This is probably obvious, but YouTube is not anything like it once was. When I was a teenager YouTube was a really neat place to find cool dorky videos that random people uploaded. They were trying to be cool and/or funny. The videos had a lot of heart and I remember organically finding content that I really enjoyed. YouTube now is a wasteland. In terms of quality content, it is completely deserted. Almost every single person on the website cares about money, and that's it. There aren't any interesting videos anymore. It's just a ton of circle-jerking nonsense and reaction videos. Why have an opinion when you can watch someone give you an opinion? Why read about someone's life when someone has made a documentary about the person because they just happen to be popular during that time?
Memes have also boiled down to reposted TikTok videos of people making complete fools of themselves. I swear the comments have been organized by AI or something because every single music videos top comments are always positive.
Example 1: Game Grumps
I really enjoy old Game Grumps episodes. It's just two guys sitting on a couch telling stories and making jokes. The thumbnails are their profile pictures and the game logo. The name of the game is in the title. It's simple and enjoyable.
The new Game Grumps makes me sad. So many words are censored, and I feel like the jokes have devolved into "Funny sound that fans like" x10. The thumbnails are exactly how you would expect them; they try to cater things to the algorithm and it makes the quality of their videos fall.
Example 2: penguinz0
I've never really understood why people watch this kind of channel, but very rarely I will see clips of this guy and enjoy it. So, I started going through some of his videos. I don't see how anyone could see this channel as anything other than a generic channel that agrees with the general public on any issue just so he can get views. Most videos are just "I'm commenting on X issue, here's the general opinion floating around about it and I'm on board so you should be too." The videos are not any kind of important news, nor are they some kind of revelation. Apparently the general population just wants to watch people like this because I see these kinds of videos everywhere about everything. Again, why have your own opinion when you can just watch a video and get an opinion?
Example 3: The front page
The front page of YouTube is a complete disaster. Enough said? Let's talk
thumbnails. The first example goes over this, but jesus christ. When did we
accepting enjoying clickbait? When did a clickbait title and thumbnail
become the default or standard by which videos are made? penguinz0 is actually a
good example for this. A title of "He Finally Got Arrested" tells me absolutely
nothing about the video. How about "I Almost Fought in This" or "Worst Response
Ever" or "This Hurts to Watch"? These titles, and many (many) thumbnails mean
absolutely nothing to the viewer and solely exist because that is what people
YouTube Shorts do not need to exist. In fact, I think we should do away with short video formats entirely because they don't do anything for people. TikTok is a clear example of that. Somehow we had some decent Vines, no clue how that happened. Shorts are often just people advertising, usually indirectly.
Almost everything on YouTube is clickbait and made for money. There is nothing original, and even if there is something out there you would have to wade through a swamp of shit to get to it. Trying to find something organically is impossible because the algorithm recommends you the same garbage that exists across the rest of the website. These videos unfortunately are clicked on and feed the algorithm further, and thus the cycle continues. Probably forever.
And it doesn't stop there. Clickbait title and thumbnails, along with trashy O face thumbnails have seeped into PeerTube. People have taken the awful standards set by YouTube and are applying them to videos on a platform that is entirely against what YouTube is. Why? Please, if you are doing this, stop.
How to make a good video
Edit out your breathing and long pauses. Write a title that explains what the video is about. Make a thumbnail that shows the key point of the video.
For example, I want to make a video series about how to use a telescope.
My playlist for the series would probably look like:
- Playlist name: How to use a telescope
- Title name: Telescope acclimation, collimation, and alignment
- Thumb: Probably just a picture of my telescope.
- Title name: Telescope eyepieces and adjustments
- Thumb: A picture of different eyepieces.
- Title name: Cool telescope accessories and upgrades
- Thumb: A picture of telescope accessories.
That's it. It's not hard. Please stop making videos for money. Please stop using YouTube. Please start reading instead of watching.