If you have spent time lately perusing any of the 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, you probably came across one that questioned why a reservoir somewhere in the world is smothered in black balls.
That video comes from an educational channel called Veritasium. It has nearly 36 million views. And because so many people watched it in such a short timeframe, YouTube’s algorithms essentially labeled it a must-see and pitched it to just about everyone who visited the site.
Derek Muller, the 36-year-old science communicator behind Veritasium, was perplexed. Why did that video go viral? Why was it on everyone’s recommended video list? And what are those factors doing to the YouTube ecosystem?
I’m obsessed with the plight of the YouTube content creator. Anyone who works with audiences or analytics in any form and in any industry should be. Consider this: Millions of people create work for YouTube every day. Their output is probably the largest on the internet. And many of them are incredibly entrepreneurial, tracking changes in consumer tastes and algorithm biases and responding to them in real time.
For anyone who produces work that is published online, YouTube is a petri dish that we can use to study our own work.
Muller explored his viral success in a later video and ended up with a theory that serves as both a cautionary tale and roadmap for success for all feeders of the internet beast. It goes something like this.
There’s so much content
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/tech-tools/2019/an-examination-of-a-viral-youtube-video-reveals-a-cautionary-tale-for-the-news-media/