Now that border restrictions are over, the long-awaited time for foreign Youtubers to make endless videos of family members trying out night market food has come. Foreign YouTubers in Taiwan have long utilized stereotypes, cliché's, and mindlessly yelling at the camera for views since the beginning of the internet. Many of them depend on YouTube to make a living, so they are afraid to stray away from the night market and stinky tofu bread and butter that has kept their views and likes through the roof.
Now I will list the top 5 clichés (aka volume hacks 流量密碼) that foreign Youtubers use to get likes, views, and clicks here in the open for the whole world to see.
I think it is high time we called out these low-brow YouTubers.
1. Trying out food at the night market
Taiwanese people love to see foreigners try out the beloved snacks from their home country. If Taiwanese are nationalistic about any aspect of their country, it is their food. Eating and complimenting the food, especially night market street food, will get you more love and respect from the Taiwanese populace faster than anything else you can do.
2. Having family members try out the food at the night market
Once you have milked item 1 above, trying out every food under the sun, now it is time to have your family members from America/Europe/etc. try them and watch them cringe. Bonus points if one of your family members vomits.
Try out as many foods as possible and make as many videos as possible during your family's trip to Taiwan. Some possible titles for your videos:
“Mom’s first time eating stinky tofu”
“Brother’s first time eating fried corn”
“Cousin’s first time drinking Taiwan water”
The list is endless. Milk your family members for every view they are worth.
If your family came to Taiwan and you didn't make a vlog of them trying out stinky tofu, what was the point of them even coming to Taiwan?
3. Speak Chinese / add Chinese subtitles
Nothing will get you more likes and clicks than speaking Chinese, no matter how horrible or intelligible it is. But if you do speak good Chinese, Taiwanese fans will go absolutely crazy.
If you can't speak good enough Chinese to take up your 1,700-episode vlog, then the next best thing is to add Chinese subtitles, or better yet dual language English and Chinese subtitles.
Get your Taiwanese spouse to help, or hire someone to translate subtitles for you.
But even with subtitles you are not fooling anyone: Taiwanese are not learning English; they are simply just reading your subtitles and not learning a new language.
4. Take your shirt off 脫你的上衣
Low-brow is the name of the game. So if items 1-3 didn't work, show your fans a little skin. If you do not have a beautiful body yourself, then ask one of your family members visiting Taiwan to take off their shirt in front of the camera.
Make a whole episode in a hot tub.
5. Yell like a maniac 像瘋子一样大喊大叫
Nothing keeps your fans interested and engaged like lots of yelling. Not angry yelling, but loudly talking, laughing, and praising Taiwan's food. You need to shout your love for Taiwan and love for Stinky Tofu at the top of your lungs for all to hear. It is much easier to do this than to try to engage intellectually with your audience.
If you yell loud enough for long enough, the Taiwan government might end up giving you a gold card or honorary citizenship.
Some other cliché ideas for views, clicks, and likes:
How Foreign Youtubers can improve
1. Share insights that will inspire people to improve their lives.
2. Share more insights about your culture and your home country.
3. Stop pandering to a Taiwanese audience only. Try to help people from your home country to love Taiwan too. To be honest, us foreigners in Taiwan are sick and tired of watching you eat stinky tofu and yell at the camera. I have no idea why Taiwanese audiences aren't sick of it. Make something interesting that foreigners would like to see, and try to promote Taiwan to the world. That also means you should stop making all the titles and subtitles only in Chinese.
4. Step away from the night market, and explore parts of Taiwan that most people (even Taiwanese people) don't get to see.
5. Share interesting topics about life in Taiwan from people that don't often get a voice, such as minorities, low-income families, indigenous people, fishermen, etc.
Good foreign Youtubers that I suggest watching 我推薦的外國Youtubers:
You have noticed that I haven't called out any foreign Youtubers by name. There’s an endless library of terrible content made by white Youtubers in Taiwan. I do not want to pump up anyone's YouTube clout more than they deserve. However, here are a few Taiwan expat YouTuber accounts that are worth watching:
Asia Hikelopedia 理察爬山百科: Introducing Taiwan and Asia's culture and history via hiking, biking, and eating adventures.
Attorney on a Journey: Travel in Taiwan by Francesca, a life-long learner, published travel writer, and licensed attorney who packed up her bags to explore the world.
Foreigners in Taiwan: Yes we have a Youtube channel! Mostly it just has GoPro and Drone footage to supplement the blog, but you should still subscribe.
Guanxi Taiwan: The place for all things Taiwan. The TraX segment is especially good.
李小飛 (Xiaofei)：A travel vlog mostly about finding hard to reach hot springs and other swimming spots in Taiwan.
And of course, if you like aerial views of Taiwan, follow our YouTube Channel here:
I do realize there is some irony creating this click bait article which is calling out other clickbait. I am sorry if this article comes off as mean spirited to some of you. I am friends with lots of YouTubers and I want you all to succeed. But I also want to give some constructive criticism. I want Taiwan to get noticed more by foreigners outside of Taiwan, and when YouTubers come and just pander to the Taiwanese audience it doesn’t help increase Taiwan’s global reach. But I do not expect YouTubers to change, I am not their target audience, they need to make money too, and I don’t expect them to change their style for just a few foreign viewers. But as a fan I hope that they make more content that is interesting to me. Also I hope they can make content that is interesting to other foreigners around the world, and help to promote this amazing Island Country to people who are unfamiliar with Taiwan.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more blogs to come.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.