Explore YouTube Like A Diver
Dive a little deeper... here's how.
In March 2021, the average YouTube user spent about half an hour on YouTube.com per visit (source). I am one of those people, honestly I'm probably one to spend more like an hour or two on the site each time I visit. It's nice to have someone who has become familiar to me on my screen while I'm cooking, working, crying... whatever. All too often, we go to YouTube.com and don't care to scroll past the suggested videos on our Home screen, and the mass of videos in our Subscriptions section has gotten out of control. Every now and then, we need to explore this massive website. There is so much more to see than Emma Chamberlain, and Cody Ko.
We want to dive deep into this ocean of video content. How do we begin? Well, put on your wet-suit and try out these 3 tips.
1. Search File Names
Nowadays, when you upload a video to YouTube, it takes the file type off the end of your video file's name. But back in the day, if you didn't change the name of your video, it would stay as VID00849.MP4 or whatever. So, you can usually tell you've found a vintage gem when that type is in the title.
The best home-video content on YouTube has its default file name as the title. Searching VID00000.MP4, 00000.MTS, GOPR0000.MP4, IMG_0000.MOV, and more (replace the 0s with any numbers) will send you down millions of rabbit holes. I would advise to keep the first two 0s, because most people don’t get to the point of storing 9999 video files on their device before backing up and formatting the SD card.
Here are some fun examples…
VID — This kid has rhythm.
Additionally, you could search up any filename.type combination. Winter_2008_01.MOV for example... since people can name their files whatever they like of course.
2. Search Dates
Similar to looking up file names, we can look up dates. It’s one this to search December 10th 2007, while looking up 2007.4.10 is another. Some video cameras include the date in their file names in this way, I’ve had the most luck exploring with . separators. But - separators may also be fruitful. Really any date format may bring you great digital fortune, however, many videos that spell it out are less interesting, for some reason.
3. Stream of Thought Words + Filter
Another way to step into the depths of youtube by searching anything random, maybe using Wikipedia as a source for prompts, and to sort that search by upload date. It’s one of the only sort options that won't shove the most popular videos at you.
I found this video by searching “when are you home”, sorting by upload date, and videos with a duration over 20 minutes. How could I ask for more than an existential cowboy vlog?
“I’m not altogether certain that it wasn’t a good thing, and I’m not altogether certain that it was a good thing. But it definitely was a thing.”
I found this video by searching “what I learned today”, sorting by upload date, and videos up to 20 min. This kids video about his trampoline skills makes me feel incredibly nostalgic.
“If you don’t know what a backflip is, you probably live under a rock.”
I found this video by searching "art installation", sorting by upload date, and videos up to 20 min. This rocks.
“Clack Clack Clack”
There is so much to discover in the trenches of YouTube, and your computer is your submarine, so get diving. Don’t forget to leave some kindness on the little gems you find, these videos are public for a reason!
Enjoy your adventures, and let me know what you find please: @water__silk
Until next time,
- 9 toasts