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Information videos on Youtube: are they informative, or clickbait?

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ainsworth74

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So this video is just clickbait for a company 'selling' websites?

No Wendover (the video creator) has nothing to do with Hover (the web company) but a lot of YouTubers, to help fund them producing videos, will have their video 'sponsored' by a company. The company gets advertising space and the YouTuber money (or some other consideration) for running a short ad in their video. It's quite common for those who make YouTube videos as their job and you'll see all sorts of companies 'sponsoring' a video in that way. Clickbait is also not really accurate as the overwhelming majority of the video is about the subject that is in the video title, rather than trying to lure you with an interesting title and then talk to you about something unrelated.
 

tankmc

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So this video is just clickbait for a company 'selling' websites?
it's not "Clickbate". You could say Coronation Street is "Clickbate" sell you car insurance or whatever else they advertise in the breaks.

It really bugs me that people expect to watch online content for free then complain about adverts.
 
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Dr Hoo

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it's not "Clickbate". You could say Coronation Street is "Clickbate" sell you car insurance or whatever else they advertise in the breaks.
I gave up watching 'commercial' television years ago, largely because of the adverts.

Back to the video, which was certainly of interest if only because the film often didn't match the words.

It was really only about 'franchising' rather than privatisation overall and it was also very heavily skewed towards the East Coast Main Line (but somehow managed to avoid mentioning the Hatfield meltdown or the 2008 financial crisis). It also didn't really mention OPRAF or the SRA. And it seemed to suggest that when it was run by the public sector it generated a lot of profit but without showing the premiums paid by the franchises.

Let alone wider factors such as the investment on the route infrastructure, rolling stock replacement, open access on the route, greatly increased safety across the network from the early days and so on.

All that it really demonstrated was that you can't cover the past 25 years of British Railway history in a sub-20 minute video.
 

Speed43125

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Let alone wider factors such as the investment on the route infrastructure, rolling stock replacement, open access on the route, greatly increased safety across the network from the early days and so on.
Rolling stock replacement was explicitly delayed in many instance due to the privatisation process, and Safety and route infrastructure seem weird things to try and assign as benefits to privatisation?

Various accidents due to poor maintenance and failure, for example, to execute PUG2 spring to mind. (Yes I am aware of how unrealistic PUG2 really was).

All that it really demonstrated was that you can't cover the past 25 years of British Railway history in a sub-20 minute video.

Amen to that. I thought the reference to the latest franchise specs as a way to demonstrate the lack of freedom granted to franchisees was a little misleading, for example, but explaining that, actually prior to 2004 franchises could willy nilly lease out their stock to other operators etc. would not be particularly helpful, and really only become boring.

It covered most of the main things, I supposed you could have thrown in some innovation and success stories (Evergreen, VTWC once they got their act together etc), but overall, I think those are minor complaints.
 

gimmea50anyday

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a lot of YouTubers, to help fund them producing videos, will have their video 'sponsored' by a company. The company gets advertising space and the YouTuber money (or some other consideration) for running a short ad in their video. It's quite common for those who make YouTube videos as their job and you'll see all sorts of companies 'sponsoring' a video in that way.
YouTubers such as Ryan's world, Norris Nuts and unspeakable gaming rely on YouTube adverts on their streams and they earn a lot of money out of it but they tend to put ad breaks in their films whereas in this case Wendover along with others such as Mentour Pilot get sponsored. Squarespace and skillshare advertise this way by offering discounted subscriptions in the advert and a payment per click to the youtuber. For a 30 second mention at the start and end of the film it is a lucrative way of advertising. Mentour Pilot waffles on a bit but to be fair he does go in to some fascinating detail and offers help to trainee pilots as part of his channel

Clickbait on the other hand is those adverts on social media where you get offered a web link for 20 pictures that you never believed were really anything but a 20 minute waste of your life on this silly website where you have to click here to start the gallery then scroll past 10 slow loading adverts before seeing a click here to see image one which usually has nothing to do with the subject!
 

Lucan

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It really bugs me that people expect to watch online content for free then complain about adverts.
It depends on the nature of the advert. I don't mind ads relevant to the subject of the web site and in the margins, like paper magazines often were; I will look at them if I am interested. But I object to in-line ads being stuffed down my throat. I have no intention of using whatever Wendover was advertising, not until the hot place freezes over, so being in line they are just a waste of my time and bandwidth.

Or they would waste my time, but being in line, and usually at the start and finish, I can skip over them. Some Youtube videos however have ads at random moments from outside of the Youtuber's own material, and presumably the Youtuber has allowed this. Those ads had made Youtube intolerable for me until I discovered I could block them with a browser plug-in.

As for free content, videos like this are opinion pieces, not blockbuster entertainment, and people are generally free with their opinions. I'm not expecting to be paid for my opinion now.

a lot of YouTubers, to help fund them producing videos, will have their video 'sponsored' by a company.
Most don't look as if they need funding. They are amateur productions, and many are just talk with maybe a tabletop demonstration of something, plus stock pictures and other video clips thrown in. Like this one of Wendover's. I have recorded and uploaded a couple of videos to Youtube myself, and it cost me nothing.
 

Domh245

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Some Youtube videos however have ads at random moments from outside of the Youtuber's own material, and presumably the Youtuber has allowed this. Those ads had made Youtube intolerable for me until I discovered I could block them with a browser plug-in.

Most of those mid-roll ads (the ones where they cut away from the video, and have the yellow playback bar) are entirely youtube's doing - even where the creator has demonitised the video they will still play, with the revenues going to youtube themselves. After all, the amount of data storage & processing involved with hosting and serving these videos is vast, and has to be paid for somehow...

Most don't look as if they need funding. They are amateur productions, and many are just talk with maybe a tabletop demonstration of something, plus stock pictures and other video clips thrown in. Like this one of Wendover's. I have recorded and uploaded a couple of videos to Youtube myself, and it cost me nothing.

I can assure you that these are not amateur productions. Producing a video like that requires tens if not hundreds of hours of research, script writing & revision, production and editing - a "man talks in a single take disjointedly into camera with poor lighting and questionable audio" can be put out in an afternoon, but won't get many views. Just because it's not on TV doesn't mean it isn't professional (indeed, in many cases YT documentaries & educational videos like these far exceed the quality of those on TV these days)

Producing these videos is his day job (as it is for many other educational youtubers), and quite obviously some sort of income is going to be required. Not to mention that licensing that much stock footage doesn't come cheap!
 

Lucan

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Most don't look as if they need funding. They are amateur productions,
Just to point out what I wrote, I was talking about most YouTube videos.

I can assure you that these are not amateur productions. Producing a video like that requires tens if not hundreds of hours of research
OTOH you are talking about Wendover's videos. I see that he covers a huge range of topics so he certainly would need to do research on them- because he could not possibly be familiar or have inside knowledge of all that lot.

I'm well aware that some Youtubers treat it professionally, Geoff Marshall (on railways) is another example. But the vast majority are amateur producers, including me. I don't believe all those cat videos cost much to make, nor the ones such as on car maintenance, carpentry, cross-stitching etc. I trust those amateur productions more than ones by the likes of Wendover who is supposed to be an expert on subjects as wide apart as African politics and the economics of hamburger restaurants. The hundreds of hours you refer to are no doubt what he spends regurgitating what he reads and sees from others, without familiarity or inside knowledge of the subject himself. Geoff Marshall however keeps to the subject he best knows, so he has far more credibility.

Some amateur Youtubers clearly don't know what they are talking about, but others know it in depth. For example some of the car repair videos are amateur as productions but done by professional mechanics, and they are very helpful. My own modest 10 minute videos (not on railways or car mechanics BTW) are amateur productions, and look it, but I certainly do know what I am talking about in them, to a depth significantly greater than covered in the video itself, or I would keep my mouth shut.

But back to Wendover, I don't feel guilty about not paying someone to hear their opinions, no matter how snazzy their presentation is, and whether I agree with them or not.
 
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Speed43125

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Geoff Marshall however keeps to the subject he best knows, so he has far more credibility.
I would tend to disagree if I may say so. The subject he knows best is the London Underground, the National Rail stuff he has slid towards more recently often feels 'amateurish' as you say.
 

tankmc

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Most don't look as if they need funding. They are amateur productions, and many are just talk with maybe a tabletop demonstration of something, plus stock pictures and other video clips thrown in. Like this one of Wendover's. I have recorded and uploaded a couple of videos to Youtube myself, and it cost me nothing.

That has to be the rudest comment ever. You say its costs you "Nothing" but actually with every video, even the most basic, there is the cost of time. Let's take your example. The time filming, editing and uploading. Thats good you do it for free but imagine doing that every week in your free time.... for free.

On top of that, you have many youtube videos now, like this video, that goes beyond the basic "amateur" production. Add into that the cost of the stock footage (you need a subscription), writing/researching the script, recording the audio, the equipment to record the audio, the editing software costs (I can guarantee he is not using windows movie maker), the cost of the animations (even if someone does it themselves they need the time, skills and software to do it), creating the thumbnails and uploading a brand new video every week/fortnight.

Personally, I find his videos informative for a broad audience to discover a new topic every week. They are a good introduction to something for a viewer to then discover more if it interests them. Personally, most videos on youtube are far better researched and put together than some of the poorly researched tripe on TV. I find it funny no one says that they should produce content for free.

Using your theory should Journalists work for free? They can do it at home with no costs involved. What about music? That could easily be made in someone's bedroom now, should the singer do that for free? Should radio presenters do it for free? How about this forum? Should this be run for free? You do realise that there is advertising on this site?

I find it annoying that you completely dismiss someone's video which gives the average jo a really good insight into a new topic every week just because it has a 60-second advert AT THE END. You don't even pay for the video!
 
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