Is Greed Good on the Internet?

[begin rant] Why does everything have to be about money?  Why is someone always looking to get something for nothing?  Free this, free that, promotional item here, promotional item there.

Has capitalism ruined the beauty of some of the things that are free on the internet?

I do video reviews on YouTube.  Earlier this week I posted a chat video I recorded, about some of the things which were bothering me about YouTube reviews.

I haven’t been doing video reviews long, and I have small following so far.  And that’s fine.  I do it because I enjoy it.  I do it for fun.

If you manage to obtain a certain status on YouTube (based on the number of people who subscribe to your channel and the number of times your videos have been viewed), you can apply to join YouTube’s partners program.

If you’re accepted, some of your videos then feature advertisements which you make money from.  The ones from Google are just horrid.  They have nothing to do with the topic of the video and often times block the viewer from seeing content on the screen.  I don’t ever plan on becoming a partner no matter what status I receive.  YouTube isn’t my career and it never will be.
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It seems the video reviewer community has become about one thing.  It’s about attracting followers.  Followers lead to not only the partners program, but other free swag in the form of review items from manufacturers.

Getting free stuff is not a bad thing but it sometimes leads to another problem with these reviews.  Some of the review videos run on forever.  I’m guessing out of a need to mention all of the people who sent them free stuff (the manufacturer, the re-seller etc.), we see review videos that run for over 20 minutes.

Does it really take 20 minutes or more to do a review of a case for the iPhone?  No it doesn’t.  The first ten minutes of these are usually spent plugging.  Cut through the fat and tell us what we need to hear.

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Who has the time to watch 10 videos that are each 20+ minutes every day?

And here’s another problem.  Reviewing an item the reviewer hasn’t actually used.  You see, the more content you have on your channel the more subscribers you’ll hopefully attract.  So we see reviewers who rush to shoot video reviews and therefore boost the content of their channel.

The other day I sat down to watch what I thought was a review video.  It was called “Review of XYZ Case.”  My first hint of a problem was when the video started out with an unboxing.  If it’s never been out of the box how can one review it?  I gave the reviewer the benefit of the doubt and figured he/she probably placed everything back in its original packaging for the sake of doing the unboxing on camera.  I was wrong.  The case was still attached to the cardboard backing it shipped in, and the reviewer had to cut it away to free it.  He/she then went on to “review” the case after having used it for all of a minute.  Can someone actually do a review of something they’ve used for a minute?  And this was a YouTube partner!

I’ve also seen the complete opposite problem.  YouTubers who actually have little or no content but spend all their waking hours trying to gain more subscribers.  They want want stuff for nothing, and think the number of subscribers leads to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Again it doesn’t make sense.

Some companies won’t even talk to a reviewer unless they have a certain number of subscribers to their channel.  Have 1000 subscribers or more?  No?  Please don’t bother contacting us for product to review – we won’t send it to you.

Others will send their products to just about anyone who asks.  I”m not sure that’s much better.

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Just today I stumbled across a YouTuber who is leasing out space on his channel page for a weekly fee!  This just encourages the whole problem doesn’t it?  Anything to make a buck I guess.

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Or how about paying a fellow YouTuber just to mention your name during one of his reviews?

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How about YouTube reviews which are “sponsored” by one company yet the product reviewed is from another company entirely.  Is that fair?  Is the reviewer being impartial?

Twitter is a free, popular service which lets users share  updates on a timeline over the internet.  There’s been talk of ads appearing on Twitter and I’m okay with that.  I understand the company that provides the service needs revenue to survive.

But this week I also learned of a service called RevTwt which claims to offer you the ability to make money on Twitter.  Basically you post links that they provide you as Tweets from your Twitter account.  The more times one of your followers clicks one of the links the more money you earn.

So what many of us hoped would be a free way to communicate with our friends has now turned into a convenient way for us to SPAM them?

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Maybe I’m being naive.  Maybe I want to live in a perfect world where everyone’s out to help each other out of the goodness in their heart.  I realize that.  I really do.  But I’m starting to feel like the race for the almighty dollar is starting to ruin what was once a really good thing.  [/end rant]