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YouTube: An Insider's Guide to Climbing the Charts Paperback – December 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0596521141 ISBN-10: 0596521146 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596521146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596521141
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alan Lastufka a.k.a. fallofautumndistro (YouTube user name), is a musician, writer and filmmaker who was one of the Top 100 Most Subscribed on YouTube in 2008. His YouTube videos have had more than six million total views. One of his early short films received multiple airings nationwide on the Independent Film Channel.

On YouTube, Lastufka is widely praised for his collaboration videos including his "iPwn" iPhone parody commercial, starring ex-MadTV star Lisa Donovan and "Now That's What I Call Emo", a commercial parody bringing in over a million views.

Lastufka is currently running an independent record label for YouTube musicians. That label, DFTBA Records, was named "Best Online Music Label of the Year" by Mashable during its first full year of operation, and has been written about numerous times in YouTube's official blog.


Michael W. Dean is an independent filmmaker who has written for Make Magazine, writes for the O'Reilly Digital Media site and runs the pop culture blog, StinkFight.com. He was a contributor to the O'Reilly book Digital Video Hacks, and edited the O'Reilly book DV Filmmaking: From Start to Finish.

Michael has sold over a million dollars' worth of books. He is the author of the how-to books $30 Film School, $30 Music School and $30 Writing School. $30 Film School has gained a substantial cult following, just went into the third printing of the second edition, and is taught in colleges. Michael wrote the novels, The Simple Pleasures of a Complex Girl and Starving in the Company of Beautiful Women, and the popular Creative Commons eBook Digital Music - DIY Now!

More About the Author

Some of the things I have achieved as an inventor, creator, product manager, CEO, CTO, writer and artist include: Playing a role in establishing and evangelizing standards and practices such as PDF, DVD, Social Media, Podcasting, & ARG/Transmedia. I am an inventor . I have designed apps for iPhone, iPad and other mobile platforms. I am a published author of screenplays, white papers, technology, sci-fi, marketing and gaming books.

I was the executive producer/director and founder of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the the Los Angeles Film Festival podcasts. I was one of the two founders/curators of the Greylodge Podcasting Company, a Independent film review site covered on MSNBC, Wall Street Journal and others. The book I edited and contributed to : "This Is Not a Game" was included in the annual Tween market report that went to marketing executives worldwide in the toy, gaming and youth market industries. My work has been featured on CBS Marketwatch, CNN, CNET TV, Kiplinger's, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, NHK, MTV, PBS, LA Times, Clear Channel Radio, BBC, MSNBC, Boing-Boing, and many other weekly newspapers, trade magazines, local and regional radio, television and newspapers.

My avant-garde work: John Titor, spawned books, movies, even an anime series.

My pioneering work in Transmedia is chronicled in the University level textbook: Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong's Hat - University Press of Mississippi (May 17, 2011).

Recently, my interactive work was profiled in Games(TM) magazine, where it was said of my interactive work, Ong's Hat: "Ong's Hat was more of an experiment in transmedia storytelling than what we would now consider to be an ARG but its DNA - the concept of telling a story across various platforms and new media- is evident in every alternate reality game that came after."

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Customer Reviews

I like it when I read it, and it is easy to digest.
Kenneth V. Blanchard
Everyone can learn many things from this book if you're just starting out on YouTube or even if you've been involved with it for a while.
Paul
So, to recap, I like the book, but I like to read away from the computer where it's comfortable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Allen Stenger on February 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a thorough introduction to creating videos for YouTube, aimed at the absolute beginner. It is especially strong on explaining how to tell a story and on how to behave yourself as part of the YouTube community. The emphasis is on making art, not on making money.

It is not a techie book. There's a long chapter called "99-Cent Film School" that covers the mechanics of creating a video, but it's very basic and deals mostly with the selection of equipment, with some discussion of editing. The book is unusual in that it is not Macintosh-centric: the authors use Windows and claim there's no need to consider Macintosh because Windows is cheaper and has more software.

The authors summarize their position on p. 248 as "Don't watch the media, be the media." This is a good sound bite and gives the flavor of the book, although it is not really accurate since they encourage watching and commenting on the videos of other YouTubers. (Besides, if no one watched the media, would there be any media left?) The authors detest traditional media, especially television, and they detest much of the new media too. This doesn't have much impact on the book, except to cause occasional outbursts of gratuitous nastiness. For example, on p. 244 we read, "Social networking provides websites to people who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a computer." Although there's some truth in this, it is unnecessary to state it here. The isolation from other media also gives the impression that YouTube is its own universe, with no connection to anything else.

The nastiness comes out in concentrated form in the Preface, which attempts to explain "Why You Should Buy This Book" by trashing the competition. Be sure to skip this section of the book!
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not an YouTube expert but I was expecting more about the "psychological secrets" of making and "distributing" a five star video.The book contains to much information that I could find in the HELP pages of You Tube or in different user manuals.For example ,there are 14 pages about the Vegas Movie Studio (editing software made by Sony) and a whole section (chapter 4) about how to register with YouTube. Also,there are to many details about hardware (cameras, microphones, props).

I have found some of the information I was looking for mostly in Chapter7(Building Your Audience),Chapter 8(The Community:Where Do You Fit In?),Chapter 12(Beyond the 'Tube) and Chapter 113 (Becoming a Success Story).

I think the book might be useful to an absolute beginner who do not have the time to sit in front of his computer and learn online how to start with YouTube.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best of the You Tube books, in my opinion, and I am surprised by that fact. I was expecting a purely artistic viewpoint with no technical details and the authors actually start from the beginning, including a condensed You Tube history. They take you through the technical aspects of getting started on You Tube, and actually give you a ninety-nine cent film school chapter on how to shoot a video. Anybody can do it, but observe the You Tube videos with annoying/mismatched music, no music, or characters that drone on endlessly to no point. Here they show you how to avoid doing that. One of the authors has written a very good book that expands on how to shoot an interesting film, $30 Film School, Second Edition, one if its good points being that it doesn't even cost thirty dollars and it is accessible to people whose "day job" is not the art of filmmaking.

What makes this book really stand out is the authors' tips on "climbing the charts" with your quality videos. He talks about everything from tagging to communities on this issue. Finally, the author talks about "Them Tube", the mainstream media, and how it becomes more and more the antithesis of everything that You Tube is about and that makes it a success. With the onset of this latest recession perhaps depression, one thing you can be sure of is that "Them Tube" will become more and more homogenized - more reality TV, less quality films, fewer mainstream filmmakers and their financiers willing to take a chance. You Tube is the answer to that and this book shows you how you can be a part of it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Only on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good, solid, basic guide to youtube. Ignore the hype behind the book, and there is a lot of it. The book is a simple, great basic guide to youtube with a common sense approach to achieving a lively channel. It's not going to work a miracle for you. But nothing will.

In the end, and the book states this explicitly, you have to be likable, cool, and a great communicator to become popular on youtube. This book just gets you started on the right path.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel P. McCarthy on January 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
O'Reilly was kind enough to send me this book quite some time ago, so it's about time I got a review posted for it.

Having a BA from Temple University's School of Communication & Theater, I have some experience with learning how to communicate via film & video. Ok, so most of my experience was 16mm film, but that's another story.

What I liked about this book was that it didn't start with any technology advice or how to shoot video. After a quick overview of YouTube it dives into storytelling. Storytelling is one of the most important tools you need to be aware of (and potentially master) to not only make great videos, but to thrive in our current economy. Don't skip that chapter.... Read it 3-4 times. It is the foundation of all that you will be doing going forward.

The rest of the book is solid information, guidance and/or advice on how to best utilize YouTube for your needs. The 99 cent film school chapter covers the technical aspects of filming. There's really not enough room to get all of the details you'll need to shoot high quality footage... Experience will teach you that (and right quick too). But at least in these days of digital recording you don't have to suffer the same loss as a flashed can of film, you just tape over the bad stuff with better stuff.

So pickup this title, get the basics going & start shooting.
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