The curious case of Jonathan’s YouTube channel “SURGE”…

It was recently brought to my attention that a false rumor has begun circulating that I purchased views for my YouTube channel last summer to boost my numbers for some strange reason. (See the above screen cap.)

Of course, this doesn’t address the most obvious question of I why would do this and then never even mention it. I mean, you buy 300,000+ views to…what? Brag? I completely forgot to brag, folks…d’oh!

In fact, I never even noticed it, let alone talked about it. And apparently, it boosted my subscribers by a couple of thousand, as well, and I never mentioned that either until earlier this past week—and even then it was buried deep inside this response (paragraph 3) in the comments under a blog. I mean, if you’re gonna buy that many views, then shout it from the rafters, right?

The other thing I wondered after hearing about this crazy, stupid rumor was: how much exactly do 300,000+ YouTube views cost to buy? I mean, haven’t YOU ever wondered that? Well, you probably haven’t—but I bet you’re curious now, aren’t you? And that’s why I looked it up


Buying 300K would have cost me more than FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS?!?!?!? Holy second mortgage, Batman! I would be kicked out of the house at warp speed if I did that!

Anyway, I was still kinda curious where this surge came from. I mean, SOMETHING happened last summer! A bump like that doesn’t materialize out of nowhere, and I doubted that anyone else out there liked me enough to drop over a grand and a half buying views for my channel. So where did those views come from?

Turns out the answer was: STONE TREK!


Back in 2016, one of my first-year’s blogs was about the hilarious fan series Stone Trek, a brilliant mash-up of Star Trek and The Flintstones. At the time, their episodes appeared on this Angelfire web page using the Adobe Flash player to animate (which is how the episodes were created in the first place).

A couple of years later, a convention organizer from San Diego where I’d be a guest wanted to show Stone Trek along with other shorter fan films as part of a continuous program in one of the smaller panel rooms. So I did a video capture from the Flash player of the five completed Stone Trek episodes and provided them as mp4 files for the convention.

And thank goodness I did!!!

At the end of 2020, Adobe stopped providing any support for the flash player, and now those original Stone Trek episodes are no longer accessible from their original Angelfire webpage. But since I had the captured mp4 files sitting on my hard drive, I created a special YouTube playlist on my channel to preserve these treasures for fans to enjoy.

What does all of this have to do with my summer-surge, you ask? Take a gander at the following screen cap of the analytics of my channel’s views from the last year, sorted by which videos received the most views…

Click to enlarge

If you look closely at the data at the bottom, you’ll see that the five videos responsible for those colored lines that jumped up during the month of August were the five episodes of Stone Trek!

I suspect that what happened is that someone with a lot of subscribers or followers on social media or maybe even on YouTube itself recommended the video or wrote an article that linked to it or something like that. It looks like they linked to episode 1 first, and then once views of that began to trail off a week later, episode 2 surged up even more, doubling the view totals of episode 1 (143K versus 78K), with the other three episodes all under 30K views. And by mid-September, the surge faded away as if it had never even happened. Such is the quirkiness of YouTube! But hey, at least I got a whole ton of new subscribers out of it…if 3.28K is considered a ton (well, it is for me!).

In the end, it’s not really that important. I’m not in the YouTube “business.” I generate no revenue from my channel, and I’m not even it in for the views. My typical Fan Film Factor video interviews (the vast majority of my content) tend to get a couple of hundred views, and I’m totally happy with that. I’m not really competing with anyone; I’m just giving fan filmmakers a chance to talk about their passion projects.

In the end, that’s all that really matters to me.