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A YouTube/Twitter Experiment

16/04/2009

I’m posting this as it’s an interesting experiment into the use and broadcasting of YouTube videos.

Just after getting married last year, I horrified my wife by buying a Playstation 3. After setting a few ground rules, I manage to get a reasonable amount of gaming in. It’s a great way to leave the real world for an hour or so.

I’ve been playing Killzone 2 quite a lot. A really well made game. As a young sprot, my (mostly absent) father once left me with his video camera. I and a friend had heaps of fun making home movies with a variety of characters and sketches, a la Monty Python, the Fast Show, Not the 9 ‘o’clock News etc.

This love of film making has stayed with me and I decided to combine this with my gaming experience by setting the camera up in front of the tele (very hi-tech I know) and creating my own gaming video.

I published the video to YouTube and immediately started getting a smattering of responses, probably helped through YouTube’s “latest video” listing in the gaming section. I then decided to look at how I could promote the video. YouTube actually gives a fantastic amount of insight into the demographics behind your visitor viewers, so I would be able to see where the views were coming from.

So first, I viewed a few other similar YouTube videos that were quite popular and then used this to fine tune the title and description of my own video. This would help people searching through YouTube to access my vid. Note that a lot of people are spamming their own descriptions with all sorts of drivel by filling them with “keywords” that may even have nothing to do with the video, just to get more viewers. I’m really not a fan of this as this will ruin our ability to track down the specific video we want to see.

Anyway, I the joined a few gaming forums (there are a crazy amount of gaming forums out there) and posted a message in each, introducing myself, explaining what I was doing and of course, included a link to the video.

Finally, I turned to my Twitter account. Through a bit of research, I found out that there is an official twitter account for the Killzone website (Twitter ID killzonedotcom). So I sent them an @reply message letting them know I had made this video and giving them the link. Despite over 500,000 people owning a copy of Killzone and 1,925 following killzonedotcom, they responded fairly promptly with some kind words and then even RT (re-tweeted) my video link to their followers:

Epic “Face Mine” video by @marklincolnhttp://tinyurl.com/caguls

So my original tweet, picked up by my 100 followers although targeted to one account, was turned into a broadcast to almost 2,000 followers from actual Killzone officials. Certainly gave a bit of weight to my initial message. This, in turn, was actually retweeted by followers of Killzonedotcom across the world.

Youtube then gave me the ability to see where all of these viewers were coming from:

As you can see, a few people found the video simply through browsing through YouTube, but a massive amount came through external links. These would be the people who clicked on the link in the Twitter message or the forum messages.

YouTube even show you the “attention” viewers gave certain parts of your video on a graph that runs in realtime alongside your vid. They also show you which parts of the world your visitors have come from:

The strong following from Australia and New Zealand could show the results obtained specifically from the gaming forums (whch were Australasian based) plus the Denmark viewers could be from the Twitter followers of the Killzone official on Twitter, as the developers of Twitter are based in that region.

I can also see that my video, having been released 3 days, is now:

and the sites that link to my vid include:

Ironically, the two forums listed are actually two forums I have never been to. One appears to be Danish and the other is from Barcelona. The posts were made by two different people; one who found my video through searching YouTube and one who found the vid by following Twitter.

All very interesting stuff. It’s easy to see how this information can be used to improve viewer numbers of future videos in more business orientated operations. Alas, it seems I have built up a fan base of people that are expecting even more from the next video! Better get to the drawing board.

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