From Blogosphere to Vlogosphere

Anatoly Karlin writes:

times the views as writing out a more labor intensive and K-selected blog post.

The Alt Right child prodigy “soph” – recently profiled by Mr. Bernstein – is currently just shy of a million subscribers on YouTube. She has had 17 million views since she started her (rather irregular) vlogging career in August 2015. That’s approximately what the Unz Review currently generates in half a year, and we have far, far more visitors now than we did even just a couple of years ago.

The typical video by the psychometrist Edward Dutton – probably the most high profile HBD vlogger – gets around 10,000-20,000 views. I am reasonably sure that this is well above what the typical article by James Thompson here gets. My most popular “HBD” article ever – The Idiocy of the Average – got something like 40,000 views IIRC. The Golden One, a Swedish alt right pagan bodybuilder whose videos I recently binge watched, has 100,000 subscribers, and most of his videos – rather low effort productions with minimal editing or graphics – get at least 20,000 views. The most high profile vloggers make enough money to make a comfortable living (Sargon of Akkad was getting $15,000 from YouTube ads before they demonetized his account)….

Where has that old blogosphere gone?

(1) Many of the small, old school bloggers just stopped blogging. It was the digital venereal disease that is social media that killed them off more than anything else from around 2010. To have a vigorous blogosphere, you need a tightly connected network of independent bloggers bouncing ideas and arguments off each other, but when 75% of them have migrated to Twitter, there’s no longer sufficient scope in the community to generate the vigorous and counter-argument on which the old blogosphere thrived.

(2) Some bloggers were snapped up by larger websites. As a rule, the ones with stable backing from moneyed patrons were the main ones that survived and thrived (e.g. this very venue).

(3) Some parts of the blogging HBDsphere have gone into or were recruited into actual science. This is perhaps the single biggest positive development.

(4) Rising SJWism has also forced many of these discussions into closed boards, mailing lists, and Slack chats (this describes NRx and the HBDsphere).

Comments at Anatoly Karlin:

* One historical analogy to consider, is that a century ago a very similar Poz also took hold in advanced society, in Weimar Germany, where the world’s first ‘trans-gender’ clinic opened there in 1919. – In 1933 that clinic was burned to the ground by the Hitler Youth. The pendulum may swing yet again.

* Trying to negotiate and plead completely failed. Power does not relent peacefully. Swedish people, en masse, created a bunch of organic socities. The first unions were created like this. The co-operate grocer stores (which were co-owned by the shoppers themselves) were created like this. ABF – arbetarnas bildningsförbund – was created like this in order to educate the workers about their rights, and also to increase literacy. This was before universal education. This went on in sphere after sphere. Collective bargaining power is a mighty thing indeed once it fully blooms.

What happened in Sweden was essentially a state within a state, that massively increased its bargaining power vis-a-vis powerful corporations and forced its hand. YouTube is acting on pressure from Jewish lobbies but also USG pressure. There is no free market. If the “free market” esisted then YouTube would not purge these people, because it is manifestly popular and it brings in money. They are purged because of ideological pressure, giving to lie to the myth of the “free market”.

A problem for many people on the Alt Right is that they are basically racist libertarians. Many people came from libertarian and/or conservative backgrounds and still carry that baggage, so they idealise markets. But markets are not your friends and left untouched, a natural tendecy to oligarchy and/or monopoly will happen. In Sweden, nationalists are already starting to work on similar projects. Dan Eriksson has plans to create a large number of houses for Swedish nationalists, where we can have conferences and/or just hang out. The first house has already been opened. People talk about taking this approach to many other areas of life and I think this is needed.

At the risk of sounding stereotypical, we really do need to Think Big™. Censorship will only increase in the future and hiding in the shadows trying to get money is not a viable solution, it’s a rationalisation for cowards. Only mass organising is a viable long-term path, and it needs to happen now. Depending on a small number of donors is a critical mistake. A decentralised system is far harder to beat, as various Swedish oligarchs discovered over a century ago.

* I download all the videos I am interested in and just convert them to audio-only formats like .m4a. I only listen to them when walking, commuting, at the gym etc. Most of the content is just debating, so actually seeing video is completely unnecessary.

Secondly, even if the amount of vloggers have increased, everyone have their personal taste. I like some podcasts a lot more even if their quality is about equal to others simply because I like their personalities more. There is a lot of repetition across the WN/AR vloggersphere, so you only need to pick out a few you like and that will cover your bases. I don’t think people watch/listen to as much as you think they do.

Lastly, a lot of podcasts are focused on particular regions. I won’t get Sweden-specific stuff from a US podcast. Just as a Russian guy wouldn’t get his Russian politics podcast from a Swedish stuff. And you always want to mix the local with the international to get a good mix. It’s not good to be too isolated, just as it is bad too be too unmoored from your roots and surrounding.

* I don’t get the popularity of videos. I can’t really watch Ed Dutton or any other youtube personality. They are just endlessly wordy. The information density is so low, I occasionally just skim through the transcript.

The question is whether viewership is really the essential thing. A quality audience also counts for something.

* I think that a big part of the solution is technological. Why has the Pirate Bay been able to stay online despite massive attempts to shut it down? Because 1) many jurisdictions are available to move the website to, 2) making a full backup of the website and moving between these jurisdictions is easy and fast

Neither (1) nor especially (2) is currently true for accounts on social networks such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook or Patreon. If your account is censored or deleted for whatever reason (for example, the Terms of Service change), it can be extremely time-consuming to move your operations anywhere else, and the more content is in your account, the longer it takes (and you also lose all comments & subscribers).

This is like feudalism. A few landlords, many peasants. And no Yuri’s Day, either.

So anyway,
The solution for (1) already kind of exists – federated social media such as Peertube, MediaGoblin, Diaspora. PeerTube is like many different Youtubes, with “instances” that can be hosted by anyone, all of which can communicate with each other (well, unless they block other instances) and share data. Go to any PeerTube instance, and you’ll see a familiar interface. Moreover, the hosting costs are low because the videos stay up with BitTorrent.
The problem is that without (2), anyone signing up to one of these is no better off than with Youtube – in fact, things can be much more draconian, because any instance can be hosted by just a random guy with no reputation to worry about if he decides to go nuts and ban everyone.

Unfortunately, account migration is not currently possible in any of these projects.

Not in PeerTube:
https://github.com/Chocobozzz/PeerTube/issues/549

Not even in Diaspora, where it had been advertised as a huge feature since 2011, yet absolutely no progress has been made:
https://github.com/diaspora/diaspora/issues/908

So watch this space. The day that easy account migration becomes possible on one of these federated social media sites is the day that control over discourse begins to decentralize once again.

https://transferring-videos.com might work as a stopgap solution to (2) for some. It’s limited to only the few big Western social media sites, but at least it means that some of your content will remain up unless there’s a coordinated attack against you across all those sites. (which is, really, the direction things are going in. Federated social media with easy account migration would be preferable, but it doesn’t exist yet)

* Some videos are high signal to noise. It’s not inherently a bad format, any more than some vapid celebrity podcast is akin to Bach just because they’re both “sound”.

The problem with YouTube is that a few years back, for reasons best known to them, they decided to prioritize “length of time viewers spend watching a video” rather than “how much viewers like a video”. The result was to make YouTube more similar to television. You’d think the boomers who run YouTube really missed the old idiot box. The new system rewards those who stretch things out as long as possible, and punishes those who like to make videos that are “short and packed”.

This algorithm change put some animators out of business (animation requires a lot of labour per unit of footage, which previously had been offset by their high popularity). One artist I was following at the time (SexualLobster – yeah, his stuff was rather degenerate, but amusing) had his YouTube income cut in half, tried to keep going with just Patreon for a while, then seemed to give up and went to work for a studio.

* Video is a valid format when there is visual content to be presented. Cinema being the classic, but by no means only, example.

Video as a substitute for text, which is what most vlogging consists of, is for illiterate plebeians. As a means of transmitting non-visual information video has inherently lower bandwidth than text which makes vlog consumption a gigantic waste of time.

That vlogging far exceeds blogging in popularity is evidence that 90% or more of the human population should be eradicated.

* I couldn’t understand why YouTube allowed thought crime content for so long. I assumed they allowed it so that ZOGist intel agencies could monitor who was drawn to the content and study the progression of radicalization. This also allowed them to steer people toward their assets such as David Duke and Dick Spencer. Now they are shutting it down. Have they gathered enough data now? Why allow it for so long? I remember being puzzled by this way back in 2012.

It is clear smart phones have killed our attention spans. It’s harder than ever to read books. Things are winding down, the frogs are gay, the libraries are filled with drag queens. Buy and hold Bitcoin brothers, that’s all we have left.

* Television intruded on the influence of newspapers and news magazines. Now YouTube is pushing blogs aside. It seems like the same pattern.

Also, there has always been elite control of most influential media. Hearst comes to mind: “Remember the Maine!”*

Furthermore, down through history, mass media have always had to be K-selected in order to reach the masses, because the portion of the audience with high comprehension and analytical aptitude has always been small. Until relatively recently, huge numbers of people couldn’t even read; they learned by word of mouth or from priests and public speakers.

So, today we see the same thing. Spoken-word mediocrity continues in the form of YouTube, and that becomes the channel of ideas for the largest number of people among those who even care about understanding the world.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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