I've seen quite a bit of talk about how much easier it is for 'popular' members to get their videos published, and how 'cliquey' VideoSift is. That has not been my experience, so I thought I'd write up a little about my own perspective on submitting videos.
It took me a long time to get my first video published — that 'P' is a real detractor. But it wasn't much easier with the next 9 either, until I got a bronze star, which seemed to smooth out the process. I actually found it harder
to get published with a silver star than bronze, maybe because a bronze star looks a bit like gold, whereas silver is a little more dull. After going gold, it has been relatively easier to get published, but that doesn't mean that I don't still have a lot of discards that don't make it out of the queue.
I think it's natural for videos submitted by starred members to more easily get votes — not because of any cliques, but because there is an implicit level of public acceptance already built in. Somebody who has had 50 videos published is much more likely to have a good feel for what will make a popular submission, than somebody who has only submitted a few. I have never had the impression that people are upvoting my videos just because they like me (assuming anyone does
) — my sense is simply that people notice the star value of the submitter and are more likely to view the video if it has a higher star endorsement.
VideoSift has been really great at teaching me the value of strong headlines. Far more important than star colour is the video's title, tags and description. I often have a video languish in the queue for a while, then I change the title or add a description and it gets published in no time. That would be my #1 piece of advice for people having trouble getting videos published — keep honing your writing skills and make the title snappy and interesting. You only have about half a second to grab people's attention and get them to watch.
I laugh at myself sometimes for how attached I am to the success of my submissions — especially since I had absolutely nothing to do with creating the videos in the first place. But it's still a thrill to get into the Top 15, and especially the top 3 or 1, or to have a video get 100 votes or more. I also keep an eye on my member rating, and enjoy seeing it creep up in the rankings. Still, I don't feel particularly competitive about it, I'm just doing it for fun. If it ever stops being fun, it will be time to quit.
Truthfully, I never really expected to be around the Sift for as long as I have, but it's been so fun and rewarding, and I've enjoyed the other people on here so much, that it has become one of my favourite places on the net to be.