There are two types of YouTube users...

...and I fit into both categories (sort of)

There are people who create content and people who watch content. Some do both.  And in this world where social media is accessible to almost everyone, anyone with a camera on their phone can become an 'overnight YouTube success'. This means that almost every other article I see promoted is all about how to grow your YouTube channel or how to be successful on YouTube - and not one article has anything new to tell me - it's all about subs and reviews and collabs and daily vlogging and having a theme and scheduling.  So my previous blog post was all about how not to win at YouTube but I wanted to expand further on my thoughts.

There are two types of YouTube users...

The first video ever to have been uploaded to YouTube was called 'Me at the zoo' and was from one of the co-founders of the platform. It was uploaded on 23rd April 2005 - a mere 69 days after YouTube was officially created (yes, YouTube is only 11 years old).  I uploaded my first video not long after on 24th February 2007, it's just slightly longer than an Instagram video and is essentially a vlog from my (then) 8-year old son talking me through a Lego boat he had created.  

But the truth is, hindsight is a wonderful thing and sometimes I wish I had run with the idea of vlogging back then - even alongside writing this blog. I was already uploading little videos just so I had somewhere to keep them as I am notorious for corrupting digital files. On my first channel there are oddities that are only relevant to my family and one video that I filmed as a joke review. The account is now locked after a lost password and a deleted email account but at least I can still watch those memories.

As you may have guessed, I'm fascinated with the growth of video content online, who is creating it, how they are creating it, who is watching it and how much money is generated through a variety of methods of monetization. A lot of my interest comes from my obsession of people-watching and social engagement and wanting to crack that code. But is there a code to be cracked?

I feel that I don't have a face that fits and I don't have the necessary equipment to make high quality videos. Or maybe I'm not communicating my ideas effectively. Or I'm just not connecting with a potential audience properly.  Or is it just that I'm too old to ride this wave and I have to accept that I was born maybe 15 years too early? Whatever the reason, and however much time I put into my YouTube channel (to be fair, it's not a lot of time), I cannot make it 'grow' in line with the success rate that is being suggested in the abundance of previously mentioned 'How To...' articles.

The 'overnight successful vloggers' that are currently hitting the headlines have been uploading their content since the very beginning too - it's only now that we have more accessibility to online communication, and that our tween and teen generation are clued up on this thing called The Internet, that visual content is currently King. The vloggers that have millions of subscribers have been learning their 'craft' for a few years now and a rare few were using the right tools at the right times and have a face and personality that fits.

It is not, however, for everyone, and no matter how hard some people try, they cannot replicate the on-screen charisma that other content creators make look so easy. But everyone has a chance to try - and we all pray for that one viral video that will bring fame and fortune. In the meantime, I'll occasionally have a dabble and keep on watching the abundance of content that is uploaded day after day after day.

Don't forget to have a read of How Not To Win At YouTube


How Not To Win At YouTube

Everywhere I look, someone is trying to tell me how to grow my YouTube channel or how to be successful on YouTube. Bollocks to that. This is the antithesis of that advice as surely YouTube is just for the young and the beautiful?

How Not To Win At YouTube

How Not To Win At YouTube

  • Don't start until you are 40 years old. These young'uns know nothing worth watching
  • It might be acceptable to start at age 30 though.
  • Never EVER ask anyone to like your video or subscribe to your channel. Needy, much?
  • Don't have a niche. There's no need. Just be random and unprepared.
  • Don't have a schedule.
I mean, do you switch on at a specific time to watch content exactly when it's uploaded?
Or need to comment with "FIRST"?

  • Don't vlog every single day.
  • Or if you do, make sure you moan like fuck about how difficult it is,
  • And make sure every vlog is the same.
  • And use one of the first three available music options from the YouTube media library.
  • And have the volume just a little bit too high.
  • Ensure you call your viewers "You Guys".
We don't want them to feel individual or special or anything.

  • Don't bother about how much light is available.
  • If using a mobile device to record on ensure that you move it about a lot.
  • And have the main subject just slightly off shot.
  • Don't show things up close to the camera to let viewers get a closer look.
  • Or if you do, make sure you put your hand behind the item.
  • Then remove it before the camera focuses on the item.
  • Then wait again for the camera to refocus on your face.
  • All the time thinking out loud about why the camera never focuses properly.
  • And don't bother editing that bit out.
  • But do edit all the um's and aahh's out so there is no proper flow of chat with all the jump cuts.
  • Add closed captions and subtitles - it picks up exactly what you are saying like MAGIC.
  • Yes, really...
  • Talk. For. Ages.  I mean, a really long time.
Everyone has time to watch a 20 minute daily vlog about nothing special, yes?

  • Never use keywords - we talked about being not needing to be found in searches, right?
  • The same goes for using playlists and channel trailers. A huge waste of time.
  • Never create an enticing thumbnail.
  • Use that random still that YouTube selects where your mouth is open and your eyes are shut.
  • Ignore all advice about 'collaborations'.
Who has the time or the money to travel up and down the country anyway?
And any channel with under 10,000 subs is hardly worth your time, are they?
  • Don't have a real job.
  • After all, YouTube *is* your job.
  • There's no need to share your video anywhere else on the internet,
  • And who knows what that embed code is for...


5 YouTube Channels You Should Be Watching In March

I was recently reminded of one of my old blog posts - my oldest YouTube favourites - and considering YouTube itself is only just over 10 years old, I'm always grateful that people have clung on to film/television/music clips and uploaded them for us to enjoy.  Also, as YouTube has developed, it has become a platform for anyone and everyone to be a broadcaster, or a film maker, or a musician, or... absolutely anything on camera.  Content is uploaded to YouTube at an alarming rate - 300 hours worth of content PER MINUTE, according to this great article which means the good, the bad and the downright awful is out there waiting for someone to enjoy.

I'm always on the lookout for new channels to subscribe to so I thought I'd start an occasional series that recommends different types of YouTube content for you to enjoy. I've selected one video from each channel to showcase as an example but these are channels that I really look forward to seeing appear in my subscription list over and over again. I've also tried not to be too obvious with my choices.

5 YouTube Channels You Should Be Watching In March

The Vlogger

If you're not already watching Casey Neistat then what the fuck are you doing with your precious online time? I've been watching Casey's videos for almost a year - probably since just after he started daily vlogging and just before he made the announcement about his social media platform, Beme (which STILL isn't available for Android. gggrrrrr) although I had seen a couple of his viral mini-films without realising they were made by him.  I don't #fangirl over a lot of people however Casey is just so engaging and innovative and does a lot of 'behind the scenes' stuff which just makes him more engaging and innovative.  Get watching NOW! 

The Music

Or rather... no music in this instance. I saw a #withoutmusic tweet scroll past in my Twitter timeline early last year but it was only last month that I found out that I'd caught House of Halo's very first creation.  I've chosen the opening to the TV show, Friends, to highlight their work but have a look at all their videos as they are genuinely genius!! 

The Opinionist

I caught a few of Jazza John's videos a while back, subscribed to the Rhyming With Oranges channel but didn't delve in as much as I should. Just by chance, I clicked on this one and everything he said resonated with how I currently feel about a lot of YouTube content. He is a huge advocate of LGBT issues but also talks about politics and technology and I'm looking forward to his upcoming series from his travels to India. 

The Stationery Lover

I went through a whole period of watching 'What's In My Bag' videos and this one from palest blue appeared in my recommended videos. I spotted a Filofax in the bag (I'm very observant...), looked at the other videos on the channel and loved the 'show and tell' planner set up and flip-through videos.

The Random

Because science... and pain... and slow motion. Watch The Slow Mo Guys with or without the kids and enjoy. They even take requests!! 

Your Turn...

Recommend me some really great YouTube content to subscribe to. You know the type - stuff that you really, really can't wait until the next upload. It can be a daily vlogger, a comedian, a singer, something educational, a beauty blogger... absolutely anything - the more random, the better!. 

Did you enjoy this? I've got a whole subscription list of weird and wonderful stuff.  I could recommend channels every couple of months if you want?  Let me know!  

You can also subscribe to me on YouTube if you want... 



I don't know how to start this without being all sensationalist about it but the tongue-in-cheek clickbait title is designed to get you reading so here goes.

I've spent the last few days mulling over the 'what if's' after an urgent referral to have a weird lump on my finger investigated. The main aim of this was to determine that it wasn't a cancerous tumour but sometimes it's the unsaid that makes you think the worst. Only a handful of people knew where I was going today although a few more have seen the recent dressing on my finger and tried to probe (no pun intended) as to what was wrong.

Let me backtrack slightly (this is the gory bit).

The papercut thing is true.  I had a tiny nick on my finger (left index finger, on the left hand side of it, just below the nail) sometime after the New Year.  It healed up with a small scab but the scab never really fell off.  A small lump formed behind the scab and didn't stop growing. Plus it kept weeping and bleeding.  It was more of an irritant because it was growing at the side of my finger

My initial thoughts were that I may have a cyst that I could pop on film which would go viral on YouTube however a quick trip to see the nurse practitioner at my local doctor's surgery didn't diagnose anything specific other than it should heal up / dry up if kept exposed to the air and a course of antibiotics wouldn't go a miss.

The lump seemed to stop growing but it was hurting.  A LOT. I finished the antibiotics and examined it. The edge of the lump seemed to have come away from the finger and was attached by a 'root'.  It was temping to try and pull it off but just moving it around made it hurt even more and just a small knock started the bleeding again.  I kept it uncovered for a while but occasionally it was more convenient to cover it up - to stop it from getting nudged and also for aesthetic reasons. I was going through plasters and gauze at an alarming rate.

About a week after I finished the course of antibiotics, the lump started to grow again.  This time it was growing rather quickly, had become more sore and was still bleeding. I left it another week then had to go and see the doctor again.  He was so concerned about it that he put in for a dermatology referral there and then, prescribed another course of antibiotics and advised me to keep it covered up - this time giving me some proper dressings. This was on the 25th February.

The next day, I had a phone call from the appointments team requesting that I come in today (2nd March). In between then and now the lump has grown another 50% however the NHS wheels turn very quickly when they need to and for that I am so grateful.

So that is where I have been today.  I've been informed that the lump is most probably Pyogenic Granuloma - so I'll let you Google Image search that one although I do have some pretty gory photos of my own - and the cause of it is unknown. I've been told that the lump probably isn't a tumour but there is concern about the size of it and the rapidity of its growth so it is to be removed fairly urgently by a plastic surgery team - as in next Wednesday. It will then be tested just to make sure.

My emotions are all over the place. I started off in denial (jokes about having fingers taken off - that type of thing), to not really believing what the specialist said today because she only looked at it and never touched it or poked at it with a big stick, to just wanting to get the whole procedure over and done with. I'm very much in a FML mood at the moment, veering between wanting to forget all about it and wanting to get horribly drunk and bawl my eyes out. It's all the 'probablys' that are making me over-think everything. Plus, you never really realise how much you use your non-dominant hand's index finger until you can't use it.  It's my best nose-picking finger for a start and I've deleted so much of this - not because I didn't want to include any of it but the dressing that I'm currenly having to wear is so big that I keep hitting two keys at once...  #firstworldproblems  

I have no idea how to finish this without pretending to be upbeat or without being melodramatic so... to be continued...


Is the UK Property Market reaching Breaking point?

Is the UK Property Market reaching Breaking point?

While we are used to property market growth in the modern age, the extent at which this has unfolded continues to be both surprising and worrying in equal measure. Given that this exponential rate of growth continues to outstrip national earnings, it is little wonder why there are fears that the market may be reaching breaking point in terms of sustainable pricing.

To put this into context, let’s take a look at the incremental monthly percentage increase that was reported last month. The Land Registry recently reported that property prices rose by a staggering 2.5% between December and January, which amounts to a cash sum of £4,732. This is the largest monthly increases recorded since June 2002, while it has pushed the average house price in England and Wales to £191,812.

This does not even take into account the city of London, where prices continue to spiral out of control and grew at an annual rate that is double the national average at the beginning of the year. This amounted to an annual increase of 13.9%, with the average home in the capital now costing £530,409.

In terms of regional monthly increases, houses in Wales saw the biggest hike as prices rose by 3.7% to an average of £125,665. Conversely, England saw more marginal monthly growth of around 2%, but this still represents an impressive increase over a period of just four weeks. Overall and throughout the course of the year, property values increased by 7.1% in England and Wales during 2015.

These statistics underline just why there is such a housing shortage in the current market, as constantly spiralling price points are encouraging home-owners to hang on to their real estate assets in the near-term. This incredible and sustained growth has therefore eradicated the sell house fast phenomenon in the UK, while enabling the small percentage of home-owners who do sell to access huge demand and a captive audience that has little choice to pay over the odds.

While this has underpinned excessive (and disproportionate) price growth and driven the market forward, however, it appears as though we may be approaching a breaking point in terms of future activity. After all, prices are not growing in accordance with earnings, meaning that sustained monthly increases such as the recent example continue to push real estate beyond the means of typical buyers. We may now be at a point where the market begins to stagnate and grind to a halt, and artificially increased prices force a larger demographic out of contention.

This is a huge concern, while it underlines how growth can be so misleading in a complex market such as real estate.

The question that remains is whether the government’s buy-to-let and affordable housing initiatives can make an impact before the market reaches its saturation point, as otherwise we could be set for a significant collapse. The onset of a global recession could exacerbate this, so there are plenty of reasons for home-owners to remain cautious in the current climate.

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