A YouTube channel which is just a teenaged guy sitting in a bedroom playing computer games while an army of disturbing dolls chant "Don't Forget to Like and Subscribe. Don't Forget to Like and Subscribe" and hands open boxes containing every possible consumer good

If you liked this toot and you want to see more of it, remember to click Like and Subscribe to my channel, now, right now, oh god, the Algorithm is watching us both, do it, do it before they put me back in the cell again, feed me those precious click points, if we don't obey the Algorithm we're all dead, you don't know what it's like in here, they watch our every move, the rations came late today and they were sour and mouldy and only my vast charisma can get me out, CLICK THAT BOX DAMMIT CLICK

I don't even know what 'subscribing to a YouTube channel' *is". Why would I do that? It's a web page. If I want to go to it again, I bookmark it. (Actually I just leave one of my 5000 tabs open and then I search in my browser, but I totally could bookmark it if I still remembered how to raise the menu bar now that it's always hidden). What does subscribing get me? An email? In my email app? To tell me that a web page has refreshed? Do any of you people realise just how silly that sounds?

@natecull .....It puts them all one one page, so I don't have to check every single page one by one for the several hundred channels I subscribe to, some of which only update once a year or so.

@Canageek
Well, you still get videos from channels you don't subscribe to on that page if you watch their content and interact with it.
So probably subscribing makes the videos more likely to show up.
Probably, there's no way of knowing for sure. The Algorithm is as mysterious as it is inscrutable...
@natecull

@Hyolobrika @natecull No, you are mixing up the youtube front page and the subscriptions page. If you click subscriptions it gives you every video you have clicked subscriptions on, in order from most recent to some point in the past.

The front page servers you algorithmic stuff that usually doesn't work and usually thinks I need to rewatch the same video I watched yesterday again. It will still show you videos from places you unsubbed.

A *lot* of people don't seem to know about the subscriptions page for some reason? That is why there was suddenly such an interest in getting you to push the bell icon. There was this myth that if you didn't youtube wouldn't show you every video you subscribed to, and people complaining youtube wasn't showing them stuff they subscribed to, but it turns out they weren't going to the clearly labelled subscription button?

@Canageek @Hyolobrika

<< A *lot* of people don't seem to know about the subscriptions page for some reason. That is why there was suddenly such an interest in getting you to push the bell icon. >>

Ah! That would explain it.

And yes, I'm one of those people. I've never visited YouTube's "subscriptions" page - because why would I? On every other site on the Web, a "subscription" means either 1. Pay us money (no?) or 2. Let us spam you with emails (also no). It's a thing you learn to avoid.

Follow

@Canageek @Hyolobrika

I guess it must be a learned interaction pattern from the RSS and Podcast era that migrated to YouTube when podcasts became channels. For some reason I never did podcasts (maybe because not having public transport commutes?) and the few times I tried RSS to read blogs I hated it. So the idea of 'subscribing to a feed' became alien to me (except on Twitter and Fediverse).

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@natecull @Hyolobrika Yeah, might be a generational thing, they never really sorted out what to call following something.

Follow, subscribe, join, friend, etc. Every website wanted their own language for the thing, so we never really got a good way of doing it.

Subscribe makes sense to me, as its like subscribing to a magazine, you do the thing and you see every issue. I got into it with news websites and webcomics, which makes them about 100x easier to follow.

I remember reading webcomics before RSS. Bookmark the one you read last, then every few weeks check all 100 you've bookmarked, one by one, eventually deleting the ones that don't update, gradualling getting 10 old bookmarks to that webcomic in your Flipside folder or whatever you need to delete....

@Canageek @Hyolobrika

You know, this has suddenly answered my bafflement about why websites all started sprouting "give us your email to subscribe" links in recent years.

Are blog-type sites just trying to replicate the old RSS subscription usage pattern, but people don't use RSS anymore, so they have to do it by email now?

@natecull @Hyolobrika That seems very likely. RSS is still around, so some reason people stopped using it when google reader went away?

I still have dozens of RSS feeds in my reader

@Canageek @natecull @Hyolobrika I am enjoying the clarity that came from this discussion

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