I too once dreamed of being a gamer on youtube. My Brother and I even started a channel. But as we started to grow up time started to get away from us and we just ran out of time to do such things. When I was a kid I would play video games everyday–so being a youtube gamer seemed like a good fit for me–for us. But now a days I have to make time for gaming among all the other things that need to be done with life, I have to plan to game–something that ten year old me would have thrown a fit about.
But as you may have guessed I’m not here to talk to you about video games. I also have a youtube channel, and while I had posted gaming content their from time to time, I also posted poetry. There is a certain something about hearing poetry spoken aloud and places like youtube seemed to provide a good place to do it–not anymore though.
The first problem is that poems are short, so even if you give an introduction and an outro as well you are still only looking at 6 minuets of play time. The shorter the video the less view time it has, and view time is what determines a lot of things on youtube, like how often a video is recommended to someone, or how likely it is to get picked up for ads. So not only are you going to not get much attention, but your not going to be able to make any money off of the prospect either.
Of course poetry isn’t exactly a growth field and I doubt most of us got into this for the money. However not having as much of a presence because of the run time is still an issue. But it get’s worse.
As it turns out in recent years advertisers have gotten a little skittish with all the controversies on youtube. I could write a term paper on all of the controversy that have plagued youtube so I won’t bore you with the details. However now anything that contains “adult content” is not only less likely to be picked up by advertisers but also less likely to be shown to a wide audience. And I don’t know if you noticed but Poetry can get dark sometimes, I feel it’s not an exaggeration to call it the dark chocolate of the literature world.
Not a big deal I hear you say, and your right. The solution seems simple, post the video on youtube and embed it into your personal site. After all most of us are not here for the money or the fame. We just want to express ourselves through our poetry. Or fiction, or whatever creative medium brought you to this place.
But you know how these things go–we’re not done yet. Having something flagged as adult content can actually harm your personnel website as well. Yes that’s right, my website, Wandering Poems, once got blocked by the adult content filter on google. I go out of my way not to swear or post graphic images, so I was a little confused. But then I realized that the pages that were being blocked were the pages containing my embedded youtube videos. This wouldn’t have been the biggest deal except for some reason having one page blocked on my site meant that my homepage had also been blocked.
So I’ve since stopped posting youtube videos with recorded poems on them and it seems to have cleared up the issue. I still have some of those youtube poems posted here on my site but they are berried so far in the post history it probably doesn’t even matter anymore. I’m still not sure what I said or did in those videos that got them flagged as adult content. Part of me wonders if google views poetry as inherently adult. If that’s the case the issue of censorship is front and center once more.
But that’s just what I think….