YouTube Channel

Lloyd’s Demos    A dare? It is perhaps an underappreciated fact that not every home-recorded video belongs on YouTube. Prior to spring 2018 I occasionally made demo videos of DIY projects, and posted them to unlinked and unguessable URLs. After posting, I would Email the private link to selected family and friends. A couple of friends suggested that I should upload to YouTube instead, saying such things as, “They are sure to go viral,” or “You will get a million views.” That is my recollection of what they said, but some memories are untrustworthy—perhaps all are.

    I surely did not believe my friends’ jesting predictions, but was intrigued by the idea of posting project videos for public viewing. One thought was that YouTube might send viewers to related project descriptions (i.e., those indexed here), thereby sparking greater interest in the projects themselves. Far as I can tell it has not.

    Between March 2018 and the time of this writing (January 2021) I have posted 21 videos. More accurately, 21 of my videos remain posted. A sense of doubt—I was going to say ‘shame’—made me pull one or two after posting, and a few others should probably be removed for their abysmal quality or lack of interest. It is not possible to edit a YouTube video after posting it. Tough luck if you find a blatant error. The only option is to remove the offending video, and possibly post a replacement, but that is the same as posting a new video. (I can see the reason why this awkwardness is necessary.)

    Popularity Metrics: It is possible to study what are called ‘analytics’ and apply such an effort to enhance or improve YouTube presence. But spending time to uncover strategies for increasing views would require a different sort of motivation than mine. I am mildly curious about why one video receives many views and another very few, but I generally interpret such discrepancies as reflecting my lack of appreciation for which subjects are of most interest to other people. It is clear that putting more effort into the technical aspects of recording and editing of a video would improve the video’s objective qualities, though would not necessarily enhance its interest. However, that is a moot observation, because at the time of making a demo video I am ready to be done with the project and impatient to move on to another.

    The most viewed video on my channel is one of the earliest, uploaded in April 2018. As of this writing that video has more than 30,000 views. I have no idea why it has so many views—to me it is less interesting than some that have fewer than 100 views.

Likes (2020)    In addition to view numbers, ‘likes’ are another metric. When I think about my own viewing habits, there are videos that I like very much (generally great music performances) but I don’t indicate my appreciation by clicking ‘like’—I think the ‘like’ concept or habit may be a spillover from social media. Or is it irresponsible not to check the ‘like’ box when I particularly enjoy a performance?

    Comments are a simple metric. Most of my videos have zero comments. A few have technical comments, requests for clarification, etc. Comments indicating true usefulness, such as having motivated someone to reproduce the project or create a similar one, are rare. In addition to comments I have received occasional off-line Emails about videos. These are generally positive and sometimes interesting.

    Finally, number of subscribers is a metric
that relates to the success of the channel as a whole. Presently Lloyd’s Demos has fewer than 200 subscribers. Some subscribers are YouTube channel sponsors themselves, typically channels about amateur electronics or ham radio, in other words channels having shared interest to mine.

    Esoterica: It may be unpleasant to admit, but the amateur electronics hobby is not golf. For that matter it isn’t even sailing, which is not golf. It is a somewhat obscure hobby of limited general interest. On YouTube, popular music has a much larger following or viewership than classical music. ‘How to’ fix your car when it won’t start is of more interest than ‘how to’ make a frequency counter, and for obvious reasons. So I shall be content to post demos of my limited-interest projects to family and friends (on whom they are forced), and the handful of subscribers whose hobby interests occupy a place in the same small sphere as my own.