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Good Old College Try

Posted in Meanderings

Well, as I start to write this I have yet to come up with a title for this particular entry that’s been sort of floating around in my brain – although in truth, this is most likely spurned on by my previous Meanderings article and my flailing YouTube channel – perhaps it should read as failing YouTube channel.

In regards to my YouTube channel Bradfangled, it may be apt to say “as you well know by now” – although odds are you don’t because no one really watches the content I put out on YouTube – the stats offer an extraordinarily in-depth break down of my channel’s failure – it’s unfortunate and spectacular at the same time, a real eye-opener you could say.

In perhaps, what could be the greatest diversionary tactic from my writing pursuits yet, I’ve spent the better part of two years sinking time, energy, money and creativity into a retro-game themed YouTube channel whose exponential growth in content quality and style surely deserves more than the average 20 – 40 views that my episodes garner, and a large portion of those views come from friends and family. So there’s that. Along the path to web show greatness – I learned loads about video and sound editing as well as script writing – yes, writing does play a huge role in the production of a web show, so in essence I was still writing throughout those two years.

Yet, it doesn’t stop there, an exhaustive amount of social media marketing was also spent, trying to gain followers on platforms like Twitter and Instagram in an effort to funnel them through to my YouTube channel – well of course that hasn’t really worked out too well either. So I guess at some point one needs to take a step back and evaluate the effort-to-viewership ratio, i.e – does the amount of time, effort and sacrifice that is poured into such a pursuit warrant the dismal viewership and engagement it gets? No, not in the slightest. Yes, YouTube is a creative outlet and ultimately one should focus on doing it for themselves but also take into consideration that the creation of and by extension the creative process involved in creating a web show is a form of art, and art is meant to be consumed and enjoyed, not hidden and ignored.

By contrast – and this isn’t to say that my content is the greatest of all time, but when compared to the endless cesspool of sheer garbage that populates YouTube, it’s clear that quality and effort are not factors that too many people are concerned with, nor YouTube for that matter – they will promote any shit that makes them money and will turn around saying that they support content creators, which is true, just as long as you’re one of their prized cash cows that they can continuously suck at the teat of, like the soulless corporate vampires that they are.

I also took it one step further, deciding to do a little social experiment and created a junk YouTube channel – literally no thought or planning going into it at all. A generic name, shitty banner, crappy icons and thumbnails pulled off of the web and uploaded vague, idiotic shit I filmed on my phone – a series of absurdly short clips, and I did this frequently. 12 videos in 2 days and wouldn’t you know, it’s getting views. In just 6 days, the channel already has 1826 views, so that’s basically just under half of what Bradfangled received over a 2 year period, and the most ridiculous video of them all received 650+ views in under 24 hours. Absolutely mind-boggling.

It’s worth noting that the above video is 28 seconds long, and just look at the watch time. I then posted a video on Bradfangled, using the same tags (as it was relevant – PS5 being at the forefront) about something trending which was Spider-Man Remastered and wouldn’t you know, the results were terrible, in fact, the video performed worse than usual, so clearly there is no visibility of my channel. It really doesn’t make any sense and is rather upsetting to be frank.

So with an average viewership of 20 – 40 views per video (there are a few exceptions) I’ve decided to take a step back from YouTube for a while and focus my energies elsewhere – specifically with getting my book published and probably some short stories and a comic strip, so you can expect my Patreon to be revamped to accommodate this change. On the plus side, I can say that I’ve given this YouTube thing a good old college try and at least I came up with a title for this article as I type these last few words.

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