7 Must-Have attributes to make your video watchable

What Works on Youtube?


to make your video watchable

(using viewing figures as a measure of success)


– feel free to add to my Completely Unscientific Taxonomy of YouTube Popularity. I started this a while back, and never got around to publishing it until now…

NOTE: Vids with More than one attribute are even more watchable.

NOTE: Yes, I’ve probably missed some good ones…

  1. Unusual content – people, machines or animals doing something unexpected:
    Wedding parties dancing down the aisle, cat standing up on 2 feet, finch perfectly imitating construction workers
    are all great examples of this.
  2. Shocking or surprising or slapstick – mainly people falling over, or reacting to predictably shocking stimuli, such as scaring someone with a fake head. Extra points for pride before a fall. In fact, a lot of failblog videos have a slapstick element like Dance Fail.
    Corollary: Also pointworthy is the “Nelson Munce Haa-Haar”  factor i.e. joy at the misfortune of others.  Although in the case of Drunk Kitty there is a caveat: You can’t feel too bad about laughing, otherwise it cancels out the funny.
  3. Feelgood / cute factor – baby animals / kids being adorable – most people respond positively to cute in real life, it’s no surprise that enough people looking at the same things online.
    Corollary: In the case of David After Dentist, and Charlie Bit My Finger, these have elements of point 1 and point 2 about them too. For cats, there is also appeal in them displaying human attributes such as Cat Fixes Printer or yet again Standing Cat (original version)

  4. Mass  Participation – getting a bunch of  people to do something at the same time –  prisoners dancing to thriller, and improv everywhere’s frozen in grand central are both good  examples of the genre.  I think the appreciation of the effort involved is part of why this works.

  5. Incredible Talent or Effort in makingchat roulette piano guy and Lego Matrix fairly represent this section, although there are so many others who can go into this category.
  6. Bright lights –  extreme sheep LED Art – at the time of writing, Leamington Spa nightclub has only been up for a couple of weeks and is at 100,000 mark already. UPDATE it’s now at over 500,000 views.

  7. Watchability – We are impatient beings – and watching something 6 minutes long on the internet is like watching a 30 minute programme on the telly.  Evolution of dance  works because it’s instructive, nostalgic, well-structured and funny – even if the video quality ain’t that great, we’re happy to watch it because it gives us so many other reasons to do so. The recent phenomenon of Fenton the Dog chasing deer in London’s Richmond Park now has over 3,000,000 views at the time of writing.**

A word on Repeat Viewing Potential – most of these videos are easy to watch more than once. In the case of Nyan Cat, Fenton the Dog and countless others, they stand up to more than just repeat viewing, for whatever reason.  What’s particularly interesting is that some of these videos generate re-mixes and inspire interactive participation.

For more on these, pop over to the BBC’s website here to watch “The Stuff that Memes Are Made Of“, where Joel Veitch and I attempt to make a meme out of a squirrel.

Nero 9 Suite and Move It Launch

Yes, we’re AVIn’ it large here at Geek Chic – lots of video for tech lovers! The second one is of Nero’s launch of their fabulous Move It software, alongside a release of Nero 9.  In fact, instead of just being known for burning software, Nero are moving into something they call “Liquid Media”, which is a rather nice way of describing the way we use video, photos and music in the digital age. 

Let’s face it, we’re not fussy where we consume media these days, be it on different platforms such as mobile phones and iPod-type devices, or just plain and simple online streaming like iPlayer on our laptops.  It’s a quick and dirty world, media-wise.  Content is king, it matters less how we ingest it, as long as we manage to input copious amounts of glorious gluttonous entertainment into our heaving brains, day and night, it’s never enough, and it never will be.

But I digress (as usual).

So here is Patrick Peeters, Nero General Manager, EMEA, telling us what it’s all about:

If you want to know more about the Nero Software, pop here to Nero’s site

The software looks promising, and anyone who has ever tried to encode from one device to another will appreciate the simplicity afforded by a rather nicely skinned “drag and drop”-style  video format swapper.   I have my fingers crossed that they will create templates that are optimised for the Archos players, which will hopefully be added to their already generous selection of codecs.

Back into the editing dungeon now for a few more vids, and a lot more tea.

Skype Video Interview with Josh Silverman, CEO

I’ve been editing like a wild thing! Just uploaded video from the Skype 5th Birthday party, in case you wanted to know what went on that night – Apologies for the slightly dodgy audio, the acoustics were not the best in a London nightclub with the New Yuricans playing at full volume during the individual interview section, although I did do a little tweaking.  I really liked the fact that Josh from Skype used words like “Woolly Mammoth” in conjunction with Voice-Over IP software. 

Here’s a bit of his speech and the interview.

RSS Readers/Can’t see the vid? click here

Nero has just launched some new software yesterday, including Nero 9 and a fabulous new program called “Move It”  – I got to see it first last week (it’s been under embargo) and I recorded some vlog footage for your delectation.  I may even be able to post the video up today if I drink enough tea to fuel the computer.

P.S. Rather bravely (some might say idiotically), I decided to play with the registry in Vista, being inspired by Techware Labs’ post  – much to my amazement, my computer now starts up quicker, although I would be very, very careful and BACK UP if you also have an irrational urge to poke around in your PC’s private areas…

From Jack To Mac: A song is born

Having just emerged from my self-imposed cocoon of composition, it’s now time to confess yet another addiction I have appeared to pick up in the world of technology. I’ve just submitted my first ever youtube clip – I’ve been on before, but never uploaded myself (that sounds so Matrix…)

So here it is, the youtube clip: installation, composition and production from the point of arrival at my doorstep. The chaps at Absolute Music were as good as their word, and happily the Mac Pro arrived with Logic 8 Studio fully installed, and the sound card already configured. Some might wonder where the challenge was, and I say it’s enough to know how to do it, and much more satisfying to just get down and write -what a pleasure that was!

(Rss Viewers/Can’t see the Vid? please click here for the link)

I made this by taking photos at every stage of installation, from opening the boxes yesterday right up to the upload a few hours ago – one of the most revealing pics is the look on my face just before I open up twitter on the browser to blog the instant happiness I felt at that point – you can see the complete contentment I’m feeling at having a system I’ve pretty much dreamt about for many moons. I only slept 4 hours last night, dreaming of Mac.
My last system, although state-of-the-art in 2002, was just not fast enough – the tech got in the way of composition, and the computer couldn’t keep up with the kind of processing power demanded of it. It’s so wonderful to be able to play with this every day – after some difficult times in the last few years, I can’t begin to describe how it feels to realize such a dream that felt so far away for so long.
Or, as I put it [much more concisely] on twitter, “Woohoo!”