Wednesday, April 7, 2010

TheAntiBroadcast Channel: Don't Kill The Messenger

I was recently asked by a few fellow YouTubers to share my thoughts on TheAntiBroadcast channel and what I think of its long term potential. Instead of just replying to people individually, I've decided to make a blog out of it. And no, not only because I haven't done one of these in ages, but because I actually have quite a bit to say here. Fair warning though, it ain't gonna be pretty.

First off, Youtube will not care. Even if we do miraculously end up with 100K people watching the channel on any sort of a regular basis, Google will still have no reason to promote it. It's apparent to me now that some of us have been so caught up in casually discussing topics otherwise viewed as controversial, that when logged in to a comfort zone on YT with easy access to like-minded people, it's as if we've somewhat forgotten just how much of a Dark Age this era really is. The number of individuals our content stands to alienate far surpasses the number it stands to attract. The ugly truth is, in a system where corporations like Google are allowed to exist and are by the same token legally permitted to get away with owning what has essentially become the 2010 version of the public square, we as participants (and therefore enablers) of that system must come to terms with it. We must finally accept that private companies like Google are perfectly rational in their view of us as nothing but pesky roadblocks to their one and only goal. A goal we're all well aware of. Google has nothing to gain and everything to lose by promoting a bunch of gloomers who talk about and hold minority viewpoints. And to those who have non-minority viewpoints on their video agendas, chances are that you're not exactly what a channel titled "TheAntiBroadcast" needs anyway. There are already enough people preaching to choirs. This channel, in my view, should focus on under discussed topics.

Back to Google. They will never see our numbers, large or small, as worthy compensation for the potential backlash our collective video clicks are bound to generate. This is made evident when looking at users like ZOMGitsCriss, Pat Condell & Thunderf00t, all of whom already have the numbers TheAntiBroadcast mission hopes to ultimately gain so to extort YT. But have any of these already highly popular channels ever received YT's hand in promotion? I know of one instance where a Pat Condell video was promoted on YT's front page, but that's it. And even that was because his video unapologetically targeted Scientology: A minority viewpoint of its own, so no biggie. But we've seen what happens with Condell's Anti-Islam videos. Has anyone ever seen any of those on YT's front page? I haven't. How come? They're his highest viewed videos! Why wouldn't YT capitalize on the massive amount of hits? Obviously, YT strays from those because of the simple fact that Islam has more followers than Scientology. When a site exists for the sole purpose of selling adverts, it's all about pandering to demos, tunnel vision style. A simple example yes, but don't tell me it doesn't hold water with every other position the least bit philosophical or political. And sure, thunderf00t is a partner, but the majority of his content targets Creationism. We all know that if the number of Creationists today came even close to surpassing the number of Theistic Evolutionists, thunderpants would not be a partner. His videos would result in too much backlash, and Google would wash their hands clean of him.

Now, this is all irrelevant anyway since we can't pull off 100K people regularly watching 1 channel to begin with.

If we go with the "merge everyone's subs on 1 channel" theory, it fails seeing as how a high percentage of subscribers are already interchangeable from channel to channel as far as some of the highly viewed content providers' channels are concerned, which is really the only place where we stand to gain a healthy number of new viewers. As for the subscribers that aren't interchangeable from channel to channel, they aren't so for a reason; They have no interest in watching content from channels they aren't already subbed to. I doubt any of this will change if we simply merged content involving 180-type personalities presenting various controversial and contrasting topics, rather loosely. Just look at what Gary has had to do in the past in hopes of garnering rational discourse with some of his proposals. The guy has actually had to segregate his content, subject by subject, since viewers taking issue towards him on Topic A, resulted in them no longer supporting him as it pertains to his stance on Topic B. They still agreed with his stance on Topic B, but did not want to remain subbed to a channel that had become *polluted* in their eyes, due to Topic A having been endorsed. His DMCA use was a perfect example of this. If he had opened up an account strictly dedicated to DMCA related stuff, his other channel(s) would probably never have taken the publicity hits they took. I'm afraid that if TheAntiBroadcast channel was created with the specific purpose of merging various controversial viewpoints and personas, it will fail for this very reason. Often times people become so passionate about what they oppose, they will discard any other potential good that may come from the opposed source. And I can't really fault them.

Sadly, the best way to get YT not to bury your content, aside from not being stupid enough to put the word shit in your username (bah), is to partner with them. So far, I am yet to hear of a single partnered account that has fallen prey to YT's algorithmic demotion, or plain old censorship through index distortion. So forget front page promotion, just be happy if your content doesn't get buried for its controversial message.

Having said all this, you guys can feel free to use anything I put out, as long as you don't chop up my vids and make me say shit I'd never say, like ''oojamaflipper makes very good videos''. Sorry, I have a reputation to protect. :P

I'll do my best to support the channel. That is, of course, as long as the issues endorsed/discussed are rational/relevant in accordance to my standards of what's worthy of endorsement. I'm not going to turn my individual judgement into a sacrificial lamb for the sake of a movement. Never have, never will. If for example the average upload consists of nothing but relentless indignation at cyber bullying or at porn or at atheists being told by Christians that they're *gasp* going to hell, or at any other type of trivial nonsense that we've seen preoccupy way too much of people's time, I'll pass. Don't get me wrong, I'm curious to see how this thing unfolds, but at the same time I'm just pointing out that I ain't playing movement cheerleader unless genuinely impressed by the movement. The really big name atheists who we hope to glean numbers from tend to think the same way.

As for end-of-week stickam gatherings, doesn't this already exist in its DebateInmendham incarnation? Do we really need another one of these? If you can pull off having even a fraction of vloggers and viewers who followed the content from that week, actually attend at a certain scheduled time on a weekly basis, then great. I just don't think that's feasible. I know that weekly routines are not something I'm good at keeping track of, and I bet many others aren't either.

This is running way too long again, so to conclude, I'll just say that I'm not trying to rip on the people attempting to make a change. I know the overall mood of the blog may give off the impression that I'd oppose even bothering to try anything out. This is not the case. I just don't want to see a bunch of people get their hopes up way too high, only to end up severely disappointed. You know, skeptic stuff. As for my predictions: I have never looked forward to being proven wrong more than I do here.

Thanks for reading.



  1. well ... I don't have my hopes up with the project let's just say I'm "curiouser and curioser" about it.

    P.S. : Why do you write so bloody good, you make me feel embarrassed to start my chapt 2. Bah !

  2. I don't know what the hell you're talking about here but you are a very good writer. Cheers.

  3. Excellent commentary. Thanks for taking the time for this.

  4. Awesome Write Here My Friend.
    All I Can Say at The Moment Is That We Will Try.

    The Starting Videos Are Always The More Difficult Because We Are Finding Our Voice.

    The Topics Will be Varied.
    We Are Still Individuals and I Don't Plan On Taking That Away From Anyone Who Contributes.

    To The Movement.

    - TheChad11804