I’m a little behind on my VidCon recaps (it’s almost been a month already!), but I wanted to bring you something a little different on the blog today: my VidCon notes!
I have a little notebook that I bring with me every year and fill up with notes while attending panels, but one of the worst things I tend to do is that when I get back home from VidCon, I never look at that notebook again until the next VidCon! In order to help me process what I learned a little better this year, I thought I’d share with you the notes I took this year. Be warned, some of them don’t make much sense to me now (What did I mean by just “backlays?” We may never know.) But hopefully you can decipher some of my gibberish to gather some information if you attended different panels or weren’t at VidCon.
Moderator: Blake de Pastino (Editor in Chief – SciShow/Crash Course)
Panelists: Dianna Cowern (Physics Girl), Michael Stevens (Vsauce), Sally Le Page, Henry Reich (MinutePhysics & MinuteEarth), Brady Haran, Kim Diaz (Creative Producer – Sesame Studios)
- What comes first? Fun or able to understand content?
- Learning is fun by default but you can mess it up
- Start from excitement
- Learning yourself and sharing your experience
- How much do you think about your audience?
- Who you make for and who watches your content can be different
- Science edu with 80-90% male
- Girls under 13 excited about science but it drops off as they get older → Why? How to change this?
- Makes for his wife (who will never watch) → Brady Haran
- Be a good interviewer and ask the right questions
- How do you reach people who aren’t seeking to be educated?
- Title/thumbnail (clickbait-ish?) → Vsauce suggestion
- We learn things all the time
- Hard to break into the media bubble
- People who don’t think of themselves as lifelong learners are more apprehensive
- Teaching humanities = teaching critical thinking
- Three Blue One Brown → a good example
- Mental Health Content = public service + don’t be ashamed to tell people when they’re wrong
Transitioning Your Channel into a Full-Fledged Business
Moderator: Phil Ranta (COO – Studio 71)
Panelists: Thomas Ridgewell, Mindy McKnight, Megan Batoon, Joe Penna, Benji Travis
- Megan Batoon (amalgam of talents, but what’s her business?)
- Thomas Ridgewell (office + 2 employees)
- Other Sources of Revenue
- Affiliates (recommending products/services; see Video Influencers)
- Speaker fees (issue-based YouTubers)
- Selling your own brand/business
- “Amateur needs inspiration, a professional needs discipline”
- Common mistake for new YouTubers: getting stuck and thinking it doesn’t change; “adapt or die”
- Clear voice and idea of who you are
- Business vs Personal income → create a business bank account
- Get attorney sooner rather than later
- Find friends to help you out
- “Am I doing what I love to do?”
- A team sooner rather than later
- 50/50 rule in job → pays bills/what you’re passionate about
Workshop: Video Production Shortcuts: How to Make Better Videos in Less Time
Presenter: Thomas Frank
- Channel to teach college students how to learn better and get better grades
- Thomas Frank → collegeinfogeek.com/VidCon
- Softboxes light to wall; small LED light for face
- Gorillapod → tripod head for all different tripods/places (makes it easier to switch out cameras/tripods/setups)
- Remote + power strip (for quick on/off)
- Need a “pre-flight checklist” before you shoot
- Overhead set-up → I NEED THIS!
- Make a b-roll list before shooting
- Create animation templates in AE
- “Preset Properties” → use for description
- Ripple edit → cuts out bad and moves forward
- Compression & EQ on audio
- Presets in AE → select animation keyframes > animation > save as preset
- Universe – Red Giant
- Animation Creator – Video Hive
- FX Console – Video Copilot
- Flow – AE Script
- Alias → set to shorthand
- Charisma on Command
- What is your art? And what is your ego?
- Frame IO → upload rough cut → make comments at time stamps
- Build standard operating procedures list
- Google: “Sources for Creative Commons”
- ICG slack channel → what do you offer? Advertise and collaborate
- MMO mouse
- Read through Premiere shortcut keys → so many options that aren’t even assigned yet!
Workshop: Branding Your Brand’s Brand
Presenter: Charli Marie
- Not just how it looks but how it feels
- Overall impression when on channel
- What’s unique about you?
- Who are you?
- What is your channel mission?
- Who is your audience?
- What impression do you want to give through your brand?
- What impression are people getting now from your brand?
- Inspire young women to believe in themselves & follow their passion
- 16-24 young women/students/like being creative
- Visual Identity
- Canva/Gimp → online photo editing
- Keep it cohesive
- Keep it simple
- Keep it you
- Dribbble.com → designers
- Write on effect in AE
How to Engage With Community
Moderator: Heather Wilder (Head of Creator Care – Patreon)
Panelists: Olga Kay, Trevor Moran, Ash Hardell, SuperSamStuff, Julia Nunes
- Olga Kay → older sister/mom
- Videos for Self / | \ Videos for subscribers (try to stay in middle ground; not too far on either side)
- Self-moderating community
- +1 system
- Choose moderators from most engaged fans
- Look up Sam (on panel) → what does he create? Smaller channel.
- Build a family type of community
- Protect against burnout; stop just short of burning out for some?
- Julia Nunes recommends Tessa for vlogs → “she’s the friend of vlogs”
- What one word would describe your community?
YouTube in the Classroom
Moderator: Angela Lin (Head of Family & Learning Partnerships – YouTube)
Panelists: Caitlin Hofmeister (Senior Producer/Host – SciShow), Henry Reich (MinutePhysics & MinuteEarth), Destin Sandlin (Smarter Every Day), Viviane Lalande (Scilabus), Teresa Mobley
- “Wow factor” to make them care
- Teresa Mobley → teaching teachers how to use YT in the classroom
- Google Classroom (?)
- Harder to work into curriculum → balancing lifelong learner and the classroom learner
- Show process of discovery and trick them into learning
- “Nerd is the new awesome”
- YouTube kids app → finding edu content on their own
- Can’t make changes to video without re-uploading → this is a problem! Why hasn’t YT fixed this yet?
- Watch – Know – Learn → teacher approved content (website to connect YT creators + teachers)
- Ed Puzzle → add questions with video
- One video = one objective
- Keywords that link to standards
Art & Online Video
Moderator: Sarah Urist Green (The Art Assignment)
Panelists: Didda, Beth Radloff (SNARLED), John Le, Jamie Wells (Visual Jamie)
- Didda → imagination
- INFJ → “counselor” → inspire & motivate people; “older sister”
- Visual Jamie (Twitch)
- Beth Radloff (Snarled)
- Hate comments hurt most when it’s actually about your work.
- Joshua Tree → camping
- When work takes creativity, you will burnout/run out of creative flow
Hank Green & Phil DeFranco Fireside Chat
- Not hitting the levers (for money) that they could → out of fear
- It’s hard to launch a business, easier to launch from something
- What’s a step between having audience and monetizing → need your own thing to make money
- Never be beholden to one website (aka revenue source)
- Can be fruitful to blaze your own path (when other platforms are supersaturated)
- Patreon = safe base (because you can’t base a business on virality)
- Still trying to innovate after all this time and to influence/motivate people
- Less about motivation and more about discipline (Long Term Success)
- It’s a marathon not a sprint
- Snacked (?) → video responses
Search & Discovery on YouTube: Tips for Success
***Article in creator academy with this information****
**** bit.ly/YTdiscover ****
- Audience not algorithm
- Long term engagement and satisfaction
- Deliver on promise of your title + thumbnail
- Avoid over sensational/outrageous catches
- Over 200 million videos on the home feed every day.
- Search → title, description, what’s in the video itself? (tags apparently aren’t super important anymore)
- Show best video for that query (is it relevant to keyword)
- Write robust descriptions
- Use trends in the keywords
- Develop a search based show (e.g. Scishow)
- Put misspellings in tags
- Suggested Videos
- Stronger call to action
- Consider sitewide popular formats
- Spend time as a viewer
- Put yourself in the shoes of the viewer
- Look at Home + Subscriptions feeds
- Subscribers (all areas)
- Ask for subs @ the emotional climax
- Upload when you think they’re awake (at school? work?)
- Educate viewers on how they’ll get videos once subbed
- Broad mass appeal content
- Getting views outside of this list
- Try to show videos in “Trending” section before they’re trending
- Viral video strategy
- Has video in the past trended?
- Mobile push + email notifications (highlights)
- Over sending notifications can make them unsubscribe
- Educate subscribers
- Treat them as superfans (bell ringers)
How to Get the Most Out of Snapchat
Presenter: Shaun McBride (Shonduras)
- Creating stories with payoffs rather than updates about your day
- People loves series
- Getting people involved → building something with “family”
- Don’t overuse “shout outs” because it’s a detriment to your voice
- Can’t go viral → you must have a plan to reach a larger audience
- How to stand out?
- You don’t get views from sending out your snapcode on other social media accounts
- Get featured on internet as “person to follow on snapchat”
- “Emails from mom” (insert silly face)
- Snapchat wars
- About perception rather than # of subscribers
- Work smarter not harder
- Create a unique strategy
- Move to next platform (consider it like the next level)