All posts by Gaz

Gaz is well known for being the producer of Silly Cyclists. He has spoken on radio, appeared on TV and featured in national cycling campaigns.

To Rate or not to Rate

Are there any benefits to the rating system on youtube? It is sort of a grey area on youtube. The staff have never commented on how the system works, so most of what we know is guess work and hearsay.

User feedback

At a very basic level the number of likes and dislikes can be used as feedback to you, the creator of the video, as to how well your video was received. You can presume over a short period of time that the initial likes and dislikes are from your subscribers, so the regular viewers. Any after that are from outside sources that have been driven to your video.
Keeping your subscriber base happy is always a good idea, so keeping an eye on those first few days and using that feedback to improve your videos.
In the long term, depending on the sort of topic you are documenting, the general viewer base may not find it as interesting/truthful/aligned with their beliefs and as such will dislike. I would ignore this as a whole.

User Sharing

Something that you may have missed, is how the like shares your videos via their subscribers. If they have their account hooked up to social media (twitter, google+ and Facebook), then it is automatically posted there. It is posted to their youtube page that they liked it and it goes into their subscribers feed. That is a huge way gain more views without actually having to do anything but allowing people to like.

Dislikes hide your video from results?

There is no documentation from Youtube that states this. From my experience with videos that receive a large number of dislikes, they still get views and comments. My most popular video  has over 200,000 views, it regularly gets the same amount of likes as dislikes, if not worse, and it still gets nearly 8,000 views a month, and that is a 2 year old video!  A large number of dislikes doesn’t appear to effect the views you get, they still come in strong.

Merged into one

I’ve seen it mentioned before, but I can’t see anything to back it up, that the dislikes and likes are merged into one value and just the fact that you are getting people to engage with your video is a positive, no matter if the dislikes out weight the likes. Youtube added a Total Engagement number last year, which could be this. But how it is used is unknown.

Suggested videos

This post and the below graph highlights how allowing people to like your video has a drastic effect on the views you receive. The poster states that the analytics shows that the majority of these extra views are coming from suggested videos. Which indicates that having likes (and potentially dislikes) puts your videos in the suggested videos and that those are very powerful when it comes to traffic.


Looking at this information, there appears to be no downside to dislikes. But there are huge disadvantages to turning the likes off, it doesn’t share your video the same or puts your videos in the suggested videos, you are loosing out on a huge amount of potential views by having it turned off.

Contour ROAM

Contour is one the favourite brand of cameras for cyclists. The rotating lens, low profile and easy functionality means that it’s a winner all around.

Contour has been going through a difficult phase recently, with the previous owners deciding to close shop due to them being completely muscled out of the market by the big boys GoPro. However a major stake holder has recently bought them out and are looking to bring it back.

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Monetizing Videos

At some stage in your YouTube usage you will get the option from youtube to monetize your videos with adverts and earn money from them. But is it worth it?

I asked a few video camera cyclists who monetize their videos if they could give me some information that will allow me to analyse the usage of adverts and if it is worth it. Looking into subscribers, views, earnings and subscriber net change. All information was taken from the month of June, people who supplied information will be kept anonymous along with the data they submitted.

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The Legailty of Camera use

I’m sure we have all had comments on our videos about how displaying number plates is against the law or breaking people’s privacy, is it either of those?

Vehicle number plates are publicly viewable and identifies the car. We can use these to complain about the drivers behaviour. What we don’t know from the number plate is any information about the driver.

Data Protection Act and UK Law

I know in the past, that magnatom asked the information commissioner of Scotland what the position was, legally, of doing what he does. The response that he got, was that it’s fine for us to do and it’s not breaking any data protection laws.
Magnatom has always stated that he isn’t sure if this applies to the England as well.

So to confirm where I and other helmet camera users stand on the matter of legality of posting videos online, i contacted the information commissioner in England and asked the following questions;

  • Is recording bicycle journeys made in england and posting footage on youtube breaking any laws? This includes posting footage of number plates of dangerous drivers that put cyclists life in danger and in some cases the faces and conversations with these drivers.
  • are there any restrictions to it, such as is advertising that you have a camera against the law e.g. a sign saying ‘video recording in operation’ on the cyclists back.

A few weeks later i got a response. As magnatom’s response, i was also told that the videoing and posting videos would fall under section 36 of the data protection act. Which states

Personal data processed by an individual only for the purposes of that individual’s personal, family or household affairs (including recreational purposes) are exempt from the data protection principles and the provisions of Parts II and III.

This exemption means that individuals do not have to provide fair processing information to data subjects and so signs will not be necessary in a situation such as the one described. Equally, however, it would not be illegal to display such signs that warn of a camera.

European Convention on Human Rights

It was once raised to me that this was breaking EU Human Rights Legislation, so lets take a look at that.

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

Martin Porter wrote about just this, what is more important, the right to privacy or the right to live? Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights states

Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.

The European Convention on Human Rights only applies to a state and not an individual member of the public. Let’s also not forget that the roads are a public place and there should be no expectation of privacy on them.

The Human Rights Act in the UK applies the acts from the European Convention on Human Rights to all members of the public in the UK and not just the state. But again the question is what is more important, life or privacy? The Human Rights Act states

You have the responsibility to respect other people’s rights, and they must respect yours.

I would like to think that someones life is more important than someones privacy.


Everything we are doing is perfectly legal, after all we are not posting personal information and we are filming in a public place. There is no expectation to privacy in a public place, if people are worried about being shown to the world on youtube, then they should think a little about their behaviour behind the wheel.


[Do you have information about the legality of using cameras in your area? If so get in touch.]