Notes from a call with my YouTuber friends

Journal

Some notes from a catch-up call with my YouTuber friends.


Table of contents

Last night, I had a catch-up call with some YouTuber friends (Matt D'Avella, Thomas Frank, Joey Schweitzer, Captain Sinbad and Nathaniel Drew). We chatted for around 2 hours. Some notes.

Every YouTuber at every size worries about the algorithm. One of the biggest challenges of being a YouTuber is trying not to worry about the algorithm.

The highlight reel looks very different to the behind-the-scenes. The guys complimented me on my apparent disregard for the algorithm, and willingness to put out random content (eg: piano + singing) that had nothing to do with productivity. In reality, I was shititng myself when I pressed publish on that video, and it absolutely tanked in performance, which made me sad for many days.

Nathaniel's taken a break from posting regularly recently. We all worry so much about consistency and about 'channel momentum'. But his doesn't seem to have changed at all. Could consistency be a myth? Maybe for some channels, it might be.

We're all trying to be sincere with our videos, but not too serious about them. 'Sincere' = recognising that it's all just a game, and we're going to play our best, but not let it ruin our lives. 'Serious' = taking the game too seriously.

We often don't watch each other's videos, so as to not accidentally-end-up-copying an idea. But we probably worry too much about appearing as though we're stealing ideas from one another anyway.

Most of us feel 'experienced-starved' because of covid. It's like we've been living the same day everyday for months. When creating content of any kind, it's always more interesting and fulfilling to draw from first-hand experience, rather than to distil second-hand experience. This is a big part of why I'm heading back into Medicine, rather than aiming to be a 'full time YouTuber'. Doing stuff and then talking about it is very different to reading stuff and then talking about it.

Amongst all of us (and lots of my other YouTuber friends), there's a general trend towards "I want to make videos I enjoy, rather than just focusing on videos that I know will perform well".

Recurring calendar events are the best. Matt initiated the first call 3 months ago, and now it's in the calendar for every quarter. This is going to ensure it actually happens.

Someone always needs to initiate. If you've got a group of friends, then try to be the initiator of a regular group activity (with calendar links). They'll all be thankful for it.

Some level of structure is also good. The conversation was very free-flowing, but had a general structure of 'each person sharing what they're working on this quarter', which springboarded into interesting discussions.

Thanks guys for the ongoing inspiration. Special shoutout to @tomfrankly for bringing us together, and to @mattdavella for organising the calls :) Until next time xx


Join 95,792 friendly subscribers getting Sunday Snippets every week

You've successfully subscribed to Ali Abdaal
Welcome! You are now a Ali Abdaal subscriber.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! You are now a paying member and have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.