Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Video channels are more likely to hold their own financially than blogs, although this is a fairly recent development

Just to follow on yesterday’s discussions:
It’s apparent that in the past few years (starting maybe in 2013 or so), video channels seem to have replaced blogs in popularity, for the most part.  Some video bloggers can make six figures in patronage and advertising and some subscriptions a year. Like anything else, there is a bit of winner-take-all, and there is a finite limit on how much the public would pay for this.
Video blogging in the US is done mostly on YouTube, which is on its surface a free service.  It has been very stable and very secure. The ContentID has been manageable, but sometimes it does flag videos for unintentional background music (usually without copyright strikes).  As with Blogger, there is some risk in using “somebody else’s free service” (without phone support) and recently YouTube has become stricter on what it will not allow (weapons demonstrations and sales, for starters).  But in the later part of 2018, a number of “conservative” vloggers found themselves kicked off patronage platforms apparently from left-wing pressure on payment processors following Charlottesville and even Trump’s election (and right-wing unrest in Europe).

Video blogging from EU countries would be severely restricted it Article 13 were to go into effect.

But blogs became prominent in the early 2000’s, most of all Heather Armstrong’s famous mommy blog, “Dooce”, a verb she invented to mean fired for an online reputation problem.  Typically blogs were dependent on search engine placement for visitors and revenue, but some of them do get fed into social media algorithms.   Blog content usually is free and supported by ad revenue (clicks and especially product purchases, which happen today less often because of social media competition).  But most blogs (outside of mommy blogs) make money only when connected to an already successful business.  Blog success was tied to building email subscription lists, which became more objectionable as time went on because of spam and phishing concerns.  Blogs were usually managed technically by hosting companies, which also sold domain names.  Generally, hosting companies had good phone support.  Although they had AUP’s against obviously bad or illegal behaviors, generally deplatforming was not a problem until things changed suddenly with Charlottesville, as companies came under pressure not to become associated with white supremacy or some of the “alt-right”.  Typically they had not been as concerned about radical Islam or foreign influences.   Security concerns are more likely to occur with hosted content than with free services from very large platforms (Facebook, YouTube).  In a polarized political climate, these could become more significant with “free” by otherwise obscure content.

Blogs can be read and easily cross referenced over time with labels and tags. So they are easier to do research from. But videos, while taking longer to consume, now are much more popular with most visitors and more likely to hold their own financially.
 In watching the video above, please remember that there have been controversies with Patreon recently, as explained in other blog posts here or from many other sources online. 

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