Any given channel on YouTube can generate a level of success based on two things: creating good content, and adjusting to YouTube’s ever tweaking algorithms. This means that content producers that put out consistently high quality content that appeal to a wide audience technically should be able to have successful, growing channels.
Even channels such as John Sudano, who covers songs exclusively with Smash Mouth lyrics, or HowToBasic, who smashes eggs and fists chickens, share in this success. Some may not say that these channels are a measure of good quality. Some may say that anyone could do these same things to garner views. The fact is, they were to first to cash on in this specific style of video that can entertain an audience in a very specific way, which is a feat within in itself– especially in this day in age where creating original premises for videos is a challenge. These channels also retain their audiences by staying fresh by means of keeping up with popular trends, as well as putting out videos at a consistent rate. I won’t say luck doesn’t have anything to do with their success, but it’s clear these channels are also very self-aware.
If you know anything about how YouTube’s algorithms work, you’re probably aware of the power the like/dislike buttons hold. Generally, the more likes a video gets, the more it will be put into recommendations, and how far up it will rank on search results of appropriate tags. Meanwhile, the more dislikes a video has, the more it will be hidden from people searching for content like it.
The problem with the dislike button is in the name. When you hover over the button, it reads “I dislike this.” I find this inappropriate, as it gives the impression that viewers can have almost free reign to allow their biases and personal preferences to shove certain content out of other viewer’s eyes, regardless of the content of the video. I personally hit the dislike button on very few videos. I don’t mean this to sound self-righteous. I just simply don’t continue watching videos that don’t interest me. I feel that just because something doesn’t appeal to me, it doesn’t mean that it’s bad content.
There are plenty of channels out there that deliver high quality content that don’t fit my interests. They deserve to be seen. There is also an equal number, if not more, content creators putting out simply bad content: Videos that don’t deliver on the premise that their titles, descriptions, or thumbnails describe– i.e. clickbait. Videos where the creator obviously put in less effort and knowingly produced something of less than appropriate quality. Videos that are just there to garner views– filler.
Personally, I don’t have the best, sharpest, most expensive camera for my filming, but I definitely try to make up for it in my editing and production. I don’t claim to know everything about this whole thing, with my six subscribers and all, but I know how it feels to get unwarranted dislikes on something you’ve tried very hard to make well.
Viewers can get off so easy on just disliking a video and moving on. The content creators, however, suffer, especially when it is essentially baseless criticism. In my opinion, a dislike should demand some sort of written reasoning for offering it up, and not just a “this video sux.” It would be a feat difficult to moderate and maintain, but this wouldn’t be the first time YouTube has wanted to pioneer something ridiculous along these lines.
Let me take this time to remind some people that being offended isn’t an immediate pass for them to dislike something either. While YouTube does have community guidelines regarding things like hate speech and the like, it shouldn’t cater to people who simply like to hide away from issues they don’t like:
Heck, I don’t like mushrooms, but I don’t go around flagging cooking videos that happen to toss in some shiitake.