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In which John talks about nerdfighteria and the risks and opportunities of growth and change in online communities.

Leave your punishment suggestions in comments. (Blergh.)
*12 Seconds of Silence*

Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday. So a YouTube employee once told me that almost all so-called "Low Engagement Viewers" decide whether to watch a video in the first 12 seconds and I don't want any low engagement viewers today, hence the 12 seconds of silence. Also, how long is 12 seconds of silence on YouTube? An eternity!

By the way Hank, I'm in Amsterdam. That is not a green screen or anything - it only looks impossibly beautiful.

Right, but anyway, the easiest and most obvious metric for success for a YouTube video is how many views it gets and lately ours have been getting a lot of views. Like in the past month, our new videos have averaged over 600,000 views. Meanwhile, a lot of other things are also increasing the size of Nerdfighteria.

By the way, in a stunning turn of events, it is raining in Amsterdam, so I think I'm going to go inside. Rain's relationship with Amsterdam is like mine - it visited once and its was like "This is great!" and then it kept coming back. 

This is better. So Nerdfighteria is growing in lots of ways. Like my books are reaching a much larger audience than I ever imagined - I mean Hank, I don't regularly get emails in like all capital letters from 80 year old grandmothers that are like "My granddaughter told me to read your book and I did and I liked it and now my entire retirement home's book club is reading it. PS What happens to Anna's mom?". And that's awesome because A. we need more old people in Nerdfighteria and B. its good to know that 80 year olds and teenagers ask the same questions.

Also, CrashCourse and SciShow and Mental Floss all have large and growing audiences and the very way that we find YouTube videos is changing. I mean having a feed instead of a subscription box means that we see more videos from channels we aren't subscribed to and fewer from the ones we are subscribed to. 

So here's my fear Hank. As communities grow - especially if they grow without deepening - they paradoxically often become less important. Like a lot of people watch the television program "Two And A Half Men" but that show's community is far less interesting and important than a much less popular show like "Supernatural". Now of course bigger doesn't always mean less important - like the Harry Potter books for instance reached a fairly large audience but still that core community of Potter fans, who like listen to wizard rock and started the Harry Potter Alliance, made big and lasting changes in the world and they're still making them. 

In short Hank, if we're going to keep growing, I want to make sure that we grow like that. So Hank, we realized several years ago that fame isn't very fulfilling but what is tremendously fulfilling is the opportunity to make stuff you like with people you like. So I want to make that re-commitment to Nerdfighteria that this is truly a collaboration among all of us. I think we should continue to make videos that explain stuff like healthcare costs and sovereign debt and the war in Syria, and I also think we should make videos about stuff we care about like the TFiOS movie, which I care about very much. But Hank I also want to be making good and funny and nerdy stuff with Nerdfighteria so let's start today.

My last video was over 4 minutes long. Nerdfighters in Our Pants, which sounds dirty but isn't, decided that it did not meet the definition of an educational video, ergo I am punished. By the way for those of you who are new: Our Pants is the forum, our videos aren't allowed to be more than 4 minutes long unless they're educational, Hank is my brother, I like pizza, Hank likes corn dogs and Nerdfighters are nerds who fight to make the world suck less. Also Hank, according to the Nerdfighters in Our Pants, we both already owe punishments so we're both punished and I'm doubly punished. So Nerdfighters, we need lots of punishment suggestions in comments.

Hank, thanks for the update video which might be even better than 12 seconds of silence at getting non-nerdfighters to stop watching. I'm very excited for Emma Approved, by the way, and I will see you on Friday.