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Co-Founder of Youtube makes his first comment in 8 years (youtube.com)
520 points by rl12345 on Nov 8, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 259 comments

The longer I use youtube while signed in, the more useless it becomes to me. I have a wide range of interests. If I'm watching the Dead Skeletons - Dead Mantra music video, it's not helpful to have 5 Starcraft 2 VODs in the recommended video list (i.e. I enjoy watching professional Starcraft 2). I'd much prefer recommendations similar to the Dead Skeletons. I've found no way to turn off this recommendation bubble and have since decided youtube is best used without an account if you want to actually explore its content.

It's really goddamned frustrating and just shows how hollow google is as a company.

They have search and ads, and an utter inability to actually build anything else or connect with a customer base. For a company this is like having cancer. It's astounding that they can ignore the situation to such a degree.

Youtube is already an amazing force in the world, and that's with google half-assing so much of it. With enough work it could be a multi-billion dollar business and the next generation of media. Instead it'll probably take years while individuals and 3rd parties figure out ways to do what google fails to do (make content more explorable and discoverable, for one, make paid revenue models possible, for another) for them to catch on and build the functionality into youtube directly.

Meanwhile, instead of building improvements they're paying this stupid google plus strategy tax.

Google is chasing facebook when they should be chasing HBO, and amazon, and the discovery channel. It's like they live in a giant mansion with a huge lawn where a bunch of super talented people have been camping out for a while, trying to figure out how to make the next generation of video work. And everyday google gets out of bed, looks out over that scene, grunts, scratches its ass, thinks maybe they should just call the cops to get rid of the hooligans, then goes off to watch Judge Judy.

"Google is chasing facebook when they should be chasing HBO, and amazon, and the discovery channel. It's like they live in a giant mansion with a huge lawn where a bunch of super talented people have been camping out for a while, trying to figure out how to make the next generation of video work. And everyday google gets out of bed, looks out over that scene, grunts, scratches its ass, thinks maybe they should just call the cops to get rid of the hooligans, then goes off to watch Judge Judy."

I really like the way you put that.

This is a result of perhaps super success at an early age (the founders), not enough hunger (to much money), hiring what you think are the best and the brightest (surprise - all those tests don't really work as our high achievers who designed them thought they would) and not recognizing the role of luck in your previous success. Used to be known in the past as becoming "fat and lazy" - I think that was the saying.

I had typed up something similar already but abandoned the post.

But that's pretty much exactly it. Google managed to build something early on that is difficult to compete with, and now they are resting on it. The company revenues are split up into 3 parts: search/ads, backbone internet, and "other". Where "other" is a tiny fraction of the whole that is almost inconsequential to their profit margin.

It's a "problem" that a lot of companies have where they are in a position where revenue is actually too easy. That may seem like a blessing but it has many downsides and typically chokes growth potential. The consequences for failure at a functional company are usually pretty significant. If SpaceX builds a rocket that doesn't work or if Toyota builds a car that absolutely nobody wants that hurts the bottom line. And it drives the company to do better. But at google what are the consequences? If someone at google makes an unprofitable product, well, that's the norm. It just gets tossed in the "other" bin with everything else and everyone laughs and goes back to their free lunches and complementary massages.

It's a romper room filled with nerf toys. And many folks at google are seemingly content to luxuriate in that environment. Why would anyone at google willingly push themselves out into the cold, unforgiving, and desolate world of real-world business where actions have serious consequences when they can just futz around in the "other" play room, slap ads on their "products" and call it a day?

Google has no drive to make youtube the best it can be. And the same goes for gdocs, gmail, app engine, or any other thing they make.

I've always had this theory that a company that operates as you say with the examples of SpaceX or Toyota, one that life is never easy for (that can't rest on their laurels) really operates in a way that is much more motivating.

Another example would be the entertainment industry. Or I guess advertising industry or sports team...

Creative or highly competitive. Because you can't hit it so big that the losses don't matter. You are only as good as your last hit film, tv show, or game win.

Google has this tremendous cash cow.

Warren Buffett has plenty of cash. But for him the game is taking that cash and trying to get more cash. (And of course keeping up the image of being Warren Buffett drives him as well). And he has competition for his investment dollars as well.

The interesting thing is that google started out as such a company. Search was a very different business in the '90s. Google came in with their revolutionary way of doing IT/datacenters, their hard-CS centered coding, and their excellent search algorithms and they wiped the floor with everyone. They pioneered a new business model with usable search that was fast and low cost, making it more easily directly monetizable (instead of having to draw in more page views through "portals" and whatnot).

But then they succeeded so quickly that they haven't had that same level of hunger to actually do something risky that needed to succeed. Today google is just as likely to shut down an old project than to launch something new.

But look, we're building this awesome boat in SF Bay from scraped container parts! How cool is that??!?

I totally agree with you on this. It is mind boggling.

We are resorting to working on a platform for video discovery and monetization, since we just got disgusted as both content creators on YouTube and also as consumers (and found so many other people have the same disgust).

This is the thing that bothers/scares me the most about this balkanization of the internet that's happening. You end up getting forced into bubbles that someone else has decided you belong in. And if you don't know it's happening, you can't even try to stop it. For me, I have not found utility in the things that have been selected for me, so most of these services are becoming useless. All those "smartest guys in the room" at places like Facebook and Google and Wherever are really fucking up if their goal was to direct me to things I like and might pay money for.

The crazy/frustrating part to me is that this takes place "even when you're not signed into an account".

Share and Enjoy

> You end up getting forced into bubbles that someone else has decided you belong in.

You are not forced into anything, if you don't want to be put into "bubbles" use other services.

Not that black and white and you know it. These services are obiqutous. It's sometimes impossible to ignore them and they do in fact provide a great experience (the best really) in many ways. That doesn't mean they don't have faults and it doesn't mean people who use these services should simply ignore said faults or move away from them completely.

"You are not forced into anything"

Pretty sure that's incorrect. If I want to rate an app I purchased on Google Play with my Google account, with my Google smartphone, I need to post that review to Google+ even if I don't use or have a Google+ profile. That is lame, because I am forced to create a profile and use Google+ (in addition to having a basic Google account where my credit card and email are) just to submit a feedback score to the developer of the app.

Google forces its way between the task I'm undertaking - leaving a rating, and their Buzz 2.0 product which has nothing to do with me leaving a rating on an app I have paid money for.

Google can force whatever it likes on users as defaults, and I won't care one bit if they just allow options for users to change those default settings. Eg "don't use Google+", "don't hide editable subject field in the compose new message gmail window".

Well, then you're put in the bubble of people who don't use the offending service.

And ... this may be news to you, but every once in a while a large bubbling company may actually buy some upstart service where their own attempts at NIH entry into a niche fail.

You know, like Google buying YouTube in the first place.


I was wondering if it was possible to be accountless on Youtube while logged in in Gmail, in the same browser, or if one needed to use two browsers.

It turns out, blocking all cookies for youtube.com and www.youtube.com does the trick!!

And it also solves the very annoying name change prompt that blocks every other video when logged in.

This is what I use porn mode (aka incognito mode) for.

Yes, but incognito mode doesn't set itself up automatically when clicking on a link in an email, for example, whereas with the cookie-blocking solution, it's always on.

Right click > Open link in incognito window

echo "alias 'chromium'='chromium --incognito'" >> ~/.bash_aliases

I've switched back to manually select the websites that are allowed to use cookies. It's actually little effort and it feels good.

I Agree. I miss the time when I could control what I search and find anything in any part of the world in any language.

Now they believe that because I live in Spain I have to speak Spanish, or be interested first in Spanish stupid things, or be only interested on the topics I searched in the past.

Now while using gmail I search with Bing, so it does not mess anything.

Came here to second that. I live in Austria. Google pretends that all I am interesteed in has to be in the German language, somewhere nearby where I live and all sort of assumptions. Recently the Internet has become a small world for me.

Going to google.com helps somewhat

http://www.google.com/ncr (no country redirect). Gets saved in a cookie. No more local search. That's in case you get redirected to google.at or the like.

Thanks for this. I used to visit Canada a lot and if I ever used my laptop up there I'd have to contend with all my default search settings being switched to google.ca for a while.

doesn't help with google not providing relevant search results anymore, and usually half the first page of results isn't even for the keywords I searched.

it used to be 10 pages of relevant results.

Filter bubble.

Use DDG: http://dontbubble.us/

I can't agree with this enough. The same goes for targeted advertising. I already know what other things I like, show me stuff I'm looking for now.

It always make me laugh seeing ads for something I already bought couple of days ago.

After having deleted everything from my old non-Google account, I decided to stop using YouTube logged in. Everything is so much better, the only thing I hate is how I can't give likes to videos. Everything else is okay, brings back the exploration aspect that made YouTube fun.

Have you tried the "feather" beta? No comments, no ads, five seemingly relevant suggestions.

Now I'm listening to Spindrift, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Rebel Drones, BRMC, Money...

A few weeks ago, YouTube started automatically signing me into my Google+ account (which I was forced into getting) rather than my YouTube account -- which has years of favorites and other content. I'm getting sick of it. I only signed up to Google+ because my friend wanted to use Hangouts. Now it's screwed up my YouTube channel and I can't revert it.

The only reason I post on YouTube is to share small clips with people (all my videos are unlisted). Vimeo takes ~40 minutes to encode, whereas YouTube is a lot faster meaning it's far more convenient.

Checking out my Google account, it seems I have Chrome on here. I'm outraged as I never signed in with Google on Chrome. I always clicked "Not Now". What does "Not Now" even mean? Where's the "Never" option?

This is why I hate Google. I probably made the mistake of signing into my YouTube account on Chrome which has been infected with Google+ and that leaked through to Chrome. Apparently that means my bookmarks can be stored without my permission.

The best way is to deal with this issue is to delete my Google Account. Unfortunately, that's very problematic and I've been spending the last few months trying to move to other services. I'm slowly migrating my mail (admittedly to Google Apps but I'll be switching to a different provider soon), once I'm done I'll nuke the account.

That's along with Google Docs/Drive. BitTorrent Sync actually works very well as an alternative.

I can't wait till I get to hit delete on this account. Good fucking riddance.

Yeah, they keep insisting on logging me into google+. I keep declining but I somehow ended up with an account. I detest forced integration and such. I enjoy the free email but I'm thinking of switching to Opera's email spin-off.

Rather pay and know what I'm getting than not pay and not know.

I had to keep on telling YouTube "no" for a long time that I didn't want to flip my YouTube account into a Google account, and then demanded I explain why.

It's gotten better recently. On my first connect to YouTube after signing in, it asks if I want to use my YouTube account or my Google account, and then it never asks again as long as my Google session doesn't time out.

At least for me, clicking on my icon at the top right and choosing 'Switch account' allows me to choose my Youtube identity. Just in case others are having this issue.

Not sure I really believe your Chrome story, but I'm not really going to argue about it either.

I only use Chrome for testing and when asked if I'd like to sign in, I always hit no. Somehow 14 bookmarks made their way to my account. I've disabled sync now.

You can revert the change. In the settings menu.

Correct. I had this issue a few weeks ago, and managed to undo this in settings.

I completely avoided myspace, facebook, and twitter, only to be bitten by google. I started out just using gmail, then Picasa came along. Google didn't really have social overtones at the time, so it seemed safe. Then google music seemed interesting for awhile... and along came G+ to invade everything. So far I've managed to backup and delete everything except for the gmail account. From now on, I'll host and/or build my own apps.

I've pretty much given up. Google has deleted my playlists and favorites countless times. Every time they try to integrate YouTube with one of their services/account management, I end up losing everything.

My only consolation is that Google+ is accumulating a lot of vitriol and hate across the web. It's shaping up to be the most hated "social" product in the entire Internet.

> My only consolation is that Google+ is accumulating a lot of vitriol and hate across the web. It's shaping up to be the most hated "social" product in the entire Internet.

Maybe a little offtopic: I have multiple GMail accounts that I use. Now (since maybe 2 weeks?) after logging out and trying to log in with a different acc I get a 'account chooser' dialog where I can only select accounts I have linked to my person. To get the 'enter email / password' prompt I have to turn on private browsing or delete all cookies.

Maybe someone from Google reads this: Please add a small link (or a different easy to access way) to completely log out. There are accounts that I don't want to link together. (Hint: Google Apps for Business)

Yeah that's frustrating. I worked around it by using Chrome profiles. I have a personal profile and a work profile and they are each logged into the respective accounts. In truth, I actually really like it and would continue to do so even if Google fixed that PITA linking thing.

I've never had this happen and I've had a YouTube account for a while. This honestly sounds like a bug of some sort. Have you found other people experiencing this?

Yep, totally happened to me. Lost 100+ subscriptions. Had to find and re-add everything I follow by hand.

Also, had a fun bug recently with the G+ Page/Profile bullshit where I deleted my Youtube Channel account so it would stop asking about G+ integration at the cost of no longer being able to post videos or comments. (However, jokes on me, as they just forcibly integrated my G+ with Youtube ONE WEEK after I explicitly deleted my Channel account to prevent exactly that from happening. Thanks, Google.) It didn't erase all of my subscriptions, but it made them all nonfunctional. My feed was completely empty despite the channels having many new videos, so I had to drop and re-add all of my subs to fix the feed.

I take solace in the fact that this most recent forced integration and re-purposing of G+ posts has been an unmitigated disaster.

It's very entertaining to see videos a few years old just FULL of G+ Posts, not Youtube Comments, from people who don't even realize those posts were public years ago. And now they're getting tons of attention of G+ posts through the Youtube website from mean and vicious Youtube commenters.

It's basically the exact opposite of what Google used to stand for online, with regards to privacy, safety and respect for users.

Yes, there has always been people complaining in forums. I've seen steps to recover some of the lost stuff, but I no longer bother. My original account predates the Google acquisition and I lost everything when they made the username -> Google Account transition years ago.

Probably my fault because I always decline these things until Google forces the integration upon us anyway.

This same exact thing happened to me as well (same scenario, kept declining until I woke up to find that google merged my accounts without me accepting) last week. Although I magically got my lists back after a few days, it still pisses me off that google forced the transition on me.

They did not really. You can still go back by thumbnail>switch accounts.

Could be a bug that was fixed but that was the first thing I tried and it didn't work. Even now I get buggy behavior with things like preferences. I set as many things to private as possible after the merge in addition to my language (don't live in the US). Yet I occasionally get popups asking if I want a new subscription to be shared publically or made private. And I get told that my lang has been set to English for me even though I live in Japan which I'm well aware of cause I set it myself already.

Amateurs :)

Myself, having already been thru a Google domain account merge fiasco, when confronted with the gaccount merge at YouTube just created a new useless account.

you can keep saying no. they keep pleading for me to use my "real" name and I keep switching it back to my artist name.

its amazing that they host video by artists and yet do not allow the artists to use their artist names. all in the name of stamping out comment wars.

I had a good discussion somewhere here about names in relation to medical records. What it boiled down to was that one can never assume that someone has a name that stays the same, is of any set length, has any set format, and restriction on length, number of words, capitalisation etc. These facts cause havoc in unprepared systems (read as every system I have ever used). The fact that Google tries to pin this problem down is laughable - but I guess they have as good or better chance than anyone else at getting it right. <glares at GE, Philips, Kodak, Intellirad>

You can make a Google+ page with any name you want. If you have a brand that is not your actual name, you can manage it as a page.

I was hesitant to share this video[1] on HN, but I came upon this in my research when the same thing happened to me.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccxiwu4MaJs

Edit: NSFW- language/curse words.

Same here, I declined and got "virtually killed", no more playlist etc. Another short story. helped someone unknown become really famous. Got a DMCA takedown notice on all my videos, that's the "thank you". The best part is that the file I uploaded had no license, nothing. As said that artist was completely unknown. I thought about fighting back, then just said.. f* off.. I'll wipe and shut this account down. Not worth it.. She had barely 100visitors or less in total for years, had to delete her vids with some hundred million visits..

If it has no license, that means it's copyrighted. Everything is copyrighted by default.

For completeness sake, you should probably have posted her followup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQSaGfsWamw

Turns out she was completely wrong about having lost her data, the UI was just confusing in such a way that she thought she had. Don't get me wrong, that kind of confusing UI is very much Google's Problem, but "confusing UI" and "lost all my videos" are _very_ different in magnitude.

Thanks for sharing that. Pretty stark example of how Google is screwing up YouTube.

Yep, YouTube accounts are used in the apps shipped with smart TVs. Move to Google+ made it pretty much impossible to populate the playlists in a computer/phone to watch it later on a Vizio TV app. The app doesn't accept Google+ logins, and the data under YouTube login (playlists, subscriptions, watch it later) has been wiped out.

Never happened to me either, but I don't have a G+ account with the Google account I use for YouTube and have said "no" every time they have suggested I change to a real name or when they suggested some other change.

Most people seem to hit trouble when they have a G+ account or have accepted any of the changes that Google suggests. Which is really lousy user experience and Google should really know better.

So far, keeping out of G+ has kept things usable for me on Google. I am heavily dependent on Gmail, consume a lot of content on YouTube and use Keep extensively. There is a different G+ account that I use for Hangouts for work.

But I don't see things getting better from hereon. In fact, I fully expect Google to mess this up even more and I am saying that as a fan of the company. That's the day I'll pack up and leave. It has been a good 10-year run, and all good things have to come to an end someday!

"The most hated social product in the entire Internet" is a pretty big claim. I personally have never had a single problem with G+, though I've had plenty of issues with Facebook.

My YouTube and G+ accounts merged just fine, and I've never lost a playlist, favorite, submission, comment, or anything else.

I'll add to the claim, but note that I dislike Facebook and LinkedIn more. I don't use G+ or Facebook. Way too many services try to force you to login via Facebook and make username/password login hard to find and use. This isn't Facebook's fault, however I'm sure that they like this and encourage it. LinkedIn is a mega spammer and earns runner up spot in the dislike charts from me for this. The pressure to use G+ comes from Google alone in my experience, so it's predictable when the messages will come, so they only make 3rd spot.

I like G+, nobody told me that I had to jump on the hate bandwagon

I hate Google+, I'm sending back my Nexus 5, it's useless without Google+.

What are the issues? I've been considering getting a Nexus 5, but I don't use any Google services (perhaps besides the Google Play store). Will it be a brick?

I don't understand, why would it be a brick? Using an Android without Google's services is totally fine. For each Google service or app, there are plenty of alternatives available.

The only pain point you can have is if you refuse to use Google Play for installing apps. Well, Android allows you to install apps from third-party app stores or websites (e.g. Amazon's App Store), but most devs are on Google Play.

I'm a heavy Google services user, however I'm using lately K-9 Mail instead of the GMail client, because K-9 does encryption. I'm also using OsmAnd+ in addition to Google's Maps. I don't even have Google+ installed (though I do have a Google+ enabled account).

oh yeah kdot, please tell us about it. I was also going to buy my first smartphone and thought it should be a nexus, because google updates them more often and I could more easily find hacked firmware.

I honestly do not know what Nexus 5 feature or functionality wouldn't work without a Google+ account, and that's from someone that bought the phone on release day.

Can you send SMS without logging into Google+?

I've read reviews saying that SMS has been integrated into Hangouts.

Of course you can. Hangouts shows your Google contacts if you have any, otherwise it's just a text messaging app like any other.

And if you don't like the Hangouts app for some reason, you can easily replace it with one of the many SMS apps out there.

Can you explain? I've been able to use my Nexus 5 without directly interacting w/ Google+ at all.

The only place I could think of where the integration is jarring is the photo uploading feature, but I've simply told Dropbox to do it instead.

What can't you do without Google+?

If you bought an expensive smartphone-cum-tablet just for that one app, then you might want to reconsider your purchase decision making process!

I think you misunderstood. They didn't buy it _for_ Google+, they're suggesting that without a Google+ account the experience on a Nexus 5 is so bad that they wish they hadn't bought it.

Is this not the case with all three big players in the smartphone market? I don't have an iphone but my ipod sure seems useless without an account with Apple. It's the same account I use for itunes, apps on my macbook pro, and their developer network. I presume MSFT has a similar situation with a live account. People are just upset because their Google account happens to have some social features to it. I've personally never seen anything force me to post anything on G+, it just sort of comes with my gmail account. It's completely non-intrusive. The fact that it's associated with a social network I don't use is inconsequential. It's also associated with their news and finance products which I don't use. The only nuisance that has ever come up is when some app wants to authenticate with google it wants to know all about my circles or whatever. This is pretty much the exact same behavior as what comes with facebook authentication except with G+ circles I can tell it not to share all my circles.

> People are just upset because their Google account happens to have some social features to it.

And that isn't worrying to you? People can add you to their G+ circles and there's no way to stay hidden. So Google gets to collect all the information about people you associate with in order to sell your personal info better (to the NSA, among others)

If it worried me particularly I'd simply not have a Google device. If a distrust in a G+ account was enough to put me off then letting their code handle my phone and tablet in general would be a no-no for me too.

I'm under no illusions that there is much I can do to stop Google tracking me, occasionally pushing stuff at me addverts and so forth), and trying to "lock me in" where possible, as I use my stock Android devices. I'm sure both MS and Apple either d the same sort of thing or will as soon as opportunity presents itself.

I'm not saying it is right of course, just that if it is a particular problem for you then it should inform your decisions before buying a device. Also I suspect buying and returning devices as a form of protest is not seen the same on relevant internal reports, and is likely to inconvenience your retailer more than the manufacturer, so if you wish to protest the behaviour you will find simply not buying to be more effective.

No, people could always have said things about me and I'd have no way of stopping them.

I also had my playlists and favorites deleted during a Youtube/Google merge. Quite annoying. I should have used backups.

These days, you need a Google+ account to back it up. As I don't have one, I'm pretty boned ...

Gotta love that lock-in.

I lost my entire YouTube account that I had for three years and got it replaced with a Google+ account. No favorites, likes are gone, playlists have been removed, and my videos are now on a separate channel that's linked to my Gmail. So when somebody searches my username, they won't be able to find anything.

Seriously, Google, if you're going to make shitty changes to the second-largest website in the world, at the least make sure user data is preserved.

My account just disappeared one day, I was getting some error page that I am not eligible to make an account, didn't even do anything just watched videos. Everything is gone and now I am tied to G+. I don't like Google anymore but I never cared for their products to begin with. Gmail is the only thing I use, maybe its time for me to find something else.

Forgetting Buzz?

Things have to be known before they can be hated.

No. Things can be hated if someone is forcing to know them.

Buzz didn't keep hassling me when I was trying to use youtube.

I loved Buzz

Buzz was actually a nice bare-minimum functionality of social networking - lite Twitter. Plus is Google trying to consolidate some monstrosity of everythign Google Social into one space.

Buzz was fine, if ugly. The only real problem with Buzz was how they leaked private GMail information.

I made playr.me. Make your playlists, rearrange them, bookmark them, share them. Haven't worked on it for a few months mostly because I'm happy with what it does... although I will fix a few minor bugs and add a couple of features soon.

I'm using http://musicplayr.com for playlists and favorites and it works really well even across YT, Soundcloud and some others

Because YouTube comments were completely useless, and now the company is trying to make them useful / interesting.

If I go to a viral video, and I see comments on it from people I actually KNOW, I personally think that would be really cool. That was completely impossible, the old way.

"If I go to a viral video, and I see comments on it from people I actually KNOW, I personally think that would be really cool. That was completely impossible, the old way."

I keep seeing companies pushing this idea on us, but I just don't get it. The math doesn't work. There are umpty millions of pieces of "content" that might be reviewed. I have at most a few hundred actual friends. (I imagine those who push beyond that have also pushed well beyond the intimacy frontier where they really care what you think about YouTube Video #283572738.) The median number of reviews that a given friend is likely to generate in a sufficiently formal manner that Google can figure it out is zero.

If you live in some sort of bizarre homogenous bubble where all your friends are just like you and have effectively the same tastes, and a lot of your friends insist on reviewing every last Youtube video they see, and yet, have some sort of diversity of opinion that you might actually care about, this might work.

But even stereotypical college students don't live like this. Maybe frat houses, but even then, you've got family circles, other non-frat friends, etc, and I doubt your frat brothers are going to be sitting there churning out enough reviews on things that you all care about that seeing a review from someone you "know" is going to be anything other than an exceptional occurrence, and a review you care about even less so. ("Yes, my frat brothers love the latest Call of Duty. I could tell that by the way we all played it for 14 hours straight last night. I did not need Google+ to tell me that.")

(If they did sit there and review everything, it would just turn into a backchannel for chat anyhow... "This beer is awesome, just ask John about last night... here's a link to some photos that the beer company would pay good money not to have associated with their beer...")

I'm not saying that there's absolutely nobody this will be useful for, but it seems to be a very, very specialized group of people hardly worth the immense effort being put into this idea by companies. The amount of possible "things to review" just swamps the number of friends a person can have, and standard lurker/poster ratios tend to imply that "nobody" writes reviews. (And I gotta think these sites have even worse lurker/poster ratios than something like Usenet or HN, probably by an order of magnitude or two or three.)

> I have at most a few hundred actual friends.

I was going to complain about the impossibility of being intimately acquainted with hundreds of people enough to call them friend only to find out my dictionary had a new definition for friend:

> "a contact associated with a social networking website"

In which case, carry on I guess.

"If you live in some sort of bizarre homogenous bubble where all your friends are just like you and have effectively the same tastes, and a lot of your friends insist on reviewing every last Youtube video they see, and yet, have some sort of diversity of opinion that you might actually care about, this might work."

I've never spontaneously seen a comment on Youtube from someone I know, as far as I can recall. However, it's really, really common to have friends of mine on Facebook share the same thing. This happens even for friends of mine that don't know or interact with each other. I think to avoid a fair amount of overlap you'd have to be very careful about adding only friends with orthogonal tastes...

One of the reasons that things like politics are getting so polarized is that's it's really easy to fall into the "bizarre homogenous bubble", and that's where most people stay, online.

I think you're completely wrong.

I share videos with my friends and family, and seeing their comments at the top of the list of comments on those videos would be great.

Also, I could probably list 1,000 videos that most of us have seen. Never Going to Give You Up. Gangnam Style. The list goes on and on.

And then there's professionally. I know hundreds of people from former and current jobs who tend to be interested in the same work-related videos. Programming languages, stuff related to our domain, technologies we could use, etc.

I think you missed my point that you can only see comments that are made. Unless your friends and families have a grossly atypical comment rate, you're still not going to see very many things very often. It is well known that forums designed for interaction still have a terrible poster/lurker ratio, the internet at large is far worse.

Fair point.

But if you Share with a Community, and the people comment on the video, it would work.

Insert clever emoticon which indicates shrugging.

I'm frankly stunned to see people complaining about the death of the previous YouTube comment system. Remember that one insightful, helpful, or funny YouTube comment that you saw that one time? Me, either.

If I go to a viral video, and I see comments on it from people I actually KNOW, I personally think that would be really cool.

Or really creepy.

a- Imagine you're going to a real world bookstore. You look at the back cover of a few books and all the reviews are by your Google+ "friends". Customized for you to increase the chances you're buying it. (If ads are going everywhere and you try to ignore them, what will be left?)

b- In your holidays you're traveling to another continent. After arriving, you're surprised that you see the faces of your Facebook stalkers everywhere. Would you like that?

c- Your government rolls out new mandatory ID smartcards for both the offline and online worlds. Soon after they require everybody to sign their TCP packets with those cards. A friendly smiling illustration of a computer asks you to swipe your card to login to your OS. Have a safe journey online!

a - Not sure what's creepy about this. Seeing legit reviews from people I actually know, or at least bothered to add to a social service, would likely be more useful to me than J Random Reviewer. Also, back-of-book reviews are trying to sell you the book - no kidding. Are we supposed to consider that a sinister intent?

b - I don't understand. If someone is an unwanted 'stalker' to me, they aren't likely going to be a facebook friend. Even if they were, I think I'll be OK seeing their faces 'everywhere'.. seeing as how I can distinguish fairly well between image and reality.

c - So governments will not only manage to make Mandatory World ID happen, they'll be somehow forcing people to "sign their TCP packets" with them? If that's not intended to be a wildly exaggerated parody, you really may need to loosen the tinfoil wrapped around your head up a bit.

a - That would be awesome.

b - That would be awesome (since I assume you mean the beter direct analogy, which would be that any of my Facebook friend's statements about being there are visible. Now I know who to chat with about restaurants, sights, etc.)

c - Can you say strawman? Making up a dystopian future and placing it alongside something you don't like doesn't make the thing you don't like any more like it.

Youtube comments are universally derided as trash. This might make it better. It might also simply stop a lot of comments. And in fact, probably both.

C - This is more or less already the case in South Korea. You can't really use the Internet without a national ID card.

Do you suspect this was in preparation for the inevitable day when Google would require real names on youtube comments?

Just to add to your point a, I'm often less interested in what a friend thinks about a book, and more interested in what another author thinks. Depending on who the review is by, it helps me understand the character of the book. If I'm unfamiliar with the reviewer, I might look into who the reviewer is and read their books. Dumbing this down into "my college roommate clicked like on this, so I'll like it too" degrades the entire experience for me.

Then I suppose you will be happy about this youtube change if it helps Google show you an author's comments? Perhaps because you +1'd them on google plus? Or because you bought one of their books?

This change, like it or don't like it, should not be conflated with, "Now Google will only show my comments from my friends." For better or worse, it means Google will know more about connections between people and the things they like. There are plusses (beyond seeing my friends' comments) and minuses to that.

I was recently reading reviews online before booking a hotel in Maui. I was on TripAdvisor and I guess I was also logged in to Facebook at the time, and TripAdvisor highlighted one of my friends had reviewed a hotel in Maui. Turns out Tina liked a hotel that was on my shortlist, and her review was absolutely the factor that made me book that hotel. Thanks Tina!

(As it happens, I booked it via Hotwire where you theoretically don't know the exactly hotel you're getting until you pay. With a little searching you can normally work out which hotel it is, based on the area and facilities of the hotel.)

Personally that would be a big negative for me. I like to go to different places than my friends. Yes it's irrational, but I find it boring talking about something we both know; "Did you stay at the.. oh yeh, of course you did. The view from the bar was... oh yeh you know that too"

Well then now you know Tina has been there and you can go somewhere else, no? it's not like you are forced to book the same hotel because you saw her review

The overlap between people who enjoy the same videos as me and people I trust enough to them tell my real name is almost non-existent.

And I'm not sure I'm the only one thinking that way. If I want to talk about a video, I can, you know, share it (I can even share it on Google+, that way Google loses nothing). If it turns out to be a really cool video, I'll even maybe get to impress my friends that way.

You're not alone. I don't quite understand the war against anonymity on the internet. Seeing someone's real name and photo next to a comment doesn't make what they say or do on the net any more civil.

"This is a great Python module." -Guido van Rossum

"This is a cool display technology." -John Carmack

"Here's a great link to send to skeptics about global climate change." -Al Gore

"This article is pseudo-science at best, and lies at worst." -Bill Nye

"I'm sorry, Pluto." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

Without attribution, none of those comments are remotely interesting. (They're all made up, but you get the idea.)

When I Search for things now, I see top results from previous co-workers, who have Shared things. Those results LEAP out at me.

I don't think G+ has much to do with it, more the self-moderation, but I will say the commenting on YT has improved significantly in the last few months.

That of course means we've moved from "abysmal" to "shitty" but hey, progress is progress.

Yes, the internet makes it so convenient to remain within one's echo chamber.

A feature that "would be really cool" is one that should be opt-in. I think this is the real issue that shows it self over and over again: forcing users into services they do not want.

IMO Google could have avoided most of the backlash by making every youtube account a G+ account too, then if you want to link the two, have a simple merge account functionality between G+ and YouTube. The Charlie Foxtrot of forcing real names and linked accounts has obvious motivations for Google, but the backlash was predictable and isn't going away.

If that were really the sole motivation, they could have just linked G+ in addition to other social networks to your old account.

If I'm not talking about it to my friend already I find that comment just as useful or important as a random stranger.

What happened to "don't be evil"?

The criticism is a bit thick, but the prompts to join G+ are increasingly manipulative and gimmicky, designed almost entirely to _trick_ the user to into signing up + spamming their gmail contacts.

A requirement to have G+ account to make youtube comments is just one part of a greater trend that includes:

1. Requiring a G+ account to review Android apps in the Play store 2. Cunningly worded join prompts for first-time Android users when they start up their new Android device(s)

You know G+ is an abysmal failure when the Page & Co has to force it on users of google's other services. C'mon bro, what gives?

The moral superiority narrative that the valley likes to perpetuate vis-a-vis more traditional industries like banking, etc. is increasingly laughable and absurd.

Let's be real tech bros and broesses. Bidness is bidness.

> You know G+ is an abysmal failure when the Page & Co has to force it on users of google's other services. C'mon bro, what gives?

They literally have been explaining this for nearly a year. There's no such thing as a G+ account and a 'Google Account'. They are the same things.

I think if anything what this has proven is that you cannot rely on your customers to read the slightest thing from you, but if you change how they expect things to work, they will get incredibly angry even if the service is totally free. Even if you are IMPROVING the service you will get anger.

Moral of the story: Don't have many customers.

No. Moral of the story is "Don't fuck around".

I like my YouTube account. I don't like Google+. Stop forcing it on me. I'd be happy with a YouTube that doesn't let me comment but let's me upload videos and everything else I'm doing now. Instead, I'm packing up and leaving.

The irony is your moral might just work. Google will end up with less and less customers if they keep behaving in this way. Only people willing to tolerate Google+ will be left. Maybe that's what they want.

> I like my YouTube account. I don't like Google+. Stop forcing it on me. I'd be happy with a YouTube that doesn't let me comment but let's me upload videos and everything else I'm doing now. Instead, I'm packing up and leaving.

Literally nobody cares.

> The irony is your moral might just work. Google will end up with less and less customers if they keep behaving in this way. Only people willing to tolerate Google+ will be left. Maybe that's what they want.

I hope so! I can only imagine if Youtube was as full of interesting content as G+, and not so filled with people whining that a terrible terrible system isn't being kept soley for their own preferences.

Is this how you treat your customers?

For the most part yes. There are always naysayers, always conservatives. If you listen to them, no progress can ever be made. You have to decide on a course and take it.

Ultimately, if integration with Google ruins Youtube, then a competitor will eviscerate them. If it ultimately improves it, the criticisms will fade away.

"There are always naysayers, always conservatives. If you listen to them, no progress can ever be made."

Did it occur to you that perhaps some of these "conservatives" learned a painful lesson the type of which you have not yet encountered?

No doubt, but my point is that no matter the quality or validity of the change, some will always oppose it.

Wait, you actually paid money to Google for Youtube?

You aren't the customer. You are the product being sold.

Nonesense. He's the customer.

I guess you're not on FB either, or you'd be upset that half the websites you join want you to sign up with FB Connect. Similar with Apple's services. Single shot services are growing few and far between on the web.

If a site requires facebook, I won't use it. If a site where I previously had an account forces me to shift to signing in with facebook, you bet your ass I'm leaving.

> There's no such thing as a G+ account and a 'Google Account'. They are the same things

Thats not the case if you registered for a google service (i.e. gmail) pre G+, which I imagine includes a TON of users. If you fall into this category (like me) and don't have a G+ account (i.e. a "Public Profile), you get spammed like crazy and constantly asked to join up.

And the service isn't free. I'm paying for it with my user information. Let's be real, Google isn't some savior upon high blessing us with "free" services from the goodness of their hearts. Be honest.

btw I'm a huge fan of Google, I just find their hyprocracy of "we're not a cunning business trying to maximize profits, we're a social enterprise saving humanity, that just happens to make money" annoying and insulting.

We need to get rid of this narrative that creators = god and users = proles that don't have the "right" to complain.

> Thats not the case if you registered for a google service (i.e. gmail) pre G+, which I imagine includes a TON of users. If you fall into this category (like me) and don't have a G+ account (i.e. a "Public Profile), you get spammed like crazy and constantly asked to join up.

Right, because they're amalgamating the accounts. They've been telling people this forever.

> And the service isn't free. I'm paying for it with my user information

No you're not. It's free.

> We need to get rid of this narrative that creators = god and users = proles that don't have the "right" to complain.

Who said anything about creators. They /OWN/ Youtube. They have made it /VERY/ clear what is happening. If you want to ignore that that's up to you, but you can't turn around and act as if it's some inexplicable weird move that makes no sense when they have detailed every step of it.

>No you're not. It's free.

Nothing is free bro. Business 101.

>Who said anything about creators. They /OWN/ Youtube. They have made it /VERY/ clear what is happening. If you want to ignore that that's up to you, but you can't turn around and act as if it's some inexplicable weird move that makes no sense when they have detailed every step of it.

No one is saying its a weird move. I'm just arguing that the WAY they are doing it is extremely annoying and not very user-friendly.

You shouldn't have to have a public profile or be forced to share your comment on youtube. It's obviously advantageous from a google perspective, but not very user-friendly.

The value of G+ should incentive the user to want to share their comment. Google shouldn't FORCE you to do it. That's not very friendly/flexible.

> Nothing is free bro. Business 101.

That's not a fact, that's just a saying. Youtube is free to you, it's not free to advertisers. There can be products that come free to some and not free to others.

> You shouldn't have to have a public profile or be forced to share your comment on youtube

You aren't, choose the option to create a page and your account name is kept, your identity is kept and the public page contains the same info as your Youtube profile. You can then switch between your two identities as you see fit. I fail to see how this is such an objectionable solution.

Yes you could do that, but again I don't see how its user-friendly to have to resort to creating multiple accounts to bypass the G+ requirements.

No one is saying that Google doesn't have the _right_ to do this, just that its obnoxious and goes against the very user-friendly/oriented image that Google itself tries to perpetuate. You've yet to address this very point.

>That's not a fact, that's just a saying. Youtube is free to you, it's not free to advertisers. There can be products that come free to some and not free to others.

You're just splitting hairs about what constitutes an expense. Youtube is not 100% free to use. There are costs... like the time it takes to watch an ad before your video plays... that's a bit myopic on my part as well, but if you want to get technical...

> They literally have been explaining this for nearly a year. There's no such thing as a G+ account and a 'Google Account'. They are the same things.

Now, yes, and some people don't like that. Of course it's 'free' for whatever that's worth - and you can do whatever you want. Just don't expect that people are going to be thrilled. Free doesn't buy you free approval.

> even if the service is totally free

In my experience they get especially angry if the service is free. :)

There's no post API and all sharing is done manually so spamming anyone with G+ is impossible unless you actively use it.

I think what they're effectively trying to do boils down into unifying the Google account: instead of every Google product maintaining its own divorced account/sharing infrastructure they're effectively retconning all of their products so they're now all based off one source, the Google+ Profile. This allows any change they make to the underlying G+ architecture to instantly propagate across all their products, as well as much more effective user data collection.

The problem is while the setup has plenty of benefit to Google, they've barely explained the benefit to the user.

There's no post API and all sharing is done manually so spamming anyone with G+ is impossible unless you actively use it.

That's a little naive. Of course there's an "API", it's what your browser uses to post something. Just because it's not designed for automated programs it doesn't mean it can't and won't be used.

Yeah, too true. A quick strole through the internet "freelance" boards will show that there's no shortage of people looking for comment bots for all of the major platforms.

> What happened to "don't be evil"?

That died long ago. In 2008 or even earlier, Google was capturing data from your WiFi router with their street view cars.

Although it may not be a popular opinion, here is the reason: there is only one Google (at least for social stuff) and one login system now.

Google plus is the "Google account" you need to use any of their social services.

I am frankly surprised that they allowed the login of their acquisitions to stay fragmented for such a long time.

The Google Account was already in use before Google+ was created. The difference was that you could have a mixture of services enabled for your account (I only use Gmail, I never use Picasa so I don't have it on my an account).

Now they seem to force you to always have the Google+ enabled even if you never use it. Including for older accounts. I guess this is what makes people angry. It's like being prompted to create Picasa albums every time you try to read your Gmail.

Exactly his point: A lot of the Google services hosted within a Google account essentially served as independent accounts themselves, each with their own independent sharing model/systems divorced from the others.

Google's trying to switch over to a new system there's just one generalized Google identity (hosted by G+), and all of the products/services tap into that. If you want that identity to be your real identity, you use a Google+ Profile. If you want to remain anonymous or represent a business entity/organisation, you use a G+ Page.

The problem is there's two Google+' sharing the same name: "Google+, the identity system" and "Google+, the social network" and they've done a hamfisted job of explaining what the value of any of it is to the user.

No you are not forced to have Google+ enabled on your Google Account.

Some social services like Youtube and Google+ require it, but you could still use Gmail without having Google+ enabled.

> Google plus is the "Google account" you need to use any of their social services.

Unfortunately the mistake they are making is in defining every service as a 'social' service.

So you think that blogger accounts will be folded into google plus?



I am not too sure how much the blogger business is. It will not surprise me if it is folded into Google plus entirely

That way Google+ can claim 1 billion active users and say their service is a huge success, even surpassing their nemesis Facebook.

Don't forget the likely increased revenue tying more accounts to real names to sell impressions that are more targeted. It's all about the money.

I think the goal is ultimately more targeted advertising. In a way this is helpful. It would be great for adult advertising to stop showing up on cartoon videos.

Google has claimed right from the beginning that they want G+ to be a "social layer" across all of their services, which could also be seen as a "social network", but not in the same way Facebook is a "social network.

To be fair, I think they shifted their messaging a little bit (vis-a-vis whether G+ was intended as a FB-style destination network or a social layer that happens to have a stream) to take advantage of the initial burst of interest/success in the actual social-network-stream part of Google+. But yea, there are plenty of people who are too stupid/disingenuous to understand the "social layer" concept they're going for even in cases where it's very straightforward.

Tangentially related, my experience with the YouTube/Google plus social network merge has been pretty awful. I opted-out initially to integrate with Google plus, I couldn't have cared less so I just stuck with my original username/account. It seems even though I opted out, Google created a Google plus YouTube profile for me anyway and now chooses to nag me about it every time I go there. I have to pick every time I go to YouTube which 'profile' I want to use (defaulted to Google plus social network) even though I never wanted this new profile, and I have a big banner telling me I am using YouTube as profile 'x' permanently stuck at the top just to rub it in.

This annoyed me enough that a couple of weeks ago I gave up and tried to integrate it into their social network so I could just have 1 profile. Now it appears I no longer have the option to merge my original profile into Google plus, it just isn't there on the account settings. Because I made one decision to opt-out of their social network it seems I will permanently have 2 profiles from this time forward, the Google plus one has none of my history, subscriptions, likes etc it is a completely useless account.

... yeah, I guess the lesson for Google to learn is to just rip off the bandage and accept the pain, because all their "courtesy" has done is prolong things.

"We're migrating to google accounts. Your YouTube account is disabled until you connect it to a google accounts and then we're going to migrate over and destroy your YouTube account. You can have more than one google account if you really want to keep your YouTube stuff disconnected from your main Google Account. Here's how to make that second Google Account and how to manage it".

Boom, done. Bolt a way to have a "casual social-networking alias" for public stuff you don't want publicly linked to your Google account so you can pseudonymously comment on YouTube and Play Store and whatever.

I have a Google account but without G+ and a YT account that was linked to the Google account. The solution for getting rid of the repeated popups asking you to turn your YT account into a G+ account seems to be to delete your YT channel. That way you will only be logged in with your normal Google account. Of course, you still won't be able to comment (or operate a channel), but at least the popup seems to be gone.

It's funny I used to get that screen to turn it into a plus account but I got annoyed with it and opted out, I guess I didn't appreciate it was a one time option. All I get now is a plain profile picker (which as I say defaults to the social network profile, I have accidentally used it several times liking videos etc and then realising I was in the wrong profile). All things being considered this is only a trivial annoyance, I am just surprised at how bad the UX is for me now.

This is happening with me and is making me sad. Help!

- Google is afraid of Facebook

- Google wants more users in Google+

- People don't care about Google+

- This doesn't change the fact that Google is still afraid of Facebook and wants more people to use G+

- Google will try to do everything it can to drag you into this service which you won't use anyway

What's so strange about this?

-90% false

-100% true

-100% false for people using Google+ (absolute percentage unknown)

-50% false

-80% true

Let me rephrase "google is afraid of facebook" because it obviously leads to a lot of falses. Google would like to keep the marketing money that goes to Facebook back at Google.

True, I believe that it is a simple reasoning: more people on Google+ leads to the better targeting for a wider audience, so better ads and more revenue. The social interaction is just another channel of information.

As you said, why is it so strange? It makes a lot of sense from a marketing point of view (the business strategy dictates so) and an engineering point of view (they already have a commenting system for users).

"Because you sold YouTube to Google"

In all serious though, I think this just further opens up the door for competing services like Netflix, Instagram and Vine to dig in. With Netflix for my serious video watching, and Vine / Instagram for cat videos, I find myself visiting YouTube much less. Requiring a G+ account for comments is the little extra effort that makes me not engage.

IMO YouTube on its way to be the MySpace of video.

>IMO YouTube on its way to be the MySpace of video.

Highly doubt it. Youtube is one of the hardest thing to compete with, even Google search is much easier to go after. Did you read that article about Youtube where Google pays local ISPs to act as a CDN? That is the best CDN money can buy. A competitor without matching performance is going to be largely ignore by both consumers and publishers.

Considering that it was nearly impossible to make YouTube's commenting system worse, I'm interested to see if the G+ integration improves things. For whatever reason YouTube has forever had the lowest quality comments of any site I can think of.

And now they will have the lowest quantity as well.

That would be great! Comments aren't cumulative--1,000+ comments of low quality aren't as a whole better than 50 comments of high quality.

If the quality is so bad isn't it a good thing to have fewer of them? ;-)

In answer to his comment: Because you sold it to Google.

My thoughts as well. If you're going to sell out, you should fully anticipate that "the man" will just gut your company & let it bleed out. Maybe they bought it to kill it off, etc.

But you should still have the right to be pissed off on a personal level.

Not really. You give up that right when you traded it in for a cool billion.

Users should maybe be more pissed at him for selling, than Google for tying Youtube to their overall Google strategy.

(Not that anybody should be pissed over such an issue. Just saying.)


the screenshot, just in case.

Surely it wouldn't be it couldn't be that hard to built a better youtube and seed it with quality content. I'm surprised nobody has succeeded.

Is it just that the costs of serving video require an enormous company or is it that the term youtube is basically synonymous with "internet video".

DailyMotion (and tons of others) is one but really it was a timing thing, YouTube hit at the right time regarding media and another technological advancement at the time, flash video.

Before Flash video, before html5 video, video was very difficult on the web to make work, the small yet pretty good codecs that the flash player video had were revolutionary at the time (Back in Macromedia days). Flash compression was always one of the best even though it was mostly software, still swf files are compressed/streamed in a very compact way.

Those specifically timed events won't happen again the same way, Youtube was born at the cusp of social media and the technology that made video economical enough. Youtube wouldn't be known as it is without that Flash video moment in history.

uh, you mean like Vimeo?

Vimeo is not a Youtube alternative. Vimeo is to Youtube what Hacker News is to reddit. Vimeo is a nice video platform for creative projects, they do not allow a large amount of the content that Youtube does (no gaming videos, no dumb cat videos) and so it's not really suitable to replace Youtube.

There are other alternatives though, dailymotion.com is fairly popular and will accept anything.

I'm not sure you can have both high quality content and a zero barrier to entry. I actually think YT does an okay job surfacing some decent content for folks on the homepage, especially when you're logged in. I seem to anecdotally find the "related" sidebar more useful in recent times as well.

dm's player and overall speed is unfortunately way behind youtube.

Vimeo is terrible, very anti gamer, to.the point they ban developers that put trailer videos on their service. I am personally very happy that YouTube now match Vimeo quality and happily hosts my trailers for me.

According to Vimeo's guidelines, you just can't upload gameplay videos. It says specifically you can upload first party videos but need to mark them to avoid deletion. With the huge community of video gamers on YouTube, I don't even get why you'd want to put that video on Vimeo.


You were the one suggesting Vimeo as an alternative to YouTube. And that's one of the reasons why Vimeo isn't a viable alternative.

When gameplay got forbidden, there was no such guideline, and YouTube did not supported HD, so Vimeo was popular for trailers, but their anti game stance drove everyone away, including first parties.

Basically. I like Vimeo better than youtube but it doesn't seem to get used as much.

The front page of vimeo isn't as good though. It tells you about vimeo itself rather than giving you a large search bar and a bunch of content like youtube does.

Yeah you are right on about that. I always wondered why they aren't more friendly to their own content for nonusers because they're very friendly to discovery when you're logged in.

I think it doesn't get used as much though because they will pull content if you're just posting videos of your friend doing cartwheels or something. There is a higher barrier to entry but they also only want very high quality HD or serious commercial or educational content.

I wonder whether they aren't more forward about discovery to save on bandwidth money.

Vimeo is nice on the web, but they're garbage at mobile. YouTube has an excellent mobile app on both major mobile platforms and is supported on popular TV additions like AppleTV/Chromecast.

Vimeo really needs to step up their mobile game.

This used to be true, but what issues are you having with mobile? Since Android support was added, I've had few issues with it.

Really? In my opinion the Vimeo Android app is abysmal. The design isn't responsive at all, it looks third party and unprofessional. To be fair, it's much better on iOS - but still outclassed by YouTube.

Oh I actually haven't looked at the app, I was just talking about embedded video. I'm sure you're right about that, Android clients tend to lag way behind.

Someone has. They're called the content creators. For some reason Youtube has gone to war with the people who make it a good place to go, people who've worked for years building their channel's reputation, content and style. Now youtube are systematically pulling it all down, real name coment issue aside.

Blip.tv tried this for many years. They recently sold for a small sum.

If they couldn't do it, it's unlikely anyone else can.

i hate going to youtube and realizing that i'm signed in and my history is being saved.

I get this feeling all the time after following a link from reddit. I just hope they can deduce from the referrer that I am not actually interested in purchasing life-like male self-stimulation products.

That's why I use different browsers. Chromium logged in with my Google accounts, Firefox for everything else.

I go one step further, and put chromium in incognito while logging in to google services. The only problem is clicking youtube links from gmail/gtalk - I have to remember to paste them in to firefox.

block cookies from YT?

So uh, pause it and delete the existing history?

Headline is inaccurate, though I can't really blame the submitter. jawed occasionally makes comments on YouTube (example: [1]), but eventually hides everything but YouTube's first video from his channel (presumably so he can "make his first comment in X years" which then gets headlines).

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo&lc=XBr2JHTM1EEDT3...

This isn't just to make commenting more social (i.e. pushing friends comments to the top)-- I imagine it's also largely to hold more people accountable for their comments (w/ their reputation) so that there aren't as many nonsense/flame/bigoted comments like there always have been on Youtube, and in turn get higher quality comments (e.g. Quora vs. Yahoo answers analogy)

> hold more people accountable for their comments (w/ their reputation)

This belief has been thoroughly debunked by Facebook comments. There's absolutely no reason to believe that Google+ will be any better, particularly since the ghost-town nature of G+ means people will rightly assume they can flame away and nobody they know will ever see it.

That's true-- although just based on my observations it feels like Facebook comments on popular posts are silly because of how angry/polarized they are, not necessarily how nonsensical they are (relative to Youtube's comments historically).

For example: typical bad Facebook comment = angry rant at Sean Parker from person who seems genuinely angry


typical bad Youtube comment = some nonsense troll/needlessly racist comment.

Perhaps, although I've seen an awful lot of trollish/bigoted Facebook public comments on anything related to politics — it's not as bad as YouTube but increasingly close.

The accountability argument only holds if Real Name is 100% enforced, which so far hasn't happened. (and if Blizzard's Real ID fiasco is any indication, it never will.)

YouTube comments have long been reviled as the worst of the worst the internet has to offer. I don't know why people seem to want the status quo.

Because there is probably a lot of overlap between those who think Youtube comments are terrible and those who post terrible Youtube comments.

People might slag it in public, but I think a lot of people secretly enjoy leaving abusive and trollish anonymous comments. It's not like all those comments were the work of a few bad apples. The sheer volume would suggest otherwise.

You're making a very basic logical error. Youtube comments on the whole may be horrible, but that doesn't discount the possibility (in fact, I'd say certainty) that some youtube comments could be good, even valuable. There are many channels on youtube where the comments are fairly high quality, even by HN standards.

The downside is that the people who put in the effort to nurture high quality comments on their channels, and the people who have been high quality commenters on youtube are the most negatively impacted by these changes. And the negative impact on the highest quality of comments might end up reducing the average quality much more than any moderate impact on the volume of the lower quality comments.

So in order to preserve a small minority who have somehow carved out a working system (which I'll assume exist despite never seeing them) in the overwhelming onslaught of vitriol and crap, we just have to deal with said vitriol and crap continue as is?

This also assumes that Google+ comments will kill off these high quality comment channels. I am sure it is true for some, but it is hardly the absolute death knell for quality conversation to require a Google+ account.

False dichotomy. I'm arguing that google should have figure out a better way to add better functionality to the youtube commenting system than just shoving google+ down everyone's throats.

Google actually has something like 7+ different comment systems. And yet for some reason they felt compelled to cram youtube's square peg into google+'s round hole because that was the only reasonable technological solution? Because that was the only possible way to improve the situation?

Bullshit. It's because they want to prop up google+ and they want to make targeted ads easier.

So in order to preserve a small minority who have somehow carved out a working system (which I'll assume exist despite never seeing them) in the overwhelming onslaught of vitriol and crap, we just have to deal with said vitriol and crap continue as is?

No, but beware of falling into the politician's syllogism.

I get annoyed by those n stupid popups on every video now. Do I really have to close 15 * overlays before I can watch a video?? really?

Google, how does this add to the experience? How does it make youtube a better product?

I won't even get started on the asinine recommendation system. Backed by one of the largest companies in the world and the brightest employees in the world. And yet youtube gets crappier every year. Scratching my head on this one.

This is a sad, desperate attempt by Google to take on a competitor(facebook). I wish Google showed as much restraint and care in taking on facebook as facebook is showing in taking on google when it comes to search.

Is the answer not "Because you sold out"? What did he expect to happen when Google snapped them up?

I find the web works much better with fewer logins[1]. In my opinion, the old way of using the web, by URL alone, worked best. Want to share something? Copy the URL to your blog, paste it to IRC/IM or wherever. Those that actually care enough to follow you will comment on it if they really want to (and you want them to). We never needed those moronic sharing buttons, only those who wanted to track us did. And we don't need logins for any of that.

[1] I noticed this since using the Self-destructing cookies addon for Firefox, which deletes all cookies for a site when the last tab on that site is closed (unless whitelisted). I'm whitelisting only a select few sites, and Google/YouTube are not among them.

Here's a simple way to improve YouTube. Turn off comments.

I have never once, as far as I can remember, read a YouTube comment that was in any way, insightful or provided meaningful information that wasn't better obtained elsewhere. It is a cesspool, and the people who are complaining about needing to login to G+ to leave a comment frankly largely intersect with the set of people who are the problem.

Honestly, if logging into G+ bothers you, you probably are the kind of person who "shoots from the hip" and doesn't put a lot of thought into your comments anyway.

I don't believe the G+ comments on YouTube are about the idea of real identity being a check against racists, assholes, douchebags, and other comment archetypes. That has failed for Facebook comments and so has up/downvoting on YT. Instead, I think it's about filtering based on social network sharing.

Simply put, if someone shares a link to your video somewhere with their circle of followers, the external thread that develops outside of YT, within that community is likely to be more coherent and cogent, and that will be surfaced in the YT comments especially if you have social affinity with that person.

Think about it as a kind of comment federation. What if every YT video that has been linked from HackerNews stories surfaced the HN comments directly under the video on YT if you were in fact, a HackerNews user (had a login). Don't you think the HN comment thread would be higher quality than the general YT audience comments? That kind of federation is technically not possible today, because we don't have a standard spec for comment upstreaming, but because Google owns G+ and YT, they can do this kind of integration.

The reality is, comments from video reshares from people you know, who have small circles of followers, will be higher quality. Someone with 10,000 or 100,000 followers however probably will exhibit the same problems because the probability of bad actors rises with quantity. However, at least you can control this by filtering who you follow.

There's a general purpose derangement going on with respect to G+ that I just don't get. I don't like Facebook, never have, I barely ever log into it. I don't like social networks in general, I like _interest networks_. But I don't throw a hissy fit when most of the sites on the web force me to either create an account, or login with Facebook. I just login with Facebook and go about my business, denying most of the permissions it wants from me. It's really not that big of a deal. I don't use FB, but it is not a burden on me personally to use it as a single sign on service.

The reason why I use G+ is similar to the reason why I use HN or Reddit -- the communities. Simply put, there are more interesting, tightly knit, communities with less annoying, disruptive people on G+ than there is on FB. Maybe that's elitist, but that's the way it is. Perhaps it's the advantage of having less users, less adoption than Facebook. There's merit in being a so-called "Ghost Town", in that anyone willing to live there is more dedicated to the town, and less willing to take a shit on it.

Here's an even simpler way to improve youtube comments: ignore comments on videos that are likely to have low quality comments.

But there are plenty of videos where that's not the case. There are many excellent scientific and educational videos on youtube, and the comments sections for many of them are excellent. Or were anyway. Periodic videos. Minute physics. Veritasium. EEVblog. Vihart. And so many others. In such places the comments can be civil, interesting, enlightening, sometimes just as good as an average comment on HN. But now those comments are a bit less valuable in general because so many of them are of the form "X just shared this on google+".

Instead of being a response to the creator, some comments are now a shout out into the crowd. And all of this is just jumbled together. It's an incredibly stupid and broken way to handle commenting that is only just slightly stupider than the old incredibly stupid and broken way they were doing commenting.

The idea of freighting around my one and only social circle as some sort of background peanut gallery everywhere I go is, frankly, not interesting to me. The reason I go seek out different channels and different sites is to have different experiences, often with different people. HN isn't my friend-group, and I wouldn't want HN to be replaced by my friend group either, and I value my friends greatly.

I watch Vihart's videos, and the comments are full of low signal. All of the high quality comments are from G+ from anecdotal evidence. Let's look at the top ones on her Dragon Doodle video:

"Ever wonder why fractals are called "fractals"? It's because they have "fractional dimension". This idea comes from noticing that when you scale a 2-dimensional object up by a factor of 2, its area increases by a factor of 4, but when you scale a 2-dimensional Sierpinski triangle up by 2, its area increases by a factor of 3. With a normal 2D object, if you scale it up by a factor of 3, you'd increase the area by a factor of 9, but when you scale a 2-dimensional Koch snowflake up by 3, its area increases by a factor of 4. So fractals don't behave like normal objects. They behave as if they have fractional dimension"

First non-G+ comment? "Can I marry your mind, please?" Or this one: "hey, no knock on community colleges, studied at a couple myself I just feel like everyone's giving this girl way more credit than is due, but like I said, that's just me, and it has been made clear by everyone and their mother watching this vid that it is ONLY me. lol"

Or this one: "Yeah, you're totally a dick."

General consensus is, YouTube comments are, by and large, shit. I don't think you're going to convince many people that they're worth it because you can find a few videos that might have slightly higher signal.

Frankly, I would like to see "unification" of comments so when I'm looking at a video, I can see what people are saying about it from around the Web, rather than the same video linked to from 15 different blogs. For example, if some new tech video comes out, and is covered by HN, TheVerge, Engadget, Reddit, etc, I end up having to visit 4 or more sites to see what people's reaction to the video is, rather than having them collated in one place.

As an employee of Google, you should realize you're in a groupthink environment. I absolutely despise the new Google+ change. The top comment on the most recent video I watched was a Google+ comment consisting of the title of the video plus ten hashtags. That was it. The other Google+ comments were similarly horrible and content-free.

At least with the previous implementation, you'd get a top comment that made you laugh once in awhile.

It's not really Google groupthink that YouTube comments suck, that's an external observation. Obligatory xkcd: http://xkcd.com/202/

It may be groupthink that G+ comments are better, but for my social stream, the people I follow, G+ is not a ghost town, it is a highly interesting place full of lots of thoughtful commentators. If I can filter comments by those whom I respect, and transitively, maybe one degree extended, it would be a vast improvement.

I say let people turn off the filters and leave the old comments as an option. Personally, first think I'd do is turn them off.

For the past 5 years I've been appalled by the amount of SPAM being generated on YT. Like this cute baby, then you'll love Ivans P800X Weightloss System 4.0. 56 thumbs up. Top comment. Every video.

I'm sure Google knew this was going to cause a stir. Every major interfact change that FB does causes mass outrage and even groups like "get 100,000 likes to petition for mark zuckerberg to switch back to the old FB" and such.

a lot of the pissed off ppl (not all) are the anonymous cowards that liked to hide behind throwaway identities, spammers, and people that generally like to read meaningless comments.

I am also an active G+ user and really enjoy several communities and groups that are of interest to me. What's really missing is the mainstream market: pics from last night, pet photos, moms, teens, etc. right now it is mainly super interweb savvy people who are active because they know how serious google is about G+

as a channel owner I am stoked about the change. i dont like getting used to new interfaces any more than the next person but I can definitely see how this will add a ton of value to my channel and YT in general.

Comments actually broke for me yesterday after the Google+ comment integration. I suspect it's because they are now generated by a Google Plus hosted javascript, which is blocked on third party sites by default in my browser.

I don't mind.

> Turn off comments.

This is the purpose of one of my favorite browser add-ons: http://www.tannr.com/herp-derp-youtube-comments/

Available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

Herp derp derp derp, Derp herp herp derp herp!

i've gotten useful info via !yt comments, as well as had meaningful interactions.

the entire push to "use my real name" vis a vis my gmail account instead of my historical youtube account name, of which this new comments action is a part, bothers me.

also, it smells of an attempt out of desperation to beef up content on g+.

You're not really involved in the security community, are you.

So, why didn't you put your real name on your HN profile?

I had a hearty laugh at this. Thanks to everyone who made this possible. Walled gardens forever

I don't think they've handled the merge well at all, but it happening was both inevitable and sensible. Google+ obviously has much better communication features, and it's ridiculous that Youtube didn't have them for so long.

IIRC don't think this comment was actually made today/yesterday. I remember it being linked to a couple a weeks ago when they flipped the switch on G+ comments for the discussion tab and this was his response to that.

I thought the point was to reduce the hate-filled screeds by linking their comments to a real profile of a real person. But with the "nyms" fiasco that's probably impossible now.

seems more like a channel status update (or whatever they call it in youtube). i see it as some kind of "what happened to the youtube we built" attitude, which seems appropriate.

Larry Page has his office in the G+ building, and has said a number of times he is committed to seeing G+ be a success.


There is a lot of hate for G+ and/or the service unification stuff... I personally dislike it - but I don't think it's going away anytime soon.

Top comments are about complaining about how people don't like youtube, instead of actually debating the actual issue. Seems this site is becoming more like Reddit every day. I love Reddit, but it's like beer and cola. I love both, but I love them for their different taste and I don't want them to taste the same.

So does this increase the quality of comments now that anything you post will turn up in search results with your name?

Not only YouTube but everything Google is trying to integrate with G+. When showing a colleague a photo from a trip or looking at a review of something, I don't need to be shown as being available for a "hangout".

I'm not "always available all the time" - I just want to get mundane things done sometimes.

I'm not at all a G+ fan, and yet I wholeheartedly support Google's decision to require it for YouTube comments. There is no single policy they could've enacted to improve the quality of their comment cespool, and I feel that the people complaining about it the loudest were likely part of the problem.

Before I clicked the link, I tried to imagine all the possible comments I'd read, but not this one.

It seems with Google+ people can add you but you have no option to reject them. Anybody know a way?

You don't have to add them back. Just like twitter, following/circling is not a symmetrical operation.

Those people will only see your updates if you send something that is public and is not to a circle.


Also WTF does it keep asking me if I want to use my real name. SAVE MY FUCKING PERF!!

Resistance is futile. Google+ is awesome and soon or later you will be assimilated.

I dont want another social media site, and I especially dont want to get forced into using one. I also want to use google's apps such has gmail, youtube, and others without having to sign into google+.

The Internet never ceases to amaze me. Why does everyone act like a child throwing a tantrum when something changes? Are people that incapable of adapting? It's really not that big of a deal.

Because recent changes by many tech companies are being made because they're running out of ideas.

We all had a good thing going until around 2010 or so. That's the point when companies stopped making good changes, and went on fanatical change-sprees that made things harder, less efficient, and worse.

Change for the sake of change is not always progress, you know. Windows 8 -- sucked. Windows 8.1 -- much better.

At least Microsoft had the balls to backtrack a little bit, and it paid off big time for them. Somehow I don't see Google doing that.

I just tried to comment on a Youtube video and was not asked to sign in to Google+, so not sure what the co-founder is talking about.

I don't have Google+ but I have a Youtube account.

Uh ... these guys have created their own response to the changes on YouTube lol: http://www.vus.io

What exactly is that, though? None of the social links in the bottom right corner go anywhere. The only thing on that page is an email submission form.

The wording leads one to conclude that it must be some alternative to YouTube, but I don't see anything else on that site.

At this point it seems like Google's mission is to help make profit for Apple and Facebook.

check out the CueNotes app for Chrome for YouTube. The CueNotes comment system is much much better, allows you to stay anonymous on YouTube but still get quality comments, follow people, tag stuff by time, etc. really fun.

He's a real genius.

slow clap

Mischief, thou art afoot !!!


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