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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Have You Watched My Videos?

{Changes in the YouTube Culture and why they matter}

Some of you may have been around the online video World a long time; some of you are probably new to it. If you have been around for a while then you, like the rest of us have probably seen a lot of changes (not all positive) in the YouTube community. Some of the changes are a natural outcome of a maturing community, some are related to changes in the design of the YouTube site: changes that Google made to meet its own advertising needs, and changes that arguably have hurt the YouTube community.

So back to the title of the post. Have you watched my videos? No, this is NOT shameless self promotion. The point is more that in the "old days" people would watch each others videos BEFORE asking them to watch one of their own. It was considered only appropriate to do so. This was not a hard and fast rule, but if you were developing a new channel it was almost essential behavior. You had to act like a "good community member", or you were regarded as a spammer. 

More importantly people liked to do it. It was considered a sign of friendship. Perhaps the analogy in the real World would be shaking someones hand. The point is that it worked. It made for a great community, and it resulted in people being able to build their channels organically.

So where did we loose our way? It is hard to say exactly, but over time a sense of "entitlement" has entered the space. It is not easy to make quality content, and some people feel that alone entitles them to views. They fail to understand that YouTube is at its core a community. It was in the beginning, and it still is today. Many of the younger members of the YouTube community have retained the culture and it is wonderful to watch them interact, collaborate, celebrate every subscription, and rejoice in every view.

However Google has also played a role in changing the culture. They have removed some of the tools community members used to communicate, and they have buried others so deeply in the design that they are almost useless.

So here we are in 2013 building a Web Series Today Community on Google+, and expanding our reach here on the blog. It is not the same as the "old YouTube", but it does allow us to build a new community and that is exactly what we are doing. Perhaps in some small way we can recreate some of the good we have lost in the years in between. Perhaps we can build something different, but still useful. The choice is up to you.


  1. Great post!! I know I have enjoyed "meeting" some new shows on here.

    1. I agree with Shotgun Mythos....and think this is a terrific post.I miss the days of "Hey I just subbed you will you sub me back?"...and for a while I wasn't at all sure how or if I'd ever figure out the new youtube...so thanks Lonelyfish Tachyfin and the Community of Web Series Today for reconnecting us...or at least me because I think I should just speak for myself...I'm enjoying this....and just look at my fishy boy swim.I think he's telling us all something...sort of like even if you don't know where you are going or why things are changing..."just keep swimming" - Lonelyfish Tachyfin 2013

    2. Ah sub 4 sub. Those were the days. At least people were interacting. Google crushed a lot of that.

      And yes, i think Tachyfin is telling us something. Community is not just a name. Community is something we do. We come here and feed Tachyfin and perhaps discover a new series on the way. That is what community is all about. Helping each other grow. Watching each others content. Offering constructive advice where appropriate.

      But at its core a community needs to be fun. And Tachyfin is pure fun.


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