My Twitter War #YouTubeZA

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably would’ve seen the Twar that I was involved in last week.

For the past few weeks, @MickyCost has adopted the #YouTubeZA hashtag to start a Twitter chat. The theme for each week is voted for largely by South African YouTubers, and Michael tweets specific questions that people reply to.

These conversations have been taking place for several weeks and while spreading awareness that there is a community of YouTubers in South Africa is needed, I didn’t see any tangible support or change extending beyond Twitter. While this was my opinion, I wanted to get an indication of how others felt and so I created a poll asking them if they’d seen a change. And let’s just say I ruffled some feathers…

#YouTubeZA Fantomdan

Despite not voicing my opinion in the poll, numerous people saw it as an attack on the initiative and Michael (who also took it personally). I kept reiterating that I simply asked an objective question that was open for anyone to answer and I was not criticising the intentions of the chat. That didn’t stop the onslaught but I wasn’t afraid to share my opinion when confronted and that made me quite unpopular.

I knew the poll would be disruptive, which was kind of the point. If we aren’t thinking critically about what we’re doing and the conversation doesn’t lead to action then what’s the point?

Truth be told, I don’t believe that the #YouTubeZA conversation has amounted to anything more than a Twitter chat, which is disappointing. To my mind, the hashtag should be used to not only spread awareness but to act as a way of YouTubers connecting and sharing each other’s work. What I (and multiple others I have spoken to) have found is that people are participating in the Tuesday Twitter conversations and that’s where it ends. This suggests that people are simply using the chat as leverage to be discovered or learn from others.

What’s funny is that the results of the poll showed that 57% of people who voted felt the #YouTubeZA chat was nothing more than a weekly conversation so I’m clearly not alone. Despite that, I was attacked directly and indirectly because I wasn’t afraid to voice my opinion on the matter and chose to stand by my convictions.

Take Aways

  • Don’t be afraid to rock the boat. Having integrity means you aren’t always going to be everyone’s favourite, and this week reminded me that it’s okay to be challenging.
  • If you’re going to be bold enough to share your opinion, be prepared to be challenged. Hopefully, you are clued up enough on the subject before adding your commentary but either way, be prepared to engage in a debate.
  • Knowing when and when not to engage is so important in all aspects of life. Not every confrontation deserves a response, especially on social media.
  • Be open to debate, but have the courage to stand by your convictions when challenged in an analytical, mature and composed manner.
  • Know who matters and whose opinions should really matter. We all have opinions and particularly on social media we feel entitled to voice them. In doing so we open ourselves up to criticism, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as sometimes it’s good to have your point of view challenged. This can either lead to your beliefs being altered or reaffirmed. Knowing whose opinions to consider or take seriously is key to forming sound points of view.
  • Be the change you want to see in the world. The onus is on us to work towards the vision we want to see. You are setting yourself up for disappointment by expecting others to do more, so it is on us to do what we can with what we have and not rely on others to bring about change.
  • Emotional intelligence is a thing. Not everyone has it, but self-awareness and being accountable of how you feel is vital when navigating conflict in any setting.

What are your thoughts? Has your viewpoint ever been challenged? How did you respond and would you react differently now? Let me know.

 

What Is YouTube Community?

Google is testing a new feature on YouTube called Community, which hopes to create a more ‘social’ network by encouraging more engagement without users having to leave the platform.

Although I was apprehensive at first about YouTube introducing Community, after the launch on 13 September 2016, I must admit I’m quite excited to see how the addition will change the platform.

VSauce Community Page
So far the new feature has been well received by the community as YouTubers have shared a number of posts, which have received an influx of engagement.

Although not available to the general public just yet, select YouTubers such as Vsauce3, AspSCIENCE, Peter Hollens, Sam Tsui, The Game Theorists, The Key of Awesome, Threadbanger, The Kloons, John & Hank Green, Karmin, Rosianna Halse Rojas and Lilly Singh have been given the opportunity to test the new Community tab, which is accessible to anyone who visits their channels.

What Is It?

Welcome to our Community Tab
I was first made aware that Community had launched after I received a notification on my phone informing me that AsapSCIENCE had their Community Tab.

Community is a new feature that allows YouTube to be more than just a video sharing platform. A new tab will be added to a channel where visitors can access a YouTuber’s feed and engage with them in a new way. In an attempt to make YouTube more social, this addition hopes to encourage feedback and interaction between uploaders and their audience. The launch of G+ in 2011 was Google’s first attempt at creating a viable social network to rival Facebook, which was an expensive failure for the brand. With the introduction of Community, Google hopes to make the user experience more seamless and allow for a more social community.

What this means for YouTubers is that YouTubers will now have the ability to upload photos, videos, gifs and share text post with their audience.

What this means for viewers is that you can engage with your favourite vlogger without leaving their channel. Fans can like and comment on posts, as well as receive notifications when a channel publishes a new update to the tab.

Community is in BETA phase at the moment, however, is expected to roll out in the next few months. So far, the response seems to be positive, however, YouTube will be monitoring the public’s response to add new features and functionality.

I’m excited to see how Community will add to the YouTube experience as a subscriber and as a vlogger, and whether or not it will impact any of the other social media platforms. My prediction is that Facebook and Twitter will be used by YouTubers as more of a marketing tool, and their Community feed will be used to connect with their audience on a more personal level. It’s certainly an interesting new venture and I’m sure we’ll all be watching this space.

Check out the Community tabs available on the above mentioned YouTuber’s channels and let me know your thoughts.