Let’s Have a Conversation on Youtube

One thing that most of my friends know about me, is that I am not a big fan of technology. To be more specific, I have a huge problem with these “smart” devices, such as tablets, phones, and basically anything with those ridiculous touchscreens on them. The reason I despise these things is because they are used by people for the sake of being used. We don’t actually do anything unique, educational or thought-provoking with these devices. We binge on random bits of information, and then we rapidly move on to the next thing because we can’t get enough. It’s like our brains are being trained to think in hyperdrive – if a webpage takes more than a few seconds to load, we start getting agitated. Don’t believe me? Watch someone try to load an app on any smartphone, and observe their bouncing knee, squirming or fidgeting in their seat, and repeatedly banging their thumb on the phone’s screen. And this all can happen within a span of 30 seconds or less.

The only terrible experience I have had on Youtube, is that people only stay subscribed to my channel for a few days. It took me forever to figure out why this was happening, because Youtube’s analytics function won’t tell you what you really need to know. My audience retention percentiles are all over the place. My comments, likes and dislikes, watch times and views are all over the place, too. So I can’t get a clear reading from this information, especially since the way traffic comes onto my channel is random. My videos only get views if someone happens to find them amongst the millions of other videos on the site.

So why do people unsubscribe? Most popular gaming channels upload one or two videos a day. If a Youtuber, even popular ones like Captainsparklez, Markiplier and ihascupquake, doesn’t upload for a day, they lose subscribers. Even when they are sick, experiencing issues with their life and/or family, they still have to upload. If they don’t, they risk their channel receiving some very heavy complaints and negative feedback. Granted, the channels I mentioned can afford to lose subscribers, because they have millions. I have, as of today, 166 subscribers. So if I lose one, it is a huge blow to my channel.

Sometimes, I cannot upload. It’s usually because of my internet connection being really obnoxious, and I have very little power to fix it. Other reasons include the fact that I am a full time student, and I work part time in addition to my studies. So I have a very narrow window during my day in which I can record. Combine that with classwork, household chores, and my awfully noisy neighbors. So, even though I try very hard to upload at least one video every day, sometimes I can’t. If I have a choice between a video with kids screaming in the background and blaring music (that could get me a copyright violation), or a good quality video, guess which I will choose?

I’m sure someone is going to say to me that because of my lifestyle, that maybe Youtube isn’t a good idea. I’m not going to be one of those Youtubers who quit their job, dropped out of school and gave up a normal life to “pursue” Youtube. That’s not why I started my channel, just to get popular and bask in my own glory. I started my channel for speech therapy. I have a language impairment, and difficulty with speaking and performing tasks at the same time. Recording my videos has helped me tackle that problem. I’m also a mega-extrovert, so doing nothing else with my life but making videos, doesn’t work for me. It’s not healthy for my brain, and it can make me depressed. Being so extroverted is also why I make videos, so that I can talk to people.

I use games as a way to contemplate many things in my life, my community, world issues, politics, and just talk about my day. I like people to respond to what I talk about in the comment section, and then we can have a discussion about what they think and what I think. I don’t want people to just watch my videos and move on, I want them to stop, think about it, share an idea, then come back for more the next day. I want people to slow down and be patient. These goofball “smart” devices have robbed people of their ability to be in the moment, without them realizing it.

You should never subscribe to someone’s channel if you aren’t planning on sticking around for more than a few days. That gives the person who runs the channel false hope, especially if their channel has 166 subscribers, like mine. If you subscribe you my channel, you have to plan to be there, show support and engage in the content I provide, when I provide. You have to be patient and respectful of my channel’s community. You have to understand that my name is not theartbook35, and it’s actually Alexandra. There is a human being running this channel, and you subscribe to the person, not the webpage. So instead of being data hungry mindless zombies, let’s have a conversation on Youtube.

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2 Responses

  1. I think you’re expecting a level of commitment contrary to the way people ordinarily use YouTube. You want viewers to use it like reading a daily newspaper they pay to get copies of, but these are free subscriptions to an “impulse buy” product. I don’t personally subscribe to anyone’s channels, but if I did it would only be so the kind of things I like will be all lined up IF or WHEN I get the occasional impulse to waste some time surfing there. Time’s too precious to be making daily/regular visits to YouTube.

    • The first line of your comment sums up what I am talking about in this blog post. I have a big problem with the way people expect my channel to be exactly like every other channel, because it isn’t. And it never will be. I cannot be superficial and make goofball, mindless videos of me screaming into a microphone so so someone can have instant gratification and forget it the next day. These superficial, redundant gaming channels are not the only content on Youtube, there are also news channels, theory channels, and a variety of other thought-provoking channels which expect the viewers to think about things. However, none of these channels create discussions. I am merging the two concepts together, gaming and thinking, and asking people to get involved. And people ARE willing to get involved, because from time to time, we create these discussions. But the people who unsubscribe after a few days, they don’t give my channel a chance. They are stuck on this idea of constant data hoarding for the sake of data hoarding, and it’s not healthy or practical. I’m trying to get those people to stop that behavior and do something on Youtube that is unique.

      I don’t think a free subscription to more content than an impulse buy is so much to ask. I’m actually producing more content than what an average gaming channel produces, because people have the option to respond, engage with my channel’s community and myself (If I ever reach a status of millions of subscribers, I will still respond to comments daily, something big-name youtubers don’t do), and I have numerous series, and not all of them are games. I also write music, so people will be getting previews and or full songs to listen to for free. Never mind all of the things that I talk about in every video. It’s very randomized in terms of topics, and maybe even a bit of a stretch, but I am technically offering “free education”, which is what everyone seems to want these days.

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