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    Clickbait is Destroying Youtube User Experience
    #1
    Rockin the Boat
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    OK, it’s possible that I’m just an old “get off my lawn” man screaming at the clouds (or muttering “kids these days”), but in the last year and a half and especially since the pandemic hit, it seems youtube has been drowned in clickbait to the point of complete unusability.

    Now, there’s always been clickbait, and maybe it’s always been this bad, and maybe only now I’m just noticing it more, but at this point I’m about to give up.

    I just cannot stand the relentless and completely fake ways of trying to get you to click on utter garbage videos. First, you must immediately give up on any notion that the title will actually deliver on its promise - so “Why I moved to X as a black man” will have some lame “reasons” not one of which has anything to do with being black, and many videos try to get around by the first thing they say is “not really” - “Why X will kill you” “OK, guys, I don’t mean actually kill you, and maybe it’s not even bad, but”.

    And then the exaggerated completely fake drama - the screaming the twisted faces in the thumbnails and the relentless “funny” attempts and rushing back and forth all in the name of creating fake excitement - so, so, tiring. Even if I’m intersted in the topic I cannot take the narrator’s fake “excitement” and screaming so I can’t concentrate on the substance.

    And the substance - you get a 20 minute video, with the title “How to X” and about 19 minutes has nothing to do with it, and the narrator will talk, and talk, and talk in circles saying nothing until maybe the last 30 seconds. To the point where kind commentators have to leave comments with time stamps of where the actual info is, so you can skip all the dross.

    And this relentless clickbaity BS is so all over all the videos to the point where you scan all the recommendations and you can only go “UGH!!!” - so, so, uninviting.

    Now when you search for something on youtube, you have to wade through hundreds of fake clickbait videos or content that’s stolen from some other channnel and it’s practically unusable.

    At this point, I have a few channels that I watch which are good, and whatever Youtube recommendation algorithm pushes at me, I can only ignore, because 99% of the time it’s clickbait trash.

    The worst of it is that all this clickbait seems to work, because I can’t believe the popularity of stuff that’s obviously geared exclusively to bag views with garbage content - are people so clueless and not discerning?? Don’t answer that.

    Anyhow, sorry for the rant. I just had to research something and I made the mistake of wading into the ocean of clickbait garbage on youtube and lost a bunch of time having gotten nothing in return.

    What’s your experience? Am I imagining things, or has the situation really gotten more dire in the last 1-2 years??


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    #2
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    This parody sums up YouTube pretty well:


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    #3
    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    You need to mark recommended videos you don't like as 'not interested' and the algorithm will get smarter about what it sends you. I've trained my youtube page pretty well at this point and rarely get bad recommendations. I do the same with facebook and twitter.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    I have so many varied interests, YouTube asked me if I was the same person who liked WWII history, soccer and operettas.


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    #5
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    I once told a native Californian that I'd never really hit it off with LA. He responded that I just hadn't walked into the right neighborhood yet; that there really is something for absolutely everyone. I think YouTube is kind of the same way in that it's a matter of finding that handful of channels that will spark your interest and enrich your life. But therein lies the problem. Concise, intentional videos are getting shoved to the end of the queue. YouTube's algorithm is the culprit, putting click count and total runtime over substance and audience retention. The result is clickbait and generally low-quality content.

    On the other side, Vimeo worked hard to prioritize high quality content and beyond becoming a great client review platform, it really dried up over there. Guess it wasn't loud and flashy enough. Or maybe it was only a temporary bubble created by people who watched short films to get an idea of what camera to buy instead of reviewers.

    Nowadays my browser is riddled with extensions to streamline my YouTube experience, perhaps the most important of which hides my homepage and all suggested videos. I only watch what I specifically search for. It took some getting used to but I don't get nearly as aggravated. I would highly recommend it.


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    #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCorpse View Post
    OK, it’s possible that I’m just an old “get off my lawn” man screaming at the clouds (or muttering “kids these days”)
    I'm a kid these days and I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickHitRecord View Post
    Nowadays my browser is riddled with extensions to streamline my YouTube experience, perhaps the most important of which hides my homepage and all suggested videos. I only watch what I specifically search for. It took some getting used to but I don't get nearly as aggravated. I would highly recommend it.
    Please share the name, and your other extensions. This sounds great.


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    #7
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    As noted, it's all about the navigation.

    It sounds like you're landing on vlogging entertainment content more than educational content.

    Search around more and you will find some quality information for just about everything on the planet from people who are only interested in educating. Critical thinking, quality advice, reasoning, facts, answering questions, troubleshooting; what you're looking for without the horsing around.


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    #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCorpse View Post
    What’s your experience? Am I imagining things, or has the situation really gotten more dire in the last 1-2 years??
    Don't get me started. Well, I haven't noticed an uptick in the last couple of years. It has been bad for several years, since people began taking Youtube seriously. The more they consider Youtube their main job, the less I like their channel.

    How to be a Youtuber (I don't know why any of this works):

    1. "What's up, guys". I would have thought it would be better to talk like you're talking to one person, instead of talking like I am sitting in a group with all your viewers --- especially since I look around and, in fact, I am not sitting with your other viewers.
    2. Fancy intro
    3. "A lot of you in the comments have asked that I make a video about this." It may be counterintuitive, but to me it has always been offputting for a content-creator of any kind (musician, actor, whatever) to show that he's influenced by his fans. Answering fan letters is one thing. But to change who you are or what you make based on the crowd? That reverses the relationship. You're supposed to do whatever you feel like, and your fans are supposed to crop up based on that. You lead us, not we lead you. (That isn't to say that there is not some kind of dance. A creator too self-absorbed is considered "indulgent". But the other extreme is "pandering", which is actually more of a turn-off to me.) If a viewer comment inspires you to make a video, fine. Just don't always mention it!
    4. "So I did a lot of digging around..." And here we spend roughly a third of the video warming up to the point. Before Youtube, bad writers did the same thing. Zinsser aptly said that often the first 3-5 paragraphs of an article can be simply omitted. The same goes for the first 3-5 minutes of a Youtube video.
    5. Point.
    6. "Please like and subscribe". So tacky.

    Youtube has some real gems. This may be a perfect: Fixing a dented SM58 mic grill (2m 30s).
    Also perfect: Dog of Wisdom

    Here is a website that lets you channel surf from the 70s, 80s, or 90s: https://www.my80stv.com/
    Last edited by combatentropy; 02-08-2021 at 09:24 PM.


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    #9
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    You just need to watch some Bald and Bankrupt videos. No begging for likes or subscriptions, no t-shirts interruptions, no merchandise in the description, no hype (well, c'mon, you have to jazz up the title).

    Start here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mL1aI6aabs
    Awarded Best Clear Com Chatter, 2001, PBS Television


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    #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by filmguy123 View Post
    Please share the name, and your other extensions. This sounds great.
    Using Firefox, the extension in question is called Unhook. It probably saves me at least two hours of mindless clicking a day. Here's what it allows you to do:

    Hide Homepage Feed
    Hide Sidebar
    Hide Recommended, i.e. Related Videos
    Hide Live Chat
    Hide Playlist
    Hide End Screen Videowall
    Hide End Screen Cards
    Hide Comments
    Hide Profile Photos of commenters
    Hide Mix Radio Playlists
    Hide Merch, Tickets, Offers
    Hide Video Info
    Hide Video Buttons Bar (incl. like/dislikes)
    Hide Channel (profile + subscribe button)
    Hide Video Description
    Hide Top Header
    Hide Notification Button + Title Count
    Hide Left Sidebar Extra (subscriptions list, "More from YouTube")
    Hide Channels
    Hide Best of YouTube
    Hide More from YouTube
    Hide Irrelevant Search Results ("Related to your search", "Latest from", "Searches related to", "People also search for", etc.)
    Hide and Redirect Trending
    Hide and Redirect Subscriptions
    Disable Autoplay
    Disable Annotations
    Disable and Redirect Playlists
    I also have "Adblock for Youtube", "Adblock Plus - free ad blocker", and "Adblocker for YouTube". I started with just one of these and it was working for a while, but then the ads came back so I downloaded a second extension. Eventually saw more ads, and downloaded a third. I have no idea which one is actually working, but I'm happy to report that I have been completely ad-free for about two years now.


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