If I Ran YouTube (Or Any Internet Video Site)

It’s not always serious advice and somber observations here at this blog. I am Too XYZ to concentrate on the directly productive 100% of the time. In fact, a little irony I like to live by is that only by chosing to step away from productivity once in a while, can we maximize it.

All of that being said, I hope you find some degree of reason to this list. A list which I have compiled that explains what I would require all people who post their own videos (not copyright infringed theft) to do, if they wanted to post to the site.

So, my edicts would be as follows:

1) TURN ON A DAMN LIGHT!

Half the home videos end up being sound only, with an occasional light flicker as people walk or sit in total darkness. Why post a video at all? Post a sound file over on MegaUpload or something.

2) DO NOT HOLD A CAMERA SIDEWAYS! EVER!

When you do this, the picture comes out sideways. Yes, I realize that the physical universe does not appear to be sideways through the viewfinder when you turn the camera, genius, but trust me, it will end up being sideways when viewed. This has been true for basically every single solitary camera ever made in the history of humanity. And people still think that it is a great way to fit more stuff into the shot…

3) ABSOLUTELY NOTHING UNDER 20 SECONDS LONG.

I don’t care if it’s the the alien landing, the return of Jesus or anything or similar magnitude. If it’s less than 20 seconds long don’t post it. At least add a bit of an intro to it, or some commentary afterward.

4) HOLD THE DAMN CAMERA STILL!

If you must video and post your slumber party, focus on one object or person for at least 10 seconds before moving. You cannot walk around a house and turn the camera to every object or person you think of at the second they enter your mind. When you do so, nobody can tell what the hell they are looking at.

5) STOP THE CHIPMUNK SHIT!!!!

Let me be clear…there is no longer even the remotest amount of humor or entertainment value in speeding up an otherwise pointless, boring video to double speed so that everyone in it sounds like they are one of the Chipmunks. I get enough of that shit at Christmas time, I don’t need it when I am trying to watch your video.

6) NO MORE SINGING ALONG WITH YOUR FAVORITE TRACK.

To begin with, music coming through a speaker, then passing through your camera, and then passing through my own computer’s speakers sounds like shit. Secondly, few things are more annoying than people trying to prove they have some kind of musical talent by singing their cover of a song ON TOP of the original. I hate watching other people sing on YouTube anyway, but if you are going to do it, sing your own shit. Some people actually get marketed in that way. And if you must give us your pointless rendition of the latest Taylor Swift noise, get a karaoke copy of it so I don’t hear you and her. (Not that you are talented anyway.)

7) NO MORE “LOOK REALLY CLOSELY AND TURN UP THE VOLUME” VIDEOS WHERE SOMETHING JUMPS OUT AND “SCARES” YOU AT THE END.

I think I fell for the very first one of these I ever encountered, circa 2005. But I suppose the gullible out there still can’t see them coming right up Fifth Avenue. A long, quiet tracking shot on something either macabre, or out of place. Descriptions ranging from, “watch real closely” to, “I bet this video scares you.” You really, honest to god don’t realize that some half-assed image with a very loud obnoxious noise is about to blow your speakers away??

8) NO FAN FICTION! IT’S A VIDEO SITE!!!

Something with a 9-page story about the Twilight people disguised as a description of the video, a video which is actually only 15 seconds long with a slide show of Twilight characters and terrible fucking music in the background does not belong on YouTube. Or anywhere. If you want to rip off someone’s ideas and write fan-fiction, go ahead. But write it.

9) NO MORE “SHIPS”.

To the uninitiated “ships” are a pathetically lazy way of referring to relationships”. Ship videos involve splicing together footage of two fictional characters from movies or TV that for some reason the creator wishes could be romantically involved with one another. All set to some sappy piece of shit love song. Pointless and a waste of time that borders on the immoral…

10) DON’T FILM SOMETHING FROM TV!!

Ignore the copyright problem here. If you are going to transfer something from TV to youtube, get a vid-capture card already. Don’t just point your camera at a TV that is playing the video you want. It looks and sounds like shit.

None of these rules will ever be instituted of course. (With the exception of copyrighted material, which is already forbidden of course.) But you have to admit that if they were, the garbage quotient on YouTube would drop by about 90%.

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3 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Hey Ty, It's Kyle Hendrickson from over at Brazen Careerist.

    I just wanted to let you know that I'm a YouTube video producer (or was?) but kind of hated how commercialized it became and how shitty and awful the “popular” content has always been.

    It used to be that it was a place where average joes could present interesting ideas and get good discussion going, but now it's a little more than TV-lite.

    But in reading your rantings, I couldn't help but want to ask how exactly are you coming across these videos? Do you search for stuff you like or just go by what is popular?

    I agree with all of your criticisms, btw.

  2. Thanks for the comments, Kyle.

    Basically it is the result of a perusal of the “Most Viewed” sometimes. (The king currently seems to be a cat that farted and hiccuped at the same time…)

    I also see some of the “Similar Videos” that show up after I watch one that I actually had some interest in.

    Or they are linked from Twitter and such. I just come across them, and it seems that the types on my list here are becoming more frequent.

  3. Anonymous

    Also, in case you're interested, my YouTube page of embarrassingly amateur but earnest and honest content:

    http://www.youtube.com/akewsticrockr

    I'm considering a drastic redesign and re-exploration of what the channel could be.

    Everybody and their mother already does video game and movie reviews and right now I do not have the drive to put in enough work with just that to get noticed by “higher ups”.

    I'm considering switching the entire thing over to the concept of self-improvement and facing personal challenges.

    I'd probably lose half of the people who watched, though.

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