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On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell filed the patent for the telephone. The first words he spoke were to his assistant. “Mr. Watson, come here; I want you.”
147 years later we’re still trying to use our phones to get people’s attention.
Another random factoid: Bell wanted the standard greeting to be ‘Ahoy.’ Edison popularized ‘Hello.’
Now let’s dig into the signals.
🎙️ Been talking about YouTube’s podcasting push on a variety of Signals this year. My account now has the New Podcast option under create. Turns out there’s no separate video designation for a video or a podcast. It’s just a way to mark a playlist as a podcast series, and the videos inside the playlist are considered individual episodes. Here’s a bit more of a breakdown.
▢ Are YouTube thumbnails going to trend toward a minimalist, white background design? Jay Alto thinks so and has a collection of examples.
🔺 Microsoft’s Edge browser is rolling out a feature called Video Super Resolution which uses machine learning to upscale low-resolution videos. From what I can tell, this is just on the viewer's end and is useful if you’re streaming low-quality video to save bandwidth but don’t want a low-quality viewing experience. If you’re looking for a robust tool to upscale low-quality video for editing purposes, check out Topaz Video AI.
📧 Jay Clouse from Creator Science ran some email growth experiments in February and reported on his findings. I thought it was interesting because you can extrapolate some of the findings to growing YouTube channels. What worked the best* - paid promotion on other newsletters and social media posts. Total dud - LinkedIn Newsletter and hosting a free workshop. Now the * explanation - half of his growth was from Upscribe, a recommendation engine where someone signs up for another newsletter and you get a pop-up that’s like ‘If you like this newsletter then you should subscribe to these other ones.’ Great growth hack, I recommend a few here on Beehiiv. But from what I’ve heard, the quality of those types of subscribers is low because they kind of didn’t know what they were getting into.
🧐 Blogging Wizard has a round-up review of 11 different TikTok analytics tools. Overall pick: Agorapulse. Runner-up, Metricool, which we personally use as an affordable dashboard that connects with just about every social and web platform.
🗎 Numerous.ai: Google Sheet extension that adds ChatGPT functionality to rewrite cells or create formulas
📙 Milanote: Collaborative whiteboard to organize projects and ideas
🎤 Deciphr: Timestamps and summarizes your entire podcast transcript
Turn Your Smartphone into a Video Powerhouse
Looking to get started making videos? Before you drop a bunch of money on a fancy camera, chances are you have a solid option in your pocket.
You just need a few upgrades.
Here’s what to get in order of importance:
1. Wireless Mic (~$100)
Bad audio will ruin a video way faster than bad image quality. Invest in a mic.
2. LED Light (~$40)
Dark rooms and low light make your videos look noisy. More light, better looking videos.
Check out anything from Neewer and Aputure.
3. Phone Clamp with Mounts (~$30)
Smartphones weren’t built to hold accessories or get mounted on a tripod like cameras are. You’ll need a mount to attach things to it.
I like this one from Ulanzi. Metal, solid, and lots of options for mounting accessories, like lights and microphones.
4. Handheld Extendable Tripod
Extendable tripods are super handy because:
You can record handheld with it and it adds some stability
You can plant it on a table and use it as a tripod
It’s small and portable. Easy to take on the go.
I like this one, also from Ulanzi.
And that’s it. This has been the go-to kit for the majority of videos on the YouTube channel lately as I experiment with an iPhone workflow. I’ll also use Filmic to get full control over focus, color temperature, exposure, and quality.
For a few more tools, and to see the ones mentioned in action, check out this video.
We will be at NAB in April, the massive camera and video tech convention where all the new gear is announced.
We’ll be producing a lot of videos on the latest news and updates.
This page on our site will be the central hub, along with our YouTube channel.
I’ll also have a separate email list segment that will be a daily update of everything we covered. You have to opt-in to that one - I’m not going to send everyone on this list a daily email they didn’t ask for.
So if you want daily updates (it’s only 5 days in April), add your email to this segment at the link below or just reply here and I’ll add you to the list.
Sponsor the Series
We still have slots for series sponsors. I conservatively estimate 100K views across all the videos we produce, plus this newsletter. If you want to get in front of marketers and creators, our target audience, reply to this email.
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