Why are your formulations presented both on YouTube and the blog?

Let’s start with a bit of history: Humblebee & Me started as just a blog/website back in 2011, while the YouTube channel didn’t come into existence until mid-2016, roughly around the time Humblebee & Me became my full-time job. Now that there’s both a blog (written) and a video channel (audio/visual), I think they complement each other nicely. One is more for telling (written) while the other is more for showing (video).

There is a lot more content on the blog/website. This is partially because the blog pre-dates the YouTube channel by several years, and partially because some things are simply communicated better in writing. I find writing is the best format for sharing the formulations (I do mention amounts and ingredients in the videos, but I’m not forcing you to copy everything down as I go and hope you heard me correctly). In writing, you see the name of the ingredient, removing any spelling concerns. I also link to places to buy the ingredient, which is not a thing I can do in a video. Written content is also better for quick check-ins (how much almond oil was it?), and for translating for anyone who does not speak English as a first language.

Writing is also the best way to share reference material, like what you’ll find in the Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia. Imagine if encyclopedias and dictionaries were only available in audiobook or video format! The tedium of listening to someone read out all the definitions surrounding the one you care about… listening to someone read through all of the references for each article that you were probably just going to skim over anyways… yikes. There’s a reason dictionaries have not caught on as audiobooks!

Please also consider that writing can be easily updated, while videos are forever. I like to include information about sourcing, substitutions, etc. in written encyclopedia entries as it allows me to keep that information up-to-date far more easily in videos. Imagine that I mention a preferred substitution for an emulsifier in all my videos, and after 100 videos that preferred substitution ingredient was discontinued and became globally unavailable. Unless I delete, re-shoot, re-upload, and re-release each one of those 100 videos, that old (and now useless) information is baked in there forever. If I’ve simply asked you to refer to the encyclopedia entry for that ingredient, I can keep that encyclopedia entry up-to-date and I can link to more information about that suggested substitution, including places to purchase it. I can also link to sources, include an up-to-date list of other formulations that use the ingredient, usage rates, and all kinds of other useful information that is difficult (or tedious) to include in a video.

The website is also a far better place to organize and cross-link content. YouTube is a really frustrating place to archive content. It’s mostly organized in chronological order, and while I can group videos into playlists, the search + organization functions are nowhere near as powerful as they are on my website. On the website, I’ve tagged every single formulation I’ve shared (over 1200 of them!) with all the ingredients they use, so you can easily find every single formulation I’ve ever shared using a single ingredient. You can’t do that on YouTube. I can link to the Humblebee & Me DIY Encyclopedia entry for an ingredient when I mention it so you can click off for more information if you need it. I can create highly specific pages for different types of formulations and include links to further reading that is relevant to that type of formulation. I can’t do any of those things on YouTube.

And another point—the website is mine. I control it, and Google/Facebook/whatever cannot take it from me. I’m wary of investing too heavily in YouTube because it is controlled by a big, faceless corporation. They could get bought or shut down, or just shut me down, and if YouTube is all I have, I’ve completely lost my livelihood. It’s a bit like taking the time to create a beautiful garden at a home you rent—sure, you can invest all that effort, but if the landlord sells the house or decides not to renew your lease, you can’t take it with you.

I love videos for showing. You can see the emulsion forming, see the body butter reach trace, see how the makeup applies to the skin. I obviously aim to include enough information about the formulation that you can make it without having to read the blog post, but once we get into substitutions and the “whys” regarding ingredient selection, well—that gets to be a lot of content. I get a lot of comments from viewers telling me to “shut up, you talk too much” as it is—if I tried to include all that information in every video, they’d all be at least an hour long, and I’m sure I’d get told to “shut up” even more than I already do.

And, in conclusion, I’d like to remind you that my content is free. If you don’t like how it is presented, take a moment to reflect on the old maxim of “Fast, Cheap or Good? Pick Two.” Humblebee & Me is cheap (free!) and good, and I’d argue it’s pretty darn fast, too. All I’m asking you to do is read the content I’ve taken the time to research, organize, and publish.

Posted in: Personal & Website