The YouTube Partner Program needs to be more exclusive again

Back when YouTube was still young, being a YouTube Partner actually meant something. Not only did it allow you to add custom thumbnails and a header to your YouTube channel (back when it was more customizable), it also allowed you to make money off your videos. The only way you would be allowed to make money off your videos if it they were even worth monetizing – so being a YouTube Partner acted as validation for a lot of people.

Then, for some reason, YouTube opened up its “Partner” program to … pretty much everyone. Anybody was basically able to create a YouTube channel, verify that they’re a real person, then start “making money” off the videos right off the bat. There was no build-up process to ensure that YouTube partnership was actually a prestigious title given to only reputable creators.

Two days ago, YouTube posted an update on their Creator Blog titled “Additional changes to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) to better protect creators.” In this blog post, they said that they will be limiting access to the Partner Program only to channels with over 1,000 subscribers and over 4,000 hours of watchtime in the past year.

When I read this, I was pretty excited. It seemed like YouTube was going back to ensuring that their Partner Program is actually a real special program, and not just something build straight into the “base version” of YouTube. However, after reading the comments on the post and look at people’s responses on social media, I was a bit confused at how much outrage there was about this change.

I personally stopped uploading to YouTube a while back because I didn’t agree with YouTube’s visions on their website. I hated how little it seemed like they cared about their creators, with strange policies like opening up partnership and monetization to the general public being one of many contributing factors. Because of that, I haven’t really been keeping up with the newest updates to YouTube, but based off what I know, there are a few reasons why most of the people complaining about this change are wrong.

  • This protects creators from losing out on money because of people reuploading their videos. Back when I was more deeply involved in YouTube, a big problem that came up with popular creators is that people would just rip videos off the creator’s channel and steal it for their own, brand new channel. This was a no-risk maneuver because they could just create a new channel and instantly be able to monetize content if a different channel got banned.
  • People who have fewer than 1,000 subscribers and less than 4,000 hours of watchtime per YEAR should not even be trying to make money from YouTube. This requirement isn’t actually that high, and I sort of wish YouTube had set the bar a little bit higher. A majority of people who are enrolled in monetization are most likely making less than single-digit dollars per year, and I personally think it’s not even worth it for Google AdSense to be even keeping track of these people’s money. It’s easy for people to pretend like they’re “YouTubers,” but it’s time to snap out of it and realize that vlogging as a hobby to just friends doesn’t make them a YouTuber.
  • Real creators are probably going to start making more money. YouTube has been rampant with completely random and unjustified demonetization on perfectly acceptable videos, so they need all the money they can get. By guaranteeing to advertisers that their ads will be displayed on videos from reputable channels, rather than completely random videos from insignificant, single-digit-subscriber channels, advertisers are more likely to want to invest more money, because they know their ads will have a greater impact than before.

This isn’t enough to bring me back to regularly uploading to my own YouTube channel (although I obviously will be uploading on my employer’s channels as part of my job). However, if YouTube continues to take these kinds of steps to actually make sure real creators are being protected and filtering out those who just abuse the system, I may reconsider in the future.

 

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This restaurant is way too expensive

You might’ve seen from yesterday that I went out with some of Tempo Storm’s professional gamers to an indoor rock climbing facility. After we wrapped that up, we went out to get some dinner at a restaurant the manager picked – a Japanese grill called Shin-Sen-Gumi. Because this was his event that he coordinated and put together for his players, I went along with it … and soon realized that he had picked out a peculiarly expensive restaurant.

The prices were somewhat deceptive – the portion sizes were surprisingly small, some of which literally only came with three bites of meat for US$8.50.

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The final bill came out to be over US$382 for a party of five. After clarifying with the manager that I was absolutely not the one who had picked out this restaurant, I wished him the best of luck in justifying his choice of restaurant when submitting his company reimbursement.

 

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Why does Google Flights think Basic Economy is the same as Economy?

Budget airlines like Spirit and Frontier have been a lot more successful than anyone would have imagined – apparently people are ok with giving up every possible aspect of comfort in exchange for the lowest ticket price possible. As a result of this, leading airline brands in the United States, like Amer­i­can Airlines and United Airlines, have also implemented a budget system by creating a new class of service called Basic Economy.

In a flying sense, it’s the same as regular Economy; the difference isn’t like how first class is separated from the rest of the plane in domestic flights. But, the process leading up to the actual flight is drastically different – you can’t bring carry-on luggage, you have to pay extra fees for everything, you board the plane last, and you get assigned your seat (instead of picking it ahead of time at booking/check-in).

 
I’m going to be going on a trip soon, so I’ve been looking at airline prices. Even though I’m pretty loyal to oneworld and only fly American Airlines, I still want to do some price comparisons to see if it’s worth flying with another airline for one trip and foregoing adding to my frequent flyer balance. I think Google Flights is a great tool to use to do that, so I browse it pretty frequently.

One thing that’s been irritating me about Google Flights lately is how they’ve integrated Basic Economy into their search results, but haven’t actually separated it from the rest of the classes of travel. They have Economy, Premium Economy, Business, and First Class, but no Basic Economy (under which I would assume Spirit Airlines and other no-amenity airlines would fall).

Google Flights

Because of that, I often run into situations where I search for a flight and get really excited when I see that American Airlines and United Airlines are offering Economy flights that are somehow the same price as Spirit Airlines. I eagerly click on my preferred oneworld airline to book…

Google Flights

… only to find that, even though Google Flights hasn’t im­ple­mented Basic Economy vs. Economy filtering in the search field, they have, in fact, im­ple­mented it in the actual ticket purchase page. So, when I go to actually buy the ticket, there is a new drop-down menu that magically appears that now does actually have that distinction in place … and wants to charge me an extra US$28 to upgrade to Economy – the class of service I was looking for in the first place.

Google Flights

I’d imagine that this is likely an issue with budget airlines like Spirit and Frontier getting permanently relegated to Basic Economy status on all their flights, and they wouldn’t be too happy about that, but I feel like this is a pretty important quality-of-life feature that Google Flights should look into implementing in the search function from the beginning.

In the meantime, this price is still pretty good, and it looks like I’ll be headed to Chicago in a few weeks for just around US$100.

 

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This is not a New Year’s resolution

I made a New Year’s resolution over a decade ago that I would never have another New Year’s resolution.

I haven’t broken it since.

 
I know that New Year’s resolutions are more of a cultural, social thing – this is because I’m regularly told by Easterners that New Year’s resolutions are generally a Western thing. And this doesn’t mean that I’m against that – if people want to use New Year’s resolutions as a way to turn their lives around, then that’s great, and I encourage everyone to do so.

But there are two distinct problems with New Year’s resolutions in my eyes. The first (and more straightforward) one is that people just don’t really know how to properly use New Year’s resolutions. I recall seeing in a study somewhere that literally nearly 90% of people fail their New Year’s resolutions. Issues range anywhere from setting goals that are way too far beyond reach, not really keeping track of progress and forgetting about it, to just straight-up disregarding it and giving up. The impact of a big turning point, like a new calendar year, can be a strong psychological motivating factor … and people are just using this tool wrong.

The second reason I dislike New Year’s resolutions is because I’m a person who does things now. Need to exercise more often and eat healthier? What’s wrong with starting in April, instead of waiting for January of the following year? Want to break out of a bad habit? Why not start now instead of waiting until later? New Year’s resolutions have become nothing more than an excuse to procrastinate for some people. I’m very lenient in the use of the term “excuse,” in that I will generally accept things as a “reason” while other people snap to misuse the word “excuse.” But this… this is the epitome of an excuse.

Back in late August while I was visiting Illinois, I went to my old doctor for a wellness check-up, and he reminded me to go back to doing cardiovascular exercise. I used to practice martial arts and sweat almost every day, but since moving to California, I’ve been doing a whole lot of sitting around and working. Instead of waiting until 2018, I took that opportunity to immediately start exercising when I returned to California. I’ll be taking a two-week break starting from today, though… I don’t really like exercising when there are a lot of people around me, and I imagine the gym is going to be really crowded for a little while, so I’m going to wait it out for a bit until people go back to being their normal selves.

 
There’s something that I want to do. The timing of this makes it seem a whole lot like it’s a New Year’s resolution, but I swear, it’s not. (I still want to be part of that 10% of people who succeed in their New Year’s resolution—as a reminder, mine was to never to set a New Year’s resolution again, and to always act promptly and immediately.)

At least for the next full year, I’d like to create something everyday.

On some days, it might be a vlog; on other days, it might be an album of photos I shot at an event; on special days, it might even be collaborative projects with other people that end up getting published on their medium of choice. But, no matter what it is, I’d like to create something on a daily basis.

When I was younger, I prided myself in being a creator instead of a consumer. While other people were watching TV, I was running around with our family camcorder. While other people were reading books, I was writing short stories. While other people were browsing the web, I was learning how to script in PHP.

Lately, I’ve noticed that this has been trending in the opposite direction – I spend more and more time sitting around watching Twitch streams and YouTube videos. Even when I am working on something creative, I’m revising and editing someone else’s work instead of creating my own. Of course, part of my job at Tempo Storm involves being an editor, so that’s not going to stop, but I’d also like to start supplementing my editing with some more original creating.

 
I’m not going to fall into the same trap as everyone else and fail in just a few weeks. Here’s why this is a good definitely-not-a-resolution, as well as my execution plan.

  • Is it realistic?

    Creating one thing per day is very possible, and there are tons of people who already do it, daily vloggers being an example. We regularly hear of daily vloggers getting burnt out after a few years, though, which is why I’ve made some slight adjustments to my goal – instead of creating a vlog every single day, I’m just going to create something every single day. That level of flexibility should keep things fresh enough that I don’t im­me­diately get burnt out and want to give up.

  • Do I have the time for this?

    I’ve been noticing lately that I spend a scary amount of time sitting around watching other people’s content, thinking “I should try doing that” in the back of my mind but never actually doing it. I can easily cut back on a small portion of that time to actually go and do it, instead of just pondering about doing it.

    On top of that, my duties within Tempo Storm have recently shifted substantially. Over the past year, I was doing a lot of miscellaneous administrative and operative work outside of the production division, simply because we just needed someone to take care of things. Although it was a great learning experience, due to our recent growth and staff expansion, I can now be more hands-off on that kind of stuff and really focus in on my digital media production division, which naturally connects to creating more things.

  • How will I keep track of progress?

    I happen to have a handy tool called a blog where I can share my thoughts and projects. Every time I create something, I’ll be posting the results on my blog along with a bit of commentary about the creation process. If I end up deciding to create something private or personal on any given day (that doesn’t end up on my website), I’m also keeping track of my creations on Google Calendar, which I use multiple times a day.

  • What are my short-term rewards for success?

    I think successfully creating things is intrinsically rewarding to me.

    But, other than that, this one is a tough one, and I guess is the weakest facet of my plan. I personally don’t really feel satisfaction from receiving “rewards” unless those rewards are either money or some indication that I’ve changed the world or helped society advance – both things I just can’t really “give” myself.

 
And finally, touching on a few other common pitfalls – my goal is extremely specific, and any amount of ambiguity was intentionally added (and already addressed above); I plan on setting aside time to do this every afternoon after exercising if my daily creation is not event- or collaboration-related; I will keep going, even if I were to miss a day; and I’m telling the world so people can voluntarily keep me accountable.

So let’s see how this goes.

 

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How not to use a dryer

Yesterday, I went to go visit someone else’s house. I guess, for their protection, I’m not going to say whose or where it is, but if you know enough about me, you most likely can guess what house this is.

One of the residents of the house let me know that the dryer wasn’t working very well, and the clothes would go through a full dryer cycle and still come out damp. Obviously, like anyone experienced with the use of clothes dryers, I asked if the lint filter was cleaned out. The person I asked had no clue what a lint filter even was.

How not to use a dryer

How not to use a dryer

So yeah, we extracted that carpet from the dryer.

It works fine now.

 

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🐶

I was in Los Angeles County yesterday, so while I was in the area, I decided to stop by and visit the Offline TV team house last night.

Why? For the dogs, of course.

Temmie, LilyPichu's Pomeranian

Maggie

If you’re a fan of LilyPichu, you may recognize the dog in the first photo – that’s Temmie the Pomeranian. The second photo is Maggie, a mix between a Boston terrier and (I think) a beagle, owned by Chris Chan, co-founder of Offline TV and talent manager at Everyday Influencers.

I love dogs

Yesterday was gr9

 

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You have cancer

You know how it’s a running joke how you should never search for your symptoms online if you have any health issues, because websites like WebMD will always tell you that you have cancer?

I feel like that’s a way for the website to have a legal out, if anything. Sure, they might have disclaimers saying that WebMD should not be used in substitution for a real consultation with a licensed doctor or other certified medical practitioner, but I feel like they’re taking it a step further and covering themselves in case something goes wrong. By always having that “you have cancer” option in the results, WebMD can technically never be under fire by someone with cancer saying “I searched for my symptoms on WebMD and they said I was fine, but I actually have cancer.”

By this point, I’ve heard about this so often that the “you have cancer” thing is like a meme. But, it’s funny when running into that search result actually ends up happening to you.

I woke up with some severe neck pain this morning, and when I searched for what might possibly be wrong, Google’s featured result told me that I have cervical spine cancer.

The “WebMD will always tell you that you have cancer” meme actually really happens.

 

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