Hello Rebel, and welcome back to my life.
So I took off most of March and half of April to spend time with family. And while I was gone, my YouTube channel passed the 4,000 subscriber mark!
You know what we do when we hit those subscriber milestones. It’s time to PARTY!
Just kidding. It’s time to take an honest look at our relationship with this platform and envision what it holds for our future.
These days a lot of people, particularly YouTubers, are complaining about YouTube, and to be honest, I find it kind of annoying.
Now, I realize I’m complaining about the people who are complaining, so maybe I’m part of the problem, but whatever. We’ll carry on.
And, real quick, there IS a line of criticism against YouTube that I wholeheartedly endorse. YouTube is de-monetizing videos with LGBT content because they’re including them in the same category as videos containing hate speech and graphic violence.
That’s discrimination. It’s super gross. It should be illegal.
But that’s not what’s happening to MOST creators who are complaining about YouTube, and it’s the general complaints about YouTube that get me a little bit irritated.
I’ve talked about this before, but YouTube or any online video platform is not and has never been your friend. YouTube is a tool. In my case, it’s a tool I use to communicate with you.
I don’t rely on YouTube to PROMOTE my videos. People subscribe, yes, but I don’t depend on YouTube to tell them when I put out new content.
Imagine if I relied on Amazon to tell my readers when I’ve published a new book. I would not be making a living at this, nor would any publisher or author. And that’s with Amazon’s ENTIRE business model being based on them recommending things to buy. Yet I recognize that their business model does not compel them to recommend ME, even to their customers who have said they want to read my new work.
YouTube is a tool I use to upload videos, which allow me to talk directly to you, and which allow you to talk back directly to me, and that is all it is.
And in that respect, you know what? It’s still awesome.
The problems YouTubers have with YouTube usually boil down to one of two things:
- YouTube isn’t telling people about their work, or
- YouTube isn’t paying them as much as it used to.
And I think we need to break any reliance we have on any multi-billion dollar corporation to take care of our primary business needs for us. They’re never gonna be as interested in us as we are in ourselves, they’re always going to see our audience as their audience, and they’re not gonna want to share it.
I know this sounds like I’m complaining about YouTube. I’m not. My relationship with YouTube is fantastic, because I recognize what they are—a corporation—and what they’re not—my friends, or somehow my employees.
My experience with YouTube culture has never been about whether Hannah Hart shows up in my subscription feed, because I’ve never relied on YouTube for even that much. I GO to Hannah’s channel and find her videos, just like I do for Ahsante, or Trollden, or Heroes of the Storm WTF moments.
It doesn’t matter to me how big they are or whether YouTube wants to promote them to me. I am in control of my YouTube experience, whether I’m a consumer or a creator.
And that means that my YouTube experience is freaking fantastic.
Because YouTube is still better than any other website in the world, at least right now, at letting people upload videos easily and letting other people watch those videos easily.
So 4,000 subscribers on YouTube IS fantastic, but with those 4,000 subscribers, the average video that I upload only gets 400 views. That’s 10%.
And guess what? That’s okay! Because to those 400 people, I’m part of their awesome YouTube experience, and that’s all any of us should ever want to be.
If you still find YouTube a great place, either as a creator or a viewer, and you’ve been feeling a little guilty, like you should agree that YouTube is awful and doesn’t deserve your support or presence, you don’t have to feel that way! You can be happy! You can enjoy YouTube!
If you’re having fun, if YouTube is teaching you about science or making you better at guitar, if you’re not using it to hate-watch people who make you angry or drama channels that farm you for views, if you’re sharing videos WITH people you love, or watching videos BY people you love, about things that are important to you, you’re using YouTube the way it was meant to be used.
And all the rest is kind of B.S.
I’m really happy to be here. Yes, even when I take a month off from making videos. And if I am part of your awesome YouTube experience, then that is one of the things in my life that I am proudest of.
And that is all I have for you today, Rebel.
All the videos I make are supported by my awesome patrons on Patreon. If you want to be one of those extra special people, check it out.
Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you next week. Byyye!