Is Youtube Heroes secretly a villain in disguise?

Youtube recently published a video on 20th September announcing a new community program to reward youtubers for helping report negative comments, add captions & subtitles and engage with the conversation. By doing so, they will earn points which you grant them different rewards. The higher you progress, the better the rewards. Sounds good so far right? I mean, we are encouraged to help clean up youtube content and get rewarded for it?

Well, that’s not how the internet have reacted. Since the video was published 2 days ago, it has aggregated over 177k dislikes, which puts it within the 200 most disliked Youtube videos of all time. The last time I remember a Youtube video which generated so much hate was one of the latest Call of Duty game trailers.

It’s also currently the 1st and 2nd most talked about topic in /R/videos in Reddit and I should foresee it shared on social media fairly soon.

Let’s dig down further into why there’s so much hate for Youtube Heroes? To do this, we need to further understand what they are offering to the community. They’re encouraging youtube users to perform 3 main tasks: flagging inappropriate content, adding captions & subtitles to videos and share their knowledge with other users in the Youtube Help forum. They stated that contributors to the Youtube Heroes will have access to certain rewards via a tier system. Currently, they have announced 5 levels with different rewards. To progress to the next level, you are required to earn a set number of points by completing the 3 tasks. Some of the rewards are being invited to exclusive workshops, taking part in HERO hangouts, sneak preview product launches, contact Youtube staff directly, test products before release and apply for Heroes summit. These rewards aren’t the best sounding and that seems to be the reason that has caused the sheer many number of dislikes.

Or perhaps many have disliked this video in pure spite, after they recent changes which have affected the way Youtuber’s content is moderated for use of excessive violence or inappropriate content and effectively wouldn’t be monetised. This problem, has been brought up by many popular Youtubers such as Phillip De Franko and Pewdiepie, mainly due to the supposedly lack of communication from Youtube, before they announced the changes.

Although Youtube are hoping this new rewards system will help clean up their site and make it better for the user, I foresee certain channels that users don’t like and just report all their videos, even if they are not offensive. However, Youtube have stated in the Youtube Hero Program rules that Heroes must accurately report videos in order to receive points.

“Each YouTube Hero who is in compliance with these Rules will be able to earn points for every qualifying contribution to YouTube (such as accurately flagging inappropriate videos),  that is verifiable and organic, and not gamed, improperly received or otherwise in violation of these Rules, including the YouTube Community Guidelines (each a “Qualifying Contribution”).  We will determine each qualifying Contribution.

and

“Any abuse of the point system, the Program, or other violative behavior, may reduce the points accrued in your program account and/or restrict or prohibit any aspect of your participation in the Program.”

The Youtube Heroes program is still in beta, so it might be expected that they alter the rewards or the way the system works after viewing the initial responses.

Popular Youtuber OfficialNerdCubed has recently posted a video about how he thinks they can improve this system.

 

VR spotlight: Become a lumberjack

Ever fancy yourself to be the next best lumberjack?

Thanks to DigitasLBI Nordics you can. They’ve created a VR game where you can safely wield a Husqvarna brand chainsaw and take part in a virtual reality logging competition. This has been created to help promote Husqvarna and also the World Logging Championships, happening this month. Yes, they can make VR games to promote anything now, but at least it’s not for something like virtual extreme cheese rolling.

Few brands have taken the challenge to create an experience with VR, which I think is due to a few reasons like cost and ROI. VR games that have been built for HTC Vive or Oculus, such as the Limberjack VR, will not be experienced by a large audience, as most home owners haven’t purchased a VR set, as it is a huge investment. However, VR makes sense where you can create a fun and interesting brand experience and can be experienced at events by the public.

For DigitasLBI, maybe they’ll help to inspire the next generation of lumberjacks or at least promote the World Logging Championships to those that own a HTC vive and can try it at home.

My thoughts on Battlefield 1 PC Open Beta

EA & DICE really hit the nail when they announced Battlefield 1 at E3, when we already knew another Call of Duty game would be released the same year – this one set in space. There were moans and groans from veteran COD players, praying for Activision to release another World War era shooter. Well, little did they know, their prayers were answered – albeit by EA & DICE with Battlefield 1. They showed the trailer. Everybody wept with tears of joy that we were going to get a new World war shooter in the new gen console. Memes were then created to mock the battle between the 2 FPS giants and how EA took Activision by the scruff of the neck and beat it senseless with a shovel.

As we entered September, EA announced the open beta for all platforms. Origin members that were part of EA Insider would be able to play the game, a few days earlier. I’m sure this marketing tactic received a lot of new subscriptions to their newsletter and probably a lot un-subscriptions afterwards.

The open beta was the first time the mass audience could try out the game and get their taste of World War 1 combat. 2 modes (Conquest, Rush) were available to play over the single map Sinai Desert – a barren sandscape with some ruined buildings scattered across the map – acting as the capture points in Conquest. Mountains ran through the map, which offered many high sniping spots. It would have been nice if we had at least another map to play with, as after a few rounds, the game started to feel a bit stale.

With Battlefield 4, the levels would deliver huge set pieces that altered the map in some state and with Sinai Desert, this was the same. I have encountered 2 different types of weather effects: sandstorm and fog. A new feature has been the inclusion of the Train, which is spawned once the opposing team has reached halfway point to victory. The train can be occupied by at least 6 people; 1 to drive and 5 to man the weapons. As with betas, there have been many bugs resulting in sometimes hilarious results. Light tanks would often feel invulnerable and easy ways to score some points. So far, the game has been fairly enjoyable and I’m looking forward to when they announce further maps.

Playing Sinai Desert, there was a feeling of similarity, as it could have seemed to a passerby that we were playing Star Wars Battlefront TM. Hopefully, other maps will have more battlefield feeling. Since both games are using the same engine, both games will often feel similar.

The open beta has been reported to end on 8th September, as well as a new update released that removes the timer from conquest mode.

 

 

The sweeping craze of the 22 pushup challenge

Another year, another amazing example of using social media to create awareness and virality through creating engaging content, that’s tied to a good cause.

What am I talking about? Well, most of the world with internet and TV probably have heard about the #22pushupchallenge. Started by a charitable organisation in the US, they challenged people to create awareness about veteran soldiers suffering from PTSD and its’ challenges on their mental health. You can read more into the details of what the organisation does to support and deal with these problems here: Honor Courage Commitment.

This social awareness campaign challenges people to complete 22 push ups for 22 days, in order to spread the message that on average, 22 veterans will commit suicide every day. They challenge as many friends as they want and they repeat process. We’ve already seen many celebrities get involved with this campaign and also creative attempts at completing the challenge differently.

Does this last beyond the initial effect?

There is definitely no mistaking that social media can help to increase the awareness of this cause, however will it actually create a lasting impact? The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised over £88 million pounds thanks to the initial effect of social media driving the cause. This has led to researchers being able to take the next step in curing the disease.

This means, that when the #22pushupchallenge comes to an end after 22 days, it is possible to see a similar lasting impact as the ALS Icebucket challenge created. The nice thing about this challenge, is that anyone can start it whenever they wish, therefore individually increasing the duration of this campaign.

Another Olympics has come and gone.

With the RIO 2016 Olympics having ended on the 22nd August, we’ve seen some great spectacles and glorious moments that’ll live on; until the next Olympics at Tokyo anyway. We’ve also seen the usual plethora of brands itching to take a piece of the advertising pie, whether that’s in the form of another emotional or cheesy promotional stunt.

Given the continuous rise of digital technology, we’ve seen more brands adopt social media to create a message of support for their home nation and also bring in a few new fans as well. Although, I am starting to feel that we are seeing the same types of message during these events, from different brands and a lack of creativity is starting to creep in.  However, it’s not just brands using social media to boost their fans, we’ve seen social media being used to turn some athletes into viral content, during the RIO 2016 Olympics and spread positive messages to everyone. For example, we’ve seen the bronze winning swimmer (Fu Yuanhui) rise to internet stardom, with her cute and funny personality during her realisation she has actually won a medal. During the semi-finals of the 100m sprint, we were treated to the delighted faces of Usain Bolt and Andre De-Grasse. We witnessed the rise of Singapore’s Joseph Schooling win GOLD in the 100m Men’s Butterfly, beating fellow athlete and role model Michael Phelps. These are just some of the best moments captured and spread around social media. And during the closing ceremony, Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, erupted the crowd and the world, when he appeared dressed as Mario to signal the passing of the Torch for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

When I see brands post on Facebook a simple wallpost with a nice support message, I feel they could try a bit more and do something different to stand out. For example, maybe a brand could be willing to reward their home athletes with a gift, to show their thanks or even setup an event to help invest into the future of their athletes. By doing these extra steps, they will be able to stand out from the rest of the brands posting the same messages and maybe generate more virality and also create future brand advocates. Even with the availability of 360 and VR technology, we didn’t see a great deal of this type of content being produced during the RIO Olympics, which I feel could have been a missed opportunity.

Snapchat, is another platform that I feel is starting to get more popular among the brands, however there is probably still an ill feeling about the ROI they get back. We’ve seen Instagram update recently to have similar functions and try to steal back some of the audience from Snapchat. There are a few brands, that have fully committed to Snapchat, brands that deliver news and gossip have created profiles to publish short clips of their latest stories. As a user, I rarely feel the interest to click on them and often give their content a miss. The main appeal of Snapchat, I feel is when there are major events being held and people can post new snaps of themselves with different filters. During the RIO 2016 Olympics, Snapchat released a few different filters putting you in different sports, with your nation’s flag, depending on your GPS location. This is where I’ve seen some brands create their own filters to help promote their content, such as a filter to promote the latest DLC for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare or a zombie filter to tease the arrival of the newest season for The Walking Dead. These filters are lighthearted pieces of content that users enjoy spending their time on and I believe this is where brands should focus on, if they can relate their content to a major event.

Also, don’t forget that the RIO Paralympics have just started and I feel strange that they have the closing ceremony even though we still have these games to continue. Although we won’t see the same level of branded support or social media coverage,  I wish in the future to see both able-bodied and Paralympics to be celebrated at the same time.

Thanks for reading.

My first post

Hello to anyone that may spot this or not.

It has been a few years since I posted any articles online to do with advertising and technology.

But right now, I feel I have the time to write some posts about the things I enjoy  and hope to build up a blog of articles I can look back in the future.

See you all soon.