YouTube and Slow Growth

Not mutually exclusive: 1) I do not know how to use YouTube well, and 2) I do not produce the kind of content that “does well” on YouTube. Those could also be the same thing.

I’m not complaining. While it would be cool to be able to monetize, that’s unlikely anytime soon. I’m still under 400 subscribers and just over 1,000 hours of viewing. I need 1,000 and 4,000. And even then the bucks will be too small to matter.

I think I know a tiny bit about how to make content go viral — learned imperfectly with my students through an assignment I gave them called “go viral.” It was simply this: produce a video that earned 1 million views by the end of the semester on either YouTube or Twitter. Two teams (six per class) managed to achieve that in eight years. One team squeaked over the line on YouTube and another topped out over 8 million on Twitter.

What did we all learn over those years? Going viral on purpose is hard. The formula has much to do with the platform, what users expect on the platform, and one’s ability to tap into something special. Sound nebulous? Well, if I knew how to make it work I’d be typing these words from my yacht 🙂

If you discover a formula that works (meaning in part that you can do it more than once), you’re likely to “do well” — which could mean a number of things to media students.

To me it means gaining attention for my work such that more than just a few see it. Still working on it 🙂

Visit my channel here.

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