Charlatans spreading misleading beginner advice are the evolutionary crabs of youtube content creators

Posted: 2024-01-29

You have a hobby you’ve been into for a decade or more. You like talking about your hobby, and your friends and family, after listening to these things for as long as you’ve been into them, maybe aren’t as excited to always hear about it as you are about discussing them, so in an act of compassion you create a youtube channel where you can monologue about your passion instead.

Your channel gets some views. People are into what you are into. You get a lot of viewers that have just discovered the hobby who just wants to listen to someone more experienced speak about it.

You notice the beginner-oriented videos get more views than the advanced videos. This follows as a logical consequence of the fact that there are numerically more beginners than experts in almost anything. Beginners are an endlessly renewable resource, experts are few and most of them aren’t really looking for advice on youtube anyway.

You see yourself in these kids, and fall into the role of an avuncular sage, nudging your viewers onto the same path you’ve been walking. It feels good. You feel needed, revered even.

You decide to make the authoritative beginner’s guide to your hobby.

It does really well! You make a dozen or so videos going over all the basics. Problem though, the basics of almost anything is relatively simple, what is missing beyond that is mostly hands-on practice and time. That doesn’t make appealing content.

You quickly run out of good beginner advice to give. You run out of things to talk about period. Nothing does as well as your beginner’s guide.

You try re-hashing an old video, and the comment field isn’t taking this lightly. You flounder further and make an advanced video. It gets almost no views. Your grasp on relevancy is slipping. Where did it go so wrong? You toss and turn in the night, sheets tangle in sweat. You wake up with renewed determination. You’ll grind it out. You make just a few more videos.

You talk common pitfalls you see beginners make. The viewers are returning. You make funny faces in your thumbnails now. Few more viewers. You find a sliver of hope, a recipe.

Since all the broad strokes, the actually useful advice, since all that has already been covered, you make videos about the details. This stuff can go wrong in various ways, and the insistence is that they must be done correctly motivates more content. While this stuff comes with time and experience, there’s no time like the present to load this stuff on the beginner audience.

Overall, while you can’t actually give more useful advice about what your viewers should do at their current level, you can always tell them what they shouldn’t do, since that is effectively endless. If they do the wrong thing, you might explain, they may be wasting their time. Because improving in anything is a slow process, they won’t realize until later they’ve wasted their time.

Oh yeah, this really works! You’ve successfully instilled a sense of FOMO.

You keep insisting on avoiding mistakes. Despite the fact that you’ve yourself mostly learned from your own mistakes, your audience must at all times avoid mistakes. If it’s a physical hobby, there’s injury risk too. Furthermore, even if there is progress, and what they are doing now seems to be working, it may stop working later! This could very well be path to a local minimum!

In fact, there’s all sorts of things that might happen if you don’t smash that like and subscribe button right away! You career will be at a dead end, or worse still, ChatGPT will steal your job and a few years from now you and your family will living in the shameful cardboard box of irrelevancy; your savings will depreciate, your milk will sour and potatos will be blighted, most of all you will realize that this thing you got into mostly for fun, that you’ve been doing it wrong! You’ll lay on your death bed lamenting the years you’ve wasted having fun with your hobby incorrectly! Hey, it’s not like nobody warned you!

There we have it. You’ve finally made it, youtube-man! You’ve drr:ed through Amigara Fault and come out the other end with eight legs, two big claws, and an exoskeleton.