As it has become increasingly hard to find novel content on YouTube, as they have driven Independent Creators in general to the edges and squashed conservatives (or even middle roaders with non-PC Talking Points) entirely; I’ve been on and off looking for alternatives. There are a bunch. But none of them really has caught on.
Many of those driven out have moved to BitChute. But I find it a bother to use it. Finding things is hard. Maybe I just haven’t got the hang of it yet. But the old YouTube algorithm would offer me lots of interesting stuff similar to other things I’d liked. (Now it insists on shoving the same Cable News Monsters at me that I left cable for YouTube to escape.)
Perhaps with more time in the seat at Bitchute I’ll get the hang of it.
Until then, I’ve kept thinking about what I want in a site, and what YouTube is doing wrong. Which lead me to this idea.
YouTube is asserting control of editorial content (and violating the law… by acting as a publisher, not a carrier) and control of monitization. Supposedly to appease “Advertisers”. BUT, if you ban any videos showing guns, you also are not all that interesting to gun stores or gun makers as an advertising venue. What you really want it to keep the gun videos AND the gun advertisers (as an example). So what I think needs to be done is to put the control of WHAT ads show on what video in the hands of the advertisers.
Make it a true “Marketplace of Ideas”.
Every content creator gets a set of “tick boxes” for genre, language / maturity rating, topics, and even political bias. Advertisers get a similar set of tick boxes. An advertiser can tick the “guns” and “sex” boxes or not, as they see fit for their product and brand.
There would need to be a limit on the content creator to accurately tick the boxes. I suppose you could limit them to a few topic areas (so they don’t just tick them all to try to increase reach) or have a verification step to assure any new video is honestly marked (so one saying “cute animals” with someone shooting deer would be spanked…) but that’s pretty easy. No value judgement, just “is it accurate?”. A “Film Noir” with murder and mayhem is, in fact, Film Noir.
So advertisers would be allowed to “tick them all”. If I sell sweet fizzy water in cans, I sell it to everyone. Binge watching vampire watchers as well as the Sunday Mass. So you can have a Genre box (“Film Noir”) and sub-genre boxes inside that (snuff films, drugs, Hollywood ;-) and the advertiser can tick “drugs” to get just that or “film noir” to get them all or just the top most “all genre” box to not care.
You make a good video, and advertisers like your stuff, they can select your channel. Similarly, have a direct donate button for folks to give money directly to pay for a video. (With the choice to just take the money or take the money for turning off commercials at the content provider choice). Make lousy stuff, you get less advertisers. If “Snuff Films” doesn’t have interest for any advertisers, it naturally gets few or no advertisements.
It really IS a free and open market for ideas and creatives, both ways.Creators choose what to create, and advertisers choose what kind of channels to advertise on.
The viewers also get a media preference panel. They can tick the same kinds of tick boxes. Same Genre choices and a bit more. In addition to a “trending” box, I’d include a button for “And more like these” as well as a “surprise me” button that randomly gives an occasional video from a similar, but not checked, genre (so “snuff films” might also get “murder mystery”) or completely random minor videos for “surprise me”. Also tick boxes for national language preferences in both video and music presentations. Also a “rating” choice field (G, MA, R, X) optionally with parental password control
In this way the viewer also gets to chose their market segments and what is acceptable to them. If “snuff films” don’t appeal to folks, few will tick that box and it will naturally die off (so to speak ;-)
This pushes all the “editorial control” into the hands of the viewers. They chose what to watch, what to “edit out”. Advertisers decide what to associated with for their brand. Viewers may directly support channels if they want the content but advertisers don’t. Channels can “do their own thing” and accept that they will only be a commercial success if people like their stuff and it doesn’t drive all advertisers away.
That’s the general idea of it. I can see a lot of opportunities for enhancement. A “channel selector” where you can browse what’s offered in a sub-genre and tick boxes to add channels to your preferred channel listing (with thumbnails of most recent videos) or block it from being offered. So, for example, in “Monster Flicks” you might shut off the Vampire Channel if they creep you out too much but leave in the Frankenstein Channel. As there become ever more channels, this would become a big workload for folks with broad interests, but for most folks it would just be an occasional “tick the box” to say “no more from them” on some offered show / channel. Essentially, you get to do your own “play list” by ticking a like / don’t like / ban it box as you watch, and varying the scope of offerings with the buttons for “near” and “random”
Some bits could be automated. Like using speech recognition to catch “Dirty Words” and adjust the rating to R. Some bits would need staff intervention (like validating claims of mis-category or finding fraudulent claims of ratings) and frequent violations of the “just be honest about your content” might even eventually need to be put on a “review before publishing” track.
Still, in the end, I think having this open, honest, and 3 way “Marketplace Of Ideas” that leaves all choices in the hands of the users, for all three types – advertisers, creators, viewers – would fix my gripes about YouTube and let me find interesting stuff that suits me faster and easier than the “wide open flood” approach of BitChute.
FWIW: I Hereby Copy Left any new ideas in this description of a proposed product and anyone who wishes to use them is free to do so. Attribution would be nice, but mostly I just want to use the product.
So what do you all think? Is the “Marketplace Of Ideas” something you would like?