Jack Baty
Director of Unspecified Services
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The Algorithm

I've been feeling a little dispirited ever since I saw this in the sidebar on YouTube.

YouTube thumbnails

I mean, I was watching a video about Zotero for crying out loud. Zotero is a boring (but fabulous), academic research tool. And yet, every related/suggested video had the same stupid, formulaic thumbnail: Make a silly face and slap some giant, maybe even SHOCKING! text over the top.

If you'll allow this old man to yell at some clouds, I hate what algorithmic feeds have done to us. If you have a YouTube channel, you're basically forced into this nonsense or risk being invisible. People have asked why I don't have a YouTube channel. I don't have my own channel because having to play this silly unrelated game of attention is not something I'm interested in.

Maybe this is no different than what marketing has been doing to us for a hundred years, but it feels worse and I don't like it.