Social Media #1: YouTube Experience


The XBOP YouTube Channel is available @ and is the subject of this write-up on social media experiences.

An 8 Year Evolution

With beginnings well and truly after the dot-com boom, in February 2005, YouTube has become the preeminent video sharing platform online. The XBOP experience began in 2008 as a basic hobby complementing the on-off blogging efforts that transpired throughout the 2000s. It was not until 2010 when the first videos were uploaded – a total of four videos spanning current social events of the time.

During 2011 a smattering of videos relating to MBA studies at Melbourne Business School were added along with the first videos from my collection relating to the Australian Open tennis tournament. This theme continued into 2012 along with some videos from various weddings attended. In late 2012, the collection of videos grew to incorporate performances by the Watoto Children’s Choir.

In late 2012 as part of addressing a need for running worship in my life-group, I created and posted the first lyric videos to my channel. My first attempt was to add lyrics to a live performance by Chris Tomlin for his popular song I Will Rise – whilst the video was successfully created and used privately as part of the life-group worship, the copyright policy enforced by YouTube has resulted in the video being blocked from viewing in most countries. My second attempt at a lyrics video was for a lesser known artist Dan Macaulay and his song Amazing. The following extract shows how it quickly gained 5000+ views in the initial release and has ever since had a steady viewership to help almost double in total cumulative views:


In 2013, a third attempt at a lyric video, again driven by the need for a resource to be used in life-group for group worship purposes, using a Chris Tomlin song this time saw the copyright restriction applied to the video even more aggressively – with a worldwide ban. The effort to create lyrics for this song I felt were justified because of the nature of the song – How Great Is Our God (World Edition). In this case, because of the multiple languages sung throughout the performance, I spent a good couple of hours researching and working out manually the different languages, without resorting to the quick and easy copy & paste from a Google of the lyrics. This video (and link) is mentioned in My 10 Favourite Worship Songs of the 2000s.

Briefing tapping into the flash mob trend, the next video to attract attention was Melbourne Flash Mob – Gangnam Style, uploaded on 26 October 2012. The graph of cumulative views follows a similar curve to the one above, except not to the same extent, with the initial set of views in the magnitude of 100s instead of 1000s.

An interesting experimental video was my Jelly Bean Guessing clip which has the achievement of being one of the more interactive videos in my channel, with direct YouTube comments received. One important factor which should be considered when understanding all statistics captured by YouTube is that in the majority of cases, posting videos on YouTube has always been in conjunction with sharing it on other social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. Facebook in particular has its own interaction methods so the vast majority of interactions for the Jelly Bean Guessing video were actually received through Facebook and not via YouTube. At the time of the posting, a lot of activity was generated on Facebook with the eventual winner being a work colleague.

Filming a simple birthday card greeting which contained a rotating hamster and a fun hip hamster song/tune has attracted just under 100 views. The statistics trend for that video has been a slow gradual increase over the three years, providing a different type of time-based appeal to viewers. In contrast a training video for Planning Center Online and ProPresenter has slowly built up a steady viewership of 2400+ views, as of July 2016.

Throughout 2013 a smattering of social events helped to generate a number of videos each attracting a handful of views. For these videos viewership has, to date, remained under 100 views each, although every view counts to the cumulative total for the channel. A number of wedding-related videos were filmed and released throughout the period 2013 onwards, each video a separate project in video editing and production. In each case, iMovie has been the tool behind each resultant clip. In the first few cases, the videos showcased here were productions first displayed at the wedding reception. The most popular wedding video was a surprise engagement event from January 2015 which has recorded close to 600 views now.

2016 has seen three playlist themes be released with various videos, all filmed with my trusty iPhone 6S:

With the exception of the four Brickvention videos which were uploaded as raw footage, all the other videos were iMovie projects with differing levels of editing and creative production. In summary, the collection of videos in the XBOP channel reflect an eight-year evolution and journey in terms of learning how to create and edit basic videos for the purpose of sharing.

Creative Influences

As a basic and beginner level YouTuber, I look to the more prominent and experienced YouTubers for guidance and creative inspiration. Whilst XBOP as a YouTube channel is very much in its infancy, the opportunity exists for me to dedicate more time and effort into making the channel a more serious endeavour, with goals for monetisation and sources of indirect revenue/income. The list of 84 subscribers that I follow can be grouped into various classifications:

  • friends & relatives
  • music & worship related interest
  • businesses
  • fun

Whilst some family members have much bigger profiles in real-life as well as online, a big IRL (in real life) source of creativity comes from my participation at church in the worship ministry. This goes beyond a mere musical influence, but integrates across the technology divide given my extended involvement in worship & technology. Whilst not involved with the stage design or announcement video product arms of the worship ministry, my proximity to those areas of arts & creativity does undoubtedly influence me.

A lot of my video production efforts follow in part the journey that has been laid out by others who are more dedicated to video production. Whilst church videos are produced using Final Cut Pro X, for my basic level of video editing I have, for now, stuck to using iMovie which is the free option. This particular topic will be developed further in it’s own dedicated article as part of this series, so watch this space.

A number of channels I subscribe to hail from the comedy & entertainment grouping, and some of the humour here expands my world view beyond the standard stereotype of a Christian, Asian, western-oriented male. Like a lot of young people, the influence of science fiction, fantasy and technology means there is a whole profile on us geeks sharing a love of Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, DC, etc… As a child of the 1990s the impact of Friends is imprinted into me in many ways. The influence of Broadway and musical theatre further completes my repertoire of creative inspiration. Thanks for my family upbringing exposure to musical theatre performances has enabled me to appreciate shows that have worked to bridge the divide between Broadway and Hollywood – things like Glee and Once Upon a Time seem to occupy this kind of space within the realm of arts and entertainment.

Within the online world, over the years my interest and involvement in worship and technology prompted me to join a few Facebook groups which have connected me into a global community of like-minded Christian volunteers who all serve in the same space. A more detailed discussion of these groups and the Facebook channel will naturally become a third article within this Social Media series.

Statistical Analysis

90+ videos have been released on my YouTube channel – I provide this statistic in this way because 1 or 2 videos are duplicates and so I want to exclude them from the count. A total of 29K+ views have been accumulated, with the Top 5 videos being:

  1. Dan Macaulay – Amazing (Lyrics video)
  2. Melbourne Flash Mob – Gangnam Style
  3. World’s Greatest Shave – Part 1
  4. Planning Center Online + ProPresenter
  5. I Lift My Lands (Verse Only), Live Only

This year, 63.7 hours worth of viewing has transpired, with 2000+ views accumulated thus far. With an average viewing of just under two minutes per view/video, the number of video content made available for 2016 comprises over half of the new content.