Born On The Platform: How YouTube Creates Experts Out of Amateurs

YouTube Experts

A scene in Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper depicts both boys, visually identical, peering in the mirror, marvelling at the apparent absence of difference. Today, YouTube serves as such a lens, providing a platform for today’s amateurs to place videos adjacent to those of established stars. Some amateurs, no longer ‘unknown,’ use YouTube to immense success; some amateurs outperform established stars regarding metrics such as shares and views.

YouTube creates experts out of amateurs, and here are tidbits on how the latter party helps the process along.

Partner Program

People aren’t grabbing camcorders and hand cams (just) for fun or conjuring mini vids to send to friends and family members. Some of the more popular amateurs are making a serious income from using YouTube’s partner program, where advertisers get placement on popular videos and channels. 

One such popular video blogger, with 125,000 subscribers (subscribers get alerts or emails about new videos upon publish) and millions of views per month, is estimated to receive around $4,000 each month for engagement.  (YouTube and the actual blogger declines to mention specifics, a term understood in the Partner Program contract.)

Next Up

The above YouTube ‘star’ was a contestant and winner in YouTube’s ‘Next Up’ event, accelerating the growth of future YouTube stars.  If it’s mere PR for Google, the world’s most-popular search engine provider in addition to producer of a treasure chest of products and services, it’s working well, creating marketers out of a growing and excited army of users.  Whether, ‘real’ professionals give YouTube’s critique or its stars any credibility is a question, but to those previously unknown amateur ‘stars,’ the experience feels very real.  Next Up provides four days of professional training in New York along with a $35,000 prize (very palpable, indeed).

Born on the Platform

Google, taking ownership of YouTube in 2007, hosts 72 hours of uploaded information each minute, astounding numbers considering video camcorders did not exist decades ago.  With technology and products come platforms and new opportunities for today’s amateurs.  All it takes is a dose of courage and thousands to millions of interesting and invested fans.  As judges of YouTube’s contest use as a metric, the amount of traffic coming to a video speaks volumes about the amateur’s ability to stir and entertain a capricious but fair public.

Being ‘born’ on YouTube’s platform is not far deviated from amateur-to-star trajectories taking place on mainstream television. Shows like American Idol proved to producers and the world that people have an immense interest in amateur talent, and, as always, people love a rags to riches story.  One winner of YouTube’s contest formerly lived at his parent’s house, an admitted ‘college dropout.’  The platform’s opportunity changed his life and the way he thinks about himself.

As a number of online platforms encourage authors to ‘self publish,’ YouTube urges amateurs and pros alike use its resources to become the world’s next recognizable face and personality. 

YouTube’s uploading platform makes it easy even for people without editing software to make their videos more appealing and professional, offering features like noise reduction and video stabilization. Video downloading software like YTD allows performers to download and convert videos for use on their devices for practicing and perfecting their art. Little resources and next to nothing investments are needed to become a video star in today’s connected world.  Who’s next?

Change The Embed Color Of YouTube Video Player

The YouTube video player uses two colors, default color which is metallic white and another one is a dark theme. If you are using IFRAMEs to embed YouTube videos on your blog, then you can easily change the color of the YouTube Video Player by adding a new parameter called theme to the URL.

YouTube team says they will make the black color video player default within few weeks, so if you are a fan of light color theme, you do have a option.

For Light Color Video Player :

<iframe width=”620″ height=”490″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/MITwhfvnWPU?theme=light” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>


For Dark Color Video Player :

<iframe width=”620″ height=”490″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/MITwhfvnWPU?theme=dark” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Check Out YouTube’s New Look – Cosmic Panda

YouTube, having tonnes of videos, are not worried about anything but their design. Right now they are experimenting with various designs. Latest one is YouTube Cosmic Panda. Seriously you’ll love it.

You can expect the following features in the new YouTube,

  • A new experience for watching videos and playlists.
  • More page designs and better editing tools to customize your channel.
  • Keep watching when moving between videos, playlists, and channels (Chrome only).
  • Stylish new look and feel.

YouTube Cosmic Panda

If you are not interested, you can always go back to the older design by returning to Cosmic Panda and selecting to go back to the “older version.”

Create Audio Playlist From YouTube Videos

If you are a guy like me, you will use YouTube for listening, almost, any song. YouTube Feather mode helps to stream videos faster. But I rarely watch the videos, I just listen to the songs, so I don’t want the videos to be there. Now this service not only helps you to remove those videos, but also creates a playlist.

SongSprite, a collaborative playlist creator helps you here. It lets you create playlists by extracting audio from YouTube videos. This web service helps you to save bandwidth, avoids minimizing windows every time, stream faster on a slow connection and not to forget, create a playlist so that you can listen to your favorite songs in your desired order.

I made a list of popular YouTube videos and most disliked YouTube videos for trying this web app.

YouTube Audio Playlist

All you have to do is to grab the URL of your favorite YouTube video song, interview or speech. Go to SongSprite, paste the URL in the bar and click Add.

All these videos are added above their audio player. You can also drag and drop the videos to rearrange the order. You will find an unique URL below the player to share your playlist with your friends.

I believe this simple web app avoids you to download YouTube videos and you can save time. You can listen to YouTube videos as if they were just songs. Add as many tracks as you like, or invite friends to join you in building up a legendary playlist.

HOW TO: Get Logoless YouTube Player

YouTube Player LogoNow YouTube provides us the option to remove their cute branding logo in the control bar of the YouTube video player. You just need to make a minor change.

At the end of the video URL in your embed code, just add the code ?modestbranding=1 and the player will show without the YouTube logo in the control bar.

<iframe width=”620″ height=”370″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/oFTfAdauCOo?modestbranding=1” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Below I have embedded Cars 2 Trailer from Disney Pixar – Without and With Logo.

YouTube Video Player – Without Logo

YouTube Video Player – With Logo

Though they have the option to remove the logo, still there will be a small “YouTube” text label which will show up in the upper-right corner of a paused video when you hover over the player.

HOW TO: Check Your YouTube Speed

Earlier we shared a simple tip to load YouTube videos faster, and now you’ll see how to check your YouTube Speed. Are you thinking your YouTube videos are streaming a little slow? And you are putting the blame on your ISP? Then YouTube Video Speed History is something you should check probably.

This data is aggregated from their video servers. All ISP and geographic speed numbers are averages across many types of Internet connectivity. This tool will compare your speed numbers with other users in your region. The chart below shows Video Speed Comparison (May 10, 2011 to Jun 8, 2011).

YouTube Speed Chart

This tool also lists the YouTube speeds of users in your neighborhood who have different ISPs. The test video will show you your streaming information in real time (look next to “Streaming HTTP”).

YouTube Test Video

So how fast is your YouTube Video Speed? Share your views on the comments below.

Simple Tip To Load YouTube Videos Faster

Well, it’s an old trick, but believe me it is a very simple and useful one. People get pissed off by the loading speed of YouTube videos, hell their internet connection! They even download YouTube videos for offline viewing.

Using this tip, you can easily remove lots of optional interactive and sharing features on your favorite Youtube videos, thus helping you to watch them quickly. It also uses advanced code for reducing the page download size so it loads much faster even in your slow internet connection.

Salma Hayek Interview - YouTube Feather

“Feather” Beta Program

This is an opt-in beta for “Feather” support on YouTube. The “Feather” project is intended to serve YouTube video watch pages with the lowest latency possible. It achieves this by severely limiting the features available to the viewer and making use of advanced web techniques for reducing the total amount of bytes downloaded by the browser. It is a work in progress and may not work for all videos. You can Join the “Feather” Beta to experience fast loading.

YouTube Feather Option

You can use this light version just once for testing or permanently set this as default. You can try this testing on the popular videos on YouTube.

HOW TO: Embed Part Of An YouTube Video

Earlier we wrote how to embed Facebook videos on your blog and download YouTube videos, now we are going to see how to embed part of an YouTube video. Suppose if you want to embed an YouTube video which contains lots of advertisement at the beginning and end, you can tweak the code to avoid them. This simple tip will help you cut off those parts in the video and embed it.

Default original iFrame code for a video :

<iframe width=”620″ height=”490″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/jvzWTljyMUo?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

You just need to add the parameter &start= to this code.

Below I mentioned the modified code for iFrame player.

<iframe width=”620″ height=”490″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/jvzWTljyMUo?rel=0&start=20” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

You can check the demo video using this tip below.

Here I have used &start=20, that means it skips the first 20 seconds of the video. Similarly, you can also add &end= parameter to make the video stop at a particular point.

You can also use third-party sites like TubeChop and Splicd for cropping the YouTube videos.

Most Disliked Videos On YouTube Ever [INFOGRAPHIC]

This is one of my favorite infographics I should say! This one highlights the most disliked videos on YouTube of all time. Justin Bieber fan? Then here is a bad news, totally there are five music videos of Justin Bieber that are in the hate list.

But Rebecca Black’s video got the award for the most disliked video on YouTube (entire Internet I say). Rebecca Black for Friday got 81 million views and tremendous 1.6 million dislikes. Nathan Yau at FlowingData has created this awesome reference poster or infographic. You can also check other cool infographics here.

Most Disliked Videos

HOW TO: Find The Most Popular Videos On YouTube

Quite recently YouTube unveiled an interesting tool — YouTube Trends Dashboard. Here you will see some of the top YouTube videos being featured. This cool tool will help to find the most popular videos in a particular location or videos that are currently popular within a certain age group.

YouTube Trends Dashboard

You can check the most shared videos on Facebook and Twitter in the last 24 hours and most viewed videos in the last 24 hours that were uploaded within the last 28 days.

YouTube Charts shows the most viewed YouTube videos by categories whereas the new Trends dashboard displays videos by region and demographics.