In the old days we needed YouTube because you needed a Flash encoder if you wanted to make video accessible on the web to everyone. Now anyone can host video on anything. You can throw even throw some comments on the bottom if you want.
But what those who create want is an audience. They want a community. There is a cycle of drama on YouTube that everyone feeds off of. Hell, some of the most popular videos people make are videos of people complaining about YouTube. Make a normal video, get a few thousand views. Make a rage video about how your normal video got demonized, get a million views.
How many attempts at decentralized social networks have failed? All of them.
The audience generation mechanics are an important ingredient for replacing youtube, but youtube has gone from being a free service that had little user generated content and focused on gray area "Napster model" hosting of copyrighted content.. and then gradually found content creators and introduced interruption advertising (full screen commercials).
There are a lot of holes in youtube's profit model. Imagine what youtube could be if it didn't have the dark patterns everywhere (young kids get served algorithmically generated disturbing content!).
It's so refreshing that an alternative model is getting some traction. Also, it would be fairly easy to just slurp up the best content from Youtube since most is in the public domain.
We have moved towards a world of centralized services because that's what people want. To many people it's the centralized services that "are" the Internet: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—that's it. YouTube is the lowest common denominator of video. You aren't going to "fix" its problems with a more complex decentralized network.
If you want to solve the problems with YouTube you have to do it with another YouTube. Build another centralized service that fixes the problems that YouTube has, because that's what people want. Not a federated network. Creators want do less work for a larger more consistent paycheck.
Have we learned nothing from literally every single project the that has tried to "free" us from the evils of the centralized services? Here ya go: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_software_and_pro... Slowly they all go from Active to Dead or Stalled.
YouTube's audience doesn't care about anything at decentralized network has to offer. It's just entertainment for them. They just want to watch videos and shitpost in the comments.
No, nobody cares about centralization. Centralization is a mechanism that provides some of the values people do care about; convenience, indexing, free hosting, simple interfaces.
But it's a mistake to conflate centralization with the root cause that makes many of these services fail. If centralization was actually what people cared about, Google Plus would have beaten Facebook. After all, it's way more centralized than Facebook is. But it's not more convenient, better indexed, or simpler.
It's also a mistake to look at the list of failed efforts and say, "well, decentralized just doesn't work." Bear in mind that the list of failed centralized social networks is actually a great deal longer, and the chance of any one of them succeeding is just about as grim. The reality is that most social networks fail, period.
There are some compelling reasons why from an architectural standpoint centralization might make it easier to succeed, but the average person on the street can't even tell you what these words mean. They don't care.
And if a decentralized service comes around that's more convenient than the alternatives, they'll switch. Because they don't care.
Individuals or small organisations simply can't afford to take on the potential liability that comes with letting arbitrary people upload arbitrary stuff to their servers.
If some hosts carry the controversial stuff and others don't, then those who do will be targeted, censored, persecuted and/or sued out of existence, and they don't have money to defend themselves because all the money making stuff is hosted by others.
On youtube? Your video is just taken down because it was flagged, or someone made three bogus copyright claims on your channel, or some algorithm thought your video of art is nudity. In these cases, you have zero legal recourse at all, even if you wanted to pursue it. Youtube's solution is not to protect creators, but to simplify their own legal logistics.
But you're not wrong about liability, hosts will need some solution. One part will be that PeerTube will probably build in features to help hosts moderate and manage legal documents like DMCA. Another common solution to dealing with liability and risk is insurance.
But for individuals acting in a personal capacity that doesn't matter. For them youtube is the no recourse, no financial risk option. People upload random stuff, not everything completely legal but often not interesting for copyright holders either (e.g very old episodes of TV shows). Sometimes it gets taken down. No harm done.
For professionals, relying on youtube is risky though. They could lose their entire audience over night if they get suspended.
So it sounds like decentralisation could work for professionals, but of course the catch is that without the huge volume of random stuff uploaded by non-professionals the platform doesn't have mass appeal because it's not the go-to place for video search, and that means professinals won't find the large audience they are looking for.
Insurance doesn't work in this case. It only works if the likelihood of getting sued is low and you cannot be accused of having broken the law knowingly, neither of which is compatible with working in a grey area.
Let me try to make a case for how insurance could fit in here. Insurance like this is often predicated on the insured meeting various conditions. I could see a forward-thinking insurance company offering terms like these:
1. Require the producer to pre-declare exact claims of all source material for both music and video. For example, "1:02-3:55; Public domain music. Sourced from ...", "0:00-0:10; Licensed stock intro. License details ...", "5:07-5:15; Fair use news clip. Source at ...", "0:15-15:35; Original footage. Taken with X camera at Y location on Z date.".
2. Perform random audits on videos including tracking down all claimed sources to make sure they're documenting their sources correctly.
3. Offer running video through a ContentID system that can automatically check claimed sources with an internal database of known content. By opting-in, you can reduce your rate.
I think these bring the risk down to similar levels in other industries that insurance companies currently serve. Figuring out the exact rates, plans, kinds and amounts and limits of coverage, rates for different content etc etc etc is all the job of an adjuster. For example, fair use claims might have a higher rate of being contested, so maybe using them would be restricted and/or more expensive. It's in the insurance company's best interest to reduce the number of lawsuits and claims, so they will pursue anti-SLAPP judgements (and lobby for them!) to recoup legal costs of frivolous suits, thus reducing frivolous claims. The producer will have a well-known coverage and be able to manage their risk.
If the pre-declared claims sounds onerous to you, I could see video production tools being able to read specially formatted claim metadata embedded in any source and automatically outputting a properly formatted list of claims with timestamps embedded as metadata in the output. As long as the producer uses properly tagged sources it can be automatic. In fact, this could even be backed up with cryptographic signatures to allow in-place verification that you've purchased a particular license.
Another benefit: My apartment requires me to maintain renters insurance. Similarly, you could provide your cloud provider with proof that you maintain this kind of insurance, in exchange for them promising they won't disconnect your account due to copyright claims (and forward them to your insurance company instead). This combats the "walking up the stack" problem discussed in other threads.
Non-professionals are not just uploading home videos (which often contain copyrighted music by the way), they are also uploading stuff they have downloaded elsewhere (music, TV shows, etc). That's the key issue.
Your insurance idea sounds a lot like what Google is already doing and it brings back a lot of the downsides of centralisation. It's very onerous/expensive to run and therefore requires significant monetisation to cover the cost. It also carries the risk of false positives as everything would have to be automated.
The insurance company would disproportionately "punish" hosts that carry the more controversial/risky content unless the platform as a whole is the insured party or all hosts are forced to pay everyone elses insurance premiums.
This would create a disincentive for hosts carrying uncontroversial content to join the platform in the first place (not just for financial reasons but also political ones). They would create their own far more restrictive platform with much cheaper insurance premiums or simply upload to a centrialised provider like youtube.
The incentive to subsidise controversial/risky content is to be the go-to place for video search and monitise the heck out of it. It's simply a centralised business model.
Free speech is a completely different topic. If you're conflating copyright infringement and free speech when you're thinking about insurance, I can agree there's no way it could work. Let me clarify: coverage would be limited to copyright infringement claims only. Covering free speech with insurance is completely a non-starter, they would be opening themselves up to a new universe of risk, even suits directed directly at themselves. That said, the insurance company would be highly incentivized to discourage the abuse of copyright infringement laws to quell speech: these are separate concerns (from their perspective), so reducing such abuse would be good for them (and us!).
Think about what happens to controversial speech on centralized platforms now: some faceless moderator unilaterally decides -- without option to appeal -- whether to take your speech down from their platform permanently (it's their platform after all) and possibly ban you. In a decentralized platform you have the option to defend it with whatever resources you decide.
> Non-professionals are not just uploading home videos (which often contain copyrighted music by the way), they are also uploading stuff they have downloaded elsewhere (music, TV shows, etc). That's the key issue.
With a decentralized model like PeerTube you have to change your conception of who accepts and hosts uploads. You can't just upload to "The PeerTube" like you can YouTube, you have to upload to a federated instance. PeerTube makes hosting your own instance much easier and cheaper. Many will create their own, some might use one hosted by a family member, others might sign up for a more public instance. In each case, the instance will be more and more like the centralized model. But that's ok, because now there's a gradient. You have the choice to manage your own instance (or any available middle ground), with all the benefits and downsides that come with publishing your own content (except hosting costs of course, that's the point).
My point is that with this model, you have the choice to moderate it and defend it manually yourself (professionals, activists), or defer it entirely to a third party (basically the current centralized model). But there's a large gap between these, where some kind of insurance-like service could help bridge.
Two big blockers that I rarely see discussed for the decentralized future coming to pass:
- (D)DNS for the 1+ persistent devices per/user (IPV6 support/rollout basically)
- Lowering the barrier to entry for running a server on a users' behalf
If we really want the internet to be a web, we need to make it easier to run servers that act on behalf of users/hold their data, that they control.
If you'll indulge me, I've had in the back of my mind a project for a long time, a <$30 home-server (I'd call it "the tube" or "pipe") that has a cheaper but good-enough set of functionality that you get from the internet giants today:
- Document management and storage
- Backups (connect your local "pipe" to a backup storage provider)
- Chat/Messaging, SIP + Video conferencing
- Local networked/mesh services spanning from blogging, social networking, ecommerce, whatever.
I'm very much of the I-just-want-to-write-software so I preoccupy myself thinking of what tech I'd use to make it happen, but I think this is the kind of project that people need to really embrace the internet as a sparse group of interconnected nodes.
I also think that humans are ready to accept this kind of structure -- we already have it! People can understand that if you want a storefront to be up all the time, you need to have something run it all the time, the power to run it just isn't in their hands yet.
Of course, startups are hard, hardware startups are harder, and consumer product hardware+software startups are pretty hard, so it's much easier said than done. Decentralized systems absolutely can work, but the amount of work, fore-thought, and careful construction with consideration for generating network effects and making it easier for people to run and use -- basically good product design -- is just missing in the open source world, because it's hard.
Great so it is not an important aspect of the problem. You just proved to yourself why PeerTube does not matter.
You could have made a parallel argument, before Youtube, about how people wanted only professional content, why a service for user created content would never work etc, because that's all that had worked, up to that point.
Just because all the decentralized projects have failed so far doesn't mean they are doomed.
Its really early days yet. Youtube is just over a decade old. HBO is 5 decades old. Clearly decentralized services are harder to build and get right. But that means there's still plenty to figure out, and plenty of potential.
> YouTube's audience doesn't care about anything at decentralized network has to offer. It's just entertainment for them. They just want to watch videos and shitpost in the comments.
People change, they grow in sophistication. E.g. look at Facebook - at the start it was full of spammy viral activity notifications for crappy games. People got sick of that and it was forced to change. Now its full of other crappy stuff, but which people are getting sick of now too.
I remember in the early days people in the entertainment industry dismissing youtube as a useless piracy website which could never deliver any worth while content by itself.
This was in 2006 when the only real use for youtube was to watch music videos because of the 10 minute video limit.
A lot can change in 10 years once the base technology is in place.
 Undated, but still showing up: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/71673?hl=en&co=GEN...
 "THE LONGEST VIDEO ON YOUTUBE - 596.5 HOURS" - Dec 14, 2011 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04cF1m6Jxu8
If its the middle ages and the only people who have learned to read are the very most educated part of the the population, then the average printed material is going to be intellectual. As the reading population expands over the next 1000 years, and the average book hence becomes less scholarly, you might naively conclude that everything is becoming 'lowest common denominator'. But overall, education standards + sophistication are rising hugely.
Sure, when only nerds could access the web, it was super sophisticated. And it had to get easier to go mainstream.
But that doesn't mean the mainstream trend is to always dumb down forever, as you are arguing.
Apple mouse used to have only one button, but now look at the power of the multitouch UX almost everyone uses on their smartphone daily. Look at Gmail compared to Hotmail v1, Youtube compared to cable TV etc. Its easy to forget how powerful and sophisticated they are. People have learned to do really sophisticated things, create, communicate etc.
Sure, things dumbed down since only CS grad students used the Internet. But now that growth is slowing, I bet tastes are going to increase in sophistication again.
This only applies to surface complexity though. Under the hood the web today is many orders of magnitude more complex than the web in the 1990s.
We have moved towards a world of centralised services because decentralised ones are—by definition—difficult to monetise for the platform/software-maintainer(s). What people want is irrelevant when all potential options have to be initially well-funded: the choice is too restrictively limited to perform an honest comparison.
> To many people it's the centralized services that "are" the Internet
That's because they dominate, because they're profitable for the central host.
> If you want to solve the problems with YouTube you have to do it with another YouTube. Build another centralized service that fixes the problems that YouTube has
The problems with YoutTube are caused by it being centralised, so this proposal is paradoxical.
> they all go from Active to Dead or Stalled
It's a difficult challenge. It's David v Goliath. Many fail.
YouTube's audience want to be able to find entertaining/useful/educational/whatever content according to what they've come to Youtube looking for, and promptly leave after having been entertained/educated/generally fulfilled. Youtube is not incentivised to give them this; in fact it's strongly incentivised to make what they're looking for as difficult to find as possible so that they'll spend hours and hours binging vacuous addictive content looking for something but never quite finding it and getting no satisfaction from the experience.
This is not something that's unique to YouTube, it's a property of any model whereby the profits of the host/platform maintainer are tightly linked to users spending as much time navigating the platform as possible (see also Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest infinite scroll psychology).
What you just gave is an imaginary description from someone who evidently doesn't use YouTube. I remember seeing Google presentations (on its official YouTube channel) in 2007 and 2008 where executives were saying that the goal of Google Search is to get you to what you're looking for as quickly as possible, and that's one reason that Google Search became the leader in search, and its very name is a verb for looking up something online. YouTube does the same exact thing, and the way they hook you into watching more are the automatic "related video" and "subscribe" overlays in the video player itself, and then the long column of related videos and, for any professional video, a pre-made playlist that is based on the viewing selections of other viewers, in the left column (on desktop browsers) or under the video (on phones). If I'm looking up a video by a singer, I find a long list of results. If I'm looking up funny bulldog videos, I find the same. If I'm looking up burger-cooking tutorials, I find the same. If I'm looking up clips from a certain TV show, I find the same. You're saying that YouTube doesn't do that? Try looking up some things on it and see for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/
I follow a number of channels on YouTube that I enjoy: finding similar channels is no easier than it was before I discovered them. YouTube doesn't intelligently recommend me similar things, nor is there any facility to look for similar channels unless the creators of those channels have gone and curated such lists manually. The "because you watched" recommendations on YouTube's home feed are always of the same variety, with weak relationship to what I follow, rather than genuine similarity.
- I watch an educational video about repairing an old engine; YouTube gives me tonnes of promotional videos about car brands instead of educational content by other makers/fixers.
- I watch an academic critique of the Bechdel test; YouTube gives me Hollywood trailers and popular movie clips
- I watch a documentary clip about traditional food in Italy; YouTube gives me BuzzFeed millennials tasting things
The latter recommendations are not because that's the only content, the former content exists, it's just not pushed by YouTube because it doesn't lead to addictive content consumption cycles.
Reddit and Original (as in when it was college email addresses only) Facebook are / were really good at this.
You may go to either one with some idea of what you want to check out but hours later realize you went down a rabbit hole that never ended.
I'm not too sure Youtube is anywhere near as good as Reddit is or Facebook used to be but some people are right in saying that some of the changes Youtube has made makes it easier for a user to snap back to reality and realize it's time to get off of Youtube because it's not serving you anything you want to watch -- because like you said it's hard to find by design.
Almost there. People want INTEROPERABLE services. If that occurs because one place has a monopoly, that’s okay. If everyone can participate across any platform they choose that has the features they want (privacy, a close knit community, etc) that’s better.
You're speaking for quite a huge number of people about their preferences vs. something that does not exist. "Content creators" didn't care about the internet, until they did. For that matter, apparently I'm not a member of the "audience", either.
Maybe you're right. I'd need to see some argument other than "because I think so", and look at these failures, though.
As far as bald assertions, here's mine:
Video consumers on average don't know what the word "federated" means in the context of networked services. Nor do they care. They don't know that email is federated. They know they hit "send", and their words pop up in grandma's inbox.
Users don't care about the tech under the hood. They want the payloff. If the economics of federated content networks work, they will take off once someone figures out the proper feature set, placement and happens into a bit of luck.
If not, we're doomed to sharecropping on FaceGoogazon and this whole conversation is pointless.
 I have here a list of social network failures that prove nobody wants to use social networks. QED.
Decentralization does one very important thing. It makes it more profitable, and cheaper to make content accessible to your audience, while giving you the freedom of making money. That is to say decentralization amplifies the ability of computers to make work what Youtube and Google require billions to do. It DISTRIBUTES that workload among many independent workers, and lets the market decide how valuable their input is.
Secondly centralized solutions can exist in a decentralized environment. Content distribution should always have been decentralized, making profit on content is the centralization problem. You're getting content distribution, and profitability mixed up.
Distributing content to millions of people requires massive investment.
The total cost would likely INCREASE massively, as my home computer is much worse at acting as a CDN than Google.
Sure, the costs get DISTRIBUTED, to places where maybe you aren't the one paying for it. But SOMEONE is still paying that money. And they are doing much less efficient than a centralized service with thousands of engineers.
I thought that was the entire point.
But even if it is not literal home PCs, and is instead some sort of middle road between massive company and home PC, my point still stands.
Your 10 person company hosting content isn't going to be able to stream it live to 20 thousand people. That takes lots and lots of money and engineering talent to do right.
I believe the world very much does want decentralised services, it's just that such services have quite different measures of success.
Then just create a huge PeerTube instance, and you'll get the benefits of both worlds.
Plus, you'll pay for less bandwidth than Youtube.
I think the issue is none of them have commercial backing and are some "fringe nerd project. The problem is unless it's a nonprofit (good luck with that) there is no commercial interest in producing a decentralized platform. (See Google and Facebook killing off XMPP for a small example of this)
Before TCP/IP there were many competing networking 'standards' put out by various vendors, some were local nets but others also did routing, but TCP/IP has superceded them and many application protocols are created just for the purpose of interoperability and decentralization.
Present decentralized alternatives usually are. There are numerous reasons. Some have to do with unsolved or inadequately solved problems in distributed systems engineering, but most are I think more pragmatic.
The two largest reasons for distributed/decentralized/federated services sucking are (IMHO):
(1) Most of these things are developed by geeks who lack an appreciation for the critical importance of user experience and lack expertise in areas like GUI and UX design. The result is products by geeks for geeks and that fail to get much traction outside small geek-centric markets.
(2) There is no good economic model, which means that there's no incentive for developers to do the parts of software development that are not fun. Solving grand problems is fun, but fixing a trillion trillion edge case UI/UX and platform bugs is not. Supporting users definitely is not. But those are the things that take something from a niche or nerds-only product to something regular people will use. Centralized platforms have two economic models: charging directly for use or monetizing the user through surveillance capitalism. (The latter is more common.)
If that premise isn't true, if being decentralized doesn't always lead to a promised land, what then, does that mean for the companies or projects that promote decentralization as their main reason for existence?
As always, people need to defend their jobs and more importantly, their source of income.
Most of the views to people who do YouTube as a job. When you look on that trending list, 90% of those videos are people waking up and going to a job. The last thing they want is more bosses and more logistics.
They usually join networks more out of necessity than choice (from memory you get access to more "perks" if you're with a network). Many YouTubers bemoan the existence of multi-channel networks because they take a lot of power away from content creators (even more than YouTube already does).
> When you look on that trending list [...]
These days it's pretty obvious that the trending list is effectively all paid promotions. It's not uncommon that content that has already gone viral is nowhere near the trending list (and the trending list is instead videos advertising new movies). In the "old days" of YouTube, the front page was hand-selected content that someone working at YouTube thought people would enjoy. These days it's all run by opaque algorithms.
> The last thing they want is more bosses and more logistics.
Given how many YouTubers are complaining about their current bosses being completely awful, I'd think the last thing they want is to continue with the status quo.
Oh boy. Bees are looking for badgers?!
Content creators are looking for support and high reliability. "The middleman" can sometimes deliver those things... Until they suddenly boot you out, because their algorithm determined, that your videos don't deliver enough bucks in advertising revenue to keep them afloat.
Of course, "the algorithm" is merely poor excuse for carefully orchestrated scenario, which might have as well resulted from manual intervention (and most famous precedents are indeed backed by staff-approved decisions). Google have put great deal of effort into pretending, that their services have no support teams and no living humans behind them, but in practice places like YouTube are censored to hell and back, — and all of that censorship happens at expense of "content creators".
This argument is analogous to saying that because all wars that have been won to date have been fought using swords, that all future victories will be won with swords.
In the myopia of any era, such statements seem trivially true, yet they are shown to be false again and again.
Let's break down what Youtube actually consists of: It's a hosting platform for videos, a security model, a content recommendation/discovery platform, a piracy/abuse prevention moderation system, an advertising platform, and an affiliate platform (content creators make some of the ad revenue).
All of these can be created as federated systems. There are some significant inefficiencies that give a federated system a bit of a disadvantage, but building it in a decentralized way also offers tremendous advantages.
Such a system will certainly replace Youtube at some point in the future as long as each of the mechanisms Youtube offers is available and performs with similar quality to what Youtube offers.
We've seen some fairly remarkable examples of distributed cooperation (blockchain systems) that many would have thought impossible a few years ago. Critics of such systems still point to centralized control as the inevitable way of humanity, but get proven wrong every day as decentralized systems gain credibility.
Credibility is the key. You are right that the average person who wants to flip around and watch funny content doesn't care how the system was built, but average users do care about the massively annoying ads, the freemium model and the myriad dark patterns that try to squeeze every last penny out of the ecosystem.
Analogous to how Microsoft took a big nose dive soon after reaching "peak annoying" with its tiered OS offerings, $1000 office suite and many other gimmicks that signal impending disruption, Youtube is getting very close to this pinnacle.
The little gimmicks that gradually autoplay you toward the most viral content and ads are pernicious dark patterns that create psychological pain for users and even though they are viewed as successful by the "engagement and profitability metrics" approach, they are creating a bigger and bigger void for some other service to fill.
The problem is, Youtube has created a category leading centralized product, which is now very easy to replicate. Just as Bing was able to easily steal much of Google's search market simply by copying many years of Google R&D in a few months, playing trending videos with interruption marketing is now a known product and any missteps can result in massive loss of market share. Google knows this and will not take risks to expand the platform's features.
So all it takes for a federated model to succeed is some insight into the things that the market wants that Google is too blinded by dopamine-fueled ad watching to worry about building.
Content creators wants as much money as possible, and Youtube wants as much money as possible.
content creators want to get paid. If all the content creators wanted was a platform to gather an audience, being demonetized wouldn't be the end of the world that they all seem to claim it is.
those ads youtube plays don't just fund youtube, they fund the content creators too. the interests of the platform and the producer are pretty closely aligned there.
It's easy to be negative. It's more difficult but more fun to be inventive and industrious.
To the peertube devs: don't let negative comments like this grind you down. Peertube has some great ideas and I think it can succeed.
Our industry has a long history of that kind of waste. Exhibit A is the dot-com bubble, but there are plenty of modern failures too. If we want to maximize innovation, we cannot be too suspicious of novelty, but we also can't let it blind us.
I'm not saying that there isn't anything. Just that new efforts should be making new mistakes.
(Also, the reason to use investment lingo is that investment is the field that specializes in examining cost-benefit tradeoffs for resource usage that hopefully leads to human benefit.)
And if we are going to demand evidence of critics, I think we should also demand evidence of promoters of things like this, who often seem guided by a Big Idea rather than any evidence of user needs or proven ability to solve those user needs.
You also see it in the arts. Dark edgy music is deep and profound while happy dancey music is trite and stupid... in spite of the fact that dark edgy music is often no more musically interesting or innovative than the happy dancey stuff.
To argue an idea will succeed, you need to know and understand the whole concept, and be able to analyze it for flaws. And then you could be proved wrong by someone mentioning a single issue you didn't see before.
Even if you did see the problems people mention, to defend your point, you have to explain why each of them don't apply, which can be a lot of work.
And then, anyone deciding whether they agree with you or not would have to do the same thing, in order to be right in their opinion, so you get a lot less people willing to upvote you.
In that way, comment systems are focused on the negative and aren't a good space for creativity and coming up with new ideas. Now, please, tear into this and tell me where I'm wrong ;)
One of the things that helped me was the notion of Appreciative Inquiry. Basically that when you are dealing with new things, you first look for the good points that you can amplify, not bad points to beat on.
That said, I think coding is a powerful push back toward the negative. Code breaks so easily that we're thoroughly trained to be on the lookout for the next failure point.
Content creation and hosting is a small problem compared with distribution and marketing. That's much of the reason why it's taking so long for software to eat entertainment. Distribution to interested parties is a process that took Hollywood half a century (and YouTube and Netflix) decades. Keep in mind, Netflix started by focusing just on distribution.
Good news is always good, but there's a difference between gaining access to tens of thousands of euros and getting to a first video distribution with 20 million views, for example. That's when people who work in content/entertainment will turn their heads and take notice.
Yet, is it perhaps possible that there might be something to be learned from the comments? Each is an exciting new opportunity for readers and developers to learn and perhaps even improve!
I suspect most content creators will stay on youtube for the audience, but there is lots of potential for backup channels to move off of youtube to some other, better provider. And as enough content is mirrored (and eventually vanishes from youtube as it gets taken down), the decentralized service becomes gradually more interesting to viewers.
However the future is in platform being irrelevant, and acting only as a communication protocol for data. This will allow for both building communities, and since it's only a protocol greater freedoms for content creators, and also greater freedoms for companies to sponsor content creators as they won't be restricted by another organization's policies.
Youtube will ultimately just be major news network spam, with reduced diversity. You can already see late night show spam, and news organizations getting preferential treatment on the platforms. These organizations will never be adequate for the internet due to their bureaucratic nature.
I wouldn't make that youtube's fault. People just grow out of content or like other content.
And the overzealous community guidelines and copyright strikes are a result of hundreds of lawsuits against youtube by the movie industry, and a need to appeal to advertisers for their platform.
Youtube barely makes any real income, just barely.
People seriously seriously underestimate the amount time and tech that has gone into youtube.
PeerTube/alternate youtube will also be subjective to the same things and similar things will happen.
Copyright system has to inspect billions of hours of video in a day, you can't expect people to do all of that. Will the alternative that isn't already a huge company have the assets to deal with all the copyright infringement? To have the enourmous CDN and advanced AI filtering algorithms that is better than youtube?
Sorry, but "yawn." More has gone into nuclear weapons and I'd send those into the sun in a heartbeat, sunk-costs be damned.
YouTube constantly messes with the subscription feed.
> People seriously seriously underestimate the amount time and tech that has gone into youtube.
No, we're perfectly aware. It's just a huge chunk of that time is used on actively bad tech, that does bad things. Not out of incompetence, but out of user and creator hostile decisions they make time and time again.
> Copyright system has to inspect billions of hours of video in a day, you can't expect people to do all of that.
Don't host more on your instance than you have the resources to check. If people want to upload a whole lot, they have to do it on their own instance, and be culpable for what they upload to it. What is so hard about it?
There are billions of people on this planet, each could say something any second that would land them in jail in multiple jurisdictions. No need to centralize all speech and check it centrally, is there?
> To have the enourmous CDN and advanced AI filtering algorithms that is better than youtube?
Hmmpf. They couldn't even really deal with ElsaGate, 99% of which consists of videos using the exact same music. Indeed, people found more manually, and then YouTube failed to act on the reports. They have a worse performance than many little hosters would have in aggregate, I'm pretty sure.
Unlikely unless Google owns the copyright.
That already happens plenty on Youtube itself, so I don't think it's crazy to assume that you'll start to see PeerTube instances that take someone else's channel and just mirror it.
Now, is that PeerTube's problem? Not really, it's between the copyright holder and the uploader. Is YouTube going to try and raise a fuss? I kind of doubt it, the press would have a field day pointing out the hypocrisy.
But the laissez faire attitude of content creators (and Youtube as a platform in general) might ironically make it attractive to hosts who want to fill up their instances with content quickly.
Nothing about what makes someone successful on a site like YouTube needs it to be centralised to be possible.
Discoverability is way harder on decentralized systems, as is providing recommendations, stability, etc.
Sometimes HN/reddit gets so starry eyed when anything about decentralized/distributed/open-source systems comes up that any sort of critique of the product becomes like a personal attack. A few months ago someone posted a decentralized "facebook alternative", where you had to download a bunch of stuff, and connect with an FTP client just in order to make a post. My grandma's on facebook, but she's not going to understand how to connect to a MySQL database.
People think that defending decentralized/distributed systems at any cost makes them better, but I think it just makes them untenable in the long term. If you enjoy using a product, then prosthelytize all you want for it, but if you like the idea more than the product, then the product probably should change or evolve.
That's the irony with decentralized services.
Your entire architecture depends on people participating in it. When you make it as humanly cumbersome as possible for people to actually participate, you will not have any infrastructure.
I've seen worms and botnets that were better architected than that. Recruiting and participation were done right, and made easy ;)
I've been a developer and sysadmin since the early 90s. I know how to do almost any sysadmin-type task on every platform, even exotic embedded stuff and niche OSes.
These days if something takes me longer than 20 or 30 minutes to set up it goes in the trash. The only exception are things that are very very high value or that I simply must have to do my work. The need has to be burning for me to wade through a multi-step convoluted install/maintenance process. I also instantly discard "Rube Goldberg machine" style things (lots of disjointed dependencies) and messy haphazard snot ball things.
It's not because I can't deal with it. It's because I view it as a sign of bad design and bad implementation and a preview of what using and maintaining the system will be like. I also have outright contempt for what I view as the mentality behind it. I don't want to reward the people who create these things with my attention.
It's not really that hard to design systems that are at least somewhat easier to use. Getting to iOS or Facebook ease of use is hard, but getting to something that isn't painful isn't too bad. I really do think the main reason so many projects are so painful to install and use is that nerds actually have a fetish for it. There's still this obnoxious residue of "real men don't need UX" in computing. It's always been there... I remember the phrase "point and drool" for "point and click" back in the 90s implying that people who "need" GUIs were somehow dumber than those who did everything on a green screen with text.
This mentality desperately needs to die. It's a major factor holding back open source, open systems, and decentralized computing. Not only does it prevent regular people from using these systems but it also holds us (nerds) back by wasting our time.
I'd been becoming gradually annoyed with this mentality for years, but the thing that tipped me over the edge to outright contempt for it was switching to Apple around 2007. I was so much more productive. I realized that all that hard to use "real hacker" stuff was preventing me from doing better things. I was spending hours futzing around with already-solved problems like drivers and graphics resolutions and package woes instead of doing new things. With a computer that "just worked" I could spend almost 100% of my time innovating.
I still use Linux on the server side but I don't really love it anymore. If there were a cleaner easier to use alternative I'd switch as long as it didn't come with onerous costs or limitations. I've been checkout out FreeBSD. Alpine Linux is also nice since it strips out a lot of over-engineered trash.
You want me to go through how many steps to do X? Might as well write it myself... (almost)
Why do you assume they have to choose?
A creator could upload to YouTube to get access to their audience, but then also encourage people to use PeerTube to get their videos.
I've never seen any that weren't being pushed to one of the major podcast apps - and thusly centralized. I mean, the whole term comes from the fact that it was originally downloadable to your iPod through iTunes. None of the podcasts I've ever found could really be considered decentralized - they might have a webpage somewhere, sure, but if they're not in Apple's iTunes/Podcast app, I'm not going to find them. Honestly, I haven't found a decent alternative on Android - I know there are several but none have as robust a catalog. I even use iTunes on Windows for podcast searching.
It's a very centralized market around specific aggregators. Could it weather a transition to a decentralized market structure if Apple were to disown it tomorrow? Maybe, but it would take a lot of energy to get there.
I've yet to come across a podcast I wanted to listen to without an RSS feed available through a website. For discovery there are several good alternatives to iTunes, for example https://player.fm
That's because podcasts on iTunes just point to an RSS feed hosted elsewhere. iTunes doesn't host the audio files; it's just a directory.
It's fairly common for me to see people share direct links to a podcast's website if they want to share a specific episode. And even from the point of view where iTunes is a centralized indexer, they're still very clearly pointing at a decentralized service.
The biggest podcast aggregation service in the industry decided to rely on a decentralized model rather than hosting files themselves. That doesn't count for anything?
The fact that every single podcast app is using a distributed protocol (RSS), including Apple, doesn't count for anything?
ATM for video the content hosting, distribution, discovery, indexing, consumption, and commenting are all centralized. Let's say PeerTube brings the video world inline with podcasts and knocks that list down to just discovery and content indexing. That would be a really big win. That would be way more decentralized than what we have now.
If you're right, and solving all of those problems are the easy part, then PeerTube will probably be an incredible improvement to the video ecosystem.
Podcsts may not be perfectly decentralized, but they're pretty stinking close. Services like iTunes are basically card catalogues at this point. The podcast app I use doesn't even include iTunes ratings, reviews, or suggestions, so they've obviously made the decision that these aren't features their users care about.
My experience with podcasts is I get recommendations in a decentralized manner from friends, family, social media, and online articles. Then I go to one of several centralized card catalogues and search for the podcast by the name. Then I add the decentralized source to any podcast app (all of which work with every podcast regardless of who developed them) and use RSS to download a file to my physical device, which makes it easy for me to back up or mirror the file to other devices if the source ever goes down in the future.
If 99% of my experience is decentralized, does the centralized 1% that basically boils down to a list of urls and a regex expression override that? Especially keeping in mind that nearly every podcast app still provides a mechanism for you to bypass that list whenever you want, and any good podcast app allows you to search for a podcast across multiple preloaded sources at the same time?
The priors that come to mind when trying to answer this hypothetical is what happened to independent blogs when Google shuttered Google Reader and what happened to news companies when Facebook tweaked their algorithm to show less 3rd party content. In both cases, distribution was decentralized (blogs host their own RSS feeds and news sites host their own content), but attention was centralized (people accessed blogs through Google Reader and news through Facebook). In both cases, the decentralized distribution failed prevent a massive decrease in traffic to blogs and news sites. And that’s because competition for attention is fierce, so aggregating attention is hard.
Neither of those things are dead though (news is struggling with the adblocking apocalypse, but that's a different category of problem). I kind of get what you're saying, and I agree that Facebook and Google are powerful, and that we should look for ways to distribute that power more evenly.
But at the same time, to me those scenarios kind of look like distributed architectures doing the jobs they're supposed to. I mean, Google Reader's shutdown hurt bloggers less than Live Journal's did, right?
Another way of looking at it: think about what happened when Microsoft bought Github. A bunch of people panicked, but for the most part, it was fine - because Git repos are decentralized. And a bunch of people came out with hot takes that said, "Git's not really decentralized, because Github is the part that matters."
But... no, for the most part it's decentralized, and we saw the benefits of that architecture.
If you have a decentralized core you might interface with or feed off of a few centralized services, but you will be more resilient and better equipped to deal with their failures. You don't have to be perfect to reap most of those benefits.
If iTunes stopped distributing podcasts, that market would suffer. But I'd still be able to directly share episodes on Twitter and Reddit, and there are at least 2 other preloaded sources on my listening app that could be serving the same purpose within a day with zero change to the way I find new podcasts or download them. The big change for people like me would be that when searching, I would click the second button on a list of sources instead of the first one. It would definitely hurt the health of the network (mostly just for iPhone users), and you can make an argument that it would disproportionately hurt the health of the network, but it probably wouldn't kill it.
But suppose Apple or Google stopped distributing an app store. That market would instantly die, for basically everyone, and no one would be able to do anything to save it.
If iTunes suddenly stopped supporting podcasts (which they won't), then another popular public database will materialize.
The real debate here is what does centralization mean in the realm of content distribution? I mean people will always gravitate toward popular platforms that offer nice features like commenting, profiles, rating, etc. but that information is all secondary to the podcast protocol. If a single server hosting a single podcast's files goes down, the whole system does not stop working. Is that not decentralization?
Agree with other commenter. Finding shows is not hard, many apps will take feed links various ways and have catalogs.
Specifically, I'm thinking of how they all ask you to leave a rating on some centralized podcast aggregation service, usually iTunes. Many also specifically ask that you subscribe through iTunes. That's because rankings and ratings on iTunes are as essential to their monetization strategy as Nielsen ratings were to over-the-air TV.
And video podcast technology exists but is deeply underused (perhaps in part because people choose podcasts when their eyes are busy)
Suppose I want to use a podcast client app to watch what today is in my YouTube subscriptions. Why not just use YouTube? I'm not obligated to read the comments. There's also a pattern that goes: Post a video to YT, then post a link to reddit.com/r/mychannel (or an alternative, or on several alternatives) where users can watch the video as an embed and then engage in discussion under whatever commenting/moderation system I choose.
It's almost invisible, but the Apple Podcast app still seamlessly supports video podcasts, but it gets harder to find with every update.
With the popularity of that app, I wonder why Apple doesn't push it more to create a Youtube alternative. I know part of the answer -- you have to do your own encoding and hosting (I think, info is hard to find), but you'd think Apple could step in and offer those services.
About the only video podcasts I've seen that are recent are a couple churches and some weird local real estate services.
No, they aren’t. Of course anyone can put up a podcast, but the successful ones tend to cluster into podcast networks of like shows or join the big podcast groups like Nerdist, Wondery, or Earwolf. Or be a part of an established media company like NPR or Slate.
It’s easy to start a podcast but very hard to survive and expand alone.
Within a margin of error I'd imagine virtually all tech centric web content has at some point been sponsored by Audible (Amazon), Squarespace (private), Dollar Shave Club (Unilever), or rarely one of a few VPNs like Tunnelbear or Private Internet Access.
Organisms do find it easier to survive in groups, but the main point here is that even these groups like Nerdist, NPR, etc. would still have publicly available working podcast feeds if somehow iTunes stopped working tomorrow.
I agree. The current Youtube creators have built their models on advertisement, clicks, favorites, etc. etc. PeerTube will never be for them. There's simply no money in PeerTube right now.
That's fine however. There's a large section of creators, such as Blender, Education (think OpenCourseWare / MIT), Linux Conference publishers who will benefit from PeerTube.
In these cases, people don't want to make money. They want to publish videos and foster a community. Youtube is no longer compatible with the OSS values, due to advertisements, copyright takedowns and such. You never know when someone's ringtone happens to be a copyright violation which takes down a 60-minute talk about C++ or something stupid.
That's what I'm hoping for. Educational and instructional videos are my main use for YouTube, YT happens to be where they are hosted, I care very little about anything else related to the site so for me PeerTube could potentially be perfect for my use.
This looks game theoretically like it will produce a Tragedy of the Commons outcome, but there are plenty of streamers out there who rely on tips while allowing the majority of viewers to be "freeloaders".
Of course, the incentives for donating during a livestream are different from the incentive to donate to unlock a video, but the software/UI could display prominently who it was that contributed to unlocking a video, and who are the major financial supporters of the channel.
Imagine if Patreon supported the PeerTube protocol. There would be an ActivityPub publication in two steps: once for the backers, and a 2nd time (time-delayed) for everyone else.
Only Patreon would be able to offer that kind of integration however. Hmmm... I think I might have to browse Patreon's Web API to see if a 3rd party could extend things actually... https://docs.patreon.com/#introduction
Hmmm... a 3rd party workflow along the lines of OAuth (log into Patreon to see my video) -> Share the cookie with a custom PeerTube server -> serve video-based rewards based on OAuth / Patreon database. It seems theoretically possible.
You need a centralized discovery service (this is where Tor, I2P, Freenet, IPFS, etc. all fail). Centralized content hosting is different.
Hosting is perhaps harder to monetize and definitely more expensive.
For example, go to youtube.com and see how fast it loads the main landing page with 20+ suggested video thumbnails. On my computer, it loads in 1136 milliseconds. The same centralized-system's speed advantage happens for video search results such as "3d printing".
A decentralized system with DHT or other peer-2-peer scheme cannot match that speed. Think about trying to query dozens (or potentially thousands) of p2p nodes to return a page of video thumbnails. If you try to "solve" the slow performance by "caching" results, you still have to cache it on a server somewhere. That "cache server" is an example of feature-creep towards centralization.
People will put up with decentralized's inconveniences for illegal things like bittorrent pirated movies. For the vast majority of mainstream content, a centralized service is too attractive for billions of web users.
The difference between youtube and your DHT is that youtube doesn't need to do constant connection re-establishment. In a DHT -- especially one used for short-lived queries such as these -- the establishing of short connections can add a lot of overhead. This is a challenge mainly because of the protocol stocks in common usage on the network, not really a property of distributed systems in and of themselves.
For the poster I responded to, and the topic of this thread (Peertube), decentralized means WAN (wide area network) and not LAN (local area network).
(I noticed you substituted "decentralized" with "distributed" which muddies up the discussion. The poster asking the question and my response used "decentralized".)
>because of the protocol stocks[sic] in common usage on the network, not really a property of distributed systems in and of themselves.
The overhead of network latency and multiple round trips is absolutely a property of decentralized systems. It's technically impossible to invent a protocol that can query thousands of home-based nodes to return a result that's as fast as a centralized system such as Youtube.
For the purposes of this particular thread, the "distributed network" means something like PeerTube with home nodes over ISP networks. We're not talking about the "distributed network" of 10,000 computers within Google and Facebook datacenters.
[To downvoters, please point out the technical flaw or show a protocol stack that removes ISP latency and round trips that makes it equivalent network performance to Youtube as
Yeah, but it's possible to crawl and cache all metadata, everything except the actual video and audio, centrally, and search it from there. Sure, that means you can't find a video 5 seconds after it was uploaded, but for practical purposes, it's not hard to imagine a bunch of solutions that would be good enough, especially considering search isn't that great on YT to begin with.
Why can't I search among subscribed channels and filter and order by 20 criteria? Because search on YouTube isn't that good, it's not even trying to be, just like on Facebook for example. Being quick at doing something crummy is still kinda crummy.
That's a tiresome slippery slope argument. "Better not install that proxy server or soon everyone will host all of their content on it instead of on their own servers!"
ToR is decentralized, it has servers. Bitorrent is decentralized, it has servers. Etc etc.
It's possible that some things - like guarding against abuse - are sometimes difficult in distributed systems. But I'm sure these are mere matters of solvable technology...
Plenty of people are very interested in stemming abuse. So far, centralization is the most reliable way to accomplish it.
- they have greater capacity to add features
- they have more ability to have search and other discovery
Neither of these are inherent to a centralized service. All you need is a centralized website on top of a decentralized video host. Different websites can compete on features like search, while providing access to the same database of videos.
The fact that no one has succeeded yet is not proof that this is impossible. Moreover, this would be to ignore protocols like email and the web, which are decentralized, and which are very popular. Centralization has been preferred because we are in a period of very rapid change, where centralized services can pivot ten times before a decentralized service even gets started. People are beginning to realize the downsides of centralized services, change is starting to slow down, and decentralized services are now able to make headway.
- they have a monetization layer directly linked to their users' bank accounts.
At the end of the day people need to pay bills in order to produce content for a living. Without that, you can't compete. With that, and you're not decentralized.
If that was solved, lightweight applications like 1:1 messaging could easily be fully peer to peer/decentralized/trustless.
For spam, you can have centralized blocklists that people can subscribe to. The iOS version of whatever would need it anyway to follow the App Store guidelines. If you feel you're being censored, unsubscribe from the list. Alternatively (or in addition to that), have everyone publicly publish who they blocked, and then trust what your friends or friend of friends blocked.
Network wide search is a problem, yes, but for chat (which I really want to be decentralized :( ) it doesn't matter too much.
Monetization for content creators also doesn't matter for chat.
So maybe I should rephrase my initial comment: Lack of NAT/Firewall bypass is the largest (and maybe only) problem needed to be solved for decentralized chat.
Last week I encountered a similar concern in a project I am working on for UWP. I wasn't sure how to help the user open up the necessary ports. Then I discovered that one can submit in the UWP application manifest the port ranges that the app needs to function properly.
Whenever a user installs the app, the Windows Firewall tool opens a dialog asking if it should open the port ranges.
As someone who typically works in Unix derived environments, this was a delightful surprise.
This is neat, but there are also network level firewalls and NAT that people are usually behind :(
> How many attempts at decentralized social networks have failed? All of them.
When I've tried to build decentralized code, it's 10x harder.
IMO, the real problem with creating a decentralized replacement for a centralized service is multi-fold: You have to really understand the use case that you're trying to replace, and the nuances that drive the general public to that particular service. Then, things like search and quality control become much harder.
On top of that, "decentralized" isn't a feature that most people really care about, so your decentralized replacement has to have tangible improvements above and beyond the original service.
Remember: The web is decentralized, but we rely on a few search engines. Email is decentralized, but most of us get email from a few providers. The web and email had tangible improvements over AOL, Compuserve, ect.
The absence of censorship I think will prove to be tangible enough to make products like peertube successful.
decentralized youtube might be easier to get rolling, on the other hand. all it takes is sharing your videos through it instead of youtube. think about how most people found youtube -- someone linked them a video, statistically likely to be evolution of dance. no reason that can't be done with peertube.
Let's not defend the worse thing here.
the parent comment to my initial post said the absence of censorship, but anecdotally the kinds of people i've seen going to "censorship-free" alternative sites are the kinds i don't particularly care to associate with. voat.co being the "shining" example
I already addressed it.
Without censorship, decentralized products can thrive. And they currently are.
HN's response was "but they're not very big!!!1!"
Or did you think that magically goes away because it's centralized?
GS instances have ways to block content instance-wide. So spam and porn filters can catch items and prevent all users on the instance from seeing it.
I don't know if ActivityPub specifies things like that in the spec yet, but moderation is of course a huge factor in the success of the fediverse. Lots of work is devoted to it.
Incredibly, nobody needs to be censored. The offending poster can be reported to authorities and handled from there without ever having to tell a user what they can and cannot post.
"Incredibly, nobody needs to be censored. "
This is flat out not true. Kiddie porn and spam, for instance.
"The offending poster can be reported to authorities and handled from there without ever having to tell a user what they can and cannot post."
Except you're still telling people what not to post. The problem is that you're not allowing for a way to prevent that in the first place.
A lot of successful things have had similarities to previous failures. The first step is to actually try something new instead of sitting around nay-saying everything.
Personally my opinion Youtube can keep the the drama rage videos, or they can fall off the face of the internet. I just want educational videos and music without constant ads, and I don't want to create some entity with absolute power to censor content for the rest of the internet.
Decentralized can certainly fail, or at least shrink over time.
That’s still infinitely more successful than decentralized social network attempts.
The end user doesn't care about the underlying technology, as long as it works.
Ideally you wouldn't decentralize the UI/UX, but the cloud server architecture it runs on. You could still maintain the same centrally accessible experience.
That's the thing people need to understand, the frontend (UI) can be seperated and decoupled from the backend. Where the servers that power those sites are plugins installed on peoples home routers or personal assistants. They scale in performance with each added user and installed plugin.
I guess there's still one advantage in that scenario: somebody can build a competing recommendation service while using the same underlying videos.
Accessing your own node, the one your neighborhood or the next available one shouldn't be slower, the contrary I suppose.
Key seems to be to store the information or index on all nodes and syncing them.
Granted this a both a technical problem (that I believe solvable) and a financing problem. It is hard to compete with the GAFAM and their advertising departments.
This seems like a very, very premature assessment. Come back in 50 years and see if this is still true.
Well, it’s not a failure, but it’s not far from abandon.
Quoting from Wikipedia :
"AOL discontinued Usenet access in 2005. In May 2010, Duke University, whose implementation had kicked off Usenet more than 30 years earlier, decommissioned its Usenet server, citing low usage and rising costs. After 32 years, the Usenet news service link at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (news.unc.edu) was retired on February 4, 2011."
I understand it more as decentralized hosting since it's P2P.
Now, peertube does state something about 'instances', so that might separate content from one accessable website. I don't know.
YouTube's big point initially was video hosting was expensive and YouTube made it cheap (for creators).
It is also is a centralized community so you can find a video on virtually any subject just from the search on the homepage. If peertube is able to do this in a similar fashion would aid it's potential adoption (though again, I don't know if instances hinder that).
PeerTube still needs to be build a user base, attract users and creators from YouTube. Getting creators to use both platforms would help.
Lastly though, since it's P2P I don't know if that means only popular videos would then load at a comparable speed YouTube or not.
The idea of ActivityPub is to have a federated group of servers. Similar to XMPP and Email.
So you can create an account as Alice@serverAlpha.com, while I can create an account as Bob@serverB.com. When I publish a video at serverB.com, it will notify serverAlpha.com that a new video was published, which eventually tells Alice to check out the new video.
This is all new to me, so I don't know how it works. However, this does resolve my concern about 'instances'.
It makes me excited and hopeful then that Peertube could become something pretty great.
On a surface level, it should. But given what I've seen over the past 15 years, no... it shouldn't resolve those concerns.
Consider if Google / Youtube became PeerTube compatible with ActivityPub next year. But then, there are additional features that only exist on Youtube's implementation (spam monitoring, Twitter integration, Youtube integration, etc. etc.). Something that makes people prefer Youtube over other hosts.
Eventually, Youtube can cut out ActivityPub, after it captures the ActivityPub marketplace.
See XMPP and Google Hangouts if you want a historical example. Embrace, Extend, extinguish is the name of the technique, and it is quite effective at killing open standards.
So the general community does need to be aware of it, lest another XMPP-extinguish effect comes around from the big players.
The larger of a content creator I am, the more I want to control distribution.
Having my content on a site with someone else's rules sucks, because I am at their mercy.
For example, with Disney owning Hulu, they can tell Google to go F-off, and never worry about their content being accidentally censored, deleted, etc.
For a smaller content producer, the value might even be more significant, even if the dollars are less.
For instance, let’s say I’m a comedian and have a thousand loyal followers. Why couldn’t I just pay $20/month for a PeerTube hosting service with my own brand. Then I can just tweet out the links.
Why would I need YouTube?
As another example, let’s say I’m a white supremacist, and I have a hundred followers. I can email a link out to them and never worry about censorship by YouTube.
So demand can be small, and it still works. In fact, since I now have more control over the experience, it can be much more tailored than youtube.
Looks like you never heard of Mastodon. It's thriving.
Where do you draw the line? Social networks are already decentralized, so creators have to crosspost to reach their audience on all platforms. Seems to be working, at least for some.
Practically every social network has failed in some way or another , decentralised or not. Very few of them have failed due to the tech though - tech seems to be the easy part in comparison to building a large enough audience to keep the network active.
A few weeks ago Blender was having issues with YouTube trying to twist their arm. They would do fine an another network as long as it’s reasonably easy to use.
PeerTube is to YouTube what Mastodon is to Facebook/Twitter. Could you explain how exactly -in your opinion- Mastodon has failed?
Anticipating some downvotes here because I mentioned cryptocurrencies.
Decentralized platforms will force these content creators to market their own platform.
If they do a good enough job at that (which I doubt, compared to Google) then they may stand a chance to reach "viral momentum."
Sure they do. Until their content gets nuked, with no recourse.
Cites are centralized services. Communities can actually thrive outside of cities.
PeerTube seems to be aiming to provide exactly those things.
This is why we have to keep trying :)
Am I wrong, or does this list videos across instances? As long as there is one search interface for many instances, and only one account needed to follow whatever instance they are on, what more centralization do you need?
I remember when Google Video still existed, and I wanted to try it out. I don't really make video, but I had random boring clips made with my digicam, and I uploaded one where slowly dropped a sugar cube into a cup of steaming, red fruit tea (the cube it absorbed the tea and fell apart). Just because in those days, signing up for free things and trying them out was something I liked to do.
Then I forgot about the video, and after a while I got an email saying it got removed because it violated the terms. Maybe they thought it was blood, heh. At any rate, I don't even make videos and I already know 100% that I don't want centralized hosting, to be at the mercy of some faceless entity that might click the wrong button and then be difficult about it. It was funny in my case, but it could have been something important or something that required a lot of effort.
> Make a rage video about how your normal video got demonized, get a million views.
Yeah, which means people actually do care more than you think. Those videos would also get more views on decentralized hosting, compared to bland ones. It doesn't mean people actually secretly enjoy being mistreated because talking about that gives them views.
And when they complain about demonetization, I'm not sure how decentralized services are supposed to help there, because I've not seen much in how decentralized services are supposed to help monetize videos. I'm pretty sure they're not going to be serving ads.
1) hosting, content delivery, authentication and access control, styling and UI, etc.
2) discoverability, which requires things like a search engine, recommendation engine, a community/social network, links, etc.
3) some degree of independence, and the freedom to decide what content to show, what content to monetize, etc. free from whatever agenda/motives a company like YouTube/Alphabet might have.
One way to look at it is that PeerTube starts to make (1) a lot more accessible without something like YouTube. (2) is where YouTube shines, but is possible via existing structures in the Internet if you're just using PeerTube (plus PeerTube has some sort of federation, though I haven't looked into it much). (3) is where PeerTube shines.
There doesn't have to be one answer for the entire market. YouTube is probably better for smaller creators looking to build their audience and be discovered, but once you reach a sufficient size, and don't need to rely on the YouTube recommendation engine for people to find you, something that offers greater independence and self-determination would seem desirable. Of course, I'm only talking about tendencies, a very small content creator may have a strong desire for independence, and a a very large content creator may be perfectly fine coloring inside whatever lines YouTube draws.
You could definitely build a recommendation system on top of PeerTube, but content creators will be just as beholden to the peertube discovery algorithm, and the assumptions and preferences it is built on, as YouTube's content creators are to the preferences and assumptions of the YouTube algorithm.
Red flag: both their concept as well as name have YT's brand name in it. The equivalent of calling your company "Uber for X". I'm all for decentralization where it makes sense - but this seems like they might be shooting themselves in the foot everywhere EXCEPT the tech (which, ultimately won't matter if they fail).
From the article: "Online since March 2018 in a beta version, the project should definitely take off by October, based on the money raised."
Beta + $60k + 6 more months time = Success? Against a practical content monopoly.
As a guy currently doing the start-up dance - this kind of optimistic naivety almost offends me.
No it doesn't. It might just mean that enough people found it "neat" or interesting, but nobody should mistake a HN frontpage spot for "tremendous demand". It might also just mean that they used the right hype buzzwords at the right time.
If PeerTube is successful YouTube will most likely still exist and be dominant.
Anyone whose ISP/firewall/etc blocks all Torrent traffic is going to have a major challenge - which means that while part of what PeerTube has been so far is educational videos, they're not accessible in most school environments. That's a big challenge to overcome.
The other is pretty simple, and a reason I have not used PeerTube to watch a single video. If you're using my machine and my bandwidth to host or transfer your video to another person, you're going to pay me for it - upfront and at a rate I agree to. You're slowing down my connection and your website is causing me send data to someone I do not know. You're going to be liable for anything malicious that gets sent back; and if you're MitM'ing it to scan it properly, why are you wasting my bandwidth and storage?
That's a bit ridiculous. No one is ever gonna pay you for that. You get something for free, the video you want to watch, and the deal here is that your unused upload bandwidth gets used to help transfer it to others. It's a social contract thing, and thinking you might get a better deal magically by refusing it won't make that deal appear.
> You're slowing down my connection
In which way? It is using your upload while you download a video. That does not harm you.
> causing me send data to someone I do not know
You never seeded a torrent? You never connected to an internet site you did not know the owner of? It's pretty much the same thing.
> You're going to be liable for anything malicious that gets sent back
Who is the you here? A Peertube instance won't be liable for malicious data, how would that even work anyway. Even if it were possible: The websites spreading malware with their ads were not liable either. This won't happen.
> if you're MitM'ing it to scan it properly, why are you wasting my bandwidth and storage?
Right, that would be a bad idea.
I mean, actually he trivially could get that deal by modifying the client a bit - but as long as the majority of people don't go out of their way to do that it doesn't really matter if there are leechers.
As long as there are a handful of people like myself who have big pipes and rarely use them to their fullest, who seed public torrents to 200x because why the hell not, you're not going to have a serious issue.
Honestly, if PeerTube wants to catch on, all it has to do is be easy to use and full of pirated content.
An outbound connection is one of the very first things that happens when requesting anything over a network. Not to mention if you're doing any video chatting or gaming.
There is a p2p network that does exactly that using cryptocurrency tokens. https://substratum.net/
Are you sure? PeerTube uses the WebTorrent protocol, which operates over WebRTC and consequently doesn't look like most torrent traffic. And the player can fall back to a plain HTTP download from the host server.
WebRTC is over port 5004, which is common for telecommunications like VOIP providers. VOIP isn't as common as port 80 (www), but I'd imagine that there's a good risk of outrage if ISPs start blocking the VOIP port.
> You're slowing down my connection and your website is causing me send data to someone I do not know.
This is a legitimate concern IMO. So the PeerTube federation needs to be clear and allow users to opt-out (or even opt-out default / opt-in for benefits) to stay on the moral high ground.
As far as I know, there's no plan to monetize videos over PeerTube, that pretty much remove that possibility then.
> that you can at least complain about your stolen copyright
Torrent exist, PeerTube won't create much more possibility to stole content. Considering it's free content too, there's not much incentive to get it anywhere else than it's original source.
This article suggests that it already does have monetization support.
Complete copyright control is something content creators (and humanity) will just have to get over. Donation/patronage-based models are simply the future of intellectual property compensation.
I fear this may be true. The war was lost the moment it became effortless and free for anyone to make a copy of content by digitizing it. We're that last unit wandering in the wilderness still fighting because we haven't figured out its over.
Fanmade music Video's i watched two weeks ago are taken down and gone from the internet. There's a real cultural loss with that, the culmination of human creativity snuffed over servitude to corporations who blanket flag content because they can.
The web is decentralized, and I think something so critical to our records as a species should not be under the control of any one corporate entity.
But Politics and Porn? These taboo subjects will be hard to deal with in a federated environment.
If your server builds a reputation as being a nanny state, your users will often exodus and go to another site.
As such, the status-quo eventually creates the loosest set of rules. See 4chan, Reddit, and other social networks. The fewer the rules, the bigger the userbase. Any effort to tamp down based on moral concerns leads to huge controversies (ie: /r/Jailbait, /r/TheFappening, and other controversial reddits)
It takes an extraordinary amount of effort to clamp down on a taboo subject. The "free speech" advocates are incredibly strong. Even "obviously wrong" subreddits like /r/CreepShots took an absurd amount of Drama before things got resolved.