I have a love/hate relationship with Youtube.
There is so much to love. It’s the great equalizer: the bar to publish is so low. Anyone with a computer and internet can publish content to the masses. The wide open nature of the platform is one of the reasons it is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.
You can learn to do almost anything from Youtube. I’ve changed garbage disposals, replaced car door handles, and much more just by watching a video from Youtube. You can research almost anything before you buy it. Someone has reviewed it. You can find innovative ways to do things. I have a small camera jib that cost me $20 to make, and I learned how to build it from a Youtube video.
I even have a few DIY/review/tutorial/test videos on my Youtube channel. But I’m not making any more. Here’s why:
1. Youtube as a community doesn’t need my voice in this space.
There are literally millions of people doing it, and doing it better. No one will notice that I’m not publishing this sort of thing anymore. No one will say, “man, when will that Scott guy make another how to video?” Instead they will find hundreds of other videos talking about the same things I used to.
My voice isn’t needed in the space.
Yes, I’ve made videos that help people. And that was very nice. But for every video I’ve made, there are many others out there doing similar things, reviewing gear, showing how to do DIY filmmaking- and doing it better than I can. Youtube as a community doesn’t need my voice in this space. And I’d rather not be on the other side of the camera, anyway.
2. Youtube as a company doesn’t care about casual creators.
The recent changes to Youtube’s partner program made it clear that they only care about a certain sort of creator. Even though I had been a good partner with zero strikes for years, they cut me loose. Why? I’m a casual creator. It’s not about the couple of dollars I lost, it’s about the respect in the relationship.
I got the message loud and clear, they do not care about me. Even though most of the videos uploaded every day- the videos that make Youtube the size it is- are uploaded by casual creators or small creators, they only care about people trying to grow a large audience. I know those are the meat of their model, but that doesn’t make it easier to stomach the blatant disregard for the years I was a small contributor to the content library.
So why should I work to help them?
I know, seems petty, right? What about the audience? Why don’t I just make videos to help people? I considered doing that. Still making the occasional video. But them I got the latest batch of comments.
3. Youtube’s tech audience is full of trolls.
Seriously, I don’t need this.
The comment section of many Youtube videos is a dumpster fire. I don’t just mean the TSIS sufferers. Those people are bad enough, but it’s worse sometimes.
Comments from trolls who didn’t watch the video but want to criticize it.
“You’re an idiot because you put music on an audio test video!” – Uh, I put music on the intro, but the actual test doesn’t have any, and you would know that if you watched it…
Comments from people who think you did it wrong.
“You’re an idiot because the camera settings are different, it’s not a good comparison.” – Uh, this wasn’t a comparison video…
My favorite: Comments from jerks
“You’re an idiot because your voice sounds funny!” – Uh, didn’t you ever heard the maxim- If you can’t say anything nice say nothing?
Frankly, this is the main reason I’m done with these videos. I’m not doing anything unique, Youtube doesn’t care about me, so why would I put up with this junk? No one will miss my infrequent videos.
I had gotten to the point where I just was turning off commenting. But that means the YT algorithm wasn’t showing my video because views, likes and comments drive it. So less people were seeing it, defeating the entire purpose.
Don’t get me wrong, some people were totally cool. Even people who disagreed with a review or wished something was different. They were kind. And if I was someone building a big audience of fans, they could drive down the trolls and “haters” and such. but I’m not trying to do that. When I made helpful videos it was to help people. If no one sees them, or if they don’t need the help, why would I subject myself to this sort of idiocy?
The internet troll thing is a symptom of larger societal problems. It’s not getting fixed anytime soon. I’m just done with it.
So, I will leave up some of my videos. And I leave the rest of it to other creators.
I will still use Youtube to post videos, just not those kind of videos. Expect to see trailers and teasers, and content I’ve made; BTS clips, stuff like that. Do not expect to see a tech review or instructions on how to do something. There is a vast array of content creators out there doing that. More power to them.