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What makes an animation a success?

g¡psy 2010-08-04 17:06:35

One question is buzzing around in my mind for some time... One example. My second episode of "gipsy's chronicles" has more than 3,700 views, whereas the third episode is 150 views... why is that? I don't think the second episode is better than the third... I am quite happy with 150 views, that means a lot to me, but compared with 3,700?

I think that making it to the front page very soon is the clue. When I released the third episode there were a few animations that were just released, competing for the Summer Blockbuster Contest, so it never got to the front page. I then released a second animation (my own entry to the contest), so I think the views I would normally be getting were divided between those two animations.

Why did I release both animations so close in dates to each other? Well, one reason is I had finished both. And I wanted to grab views for the time that I remained as "Animator of the Month". Was it a bad strategy? Probably not. I think the main reason those two animations were not getting as much animations as the previous ones could be that many animations from other users were being released at the same time, and were doing a good work at promoting them... and obviously they were better than mine!

For instance, showtime's trailer for his new episode of Ragnarok Chronicles should have been at the top page no matter what! But it wasn't. Why? I don't really know... Showtime's series is a legend in here, and it's been so long since the last episode was released, so I was expecting a real boom in views... but it didn't happened. Not enough promotion? I don't know, I think it was given the right amount of publicity - given that now with the broadcasts we are having an "overdose" - , the quality of his animation is amazing, as usual... I don't really know.

What do you guys think?

vp1234567 2010-08-04 17:42:31

This is a very interesting topic. I was also surprised at how Gipsy's Chronicles Ep.3 and the Ragnarok Chronicles Trailer didn't reach the front page immediately and swarm in views.

I think an animation is a success if it reaches the front page quickly as you said. But, I also think that it has to be a success for you, and that you enjoyed making and perfecting it as much as possible. For example, my Calvin and Hobbes animations didn't get as much views as I expected them to, but I really enjoyed making them and was more than satisfied with how they turned up in the end.

I think it depends on what your definition of success is. For newer users, even 100 views would be a major success. It was for me when I started! For the best animators out there, like TET and Mojochi for example, I think anything that didn't reach the Top Animations page and get several thousand views would be surprising to them. I'm sure they would greatly appreciate the views they got, but may have expected more.

I also think that recommends are a major factor in showing how the GoAnimate community values your work. I only recommend animations that I really enjoy. The Most Recommended Animations of All Time are a good place to find some of the best animations ever made on GoAnimate. So, recommends are a good gauge of an animation's success from a public viewpoint.

S࿂laяßabY GoPlus 2010-08-04 20:13:44

Well I'm not sure.  I had similar experience  with The Turds.

I think part of the problem of recent weeks is the saboteur logging in on his 50 accounts and promoting his average videos to top.  I think they also rate other top animation lowest.  But before he joined I think it was just luck as much as anything.   I think people get bored of a series. They see something on front page and watch because its new. But I think after they have seen 1 or 2 they not want to watch another.  Rotv had this with the Sirens. Part 1 and 2 were high whilst the other parts weren't so high and it was a really good series.  Also releasing too much stuff can put people off.

It doesn't with me. If I like an animator's work I will often check out their new stuff.  

etourist Business 2010-08-04 20:22:40

If you're a top animator then your own presence on the site does affect the success of the animations you release and can affect the success of up and coming animators and their releases.

Many of the people on the 'Most Fans of All Time' list currently aren't highly visible on the site. They're not taking part in forum discussions, they're not watching or commenting upon many videos etc.

For example there was a time where CoadyTNP was arguably the most popular animator on the site. There was a time where very few people hadn't heard of Ragnarok and Matters Worse. Even Mojochi isn't as present as he used to be.

If you're not out there, interacting then you're not advertising yourself. You're not building your reputation. People eventually stop anticipating your next release and new members won't know to look for your next animation.

At the same time, if the top animators aren't interacting and commenting on videos - getting their activity to show up in their fans 'My Idols' activity stream - then up and coming animators have to work that much harder to reach a wider audience.

A successful animation for me is one that gets upwards of 500 views. Not everything I make becomes a top animation and I'm often surprised at what doesn't get there.

Lately, however, one could argue that Top Animations hasn't been a true reflection of the best work on site - if Redd's posts about someone sabotaging the top animation list by rating popular animations down carries any weight. Someone did that to my Enigma Sunshine animation the day it made the top Twelve. It got rated down to the bottom of the second page. It's been clawing it's way back ever since.

TheseStars Business 2010-08-04 20:38:46

I am very perplexed at how animations get their ranking and how they are placed.  I became mindful of it while,
as a relatively new GA user, I needed to made my way around the community of animators and watch work.   And also noticed the drastic difference in views from one animation in a series to another for alot of animators from Solarbaby
to you, Gipsy.  

But moreover, while I doing all this animation perusing...I found it extremely annoying to watch an episode
in a series and have to go to the animators page to find the next one, or the other one, or the first one, or the second yada yada yada---I would find myself clicking on the title of something totally different---just so I could watch another
cartoon---which of course, is not in the series.  So this annoyance might lend it self to the lack of views from one animation to another--not only do you have to wiggle through pages to find it, but then you have to wait for it to load.

I think as a producer of a series, we must make moving through the episodes easy for the viewers--else lose em. Either by making a animation linking to all the episodes and than including a frame at the end of all episodes with links to the others.   I didn't watch alot of animations because I got side tracked looking for the next episode.

Plus I think all animators here must be reciporcal in nature.  I find it very annoying to have animators ask me to watch, rate and recommend their TOONs when these same folks having left one comment on mine work.  Let's face it, GO!ANIMATE can anagram into the word EGOMANIA with just a lonely T left over--which could certainly stand as an abbreviation to word "The" and we all get inspired to work harder and better at our animations when COMMENTS
are left to feed all our creative egos.  

I'm guilty of it myself---I watch TOONs and always try to leave an inspiring comment---there are some that I don't even
finish because they are just not worth the time.  But sometimes I hit that post button so quick that I forget to give any stars or recommend...and to do so you have to reload the page.    Anyway, Mojo mentioned during a tutorial on how to get your animations ranked ---maybe it will help get everyone the views, comments and recommends that they deserve if all GA animators learn and know how to become riciporcal.  And maybe, when GA reforms our user pages and allows us to organize our work--it might also help with views for those series with multiple episodes. I also think timing is everything and there is a rhythm to everything.  As will internet email marketing---I read a study that said never to send out a mass email marketing compaigne on a Monday or Friday---Wednesday is best.  A study showed that marketing emials sent out on Wednesday did best, while still Tuesday and Thursday were showed better than Friday---which was the worst day.  What I'm trying ot say is GA users---have a rhythm too.    Right now school is out---kids on vacation  they can spend more time here--hence some really silly threads lately. While us adults, working all week, might have some more free time on weekends.  Who is your audience?  Sling your broadcasts when apt to be at the computer with free time and before they get buried on the page with all the new free full fan base broadcasting----it's easy for your mass message to push right off the page.

etourist Business 2010-08-04 20:38:53

@Universal: The contest would be having some effect but not being a contest entry won't keep you out of top animations. Mojochi's Advanced Custom Tutorial and Enigma Sunshine are two examples of non-contest top animations.

g¡psy 2010-08-04 20:53:20

Take my "animating for a cause" animation in Spanish. For me, the number of views it has received is a tremendous success. Many users who don't even speak Spanish took the effort of watching it, rating it and commenting on it. I found that touching. I think we agree success is relative. For example, it comes as a surprise to me vp123456's Calvin & Hobbes didn't get many views, because I clearly remember watching it and thinking "wow, that's good!".  So, guessing the amount of views (not really the success or not, since that's more flexible and personal) is really difficult. I think it always was. When Coady published his second part of Meow Meow I remember telling him it was going to get many more views than the second in no time at all. I was wrong. It got many views, but it was somehow harder for it to get them. I believe, on reflection, the time of the year it was released was not the most convenient... But then again, if we had our animations ready, letting them "sleep" because "strategy" tells us so, is a bit hard. After all we are here to enjoy, and to share our entertainment with others...
But getting those big number of views sure feels good!

g¡psy 2010-08-04 20:59:16

Oh, and I fully agree with thesestars about the "ego" in here. I plead guilty... =o)

LörÐ §ör¢êr¥ 2010-08-04 21:11:22

To me

Getting at least 100 views on an animation and at least half the ratings of the number of views on the animtion. Also to get at least 10 reccommendations on an animtion. Also I've never been on the top animation front page but I've been on the 3rd page. Does that even count or is it just nothing?

TheseStars Business 2010-08-04 21:12:29

@ gypsy
I loved it in spanish.  Letting animations "sleep"  I know what you mean---but I have the
knowledge of the stars by my side and well, when I finished my first HOOT! with TET's
creation of a moving HOOT!  I waited about 45 minutes to release it publically because
well, I wanted to wait until there was a star (Venus, I believe) in a nice trine to ascendant
(the most east point of the horizen)  I figured HOOT was gonna need alot of love (Venus)
if he was to make for a character people could be fond of.  It's killed me to wait, but I
did it---however,

when I enter quick fire contests I bearly make the deadline---so I don't have the luxury of
the stars--as was the case with HOOT winning the contest---I never thought I would win,
especially over Solarbaby's Dancing on the Ceiling---it was amazing.  I wish the admins would
sheld a little light on the reasons for their picks.  Would certainly help the younger animators
realize who really want a staff pick bad enough ---what they need to do to get it.
@etourist your right about top animators effect on up and coming animators---if you didn't bring HOOT! alive ---I don't think anyone would have noticed my work or would have wanted to have returned to watch a flat unmoving owl make words out of words.  You certainly gave us both a lift.

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-04 21:27:04

Hey gipsy. It's awful that it's not getting the attention it deserves.

Unless GoA method of rating top animations has been disturbed by the upgrade (which is totally possible), I doubt someone could successfully sabotage it. I've seen some people who have the huge amount of accounts and all they could do was push their top animation status up, but didn't affect the top animations category.

The thing is with some animators who are complaining is that when they delete their favorites and that affects the whole system too. If any top animator has less than 25 favorites (and all their favorite animations are newer ones) they aren't playing nice with the system (or get bored really quickly).

I have noticed when a few of the "top animators" take a break for a bit that the top animations seem to go wonky. The reason is probably that the top animators tend to rate animations pretty fairly. When a few drop out, that gives more power to those who may not be so fair.

Timing is a big issue. I was banking on GA getting a surge of views when kids were out of school for Christmas break, so I released it "strategically".  Unfortunately, it was a bad strategy...

The thing is the GA community isn't really good with series and sequels. And on a site like this, it's understandable. It's made to be a site that's goofy with short videos. There are so many things to watch that even I find it hard to keep up with the stories. And this coming from someone who is working on a series and wants to make serious work, but I know my audience and serious work will be under-appreciated- which for me, getting my stuff seen (and ideally enjoyed) is more entertaining than actually making it.  

gipsy pretty much just has bad luck. His stuff is awesome, but often it gets overlooked. Maybe people have something against gipsies...

Nicolas Site Admin 2010-08-04 22:00:11

Hey guys,

It's great to read a thread like this and try to think about how we can improve our experience so that more of your animations feel like a success to you. I think all sites have the same problem as GoAnimate. We need to rely on the community to uncover great content. We try to put the right mechanism in place, but sometimes quality is not what sells. I think YouTube is a great example. We all watch the same "dumb" videos that get millions of views, while some really high quality projects get ignored.

Personally I basically don't get much views on my animations and of course it's nicer when you get some kind of feedback and recognition. But in the end, I think the animation I consider my greatest success is my "tough to be a dad" one where I had my wife help me do voice overs. Michelle, David and I also had great fun doing our Work in Progress animations because it was so fun to make. Maybe in the end all views are not equal. If people who really matter to you watch and comment, then it's pretty nice. :o)

Alrite. Enough rambling on my part. Back to work! :o)

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-05 01:55:25

I'll say this. The major key to having a "Hit" animation (Which I'd consider as 1000 views or more) is a solid core fanbase, or friend group, who will support you without fail. Upwards of a couple dozen devoted members who will *recommend*, give high ratings & share your animations, will consistently get you to the top animations page, which is where your views will soar, because sadly many people who watch must never make it past the front page or something

For a long time, I was like Midas around here, because I had that support system, & I'm humble enough to admit that every one of my hit animations got there, because of fan/friend devotion. I'm thinking that it will be tougher for me now, because over the months, many of them are less present on the site. RoTv, Coady, Ryco, Digitalshark, just too many to even mention. I've been lucky to have folks like that as fans, because they show their support

Where as, there are many members who will praise your animation in a comment, but won't recommend it or maybe not even rate it, because they are either too lazy, uninformed about it, don't know how it works, or don't think it is important. It is, very. I usually attribute it to the youngness of many of the members, & brush it off. It's not really all that important to me that all my animations are successful, & some of them aren't

I had to get active & try really hard, to get my latest tutorial on the home page, because it might not have gotten there otherwise, and for any other animation of mine, that would be ok with me, but I really want the tutorials to get out there, more for the benefit that it presents to the whole community

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-05 01:59:53

Here's some other key factors that can influence the success of a hit animation. PUBLICITY. Make a forum thread. Conservatively broadcast to your fans. Tweet it with a Twitter account, so it gets on the home page,

CONTENT. Make things that will appeal to people. I made Pet Peeved for that reason. There's something very appealing about cute bunnies & kitties & happy music, & now it's nearing 10,000 views, to my amazement. The same can be said about Harry Chalk. It's very appealing.

STAFF PICKS. Use their site in a way that gets their attention. They won't be stingy. They'll put it up there, & the people who actually do browse the site will see it & watch. This wonderful staff has bailed out numerous animations of mine.

TIMING. It stinks to have to consider this, but even if your new animation gets an initial burst of ratings & recommendations, it still might not make it to the home page, until after some highly rated animations drop off of it. So it never hurts to investigate. Check out all those top animations. Check their stats, & note their release dates & maybe wait a little while, until they're nearing the end of their 30 day run, But don't wait too long, because more will be coming

I know, it sucks to have to think that way. That's not what the site is supposed to be about, but it's not an insignificant factor, & it can be the thing that buys your video a better chance of a lengthy run on the home page  

QUALITY. Don't just toss it together. Stretch your imagination. Think about what makes for a good movie. Good audio goes a long way. Voices, sound FX, music. Coordinate all those things. Match & time them to what the video is doing. People will respond  

But the most important factor is that devoted group of fans/friends, people who are mature enough to know the value of loyalty, and they're out there, for sure, but we (Including me) have to get out there & become friends with them. That's the ticket. I suppose I could make a tutorial about this, but it would have to be a half hour long :P

TheseStars Business 2010-08-05 03:19:24

@MOJO  
Good Post MOJO....I really would love to see a tutorial on this
so people know how to be not only a good animator but a good
viewer too.  I went though my recommends today---and well, I
haven't done it enough---why?  because I never really knew it was
that important.  I've been so caught up with bringing whats in my
head to the stage---that I haven't been paying attention to how to
get views.  Plus I noticed that there are so many TOONs that I just
loved I didn't realize that by recommending them---they become
part of my favorites---

So there you have it.  If this critical nit-picking Virgo missed it....how
many others are missing it.

A tutorial is very much needed. Over the weekend, I'm gonna make a date with the computer, a glass of Vino, and little snack and I'm gonna pay attention to those little yellow stars and the recommend button.  

etourist Business 2010-08-05 07:03:39

I think Harry Chalk took off because it was easy to follow, used a popular theme and had a situation many people can identify with. Topped off with a cool, unique fight move or two.

All of what Mojochi talks about in his posts above about how to have a successful animation is very true.

Many top animators, including myself, have analysed GoAnimate over and over to work out how to push our animations to the homepage legitimately.

For me its always been two things - making quality animations and minimal promotion through the most visable means i.e. Twitter, fan activity streams and this forum.

(for those wondering about fan activity streams - if you're not commenting on your own animations you're missing out on another way to broadcast to all your fans without spamming).

I release all my animations as soon as they're finished.  Generally, because I spend so much time on each one, I rarely demand too much of my fans time by releasing too many animations too quickly.

LörÐ §ör¢êr¥ 2010-08-05 09:22:57

@Mojochi

It was alot to read but I read it all and I think what you said will help me becoem a better animtor.

@thesetars

I have over 200 favorites.

Magitek 2010-08-05 10:34:56

I can understand that this thread might be daunting for some newer users, as it explores topics that they have never conceived  would come out of a little flash animation site. This, in my opinion, make GA great. There's so much depth in the simplicity that it can really surprise you. This site makes us think like our own little film producers, coordinating our projects, publishing and promoting them, and, eventually, watch the community react to them. It's much more than the average user thinks about.

Another thing is that animations themselves carry much more weight than the average user expects them to do: The average user might shovel out 10 stick figure fight scenes in a week and realize that it's gone nowhere in terms of views, recs, and ratings. And that's when people can learn the most. Thanks to Mojo we have many great tutorials, posts, and more we can learn from. That's the same for etourist, Coady, and so on.

thesestars has a point about the quickfire entries. If we had some sort of rubric or grading chart, we could see exactly what the judges were looking for, instead of just a prompt. It would help newer users to figure out what exactly makes a good animation a good animation.

TheseStars Business 2010-08-05 18:32:45

Nice feedback from everyone, since I saw it last.

So I'm gonna Bump it to the Top!

etourist Business 2010-08-05 19:12:30

@Magitek: These are the kind of posts everyone who wants to make a top animation should read. Just because there's a lot of words isn't an excuse not to. Don't read it all in one sitting if that's a problem. Bookmark the page and come back to it.

Incidently Gipsy has a great web site with many of these tips at:

http://gipsytips.weebly.com/index.html

It's interesting to see that even though gipsy knows a lot of what's been said he's still interested to find out how to do things better to be more successful.

I think CS4 raises a great point about trends. Starting a trend isn't really something you can plan for. Certainly I never have and I don't see myself as a trend setter however, once you see a trend that inspires you, try to come up with a new angle on it.

To take the popular trend of Zombie Appocolypse animations. We've all seen the three friends fight their way out of a Zombie outbreak, one of the friends gets infected etc. etc. the fight continues until the Zombies are destroyed. If you're doing that story, again, you may as well banish yourself to the Zombie wastelands ;-)

Why not spin it around and tell the story of a bunch of Zombies trying to stop three humans from wiping them out?

Why not use a theme other than stick figures... Willie Nelson and the Zombie Attack!! ;-) (Is that really so crazy? I mean Willie's old enough to have out lived many of his fans. They could be coming back from the dead just to see him!).  Two ideas for free :-)  It's not hard to find new takes on things. When in doubt throw something in that sounds totally crazy and see if you can make it work... Batman Versus Paris Hilton (you know she's plotting world domination... it's time for Batman to step in!).  :-)

reddplague GoPlus 2010-08-05 21:33:42

@CS4 the studio is Flash and all it's contents.

AlexWoodRules 2010-08-05 22:49:23

SO MANY WORDS

TheseStars Business 2010-08-06 00:23:19

@TET --- you are just dang funny, that's great stuff.

@ CJ  --- I would jump on one those

Chaostoon Business 2010-08-06 09:28:46

All of this is great information.  I want to add the "going viral" factor to the discussion.

To use it as an example and analyze (humbly, guys, not bragging, so overwhelmed by it), Wolfman has only been out 12 days at the time of this writing and it has over 2100 views.  It's got 56 recs, 73 ratings and commented on 95 times.  It's averaging about 150 views a day...  one day it topped 300.  It's listed as the Top Animation of All Time right now.  As far as I can tell, that is heavyweight for this site.  

How'd it happen?  I'm NOT popular...  I only have 250 fans right now... before Wolfman, it was barely 200.  Some of you have THOUSANDS of fans.  I only put it on my Posterous, Twitter and Facebook.  

Best I can figure, it simply went "viral".  Someone told someone about it, who told someone else, and so on.  That happened quickly enough for it to make it to the front page, and then it took off from there.

I know you guys are digging into the mechanics of popularity in this thread...  but I think there's a simplicity to it....  and to social media in general.  You pass a link along, you post it on your Facebook wall or retweet on Twitter and it spreads...  but only if people WANT to spread it.

I have a cartoon like that too Gipsy.  I consider my Jingle Bells video one of my best (even the singer that sang it loves it and we're connected on Twitter and Facebook because of it) and it only has around 200 views.

etourist Business 2010-08-06 10:13:43

What makes a video go viral is a whole other discussion Chaostoon, but it is relevant to this one too. I guess most of us would love one of our animations to really take off beyond our wildest expectations. I've been fortunate enough to have two - neither of which I ever imagined would be as successful as they have been.

The thing is... you can plan for your animation to be a success. Go through Mojochi's post above. Tick all the boxes next to the points he raises and you should have a better than average chance of a successful animation.

You can't plan for a video to go viral because, despite people who have tried, there doesn't seem to be a definite formula.

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-06 10:38:07

@thesestars you are doing a fantastic job in the community. ;)

Even the person I had in mind with my comment about not playing nice by not keeping favorites is an amazing contributor to the community. Just keeping favorites isn't his/her strength and possibly doesn't understand the value of keeping favorite animations favorited.

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-06 10:46:20

I have yet to see a GA video go viral. Having had a couple animations of mine be wildly popular on the site, and racking up what seems like an insane amount of views (especially coming from a village of less than 2000 people) I still have to say that nothing on here even remotely compares to David coming back from the dentist or Star Wars kid.
And the only ones that could were viral in a different way... Twitter spam.
This from the guy who is still coasting on Meow Meow...

Chaostoon Business 2010-08-06 11:27:46

@etourist Never said you could plan a video into going viral.  It simply happens.  The only thing I planned for Wolfman is allowing enough time for it to get 100 views in time for the deadline.

The only things you can plan on Mojochi's list are publicity (or promoting) and quality.  Content, staff picks, timing...  that's all relative, depending on people's tastes at the time.  

I will say this about timing though... A Captain America themed GoAnimation, for example, may not be as popular now as it would be after the movie they're making comes out, no matter what time of the day you release it or if the staff picks it or not.  I did PLAN on creating that Dragon RIGHT BEFORE How to Train Your Dragon came out because I figured that the movie would increase it's popularity, but that's watching trends and CS4 talked about that.

etourist Business 2010-08-06 11:29:23

There are different levels of 'going viral'. Viral within the community and viral on the internet globally. My target audience is GoAnimate. I make very little effort to get my animations seen by the wider online community.

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-06 13:41:20

I'd say that 'going viral' applies mostly to people who have talent & quality animations, & yet lack a consistent fan base. Someone like Chaostoon or Solarbaby might honestly be getting thousands of views on all their masterfully created projects, but they don't, & it only happens, when something really strikes a chord with a large enough mass of their fans, for it to breakout, & that frequently happens as fast as lightening. I've had a few videos blow up like that, but it's rather rare. A video like that can come to rest at over 5000-10000 views

However, a steadier success is achievable through more conventional means, & those means are more related to the kind of social networking that happens on many internet sites. I had a golden run for a while, & many of my videos were raking in 2000-5000 views, maybe a bit more. That can't always be attributable to the "Viral" phenomenon. Something else was at work, & I had to admit that it was because of about 2 dozen people who consistently recommended & rated my videos well. Solarbaby, Showtime, Gipsy... So many more

Rule #1. The best kind of fan is a friend. A fan's attention wanders. A friend is looking out for you

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-06 14:02:01

LOL! Maybe both aren't so different :P

g¡psy 2010-08-06 14:47:24

On the viral discussion... we have to agree that virality in Youtube is in a whole different galaxy than virality in any other place in the Internet. So Coa... I mean Laundryman is right about not being any GA animation obtaining "virality" at a Youtube level, but obviously there are GA animations that get a huge success by going "viral". At a lesser level, but viral nevertheless.
Identifying when the success is due to hard work and/or quality of the animation itself, and when is due to virality is hard sometimes. Others, not really...

S࿂laяßabY GoPlus 2010-08-06 15:51:20

A good way to get your video high is to ask all your friends to watch it a set time and rate and recommend. Then all their fans will see all these links to your new video in their feed and check it out.  

Magitek 2010-08-06 16:41:38

@TET
I understand that, I was referring to newer users, who don't quite have a bearing on the crazy stuff that goes on here. It's really cool to see all the great animators of the site coming together to have a discussion on a topic we can all learn from.

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-06 20:05:57

I will call something viral when it's shared more than it's seen from GoAnimate links resulting in over 15000 unique views and continues to accrue views at a fairly steady pace beyond it's GA "Shelf life".
Until then maybe popular on GA is the best term I gan give it. Maybe GA epidemic at best :P

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-06 20:18:52

How to make a successful video- give your fans what they want when they want.
I've noticed fans generally like short funny and or violent videos. Series tend to drop views by at least 25% per episode. I also think that with series we depend too much on the success of the last one and don't promote it as much. It was definitely one to the reasons mm2 was so slow to get views.

Pace also is an issue. If you have any "dead" spots anything that is boring at all, it can lose you some views.

I've found that if you release an animation of flash props it can kill the likelihood of people watching your next video. Don't you hate having to click then wait for the vid to load just to see a new prop or background?

I find I usually avoid anything with the word "trailer" (except for this contest)  or the word "game" cuz it means I'm going to have to wait for the animations to load over and over again.

TheseStars Business 2010-08-06 20:48:00

Well, I never really had any success on Youtube, except for watching
of course.  But I purchased downloads of 2 HOOT toons and my contest
entry to the summerblockbuster---maybe I can get some views that way.
They are counted right?  It's okay if they're not--cause I've been wanting
to get some of my work on my iPod so I can force other people to watch
them.  They will have no choice if I'm in the room with them. Hehe.

etourist Business 2010-08-06 20:53:55

@Laundryman: What would you call GoA 'shelf life'? Even on Youtube it is impossible for a video to be shared more than it is seen? I would appreciate clarification on those points. :-)

The first Harry Chalk episode was sitting on the first page of the Top Animations of all time for months (it was released back in February). It only recently dropped out once the Summer Blockbuster competition got under way. With more than 12,000 views - which is pretty good for a first episode of anything that wasn't widely promoted prior to release - there are only a handful of animations on GoA that are in the same league.

It wasn't made as part of a competition. It doesn't have any outstanding custom flash work. It's inspired numerous parodies and had many animations based upon it. What more does an animation need to do to be more than just 'popular'.

The same can be said for the first episode of GoA Complaints Dept. Which had crossed over to imitators on Domo Animator long before I created my own Domo Complaints Dept.

Whilst I do have a strong fan base, on any other animation I'm fortunate to get 500 views in 30 days.

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-07 01:41:15

It's nearly unheard of to hit higher than 15000 views on an animation, unless there is some kind of offsite phenomenon going on. Anything under that mark but above 5000 got there because of a lengthy stretch on the home page, & a mass appeal facor, & that's the kind of breakout "Viral" success I thought we were referring to.

My first two Pet Peeved animations are nearing 10000 each, which is the most success I've ever gotten here, & I attribute it to that type of breakout success, that is exceedingly rare, but not unheard of, given the right properties for mass appeal. Something which causes literally every person who even visits this site, to watch the animation, perhaps multiple times.

What is the formula for that kind of success? Hell if I know. lol
My own recipe is always the same. Make something which amuses me, even after I've watched it so much during editing, that it makes me want to puke from the site of it. ROFL If it still manages to entertain me, even then, then I just trust my intuition, that my own tastes are not all that dissimilar from other people's. I'm wrong now & then, but once in great long while, I'm right. It's luck or kismet mostly, as to what will be a breakout success, or a local "Viral" phenomenon, & also the tastes of the times, which is also unpredictable

I would never presume to be able to advise people on how to strike that kind of good fortune, but I have seen other patterns that are worth noting. The majority of my 100000+ views came from a steady success of animations that pulled 2000-5000 views a pop, which was largely due to some wonderfully loyal people that consistently bumped me up to the front page, with a video that maybe didn't have that magic viral factor. That's the bottom line. Having a number of people who support you

& I have been fortunate to have that :)

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-07 01:56:06

Oh, & as for the OP question about series, the patron saint of laundry is absolutely correct :P

I was very fortunate to get almost the same view count in my 2nd pet toon, as my 1st. The 3rd dropped by almost half, & was a better toon, imo, than the 2nd. I think people lose interest. I'm probably not going to do too many serials, for that fact, at least none that go past 3 episodes

My new series Enterprise Life will not be serialized. It'll just be a collection of self contained vignettes, under the same title. Just fun stuff with the Trek Quogs, basically. Star trek is perfect for that, too, actually, because  the real series wasn't serialized either

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-07 21:42:27

I almost exclusively watch YouTube videos through referals from facebook. I never go on YouTube and say, hey what's on the front page today. YouTube only has a video on it's front page for 3 days. There's no way that a million plus hits come in those 3 days. I'm going to go the ignorant route and say that viral videos are viral because people share them, and from what I've seen sharing isn't a big deal on GA. So I'm still holding to my position ion viral. Not that it's important, I just don't want the kids to tell their friends they have a video hats gone viral when they get a video that's reached 8000 views and their friends make fun of them... Cuz my socially savvy friends definitely would...

-Yeah Derek, my video has gone viral.
-Wow, that's great Coady, How many views have you racked up? Like 100000 by now, eh?
-Well all videos in total...
-how many videos you have 2 or 3...
-uh about 50...
-Bwahahaha. Oh yeah, you've got a real pandemic on your hands. Are your servers holding up.
-Well it was shared at least 15 times.
-oh god, it's as bad as mono. 'bursts into derisive laughter again'.


I'd never hear the end of it.

Chaostoon Business 2010-08-07 22:03:24

I have the same opinion as Gipsy.  There's a difference between GoAnimate viral and YouTube viral.  Can you imagine a GoAnimate video with a million views?  It's apples and oranges I think.  

I think if you wanted to explain it to someone outside of GoAnimate, I could describe it as "popular on this website" and not use the literal word "viral."  Now, if a GoAnimate vid ended up on YouTube and got those million views...  you better believe...  it's VIRAL.

etourist Business 2010-08-07 23:04:56

I only watch Youtube videos on my subscription list and occassionally I'll click around on some of the recommendations and stuff that come up on my youtube homepage. Most of the 'viral' stuff seems to pass me by.

I'd love to see GoAnimate put up a competition of some sort for the first GoA video to go 'viral' on Youtube i.e. gain 100,000 plus views (or even higher perhaps) with a time limit of 30 days from uploading (or less) to get those views.

Add some strict criteria, such as your video must include GoAnimate's URL at the end. Even, perhaps, it must be one you've paid to download from GoA to ensure only serious competitors (and to perhaps help fund the prize - consider it an entry fee). Leave the subject matter completely open but within GoAnimates TOS guidelines.

Just an idea.

I wanted to add a comment about series animations and why second and third episodes don't do as well - since that's been raised here.

One reason is possibly that the first episode that does well gets good word of mouth. It's different and raises curiosity causing a lot of people to check it out. By the time the second episode comes around people have some idea what to expect. If they didn't like the first episode (say it's subject wasn't really something that captured their imagination) then they're not likely to come back for the second.

That could be part of the reason for the drop off in a series. It happens with TV shows all the time. The first episode of a new show is a ratings dream but the second episode nearly always drops off significantly.

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-08 03:35:13

By definition viral video is a video made popular by sharing. If we want to change the definition for GA, that's cool. Or I could call it hyperbole. I think popular for GA is different than popular for YouTube. But calling a GA video viral (thus far) is like calling a leper quarantine an epidemic in which the lepers give eachother a common cold. -I wonder if the analogy will sound as good when I am sober?

Lol@ Mojo's patron saint of Laundry.
@Tet good call on the series.

g¡psy 2010-08-08 11:23:41

@Coad... Laundryman: I see your point. Certainly if I tell my friends my vids are famous they'll have a good laugh at my expense. Youtube has obtained such level of success that for a video being famous in Internet means being famous in Youtube. I rarely use the site unless I am looking for something specific, and I tend to ignore links sent to me with a Youtube address. Even though, I also saw the stars wars kid, or the Italian man going To Malta... So, unless a GA animation is famous in Youtube (I believe that hasn't happened yet) there is no similarity between "virality" (expanding everywhere like a virus) in GoAnimate and Youtube. Somehow your example of the contagious leprosy didn't appeal to me (one of us needs a few more beers yet), but I think I got your point...
@etourist: a GA contest based on another site? It's certainly a radically new approach... It might work for getting GA notoriety, but I don't know...

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-08 12:00:04

I just feel like GA is a community, & youtube is just a dumping ground for video clips. To compare the two is almost certainly a disservice to what we have here. I think 10,000 views here is equivalent to 100,000 views or more there, proportionally. When a professional film maker like Patrick Boivin http://www.youtube.com/user/PatrickBoivin is able to pull over a million views with his transformer & Iron Baby animations, but barely hits 500,000 with his other stuff, yet there's countless viral videos of stupid stuff, like fat kids having light saber duels, that have millions of hits, there is no gauge for what is a worthy success

When a video here goes over 5000 views, it is almost always a worthwhile animated creation. I would never expect a site like this to have the proportional amount of members & corresponding viral breakout successes as youtube, with similar stats. The reason for this is simple. This site is developed for a certain kind of person. Unlike youtube, we all have something rather specific in common here, a love of animation.

The fact that I got nearly 10000 views on an animation, somewhere where every one of its limited membership is making animations with the same tools, is just as astounding as a random video clip surfacing on a site flooded with that stuff, maybe more so. Youtube might be a cultural phenomenon, but GA is a rare & precious jewel. I only hope it will be here for a long time, & will continue to grow in success

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-08 14:16:57

LOL@myself. What the heck was I drinking? I understand it, I think... as long as I don't think about it too hard. lol.

I agree Mojo, there is no comparing GA and Youtube. That's why I think it best to avoid the word viral. Viral video is a video that becomes famous through sharing. Stars Wars kid was famous long before YouTube. It was sent by email... Viral is when it goes far beyond the platform that is used to distribute it. Just because I wouldn't call a GA video viral definitely doesn't mean I don't think anything on here is quality or popular.

But what a crappy convo I started on a thread that's meant to be about how to make your video a "success".

Chaostoon Business 2010-08-08 14:53:09

Nah, Coad... um...  Laundry..  Man?...  I'll take responsibility.  I used the V word.

Cartoon King 2010-08-08 15:15:36

All you need is in this thread
"V-I-S-I-T IT!
http://goanimate.com/thread/1520

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-08 16:45:59

Not at all. I completely see the point about viral being a popular term for something that infects the whole net. Since I've never really used the term that way, & was slightly unfamiliar with it, I just got the impression that is was being applied to a local standard, because there is definitely a local phenomenon which imitates a virus, in how it spreads here, & accumulates views.

Frankly, there's only been two members here who've accumulated the amount of views that would be correlative to something that has that many views on a site like youtube, & I can't be positive, but I figure neither of them got that way from what would be considered the genuine effects of a "Viral" phenomenon. Basically, I suspect that people around the whole net are not watching those videos, in a popular trend kind of way

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-08 17:00:16

LOL, I agree Mojo. If we're thinking of the same two, one was akin to a virus... kinda like avian flu... The other I think just has a popular website...



Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-08 17:10:20

I was thinking more like the clap. LOL

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-08 17:11:14

LOL!

etourist Business 2010-08-08 19:49:25

To save myself the embarassment of saying my animations have gone 'viral' I just tell people I'm 'big on GoAnimate' and they go 'What's a GoAnimate?' *sigh* ;-)

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-08 20:36:23

Hahaha. So true TET.

GoAnimate is oddly cool to explain to people. At least everyone I've explained GA to has been very receptive. It just appears when they sign up, they usually don't stay :(
Still working on what goes wrong... Maybe I should stop telling them how much their animations suck... I'm not sherif that could be the problem... I mean, I even chased away RoTV--old faithful. Suck can have various interpretations depending on gender, orientation, and religious beliefs, hey and if you're a vampire--which I suspect RoTV is-- it can an awesome thing.

So RoTV, if you're reading this. Please come back, your animations suck--but in a good way. :P

etourist Business 2010-08-08 22:20:13

...just checking... errr... RoTV's still hidden away at an undisclosed location with no access to anything but public and work computers right?

OH WAIT.. was this keyboard on? Nobody'll see that right? Cool!

Yep Laundryman, it was definitely you that chased RoTV away. Nothing Covert going on here. LOL



Right... off to make sure digital shark still thinks the internet is evil, Ryco's still suffering from writers and block and that Charles Zippel is still being distracted by his shiney Xbox. ;-)

Nothing covert going on at all... LOL

g¡psy 2010-08-09 02:26:22

Maybe all we need to make our animations "viral" (LOL, I love the word!) is to record Coady doing some star wars stunts with a couple of sticks, upload it as a video using the GoPlus+ feature, including that in all our animations, setting up a very successful web site with thousands of daily hits, share our animation there, upload it to Youtube and promote it through hundred of double accounts, and that's it! Easy stuff! Why didn't I think about it before?
Hey Laundryman, any news when Coady's coming back?

reddplague GoPlus 2010-08-09 08:58:29

Blah, Blah, Blah the only thing that matters is getting on the front page. Everything else is pointless :-).

etourist Business 2010-08-09 09:23:59

@reddplague - got it. Firing up my 50 fake accounts right now... ;-)

It matters how you get there redd.

reddplague GoPlus 2010-08-09 09:38:57

I going for 200 accounts nothing will stop me now *evil grin*.

Ok! No more jokes from me. I only know of one person who can create animations and everyone of them gets on the top page. They have never had a flop. They aren't active in the community what so ever. They come and go as they create animations.  So, how do you explain that? Btw, their animations are good.

g¡psy 2010-08-09 10:03:18

Thank you red, but my animations flop sometimes =oP
I was joking, but I am really curious to know who are you talking about? I have an Animator in mind, but he\she only made two animations so far...

reddplague GoPlus 2010-08-09 13:39:47

@ CS4  LMAO!!!!!

g¡psy 2010-08-09 17:17:13

Yes, BigDawg is awesome. But he is also a great comment maker! I love to read his comments in animations.

etourist Business 2010-08-09 19:42:27

I can only speculate on who you're talking about Redd?

BigDawg's name has been mentioned but he was highly active in the community for a long time. Hasn't been seen much since the last official contest though.

Chaostoon Business 2010-08-09 20:41:13

You talking about cheekyboy?

vp1234567 2010-08-09 22:06:53

I think Redd was talking about bigdawg. Each of his animations has more than 7500 views with 5 of them above the fabled 10,000 mark. "Hungry" had 12,604 views at the time of this post.

Or he could be talking about tripfold? That guy's 2 animations were epic!

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-10 00:34:29

It wouldn't be cheekyboy. He's had plenty of unsuccessful animations. Bigdawg is always supportive of my animations, & drops me a line on occasion. I can't figure who Redd means either :s

Anyway though, my answer to his question is that being an active community member & developing friendships with other members is one way to be a consistent top animation spot grabber, but I imagine that a quality animator might get recommends from enough considerate members, without being as present.

Quality is quality, & some people are willing to recognize it when they see it, even from a stranger, or noob. All it takes is one person to spread the word, & success can strike, for someone with talent. Uncle Jesse broke into the local limelight very much that way

Working the social network is just really good advice for members who might be struggling to get noticed, get views, & gopoints, etc... It's not the only way

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-10 00:44:55

With only 2 videos? That's hardly someone who monopolizes the front page. I do wish he'd come back though. His stuff is great. I hope he wasn't someone's double account :(

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-10 00:53:29

The only member(s) I can think of that have more than 2 quality animations, that got top exposure on them, but aren't active in the community, are Paul & Misty, with their Super Rica & Rashy animations, but I imagine that they had staff support, as they are contributors to the site. Plus, they haven't made anything new in about a year & a half

g¡psy 2010-08-10 01:46:21

Oh, and returning on how to make a success out of your animation, red is right: getting your animation in the front page very soon is the clue. Right now, Coady's Laundryman trailer got in there with about seventy views. It shows us a few things: getting there is not so much about views as it is about getting high ratings, comments and recommendations. Secondly, quality sells. Thirdly, not so positive, but entering an official contest is always beneficial even at a late date. Probably Coady's animation would have made it even out of contest, but I bet the contest helped. It is also important to get people in there soon, and if they are top Animators, all the better (I bet getting TET or Mojochi commenting, rating and recommending has more weight than the same thing done by a lesser known Animator. Sorry guys, you have a responsibility there...).
So, getting in the front page is the clue. How to get there is the "difficult" part...

Mojochi GoPlus 2010-08-10 02:40:39

Rating highly & recommending is the key. Currently, it usually only takes about 2 dozen high ratings of 4 or 5*, & as many recommendations, to get bumped right into the top ten. If we start getting more animations with those kinds of numbers, then it will take more to get up there

But here's a great lesson. As of right this minute, my tutorial (34 rates & 24 recs), VP's summer blockbuster (45 rates & 24 recs), & TET's Bat Storm Trailer (35 rates  & 29 recs) are in 4th, 5th, & 6th, place, respectively, & they both have more views than mine, because they've been there longer

Since they both have more ratings, & equal or higher numbers of recommendations, I must be holding onto a very small lead in overall rating average, in order for me to be ahead of them. It's impossible to gauge how much of a lead, as we're talking about a fraction of a half star, in overall rating. It basically means my video is ranked higher, because a few people rated it higher than the ratings on the other two. One person could change all that tomorrow

reddplague GoPlus 2010-08-10 06:37:53

Sorry I mean in the forums not on animations. At least I haven't seen any comments posted.

CoadyTNP GoPlus 2010-08-10 09:14:46

Yeah, The Ol' Dog isn't much for forums, but I didn't know that was a requirement. I usually hate forum, I just happened to make good friends here to banter with and harass. I'm not a huge fan of his animations, but I'm a huge fan of his.

@gipsy, I've found my videos do much more poorly during contests. The competitive side of people tends to take over, and I usually get a lot less recommends- even from friends who would normally recommend. I guess during contests people also judge a little more harshly, which is understandable; I probably do the same thing. lol, and it got in the top ten with 50 views- lol. It actually annoyed me a little, but at the same time, Hey, I'm in the top ten with under a hundred. Sweetness!
I was lucky the heavy hitters were on when I released my video, so it climbed really quickly. Thank goodness they all liked it! Now I'm afraid that it won't get to number one since there are no stars to rate them... Dang that Chaostoon having an awesome trailer and releasing it on time! :P

I wonder if Laundryman broke Meow Meow's record. I had 24 recs in 24 hours... We should have someone recording this stuff...

etourist Business 2010-08-10 20:04:23

I have a feeling Big Dawg has access to a good social network or two outside of GoAnimate. Just based on his comments on animations he'd be popular almost anywhere. Could be why his animations always do so well in terms of views and sharing.

I don't think he's doing anything questionable.

g¡psy 2010-08-11 02:36:01

@TET: I don't either. His animations are great and he (or she, I ain't sure) plays his character in a hilarious way. Maybe that's the key: quality and being nice. Or having a pic with a dog in it...