Paul’s Hardware Inadvertently Illustrates The Need For Show Flow

“If you don’t have flow, you don’t have a show, because if you don’t have flow, your show feels slow.”

Sometimes we run into this sort of stuff without even knowing we’re brushing up against it, as this video from Paul’s Hardware earlier in the month illustrates if we take a closer look.  Just because Paul runs a big tech channel doesn’t mean he’s immune to the need for show flow.  He just runs into these sorts of things with bigger numbers attached.  🙂

Before you even click on the video, whether you searched for Ryzen info or see this off to the side in the related videos panel, you’d already know from the metadata that it’s a video from Paul’s Hardware and it’s about Ryzen overclocking.  🙂  Otherwise you’d see it immediately as the video started playing.  🙂

Nice short intro aside, the video starts with “welcome back to Paul’s Hardware.  This is my second Ryzen video where I’m going to be talking about overclocking.”  Yes, as we just got done seeing in the metadata when clicking over to it!  Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  😛  On a more serious note, the first 20 seconds are what some video entertainment folks refer to as “hook time” which is the time you have to hook someone before they resume their digital channel flipping as they try to find something to watch – one reason why I did away with TV style intros at the beginning of every single upload and provide some context first if I keep them in the script.  🙂

It’s good to tell people what you’re going to be doing, which Paul does after the video starts but the PC build recap afterwards holds things up.  It shouldn’t be hard to use an end screen or description link for easy access to the previous video.  Matter of fact I’ve been experimenting with a trapezoid end screen with previous and next in the lower left and right corners with the remaining one or two slots for links to other content on the channel.  There’s no need to take minutes to get to what people clicked on the video to see!

To recap, this is a video by Paul’s Hardware about Ryzen overclocking.  Joe Viewer knows about all of this before ever clicking the video.  How long does it take for Paul to actually get to some Ryzen overclocking instead of acting like this specific video is the one and only video he has ever uploaded on YouTube?  🙂

Skip.  Skip.  Skip.  I’m now using my skip bar and the channel is losing watch minutes.  Oh look a spreadsheet. Woohoo.  All those flashy video thingie options on YouTube and I get to stare at Excel!!!  Yay I should just go back to the office.  😛

…and then, there’s Notepad.  Skip.  Skip.  Skip.  😛  Oh look.  The BIOS.  More hot menu action!!!  Although this is technically part of overclocking but this sort of thing is one of the shortcomings of over-the-shoulder tech videos.  Yeah it’s like being over a friend’s house watching them mess with a computer, but YouTube lets you pre-edit before uploading if you’re not streaming live.  This wasn’t a stream.  Why wasn’t it edited?  There will be at least a few people who take issue with that.

This video is a little over 23 minutes long.  You could technically say the bumping around in the BIOS is technically the beginning of the overclocking – 7 minutes in.

Fortunately, the testing picks up from there, but if you’ve noticed the background music by this point in the video you might know that one of the things background music is used for is to distract someone from how much time they’re wasting waiting for what they really want, like when used in a doctor’s office or restaurant.  In the doctor’s office you want to see the doctor about something.  The waiting room background music, magazines, etc., distracts you from the fact that you’re sitting around waiting to see the doctor.  Likewise in a restaurant when everything from the decor to the music to trying to have small talk with someone if you’re not in the restaurant by yourself to even poking around on your phone is to distract you from the fact that you’re sitting around waiting for what you really want – your darn food!

Now contrast this to something like Green Ham Gaming, which narrates things out and makes an entertaining story out of even something as mundane as goofing around with a 1st generation Core i7 Dellasaurus.  🙂

Even better (which might be hard for some people to imagine) is a new channel I recently subscribed to called TheWolfePit, which is similar to Ashens with YouTuber versus cheap food but more cinematic and directed.  This channel tries cheap foods with a lot less beating around the bush than something like Wreckless Eating, but there’s a place for videos about a bunch of friends shooting the breeze with some goofy food dares.  🙂

Some folks have complimented me on some of the changes to what I upload that takes things more in this direction, and let’s just say I’m not anywhere near short on inspiration to do so.  🙂  At the same time, Paul’s Hardware has inadvertently illustrated just what a lack of show flow looks like by taking nearly half of a 23 minute video to get to the overclocking that folks on YouTube are looking for when they click on that video.

Not all of this is YouTubers’ fault though.  The site’s roots as something resembling a more video-y form of social media and with vloggers ruling the roost unfortunately had the unintended consequence of normalizing certain kinds of behavior that are inherently antagonistic to show flow, such as a big long intro, or talking a lot at the end of a video (which traditional “calls to action” eventually became) or even the informal nature of what sitting in front of a webcam meant back when YouTubers were just talking to each other via video uploads.

YouTube also rides the wave of this stuff with their advertising system with those automatic mid-roll ads that certain videos display, which often slaughter the show flow by abruptly stopping what you’re watching and hopefully you don’t end up waiting for an unskippable ad to finish interrupting what you were watching.  However, because bad show flow was tolerated on YouTube in “the good old days” people stomach it, so it’s a thing.  :-\

These days, bad show flow finds its home on live streaming services where you have no ability to edit things down, but in environments like YouTube where editing beforehand is more of an option, it makes sense to make more use of it.

Regardless, even from a Semper Reformanda perspective here in 2017, show flow makes all the sense in the world.  🙂

No InsanePresence, It’s Called Show Flow, And You Need It On YouTube

This embed has playback on other websites disabled like the last one suddenly did awhile after I posted my last entry on this matter regarding his channel.  No big deal though – just click over to it and watch it in another tab or do left-right side-snapping in Windows 7 or 10 for easy cross-referencing, but it’s time for a followup to one of my earlier discussions about Show Flow, a necessity on YouTube that even the bigger YouTubers screw up these days.

First off, regarding being picked apart, welcome to the rotten side of YouTube’s “tech community.”  I’ve dealt with this crap regarding Linux, AMD/Intel, Console Replacement PC Gaming, the works, and so have others.  Tech Of Tomorrow had that line earlier when trying to talk about the Ryzen in a previous video – “You people make it suck to be on YouTube.”

Indeed, and yet the story doesn’t end there.  There are also constructive tech lovers on YouTube who watch tech videos, leave constructive feedback or shoot the breeze in the comments, so dismissing the entire demographic is very much a form of painting with a broad brush.

Yet in spite of me mentioning show flow via mentioning that most likely the issue was that he acted like a Twitch streamer in his YouTube video, it’s most unfortunate that InsanePresence swung at the low hanging fruit like the ad hominems from tech video folks instead.

Earth to IP – those “triggered tech video people” watched your video because it looked like a tech video.  Let’s post it again, even though playback on remote sites is disabled.  We don’t need to play it anyways – just look at the thumbnail.  🙂

The title is “AMD Ryzen is the NEXT BIG THING!”  The exact sentiments of numerous pro-AMD bloggers and vloggers covering the Ryzen launch.  The thumbnail looks like a tech video, even though the processor was something else, and it uses big fonts and a Ryzen logo.

Small wonder both YouTubers and the automated systems that pass the content around thought it was a tech video… until they tried watching it and encountered the nasty surprise that it was a Twitch streamer just shooting the breeze about it.  😛

This is a simple case of missing on demographics, which is now a new Post Category on this blog.  Everyone has to answer the double-barreled questions of demographics:

  • Who do you want to attract?
  • Who do you want to repulse?

This discussion attracted the wrong people, not only in terms of tech video versus gaming video, but even in terms of laidback nonchalant discussion like one would have on Twitch versus YouTube’s tendency for folks to favor produced content, a.k.a. because if you have an edit button, you should use it since you can edit things beforehand, unlike in a live environment.  🙂

Show flow matters – regardless of our opinions and feelings on it.  It’s just most unfortunate that I now have to wonder if my constructive feedback has been lumped into “most of these people have no leg to stand on.”  Likewise, hindsight is 20/20.  This whole “I never meant for it to be a tech video about Ryzen” thing after the fact is on par with the early YouTube vloggers who would tick off a bunch of people with one of the things they said in their vlogs and then spin around and say, “Uhhhhhh, but I was just acting.  I’m only playing a character!”  Ah cool, because there are characters named VloggerDude3302959493 (ahhhh number names – remember those?).  😀

Based on my constructive feedback being ignored in the followup I’m going to consider this a reverse troll situation where someone ignores their opponent’s valid points just to keep arguing and shut everything down here.  It’s just different to see this behavior from content creators for a change.  Anyhoo.  🙂

“Skip Intro” Means Netflix Is Getting Ahead Of Some YouTubers With Show Flow

Yesterday I hopped on the mic for a podcast about show flow, which described show flow and detailed some examples of YouTubers struggling with it.  It’s also the reason why show flow is now a category on this blog.  🙂

Today I encountered the CNN Money article about the new Skip Intro button that Netflix is rolling out for binge watchers.  If you’re playing catchup with a TV or Netflix series you can now skip the “what some would call redundant” show openers.  🙂

It’s fun being right.  🙂

Television is a natural go-to for inspiration on how to make YouTube uploads for many of us multimedia types who goof around with it, but today we find TV in a rather defensive position compared to the classic shows most of us might have grown up with.  Even around the beginning of the “Flash Video Revolution” when YouTube finally found a way to make hosting video online into something other than a site killer via bandwidth costs we found TV shows adapting to the changing demands for show flow in the time slots.

Oddly enough, though I’ve been exorcising childhood demons so to speak via making fun of soap operas through allegorical spoofs like World Of The Nerd Couple, it’s actually the daytime soaps with their decades-long runs that illustrate the progression in approaches to television to reflect show flow the most.  Take As The World Turns for example, one of the shows that my sitters when I was little always had on when I got home from school (the more common one being Guiding Light in the 3:00 PM timeslot).  Not a lot of opener changes, but enough over the show’s 50+ year run to showcase quite a bit of things that TV has seen happen over the years that have forced changes to production material.

The rise of Web 2.0 video in the 2000s was just another nail in classic TV’s coffin.  It’s important to remember when watching this or other classic TV shows that VCRs weren’t a thing until the 80s, so big long intros helped you not miss when your show was coming on if you had to run into the living room or something or your clock wasn’t set right or you were running late.  Once on-demand options started to appear though, the big long show intro started to become something that wasn’t really needed anymore, except if one was trying to be traditional and hold on to the way things used to be.

As The World Turns reacted to this the most.  Note the last entry in the final years before the show was cancelled.  Just *POOF* the spinning globe and the show starts, since the people following the daytime drama scene probably already knew who all the actors were.  The declining revenue from daytime drama probably contributed to this as well, but I can’t really explain such a radical drop in complexity in the show intro without at least thinking of YouTube.

Likewise with credits at the end of these shows.  Prior to HDTV if you wanted to roll credits they had to be big and take quite a bit of time, but when HD became a thing not only could the credits shrink but they could be off to the side and not even take up the whole screen anymore, as we see today.

Just for fun, here’s that YouTube channel’s Guiding Light opening compilation video.  More revisions to watch, but I couldn’t mention this stuff without showing this as well.  You see more details fleshed out as the changing TV landscape prompted revisions of the production material, including some times where they got too close to fashion and fads and the intro became dated rather quickly, like when the show went Disco.  😀

For today’s YouTubers, show flow matters more than ever before.  Classic TV’s style might be a good thing to have fun with every so often, but it should be a phase that comes and goes.  Much has changed since the 80s and 90s, and even the 2000s with the rise of mobile devices and people “watching TV” on smartphones as they walk around cities or wait for buses/trains/etc.  Not since the introduction of the VCR has this landscape been this radically altered.

New landscape or not – it’s still workable for content creators today.  🙂

YouTube Tech Videos – GET TO THE EFFING POINT!!!

…and people complained about my 30 second intros last year…  😛

(EDIT – Aaaaaand remote playback is now disabled, so feel free to throw in that extra click and keep reading.  🙂 )

Yakkety yakkety yakkety yak and then there’s an intro after a minute and a half.  😀

Now for the actual serious commentary part of the blog entry.  🙂

This video from InsanePresence represents a lot of things that led to me making the decision to join the “Green Ham Revolution” and become more cinematic with my tech videos.  I was already telling a story with what I was uploading versus the big channels with their overpolished overproduced one-off review or speculation stuff, but my storytelling had too much rambling – especially at the beginning.

One of the longest running bad habits that YouTube’s roots inherently encouraged was back in the more social media-esque days of the platform that sitting in front of the camera talking was an automatic excuse for what my college radio buddies would call “bad show flow.”  There was always talk about the “flow” of your show and that to keep it interesting you should keep things moving and not make people feel like your show is constantly getting stopped, snagged, or sidelined.

YouTube went in exactly the opposite direction in its early days.  Everybody had a webcam or digital camera, and most of the mainstream content on the site was basically like what Facebook’s videos or smartphone video clips are today.  Produced content was a step beyond most of what folks were doing, even when the vloggers tried to dress up their video blogs with TV-style intros (usually done in Windows Movie Maker, but still intros).

Fast forward to this actual decade, and at the very same time that so many people have moved squarely into more produced content and better flow in their videomaking, remnants of the rambly days remain – or come over from other popular sites.  In this case I think InsanePresence is a Twitch streamer who didn’t realize that Twitch streaming and YouTube production are very different things in terms of one’s approach.

This video would be good for a platform where you basically hang out with friends and shoot the breeze over the Internet.  YouTube isn’t that – at least not anymore.  You can edit – ergo you should edit.  Likewise with planning what you’re going to say.

It’s not just Twitch streamers like IP that are doing this though.  This was only a very extreme example.  There are smaller versions of this in numerous tech videos that I’ve seen over the last few weeks and months – rambling that has led to me not only regularly using my skip bar but now having a preference for produced cinematic tech content like Green Ham and others who’ve taken similar approaches.

Really when you think of it, a lot of the things that have annoyed me on YouTube have been damaging to “show flow.”  Nag Calls To Action kill the flow at the end of the video.  Automatic midroll ads (which I’ve committed to never using and I hope YouTube axes them) kill the flow right in the middle of the video, usually arbitrarily via a fade.  Some other ads damage the flow like the banners that have to be closed 5 seconds in, but the bigger culprit for standard advertising is when someone peppers ads every 5 minutes on a long upload.  Greedy punks.  Had quite a bit of that with people reposting election speeches during the election last year.

It’s all about show flow.  When you have flow – you have a show.  This is precisely the reason for my channel changes, and represents me catching up to what YouTube has become these days.  The RadioStyle podcasts with their “crank the volume and listen while doing stuff around the house” approach will be the last bastion of this stuff on my channel apart from my vlogs, and even the podcasts are planned in advance and I try not to go on too many tangents.  The vlogs are just bluh on the side for whoever gives a darn.

By the way, 630 words later and I still haven’t listened to IP’s entire video.  😛  The video looks like one of those tech discussions except for the length being 15 minutes instead of 5, but when one clicks on it, they find out the hard way that it isn’t.  Hence the negative response.  😦

This is also one of the reasons why I recommend bypassing all the commentators and going straight to AMD for the info on the upcoming launch (which sadly isn’t showing up on Google Search results anymore because of all the more recent YouTubers).  Skip all the speculation – skip all the personal opinions – skip all the “waxing eloquent” – and get your info from the source.  That’s what we’ll end with here.  🙂