It’s time we addressed the elephant in the room when it comes to what YouTube has become in the 10 years I have been messing around on that site.
Corporate YouTube with its SOPs, broken DMCA and subscription systems, and community that’s sheepish enough to go along with them is a soul-less husk of its former self and a perennial source of anxiety, stress, and depression. Nobody in their right mind should try to build up a channel anymore on that site unless they bring a pre-existing audience with them from somewhere else.
Up until a few weeks ago, I was a regular target of various types of bullying in the comments section related to what I did on the site – including things I was doing that would have been more than acceptable in YouTube’s more ascendant years. All of these are indicators of just how things have gone sour, both with the site and large swaths of its audience.
- “You should have a regular upload schedule.” This is an admission that the notification systems on YouTube are broken. Web 2.0 video as this century’s ultimate On Demand system has upended traditional media with its timeslots and regular release schedules. What made YouTube great was that people were uploading stuff they wanted to make, not that they had to make. An upload schedule is a step backwards and a step towards bland uninspired content, even without a lot of uploads. The negative backlash against the AVGN during his GameTrailers years when he was contractually obligated to release a Nerd episode every two weeks is evidence enough of that.
- “You’re not a computer channel? I’m not subscribing!!!” Variety channels not welcome I see. A pity because that’s what built the site to begin with. The early YouTube personalities, tech and otherwise, weren’t chained to messing with computers every single video, but you have the “brand channel” allowance on YouTube to thank for this ongoing antagonism towards people who just happen to have a wider swath of interests than screwing around with computers every single video. This says everything about the people who refuse to support people who have a variety of content in terms of how they’re such blind sheep. It’d be one thing if I had radically divergent interests like that time when Classic Game Room had salsa dancing videos on their channel, but tech and video games?
- “Are you EVER going to do another Dellasaurus video?!!” This shows just how pitifully narrow people are when they get all prissy and threaten to stop watching, but I know exactly what would happen if I caved and never did anything but Dellasaurus videos. The trolling would flip the other way and I’d be called unoriginal, uncreative, and stale because I was “doing the same things over and over again.” There’s what you get for the hard work you put in to trying to amount to something on there.
This sort of nonsense, however, dropped off when I decided to be honest when I went on vacation a few weeks ago. I said upfront, again, that this wasn’t a computer channel, and what kind of clueless idiot would someone have to be to expect a channel called “MultimediaJay” to just play with computers all the time? Really what we have here is little more than militant stupidity.
Nowadays, even tech videos get crap views. The effect is greater than the YouTube purge that allegedly cleaned up bogus subscribers earlier but some people were unsubbed from channels they still wanted to watch. Some people may wonder what videos I’m talking about, but “The Road Forward” ANYTHING and my “Wahk In The Pahk” nature video fell under the tech umbrella. In the case of the nature video I was taking my Canon camera that can do stills and video with just a dialspin out for a marathon with New England Fall Foliage shots. In the earlier years of YouTube, I would get positive comments like “nice shots” or “that camera works really well.” Today – crickets.
I really don’t know what I’ll upload at this point considering how I’m sick and tired of everything I do on there being dragged through the mud by this mess, but what won’t happen is any uninspired content that I felt like I was forced to upload. Quite frankly though, once upon a time I could get 50 views with 75 subscribers. Nowadays, that’s questionable with 3400. There’s how far the YouTube system has fallen.
One last thing, anyone reading this or actually still watching what I upload isn’t part of this problem. It’s the raging hordes of everyone else. YouTube has a severe demographics problem these days, and I can’t see a road forward for that site if this toxic community is now going to crowdsource the negative stuff that previously only happened because of improperly-working systems on YouTube like the DMCA system and still-proprietary still-RSS-challenged subscription system, which I now manually override these days via bookmarking channels 90s style in my browser.
What’s next? Who knows. I’ve had enough of what’s been going on though.