DeArrow/Guidelines

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In general, DeArrow titles and thumbnails should provide enough information so that a viewer can make an informed decision on whether they should choose to watch the video. Sensationalism should be avoided.

Note that, in these guidelines, "clickbait" is being used as a neutral term referring to any materials used to convince someone to click on a link.

Titles

Titles are supposed to give you a good description of what's going to happen in the video.

Questions

Prefer a descriptive subject or a statement over questions. In many cases, this makes it easier to see what the video is actually about.

However, for open-ended questions, leaving it that way is fine.

Examples

  • "Is X better than Y?" → "Comparing X and Y" or "Comparison between X and Y"
  • "Who owns the moon?" can be left as-is, because it is an open-ended question.

Incomplete titles

Avoid using titles where some interesting information is intentionally left out to get the viewer's interest.

Examples

  • "Intel does what?" → something that actually tells the viewer what Intel has done.

Emphasis

Avoid trying to emphasize certain words by using tricks like surrounding them with another character (like *emphasized*) or setting them into SHOUTING CASE.

Reactions

Avoid telling the viewer how they should react to the video. Note that is different from a title for a video about someone reacting to something else.

Examples

  • "Shocking facts"
  • "Funniest video"
  • "You won't believe [...]"

Descriptiveness

Prefer actual information over simply telling the premise of the video, when possible. This should not end up spoiling the video.

Examples

  • "Someone dead ruined my life again" → "Inconsistencies in historical documents when researching about Tiffany" [video]
  • "Math has a fatal flaw" → "Not everything in math can be proven" [video]
  • "The Snowflake Mystery" → "Creating artificial snowflakes and analyzing their growth" [video]

Perspective

Titles should not be written in the third person about the video creator, unless absolutely necessary. They should rather be in first person, or, preferably, in a passive voice describing the video. Ideally, it should be a completely neutral description; however, this is sometimes not possible.

Examples

  • "I explain hexagonal chess" → "Explaining the rules of hexagonal chess" → "The rules of hexagonal chess"

Length

Titles should not be overly long, as this can severely reduce its readability. However, a more descriptive title should still be preferred over a shorter one.

Language

All titles should be written in the language that the video itself is in. If the video contains text or spoken parts in multiple languages, either the main one or the language of the audience should be used.

Fiction

For fiction pieces, such as short films or art pieces, feel free to leave titles be if they serve the mood, even if they are generic. Sensational titles can be changed or reformatted.

Songs

If the song is a mashup between two or more songs and doesn't already have an original title, the song titles should be separated with a slash (ie. Song One / Song Two).

Thumbnails

The thumbnail should be chosen to help you know what kind of video you are about to watch, what it'll look like, what it will be like to watch it, etc.

  • Avoid exaggerated facial expressions.
  • Avoid relying on text.
  • Avoid lots of colours.
  • Avoid overuse of arrows.
  • Avoid showing fake scenarios explaining the idea.
  • Avoid unrelated thumbnails.

Case

For submissions

All submitted titles should be in Sentence case (explained below). This is important even if you have personally selected another case in the options. Of course, any words that would normally be capitalised should remain that way. Proper nouns or the word "I" in English are an example. In other languages, it's possible that every noun is capitalised.

All titles (original and custom) are run through a formatter to convert to the user's casing choice. If there are issues with the formatter, you can force words to "keep formatting" by adding a right angle bracket (>) in front of the word, such as >word.

Title Case

Almost Every Word is Capitalised.

Sentence case

The first word of the title is capitalised.

Similar to APA format's definition of sentence case, the first letter of a subtitle should be capitalised as well, such as after a hyphen, colon, or pipe (-, :, or |, respectively)[1]

Series format

Examples
  • Episode name | Series name S2:E3
  • Banned | Hermitcraft S9:E36

Episode name | Series name notation – Season subtitle | Arc number – Subtitle

  • Deception derby | District transport S1:E4:P2 – Unseen fender | Arc 1 – Chaos surcharge

Episode name | Series name notation

  • The Mad Batter machine – the world's longest home run | Smarter every day E230

Hierarchy: |

If a title exists, it should always be the first element.

Additional metadata for series should be arranged descending in hierarchy, separated with |[Example 1].

Season and episode naming: S#:E#:P#

If there are seasons and episodes defined by the creator, they should be formatted as S#:E#:P#. # is a placeholder for the number in the series here.

P# is optional, if a single episode is separated into multiple parts. Zero-padding (S01) the number should follow the existing style or convention of the channel.

Season-less or episode-less

Season-less, standalone episodes should be denoted only with E#[Example 2].

Episode-less, standalone videos should be denoted with an unabbreviated Part[Example 3].

Daily shows

Shows without seasons or that are solely based on date should be formatted according to ISO8601, which is YYYY-MM-DD[Example 4]

Variations such as YYYY-DD-MM or YY-MM-DD are not allowed, since they are ambiguous.

Subtitles:

If there a subtitle to the series or episode, it should be separated with a hyphen (-) or an en dash () before the hierarchy separator[Example 5].

Additional metadata: ()

If there is any additional metadata, it should be included in parentheses ((...)) at the end of the relevant part of the title, before the hierarchy separator[Example 6].

Additional metadata can be:

  • Featured artists: (ft. John Doe)
  • Speedrun categories or modifiers: (any%) (blindfolded)
  • Other modifiers that might distinguish it from another part: (BTS)
  • Year for media that might have a popular name or multiple iterations: Call of Duty Modern Warfare (2019)

Examples and footnotes

For the purposes of documentation, a fictional show "District transport" is used.
Titles are generated using a wordlist.
Episode title Series name Season # Season subtitle Episode # Part # Arc # Arc subtitle
Deception derby District transport 1 Unseen fender 4 2 1 Chaos surcharge
  1. Deception derby | District transport Season 1 – Unseen fender | Arc 1 – Chaos surcharge | Episode 4
  2. Deception derby | District transport E4
  3. Deception derby | Chaos surcharge Part 1
  4. Q&A livestream | Deception derby 1999-12-31
  5. Deception derby | District transport S1:E4 – Unseen fender
  6. Deception derby (BTS) | ...

References