Friday, 27 February 2009


Just when you think it's over!

I've been working on this video for a long time. I finished it tonight, exported it (which took an age) uploaded it, then once it had processed I watched it and I noticed a mistake. It was less than half a second long and nobody would have noticed it, and if they did they would have thought it was intentional because it didn't look that bad. This is what I was telling myself in my head as I clicked onto the 'my videos' section, then I was telling myself 'Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it...' As I clicked delete.

I can't even explain to myself why I did that. It's gonna take hours to get it sorted and live again, but I just couldn't stand watching that half a second. I'm not even a perfectionist most of the time. I've uploaded plenty of stuff that I knew could be improved upon and it's not bothered me but sometimes I just get on one and, well... Stuff like this happens.

Well I have a plan anyway. I'll leave it uploading and go to bed. When I wake up, assuming it all worked, it will have been there for too long to take it down again. I caught it this time with only one or two comments.

Thing is I love this video. I think it's really good. And although I sometimes act like an arrogant prick, it is an act - mainly for comedic purposes but also to help me with my confidence, because really I'm far more inclined to criticise rather than celebrate my own work. Hell, I was 21 before I started performing songs in front of people, been playing the guitar since I was 10, what does that tell you? That's why the old youtube really helped me to begin with - it's easy to force yourself to record a video and make yourself upload it. Whereas if I was at an open mic night or something, people would say 'Go play a song!' And I'd always be like 'Yeah, maybe later...' But I've found acting confident can make you confident. It's kinda tied in with my 'just fucking do it' technique.

Don't even know what I'm talking about now. The bottom line is this video is well good. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to matter that much for me in terms of how successful it will be. For cover songs it just depends if they get in a good search result... Iris is in the first page of the search 'Iris goo goo dolls' and so it gets a lot of views. Others got in a good spot for a couple of weeks as a 'recent video' and so did pretty well then died down, and some just get seen by my subscribers. Then my original songs, well they get around my sub number in the first couple of weeks, the old ones are now all around 30,000 views, which is great! If you'd told me that a year ago and all that... But I do look around at other musicians on the site who seem to get 5 - 10 times as many views as they have subscribers and I just wonder where they all come from.

I just wish the way youtube worked encouraged people to push themselves. Like when PJ's animation got featured a few weeks back I was so happy because it was one of the best things I've seen on the site, but it could easily not have been featured and gone relatively unnoticed. It seems it's more important to be quirky and topical (and of course put sex in the tags) than to be creative and talented.

This isn't news to me and I'm sure it's not to you. I'm always aware of it and I accept it because, well you have to don't you? Plus I think the only way to make the site work for you is to compare it to other sites/mediums not compare your channel to other peoples, because some work better for youtube than others, but it doesn't really mean anything. I'm sure there are a load of musicians way better than me who have youtube pages but haven't enjoyed half as much success, just because I've figured out how to make the site work for me (and spent way too much time on it!) Likewise I'll never be up there with WhatTheBuck and Davedays because they're so perfectly suited to youtube, but it's still brought me success I probably wouldn't have found elsewhere and that's the point. That, and I'd rather aim to be the creative and talented one rather than the quirky, topical one even if it means being less successful. (Not that there's anything particularly wrong with being quirky or topical.)

Oh my God. Ramble, ramble, ramble! I can only apologise.
I'm just gonna stop.



John said...

I'm definitely one for the 'act confident (or like an arrogant prick), become confident' way of thinking.

Whatever the video is, I'm sure it'll be good, regardless of how many views it ends up accumulating.

I still think you're one of the lucky, enviable few who has the talent and personality to be successful on YouTube and IRL, you arrogant prick :P


Anonymous said...

In response to: "But I do look around at other musicians on the site who seem to get 5 - 10 times as many views as they have subscribers and I just wonder where they all come from."

They pay their viewers...i'll give you my paypal if you like xD