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100 Days, our forthcoming show about health: http://youtube.com/100days
Our brand new community tab: https://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers/community

In which John discusses the beta release of YouTube's community tab, which allows channels to upload text posts, images, GIFs, and live shows. This is a big change, and yes change is terrifying, but we're really excited to see YouTube focusing on the community-building aspects of the site.

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Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday. So several months ago, YouTube came to us to talk about a product they were working on. I should stop here and say that, in general, I dislike change. Like I think YouTube reached its peak in July of 2007 when our channel looked like this and the site went down for maintenance almost every single Wednesday. I enjoy anachronisms like physical books and, I guess, headphone jacks. So, I was a little dubious, but I'm genuinely excited about this change, which debuts today. But first, let me back up and talk about a seemingly unrelated thing.

For the last couple years, I've wanted to make a YouTube show about health and fitness called 100 Days, where two ordinary people spend 100 days eating well, exercising a lot, and doing everything that's been proven by randomized controlled trials to improve your health. We'd work with experts to learn why it's so hard to make lasting changes in your life and along the way, we would measure our progress by testing stuff we want to be better at. You know, like concentration tests and push-up contests and hamstring flexibility, which at the moment for me is just a little bit limited.

But there were two problems with this show. First, I didn't want to exercise and eat well for 100 days because sitting and pizza aren't just a way of life. They're my way of life. And second, we wanted to make this show with lots of infographics and pictures and recipes and live shows so it would feel deeply connected. But to do that would mean maintaining a billion new social media profiles - a thought I just could not stomach.

This has been an ongoing problem because we've always had to build homes off YouTube for the non-video community stuff. Like if you want to submit a photo or a painting to The Art Assignment you have to do so via Tumblr or Twitter or Facebook. We can't post worksheets or essays to accompany Crash Course videos, and to fully engage with The Project for Awesome, you have to follow us on social media.

YouTube has always thought of itself as being about video. But for many of us, it's mostly been about community. I'd argue that the best YouTube channels aren't just shows you lean back and watch, they're communities you're part of. And for a long time, that was seen as YouTube's great weakness. Like in the early days, YouTube actually released a product called Lean Back that allowed you to watch videos without engaging with them. Because advertisers, especially back then, thought engaged viewers were bad news. Like for one thing, engaged viewers are less likely to watch ads. But also, the idea that mass media could be made and shaped directly by the masses was kind of terrifying.

But in spite of it all, YouTube has continued to be a community platform and today, they have embraced that with the release of the community tab. This allows channels to post texts, images, live videos and both GIFs (jifs) and GIFs. These will show up in your mobile subscription feeds and on desktop here, in the community section. You can also sign up to get notifications when we post to the community tab with say, a book review or a live show or results from the Nerdfighter census.

It's still in beta testing, there are lots of features to come but I'm really excited about it because 1. It means Hank and I can finally make our YouTube channels the community hubs we've always wanted them to be, 2. Live shows are now easier and better. You can see this today when I do a live Question Tuesday. And 3. In our beta testing the quality of discourse in comments in the community tab has been great. Like upvotes actually work and also, it's much easier to moderate.

I just realized it sounds like I'm being paid to say these things. To be clear, I'm not. We have never and will never accept any kind of corporate sponsorship on Vlogbrothers. But we did work closely with YouTube on the development of the community tab and I do think it's awesome.

Which brings me back, at last, to 100 Days. So, starting January 1st, you'll be able to watch my best friend Chris and me try to have, like, the healthiest midlife crisis ever. The show will include not just videos but exercise routines, recipes, live shows and text posts. And it will all live right here on YouTube, a community platform that also hosts videos.

Chris incidentally is known to Nerdfighteria primarily for once appearing in a Vlogbrothers video wearing a Speedo. But trust me, you'll like him. So you can head over to youtube.com/100days and subscribe now if you want to see me perform, like, aerial acrobatics and hopefully eventually someday touch, if not my toes, at least my, like, mid-shins.

In a live show later today, I'll be answering your questions about 100 Days and look forward to your ideas about how to make it awesome. Hank, I will see you on Friday. Actually, I will probably see you before then, thanks to the community tab.