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.  🙂

LinusTechTips Is Gonna End Up With A YouTube Thumbnail Art Gallery… :-P

I’ve had my yay yays and neigh neighs with LinusTechTips over the years, but today has shown that there’s always something new around the bend.  😛

While I find some of this channel’s videos interesting from time to time, I also see a lot of what hurts tech videos on YouTube get standardized here, and apparently the latest controversy involves whether or not the channel’s thumbnails these days have crossed the line into “clickbait.”

Clickbait?  Really?  I’m thinking more along the lines of the thumbnails getting so outrageous that people start going to this channel’s page to gawk at thumbnails and not actually end up watching videos.  Let’s peruse the LinusTechTips art gallery, shall we?  :o)

In this corner, we see the veritable CPU Barfer Of Dooooooom!!!  😀  I don’t want to know what this guy barfing CPUs had for breakfast this morning. 😛

The Future Of Offline Gaming?  Oh deary me.  This looks more like PewDiePie playing Yahtzee.  Dice dice everywhere and a guy freaking out just for views.  Bro Fist!!!  😀

Alas Ye Knave!!!  I Shall Strike Thee Down!!!  😀  Computers meeting Renaissance Faire gobbledygook.  Woohoo.  Is the damsel in distress up the tower some kind of big pink HTPC?  😀

Don’t worry, Linus.  Your secret is safe with me.  :o)  Nobody has to know that you were merely framing a funky picture in front of Furmark instead of causing Fire And Ice Nuclear Armageddon… 😀

Awwww such a lovely bonding bromance between a big dude and a little laptop.  At least you two got a room, but be careful not to short anything out when you give it a ring.  😀

Whoa!!!  Dude!!!  It’s BLUE!!!  =-O  Totally saw it in Tron 30 years ago!!!  =-O  Tubular!!!  =-O  LOL.  😀

That computer’s way too young to be needing a computer version of a colonoscopy…  😛

“That was one heck of a scuba dive.  Oh wait…”  😀

By the way, I’ve only watched a grand total of ONE of these videos.  Perhaps at some point later on I’ll carve out the time, but for now I think chuckling at the thumbnails will be entertaining enough.  😀

I think I might know why YouTube traditionally hasn’t been too keen on folks going nuts with thumbnails…  😀

LinusTechTips Shows Why I “Don’t Want To Make Tech Videos”

In some of my administrative rants about the state of YouTube these days I’ve gone after people saying I should do nothing but tech videos with responses that tech videos are nothing exciting nowadays, and there are far too many tech videos on YouTube that are what I like to call “digital YouTube Ikea.”  Mass-produced, overpolished, seen-one-seen-’em-all videos, and in some cases, videos that do nothing more than rattle off what you can already read for yourself in an article or maybe even on Amazon.com.

After seeing LinusTechTips get blasted in his comments section once before about “all your video did was rattle off the tech thingie’s specs on Amazon” or something like that, you’d think his team would take a hint.  Apparently not, and keep in mind in all of this, canned videos like this are why smaller channels like mine can’t get views because folks like me “aren’t good enough” when stuff like this becomes the standard.

Published on January 4th.  Meanwhile, the previous day on January 3rd…

Ars Technica – Intel Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake Review: Is The Desktop CPU Dead?

There you go.  You could read the article, and skim if need be and be informed that way, or send it to your mobile device and read it on your own time, or you can receive the exact same information in an 8-minute blurbfest from Linus’ talking head or whoever his host happens to be… at least… 8 minutes counting the in-video advertising that Linus’ folks sneak up on you with.  Hopefully you deprive this channel of watch minutes once I spoil for you that after the second said in-video ad it’s just the usual bugging people to subscribe YouTubeSOP crap.  By the way, they even tested on the chip on the EXACT SAME MOTHERBOARD that they snuck in a plug for!!!

Spoiler Alert – I Prefer You Glean This Knowledge Of Intel’s New Pillow Processor From Ars Technica!  🙂

Mass-produced stuff like this is why YouTube changed up their algorithms.  Unfortunately for channels like mine which chart their own course and don’t get wrapped up in that SOPbabble, in the public’s eye these videos are still the standard.  When does that change?  Ridiculous!

YouTuber Spotlight – Hak5

Technically “Hak5Darren,” but we can get past silly technicalities when talking about the longest running tech show that I’ve been interested in on YouTube – ever.  🙂  Hak5 is a hacker/security/modder/tinkerer show that in no small way has influenced The Wacky World Of MultimediaJay and its more offbeat approach to things.  Plus their distinct lack of drama and insistence on keeping ownership of certain rights when joining networks has contributed to the show’s longevity in a day and age when even web shows can be cancelled on a whim like it’s still TV (TekZilla -> TekThing anyone?).

Two freebies for those wondering about this show’s influence on me.  The raster clips for time lapses in my videos hail back to the early days of Hak5 when they still called it “Hak Point 5” and “Jay’s Geekhouse” was at least partially inspired by the old “Hak 5 House.”  🙂

Channel Overview:

Hak5 was first introduced to me as a hacker show which doesn’t do the show justice.  It’s more along the lines of tinkering with things.  Part of that of course is hacking and network security, but I’ve also seen my fair share of mods, voiding warranties, snooping around “under the hood” of certain devices, and even iconic pet named tech thingies like the WiFi Pineapple.  🙂  Calling it a hacker show clouds what the show’s about and gets people thinking Hackers Vs. Security Admins at Defcon or something.  😛  Needless to say, as one of my favorite shows of all time on YouTube with a ton of longevity to boot, it’s definitely worth watching. 🙂

What First Got Me Watchin’:

Hak5 is basically the last remaining show that I still watch from the IPTV Introduction I watched on TechAnvil’s long gone channel back when he was doing Tech Vlogs in 2006.  (The exception being TWiT, which was audio at the time as Leo had returned to his radio roots).  Yes, we’re talking about vintage YouTube here from when I was first getting started 10 years ago, a.k.a. back in the day.  🙂  Nowadays the video is a who’s-who of shows that aren’t around anymore – except Hak5 of course.  🙂

The show being described as “hack scene” kind of veered me away for a bit due to my more multimedia presentation focus, but ultimately my curiosity got the better of me…  🙂

Fun stuff.  I was thinking I’d be looking at a Linux command prompt for an hour, but in my younger and dumber days (emphasis on the dumber) the idea of “hacking” meaning modding something was… a tad of something I hadn’t considered.  :o)

I actually sent the USB Hacksaw to the security admins at my 925 at the time and they were like, “Whoa hadn’t thought of that.”  Been paranoid about USB Autorun ever since.  🙂

By season 3, Hak5 was a show I wanted to binge watch.  Screw Netflix.  😛

I made plans to binge-watch from the beginning, and….  I’m still making plans all these years later.  😛  Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh lol.  :o)

I still watch the show, but just not in the way I wanted to back in the day…  🙂

The Hak5 Channel Today:

Besides still being around, Hak5 has become an umbrella of sorts.  Today they’re hacking things in 2 seconds apparently…  🙂

For things that just can’t wait until the next Hak5 show, they have ThreatWire, the first of their other shows I found out about.  🙂

TekThing is under their umbrella too these days.  Makes me wonder if the Hak5 folks are out to rival the TWiT network…  🙂  So long as what happened with Revision 3 doesn’t happen with these groups anytime soon.

This entry has been a long time in coming, but here’s to wishing all the best for Hak5 for decades to come.  🙂  They also have handled team changes exceptionally well too, so I’d say they even serve as a great example of how to develop a show like this in the first place.  🙂

Let’s close with a recent experiment of theirs with 360 degree video.  Cool stuff for the up-and-coming VR technology out there.  🙂

Trust Your Technolust indeed.  🙂

Dear Spoiled Internet Babies, EVERYTHING On The Internet Is “Clickbait” :-P

So I recently decided to have a little fun with one of VWestlife’s recent videos where the small little thumbnail made it look like he upgraded an old laptop to Windows 10, until you found out that he really didn’t.  😛

Predictably, the term “clickbait” showed up in the comments, as it has in numerous other places.  Did WatchMojo and BuzzFeed release a bunch of new videos that are rolling around social media?  You can bet someone will say “clickbait.”  Are YouTube vloggers tearing into each other trying to start drama for views?  You can bet someone will say “clickbait.”  You can’t take two digital figurative steps into the world of online journalism without that infamous c-word popping up somewhere from the looks of it.

A friendly reminder to people who are so quick to use these terms that are practically becoming memes unto themselves.  EVERYTHING on the Internet is clickbait!!!  If you go to all the trouble to host something online, you obviously aren’t hosting it online and paying any assorted costs or spending any assorted time, etc., maintaining your web presence just for your health.  No.  Of course you want people visiting your website and you want to know how you can entertain/inform/etc. more people in order to do so!

20 years ago “World Wide Web” page makers coding in raw HTML talked about their site getting “more and more hits” much like someone getting high or running a pop fluff radio station might say today.  I have news for people thinking any of this process has changed.  It hasn’t.  😛  Websites are still all about the hits!  If you go to the trouble to pass something around online, do you want it not going anywhere?  Nope.  Didn’t think so.  Anyhoo.  😛

Oh wow.  Content authors are doing something totally expected online and folks want to call it “clickbait.”  Rubbish.  How spoiled can people get?  😛  If you want to use the term clickbait, how about reserving it for extreme examples where you’re blatantly getting trolled, like this gem from 10 years ago that actually was featured on YouTube’s front page for awhile because of how much it was being passed around…  😀

Clickbait is a term that should be abolished.  Anyone putting something online is probably engaging in the behavior in varying amounts.  What’s next?  Calling water splashbait?  😛

The Last Remnants Of TechTV Are Outta Here

Ahhh TechTV, the now-ancient predecessor to today’s G4 network and many of Revision3’s shows, which brought us the monolith of geek culture via some form of mainstream video entertainment, is finally just about wiped out.

I remember the hour-long versions of The Screen Savers and Extended Play which morphed into today’s X-Play while The Screen Savers eventually became Attack Of The Show, and most of TechTV’s top talent eventually moved over to Revision3 or YouTube.  Now, it finally looks like it’s over for even those two shows, so the last remnants of that golden age of geek TV are history.

Quite frankly, I’m not too bummed out.  I really think if TechTV and now these remnant shows hadn’t been ended they would’ve been killed by new competition anyway.  I mean, for geeks like myself who care more about cable internet than cable TV with what broadband can do these days, why mess with traditional TV at all when all this IPTV geek show stuff is on demand online and can be either RSSed or directly-viewed on YouTube or sites like Revision3?

Yet even still, with these changes and G4’s eventual rebranding underway, how much of this old tech vlog that got me into these online geek shows back when I was first getting into YouTube back in 2006 is still relevant?  Any of it?  Times have definitely changed. : -)

Oh well.  Let’s have one last round of the classic Screen Savers theme song just for old times’ sake. : -)