In doing my artwork and posting videos on Youtube and other video sites, I've been trying to find out a little bit about getting seen, and from what I've seen, it's a pretty methodical process to actually make a video go "viral."
I haven't actually experimented with most of the practices because they aren't all ethical, but some of the websites that I've come across actually presented some very good information. I decided to list a few of the more helpful hints on getting more views on Youtube. So, here they are:
1. Blogs - *ahem* I don't know what you're talking about. No, not just this kind of blogging. I like to find other blogs with similar content as mine, and post a relevant reply to the post. This creates an instant link to your blog (or website, Youtube channel, etc.) One website suggested that you pay others to post blogs linking to your video. I find this practice a little...questionable, at best.
2. Forums - Why not? I have accounts at several forums, and I've used them as well as I know how. Some other users can be very critical of what you're posting, but if your content is strong enough, other users will defend you outright. Plus, controversy around your ideas are not a bad thing, you know.
One example of controversy I have in mind was a person who posted my video in their blog, and explained that I spent 9 hours on the Dumbledore painting that I did. For one, this sparked a lot of interest around the fact that I liked Harry Potter enough to spend 9 hours on a painting of one of the characters. BUT, the first comment on the post was completely negative, saying my version looked more like Gandalf than Dumbledore. Other readers then came to my defense. Also, they spent several posts debating what scene I was trying to represent in the painting. The fact is that I was actually only loosely depicting the escape scene in Dumbledore's office. The point is the fact that the more you can generate discussion around your work, the better. Some people will like your work, and some will not. If you have something that's worth discussing, that makes your work stand out to the readers (0r viewers), and it just might generate some interest in what you're doing. :)
3. Social Networking (Myspace, Facebook, etc.) - This one works, but it requires a lot of "legwork." Since I have been trying to promote my videos, I have been trying to beef up my friends lists, and posting bulletins with links to my vids in them. So far, it seems to be somewhat effective, I haven't been able to track links from my bulletins, so not too sure. But, theoretically, this should work well.
You also have the ability to directly post videos to others' comments, though you may want to use caution in doing this, because some people don't like the fact that videos or large graphics can mess with the layout of Myspace pages. So, use your own judgment here.
4. Email Lists - Hmmm, yeah. This one I can see working out okay, only if you have permission to email your recipients. I personally use #5.
5. Youtube Friends and Subscribers - I'm finding out that subscribers are important, but there are other strategies to working the Youtube system. One thing that works sometimes and sometimes not is adding other people as friends, like on Myspace. I have to say that it is much harder to get a Youtube user to befriend you than it is to add people on Myspace. Youtube sends your new friend an email that says that you want to be able to share private videos with them. To a lot of people, this sounds like an indecent proposal, but we're only using it for the forces of good! :)
I've found that one thing you want to do before you ask someone to be your friend is drop them a line. You don't always have to be on their friends list to post a comment to their channel, like on Myspace, so I always leave a short message to say "Hi," or to comment on one of their videos. This sort of lets them know you're not trying to send them 30 porn links without even a kiss.
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