Sunday, April 1, 2007

Anatomy of Compelling Digg Videos: 101

Have a good video. Definitely people would like it. So you want the people to watch it. So you have also put it on Digg.

But there are thousands of people like you out there. There are thousands of better videos. What do you think will then make the difference? Why a dig visitor will click on a video, which is just one of many? The answer is – Write a compelling description of your video. Those 3-4 lines below your video will matter the most. The description should be so compelling that the dig visitor must feel that he has come to Digg, just to watch videos like this. How to do it then? What is the single most compelling description ever written?

There are 3 factors associated with a Digg video – Content, Title & Description. Now there are following scenarios –

  1. Content is simply very much attractive – This is obviously the most ideal situation; and a rare one. When you have a strong content of video, your mantra would be 'Be Descriptive'. Just write core of your video in 5 to 8 words of Title, and elaborate 'what the title is?' in a Description of 2-3 lines. You are done.
  2. Average Content – You know when your content is average, don't you? We are the best judges actually. In such a case, what will obviously matter are
    other 2/3rd part – the title & the description. This is tricky. But the solution is simple. Here you will have to do upside down. Make your title a bit descriptive, e.g. 'Johnny Playing Football with Dog and Getting Beaten 2-0!' This surely not a substantive content, is it? This was for the title. For description, don't write more than 1 simple sentence. The most compelling description can be – 'Just watch it', or 'Dog's dribble rivals Ronaldnho. Watch it to know it!', or 'Beyond description; Just watch that!', or 'Not that the dog is playing football; it's the way it beats Johnny', or 'My God! The doggy is Pele!!'

If you look at the descriptions in point (2), you should come to know how the descriptions ought to be. If you write a description as – 'A little boy was playing football with his dirty looking doggy, when the dog beat the boy by 2-0. Watch the video, you will lol.' Doesn't it suck? You will think – 'Who the heck is the submitter, to tell me to watch it?' What's wrong with this description? Your obvious reaction would be like this because the writer of description has placed himself on other side of Line of Distrust.


What is this Line of Distrust? This is an invisible boundary that separates a consumer from a supplier of content / product. Here, it means that while writing a description, even if you have shot the video, you need to think from a viewer's point of view. Ideal description is as if a viewer is thinking to himself, or 'somebody' telling him to watch the video because it is really great. This somebody MUST NOT BE THE SUBMITTER but a fellow viewer telling how good the video is.

While writing a good description, submitting a good post / video, you must be on side A of the line of separation. And believe me this applies to every piece of creation in a process of communication.

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