1. What is Defragged History?
Defragged History is a YouTube channel that counters the tendency of people telling history in fragments or abbreviated form. I write my series as stories, but since YouTube is notoriously difficult about descriptions of violence, I have to label my videos as documentaries because those get a pass.
2. Who is the narrator?
The whole channel is run by me, a Dutch woman who does all the research, writing, recording, narrating, editing, designing, and subtitling.
3. What is your background?
I’m an American Studies major from Utrecht University, the Netherlands. I worked as a cross-cultural educator, journalist, metal band manager, documentary maker, theater director/producer, and screenwriter/playwright.
4. What equipment do you use?
You can check out the gear page for all the hardware and software I use here.
5. Can I send you ideas for subjects?
Though I have plenty of ideas for several series, I still like to hear other people’s thoughts. You can contact me via this site.
Please note, I cover subjects in 5 categories, sometimes combined.
- Epic history
- Artist history (painters, writers, composers)
- Women’s history
- Non-Western history
- True Crime
6. How can I support the channel?
YouTube’s algorithm uses the following three things to promote a channel: watch duration, number of comments, and subscribers.
So, to support the channel: watch, leave comments, and subscribe. And share, of course.
I don’t have Patreon (yet) because I don’t have the time to handle the business side of it. If you’d like to send money in the meantime, you can make a one-time or interval donation via PayPal.
I monetize my videos on YouTube to stop YouTube from doing it for me.
7. What is coming up next?
You can keep track of the new series coming on the website, though I regularly change my mind.
The decision to start a series depends on my mood and the time I have available to me. It takes an immense amount of time to make a series, and I really need to feel passionate about the subject. Otherwise, it becomes too hard to continue working on it.
The current schedule for 2022 is Eighty Years’ War – Part III and John Dillinger.
8. Why do you have so few subscribers?
I think I’m doing fine so far.
I get a lot of views, but most viewers are interested only in a particular subject, and that is what I expected would happen when I started Defragged History. Frankly, I’m surprised to have this many subscribers at this stage.
Still, this type of history channel is relatively niche and long-form videos won’t go viral quickly. Also, the subjects I choose are generally not mainstream.
Besides, I’ve only just started, and I am not actively promoting the channel yet. I want to build more of a library first, so people know what Defragged History is really about. I’m sure it will get better over time, but frankly, I don’t care about it that much.
9. How much time does it take to make a video?
The amount of time it takes to make a video from research to publishing depends on the type of subject. Some are just easier to make than others. This could be because of the time period, information available, or the size and duration of the event.
The shortest time I spent was 2,5 hours per 1 minute of video (The Batavia).
The longest was 5 hours per 1 minute of video (The Eighty Years’ War).
This means that sometimes I can upload a video every two weeks, and other times once every 4, 5, or even 6 weeks. The publishing schedule also depends on what is going on in my private life, of course.
10. What is your process?
First, I select a subject. I’ve written several historical screenplays for which I did a lot of research, and some of those topics were my first picks.
After I’ve chosen the story I want to tell, I start my research. I read a lot of different books and articles from as many perspectives as possible. First, I make a long timeline with all the dates and events I come across and then I divide the information up into episodes and chapters.
I write each episode of a series before I begin recording the first episode.
Then, I record and edit a “quick and dirty” version and add the music. I will listen to the recording to discover what needs to be clearer, what information is redundant, and whether the story flow is good. If the music doesn’t support the tone or hinders in any way, I change it.
If I am not satisfied, I will re-edit the script and record the first proper version. Sometimes I record a second or even third version if I feel that the speed is off, the tone is wrong, or information is still not clear.
Once the final recording is finished, and I am (mostly) satisfied with it, I create name and place labels, date stamps and find images for the people involved in the story. Then I search for images and other footage to use. Sometimes I discover factual errors and then I rewrite that part of the script and re-record it.
Once I’ve collected most of the images and created the files I need, I start editing the video. Generally, I select the background video first, and the date labels are added last. I always need to find more images and footage in the process.
Certain paragraphs may still end up on the cutting room floor during the editing process. This is either because the episode runs too long (the maximum length is 1 hour, 19 minutes, and 59 seconds) or because I think the information is irrelevant for the bigger story. Sometimes I add a paragraph because I feel something isn’t clear. These are so-called pickup recordings.