DEmonitized!

Well, I got that letter from youtube. The one that says “we changed our rules, and you no longer qualify, so you won’t be monetized after this month. But don’t worry, you have 30 days to meet the requirements.”

30 days? How do you get 900 followers in thirty days? Or all that watch time. For those who are close to that limit it’s good, hopefully they get there. For me, and little youtubers like me, it’s not happening.

On the positive side, I haven’t made any money from youtube. I’ve never had enough views, I don’t make content that often, so it’s fine, for me. Nothing’s really changing. For others…it’s not as nice. Youtube’s point is “they make less than $100 a year,” but I would be pissed if someone just decided to take $100 out of my paycheck every year. There’s so much that $100 could help with, a single bill, or a new camera or microphone. Hell, I got a $100 gift card for Safeway one year for Christmas and that made it so I could pay my bills without getting any late fees and still get food and gas. $100 is kind of important sometimes.

There is a positive side to Youtube’s change, this will keep a lot of the channels that re-upload other peoples content, and inappropriate content like Elsa-gate stuff from getting monetized. It will also move more ads to the large channels which is good for advertisers and the larger creators. On the bad side animators are, once again, getting the shaft, as well as any other person who makes occasional content. There will also be fewer people trying to get monetized because it’s really tough to get 1000 subs and all that watch time per year. There are people who will do it, and will thrive for it. There will also be a lot more of us who use it as just a way to connect with our followers, share a little of ourselves online. It’s another social media platform, and that’s about it.

Diversify, diversify, diversify! That is the mantra now. Has been for a while. If you are trying to actually make a living online you need to do more than one thing. Stream to twitch. Stream to youtube. Post to instagram or facebook. Make friends and followers, and help support other smaller creators so they can do well. For your own business you can make merch, like t-shirts on t-spring, or stickers on redbubble. Having a sponsor, or some other revenue outside of youtube itself. Youtube is more and more social media for small content creators, and that’s probably how it’s going to keep going. Especially since youtube only wants “family friendly” materiel to me monetized (unless you’re a main stream media outlet. CNN and NBC get monetized while smaller news channels don’t.)

Also, you know what would be nice? If people started sharing smaller channels they like, mentioning them in their vids or something, because it’s so hard to find good content on youtube anymore. The algorithms are so janky, they only show either the same creators I always watch, or vids from tv shows that are prime time, thus youtube wants you to watch them. They bring their advertisers with them, of course, and youtube wants a cut of that money. So please, share more smaller creators. Tell me who you like so I can see if I’d like them too. Tweet about them, comment on this blog post, or share them in a vlog, but I want to see some good content from smaller youtubers! I’d really appreciate that!

What is ‘Evil’?

Last night on “The Story Telling Podcast” we were talking about what makes a good villain, and making them less cliche. So I started to think; What does ‘evil’ really mean?

The idea of something being inherently evil isn’t new. Man started walking upright and venturing out of their caves and into open land where more food was available, but so was more danger. I am sure the various monsters of the time trying to eat them seemed ‘evil’.  As they developed into societies they also had to worry about rival bands of early hominids. Wolves, bears, and lone people out in the deep forests. That is why most of the villains in old fairy tales are woodland creatures and witches in the woods.

But society has changed. We now have scientific understanding of how ecologies work, and how to avoid danger in the deep dark woods. We know how to light up the night so they aren’t as dark anymore. Those old fairy tales that use to scare our children into avoiding “the evil places” aren’t relevant to our modern age. The idea of ‘evil’ has changed, just as we have.

Now our biggest fears are natural disasters that we can not anticipate or stop, and other people.

If you watch the news it is clear that the world is polarized as to who they think is really ‘evil’. Extremist religious groups blame other religious groups. One country blames another nation. Politicians blame social media and ban twitter or Youtube. Corporations blame taxes. Poor blame corporations.

So who, or what, is really evil? Who is capable of really deciding?

Religious folks will point at god, and say god decides. But which god? There are so many to choose from, many of which teach similar things, but none of which are in full agreement. Then you add in the fact that interpretations of religious text has shifted over the centuries as culture has shifted. That is as evident as the multiple branches of EVERY religion now seen. It doesn’t matter which religion you look at, Christian, Islam, Buddhism, pagan… they all have sub sects that have differences in their belief structure.

The scientific minded among us might look to culture, but culture shifts and turns. Culture depends on so many facets of human development. Just ten years ago we still taught our children “being gay is wrong”, now several states have gay marriage, and the number is growing. And while I admit that it seems like the spread of some religions is part of the reason being gay was deemed  “wrong”, it isn’t the entirety of it, and it will take a lot of work to fix the damage done.

What is evil? I think the simplest answer is “that which threatens a persons livelihood.” Be that a wolf trying to eat you in the dark forest, a rabid st bernard named Cujo, a wall street tycoon sucking up every last dime he can at the expense of real jobs, or someone taking over a plane and flying it into a building.

Evil is in the moment. It is dependent on a myriad of circumstances in our lives, and while one finds it evil another will hail them a hero. The tycoon doesn’t think he’s evil, he thinks he’s doing a fantastic job and won at life. The man in the plane thought he was striking a vicious blow at the capitalist pigs. Cujo was only doing what the virus told him to do.

Or ideas of evil change as we change. So do the creatures in the dark. Of all the creatures that haunted our dreams (vampires, werewolves, and witches) only zombies seemed untouched. Movies sprang up and they were just as scary as before. No zombie with sexy eyes, or illicit love affairs. No zombies trying to make peace with the humans. Just masses of rabid creatures that once looked human.

Until “Warm Bodies”.

So many of our dark creatures have been changed into something that was just misunderstood, and now we can be friends. Or if not friends, grudging allies. Now all we have left to fear is each other, and maybe the technology we create.

If evil is “that which threatens a persons livelihood” then the only thing more evil then humanity is time itself.