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The two things that drive me crazy in YouTube BBQ/cooking videos

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    The two things that drive me crazy in YouTube BBQ/cooking videos

    What an amazing time we live in. Experienced amateurs with nothing more than careful use of a cell phone and some basic video editing software can produce high-resolution videos that can really help us, the watchers, up our BBQ game. I know for myself, I learn by watching. I learn by mimicking. So the plethora of high quality content on YouTube has been be awesome to witness.

    Yet, there are at least two things that drive me crazy that a lot of YouTubers fall into. The first is one anyone who has done extensive research on grill reviews has encountered: the unboxing and assembly video. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with such videos.

    The concept is great and I find them valuable -- you can see how a grill is packaged and for someone with as little spatial visualization as myself, the assembly walk-throughs are extremely valuable. My problem is that with so many of these, the YouTuber ends the video extolling how great the grill is, how wonderful it is, how it will be the next best thing......without having grilled or smoked anything on it! That drives me crazy.

    The next thing is a bit more subtle. The problem is not that it happens, but in how the YouTuber handles it.

    If you follow someone whose channel has taken off, it seems you'll eventually see a video in which the YouTuber is praising a never-before-seen product or purchasable food item. The product/item is featured heavily in the video (often eclipsing the food being cooked) and the YouTuber insists that everyone needs to try it or incorporate it regularly into their repertoire. Then, it is never seen again on the channel. Ever.

    We know what that is. That is a trial sponsorship. I wish YouTubers were more upfront about this. (It may very well be that they can't; that the agreement with the sponsor may be that it can't be mentioned as a sponsorship.) It's not dishonest and I have yet to see a video in which I think a YouTuber is misrepresenting a featured product, but it just seems almost jarring.

    (Of course, there is nothing wrong with sponsorships. If your YouTube channel starts to take off, you probably should look into getting sponsorships as a form of "insurance." The Algorithm of YouTube is fickle and if you put out one under-performing video your monetization from YouTube alone could vanish.)

    And while I am yammering on about this, relatedly, the other thing that is starting to get weird is with some of the big names is that the sponsorships are starting to get in the way a bit. For example, I'm sure that I am not the one who started to feel that some of Malcom Reed's videos a few months ago were inching close to being Traeger infomercials. (It was all Traeger all the time for a bit there.)

    I think content creators are still trying to find that balance between "I'm making money because you are watching my videos" and "I am making money because you are making my sponsors money."

    (And this is what happens when I write posts after three cups of coffee......)

    Unfortunately nearly everything on the web these days is motivated by advertising payments and kickbacks. Even the NY Times gets kickbacks from Amazon when their review site, Wirecutter, identifies a product. Same with CNN and others. I just wrote about this subject this week. https://bakerontech.com/primedays/


      I agree. There are some who just ramble and I find myself fast forwarding through or leaving. There are some who I look at on a weekly basis. Tom Horseman is one that I really enjoy. He does not have a huge following but his reviews are very solid. I have a handful that I watch regularly and am very careful who I subscribe to for the points you mention.


      • grillinglousiana
        grillinglousiana commented
        Editing a comment
        I also like Tom..i ve made several of his mods on my masterbuilt,weber grills....i am some times bothered by the fact that a lot of his grills are given to him,..no matter what that can influnce how you rate the product i think...just my thought

      Originally posted by BBQPhil View Post
      Unfortunately nearly everything on the web these days is motivated by advertising payments and kickbacks. Even the NY Times gets kickbacks from Amazon when their review site, Wirecutter, identifies a product. Same with CNN and others. I just wrote about this subject this week. https://bakerontech.com/primedays/
      Enjoyed the blog post, Phil. Ugh, I did not know that Wirecutter had been purchased. That is disquieting.

      One thing that is really interesting to those of us in academia is the number of students (primarily undergrads) who identify some form of "social media influencer" as the answer to the question of "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Especially in the past two years, this has really crystalized out as a perceived viable career option. (Whether it actually is or not is yet to be seen, but people who can sustain a million subscribers and 800k-1 millions views per video are bringing in nearly six figures. For a 22-year-old, that is absolutely captivating.)

      I would not be surprised if we don't start a concentration/specialization in our marketing department for social media, if not plans for an outright degree. (We would be foolish not to; the demand is clearly there.)

      Getting back to some of the stuff you hit on, Phil....I've noticed this weird trend of grad students (traditional ones, right out of undergrad) obsessed with developing their "personal brand," "social media presence," and my favorite term, "side hustle." Some of them are quite aggressive at it and trying to get partnerships with companies. (To be fair, the financial motivation is almost to be expected. We don't exactly pay grad students much.)

      Still, it's weird to see sales and marketing so upfront in places where it usually wasn't. (Or maybe it always was and we just didn't notice.)


        That's a foreign world to me. I'd rather read and see pictures than watch and listen to a video. That way I control the timing of when I think about and look at any one thing. The articles, recipes and detailed posts here have taught me a lot. I probably average about one instructional YouTube every two months or so.


          I may start a Youtube channel called: Knowing everything about nothing.
          My daughter plays video games online and streams herself playing, she makes $50ish a month.
          I might as well get on the band wagon.


          • tenphases
            tenphases commented
            Editing a comment
            50 bucks a month? I gotta start playing more video games!! It says a lot about her that she took the time to monetize her hobby, bodes well!
            Last edited by tenphases; June 27, 2021, 09:15 PM.

          • smokin fool
            smokin fool commented
            Editing a comment
            tenphases Take in mind you do have to dress up like your favorite video character
            The yelling, screaming and the attics that come out of her room keep half the house up at night

          • tenphases
            tenphases commented
            Editing a comment
            Now that's funny 🤣🤣🤣

          The big one for me is when I think I have found a good how-to video, and the presenter spends the first half of it just talking.


            My only pet peeve with bbq youtubers is squeezing the brisket point as hard as they can to make all the rendered fat drip out. Who does that?


            • IFindZeroBadCooks
              IFindZeroBadCooks commented
              Editing a comment
              That got a wince and a groan from me

            I want to start a YouTube Channel where all I do is ask about the algorithm, and tell people to Like the Video, Watch the Whole Video, Share the Video, Subscribe to the Video....oh wait, there is only 8,098,763,908,765 channels doing that already.


            • USMCCrashCrew89
              USMCCrashCrew89 commented
              Editing a comment

            About those unboxing/assembly vids; I've heard more than one claim that they get "lots" of requests for those, so if not hype, there's an audience clamoring for them. Sort of like "reality" shows, some love 'em, some (me included) don't waste a second on them.

            So my biggest pet peeve after droning presentations is suspect "subject matter expert". When some guy is going on about the features of a particular cooker and then says "it has a thermostat on the lid blah, blah blah....". Sorry bud, you just lost your credibility by showing you don't know the difference in function between a thermostat, and a thermometer. What else are you faking in your presentations? The same goes for calling a typical sheet/plate steel griddle cast iron. I know, little things, but product knowledge should be knowledgeable if it's being claimed as such.


              Tangentially related, but I don't even bother looking at recipe reviews anymore. 98% of them fall into two camps..."5-Stars! I can't wait to make this" or "This was disgusting...." followed by a detailed description of every part of the recipe they deviated from. No, your recipe sucked, not the one posted, you knucklehead.


                What I don't like are the long intros. First they tell you what they are going to do. Then a good 30 seconds or a minute with their fireworks or whatever to introduce their channel. Then they do the cook. THEN they explain AGAIN what they have just done. For God's sake I can just rewind to see that! It's getting so frustrating. I found that I can speed up the video to at least 1.5 and in some cases 2 times the speed. Ready to dump a lot of them!


                • Steve R.
                  Steve R. commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It's funny, but "tell them what you're about to tell them; tell them; then, tell what you just told them" is pretty standard in a public speaking class. I don't think that translates so well to YouTube, especially when people go there to see something, not hear someone talk about it for too long.

                I don't like the videos that just have music, no talking. I like to hear what they are doing and why. Also don't like when they have music along with talking, find it a little distracting.


                • prepperjack
                  prepperjack commented
                  Editing a comment
                  These are normally the ones with excessive hand flourishes as they add each ingredient. For the love of God, just put it in like a normal person... no reason to act as though you're concocting a potion.

                Ha, I agree with all of this! I know our very own lonnie mac has his own channel. He would never ask any of his Ten's of Ten's of subscribers for likes or subscribes, or ring some stupid bell. But I will. Ring the crap out of it!



                This is a great topic on many levels.


                • Dewesq55
                  Dewesq55 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That's a nice video you have on resawing the koa. I'm totally envious of that saw (AND the drum sander!)

                • Mark V
                  Mark V commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Interesting stuff out there, good job. Will have to watch the entire ukelele


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