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Monday, January 6, 2020

Where did YouTube comments go, and what now?


It's a little late, but YouTube today completed the second round of implementation of their changes to comply with the COPPA lawsuit settlement (that I've talked about quite a bit in the past) as well as some questionable add-ons they've bundled along.  The settlement was announced in September 2019 and in November we learned a lot of the specifics of what would be changing.  Now comments & end screens are completely disabled from most of my videos, and you will generally not get subscription notifications when I upload new content (not that many of you got these anyhow).  Some other features will be impacted as well.  All of this is because these videos count as "mixed audience" content according to YouTube's own definitions and had to be marked as "for kids" and restricted as such. The actual COPPA rule that YouTube flagrantly broke and is now forcing us creators to follow on their behalf actually allows "mixed audience" videos to be marked as "not for kids" since, by definition, "children are not the primary audience."  However, this requires a small extra step to be implemented by YouTube, and guess what YouTube didn't do?  It's pretty messed up.

At the time of this writing, my plan remains unchanged from last year.  I'm going to continue publishing my real-time Pure Builds, time lapse speed builds, and reviews & MOCs as I've done up to now.  Those of you who are aged 13 or older are welcomed & encouraged to continue commenting on my Pure Builds videos as those are very clearly aimed at a more patient, mature crowd and I've not seen any evidence that younger kids are interested in that content.  I have also been thinking up more ways to make videos on my main JangBricks channel that can be easily and honestly marked as "not for kids" per COPPA definitions, so you'll be able to comment on those.  You can also comment here on the blog, or on these other social media accounts:
As for the loss of subscription notifications, there's not much I personally can do, though you as a viewer can still work around this.  You know I upload regularly (averaging once/day over the long term), so just check the main channel any time you want to see what's new, especially during busy release seasons like we're in right now!  I decided not to spam up all of my social media accounts with "Hey I just posted a new video, go check it out!" posts every day, though I will do some occasional updates and I'm experimenting with posting videos natively on Facebook as well.

20 comments:

  1. Hello Jang! Your community is still alive and well, I’m so sorry we cannot communicate with you anymore but as a fan I still want to stay in touch. I’m still loving your videos just as much as I did when I first saw them. Love you man!!! Keep it up!!

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  2. Hey Jang!
    Happy New Year!

    As an AFOL I'll be still watching all of your videos (reviews, pure builds, etc). I'm not the commenting type and I don't read comments as well. So this is not a loss for me.
    I'll keep supporting you, by watching and I hope that you won't give up, or at least any time soon :) Because of you I have changed my mind on so many sets, that now I own and honestly, first I watch your reviews and then I decide if I want it or not.

    Thank you for all your great work and just for being a cool guy!
    Greetings from Bulgaria!

    Best regards,
    Jordan

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  3. This is such an unfortunate situation, but I am glad that you are persevering! I will continue to check your channel and enjoy your content no matter what terrible decisions YouTube makes.

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  4. Will you be posting all new vids here? If so, I could just bookmark this site instead and watch them here (and comment if I think I have something to contribute).

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    1. In his blog post on 76144 he mentions that he's considering this. I definitely think this is the way. The situation is kind of unfortunate as it's unlikely that this site will ever be as frequented as the YouTube channel, but in a way it might be seen as an opportunity to develop a bit more of a tight knit community. Also Jang, rather than clogging up your main blog with all of the reviews do you think you could maybe make another page for them? Basically the idea would be for dedicated viewers to just be able to use your site entirely instead of youtube. This would be made better if your video posts also had the videos embedded rather than just being links. Another idea would be to add a "community" section where users can make their own topics and post comments relating to Lego things and the channel in general, but I understand that adding such a feature could be a bit too much since some form of moderation might then be required.

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  5. > I have also been thinking up more ways to make videos on my main JangBricks channel that can be easily and honestly marked as "not for kids"

    "Hi, this is my review of my adult gift combo, the Traxxas Maxx combined with the Lego Disney Train. Let me begin with the Lego portion of the gift [...] In addition, the Traxxas is cool too. This has been my review of this gift combo."

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  6. Hello Jang - thank you for keeping us so up to date on this. As a mum I check your reviews and the comments to see what sets my kids will like. As an AFOL I love to watch your city and the larger reviews.
    My kids don’t watch unless I show them something specific, there’s not enough whoops and sparkle. Which is exactly why I love it!

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  7. Hello Jang, I'm not sure if it is due to the fact I live in Italy but I'm still receiving notification related to your videos.
    I really appreciate your effort, only the best for you!

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  8. Shame. I wasted a lot of comments saying hi and wish I did not now. I can still talk to you here though. R. I. P. comments on a lot Jangbricks vids.

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  9. well i was going to say about the new lego ninjago ninja tuner car 71710 set that the vehicle looks nice but those stickers are a big nope

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  10. Thanks Jang for explaining this further. I didn't keep in the loop with what youtube was doing. And noticed all comments are gone which included nice and supportive feedback. On my channel too! This is sad to see. YouTube basically shifted blame on creators and made the videos unable to collect data that youtube uses. And less friendly for everyone. Thanks again for keeping up the videos though! I know this has hurt my channel, as well as the youtube lego community.

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  11. From my perspective the social media posts are going to help raise awareness of new content. I get on Facebook early in the morning and if I see that you've released a new video I make sure to go watch it after I'm done with school for the day. I'm sorry about all of this happening to you! I know you got a lot of good information from the comments.
    I do have a question: What will happen to the Mellemby District without the ease of suggesting?
    Keep up the good work and good luck!

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  12. Hey jang, I was thinking of making a discord channel for people to talk to you now without the comment section available, as we all really appreciate the communication. We could talk to you and leave comments on the discord channel while also giving ideas and feedback more directly to you. i hope you think about it and if you are alright with it, i could make the channel! :)

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  13. I do hope that YouTube will reconsider and allow a mix audience category and bring back comments. And I also wanted to mention that I do still receive notifications by email about your new videos. I never had any issues with this. Wishing you the best with weathering this storm!

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  14. I don't see a way to communicate this to you in many other places but here. I'm saddened the YouTube changes are affecting you, and frankly my kids. They like lego and pokemon. Two subjects that are pretty universally loved by adults and children a like. I hope we don't see a disappearance from youtube of "family friendly" content (like lego and pokemon) but just know you have inspired my boys to love, create, and appreciate lego. I hope we can keep watching you, you'd be suprised how much elementary school children loved review videos!

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  15. Turning this blog into a 'Jangbricks Central' might be a great idea, although I can see how, after posting a video announcing each one here would be extra work.
    But it would 'concentrate' comments on each video, and give more attention to other non-video stuff that might be shared.

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    1. It is possible to post videos on a blog so he could just put the video in here and on youtube.

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  16. Happy New Year... very disappointed in the action that YouTube has taken, but it did not come as a surprise given the videos you provided last year. I’ve been a fan of your channel for many years (originally for the classic Space LEGO videos). My son took a huge interest in your LEGO builds a couple years ago (now 11) and we have taken great pleasure watching them together. All his LEGO vernacular comes from you and I expect he will be a lifelong LEGO fan like me. Have you thought about setting up a Patreon account to make up for lost revenue?

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  17. So, I'm really sorry to hear what happened to you. I am a full-time content creator and I have had punches to the gut when things changed that were out of my control. I have been watching your channel for over a year and I have wondered if you have ever looked into having a membership site for your videos. You could charge people $2.99 or $4.99 a month to have access to all of your new and old videoes. There is a lot of information out there about how to market such a site. You have a huge following on Youtube and maybe you could leverage that to have more control over the videos and make money at the same time. Your content is valuable and they are so many people that would pay for it.

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