“What I’m Watching”: an explainer

I am no fan of algorithms.

Sure, they can be helpful for math and stuff. But as a means to increase human interaction, I am not the biggest fan.

When the large media enterprises were fighting home taping at the US Supreme Court, perennial badass Mr. Rogers famously told the court that he was “opposed to people being programmed by others.” This message is something I’ve always taken seriously. Now, the large media enterprises such as Google/YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are programming us using algorithms, shaping the fabric of how we discover new information. This ultimately shapes our worldview in ways we can’t imagine here in 2023.

I’ve undoubtedly benefited, and continue to benefit, from a YouTube algorithm that has promoted my work to folks who’ve never heard of me. That said, reliance on a computer for feeding us content has led to some… undoubtedly negative consequences. (I was going to list some here but I don’t think I have to.)

As a means to counter that, I am introducing a new feature for the Veronica Explains family of products[sarcasm], “What I’m Watching”.

How “What I’m Watching” works

It’s simple: I’m going to try to shout out someone else’s video (YouTube, PeerTube, etc) at the end of each of mine.

It might be tangentially related to what I’m working on, it might be entirely unrelated. But it will be an honest, human recommendation.

I’m also going to try and blog about it a little bit. I’ll likely add a little section to my website about it at some point, as well- basically, a list of videos I’ve enjoyed.

I “create content”, can I join you in this?

Of course- I don’t own the concept of (checks notes) recommending things.

I want to encourage the kind of human-based discoverability that has worked since our species figured out “language.” “Hey, I saw this, thought it was neat, maybe you want to see it.” That sort of thing.

You know, communication. It’s fun once you get the hang of it.

If you want to view this little idea as a “challenge”, be my guest: I hereby challenge other “content creators” to directly recommend the work of others in their projects.

I don’t “create content”. How can I help?

First of all, you probably do “create content” if you’re participating in the modern web, but I digress.

You can help! If someone (me, or someone else) recommends a video or website post, and you enjoy it, let people know.

Example: I recommend a Taylor and Amy video (as I did on my livestream a couple of weeks ago). If my recommendation works out, tell me. Then tell them. Then recommend their stuff to others.

In other words: communicate!

Thanks for reading!

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