However, there's another element of "user-hostile" that I didn't see addressed (maybe I missed it in my haste?) -- that is the websites trying to control exactly how the content is consumed by the user.
This problem isn't just limited to the web though. If you're unfortunate enough to see modern television (or movies, for that matter), it's clear that the amount of content has gone down, the noise has gone up, and the efforts to lock the audience in have increased.
There are some people who advocate avoiding all news and media. I think it's a bit extreme, but it may be more beneficial than harmful.
 The trend of support docs for enterprise software going video is horrible, stupid, and a negative mark when I'm evaluating products. If someone has to spend hours of eyebleed rewinding some bullshit video over and over while writing actually usable documentation for incident response, of course that cost is part of the cost of the product in question.
Of course I understand that they want ad impressions and I'm guessing the shortened attention span of users favors videos over text, but if you want to train users to simply skip those low quality, low effort videos without purpose that's one way to do it.
Why did we become afraid to diverge from the norm and trends on the internet? From a consumer standpoint, uniformisation makes content parsing easier in the sense that you know what to expect and how to compare content more readily but why do people not go on a limb and take more "risk" in differentiating content? Why don't we have a glorious mess of different formats and the opportunity to choose medium?
At some point I believe A/B testing and optimising for reachability put a negative pressure on variation from the norm and platform standards, and that's a tragedy of the commons.
Because “we” wanted to get rich, or at least make a living.
If you're in it to get rich or to mke a living exclusively from your art, you better be good enough rather than expecting a sense of duty from your public to subsidise your effort.
Not to say one shouldn't be incentivised to be creative, but just that I do not agree that wanting to make a living makes ads or extracting value from your public by all means ok.
Certainly not by all means. But it isn't unreasonable to expect that if people gain value from something you create, some of that value accrues to you as the creator.
I make most of my living as a freelance writer, but I just charge other people to write the content they can't or won't.
There is also another problem here: the market doesn't typically incentivize the sort of content we'd like to see created. Long form investigative journalism is hugely expensive, and in a world awash with free content, few people think they should have to pay for it. But do we really want to see that sort of content go away?
And in this not strictly commercial writing context, I believe client side mining may be a good form of low-commitment compensation.
Pish posh. Not everything on the web is worth paying for. The content that is worth money will draw subscribers, and content producers are going to just have to live up to the fact that not all of what they produce is worth paying for.
The ad model has left us mired in a suffocating heap of crap content people claim has "value" because they're able to hack the system and get ad revenue from it. But in reality the content is secondary and just an excuse for the ads.
It's not my responsibility to make sure some website I go to gets monetized. It's especially galling to me because I spent many formative years providing content to people for free, just because I wanted to and because I had an interest in it. In my personal opinion, all the people trying to ride the wave of monetizing their content should go run off and jump on that "new thing", whatever it is, as long as it's not the web.
and yet they are willing to expend more electricity, at a huge inefficiency, to produce vastly less monetary value to the site. I would rather just pay the 1cent.
If the choice is between a barren wasteland of providers removing useful content from open access or waiting on 1% of users to subsidise the rest or giving the option to users to pay while they're accessing content, I'll take some form of choice to put my hardware to use for a while if thay eventually pays for hosting and a couple meals to the admin.
I think we agree that this does not work at scale but for small operators and some niches, I'm convinced this is a safe option for the siteowner not to have to mess with a payment processor and personnaly identifiable information.
This last point especially might become more important with the EU regulations on the horizon.
The motivation is not to use *coins for their own sake, but that the alternative is getting scarier everyday.
 - in the days of energy crisis, when we can't even switch to safer sources fast enough not to risk cooking ourselves on this planet.
 I'd be OK with it if they prominently indicated that, how and why they were being electricity vampires. I still wouldn't use them, but at least it wouldn't be dishonest.
The goal as always is to divert my attention, sell me something of dubious value or some other equally vacuous purpose.
If it pays the bills for worthwhile content producers to mine crypto currency as a form of micropayment, I think that's a better trade with lower psychic cost.
I have managed to make periods in my life completely free from unwanted content, and they are blissful compared to the never ending attention grabbing bs of the advertising and public relations engines of modern industry.
They are simply a waste of people's time and energy.
If crypto-mining is done openly, of course. It's certainly dishonest if it's not disclosed.
Indeed, such behavior is reminiscent of one of the oldest tourist scams in the book, no doubt experienced by anyone who has traveled the world in any amount.
That is to say, the mark is offered something for free, usually some trivial trinket, or a photo, or something like that. The mark believes it is for free and accepts it. Once the mark has accepted the "free" item, then the scammer changes tune and implies that they should be paid for this exchange, playing on the marks feelings of guilt, obligations and fairness.
Apparently this is now a respectable internet business model. Hah!
Honesty breeds honesty. I disable ad blocking on sites that ask nicely and don't spam with ads too much.
With text, I can speed-read, slowing down at key points as needed. And if it's a text I want to devote more study/attention to, then can print it (which facilitates speed reading as well.)
But for facts - reading is simply superior.
What sometimes works, if it is wellmade, is a mixed presentation: text, pictures and video, where you can controll the pace of information. But I seldom see something like this wellmade.
Same, and I've noticed this trend for quite a while now. Text can always be trivially copied, even by a granny, and inserted into an email or forum. A video? You can have a DRM arms race with video.
Videos also prevent skimming, and demand consumption of all content.
Please don't use this as a substitute for "novice computer user" and similar. I've encountered people twice my age with grandchildren who are experts, and people younger than me who are novices.
It demands a yes/no answer and thus always appears to be an admission of guilt. Your question leaves it open to answer any way you like.
It's not that it's a true Catch 22, it's just leading and begs the question.
To an advertiser, that's a feature. This is half of the problem.
They need to be put back in their box and have a bunch of their toys taken away. GDPR is a good start.
This needs to get into people's head - as long as the incentives are so misaligned, there's no chance for peace here.
0:00 - 00:10 Useless video animation
00:10-2:00 "Hey guys welcome to my channel. Make sure to like and subscribe and let me know how I'm doing in the comments. Also make sure to check out [sponsor] and use coupon code [code] for 10% off"
2:00-5:00 Useless personal story about why creator is making the video
5:00-10:00 Useless history of the subject matter
10:00-11:00 The actual useful content
This now makes up the bulk of 'content' and is heavily monetized and driven by monetization where the 'content creators' have a more intimate relationship with advertisers and platforms to essentially sell out their audience ie back to the old media model of 'influencers'.
The content is also derivative and repetitive but easier to access and consume. Thanks to the monetization the presentation and production values are higher. There is definitely some decent content produced by this model but it becomes harder and harder to find.
There is a certain desperation to capitalism that infects everything. Sell, sell, sell, make money, forget everything else unless it affects your ability to make money, and it becomes the primary driver.
I just quoted you on twitter as I think that expresses very well how I feel. Underlying capitalism is the thought that if you fail you'll starve.
But (and bringing this back to the original topic) the businesses behind the web have gone even further. It's not sufficient to make money, you must make ALL the money you can ALL of the time. This leads to the behaviour as discussed in the article - no regard for how you are treating your customers/fellow human beings, just get rich, and by winning you justify your shitty actions.
This is probably nothing new, robber barons have been around for a long time, but it now seems to be standard practice for all businesses, especially web-based ones who don't directly deal with people.
(I like to sometimes phrase it as "the market optimizes for creating the most useless thing that you can still trick people into buying".)
 - http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/30/meditations-on-moloch/
In real world, we solve this the usual way - by having a government enforce them.
I've been listening to podcasts since about 2010, and in that time I've witnessed podcasts that used to be ad-free jump on the Blue Apron / Stamps.com / Dollar Shave Club bandwagon. First they started with a little sponsored ad at the end of the show. Then one at the beginning. Then one commercial break. Then multiple commercial breaks. It's the same downward spiral that television went through and it's absolutely painful to watch it happen and be powerless to do anything. Maybe I should have done a better job of supporting those podcasts; I did donate to many of them. But I envision a time in the future where I'll no longer be able to feel good about listening.
I mean, the whole point (and value) of podcasts is to remove the private radio station crap, not to replicate it.
BTW, the German podcast scene is a quite positive example of the directions podcasts can go.
Any podcast player I can imagine anyone would ever use has a convenient way to skip ads, and the neither the presence of the ads themselves nor my decision to skip them degrades the experience of listening to the podcast. My podcast player doesn't demand I look at Forbes' "thought of the day" or disable my fast-forward button in order to play. It doesn't connect to 280 random third-party tracking domains as I listen to an episode. It downloads a file and plays that file for me.
Who really cares that much about ads that don't track you or destroy your experience?
I beg to differ.
I see the ability to skip ads immediately, at any time, as a fundamental user right (and websites that try to deny this right should be prosecute by consumer protection). In other words, this is not the distinction between good versus bad quality. It is the distinction between merely acceptable versus totally inacceptable.
With regard to quality, it is a huge jump upwards if a podcast has no ads at all, nowhere, not even hidden or implicit. It is a really noticeable difference if the whole audio simply doesn't care about pleasing any stakeholder besides its audience.
If you choose to skip the ads, then how should the creators be compensated for the content that you consumed?
"With regard to quality, it is a huge jump upwards if a podcast has no ads at all, nowhere, not even hidden or implicit. It is a really noticeable difference if the whole audio simply doesn't care about pleasing any stakeholder besides its audience."
You know what else is a huge jump in quality? Actually being able to continue to do the show.
There's way too much "content" these days anyway, and the worst of it is the one that is done to make money (as opposed to labour of love, or having external funding independent of content's performance - like patronage, being considered a "marketing expense", etc.).
Moreover, direct donations  are working quite well, at least for the popular podcasts. (But then, only the very popular podcasts make a fortune anyway.)
Here in Germany, SEPA standing orders are quite popular for fans to support their favourites.
Also, buying stuff and sending that to the Podcasters is quite popular for some formats (either specialized stuff like high-quality chocolate from people working in that business, or just buying random stuff from a podcaster's Amazon wishlist.)
 Well, legally this is still plain income rather than donations, so you still have to pay taxes. Unless, of course, that income is very small and/or you create a non-profit organization around your podcast.
There's an easy-to-imagine scenario where advertisers bribe podcast playing software creators to embed these "features" for a cut of the money.
Long episodes, such as 2 hours interviewing a physicist at ITER are really well done.
- CRE Technik, Kultur, Gesellschaft https://cre.fm/
- Deutschlandfunk Nova - Eine Stunde History https://www.deutschlandfunknova.de/eine-stunde-history
- Methodisch Inkorrekt http://minkorrekt.de/
- Raumzeit https://raumzeit-podcast.de/
- Logbuch Netzpolitik https://logbuch-netzpolitik.de/ (prefer the episodes where they have guests)
Makes it harder to estimate where the information in the video is.
I'm happy when it's only useless. It's often useless and loud.
Mind, mobile YT doesn't have keyboard sip, but mpsyt does.
Binary search works well.
Who the heck came up with the silly idea that this is an event in itself? And above all, why did anyone -- or, worse, seemingly everyone -- fall for it?!?
Stop the darn lunacy now.
The video almost always is unrelated (different team, different story) to what I'm already well into reading. This is annoying 100% of the time. It's never useful to me.
Even worse. Some stories will be just a few words and a video. So I go to a site, read, play video.... and that same site's autoplay video will pop up and play ON TOP OF THEIR OWN CONTENT. I don't even know what to think about that, what could they possibly feel they're accomplishing?
Do they visit their own site? Do they feel like shotgunning content at me and having me fight to close different windows is a good thing?
I agree, having to hit play is a small price to pay.
But it has been an ever-evolving disaster, always finding ways to get worse.
I don't buy this idea where everything is always imposed on us by evil corporations.
More and more websites using video to me seems more like a proof that people prefer videos over written content. That's why videos usually autoplay, also on YouTube and Facebook: if a person starts watching and listening, it's much more likely that they will stay instead of closing the page.
We have taught things to each other by talking for as long as hundreds of thousands of years, probably more. By contrast, reading has been common among a large percentage of the population only for a couple of centuries.
We evolved using verbal communication, not written one. Written form has, of course, its advantages, but it does not mean that it's the preferred medium for most people.
Videos and audio are also easier to watch/listen to while you are doing something else like cooking, gardening or commuting. There are a ton of contexts where you cant read, but you can at least listen.
That's why even books are converted into audio formats nowadays.
The fact that a small crowd on HN prefers reading is not the proof that video is "user-hostile". HN is rarely the reflection of the general public.
Although I keep reading a lot of online content or books, lately I have consumed a lot more valuable information in a podcast/video lecture format than in a written one.
In general I'm not against video content in a web page, as it actually can be a good source of raw data that we can use to understand something in great details, but I would argue that in many cases video is objectively inferior to text: texts are much easier to parse (both for computers and humans) and also some irrelevant information included in the audiovisual format can reduce the entropy of a content (e.g. how a reporter looks like physically).
Cigarettes and junk food are definitely unhealthy, but people love them. So much that it’s hard to take them away from them.
Your evolutionary arguments are also pretty bizarre and reductionist. Maybe we did evolve using verbal communication, but we didn't evolve to be schizophrenic voyeuristic mutes without face-to-face nonverbal feedback.
I don't think their arguments are bizarre, and it's better to meet them head-on than to insinuate they're weird.
- Driving: a lot of people drive, very few of them like it or they would learn how to do it properly
- Public transport: 99,99% of people using public transport hate it
- Going to the dentist
- eating vegetables
- taking kids to the pool
and so on…
all of this things are incredibly annoying to many, yet they have not failed
But I don't understand the connection.
The core of the issue is the proverbial "worse is better"
All the walled garden on the web are optimising one particular feature - engagement - leaving behind many others that are equally important if not more, like user's freedom or privacy.
It's no wonder that investing so much money in getting users to subscribe and use the platform results in an increase of time spent by the users on the platform.
It is orthogonal to the problem highlighted in the original post.
The net effect is so strong that any other platform that tries to enter the market either has to waste a lot of money (if they have them) or use the same techniques that are already in place to sustain their businness
The choice is on the users, but for the majority of them it's not worth it until it's too late.
Cigarettes and junk foods are not hostile -- they are incredibly enticing. What they are is harmful (which is something different).
Video, similarly, whether harmful or not, is very welcome by lots of people who strongly prefer it to reading.
Just as the Trojans how that big wonderful Horse statue worked out for them :p
They're a great way to fidget, they go great with coffee, they look majestic on the big screen, and nicotine is extremely addictive.
Heck, whole movies and books, and poems and songs have been written about them in a positive light. And lots.
If it wasn't for the health concern people would still be smoking on airplanes and there would just be a small "non smoking" area (like in the 70s).
The argument sounds like, "If Comcast was such a bad company it would have failed on its own already."
Could there other forces at play that would explain how video as a format might succeeding despite not being preferred by users?
Imagine that I followed you around all day bumping into you, waiting for you to drop some money and then walk away without noticing, so I could pick it up. That's annoying and hostile to you, but profitable to be with sufficient automation. That's the modern commercial web.
The fact of the matter is, people want to be paid for the stuff they create. That's how they're enabled to create more of that stuff. We learned a long, long time ago that people didn't want to outright pay for things. That doesn't leave many options.
They are also (considered as a single or primary channel) a much worse mechanism for actually effectively communicating anything other than emotion (though they can be a useful accompaniment to text.)
Writing an article takes a lot of time
Writing a good one, is not for everybody
But making a video is really easy
I would not say it is really easy for everyone, it would not be easy for me. But it is easy for people accustomed to talk a lot.
but when you have to actually cook something, having something in writing with some illustration is much easier
you don't have to start/pause/skip/rewind the video with your greasy hands, you can just skim with your eyes
that's why in a lot of cooking books from the past the recipes take one or at maximum two pages that can be read side by side
Video ads pay a lot better than ordinary display ads. 15$ CPM vs 30¢ CPM on my media sites. It's not a 1-1 comparison on UX (you may lose half your reader base and still come out ahead).
That is not the slightest bit true and is in fact the entire basis for the conversation we’re having.
Is it? The original article is talking about web tracking, the entire point of which is to give you more of whatever you like. Facebook just gives you more of whatever you click on, so if you're disappointed with the stuff you get on Facebook then probably you're just in denial about your own tastes or identity.
Anecdotal, but I recently managed to reorient my Facebook feed into a more "positive" light.
- I systematically un-followed sources of "negative" content (e.g. stupid, demeaning, cynical, deceptive/disingenuous, etc.) One strike, max two. This included some friends (repeated offenders - lol). No engagement whatsoever with these posts (no 'angry'/'sad' reaction, no display of comments).
- I liked/followed many "positive" pages/communities (notably authors, non-fiction books, self-help or growth-mindset).
- I made a point to like/comment/share "positive" posts and comments (e.g. clever, beautiful, grateful, fair, virtuous, etc.)
My main criteria was quality, above topic. E.g. bye-bye "petty" content even if it's "science" (which I like). I was quite selective, as it's easy to re-sub later.
I stayed unusually long on the site over a few days, to extensively clean/curate my feed.
Within a week, everything changed to suit my newfound tastes: basic feed is great, ads/sponsored content more relevant; it even seems there's been a positive shift in post sentiment selected from my contacts.
My Facebook feed is actually somewhat pleasant now. It fits my mindset of choice (away from the overly critical/cynical/negative individual I used to be in previous years). All it took is a little self-discipline and some manual curating (I've always refrained from liking too many sources, so there wasn't much to deal with).
But at least the content is covered by search engines via asciiwwdc.com
If I want to see videos, I'll go to youtube or vimeo. Don't force them on me when I'm trying to find quick info.
Isn't that a kind of entitlement?
I might prefer text myself, but it's up to the content provider, who gives me FREE content, to put up whatever they like.
And they have a reason that they put out videos, as they are much more popular with certain demographics.
Specifically, it's the opinion that something must be a certain way because you want it like that.
Besides, one can't make actual demands when they have no power.
Video content isn't "user hostile" any more than a movie you don't like is "user hostile".
For entertainment that's fine, I enjoy cartoons, drama etc. as much as anyone.
Even in that context, amateurs and people starting out with a subject, might prefer to have less information density and have things explained in easy steps -- instead of lots of stuff they don't get crammed in 5 minutes.
Generally the value of the content was extremely poor and very click bait-y. My analogy I use is I see using Facebook like eating junk food when I could be spending that time consuming more meaningful content.
I've probably been off Facebook now for a year and I don't miss it one bit.
Of course, once the response gets to your browser you're free to block, filter or do whatever you like to it, but user freedom is only half the equation here. Publisher freedom is important as well.
Hostility is not about rights or freedom.
People consume it more.
They stay on the site longer, they tend to watch more videos than read articles, and they share videos more.
Now obviously the videos still need to be good content but the reason you’re seeing more video content is not because of some nefarious scheme: it’s because content producers see better user engagement with it.
It's a worse experience, and I avoid that sort of site if at all possible.
It can be true for you of course. But if so you're an outlier.
Long story short - we see people actively engage with video content more (ie - they share it, they comment on it, they respond to it more positively, etc etc).
The numbers don't lie, and they're pretty clear.
Article-based/written content isn't going anywhere, but it's not the only delivery stream anymore. It hasn't been for years really but it was contained in YouTube for the most part. But social videos (instagram, twitter, etc) really blew the lid off that and now videos are becoming a whole new and different category of content.
Now obviously sites that just do a 5 minute video full of junk instead of a 3 paragraph article are just that - junk. But that's why I said the video content still needs to be good content. Sites that don't do that deserve to be ignored - and not all sites are good at producing video content.
I work at Bleacher Report and we very specifically craft our videos to be more than what you're describing (they respect the medium and don't replace articles at all). But we're still producing more and more videos because they are extremely popular.
They’re complementary content - doing things in a different medium that wouldn’t be as effective (or possible) in written form.
That’s resulting in more positive user engagement and social activity.
More choice in fact.
As a specific example, Stephen Grider's udemy courses took me through the process of learning full stack Node/React app development, and it was awesome.
I find it much harder to focus and be productive while reading books, videos (especially with good slides and diagrams) feel way more natural.
I wonder what percentage of people prefer learning from books to learning from (good) video courses. Is this HN being contrarian, or does the majority really prefer text?
The worst is anything that has terminal commands or code displayed in a video. Screenshots aren't much better, although at least they stay put without having to futz with the pause controls. Text - that is searchable and copy/pasteable - is king .
I can do podcasts and videos for other subjects; I've been loving Dan Carlin and the Great War youtube series. But technical stuff is too hard.
 Nothing boils my blood like a bug report with a screenshot of a logfile open in notepad, or a very low resolution, downsampled jpeg of the browser JS console... It means you worked harder to give me less useful information
If I want quick information on how to install or troubleshoot something that realistically should only be one or two lines of code, watching someone's youtube video is a very inefficient way to provide that content.
This comment is on point. I am told that many students on Udemy use videos courses as a reference, where they skip through videos to find the exact content they are looking for. I'm sure people do this, but I don't think its an effective use of video teaching.
My goal with videos is to show the entire beginning to end process of building some arbitrary app. Many commenters here on HN are advocates of apprenticeships for learning tech; I view video courses as an easily distributable form of apprenticeship.
Video instructions are usually directed to people who are beginning their adventure, and in programming I usually need to just skim over some text these days to know what's relevant for me and what not. I guess many people have the same sentiment.
For me videos were insanely useful trying to get into Blender. Something that helped me a lot, but I guess mostly thanks to my 0% knowledge of the topic.
the current web hated that, it didnt have control. they are trying to 'wean' us off gifs through companies like giphy.
how many people cringe when you click on a link on reddit and realize its a link to youtube and you have to watch a commercial for a 30 second video? I am like omg, youtube, close
People increasingly do voice messages.
1. Because messages are faster spoken than written
2. Your "listeners" can't interrupt you, like on a phone call
3. Your messages aren't searchable as easily as text-messages
Though the content and quality expressed by education ... has shifted. On the one hand, there's clearly been advances in knowledge and education, but at the same time, those are being presented to a much, much larger share of the population.
I've seen people (children, students, professionals) with widely varying levels of literacy and cognitive skills, ranging from frighteningly high to almost none at all. I think this may be underappreciated.
Or, TL;DR: yes, a lot of people are terrible at reading.
And the greater point there, that you appear to have missed, is that content creators don't really owe you anything, unless you've paid them. Thus, their actions are not hostile to you.
The primary motivation of many "creators" is to gain more income; to that end, they do not need to produce user-friendly content, they just need to produce content that earns money. That doesn't even require maximizing readership.
Aside from that, whether one person is being hostile to another person has absolutely nothing to do with anybody "owing" anybody else anything. These are two totally unrelated concepts.
Have you ever seen the soup Nazi from Seinfeld? Would you say he's not hostile because no body is owed his soup?
The worst you can claim a video is, is an inconvenience. That's it. Saying it's "hostile" because you'd prefer text is entitlement to the point of craziness.
Maybe the soup Nazi was a bad analogy, but how about a car salesman who knowingly sells you a lemon? They could be nice and polite up front and do everything they could to make you feel comfortable with making the purchase. They are still knowingly doing something to benefit themselves at your expense. If it was a choice where one side got a benefit and the other remained neutral I would see it as not hostile, but when it's a benefit for one side at the expense of the other side, it's become hostile at that point
Speaking personally, when I find user-hostile content, I simply leave the page/close the window/throw away the magazine. I don't feel entitled to have the content in any way.
However, I do feel entitled to make an appeal to content producers that they try to come up with a way to make their content less hostile. It's just an appeal, though, and they are absolutely free to ignore it.
This would be a blessing for much of the "content" out there.
Do they owe me anything? Of course not. But if they want my precious, precious attention and the opportunity to advertise to me then they need to play ball my way. Otherwise, fuck them.
What about when the video contains exclusive, important trade-related info? Is dismissing someone to go create their own content on exclusive information really a coherent counterargument (or useful strategy)? Do you really want the internet to be even more polluted with more second- and third-source crap than it already is?
Video is creators stroking their egos. The creator is unimportant, only his/her ideas, which internally manifest as words and should be transcribed as cleanly and accurately as possible. Video is an extremely poor medium for most ideas.
I'm sorry, but I still see nothing "hostile" about them choosing one medium over the other. You might have a slight inconvenience, but that's it.
If you don't like things being in videos, then write written content to compete with it. Otherwise, stop with the over the top exaggerations and feelings of entitlement from content creators.
Video needs smothering, not competition.
Then stop complaining.
"Content creators are not some unassailable gift horse immune from inspection or criticism. People are free to criticize the things I contribute to this world; and my feelings will not be hurt if they do. Perhaps you could learn from this."
But you're not criticizing. You're getting all in a tizzy because others aren't doing things exactly the way you want them. You're demanding that your entitlement be fulfilled.
"Video needs smothering, not competition."
Not according to the vast amounts of people who find it just fine. If you wish to prove that another medium is better, then feel free to create competing content in that medium to show it.
"Vast amounts of people"? Vast amounts of people kill other vast amounts of people, are you ok with that? Vast amounts of people vote for laws that screw over other vast amounts of people, is that cool? A vast amount of people boarded the Titanic, look where that got them...
If some idiot Youtube personality wants to flap their jaws for an hour, droning on and on about whatever stupid pointless thing in their life is stuck in their craw or whatever, fine. But for information dispersal, unless the video is densely packed with visual content, it needs to be text. Doers all over the world will thank you.
Entitlement is, if anything, forcing poor viewers to sit through a 15-minute life-story-slash-prologue just so they can continue to participate in a Reddit discussion or finish their task or whatever.
And what if some of us want the freedom to watch? Maybe I'm illiterate? Just like you, I could say that putting something in writing instead of a video is 'hostile' if it doesn't meet my preferences.
Talking about 'hostile' is hysterical.
If you make a video, just include the transcript.
I can’t have an OCR system automatically translate a video into text.
> extremely pleased to have our first and indeed only genuine superhero you you may have come across know and across the internet as Captain disillusion you've already seen some their fantastic work there you to tell is amazing if you haven't seen it I I personally do subscribe to it they're given there are over quarter of a million other subscribers I am statistically insignificant and you should update I think the number of views on the channel has now passed 15 million so if you could all adjust your booklet accordingly that would be appreciated captain disillusion will be talking to us about heroic feats of YouTube D bunker II so can you please I think we're set put your hands together welcome to stage Captain disillusion hello hi quick clarification I'm not Compton disillusion obviously my name is Alan and I'm an intern at disillusion industries the captain's…
Now here’s the output of a written article automatically turned into speech:
Now tell me, which of them is more usable?
The only time YouTube’s CC button works even slightly okay is if the uploader manually transscribed everything.
"It might not seem like much now, but what that noise represented was the stuff of science fiction at the time: near-instantaneous communication at a planetary scale. It was a big deal."
I kind of yearn for the pre-web days... when the primary means of communication was mailing lists and newsgroups, without any commercial
The creation of the web was when it all started to go wrong. Corporations started to flock to it like flies and tried their best to turn it in
to an ad-laden, spyware-laden, dumbed-down, one-way broadcasting medium not too far from television.
I sincerely hope that the “re-decentralization” movement is able to attract hackers and gain steam.
Of course people will just end up recreating TCP over HTTPS to get around these sorts of things, but I don't think we're headed toward a decentralised and opinionated (i.e. not heavily filtered based on traffic analysis) network.
I still remember the day that these assholes showed up and ruined a wonderful thing, and as you can see I'm not really over it.
Where things went wrong on the web, imho, was when business started leaning on people to put graphic corporate branding front and center, encouraging the abuse of things like tables and so on to create something that looked more like a magazine advert. Now, you could argue that such commercial pressures were got people to throw money at the WWW int he first place and rove technological development, and you'd have a point - the early web was pretty dull to look at. I wrote a book on how to use it for consumers around 1994 and every so often I take it off the shelf for a giggle at how primitive it looks in the screenshots. But at that time it was much better curated and the browsing experience was much more rewarding in many respects, although I'm obviously influenced by some nostalgia for a simpler era.
I really hoped to see the semantic web recapture some of the user-centric benefits of the early web, but development on that front seems slooooooow, and my ideas about a graph centric virtual space seem too sci-fi for me to even get meaningful answers from people I've asked.
It's hard to explain but it's got the same feel of people who tinker and enjoy technology for the hell of it. With HF you get communication all over the globe.
It's also explicitly non-commercial so it's stayed relatively undeveloped. Granted you'll never see the exponential of communication that the internet unleashed due to limited spectrum but that might be in some ways a blessing.
Thankfully K1JT via WSJT has been doing some awesome open source weak signal work. FT8 is pretty sweet and really exploded recently.
I think ham radio is split between the people who like the social/contest aspect of it and those of us who like to tinker(and a subset that covers people who like both). 97.1b pretty clearly lays out a mandate to advance the state of the art and I think it's pretty incredible to pick out a message -20db below the noise floor.
But there are two issues: FT8 is just a contact, with maybe a 73, so it’s even more impersonal than contesting (which is extremely popular, of course). Breaking a pileup is pretty much left to the computer, rather than due to operator skill.
And the old timers on 160 who earned their DXCC (100 countries - very difficult on 160) certificates the hard way using CW / SSB aren’t happy with the relative ease of getting an FT8 DXCC award. The ARRL can fix that, however.
Over in the SOTA community we're looking at a few potential solutions. There's nothing in the core FT8 spec that mandates the standard QSO exchange and there's support for free messages(at a max of 13 chars).
As someone with a KX3 I think anyone running more than 10W is at a huge advantage ;). You're right though, the right way is to split the awards by mode/type. That said I find the content stuff just as impersonal and find the relaxed atmosphere of SOTA much more appealing.
That's what makes ham radio so awesome though, it's all fair game. I just hate to see people try to squash things just because it's not the "old way". That part seems really counter to the experimental nature of the hobby.
Facebook, twitter had the same feeling of "exclusivity" for a while. Twitter lasted a bit longer because the capability to compose your thoughts in < 140 chars demanded a certain level of sophistication but then came #winning and shit-posting.
These days I find as a developer even, as that segment expands there's an increasing amount of noise but I've gotten into emacs recently and can appreciate the marked increase in tranquility there. Nobody's trying to make a buck off my questions and answers. Nobody has a commercial (or other) interest in keeping me clueless.
I still recall watching this change firsthand.
When i got my first modem, i was informed of a regional IRC channel on one of the big networks. And from that day onwards i would have my client set to connect to that channel, and fire it up alongside the email client right after the handshake completed.
But at one point the channel died, and the cause of death was twofold.
one part was the creation first generation social media services, and their web based chat rooms.
Another part, and perhaps a bigger part, was that Microsoft made a strong push of MSN Messenger with Windows XP.
This resulted in a more clique style communications form online, as you had to know people and get their account info before being able to contact them. With IRC you joined the channel and that was it.
I recall having on the fly conversations about TV programs on IRC.
 at least in Germany
The capabilities and features of web forums are also really dumbed-down and limited compared to what you could get with the mail clients and news clients of even 20 or 30 years ago.
Long story short, a lot of the large internet companies withhold or obscure functionality that users really want in order to keep them engaged and sell more ads. We have the technology to do a lot better than we are doing, but capital prefers to manufacture scarcity in the guise of abundance.
Yes, the tight coupling of progress to profits is becoming very counter-productive. Too many good ideas and products that get killed because they can’t make enough money (and the criteria for “enough” keeps rising unnecessarily and exponentially, i.e. something has to sell in tens of millions to be considered a “success” even if half a million would be profitable.)
We will need to rethink the role of money in human civilization if we don’t want it to become a corporate hell where every action is dictated by how much money it makes.
For example, Google only lets you get a few results at the top of their search. What if you want to get the whole 100,000 of them? Sometimes it's important, for science.
"This is one of the things that web-based forums have yet to get right. Email (and NNTP news) clients from 20 or 30 years ago are far superior in this respect, because they can intelligently deal with threading and folding. These features alone makes large conversations much easier to deal with than on web-forums.
To add to that, email (and NNTP news) clients even from 20 or 30 years ago have other powerful features that web forums have yet to catch up on:
- kill files (which you can use to filter out unwanted articles/mails based on content or metadata such as subject, user, etc)
- user-configurable anti-spam filtering or other "intelligent" filtering (such as bayesian filtering not just for spam/ham, but for
- tagging not just on a site-wide level but at the client level so each user can tag messages/articles the way they make sense to them
- other advanced filtering and scripting based on any of the above
Web-based forums are just incredibly primitive compared to this many-decade-old technology."
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15373179
 - https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Kill_file
When I first saw that gmail starts a new thread when you change a subject I did not believe it at first; I thought I have made a mistake in replying. Text-based clients of old (tin, pine, etc.) still outperform current monstrosities by a wide margin.
And of course, there's nothing stopping anyone from building a web forum and offering an endpoint for third party clients, they just don't, mostly because web forums themselves have more or less been superseded by Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, and no one seems to care about them anymore.
The only pre-web feature that web forums can't really implement is decentralization.
One of the things we keep forgetting as we move forward is that client-control > server-control.
I'm not sure if we're forgetting it, as an industry we seem hell bent on removing user control. SaaS, cloud hosting, software walled gardens, invasive automatic updates, hidden software in hardware, etc. We're losing more and more control all the time. Around here it's nearly heresy to suggest the companies run their own servers.
There's a clear agenda to take back the power and voice that the computers are giving to the common man: http://opentranscripts.org/transcript/coming-war-general-com...
Plus, the clients had things like killfiles, so that one could ignore a troll or a subject (or even fancier stuff, like scoring: maybe a user tends to have worthless comments, but what he says about one subject is really worthwhile).
If YC ever decide to destroy HN they can.
With an HN Usenet newsgroup it'd be distributed across all the servers that carry that group. You could download software and host it yourself.
Less free speech, more control, less privacy and more ads.
* some people are unhappy because they feel constrained
* topics are an illusion anyway, people do post off-topic messages anyway, depending on strictness of moderation. People interested by the original topic are annoyed by the inevitable off-topic talk.
If you want to use the web in that way, just remove YouTube, Facebook, etc. from your DNS.