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In which Hank talks about the project for awesome and how amazing it is that the online video community can come together and do so much good in so little time. Thank you everyone!!!


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A Bunny
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((') (')
Good morning John.

In 2007, a group of people got together and we hacked YouTube. There's a lot of ways to put it but I think that's the simplest. We used all the tricks that we'd learned as YouTubers to help our videos get more views, and we used those tricks more than we would ever have used those tricks normally. And while this would have felt underhanded and maybe even a little bit dirty if we were just doing it to grow our video views, instead, if felt awesome because we were doing it for charity. Unfortunately, Mike Huckabee's attempts to hack the republican nomination for president interfered with our taking over the entire first page of the most discussed page, but in the end, our hack was more successful than his.

The project continued annually, although every year seeming a little bit less subversive, a little bit less underground and a little bit more legitimate, and more and more YouTube actually wanted to work together with us to promote it. I'm like "YouTube! What's up? That's not what it's about. You're supposed to be some faceless monolith that we have to work through the back doors to get to the top. You're not supposed to be like 'Hi my name is Ramia, and this is Margaret and Ben and Chris and we're all gonna help you get to the front page of YouTube and you don't have to subvert us, we want to help'". What I just realized John, is often the most elegant hacks have an element of social engineering. The real con relies on somebody weaseling their way in the organization so that they can do stuff from the inside. And let me tell you, we weaseled our way like no other. We went from having to use every trick in the book to get a few more thousand views on YouTube, to YouTube literally banging down our door to get involved.

Why is that? Well, I think it's two reasons. One, because I think everyone wants to help and they're just looking for a way. Like we all know that the world is broken but it's just so hard to figure out how to get involved without feeling really, just depressed about the whole thing. People want it to be meaningful but they don't want to feel bad about it. They don't want to hate their entire lives just because they're trying to do something good and I think that everybody knows that that's what the Project For Awesome's for. Really the obvious and real reason why YouTube wants to be involved in this is because they see how powerful this community is and how much more powerful it could be if we all shared these resources and used the power of our community and of their platform and mixed it together for true epicness.

So honestly, what we're doing here, is hacking for charity harder than ever before. We hacked WheezyWaiter's chest hair, we hacked John's fear of heights, and we hacked YouTube from the inside out. I mean how else could we change the logo, get 40 front page video features and have access to a team of YouTube employees to plan a ridiculously fancy live show.

And yeah, I think next year, we're gonna do it a little bit differently, but there is no denying that this has been the most successful Project For Awesome ever. 600,000 comments, on over 3000 Project For Awesome videos with a total running time of over 40 hours and total video views of over 10 million. And whereas previous Project For Awesomes had been all about raising awareness through creation of videos, this year, we also raised money. Over $100,000 in small donations and a total of over $130,000. That of course meaning that the vast majority of that money was raised by small donations from individuals like you. Thousands of individuals giving what they can, adding up to a huge, huge number. I think I'm proud of the Project For Awesome more than I'm proud of anything else that I've ever done.

The quality of the videos produced for the project keeps going up, the total number of people working on it keeps going up, and I'm so impressed by the way people work together cause they want to work together and they, everyone feels they're sort of equal part in this thing. And more than anything, I feel like we are all people being people no matter where we are or what our circumstances are which I think has implications way beyond the Project For Awesome.

Thank you to all of you. Thank you John, and John, I will see you on Wednesday.

End screen time! There was one video that didn't get a lot of promotion during the Project For Awesome because it was uploaded a little late, but man are you going to weep. Shawn's Uncultured Project video this year--you should click and check it out right now.