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  • Good morning, John. Ten years ago today, I know exactly where I was

  • because I was inside a Target for 15 hours

  • Ten years ago!

  • The last ten years have been really big. It's been big - and I can't really talk - like, get my mind around it even.

  • But I do know that I have changed a lot and what we do on this channel has changed a lot.

  • For example, in order to prepare for this video, I went to look at my schedule for 2010

  • and discovered that I didn't have a schedule in 2010!

  • But I think more importantly than that, over the last ten years, John, you and I have gotten less interested

  • in optimizing this channel for growth for like reaching new audience.

  • If you find your way here, absolutely good work. But we're not really trying to grow it, for three reasons.

  • One, it's just gotten harder and our skills are less suited to it.

  • Two, YouTube recommends stuff based on lots of different things.

  • Specifically, it would like us to make 8 to 12 minute long Vlogbrothers videos,

  • and I just don't want to!

  • I like this! I like making 4 minute videos, and that's the rules!

  • But most importantly number 3: growth, beyond a certain point, just gets less interesting... and worse?

  • Depending on what you want to do, of course, but like specifically for this channel.

  • Let's talk about why. But first, how many nails does a carpenter need?

  • It depends on what they're building, right? So you have to look and say, “What do I wanna do?”

  • And obviously for any given project, it's bad to have not enough nails.

  • But after a certain point, you can have too many nails.

  • Eventually you have so many nails that the nails don't provide you relief from stress.

  • They ADD to your stress.

  • The point is to get to HERE.

  • Eventually you just spend more time thinking about your nails than you do actually building a house.

  • I've thought about this a lot in the last couple weeks.

  • I just don't think that at its core, Vlogbrothers is about entertainment.

  • Yes, I want to do that sometimes.

  • But I think it's about doing things together and thinking about things together.

  • Things like Life's Library and the Project for Awesome and our work with Partners in Health

  • and just all of the ideas that we've talked about over the years

  • that have helped me understand how to be a person and how the world works.

  • And Dear Hank and John and SciShow and Crash Course.

  • SciShow and Crash Course long ago eclipsed Vlogbrothers in subscribers, in views, all that stuff.

  • But Vlogbrothers, just by virtue of the fact that those channels wouldn't exist without it,

  • has had more impact on the world despite having a smaller audience.

  • Sometime in the last ten years, and not all at once, and not at the same time,

  • John and I realized that you don't need a million nails to build a house.

  • We actually internalized this - it took awhile - that this channel isn't about

  • having the biggest number under the video. It's about doing things, creating stuff,

  • thinking about things together.

  • And not only is that like a goal of mine; it's also when I'm most happy.

  • And there are limits to that, because I want it to actually be a group of people

  • who recognize the humanity of all of the other people. And as the numbers get too big, you lose track of that.

  • Also, this channel is unquestioningly personality-based.

  • And having too many people have opinions about your personality, it turns out, is not great, actually.

  • Crash Course now has over ten million subscribers, and it should grow as much as it can,

  • because its goal is to reach people with educational content.

  • But Vlogbrothers? Like no, we're good.

  • You, watching this video, are part of something that helps stuff exist in the world.

  • And that stuff is sometimes real stuff.

  • Sometimes it's ideas that we wouldn't have if we weren't thinking together as a community.

  • That's pretty weird and it's cool and it's special and I'm really, really happy about it.

  • And in that vein, three things.

  • First, the Nerdfighteria Census is out! You can go fill it out right now.

  • Thank you so much to people who do that so that we can understand who we all are better.

  • We've been doing the census every year since 2013,

  • and it's super vital to how we make decisions about what we do.

  • So if you can take the 10 to 20 minutes it will take to fill it out, please please please do so.

  • Number two, the Kindle ebook of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is 3 bucks right now.

  • So if you want to get it dirt cheap, you can. I don't think it's gonna be that way for much longer.

  • And finally, if you want to come see us in Atlanta or Raleigh or St. Pete next week,

  • we will be there. John, I'll see you on Tuesday.

Good morning, John. Ten years ago today, I know exactly where I was

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Re-Thinking our YouTube Channel

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    林宜悉   posted on 2020/03/30
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