I have to admit: I’m just not that into making online videos.
Sure, I’ve logged countless hours watching YouTube, Hulu, and the like since January 2007. But my YouTube account has remained empty. Don’t get me wrong, video certainly has it’s purpose and place, I just never felt those things align for me before.
There are lots of reasons:
- It can be time consuming.
- I don’t really like how I look or sound on camera.
- I prefer the written word for learning.
- I’ve never really much cared for the available stats or video search capabilities.
In fact, looking at the online video analytics for videos of friends and colleagues literally made me cringe. It felt like I was teleported back to the days when we just counted “hits” and WebRings were filled to the brim with lovely counters.
The most in-depth analytics we get with online videos is tantamount to: “This video got 4 stars and was viewed 59 times.” Fascinating! Not. What good is that besides just an ego boost/blow?
Did people watch the whole thing? Did they click on links? Was it too long or too short, or just something that no one was interested in?
If you were lucky, you could glean some of this from comments. Assuming, of course, that you had any and that they weren’t of the usual low-brow caliber. If you weren’t so lucky, the average contributor on YouTube was mostly left in the land that tracking forgot.
This past December the keyboard on my aging Asus F3 laptop broke. I scoured the Internet, but couldn’t find anyone with step-by-step directions on how to replace the keyboard.
Eventually, I decided to go for broke and see if I could figure it out myself. I ordered the keyboard and when it arrived a week later I went to gather my trusty tools of destruction, figuring my laptop may never see the light of a BSOD again. Lo and behold, right above my trusty PC toolkit was my little digital camera. Nothing fancy at all, really, and probably about the same age as my laptop, but at that moment I had this crazy thought:
“Why not make a how-to video?”
I mean, isn’t that what I advise other people to do? Perhaps it would actually help someone. Maybe if I did a little SEO with it, I might even rank. The market, niche as it might be, seemed wide open.
But how would I track its effectiveness? Would I just look at how many hits it got? Would I check its rankings in the SERPs? How would I figure out who searched for what and from where if I just put it up on YouTube?
Was that some secret metric hidden in the YouTube star ratings? Perhaps they’d send me a decoder ring in the mail when I uploaded my first video.
Please tune in to part two (coming soon!) wherein I receive my secret YouTube online video analytics decoder ring.