It is amazing how much of what I watch online is influenced by what I watch online. But one of my biggest complaints with online video is the disappointing results of trying to discover new content. What’s more, this is compounded by the social nature of online video, which depends on developing relationships with creators, which leads to watching videos (at times) for the sake of a personal relationship, rather than for the sake of the value of the video itself.

For this reason, I’m embarking on a project this year to rediscover online video in the hopes of learning how to better reach new viewers transitioning to online video and sharing those results with our readers.

Currently, my main avenues of watching and discovering new content come from Facebook, YouTube, Reddit and Twitter. As a result, the rules for how I’m conducting the project are made with those specific platforms in mind, however, the guiding principles behind each rule should apply to all platforms/methods of discovery that I currently use.

10 Rules of Rediscovering Online Video

The overriding principle of this project is to rediscover online video without the influence of any of the people I’ve met or videos I’ve watched as a result of my involvement in the online video community since I first made an account on YouTube in 2007.

  1. All browsing on any platform must be done in incognito mode to prevent suggestions based on past viewing history outside of this project.
  2. All browsing on any platform must be done while logged out of any current accounts.
  3. Browsing/watching content from the feed in Facebook while logged in is OK, but cannot include content shared by anyone I have met as a result of online video.
  4. I may browse for content on Reddit, but I am not allowed to log in with my current account or join any subreddits that belong to creators I’ve become a fan of over the years. Any subreddits joined should be topical in nature or as a result of discoveries made during this project.
  5. I will not make an account on any platform unless I am compelled to take an action which will require an account.
  6. I am not allowed to watch anyone I’m subscribed to/follow on any platform unless I find their content naturally.
  7. I may not use sites that aggregate videos or video data that I discovered prior to this project, as a result of my involvement in online video.
  8. I may not use my curated news feeds as a method of content discovery.
  9. I may watch content via my usual methods of discovery, but they will not count towards the results of this project.
  10. All of these rules apply whether I am on desktop or mobile.

The biggest takeaway from these rules is the importance of Facebook and Google search in online video. They are reflective of the two most important ways that videos are discovered, through search and through sharing. At this point, other platforms are firmly entrenched with their own built-in networks/audiences (especially YouTube), but for people new to online video it is quite likely that they haven’t expanded to other social media outlets or video platforms just yet.

I will be regularly sharing my progress on this project so if you have any rules you think should be included or specific questions you’d like answered as a result of my video escapades, just let me know! I would love to see you start your own path of rediscovery and share the best videos you find each week!