Why make YouTube videos?

Today I spent several hours sitting at my computer tinkering with editing software in hopes to developing a new “highlights” video that I could place on YouTube tomorrow.  While battling through the trials of syncing audio with video clips and filtering through gameplay footage to find the short segments I hoped to use in the video, a question popped into my head.  Why on earth am I using up all this time to make YouTube gaming videos?

So, why make YouTube videos?  It is a question I asked myself a couple of years ago as well when I first thought of the concept and ultimately chose not to pursue.  However, a few months ago, October to be exact, after prompting by one of my friends I decided to create a few videos in which I analyzed and discussed my competitive matches.  There were two reasons I chose to do this:  to better explain my gameplay to my friend in hopes of helping us both improve our gameplay and because I simply wanted to play around with video editing.  Obviously, I have never taken any classes that would properly introduce me to the world of video editing I simply watched a few YouTube videos and then jumped into the Movie Maker and gave it a go.  In a way, I had a leg up on some first timers in that I already had recording hardware/software thanks to my Nvidia graphics card and Movie Maker was already installed on my computer and being a gamer I already had a headset with a microphone so the only thing standing in my way was simply editing the video.

Needless to say, my first video was and will forever remain a piece of “art” that I shared with my friend alone.  They enjoyed it and asked me to create another video though this time I was to use their gameplay which I would gather by spectating their match.  Again, equipped with my simple tools I went to work and created another masterpiece.  I ended up making close to eight videos before I realized that I enjoyed making the videos, but I felt limited by both my knowledge and resources.  As such, I made a small investment and purchased some mid-ranged video editing software and upon first using the software I simply fell in love.  The next 5-10 videos I made improved dramatically and it was at this point that it was suggested that I place one or two of them on YouTube for the public to see.

As we all know, doing things with or for family and friends is one thing but to present your work to the public is a completely different animal altogether.  Obviously, I was not too keen on the idea but after much prompting, I uploaded my first ever video to YouTube.  I mean what did I truly have to lose considering the only thing anyone would ever know was that Ncommunicado posted a YouTube video, not to mention the fact that YouTube is over-saturated with gaming videos to the point mine would likely never be seen by anyone.  Sadly, the latter proved true and left me feeling a bit downtrodden.  I mean, I did not expect it to go viral or anything close to that, but I at least thought it would receive at least ten views.  What I received was four total views after being “public” for nearly two weeks.

After my disastrous opening exhibition, I decided to dig into things a bit further and quickly realized that this was the norm more so than an oddity.  Without assistance or that glorious moment in the sun kind of thing where you catch YouTube gold, a new YouTuber has a massive uphill battle.  However, if you do your research you will eventually find that you are not alone in the fight.  There are other new and struggling YouTubers just like yourself, as well as several new yet more successful YouTubers who are doing all they can to try and help you along.  For me, I found a website called YTtalk which is a community where YouTubers can share their experiences, strategies, expertise, and their work with other members of the community in hopes of promoting themselves as well as others.  I am sure there are other such communities on the internet that I have not yet tapped into, but I am new at this and am still learning the ropes.

All-in-all I have been uploading videos to YouTube for less than a month, though I started recording and editing back in October.  Since the leap I have found that I tend to edit video or analyze gameplay footage more often than I actually play games, which is surprising and eventually could prove problematic if I run out of material.  However, it shows that even though you may have zero previous experience and marginal practical experience you can still try your hand at something new and still enjoy the process.  While my initial reaction to my videos small view count was discouraging, it has not derailed my enjoyment of the process.  The main reason for that is, most likely, because I did not start making videos to become YouTube famous or to make money, I started doing it because I found it interesting and enjoyable.  If I continue to only have a few views on each video, I am fine with that because I know for a fact that one of those views will be from my friend and ultimately they are the main reason I started making videos in the first place.  As long as we enjoy them and I continue to enjoy the process then I will continue making these videos and tossing them on the internet.

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