My bread and butter at Barstool has always been long form 10-30 minute youtube videos. It's the type of content I enjoy creating the most and what I believe I excel at. However, we now live in a short form world, where Tiktoks, IG Reels, and Youtube Shorts are how most people's ADD-riddled minds prefer digesting content. Now after a long day editing vlogs, I'm too burnt out to set up a ring light and fire off a hot take about the Rizzard of Oz, share my latest ick, or lip sync whatever sound is making waves at the moment. I'm sure theres a lot of genuinely creative content on Tiktok but my For You page is mostly people copying other people's content, which is a personal ick of mine. Even reading the latest TikTok trends causes my blood pressure to rise.
(Source: Slaying Social) “Me Making the Dish” Trend | Example: Posting a photo carousel to this sound, with three photos from the show ‘The Bear’ as seen in the example, with the middle slide showing a (comically simple) dish you like to make.
(Added September 30, 2023) “Me When I…” Trend | Example: Contrasting your behaviour when you need to do something sensible (and hating it) vs. doing something unnecessary (and loving it), synced to the change in this sound.
(Added September 27, 2023) “No Way. Way” Trend | Example: Posting a video lip syncing to this sound with a funny text overlay describing a situation where you’d be bragging about something cool that happened to you.
(Added September 24, 2023) “Real, Real Problem” Trend | Example: Posting a video lip syncing to this sound, with a text overlay describing something you’re working on, and singling out one major barrier to change.
(Added September 18, 2023) “Don’t Get a Tattoo” Trend | Example: Posting a photo carousel about one of your tattoos to this sound, with the first slide showing a text overlay saying “Don’t get a tattoo of . You’ll regret it”, a second slide showing the tattoo with a text overlay saying “but every time someone asks…” and the final slide showing what inspired you to get the tattoo, along with the text overlay saying “I get to talk about ”
(Added September 15, 2023) “I Pay Attention to Things that Most People Ignore” Trend | Example: Posting a video lip syncing to this sound with a text overlay describing something you pay attention to that many others don’t.
(Added September 13, 2023) Roman Empire Trend | Example: Posting a video asking your significant other how often they think about the Roman Empire and recording the results.
However, I'm not willing to admit I'm washed up and out of touch just yet, so I've been forced to adapt and for the past year or so have been going through my 10 yr catalogue of videos and re-editing them into minute long vertical clips. It's the one type of short form content I don't mind making and it can be fun for my audience to relive moments they may have forgotten about or didn't know existed. I've had some success, but have also run into speed bumps, such as Tiktok removing some of my best performing videos for violating community guidelines. For instance, they took down this vid of me telling an entirely made up story on a beach for "bullying"
and removed this vid of me jumping off a bridge in Bosnia for promoting "dangerous acts",
which would kinda make sense if Tiktok didn't also allow vids to be posted of people getting literally murdered in Ukraine
But still, I've stayed at it, and I'm glad I did because last April something miraculous happened.
Before I left flew to Nepal to begin my Everest Base Camp trek, I cut up a few clips from my most recent Malta vlog, and told an intern to post them on Youtube Shorts and Tiktok while I was traveling as I wouldn't have any new content coming out for a few weeks. Well folks, one of those Youtube Shorts reached a level of virality I didn't even know was possible and at the time I didn't even realize it as I was more concerned with not dying from high altitude sickness in the Himalayas rather than youtube analytics. The Short I refer to was a 37 second clip of people playing the traditional Maltese sport of Gostra (which people from Gloucster MA may know as "Greasy Pole")
Now some clips I painstakingly edit to try to maximize it's appeal on social media but this was something I cut up in 10 minutes, sent to the intern, and forgot about. So when I got back from Everest Base Camp and noticed my youtube metrics going off the charts, I didn't have the faintest clue why.
It wasn't until our social media guy Chuck hit me up and was like "Yo that youtube short you posted might be the most viral thing Barstool has posted, like ever" that I realized it was entirely due to the Gostra clip. Up until this point the youtube algorithm hadn't done me many favors (besides for my Mole People documentary) but this wasn't a favor, this was a phenomena. Even to this day, it is still the most viewed piece of content on my page week in and week out. As of writing this blog that one youtube short has 174.6 million views and is responsible for 191.7K new subscribers. Insanity.
Now I've spent weeks on videos in the past that barely end up cracking 60K views, so what was responsible for that clip's unprecedented performance? Honestly I have no idea but I do have a theory. If you browse the comments, 90% of them pertain to the fact I had the gall to call a 13 yr old "doughy".
Maybe the fact I had the audacity to say that to a kid elicited such a visceral reaction from the audience that it set the youtube algorithm on fire?
Now first off, I owe that kid an apology. The majority of my coworkers and friends I grew up with, were most definitely more doughy than you at age 13. Was just trying to highlight the wide age and appearance range of the competitors. Secondly, I owe this kid a gigantic THANK YOU!! I don't personally see any of the revenue from my youtube page but if you read this hit me up and let me send you a paypal or something! Just don't spend it all on potato chips.
I can't give him all the credit though. 10 million of the views could also be attributed to the fact I described this dude as "jacked" and said he had a Tiger tattoo.
This triggered quite a few people as turns out he's not what most would consider "jacked" and in fact had a Lion tattoo.
Now the moral of this blog isn't to make fun of kids or say dumb stuff on the internet to increase engagement. It's that posting tiktoks, reels, and shorts can sure be annoying, but if you keep at it, the internet gods may eventually throw you a bone. My youtube shorts may only get 5-12K views on average these days, but the most viewed piece of content in Barstool history is still mine for now.