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Quality or Quantity?

Posted by 4O4Tales - March 20th, 2019

I spent 6 months working on a video that was just over a minute long: I called it 'Internet Fight'.

It was the first video I ever uploaded to my channel and I think it got 2 views on Youtube (one of those might have been me checking on the video from one of my other accounts). Ever since then I've become kind of obsessed with creating the perfect cocktail of 'Qualtity vs Quantity'.

See, every creator has different preferences and goals when it comes to making stuff: what kind of content do they want to create? What kind of audience do they want to reach? Based on your goals here you're going to have to decide something really important: how often are you going to be uploading new stuff?

It might seem like a boring question but it determines a lot. Do you spend years working on something only for it to bomb when you finally release it? Do you create tons of stuff quickly only for all of it to essentially have about as much worth as a pile of garbage? I think Newgrounds favors quality thanks to it's rating systems and Youtube favors quantity due to it's algorithms being designed to keep people on the site. Where do I fall on this equation? Well recently I thought I had created the perfect 'Quantity/Quality' cocktail.

My big idea was this: 30 second videos. Short enough that I could guarantee that what I was making was high quality and that they wouldn't take dozens of hours to produce. This way I could be making videos everyday but it would all be content that I could be proud of. The perfect cross between Youtube's demand for quantity and Newground's appreciation of quality. I was ecstatic- I had finally created the perfect recipe.

Except...I didn't. You can go look through the reviews on my more recent videos and you'll see the same critique popping up again and again- "It's too short." It's a perfectly reasonable complaint to have- if anything I could see it as a compliment. And people on Youtube were saying the same thing.

...this really bugged me. This cocktail was kind of a failure.

But I think I figured out something important.

Today I uploaded a much longer video than I'm usually do- 8 minutes. It took me about two weeks to make and I have a feeling people on here aren't going to like it too much. But that's fine, if Newgrounds isn't really the place for 8+ minute video essays, I'll just try something else.

While putting together this new video I realized that, since I didn't spend too much time on those shorter videos, I wasn't actually too upset about abandoning that experiment all together. In fact, I think I realized that's the way I prefer to make things.

Maybe I'm still a little haunted by that first video failing so hard (which did eventually find some love when I reposted it on Newgrounds- love you guys) but I think I'd like to start failing faster. To stop worrying about how well I'm executing ideas and just learn to love the process more than the end result.

Maybe the real secret is that I don't have to choose between quantity and quality. Maybe someday I'll create something in an hour that I'll be proud of for the rest of my life. Guess I'll just have to keep experimenting to find out.

What do you all prefer? Quantity? Or Quality?



Comments (15)

look at my page and you'll find the answer :? brufim gerbzmon 2020
this isnt spam newgrounds?

Quantity begets quality, it's not an either/or proposition and what works for audience A may very well not work for audience B.

Depending on your goals and priorities you can either tailor your content to each individual audience and write that off as success or go for the formula that gets you the best net result based on wherever your audience is the most substantial but the likelihood of finding a sweet spot that works equally well everywhere is slim to put it mildly.

The best most anyone can hope for is to narrow down their audience, where they go to get their fix and to conjure up what they're interested in. As far as maximizing stats and feedback goes anyway, you may find in the long run that first and foremost pleasing yourself is the greater boon to your passion but that's a deeply personal consideration and it's really not anyone's business to tell you how to conduct yours.

I absolutely agree on the point that pleasing yourself comes first. You're own self-satisfaction is the fuel the moves the engine. That being said reaching an audience and the growing that audience and perhaps eventually utilizing that audience to help me further fund and expand my endeavors makes me REALLY happy.

Quantity transforms into quality overtime.

That's how I'm hoping it goes.

I wish for both but if only one I want quality.

yes quantity creates quality, this is where quality control comes in. although theres probably more factors than that. i think some people seem to be able to crank things out fast and get good reception because they are good at both content production and finding a way to have it be received by an audience

It's always a balance isn't it? I'm always impressed when I stumble upon something someone was working on for five years that turned out PERFECT... but you can't reasonably expect people are able to always spend that much time on anything. Maybe it's not my style, anyway. The work that gets noticed usually is, but there's probably a lot of really time-intensive floating around that I've never come across, that really wasn't all that special. Then again there are some really silly cartoons that probably took less than a couple hours to finish that have me laughing like crazy. So maybe the conclusion is this: quality doesn't necessarily have to be related to time. It can be quality entertainment even if it looks sloppy. It can be boring even if it's insanely intricate. It can only be as good as you can relate to it; appreciate it.

Regarding the thirty second animations, they reminds me of these old things: https://youtu.be/UiyDmqO59QE

...which could be pretty fun too. :) They found a niche; stuck with it. In their case they really managed to turn quantity to their advantage, but after so many five second films... you can only really appreciate so many. They are short. There's probably some good formula you could figure out on the optimal balance in regard to length, but more important than all other aspects of animation, I think, is the idea. That little thing makes up for so many other possible shortcomings.

Another thing is it seems quality's at least somewhat relative to skill. The more you practice, the faster it goes. FlappyFlepster, pretty much. There are some pretty incredible people out there putting out content amounts that just don't seem possible for one person. But it all seems to boil down to a combination of practice and priorities. Still trying to master that balance too.

Quality is the obvious response, but Youtube has a garbage algorithm and viewers on the site have short attention spans so with that in mind, as far as Youtube goes length and quantity are vastly more important, with quality still having to play an important role.

money or hobby?
dedication or passion?
persistence or motivation?
the answer is both and none

Quality over everything, but ultimately, it's really dependent on what you want to take from this. While one can argue having a healthy supply of videos can be good to look at, at the end of the day you can really only put a few dozen animations up on your portfolio.

Do what makes you the most happy first. If you don't, your passion will just sizzle over fast.

I was a lot more inspired in the beginning so quantity was more important. Now I would rather wait until I am really inspired.

I'm gonna be honest. In my opinion, Newgrounds videos that are short and good quality are really good too, they're even the ones I like to watch the most, and you, my friend, are included in that list.
I've seen thousands of videos that last more than 5 minutes, even 10 or 30! I'm not used to consume that amount of content in a Newgrounds video with these proportions unless I'm a super big fan of the channel or the series I'm watching or I just like the genre, but being half an hour watching a submission I know nothing about or I'm not 100% interested feels a bit too heavy for me.
This is kind of my point of view about quality or quantity, it will always be subjective, so you just take decisions on what to upload and that's it. But also my previous statement might be incomplete because there are lots of things to discuss about this and I don't have much time, I'm late for school :P
I, as musician, have experimented the fact I'm taking a huge amount of time (in months, i think) to even complete a song, or give a proper ending to an unfinished abandoned project with potential to be a good song. I always looked more for quality than quantity so idk
(PD: man i've been suscribed to you via youtube for a long time and then I come here and see you posting here and realizing you're part of this community too makes me happy to think there still are people who believe in newgrounds, I bet tom and the whole team are proud of you to choose us)

Going through a few of your songs now and uh, you looking to collaborate man? I'm really digging your stuff.

Also, attention spans these days: shorter. It's just easier to consume shorter amounts of content these days, if length is the form of measurement you ponder on. Noticing this while trying to read through long comments just now... you just have to be really interested in something to really read it all the way. And the same applies for all types of consumption.

With so much competition it has to be really good to be really long, but short stuff: doesn't have to be. Ironic that the fall of quality might come with the shortness of content... less time on things that take less time: easier to pay attention to...

But then again: there's plenty of exceptions. Still plenty of potential to get hooked. Just harder to give such content a chance than the instant gratification stuff.

Yeah, I think the economy of creating things is something I should have focused on more with this blog post. Obviously having both more content that is high quality is the goal but the real point that I keep coming back to is how I should invest my time.

Lets make this brief. I'll give you some broad but still useful knowledge that I've learned over the years from peers and working professionals that you or anybody can apply to their life or trade.

1. Mentally separate Perfection from Quality. Perfection is an abstract definition and content not aimed at perfection have many other qualities to them.

2. As an entertainer, aim for Content over Perfection. if you yourself don't believe the content you're creating, you're not going to know what qualities you should add and where.

3. A work of art is only as good as the ideas it communicates. Even if you pour obscene amounts of work, effort, and hours into a single piece of content, if there's nothing to communicate there's nobody to listen.

4. Despite the popular saying, on its own, Practice will not lead to Perfection. It's not how much you practice, it's how you practice. Are you doing the same thing over and over again or are you trying your best to refine your personal skill and taste each and every time you work on your trade?

Hopefully you can use these bits of information as tools to find important answers, even if they're to questions you haven't asked.

I prefer content over quantity, and defined qualities over perfection.

Very well worded, thank you.

@4O4Tales Yes! It would be a great honor for sure!

Though I am more of a Quality over Quantity kind of person, personally, I think it all depends on what the subject of the video is. Honestly, I found your last video to be one of your best videos, especially with how in-depth with the subject it became. I don't think it would have had the same effect if it was something that was only 30 seconds long. At the same time, the "U mad" video you did was also pretty good, and felt like it was just the right length to take in the message. In my eyes, it should depend on the overall message or effect you want your video to have. Maybe save quality for complex subjects where there are lots of points you want to bring up and quantity for simpler subjects that can be described in a short paragraph. EmpLemon is probably a good example of what I am talking about. He has simple, short "meme reviews" or every week or two, and once in a while he'll come out with a large, documentary style video with subjects he's more passionate about, or require a lot of time to fully explain.