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The Seven Deadly Sins of YouTube

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As a content creator, I’m a YouTube newbie. I’ve made the occasional video here and there, but I’m more of a consumer than a producer in that field. And maybe that’s a good thing for a post about what you should and shouldn’t do on YouTube.

Of course, different viewers are going to like different things, but there are a few general mistakes that I see a lot of YouTube-ers making. Today, I’d like to share with you the seven deadly sins of YouTube – seven mistakes that will prevent me from subscribing to your page, checking out more of your videos or even finishing the video I’m currently watching.

Pride

Pride may be a cardinal sin, but I do think you should take pride in your work! It only becomes a problem when you have an inflated sense of how awesome you are. Confidence is cool. Arrogance is not.

On YouTube, this pride manifests itself when a vlogger takes for granted that people will still know who he/she is. Sorry, but no one is that awesome. Every fan you have was a first-time viewer at some point, and even if your stuff is really cool, they probably aren’t going to Google you to find your blog or other non-YouTube profiles. If you’re lucky, they’ll subscribe, but unless you encourage them to find out more about you with a link in the description, that’s probably as far as it will go. Visitors to sites you own are much more valuable than viewers on YouTube, since you can get them to sign up for your email list, make purchases in your store, and more.

The Bottom Line: Don’t assume people know who you are. Give newbie links to find more information about you.

Envy

Whenever someone has anything resembling success on YouTube, about 500 other people try to replicate this success. It’s not going to work. Unless you’re doing a spoof (which can be quite funny), taking too much inspiration from another vlogger just makes you look like a copycat. Envious of another person’s success? You can have it too! You just need to come up with your own idea.

The Bottom Line: Be original.

Wrath

YouTube is the bottom of the comment barrel. Seriously, I have no idea why, but on that site in particular, people leave the most vile, nasty comments! It’s easy to get sucked in by the trolls. Wrath takes on a whole new meaning when you virtually wrestle with someone calling you racist or homophobic names.

But if you stoop to that level, it reflects on you too, not just the initial immature commenter. I’m not saying to avoid defending yourself, but before you respond to a negative comment, give it a few hours of thought. Often, people will come to your rescue so you don’t have to step in at all! But if they don’t and you feel compelled to reply to a troll, make sure the comment you leave in return is classy.

The same goes for other YouTube videos. If you uploaded a cool video, I might click on your name to see where you’ve left comments on other videos. If you’re acting like a troll elsewhere, I’m not going to support the work you do.

The Bottom Line: Mind your manners in the comment section and avoid feeding the trolls.

Sloth

There are a lot of lazy YouTubers out there. Yes, it takes a little extra time, but YouTube is one of the biggest search engines out there. Take the time to title your video well, write an accurate description with links, and add tags. More importantly, do a little research on how to make a good video. Here are a few places to start:

If you’re not lazy and actually take the time to do your research, your video content will be much better.

The Bottom Line: Everything is better if you take the time to do it right.

Greed

Few things annoy me more on YouTube than those silly little bubble links popping up every two minutes. I know that you want more viewers and subscribers, and I can appreciate how important it is to remind people to check out your channel…but I don’t need this kind of crap interrupting the video I’m trying to watch. I’m less likely to share or subscribe if links keep popping up, because it makes you seem greedy – like you’re only interested in me watching your videos if I’m also going to check out all of your links. Save the linking and subscription messages for the end of the video instead. I just want to sit back and enjoy the content you’ve created before I make decisions about that kind of thing.

The Bottom Line: Let me watch your video before trying to upsell me.

Gluttony

Traditionally, we think of gluttony as eating too much, but this term can be used to describe any kind of excess. In videos, the excess that bothers me the most is length. If you’re creating videos, you need to learn to edit them well.

This definitely doesn’t mean that every video you make needs to be under three minutes long. What it does mean is that you shouldn’t take 12 minutes to say something you could have said in half that time. Nothing will make me click the back button faster than someone rambling. So as you’re creating videos, keep this in mind and cut out anything that isn’t essential to the goal of your video. Shorter is better if you want people to watch to the end.

The Bottom Line: Learn to edit your videos to keep the time as short as possible for your content.

Lust

Lastly, we have everyone’s favorite sin: lust. In videos, I actually think most creators don’t have enough lust! Okay, not that kind of lust. More loosely, lust means passion, and I see a lot of videos where people just don’t really care about what they’re recorded. The reason someone like Jenna Marbles, for example, is so popular is that she is passionate about what she’s talking about. You don’t even have to be covering a controversial subject to show passion for your topic. Even a how-to video on someone boring can be made better by a host who’s clearly excited about the topic. If you don’t care about what you’re doing on camera, why should I?

The Bottom Line: Be passionate about your video topics.

Viral Video of the Week: Dancing With An iPod In Public – Christmas Edition

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What does it take to create a viral video on YouTube? For one young man named Preston Leatherman, it took an iPod, a tacky Christmas sweater and three hours of shooting video at their local mall. If this video doesn’t get you in the Holiday spirit, I don’t know what would.

Here’s last week’s viral video of the week, which currently has 302,910 views and growing. It’s called “Dancing with an iPod in Public – Christmas Edition”.

If you’ve seen Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey’s latest Christmas music video “All I Want for Christmas is You”, then you know this is a parody of it. Or at least I think it is. In the video, Justin is walking around the mall doing some shopping, while singing in a red sweater. In Preston’s video, he’s dancing around the mall with an iPod, in a red sweater.

What’s almost as much fun as watching Preston dance, is watching the mall goers reactions to him. Some gave him high-fives, while other dissed him. He made people laugh, people shake their heads and people stare in bewilderment.

Here’s what Preston had to say about the video:

You know what they say! The best way to spread Christmas glee, is by dancing in public for all to see!

It’s that special time of year again! Santa’s elves are hard at work, Rudolph and the gang are prepping for flight, and I am hard at work making sure every boy, girl, and disgruntled shopper get their Holiday shopping disrupted by a man dancing in a Tacky Christmas Sweater.

Myself and a team of misfits took to the malls of Green Hills and Cool Springs in Nashville, TN in order to film the latest edition of “Dancing With An iPod in Public”. After a quick 3 hour hit-and-run style shoot through these shopping centers on November 27th, 2011, this is the result of our efforts!

Preston Leatherman is a musician and has also been seen Dancing with an iPod in Public to the tune of Footloose. You can read more about him on his website.

Why are people loving this video so much? Probably because we love parodies and watching people do crazy stuff in public.

YouTube Debuts Their New Look

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There’s no more need to try and get the new YouTube look by inserting code and all that jazz because it’s officially here for all to see.

YouTube announced and debuted their new look yesterday. The announcement was made via the Google blog with the title “Get more into what you love on YouTube with our new look”.

The new look consists of a new home page, channel design and more. YouTube listed three ways these updates will improve your life on YouTube:

  1. A new homepage
  2. Simpler, customizable Channels
  3. A new overall design

The look is definitely very clean and of course integrates Google+ into the mix. Google’s goal with the new redesign is to help “you discover a broader range of entertainment on YouTube”.

Google has created both a video (see below) and an instruction manual to walk you through the new YouTube. So, take a look around and tell us what you think of their new design.

New Stats: 184 Million U.S. Internet Users Watched Online Video Content in October

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comScore released new stats today revealing how many U.S. internet users watched online video content for October 2011. A total of 184 million users watched online videos, which averages about 21.1 hours per viewer. Online video watching reached an all-time high with 42.6 billion videos viewed.

Google sites (mainly YouTube), Facebook and VEVO rounded out the top three ways people watch online videos. In September, Facebook had dropped to the number five spot, but saw 59.8 million viewers for October raising it to the number two spot behind Google sites.

Other notable findings from October 2011 include:

  • 86.2 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 5.5 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 14.9 percent of all videos viewed and 1.4 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.

For those of you who frequently watch videos online, where do you watch them: YouTube, Facebook, VEVO or all of the above?

How to Enable YouTube’s New Design Now

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Most likely you’ve heard about YouTube‘s new design that is coming soon. (Reportedly, some already have it.) Now you can have the chance to give it a test drive.

Thanks to the people over at The Verge, we have the super secret (okay, it’s totally not a secret anymore) formula:

In Firefox: Ctrl + Shift + K (Win) | Cmd + Shift + K (Mac)

In Chrome: Ctrl + Shift + J (Win) | or Cmd + Alt + J (Mac)

Now punch in the following string of code:

document.cookie=”VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=ST1Ti53r4fU”;

Now, close the console and re-load the site. Easy as pie. I tried it and it worked beautifully. Here’s a screen capture I took.

After you sign in, you’ll notice on the left hand side a button for Google+. One click and it loads all of the videos from your Google+ Circles. Overall it’s a very clean and well-organized design.

If you try switching to the new YouTube, let me know what you think about it. No word on when YouTube will switch everyone over themselves.

“Life in a Day” Now Available to Watch on YouTube

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After receiving 4,500 hours of video from 192 countries, YouTube’s Life in a Day project is now available to watch free of charge on YouTube.

On July 24, 2010 (do you remember what you were doing that day?), thousands of people recorded video snippets of their lives to take part in YouTube’s Life in a Day project.

After being shown at Sundance, Berlin, SXSW and Sydney film festivals, “Life in a Day is finally coming home to YouTube—in its entirety, for free” says YouTube.

The film is about 90 minutes long and available with subtitles in 25 languages. It’s received great praise from publications such as The Times of London and The Washington Post who called it “a profound achievement”.

A few things you’ll see include a Korean man traveling the world on his bicycle, a shoe shine boy in Peru, a family dealing with cancer in Chicago and a Japanese man who is a single parent taking care of his son.

I love what the creators say is the purpose and message of this video – CONNECTION. It doesn’t matter where we live, what language we speak or how much we have in our bank account, we all need and want to connect with others. It also goes to show that we are all dealing with the same problems and the same ordeals of life. The same things make us happy. The same things make us sad. This big world we live in is actually quite small when you really stop to think about it.

If you have 90 minutes to spare, or heck – make the time to watch this movie. It’s worth it.

Which Sites Did the Latest Google Panda Update Hurt & Help?

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Have you noticed a change in your blog stats? If you have, it could be due to Google’s latest Panda update – which is designed to help improve the quality of search results for users.

It’s always interesting to see which sites the updates hurt and which ones they help.

The latest data from Searchmetrics shows the sites that were hurt include prnewswire.com, consumeraffairs.com, as well as technology blog The Next Web.

Who received the most help after this Panda update? YouTube and Android.com – which are owned by Google – saw a 10% increase. Zappos and the Washington Post also saw some help after the update.

These latest updates are definitely raising some eyebrows when the top site to receive a jump in help was Google owned YouTube. But should this be questioned? Does the jump point to the significance of videos or do you feel Google is showing favoritism?

“The Amazing Race” Adds Video Tips and Team Checkins via Foursquare

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CBS has linked their hit show “The Amazing Race” with Foursquare and created a brand page on the site.

Given the topic of the show (traveling to different destinations all over the world) it completely makes sense for CBS to make this move.

Here’s the message on their Foursquare page:

CBS’s “The Amazing Race” celebrates its 10 year anniversary with 10 years of travel tips, trivia and more. Follow us for exclusive videos from host Phil Keoghan, a look back into the photo vault of previous seasons and fun facts from the Race. Grab your passport!!!

Fans of the show can now see when their favorite team checks-in at their next location.

As you’ll see on “The Amazing Race’s” Foursquare page, they are also using it to promote YouTube videos done by the show’s host, Phil Keoghan. His videos offer travel tips like never check a bag or how to stay fit while traveling.

I like how CBS has integrated everything. Fans can keep up with their favorite teams, as well as get great traveling tips via video – which adds one more fun element to watching the show.

What do you think of the show’s social media strategy?

Edit Your Videos Even After You’ve Uploaded Them to YouTube

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YouTube has introduced a new video editing feature where users can edit their videos even after they’ve been uploaded.

Now this is some news that gets me excited!I do quite a few videos for my toy blog and there have been plenty of times when I was re-watching one of my videos and wanted to edit something, but didn’t want to go through the whole editing, uploading, losing views and comments fiasco.

They made the announcement on their blog today and walk you through all the details. Here are some of the features:

  • Color correction
  • Effects (in collaboration with Picnik, my favorite picture editing site)
  • Quickly rotate videos
  • Stabilize shaky footage

Here’s a video which shows off some of the above features:

YouTube began rolling this out globally today! What do you think about the new YouTube editing features?

28 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Creating Video Content

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Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Creating Video Content

You won’t see me dishing out advice about video blogging…mainly because I’m still a little to shy to do it very often. If you search hard enough, you’ll find a few videos where I get in front of the camera, but for the most part, I’m happiest behind the scenes. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create video content. In fact, vlogs and other video content on your blog can actually spice things up enough to give you a good bump in traffic – and not to mention, if you’re good enough at it, there are also ways to monetize your video content.

So instead of someone who’s still a novice at creating video content trying to give you a bunch of tips, I decided to make this the topic of the week for Brilliant Bloggers. Check out what these much-smarter-than-me people have to say about creating video content:

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

The Best Tools for Creating Video Content by Brandon Yanofsky

This is a great post to check out if you’re brand new to video content and are unsure where to start. Brandon gives tips on finding the best cameras, lighting equipment, editing software, and more. If you explore his stie, you’ll also find some other posts about creating video content such as Why Should You Produce Video Content?. Brandon is on Twitter @byanofsky.

5 Common Misconceptions to Ignore for Video Content by Brent McCoy

Think you need to spend a lot of money on your videos? Or that they take to long to create? Think again. In this post, Brent covers these and some of the other common hangs-ups people have about making video. If you’ve been avoiding making videos, this is the post for you. After checking it out, you can follow Brent on Twitter @brentmccoynet.

How to Produce Video Interviews for Your Blog by Francisco Rosales

This is a really smart idea, especially for bloggers who can’t always make it to conferences and other industry events – and I love that Francisco gives a really simply step-by-step how-to (with pictures!), because I’m not the most technical person in the world. This post inspires me to get out there and do a few videos interviews – I really don’t have an excuse not to do them now! Follow Francisco on Twitter @socialmouths.

BONUS BRILLIANT BLOGGER: You should also check out the entire site Simple Vlogging Tips by Jendi (@jendisjournal) for an entire awesome site about creating video content!

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about creating video content? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link!

Next Week’s Topic: LinkedIn

I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

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