The dust has settled from the little run-in with LinusTechTips earlier this week. Here’s the remaining loose ends from folks’ response to it, neatly tied up in a blog entry, because my channel has spent enough time on this matter and this situation will not hijack it further.
What Linus did was fair use, and what I did was fair use. I embedded his videos to make fun of the thumbnails – he panned over my blog in a video that is most likely the closest thing to a rant on this matter that we’ll see from him. If anything, my fair use was better than his fair use, because whereas he gave me absolutely zero credit or links back to my blog entry from his video when this article was written, people could watch his videos with the goofy thumbnails from my blog entry, and other entries with his content embedded or linked.
As a result of this, my doomsday situation involving a bunch of LinusTechTrolls blowing up in my face similar to what happened when I dared to say Noctua fans weren’t always the best thing to get… didn’t happen. The net result was a bump in views on the blog entry that was panned over – some of which could have come from my own audience because I had publicized this by then. 😛
This does speak to a lot of YouTube’s issues though, such as the archipelago effect where fear cripples creators from even mentioning each other in anything other than official collabs that are few and far between, a sharp departure from the early years of YouTube vlogging and video responses where it was like social media with crappy webcams unless folks like myself wanted to break the mold and try making something more creative. 🙂 YouTube is a cold hard place, and Google’s persistent tinkering with things that aren’t broken while stuff that is broken remains untouched hasn’t helped matters any.
I was ready to be in touch with his business and MCN if any of my digital presences or otherwise suffered adverse effects as a result of this incident, but more important than Linus having to not accidentally redbutton me was what would cause such tenacity in the first place. Based on the behavior he exhibited in his pseudo-rant I’m thinking Linus is frustrated with his demographics similar to some of what I’ve run into recently.
Linus’ audience has traditionally been more of a minefield to someone like me than other large tech channels. The toxicity isn’t on par with something like IrateGamer or ReviewTechUSA, but it was his audience that I was warned about in terms of “don’t go to Linus’ forums if you don’t like Noctua – you will get steamrolled” and things like that. I don’t get these same warnings for other tech fanbases, even Tek Syndicate before the breakup. For some reason, LinusTechTips has been a stone’s throw from that stuff moreso than other groups.
Some of this boils down to not all channel growth is good. From a demographics perspective, channel growth isn’t good when you end up with bad people watching your videos. In the case of my channel I’ve watched tech videos flatline and die routinely instead of actually getting a fair shot on YouTube. Further investigation revealed that they were getting adblocked to death. I actually dared to bring up the issue and people fired back with a boatload of prissy entitled millennial drama. If Linus did the same thing he’d end up with the same result but with bigger numbers. I don’t expect him to though – he wouldn’t put his business on the line for that.
Regardless, once again, demographics is a question that public-facing anything has to answer. Who do you want to attract? Who do you want to repulse? If you won’t answer those two questions then circumstance will answer it for you and you may not like the answer. 😦