Monday, March 28, 2011

My greatest hit

This little video of mine has recently went over the 5,000 views mark.

This is by far the most interest anything I've ever produced has managed to generate. I don't think anything even comes close...  certainly not my ode to the cookie monster or any of my other videos on youtube.

So what made this my biggest 'succes'?  

I'm not sure...  But I know it's not my marketing strategy. I haven't done anything to promote this video (or anything else) beyond uploading it to youtube and adding some tags. This strategy has not generated much viewership for my other videos, so there has to be something about this one that makes it stand out.

Let's see...  It's an animated bust of a nude study in blue conté with a computer generated voice (out of sync with image) telling people about stoicism and existentialism featuring some symbolic logic and my terrible handwriting. The whole thing is technically embarrassing and was likely the result of an afternoon's work (I don't actually remember the circumstances surrounding the creation of this animation).  

So, I'm thinking subject matter is probably a key factor here...  

I got a fortune cookie once that read something like: "The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next (in bed?)." Now, as any student of philosophy will tell you, there weren't any single dominant philosophy in the twentieth century. Quite to the contrary, there has never been so many people actively involved in philosophical activity, with different viewpoints, opinions, stances...  it's been a very interesting hundred years and you could probably spend a lifetime studying the very recent philosophical past (some lucky people do). However, one philosophy (for lack of a better turn of phrase... it seems odd to count philosophies) that resonated particularly well with people in the twentieth century was existentialism.

One can argue that existentialism has become the common sense of this century. After all, it does seem obvious that you are define by your actions, not by your intents and that the disconnect between what you want to be and what you are or between what you want the world to be and what it is can bring about all the agony familiar to those in the throes of an existential moment.

What I find particularly interesting are the demographics of the viewership. While males of all ages (68%) viewed my video, it is interesting to note that most of the female viewership are teenage girls. I really don't know what to make of this, but I find it interesting nonetheless.

A couple key findings, when I compare the popularity of this video with my other youtube offerings:

  • build it and they will come (even if you dont't tell them about it);
  • english is the language of the web (french is mostly ignored);
  • if content is interesting, people will overlook technical flaws in presentation;
  • folks like their animation;
  • most referrals come from Youtube related videos.
This last point highlights the importance of tags and adequate descriptions...  I'll have to work on this. But mostly I believe the key is subject matter, since this is what drove the related video referrals in the first place and brought me the bulk of my viewership.


  1. Hi Syl,

    I can see why this video is your greatest hit. I think I've watched it about 10 times.

    Maybe you should make a t-shirt.


  2. Not a bad idea, but I'd have to find the original drawing to make a good quality scan... I'm not sure that's possible.