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So the thing I /meant/ to talk about in this video was:

If the distribution systems available to stories affect what kind of stories get told, then think of all of the wonderful stories that simply aren't being told. Information that simply never had a way to get out in its most effective way.

We all know that some stories are better movies than books, or better books than movies, but for so long publishing companies and book sellers (and book buyers) shunned short-format fiction because it didn't make sense financially.

It was hard to ship around, not a great value for the reader, and hard to make money on for the publisher. So most short-form media we ingested was video or non-fiction (magazine articles.)

But now that there's a simple system for digital content, suddenly serialized novels and novellas are in high demand. The kind of content that wasn't produced for a generation now has an audience again. But what about all of those amazing short stories and novellas that we didn't get in the intervening time?! Maybe all of those creators were writing novels and we got great work out of them but, then again, maybe we didn't.

And now we have all of this infrastructure built up around novels. not just in book stores, but in our own minds! The idea of novels, their importance. Not to mention the fact that most classes you can and will take will focus on that format because that's the format that has, for the most part, existed. And teachers might even discourage students from publishing in other formats because they're "not legitimate" or because the teachers grew up in a world where there was no market for that.

But instead, in this video, I mostly just yell at you without saying anything because my brain is totally fried. HOPE YOU DON'T MIND!

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Hi! Good morning John. It's Hank. It's Friday. It's Friday... October, uh, hmm... Gotta get out my pocket computer. The 16th. 

So we got to hangout, you and me, in Minneapolis at NerdCon. There's a very brief interaction between us at the end of the most recent episode of Dear Hank and John. If you didn't know, we have a podcast, it's called Dear Hank and John. We answer your questions and give you dubious advice and bring you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. 

I feel like I'm too tall. I feel like I set the camera up too low. There we go. Hey, now I'm all the way down here. Alright. My chair's feel low though, I feel silly now. I got my knees all right on up on my chest.

So NerdCon went really great. I've been literally sitting here editing NerdCon stuff. We're throwing some of it up on the YouTube channel, so that people who weren't there can see it. And people who were can experience it again, which I'm getting to do as I edit it: it's really enjoyable!

I mean I do like to edit video, turns out. It's a nice thing, after eight years of doing something, to realize I quite like this. I knew that I liked making videos, like, like writing them, and getting them up on the internet, and, like, looking at people looking at my thing. But I've actually realized that I like the editing part, the sitting and the clicking by myself. I like the other parts. The loud parts with the interaction and the people and everybody watching. But I also like the quiet, like, quiet times, just me and my computer whose name is Greg. Greg the Computer. Hi Greg, how ya doing? Oh, I know. Always the same! Just making that small noise of you cooling yourself off. Greg's a hot, he's a hottie.

I came away from NerdCon thinking a lot of different things with a lot of different, like, I, these are video ideas! And as you can tell right now by the fact that that we're quite a ways in, we haven’t really talked about anything! I don’t know which one to pick! So instead I'm just "Guh!", doing one of those videos where I scream at you and nothing happens. Ah!

Okay, a thing: talking to Paolo Bacigalupi, one of my favorite authors. What do I got up here that's his? Here’s one! This one, Ship Breaker. I think it won a thing, it won staff pick. I don't think it may have won a, won a Printz, er, a Printz honoree, I'm not sure. Does it really matter if it was a staff pick though at Shakespeare and Company in Missoula, Montana which you should go to if you ever have a chance because local bookstores, part of the fabric that holds a community together. Think about that next time you're on Amazon or I'm on Amazon buying cat litter.

What was the most recent thing I bought on Amazon? I'm curious to find out. The most recent thing... (Laughs) I got a secret for you, it doesn't smell great 'cause it was in the dirty laundry but here it is. It's my "no its becky" shirt, one of my very favorite internet things that's happened on the internet, no it becky. Right up there with anus georg, I love anus georg so much. That's better, back to my normal sort of low-level stink.

Anyway, I was talking to Paolo Bacigalupi and we had this great conversation about how the formats that are available to us tend to actually influence the stories that get told. Like for ages the only video formats we had were the thirty minute episode, the sixty minute episode, and the movie length thing. But because YouTube happened, suddenly there was this new format that was available to people and this format wasn't influenced by when advertising was gonna show up or just by the weirdness of dividing a day into 24 pieces and saying, like, "Each on of these, that's going to be the length of a TV episode". And it was influenced just by what's the best possible format for telling a quick story or making a quick thing.

And so suddenly in 2007 you have the Vlogbrothers being, like, "We can never make a video more than four minutes long. We're gonna impose that artificial restriction on ourselves" just like we did when we decided as a culture that days were gonna have 24 hunks. It's all arbitrary and it's weird and it's great that we have stuck with that and, like, this is the format. And now that I have to say, despite the fact that I only just got to the point, I have to end this video because as I said, we imposed an arbitrary distinction upon ourselves and we must enforce it.

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.