Timing matters

Winkletter  •  11 Feb 2024   •    

At the end of last year I installed an extension on my browser that lets me switch off different features on YouTube. I locked down almost all the sections of YouTube, and so most of the videos I now watch come from my YouTube notifications. These are videos from channels I’ve subscribed to, where I also clicked the bell and switched notifications to “All.”

The videos there are listed chronologically, unlike the algorithm’s choice that has become default on YouTube. Now, many videos I watch are only a few hours or even minutes old. And occasionally I comment on these videos. About as often as I did before.

But now I’m getting responses. Nothing too crazy, but more than I ever received before. Including responses from the video creators. Which doesn’t really mean much in YouTube land. But it has me thinking about a social media strategy that might work to increase engagement, especially for social media sites that have switched to algorithmic curation. What if you limit yourself so you can only read new posts, and then focus on replying to other people’s posts while they are fresh? Rather than waiting for a post to go viral.

Kind of like those people who post “first” except you say something witty or poignant?

This constraint wouldn’t work on sites like Mastodon since the default is chronological order. But for sites that are algorithmic, the trick would then require getting a list of new posts from a targeted set of accounts. If the site has no way of setting that up, it might require use of the API or web scraping. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


I find when I view a post or video on any platform for which I have something to say, I look at how many comments already exist and say, “Screw it. Why bother?”

therealbrandonwilson  •  12 Feb 2024, 4:59 pm

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