Archive News: Update On The Archive Video Project

Bah! Bah to you, writer’s block! BAH!

Anyway, I did have some stuff to talk about regarding my goal of establishing a channel on YouTube. I’m currently gathering audio equipment slowly but surely and trying to hammer out the format that I want to present in. I’m currently leaning towards the format popularized by fine people like MovieBob, the earlier videos of Gaijin Goombah, and others where still-images are used as avatars for my emotional state (no camera, remember).

I think those of you reading will appreciate a format like this since it gives you the option of looking at pretty pictures, but you can always look away and just listen to the audio if you’re watching while you work at the office. It’s also a fair bit closer to the old radio talk show format that I used to work with in college, so I’ll be operating from a zone of mild familiarity.

At this point, I’m still green when it comes to the editing and production process, so I’m not sure how long it will take to publish videos on a regular basis. I’ll be looking up some tutorials for Adobe Audition and Adobe Premiere in the meantime while gathering requisite materials. If any of you would like to help by recommending tutorials for me to look at, I’d greatly appreciate it.

While I do that, I’d like to recommend two other hard working artists in the field of social commentary that are farther along than me and could really use your help.

The first is The Voyages; a channel that’s equal parts philosophical debate, psychology lesson, and Galaxy Quest. The show follows the adventures of Captain R.L. King as he travels the universe in search of the deeper meaning of our favorite Sci-Fi stories. His essays provide a lot of insight into the way we tell stories.

Next, there’s The Obscure; the ramblings of a white wig wearing, pot smoking, LSD dropping, jaded, weirdo hipster dedicated to cataloging and analyzing the memories of the past that are only just on the periphery of our vision. If you appreciate my broad range of topics, you’ll likely enjoy his musings from behind those mysterious shades and insane grin.

These two are small channels still and could really use your help to grow; The Voyages has only just begun its journey (no pun intended) and the fact that The Obscure only BARELY has more subscribers than I have followers here on WordPress should be a mortal sin. Go check these guys out and show them some love. I hope to be counting myself among their ranks soon.

3 Generally Awesome YouTube Channels

You know what, I’m still reeling from illness and haven’t talked about anything positive for a while. So, let’s shout out some talented people.

The last time I had something nice to say about YouTube was when I shared a trio of channels for the artsy DIYer. Today, I just want to go off on three channels that had nothing in common other than just being a lot of fun and offering something nice and/or useful to the viewer. So, let’s just get happy and celebrate some cool people.

The Obscure

The tongue-in-cheek review has been a staple of internet entertainment for as long as most of us can remember the internet. However, they’ve almost always come from a stance of crapping on old media for laughs.

The Obscure stands out from the horde of angry reviewers by demonstrating genuine nostalgia for the things of the past that mirrors the fond memories that we have for our favorites-gone-by; offered through the character of someone with all the enthusiasm of someone who probably shouldn’t have dropped the brown acid at Woodstock.

While the goofy comedy is the primary draw, The Obscure does occasionally drop some insight on us; showing how these things long-forgotten helped shape popular consciousness today.

AvE

Here’s a little something special for the handymen in the audience.

AvE may be a little to foul-mouthed and rough around the edges for some, but for me, he more than makes up for it with his knowledge of tools and machining.

AvE combines his experience as an engineer with his glorious and uniquely Canadian sense of humor (“skookum as frig,” has become one of my favorite phrases) to teach us the nuts and bolts of making your way around a DIYer’s workshop. In amongst his workshop tricks, he also works on his series, ‘Bored Of Lame Tool Reviews’ (BOLTR for short) where he disassembles and analyzes everyday tools and appliances to determine if they’re actually worth your money.

CGP Grey

An American-born teacher living in England, CGP Grey is the kind of person you want to run an educational YouTube channel; someone you genuinely enjoys teaching and believes that knowledge can change the world.

CGP Grey covers a broad swath of topics including modern technology, civics, politics, and geography while explaining in clear terms why these things are so important to know and how they affect us. Overall, he’s very good at making you care about what he’s saying with a calm, mellow, and charismatic voice.

He also has a podcast with his friend Brady at Numberphile if you need more knowledge dropped on you by people WAY smarter than I could ever hope to be.

Three Types of YouTube Channels I Can’t Stand

“WHY WOULD YOU PUT THIS ON ME!”
Source: The Daily Dot

I’ve expressed my deep love for YouTube content creators of all types in the past. The fact that there exists a platform for young creative minds to get their ideas out in a fun and entertaining way (and get paid for it if they play their cards right) is an absolute positive. Even when we complain about policy or interface changes, we still keep coming back because – at the end of the day – it’s the producers creating informative and amusing shows that are the real heroes.

That said, there are some types of channels that just shouldn’t exist; the ones that garner millions of followers despite how horrid they are.

So today, let’s talk about how to sacrifice talent for fame on YouTube and examine a few channel archetypes that frustrate me with their poor quality and paradoxical success.

Commentary Videos

I may have mentioned in the past how I dislike Commentary videos, but for those who haven’t heard, let me fill you in.

Commentary Videos are essentially VERY low tech Vlogs that replace the man/woman talking into a camera in their living room with a backdrop of video game footage with their commentary dubbed over it; hence the title.

I actually understand the existence of this genre; setting up a YouTube career is a pricey investment and you need to cut corners sometimes. But if you’re just going to talk into a mic for half-an-hour, why not just do a podcast instead of wasting the potential of a visual medium? Even musicians on YouTube are kind enough to display lyrics on screen if they can’t make a video.

Also, most Commentary Video creators have a bad habit not editing their audio. The result is a lot of dead air and pauses that infuriates people like me who crave information-dense material.

And why is it always video games that serve as the backdrop? Why not shoot a walk through the park on your smartphone or play some royalty-free/fair use compliant stock video clips that relate to the topic? At least throw some spiffy images on the screen for visual humor from time to time.

Again, I get the need for this kind of video on a technical and budgetary level, but there’s a certain level of success one reaches when you need to start stepping up your game and put more effort into your craft.

Reaction Videos

Okay, not all Reaction channels are bad. In fact, the good ones provide a sort of psychosocial service by simulating the sense of community you get while laughing at stupid videos with friends.

But you want to know what the worst reaction videos often forget to do? REACT.

It’s shocking how many videos there are that just have the host/hostess in the corner saying or doing nothing while the video they “react” to runs uninterrupted. At that point, you aren’t adding anything to the original content. and what do we call it when you use someone’s work without adding to it in any way? That’s right, kids; PLAGIARISM.

This is another case where the judicious use of editing could save a video; Simply cut out the dead air and remember to emote to what’s happening on screen. You’ll be far more entertaining and people will be encouraged to seek out the full video – thus supporting the original creators.

Basically, if you must be a Reactor, try to be more like Chadtronic.

ASMR Videos

What’s that; You never heard of ASMR? Well, it’s short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s that tingling sensation you get when you hear certain sounds. Some people apparently find it soothing and relaxing.

We had ASMR stuff back in my day… back when we called it WHITE NOISE.

This is another example an audio-centric medium that wastes the potential of being hosted on a visual platform. But that’s not the worst part; That would be the CREEPY AS F*** whispering that people often do while making these things. There’s a video of a guy whispering into the microphone while running a knife across his beard and it seriously feels like I’m being seduced by a serial killer.

I’m not sure if this is a problem for other people, but ASMR isn’t soothing for me; it’s a fear response. It’s the chills down my spine when I hear leaves crunching in the woods or the dull roar of a crowded room that prevents me from hearing what’s behind me. It’s my sign that some funky S*** is going down and I need to get the F*** out of there.

I hope to start a YouTube career myself some day and if I make a video like the ones I described here, I give you all full permission to demand I pay you for a round trip ticket to Manchester, New Hampshire just to give me one of those little tiny flicks to the crotch that barely makes contact but hurts twice as much than if you just kicked me in the nuts.