Or: “How to Start a YouTube Channel”
Although I don’t remember exactly, but prior to launching Little Big Thumbs on YouTube, the very first research we did started with this phrase, or something very similar. Not long after, I came across a video from Sean Cannell at Think Media, which contained the push we needed – “Just Start”.
So, start we did!
Using the same lens we used in our DWP articles, the goal of a YouTube channel would be to seek out games for younger players than can be fully enjoyed by adults, or vice versa. Keeping that in mind, our first video focused on a game we had previously covered for the DWP, I Spy Dig In from University Games. My girls and I put together a largely unscripted video filled with my own unfocused nervous energy, and Big and Little Bean’s infectious personalities:
It still brings a smile to my face, looking at how much smaller they were a year ago!
After creating a handful of videos with my little ladies, it became pretty apparent that they were not interested in being a major presence in each and every video. And I had to ask myself a critical question – should Little Big Thumbs continue as a presence on YouTube? Would it even make sense to move “Little Big Thumbs” forwards without the Little Thumbs on screen with me?
Right around that same time, my good friend and fellow DWP contributor Milo asked about working together on a video, which brought us to a second “milestone” in our video content journey. Milo and I first worked together on Piece of Pie from Blue Orange Games, which was a great deal of fun!
Milo also wrote an article about Piece of Pie for the DWP, which you can read right here.
The tricky part about content creation is to be continually creating content. Involving friends and family in that content can be great fun, but there is often the potential to put unintended strain on those relationships, which lead me to think about creating videos mostly on my own. Over on Instagram, we were having a lovely response to “Tuneful Tuesday” posts, in which I would take my years of operatic experience, and sing about a featured board game. For a brief time, I experimented with bringing that format over to YouTube, like we did for this video putting a spotlight on Match 5 from Synapses Games:
The Tuneful Tuesday series was a great deal of fun, but trying to write game-themed parody songs on a weekly basis was quickly beginning to eat up more time than I could afford. I’d love to revisit this concept again down the line, as an extra special and very occasional offering!
The format that eventually stuck for Little Big Thumbs has been a more traditional video presentation, with a bit of scripting, a lot more photography, and with myself as the primary face of the channel. My girls still occasionally show up either as co-hosts or in gameplay footage, and only when they express interest in being a part of the content.
These videos with “Big Papa Thumbs” as the host have produced some of our most popular content, including this coverage of HABA’s Inspector Mouse, which managed to share our excitement for the game without requiring much on-camera work from Big Bean or Little Bean:
The purpose of this article was to look back on and celebrate one year of Little Big Thumbs on YouTube, which I hope you’ve enjoyed! It’s been a treat to look back on the journey, and see the twists and turns of the road along the way. The Daily Worker Placement has been a key element of Little Big Thumbs, as we likely never would have considered video content without their support. Our plan is to always be a semi-regular presence on the DWP, regardless of how Little Big Thumbs grows in the future.
Of course, the only appropriate way to end a piece about a YouTube channel is with the “Like, Comment, and Subscribe” trope. If you watched any of the videos linked above, please give one of them a thumbs up to show your support! If you’d like to see more Milo, or more operatic tutorials, or more of Little Bean picking her nose on camera, let us know with a comment on one of the videos. And if you’d like to be a part of our journey as we venture into our second year, please subscribe to the Little Big Thumbs YouTube channel!