The Anatomy of a (Semi) Viral Video, and the (Proper) Launch of My YouTube Channel

Well, I can’t say I expected it, but I happily took it.

A couple weeks back, after seeing a rather amusing video of a girl struggling to load a tank shell (for context, it was a leaked video from the training in the IDF’s “pilot program”–second attempt–to shoehorn girls into tanks.) It took her over 30 seconds, and I found it (somewhat grimly) amusing.

Then an idea for a meme came to mind, and I spent about 10 or 15 minutes combining that clip (now with added silly music) with a clip from my favorite anime Girls Und Panzer where the girls effortlessly load the tank in mere moments.

Just a silly little joke video (though, as many jokes are, tinged with some truth–that being that while girls in tanks is great in fiction, reality is a different story), and hit publish on youtube.

I didn’t really have any expectations, though I knew it was a funny meme and that via sharing it on my usual places, I’d probably get some decent few, maybe even a thousand.

Well, it got a bit more than that. As of time of writing, just over 2 weeks later, it’s sitting at well over 200,000 views and counting. I wish I could tell you why it went viral, but I really don’t know myself. Youtube recommendations, it getting shared on Girls Und Panzer fanpages or other meme aggregators? G-d only knows. But it did take off. And more important, it catapulted me from just 32 subscribers to over 140 within about a week.

This finally gave me the push I needed to start actually uploading *real* content to youtube, and I’ve since released 2 analysis videos on anime I’ve watched. They’re a litte scuffed and obviously aren’t doing the numbers the meme video did, but I didn’t expect it, and they’re doing pretty well, considering the size of my channel (up past 200 subscribers now; 20% of the way to monetization being an option!)

I’m currently planning to release 1 video a week (along with maybe some additional shorts or other memes if an idea comes to mind).

My channel is still way too small and I’m way too new at this to give much in the way of advice, but at least where meme videos come in, don’t try to force it. One (of several) reason(s) why I never considered making memes my primary content is that I can’t make something relevant & funny at will. Needed an inspiration for it, like that video I found. (Guess the Israeli media was good for something, for once!)

On a more serious note, while I’m still getting the hang of editing videos (mostly using good old Windows Movie Maker lol) and becoming more comfortable talking into my earbud mic to record videos, I am enjoying making them, and I’d suggest to anyone thinking of trying out youtube (whether with a goal of making a youtube channel a full time thing some day or for just trying to grow your online platform a bit, which is my main goal) find something you enjoy doing and don’t try to trend-chase or fall into the negativity trap. Yeah, angry videos complaining about stuff often get more attention, but it’s not always the case. I have an irl friend who started making positive videos, mostly about Arcane, which he’s a huge fan of, back at the start of the year and he’s got over 100,000 subs now. He’s just one example of someone finding an audience through more positive videos.

So just try to have fun, and don’t expect too much, basically.

And, of course, be sure to like, comment, & subscribe! 😉

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