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  1. Hello everyone! Perhaps slightly ethereal post, but something I think we should all consider, especially those of us who have aims of participating in the world of New Media. This is going to be a long post, and will constitute concepts for improving New Media platforms for the modern day. For reasons we'll go over shortly, we'll be pooling these ideas into a mould we'll be calling "Vidhub"; yes, this pokes fun at Pornhub.
  2.  
  3. Table of Contents:
  4. 1.0: New Media Platforms, Recognizing Improvements, and Having Them Realized
  5. 1.1: Principles of Sustainability. Creators, Viewers, and Advertisers
  6. 1.2: Principles of Sustainability. Creators as Employees; Communication and Direct Guidelines
  7. 1.3: Principles of Sustainability. SUPER SECRET! READ TO FIND OUT!
  8. 1.4: Living the New Media: Ratings that are Useful and Informative
  9. 1.5: Living the New Media: Discussion Boards and Text Media
  10. 1.6: Living the New Media: Channels and Networks
  11.  
  12. @@@
  13.  
  14. 1.0: New Media Platforms, Recognizing Improvements, and Having Them Realized
  15. Youtube has been around for a long time, and it's gone through a lot of iterations. I've seen a lot of them, and have since then finished High-School and finished an undergraduate degree in STEM, accepted now to Graduate School. In that time, I've watched a hell of a lot of youtube. I know what I've enjoyed of the system. Changes I've missed. Changes I've liked. Changes that have never impacted me as a user, and changes that didn't do much for me as a little speck of a creator. Though, over time I've learned a bit about the influences that act on youtube, and the new media itself. This being the case, I've come up with a lot of thoughts to contribute towards making an effective New Media platform.
  16.  
  17. And, let's be honest. Things are changing. I've been told since forever that Youtube does not net profit, that it's constantly in the Red, and that only big businesses like Google can apparently sustain it. Sure, let's go with that. We also have the fact that Youtube is a massive brand, that is instantly recognized. It's taking heat right now, but most of that heat is filtering through to Google. Youtube as a platform is still not only viable, but is still the most effective source of new media out there.
  18.  
  19. But, getting any of these changes to Youtube, as of the present moment, may seem impossible. So, we're going to assume that these ideas would need to spread to other platforms first. I don't know how to address the different sources of Vidme, Dailymotion, Bitchute, and others. I don't know how willing they are to take our ideas, or even the ideas that show as immediately beneficial to themselves.
  20.  
  21. So, we may have to imagine in this instance an entirely new platform, if only to conceive of certain features functioning without either complete rebranding of existing platforms, or to overcome the hesitance that these platforms might have to try new ideas. Naming conventions are something I suck at. So just to be funny and gesture at Pornhub, for the sake of this discussion, I'm going to use the name Vidhub.
  22.  
  23. @@@
  24.  
  25. 1.1: Principles of Sustainability. Creators, Viewers, and Advertisers
  26. Consider that we have planned to create Vidhub with all the features that we will outline later. What are the core building blocks of the platform? Well, obviously, those are the Viewers and the Creators. You can be both, you can be only one, but both are sustained off of each other. Viewers want to watch videos by creators, creators want to have viewers watch their content.
  27.  
  28. Viewers are assumed at all times to be the most important. I argue they share an importance with the Creators, and both are most important. Advertisers should not be on this level of interest; though, they will inevitably be if they hold the life of the platform in their grasp.
  29.  
  30. Viewers should feel as though they have free reign to watch and enjoy the content that they enjoy on the platform. The platform itself should not have restricted, or priviliged content. Viewers should feel as though their voices can be heard, even if part of a huge following. It is a group of individuals, not a mob collective. This is not Netflix, where you're purchasing a license to stream exclusive, intellectual property from the comfort of your home; at least, not from a corporate entity.
  31.  
  32. Creators should feel as though the platform exists to give them the ability to speak out to the viewers who want to see their content. Creators should have the tools to do all that they need to to produce video meaningfully, and reach out to the audience of Viewers. Their should not be ideological censorship, there should not be vague 'guidelines', there should just be simple, boolean-logic rules. Creators should also be insentivized to diversify their podium. They should have the ability to connect their content meaningfully through the display of their profile, connect their audiences across different platforms, have functional diagnostics, have multiple avenues that they can elect to use or not use that will put the traffic firmly on their videos. That being said, larger and more influential youtubers may require access to priviliged tools that simply shouldn't be given out to every new account that pops up, and these tools can be given out over well-defined terms of distinction.
  33.  
  34. Advertisers should want to pay money to have their content displayed to a given audience. This should be clear, and easy. It doesn't have to be stupid. If you don't want the traffic to see your ads, go away. There are more of you than you know.
  35.  
  36. Let's take this a little further, and talk about what would be the important distinctions for Creators as to maximize the effectiveness of the platform.
  37.  
  38. @@@
  39.  
  40. 1.2: Principles of Sustainability. Creators as Employees; Communication and Direct Guidelines
  41. The fact is that Creators come in two stripes. Those who will only create videos recreationally, and have no interest in becoming productive over a certain point. Then there are those who will strive to be as active as possible, to the point at which they might make it a portion of their professional lives if the sustainability is there. The fact is that the latter of these are the more productive, marketable, sustainable, and popularity rising channels out there. That's just the way it is. The small, amateur, easy-going youtubers don't typically generate in any real way the same following, and as such cannot support an equal amount of revenue or service to the platform.
  42.  
  43. Do we disinsentivize these people? No. But we acknowledge that the desire is to have a platform that enables creators to be as active as possible, with the true option to take it professional, with the opportunity to sustain themselves.
  44.  
  45. So, what do we do? We treat Creators like employees. Contracted employees specifically, but still. This means upholding certain legal precedents for treating them well, giving them warnings and fair notice. Not doing evil. Google. Remember?
  46.  
  47. So, where does this begin? Well, with a strongly-typed (Computer Science pun) set of rules that will be easily understood, non-intrusive, and easily enforced with minimal grey area.
  48.  
  49. How does this go? Well, I would take initial inspiration from the Patreon platform in using Manifest Observable Behavior, in which the actions done by a creator are observed directly with regards to the content policy. Now, content policy. This is where no one in any fringe left-or-right will ever be happy. In the end, I'm crazy pro-Free Speach. I would say public discourse is free, and you can say whatever you want, going up to the point of incitement? I don't know, Patreon seems to do this, at least discriminantly. That being said, you can't commit acts of cybercrime, which includes revealing someone's personal information that they had not publicly disclosed. Basically, no DOXing. Not cool. Also beyond incitement is actively encouraging your audience to do mean things to other people. That's pretty hardline incitement. I'm even for dumb people saying 'kill all *insert color here* people.' Let em' sit in the dunce corner I suppose. Pretty much, content policy would go in line with that, free speach is good. Creativity is good. Don't present harm to people and you should be fine.
  50.  
  51. But, this is where things get different about this platform, and this goes into one of the planned features, but this needs to be referenced here first.
  52.  
  53. The Content Creator will be responsible for categorizing the video for the appropriate audience. Big, fucking, shock. Youtube has this, or did have this at one point, and it seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur. Really, if you want to have content where you curse, shoot guns, talk about politics, all of that is fine. But label that shit appropriately. Do that, and there are no problems.
  54.  
  55. We can use basic restrictions to keep kids from seeing dumb stuff like that. Not 15-16? Sorry, rated 16+ stuff ain't visible to you. For the sake of how rabid politics can get, and how dangerous some fringe groups are, I'd say politics might put a mandatory age limit of 16 on the video. Big shock. There'd be a well written age-settings system you could look at. And if you break it, your video is just turned to private, asked to be changed, or you can appeal it. NO BIG DEAL.
  56.  
  57. Not appropriately categorizing your videos will probably do the same thing. It wouldn't be a huge deal if you get it wrong, and the age bracket is right; but you should still try. Honestly, Anita Sarkeesian would probably get hammered for this if she tried to put Feminist Frequency as a Gaming video. Nah dawg. Knock that shit up.
  58.  
  59. And, I don't recommend being a puritan with the rating systems. If you're above 10-12, you can deal with bad words. If you're above 16, you can basically deal with anything. I'd only ascribe 18+ to lewds, and they'd probably have some kind of opt-in feature or something. As, yes, I'm actually pro-lewds SO LONG AS they are APPROPRIATELY labelled and put in the right places, where you won't ever run into them accidentally. But, for a business, this might not be the best move.
  60.  
  61. So, in this way, following some basic rules gives creators a lot of free reign. Sure, you'll have some assholes like Keemstar that might get hit occasionally for going too far. But people like Filthyfrank, Pewdiepie, they'll all be fine. And their incomes won't be at the mercy of some anonymous corporate entity. I might even go so far as to suggest that Creators who are large enough get a distinct, named, and regular support staff member they can contact. Actually build a relationship with the company? Yeah, that might be nice.
  62.  
  63. Lastly though, is perhaps the point of differentiating your creators. Youtube has done this for a long time, they probably still do. It used to be you had to get so many views and videos before you could go above 15 minutes. There was the brief 'sponsored' period, I think. Now there's just sort of what's going on now, with every creator suspected of high treason. So, what's the ideal system? Well, I think there are a couple.
  64.  
  65. First: Time, videos, and views. Or any combination of the three. The original youtube system helped prevent spam, give the amateur youtuber something to work with, and it wasn't a huge deal. I might move the limit from 15 up to 21, just to give people some wiggle even as they start. This gives some sense of accomplishment, prevents spammers from having the full length videos. And could go up in brackets. Good stuff.
  66.  
  67. Second: Revenue earned. This one might be nice for creators who are doing the website a service. They can get extra features, or have certain limited features accessed a certain amount of times for a given bracket of money raised. This could give distinguished creators with larger platforms, who retain regularity some options as to handle their platforms online.
  68.  
  69. Lastly: Premium Subscription. Oh yeah, Daddy! I uttered the bad word! Money!! We're going into this next.
  70.  
  71. @@@
  72.  
  73. 1.3: Principles of Sustainability. Premium Status as a partial alternative (or complete alternative) to advertisers, sponsors, or corporations.
  74. What is the evil new platform going to charge you for? Well, first of all, Premium is NOT going to be ANYTHING LIKE Youtube Red, or Netflix. Not even close. It's not even going to really target Viewers at all. It's going to exclusively target Creators (and someone else that we'll get to last.)
  75.  
  76. It should be the really high-end, major effort stuff that things like Youtube doesn't even really offer on the surface, as to benefit the committed and serious creators. Mass video importing. Bitchute-like video decentralization. Stream-sync across platforms. 0% money taken from Superchats. Choose the types of ads you want on your content, even specific ads. Choose to disable ads for EVERYONE on your channel (at a certain amount perhaps.) Be able to start multiple Networks (we'll get to that.) Basically things that benefit you as a creator, and your audience by virtue of that; and perhaps even offer discounts based on your yearly input from the site; perhaps up to 100% if you choose to trade your video revenue back to the channel, and decide to live off your patreon.
  77.  
  78. A viewer should never feel pressured to go Premium. It might offer them some bonuses. "Free Conscience Ad-Block", sure, Youtube Red offers that. Maybe certain Creators could opt in to have viewers with Premium Subscription count as being able to access their Patreon-Only content; and that again primarily giving Creators some kind of benefit in perhaps increased revenue from Patreon-Only content. See how this comes around to making Creators feel valued? Yeah, we like that. Viewers could probably get some other benefits, but those will largely come up superficially in the sections with new features.
  79.  
  80. Though, another person who might want to have a Premium subscription, our secre hideaway we referenced at the beginning... is the ADVERTISER. Whom, maybe, could actually be a HUMAN BEING and not a SOULLESS CORPORATION.
  81.  
  82. Here's how, perhaps. If you want to go the Advertiser route with your premium, you build up certain funds to run your advertisements on the site. Anyone can do this, so long as the Advertisement passes Advertisement Standards (which might actually be much more rigorous than Creator standards). When you have enough funds, and your ad is clear, you can run your ad on the specified platforms, for the specified amount of time. That also being the case, you can continually fund your advertisement through extensions, though that might take continual payments beyond premium subscription, given the cost. You can update your advertisement with one that passes the Advertisement Standards (with any necessary modifications), and so on.
  83.  
  84. This is to not only give competition to corporate advertisers, making them shill harder if they're going to shill, and putting perhaps some opportunities to smaller groups looking to advertise, but also to give CREATORS the ability to ADVERTISE their own content! Yeah, ever think of that? Ever think that if your favorite youtuber ran ads on videos that weren't theirs, they might get more traffic? Golly! Why don't we do that? Yeah, why don't we REWARD OUR CREATORS!? YEah, see where I keep going with this?
  85.  
  86. And, yeah, with the age ratings and category system being more rigorous, Advertisers won't be able to bitch. You paid to put the ad there. Either don't extend it, don't put up a new one, or change where you want it airing. Stow it, my dude.
  87.  
  88. But, of course, advertising could be bought as normal. Albeit, with a bit more competition than normal.
  89.  
  90. @@@
  91.  
  92. 1.4: Living the New Media: Ratings that are Useful and Informative
  93. This could yet be in the New Features category, but its worth understanding in detail what is perhaps going on with videos, as to gauge a lot of this forward-thinking, and actually having a [censored] functioning communication system on the platform. I mean, holy crap. Between Youtube, Patreon, Facebook, and Pornhub, we might have one and one-fourth's functioning system (and I'll give you a hint, the best one starts with a P and doesn't end in an N.)
  94.  
  95. I mean, Facebook uses likes, Patreon also has likes but doesn't really do much to display them, Youtube has likes, and Pornhub has likes AND dislikes. Sure, youtube has dislikes, but it's almost like a shadow-report. Pornhub's dislikes actually function like dislikes in that you just found the content not enjoyable.
  96.  
  97. Now, Old Youtube used to have a system of Stars. Yup, remember the day of Rating something one to five stars? Yeah, I do. A lot of the time, that was worthless, and we saw how the Like ratio, and how the rates of five-stars and one-star came up far more frequently. This is true back even to Newgrounds. Oh man, who remembers Newgrounds, am I right?
  98.  
  99. Though, now, there are some metrics that the one-to-five metric can help with. Usually with gauging community interest and performance over time. That being said, it's usually a much less valid response when it's your only thing to go off of, as people who want to give a solid yes, will just give 5-stars, and people who don't will typically slam it with a solid 1. The 'eh' average will be 3, which usually leaves 2 almost never used, and 4 seen as the 'pretty good' option.
  100.  
  101. So, can we get the best of both? Why yes, yes I think we can.
  102.  
  103. I think we should have a solid thumbs-up Like, and a solid thumbs-down Dislike. When you click Like though, you get directed to an optional second step, where you can give one-to-five stars for how much you liked the content? You can think it was kind of eh', but like the general environment or idea of the video, and slap it with one star. This could be thumbs-upping a political video that you disagree with, but like the fact that discourse was had. Or it could be someone reviewed a game you really didn't like, but you could at least watch them play it. Or vice versa on that last one.
  104.  
  105. When you click dislike, it's just a straightforward dislike. Though, you may get a text prompt asking to report if the video wasn't appropriately aged or categorized. It, however, will not auto report this.
  106.  
  107. Likes and Dislikes can be displayed as per their appropriate metrics, but so too can the positive ratings from one-to-five in others. It can also help humanize these metrics. And, of course, viewers can do as they often will and disregard both.
  108.  
  109. @@@
  110.  
  111. 1.5: Living the New Media: Discussion Boards and Text Media
  112. Youtube has room for a discussion Tab. It's rarely used, and pretty much exclusively there for when videos get deleted, or as a desperate attempt to get the creator's attention. It doesn't have much room for interaction, and goes almost unused. Patreon has room for interacting with your Patron, though usually you find the end result is typically a single comment strand, not unlike youtube's discussion section, or just a youtube comments section.
  113.  
  114. I think, in the end what these things are attempting to replicate, are dying Twitter's news feed, or Reddit's open messageboard system.
  115.  
  116. Well, how about we do it right?
  117.  
  118. I see a couple options. One involves giving a creator access to a reddit-like message board on their profile, where a user can post a certain number of topics at a time, and different posts can be replied to, upvoted, or otherwise used like reddit. Yeah, this is an option. But so too would be to just simply have a creator have a tab that opens access to their own Subreddit? I mean, reddit doesn't look like it's going anywhere, and having both of these options might suit nicely.
  119.  
  120. Comments are also a feature that many of these websites utilize, or should. Youtube's work for commenting, but rating or otherwise interacting with them is a rough business in and of itself. With very little actual function when it comes to registering upvotes and downvotes. So, I'd propose making similar changes with this as well.
  121.  
  122. Perhaps a creator can either use the basic comment section, or have it extend to a discussion board post on their channel, or a thread posted on their subreddit by them specifically for that video. Or even better perhaps, allow BOTH on channels and videos. In one tab, you can comment on the video, of which the comment section is cataloged in a discussion board post on their channel. In another tab, you could interface with their subreddit and interact immediately if you're signed in. Boom! This would work on their channel to, having on one hand the hosted discussion board, and in another tab their connected subreddit.
  123.  
  124. Perhaps intimately connecting your subreddit with your channel might be a paid feature, but maybe not. It depends.  But, for the reason of this planned sharing of features and optimization, I see comment ratings working just like they do on reddit. Upvotes, downvotes. A certain number of downvotes gets your comment put behind a spoiler that you have to click to read. Your comment can be reported for spam, etc.
  125.  
  126. Though, I will say, for threads and for posts, there should be more sorting systems. Chronological. Popularity. Anti-popularity. Reply activity. Maybe have a response for 'Funny' like in steam reviews, and sort through those too.
  127.  
  128. Such shall information be accessible, active, and useful. Let the memes flow.
  129.  
  130. @@@
  131.  
  132. 1.6: Living the New Media: Channels and Networks
  133. Creators will have channels, and channels will have some of the old creativity that was in Old Youtube thrown back in. Perhaps not as much, but still some. You can display your playlists in a few ways. Perhaps there are a few structure themes. Media fields. All the things that are determined by business for good sales, and then let loose on the artists. You'd obviously need a big place for your name, your logo or a picture of yourself, your different media outlets. A place to access your public information. Easy access to your videos and playlists. Good stuff.
  134.  
  135. A big part of having a channel is being able to organize your content. So you can do that. And hopefully, after having watched a certain amount of your viewers will have picked up on some of the things you've set out. Maybe a category or section. Maybe your Warhammer 40K lore videos, and not your MLP lore videos. So maybe when they watch your new Warhammer 40K video, it doesn't default to try and show them your new MLP lore video, but instead an older Warhammer 40K video they haven't seen yet. Maybe it cycles through some of their favorite videos now and then, or they can even set their preferences. New videos before older videos, popular videos before unpopular videos, unpopular videos before popular videos, older videos before newer videos, similar author tags or different author tags. All sorts of stuff.
  136.  
  137. Though, another thing that'll be brought back is your ability to customize your youtube page. Yes, you can have a full art banner. But you can also now replace the goddamn sterile youtube-like white background for a skin / texture of said background. It won't be like old youtube where you had an image underlayed underneath your video sections and stuff. Not quite. But, you can have fun with texturing and designing a beautiful design scheme for the background.
  138.  
  139. You can also click on a big 'WATCH' button, that'll just auto-play videos on the channel that you like, according to your settings, with skip / repeat, and other buttons on. This is to mimic the best of Cable TV / Old Media, and take a swing at them. You can watch your favorite creators, sort through their newest content, or stuff you haven't seen yet, all with minimal interaction, and without falling into weird Youtube Recommended stuff. Yay, TV on the Internet!
  140.  
  141. Obviously, you can watch videos without that watch button, but it'll go through a broader set of recommended videos, or just new videos you're subscribed to, or maybe it'll go through videos shared in a playlist/watchlist that you have (including Watch Later or Favorites.) Or maybe it just won't auto-play another video, cause auto-play can be annoying.
  142.  
  143. Though, even more potent than Channels perhaps is that users will be granted access to Networks. What is a network?
  144.  
  145. Well, it might be most keen to say that a Network is a union of creators. Now, don't go all Soviet Anthem on me here. It's entirely voluntary, you can leave at any time, and there is probably a suggested hierarchy, with some checks and balances. One big head honcho. A few honchos underneath of them, preferably three as officers / mods (and preferably creators for the Network itself), and up to perhaps 5 levels of ranks. Leaders, officers, big creators, small creators, new creators. You can structure it as you please, have fewer levels of authority (at least two are required), and enjoy your own group dynamic.
  146.  
  147. Now, how do these work? Well, you can contribute to a Network and build a group subscription, for the same benefits that an individual creator would get for only slightly increased cost. You have multiple settings to determine when you upload a video, whether or not it is automatically uploaded to the network as well. When its uploaded to the network, there is a separate copy of the video over there, but it generates views and clicks and so on IN ADDITION to the one on your channel, and they share information across each other. Though it will gain an extra subscribe button for the Network, and extra discussion tabs for the network.
  148.  
  149. Additionally, should someone leave the network, their videos may stay, or be removed later. If a user deletes their channel, but the video exist on the network, the video will shift entirely over to the network and remain up, if the network settings allow this. This is to respect the Viewers who watch this content, at the expense of a creator acknowledging that their content may remain up if they upload it to a network. Tough cookies.
  150.  
  151. So, what else do networks do? Is it like a big playlist of creators? Oh no, you poor sweet child.
  152.  
  153. Networks work like cable TV. See, cause I don't really care for them either, I'm more than happy to see if I can't take a swing at knocking them out of business. As, while you can see a Network working like a big conglomerate youtube channel, where all the content is just dumped in a central location, consider some of the stuff we've said before. About your viewing settings, preferences, and... that big WATCH button that lets you sift through the content of a particular creator easily, with minimal interaction, without stumbling through random Youtube recommendations.
  154.  
  155. You see, Networks have this button too. And it has a number of creators, who can all be uploading videos on different days, at different points in the day, with tons of content at your fingertips. Why, it's almost like having a cable-TV channel on the internet?
  156.  
  157. Why, you know what, yes it is.
  158.  
  159. When you have a group of creators, at least some of whom treat it professionally, you could create AN ACTUAL NETWORK of creators, who are producing content on given days, at given times, with 'reruns' that run according to your interests on the Network, without any of the bullshit. Without even paying for more than internet. Maybe even with a feed of 'new videos' and upcoming stuff. Throwing in potential for live streams and talk-shows. Networks really wield some excellent power, and could easily band together like-minded, cooperating youtubers into a potent force.
  160.  
  161. Imagine a Network for the different politcal communities on the internet, or a Network for people Modding Skyrim, or a Network for people interested in Military History / HEMA / Swords? It would be an incredible force for sharing views, garnering content, and getting people interested. Maybe, like me, you love the HEMA / Military History community? Maybe there's a creator you're not super fond of? Let's say Skallagrim because he's the biggest. Maybe it sorts through other creators that you like and watch more. But maybe it throws in some Skallagrim when the tags HE uses matches the tags that OTHER CREATORS ON THE NETWORK ALSO USE, it'll pop up next and have a title that makes you think 'this might be a good Skallagrim video.' Almost like maybe the creators could work together to bring YOU the content that you want? Right?
  162.  
  163. Consider this with the fact that these Networks on the site could also advertise their own content, generating and giving back revenue to the site. They could also potentially, make more regular use of powerful tools, and maintain a significant internet community easily.
  164.  
  165. Crazy stuff, but really, I think this is the next big step forward in the New Media / Streaming platform. I also think it would deal a major blow to old media, cable companies, and other such providers. So, I say, why not give it a try?
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