In my post last week about why we aren’t on television, I mentioned that Thoughts from Places videos are our least-viewed, even though many nerdfighters like them the most of any of the videos we make.
Many of you just openly disagreed with me, saying that there was no way that TFP videos get fewer views, because they are our best videos and “everyone knows it.” In fact, I had more than 100 messages in my tumblr ask box from people saying this.
But the video above, despite featuring Chris Colfer in both the title and the thumbnail, has 175,000 views—more than 75,000 fewer than our average video from the last six months.
This doesn’t bother me at all—nerdfighters watched and liked the video and we’ll keep making them—but for some reason they just aren’t as viral as, like, Question Tuesday videos or Hank discussing the idea of the Friendzone.
But this is just another example of why the corporate patronage model for funding online video (and other media) is screwed up: The corporate patronage model (which pays you based on the number of views) incentivizes people to make stuff that will appeal to the broadest possible audience, not stuff that will mean something to a smaller audience. Advertisers can’t distinguish between stuff we watch and stuff we love. It doesn’t understand that while lots of people WATCH 2 and a Half Men, more people LOVECommunity. I don’t have a solution to that problem, but we need to figure it out—both in nerdfighteria and in the broader world.
I realize this is not super-important to most/any of you, but I’m trying to figure it out, and in doing so to figure out how best to care for and nurture this awesome community.