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MLA Full: "Re-Thinking our YouTube Channel." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 3 January 2020,
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APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2020, January 3). Re-Thinking our YouTube Channel [Video]. YouTube.
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Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "Re-Thinking our YouTube Channel.", January 3, 2020, YouTube, 03:58,

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is $2.99:

Our Tour is Next Week:

Originally when writing this video there was quite a lot more about nails and stress and also about how the mindless acquisition of something that previously held value beyond any objective utility creates more stress than it alleviates, but then it got to be a LOT about money and not a lot about community so I'm saving that for later. But if you noticed the ghost of that argument hiding in this video...well done. 

Also, I made this video yesterday, so I didn't have time to consider the geopolitics of January 3, 2020. However, I am also not an expert on Iran, so I basically have nothing useful to say except, "It's ok to not know what's going on right now. It's going to take a while before anyone knows."

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Good morning, John.  Ten years ago today, I know exactly where I was, because I was inside a Target for 15 hours.  Ten years ago!

The last ten years has been really big. It's been big, and I can't really talk, like, get my mind around it even, but I do know that I have changed a lot and what we do on this channel has changed a lot.  For example, in order to prepare for this video, I went to look at my schedule for 2010 and discovered that I didn't have a schedule in 2010.  But I think more importantly that over the last ten years, John, you and I have just gotten less interested in optimizing this channel for growth, for like, reaching new audience.

If you find your way here, absolutely, good work, but we're not really trying to grow it, for three reasons.  One, it's just gotten harder and our skills are less suited to it.  Two, YouTube recommends stuff based on lots of different things, specifically, it would like us to make 8-12 minute long vlogbrothers videos and I just don't want to!  I like this.  I like making four minute videos and that's the rules!  But most importantly, number three, growth beyond a certain point just gets less interesting and worse.

Depending on what you want to do, of course, but like, specifically for this channel.  Let's talk about why, but first, how many nails does a carpenter need?  It depends on what they're building, right, so you have to look and say, what do I want to do, and obviously, for any given project, it's bad to have not enough nails, but after a certain point, like, you could have too many nails.  Eventually you have so many nails that the nails don't provide you relief from stress.  They add to your stress.  The point is to get to here.  Eventually, you just spend more time thinking about your nails than you do actually building the house.

I've thought about this a lot in the last couple weeks.  I just don't think that, at its core, vlogbrothers is about entertainment.  Yes, I want to do that sometimes, but I think it's about doing things together and thinking about things together.  Things like Life's Library and the Project for Awesome and our work with Partners in Health and just all of the ideas that we've talked about over the years that have helped me understand how to be a person and how the world works, and Dear Hank and John and SciShow and Crash Course.  Like, SciShow and Crash Course long ago eclipsed vlogbrothers in subscribers, in views, all that stuff, but vlogbrothers, just by virtue of the fact that those channels wouldn't exist without it, has had more impact on the world despite having a smaller audience.

Sometime in the last ten years, and not all at once and not at the same time, John and I realized that you don't need a million nails to build a house.  We actually internalized this.  It took a while that the, this channel isn't about having the biggest number under the video, it's about doing things. Creating stuff, thinking about things together. Not only is that like, a goal of mine, it's also when I'm most happy, and there are limits to that, because I want it to actually be a group of people who recognize the humanity of all of the other people, and as the numbers get too big, you lose track of that.

Also, this channel is unquestionably personality-based, and having too many people have opinions about your personality, it turns out, is not great, actually.  Crash Course now has over 10 million subscribers and it should grow as much as it can, because its goal is to reach people with educational content, but vlogbrothers, like, no!  We're good!  

You, watching this video, are part of something that helps stuff exist in the world and that stuff is sometimes real stuff and sometimes it's ideas that we wouldn't have if we weren't thinking together as a community.  That's pretty weird and it's cool and it's special and I'm really, really happy about it, and in that vein, three things.

First, the Nerdfighteria Census is out.  You can go fill it out right now.  Thank you so much to people who do that so we can understand who we all are better.  We've been doing the census every year since 2013 and it's super vital to how we make decisions about what we do.  So if you can take the 10-20 minutes it will take to fill it out, please, please, please do so.

Number two, the Kindle ebook of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is $3 right now, so if you want to get it dirt cheap, you can.  I don't think it's gonna be that way for much longer.

And finally, if you want to come see us in Atlanta or Raleigh or St. Pete next week, we will be there.  John, I'll see you on Tuesday.