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The Curious Case of My YouTube Channel

youtube logo in my article The Curious Case of My YouTube Channel

A while back, I took on a common endeavor among movie enthusiasts.

I decided to rewatch my favorite movies.

I have an irrational dislike for IMDb, but I do use a similar service, MovieLens, for personalized movie recommendations and to keep track of movies I’ve watched.

MovieLens is non-commercial, ad-free, unbiased, and written and maintained by a research lab at the University of Minnesota. It also has some pretty cool stats like:

  • Rating distribution – I’ve rated 419 movies and given 197 of them 5 stars.
  • Popularity of your rated movies
  • Average rating per genre
  • Unusual Dislikes
  • Unusual Likes

My Unusual Dislikes include Dr. Strangelove, The Passenger, Into the Wild, Match Point, Gravity, and Taxi Driver. Do not yell at me.

My Unusual Likes include Down to You (5/5), Scary Movie (5/5), Shark Tale (5/5), and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (5/5).

To people who dislike Scary Movie… who hurt you?!

I’ve included my MovieLens ratings on the Movie page above. I scrolled through that list and watched some of my 5/5 favorites.

Reader, the experience was not enjoyable.

I watched Léon: The Professional and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

To me, art is interpersonally subjective, so not only does its value depend on the eye of the beholder, but it also depends on the time the perceiver came across said piece.

I’m a firm believer that art pieces aren’t dormant creatures, but we transform them just as much as they transform us.

Just like 2 people can read the same book and despise it or love it respectively, the same person can read the same book in 2 different periods of their life and have completely different opinions the second time.

I stared with total contempt at these 2 movies that I had considered “my favorites” for years.

But today isn’t about this at all. Yes, I like keeping you on your toes.

I just like the title of that movie and found it quite fitting for the curious case of my YouTube channel.

It’s not the longest, most profound story, but one I felt like sharing.

My YouTube history

I’ve watched YouTube videos ever since I had a computer with internet access. WiFi wasn’t a thing yet back then.

However, I never considered switching to the other side, the ~video creator~ side.

There’s so much I can express when my fingers touch the keyboard. I feel more “myself” in written form.

If I had to record myself and have a camera in front of me as my thoughts form, I’d be adding an unnecessary hindrance. 

But a few months ago, getting a little FOMO from seeing everyone wax poetic about the benefits of videos (opportunities, bigger audiences, money), I recorded my first Instagram Reel. It did well (3.5K+ views). 

For my first Reel, I used a section of How Hard Conversations Help You Grow & Why You Should Have Them as Often as Needed.

My first Instagram Reel: 4 reasons why we avoid difficult conversations

With a smile on my face and my dad’s sweater on, I pointed to lines of text that I retrospectively realize moved too fast to be 100% legible.

What are my videos about?

A lot of my Reels derive from my articles, albeit very small sections of them.

Some were me reacting to audio clips that I loved, namely from Schitt’s Creek, Kanye West, and H3H3.

Others were timely, me reacting to people reacting to people being excited about the snow, or me reacting to people who tell people who’ve gained weight that they’ve gained weight (why?). 

That last one was the most viewed, 14K times. 

Remember what I wrote in Paradoxically, Show Views Double When We Feel *This* Emotion (Analyzing 431 Series):

For dramas and reality shows, various expressions of “hate” by viewers were the strongest emotional indicator that TV show viewership will increase for the following episode, according to a study by data-analytics startup Canvs.

Let me say that again.

Hate is the strongest emotional indicator that we will watch another episode, and the next, and the next. 

For every 0.1% increase in “hate” answers, viewership increased. Views almost doubled for “hate” answers in comparison to “love.”

Unsurprisingly, this applies to many other things too: online content, gossip, the news. 

Talking shit, even talking shit constructively about something, gets you views. It’s no surprise me shit-talking Trump and me shit-talking MLM/Forex scammers are also some of my most viewed vids.

The Curious Case of My YouTube Channel

Back in March, I was helping a client with her YouTube channel. YouTube had introduced Shorts, its TikTok clone. So, one day, I said why not and posted my Reels on YouTube.

I didn’t share my YouTube channel with anyone. People who were already subscribed to my newsletter or following me on Instagram wouldn’t find anything “new” or “exciting” there.

I also just forgot about it, to be honest… until it got weird.

Here are some strange facts. 

H, 5 months ago: Well what was the point of this then

Me, 4 months ago: You’re telling me this is the first time you’ve seen pointless things on the internet?

V, 4 months ago: not to this extent, no

M, 3 days ago: youd be better off on tiktok or youtube shorts

Someone said, “You definitely can get it, I’ll say that much.”

Having a long-form-ish blog, I’ve had the privilege of not being subjected to reduction like most short video creators are.

As I said in Do You Believe in Miracles?:

One of the many good things about writing and publishing something new every Sunday for everyone to see is that I have the privilege of being a person with nuanced thoughts online. Since I own the narrative here and I’m the editor, my story includes all parts of me, making it harder to put me in a box.

So I’m not scared to write about woo-woo subjects that make me look like I believe the Earth is flat. My readers know I’m down to earth. I hope you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt to talk about space from time to time.

It was odd, albeit funny, to get dislikes and have those “conversations” above.

It’s even funnier because I posted and forgot, then some people were like, hold on, hold on, this won’t fly here.

Because I hadn’t shared my channel with my readers or anyone, for that matter, I didn’t really care to respond, delete or explain.

A (now) dear friend of mine mentioned that when she first found my page, she loved the community feel of it and how reading it felt like being part of something.

I loved that because I do feel deeply responsible for my corner of the internet, the conversations that I allow and encourage here.

But my YouTube channel? Nahhh.

Did I thoroughly explain the point of my video to that one person who asked? Nah.

Did I bother explaining to that last commenter who said: “you’d be better off on tiktok or youtube shorts” that I am automagically on YouTube Shorts if my videos are under 60 seconds? Nah.

Even though social media has almost completely desensitized us to numbers, I try to maintain some perspective. Having hundreds of people see your things (when you haven’t even “promoted” or shared them anywhere where people would be interested in them) is quite trippy, especially when their feedback is quite different from the one you usually get. 

One of my favorite nutrition YouTubers posted a video reacting to comments in her What I Ate Today shorts playlist. Drawing inspiration from the comments, the video is titled My Diet Is Garbage And So Is My Face and is pretty amusing.

The algorithm shows Shorts to people who aren’t looking for our niche content per se, so of course, we get mixed reactions.

Me: You're telling me this is the first time you've seen pointless things on the internet?
V: not to this extent, no

This is extremely amusing to me.

Last time you heard from me, I said that “I’m eager to try new mediums, deliveries, and ways of expressing myself while staying the same self whose musings you’ve grown to enjoy and look forward to every Sunday.”

Well, one of those new mediums and ways of expressing myself is a podcast!

The first episode of The Inner Dolphin Podcast is live on all streaming platforms… and on my YouTube channel as well. Subscribe wherever you get your fix & let me know what you think. Do I pronounce a word weird?

I’m starting with some reader favorites, specifically with the most-read article of the year.

People really loved this one so I figured I’d make it more accessible for those who prefer listening to reading.

My plan is to publish a new episode every week.

I hadn’t shared this anywhere until now.

I’m looking forward to you all hearing my voice (LOL cringe, but cringe is good)!

I’m looking forward to having new people who’ve never heard of me find my episodes and share their thoughts! Pinky promise that I won’t make a whole article about your comment. This was a one-time thing.

I’m excited to be a person on the internet in this specific space, I’m happy you’re here with me, and I’m excited for all that’s coming.

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