7 New Lessons Learned From Doing A Video Every Day In April (Almost)

For the third time ever, I decided to do a video a day on one of my YouTube channels. This is the 2nd time I’ve done it on my channel related to “stuff”; the other one was via my business channel. I actually wrote about doing this video challenge on my business channel back in 2014, which you can check out if you’re interested in how that one went.

Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

This time around I have 7 different lessons I learned while doing it, because the circumstances changed from the previous two times. The previous two times I was alone; for the business channel I was in a hotel room out of town and for my other channel I was home while my wife was working out of town. Still, I got it done and I’m happy about that, and now I’m ready to talk about it via these 7 lessons… and not all of the lessons are good ones.
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YouTube’s “Not Eligible For Monetization” Context Problem

One day last week I was looking at some of my videos to see if any of them had reached my criteria for when I decide to monetize them or not. Some people say to monetize every single video but I’m of the opinion that if a video doesn’t look like it’s going to gain any traction then I’m just wasting my time and the time of other people.

Jørgen Schyberg via Compfight

You know when you’ve monetized a video already because there’s a dollar sign next to it colored blue. As I was looking at those I noticed that one of my recent videos had a slash through the dollar sign. When I hovered over it I saw this message: “not eligible for monetization”.

That meant it was time to do some research to figure out why some of my videos might not be eligible for monetization. The best I could find was something saying that videos might be disqualified for monetization (via Adsense) for the following reasons:

Video content violations

* Nudity, sexually explicit, or strongly sexually suggestive material
* Hate or abusive speech
* Excessive profanity or graphic violence
* Promotion of harmful or dangerous activities

Metadata violations

* Video thumbnails, titles, tags, and categories that are misleading or inaccurate

I knew none of my videos had nudity; even I don’t want to see me naked. Hate speech; I’m a minority. Profanity; I’ve never uttered a cuss word in my life (which I’ve mentioned multiple times over the years, in case you’re seeing this for the first time). And promote harmful activities; obviously they don’t know me.

I didn’t fit any of those so I researched further. The only thing I could find was this list of reasons why one’s video might be blocked, none of which apply to me:

* Video includes copyrighted content.
* Video is blocked worldwide.
* Video is blocked in some countries.
* Video has been taken down due to copyright strike.
* Monetization is disabled on your channel.
* Video is muted due to copyrighted content.
* Copyright dispute in progress.
* Video is blocked.

I decided to look for all the videos that they’ve decided aren’t up to snuff. Luckily it only came to 8 videos. These are them and what they’re about:

Is Your Experience Ruined When Your Friends Love Something? – In this video I talked about having your expectations built up because other people said how much they loved it, only to find it disappointing and not living up to the hype.

Diabetes, Doctors And Medication – In this video I talked about my last trip to the doctor and how she wants me to start taking medication to prevent something I don’t already have wrong with me.

Religion, Race And Terrorism – In this video I talked about all the hate speech that was flying around at the time, how religious people were doing most of it and how it connects with racism.

Why Riots Start – In this one I talked about the reason why black people were protesting all over the country because of so many killings of young black men.

Advice From A 50+ Person On Suicide And Depression – In this video I gave encouragement to a young man who, on someone else’s video, talked about wanting to kill himself, telling him that we all go through depression but there’s so much more to stay alive for.

Taking Unreasonable Risks – in this short video I used an example of something stupid I’d just done to talk about why people needed to evaluate risks before taking them.

09-11-11 – This was my recollection of my feelings of what happened on September 11, 2001 on the 10th anniversary of the date.

Is Your Online Content Decent? – In this video I talked about the reason people needed to make sure their online content was decent if they didn’t want to deal with the consequences of irking the wrong people.

Does it seem like anything is wrong with any of those items above? In my opinion no, but maybe I’m biased. In my mind, there’s either one of two things going on, one that’s quite irksome, the other maybe not as irksome but if true then YouTube (Google by extension) needs to clarify this point better.

Webtreats - 272 YouTube Icons Promo Pack
Creative Commons License webtreats via Compfight

The first is that they go off titles or keywords in making a decision that a video isn’t worthy of advertisements. I could see that in the two videos above where I mention terrorism and riots, maybe the one with suicide, but none of the others fit that category.

The second is that they might be trying to say that based on the titles they don’t have any advertisers whose products fit the titles or keywords mentioned. I could almost buy that one except I always see Google ads hawking different medications, I’ve seen movie ads about both depression and suicide, and diabetes ads are all over the place. It’s possible that the titles for the other videos might not directly hit any advertisers, yet I’ve seen tons of videos about cars and movies that have absolutely nothing to do with the video I’m about to watch. Still, if this one is their reason, they should at least own up to it.

One more thing. It seems that you can actually contact them to find out more… but you have to fit the criteria. What is the criteria?

I have no idea; all I know is I found a page, clicked on the link, and the response it gave me is that my channel doesn’t qualify for help and that I should look for information in their forum. Please tell me how a form is supposed to answer my question about a specific video? Maybe it’s because I’m about 250 views shy of 30K and I need more views than that to deserve special attention, but since when does customer service depend on how much someone uses a product, even a free one?

Obviously I’m griping but at the same time I have my wife’s words in my head once more: “If there’s a gimme, there’s a gotcha.” In essence, because I’m using a free service, they’re allowed to have their rules and really are under no obligation to tell any of us what they are or how they work, disregarding that Google mantra “do no evil”… if this can be considered evil, and that would probably be a stretch.

In a way, I guess it’s not as bad as when Google first decided to disallow Adsense on this blog because I wrote a post that had the word “cleavage” in the title, and then killed my page rank for almost 2 years because I ran some text link ads (which I was guilty of I admit)… because neither time did I actually care. It’s not that I overly care this time either, since I’ve only made about $10 to $15 dollars total over all these years (even on my one video that’s close to 11,000 views lol).

It’s just another little irksome thing that I suppose we have to deal with as long as we’re not paying for it. I just wish they were a bit more clearer in their explanations because it would be nice to know.

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Did My First Blab!

Blab is a new visual social media platform that encourages people to talk to each other, either by actively participating in a video stream with others or watching a live presentation going on and interjecting comments, props (as in “giving props”) or just watching the conversation take place. Yesterday I had my first shot at it.


Of course, I hadn’t planned on even trying it out just yet. I’ve been busy, and my computer wasn’t allowing me access to even watch it for some reason (well, I know the reason, but I’m not divulging it just yet lol). So, when Ileane Smith of Basic Blog Tips gave me a shout out and asked if I’d meet her in a Google Hangout, I wasn’t really thinking about Blab at all; after all, it was a Sunday afternoon.

So when we connected, she said she wanted to do a test run with me and it had to be on Chrome, since it’s optimized for them. That meant I had to sign into Twitter there (I use Firefox almost exclusively), because you have to first have a Twitter account before you can be on Blab. She walked me through the process of getting signed into Blab, shut down the Hangout, sent me a link to the Blab window and off we went.

Like probably anyone who’s been on a Google Hangout, you want to figure out what the differences are. In this case, the connection was quicker, and, unlike a Hangout, if you want to talk to up to 4 people at once all of you have your own squares so you can see and hear each other, unlike a Hangout where you mainly see the person talking while everyone else’s images are below. Since initially it was just Ileane and myself, we had the two two squares. Because she was also the creator, she closed all the other boxes so no one could come in or request to come in since she wanted me to see it and get comfortable first.

I’m not going to get into all the odds and ends of how the thing works, especially since Ileane did a video tutorial on it, which I’m showing below:


Ileane is also offering this explanation guide if you want more information on how to do things there.

Here’s my thoughts on it all. I have to admit it’s pretty cool to use. When you start a program, it sends out a message to all the people you’re connected to there to let them know you’re doing one. The chat message box is already on the side and has a column specifically for questions where, if people put “/q”, then a space and then their question, it pops up in that column so you know where they are to answer them. You also get to select the correct camera and mike if you have more than one, which I got to see when she invited this one guy in and Blab picked up the wrong items for him; very smooth indeed.

Oh yeah; you can record them if you want, and a neat feature is that you can pause it and start again, and it’ll pick up from there. That way, if you’re doing a solo project and you want to pause for any reason and start again, it’s like editing yourself a bit; that’s pretty cool. I don’t know where the videos go so you can load them up to YouTube, but I’m sure I’ll find out easily enough.

So, now I guess I’m on Blab, connected to 3 people. I’m still going to do Hangouts as well because not everyone wants to sign up for a Twitter account, but it seems easier to get them to sign up on Google Plus; no idea why that’s true. Still, for the interactivity, I have to admit that it works pretty well, and I will definitely be using it. Here’s the link to my Blab account, in case you want to check me out one day when I’m there. 🙂

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What’s Missing In Your Videos?

Talking video today, and what kind of video post would it be without a video?

Here’s a reality. Most videos on YouTube have very few visits at all. The reason is simple; no one knows about your video because it’s not entertaining. It may be informational but we all know that to make a video go viral, it takes more than that.

Of course it also comes down to purpose. If you’re looking to make educational videos to highlight what it is you do so you can put them on your website, that’s one thing. But if you’re looking to advertise your business it takes something else.

Living in the Syracuse NY area, I remember back in the 80’s when this guy came on talking about buying cars from his auto dealership. It was a cheesy local video, like most of them are, but one thing stood out. He didn’t say “huge”; it came out sounding like “Youge”. And within days everyone I knew was walking around saying that word.

The guy was no dummy; he graduated from Syracuse University after all. So, every commercial he made after that had him saying that word and making sure it was emphasized. He now owns multiple car dealerships across the country, and it all started with one word that entertained people, even if by accident.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video and of course share it if you wish. I’m not the most entertaining guy so this is the best I can do… for now. 🙂


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Reacting To Potential Negativity

We all have to deal with the negativity of others from time to time. That’s just how life is; nothing stays perfect for long, if it ever reaches perfect.

Diego Diaz via Compfight

Something I’ve always recognized, yet haven’t handled as well as I wish I had, is that sometimes the negativity I experience is more my perception of what someone else has done rather than their intention. Let me explain by using an example.

I have a friend I went to college with who was also my roommate in senior year. He’s a funny guy and we’ve always had a lot of fun together. However, he also has a mean streak that sometimes irritates me; he rarely used it on me, though it was back in college. He’s not the kind of guy who necessarily sees the best in people; some folks just have to live their lives like that unfortunately, but usually his heart is in the right place.

Every once in awhile he’ll comment on something I put on Facebook, as it’s the only social media thing he cares about. Sometimes the comment is relatively normal. Sometimes it seems, well, spammy, based on what we would consider as spam in blog comments. When he does that I get really irritated, and one day on the phone I asked him why he does that sort of thing. His response; he thinks it’s funny.

Here’s the thing. No matter what he says or how he says it, I’m responsible for my reaction to it. I know the guy, more than 30 years, and I know what he’s like. In person, if he said something I’d just look at him and move on. But online, sometimes I work too hard on protecting my reputation in public spaces when there’s nothing to protect. At least not so much that I need to get upset about it; who agrees with that statement?

It’s in that vein that I decided to do the video below because this past week I’ve been watching a lot of videos on YouTube that weren’t from my normal channels and I’ve been amazed at some of what I’ve seen and how people have reacted to it. Sometimes we really can learn something from young people.

After the video I’d like to know how you respond to negativity of others, both in public and online. I’m working on it and I’m getting better, but I’m not quite there yet; I have 50 years of stuff to work on. 🙂



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