together with a soundtrack really put things in perspective. Is my channel the greatest one out there? No, but having a channel for this long and not giving up on it says something. I’m just not sure what.
Having a video “go viral” these days is like winning the lottery. People hope to win big so they put their content out there. There’s still a door for talent to be discovered by site like YouTube but it’s not nearly as wide open as it’s used to. That’s because YouTube is becoming a victim of the process it helped usher in. Now more than ever there are many things that compete for our attention and a lot of good material out there can end up going unnoticed. Compare that to 2005 where “YouTube” was synonymous with “online video.”
Just something to consider. As for me, that little video I did has sparked the creative juices once again to try different things for the page. I can’t wait to see what I will come up with.