A Rant on YouTube... from December 15th, 2009
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Kugee
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I'm a little burned out on making new videos right now, but not like I was on YouTube in 2019. I'll be back with more as soon as I learn to fix motherboards with Dallas RTCs in the coming weeks, as a good chunk of them I racked up are integral to some of them. In the meantime, here is a rant on YouTube I recorded a decade ago, also heard in YouTube Armageddon but without any other audio sources overlapping it this time.

Long before the days of Google+, the adpocalypse, and total incompetence in enforcing community guidelines evenly, there was already something deeply wrong with YouTube. While my 12 year old self doesn't have some five points thought out well enough about why the site's quality was plunging, listening to it again is startling given how gratuitously corporate YouTube has gone since the date of the recording.

To reflect on the five points I made here...

1. This point is not relevant, and really, like some other points, I'm pretty sure it was taken from some other angry video about YouTube Channels 2.0 or another YouTube rant. All it does is make you feel old; remember this internet war between devoted fans of the Jonas Brothers and grown men who see them as the internet's punching bag. Similar phenomenons would follow in immediate years. (psst... read this https://twitter.com/zerowondering/status/1227090686895325185 )

2. YouTube Channels 2.0 faced a LOUD opposition from various factions of YouTube, and was one of the first major controversies on the site alongside the threat of Viacom. The layout was ugly and no one wanted it. I talked about the arrangement of boxes a lot here; many users liked to add detailed, sometimes stylish descriptions to their channels, and having them moved beneath the top of the channel page to emphasize watching videos in-channel was a hindrance. I didn't mention the new channel layout was a buggy mess, probably because it hasn't been for me the whole time I dealt with it... while I would rather have the original channel layout above all else, 2.0 is technically superior to Cosmic Panda and YouTube One in nearly all aspects.

3. What was wrong with Google was what Google was always about: advertising. That, and data mining. It's a bit difficult to recall how exactly this pushed the community under as I didn't explain it here, and a look at the home page from December 14th, 2009 suggests they did try to put the community in front wherever they could; featured videos were still a thing, as were other modules that pushed videos that clearly excited the bulk of the community, even if I had no interest in a lot of them. Considering YouTube blatantly neglected the desires of those who opposed the original channel layout, it's not really too surprising I mentioned YouTube was drifting away from the community. It was a slow, gradual process.

4. Today, I would say the overall interface from 2009 is WAY more user-friendly than the ones which would follow, including the 2012 redesign, mind you. Still, the frequent layout changes were extremely tedious... like, could they not settle on a single design that made their base happy? The old ones worked! All that was needed were subtle amendments to accomodate necessary features like annotations and high definition. But if many of the users are going to stick around on YouTube regardless, why should whoever's in charge of the design or who tells the design manager "GO REHASH THE DESIGN NOW OR YOU'RE FIRED" care what anyone says?

5. This one shocked me most of all, as in a way, it predicted the horrors to come in the following decade, most notably YouTube TV. Already YouTube was doing things like movie rentals alongside these "shows" I spoke of. However, the space for YouTube shows was not entirely occupied by corporate productions; there were a number of shows run by independent, community-grown YouTubers as well, including Smosh, Fred, and Salad Fingers. Such independent YouTubers were partners, back when video monetization was a luxury. Still, if you look at the YouTube Shows pages from 2009, you will see that YouTube has been immersing itself in the arms of corporations. Perhaps it was an effort to provide a safety net from Viacom's wrath, but being the cash cow it proved to be, it was sure to kick off what would become a disgusting industrialization of content creation.

Little did I know that even worse changes would occur over the following decade. YouTube changed their channel layout again, and then they changed it again again. They changed the algorithm in a way that crushed many high-effort creators, most notably animators, and paved the way for insufferably juvenile douchebags like PewDiePie (yes, he still sucks today), who took advantage of the new rule of quantity above all else.

Google+, which was already being artificially propped up in 2011 with existing YouTube accounts to make it "the fastest growing social network wow!!!", was forced onto the masses in late 2013, which mandated the use of real names to post comments on videos, and closely tied them in with a social network nobody wanted. This change forced me to abandon a channel I already had from January 2013 and create a "brand account" to get around the real name policy. Google+ was so unpopular that Jawed criticized it, and thankfully it died in the beginning of 2019 after being unbound from YouTube somewhere in 2015, I think.

If you think YouTube's downfall began with Susan, you are wrong. YouTube was fucking itself up long before then, and I've seen all of it; I first used YouTube before Google bought it. Regarding the mention of inconsistencies in guideline enforcement, they have NEVER been consistent in enforcing their rules under Google. A couple months after recording this rant, I wanted to work with other amateur web developers to create a YouTube alternative that would bring back the good old days of YouTube, something that would be a lot more pure. You can guess how pleased I was to learn of a new site called ZippCast, although it didn't take long to see how disappointing that was.

Many alternatives have come and gone, while YouTube reigned supreme. Now all hope rests on Vlare to be the one that will one day take on YouTube's tyranny by helping uplift disenfranchised creators and community members. I have wanted to see this happen for a long, long time, and I have had to stick to primarily posting on YouTube the whole way through. Not this time, no way. YouTube and its shitty algorithm have demoralized me so much, and only Vlare could encourage me to make videos again.

It disheartens me that you all have been overreacting to a Discord server being paywalled. It's not that big of a deal, and I think it's a positive change given my experience running a disastrous server for two years prior to its deletion. You're probably in hundreds of other Discord server you can't possibly juggle... are you? More community involvement on the website itself is integral to its growth. Don't forget the real enemy is YouTube, and we need to restore passion and integrity in content creation. Vlare MUST win.
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