First, a bit of background:
EzeeLinux would not exist without YouTube. The whole thing started out with me posting some videos about Linux after almost giving up on posting anything. That was more than four years ago and things have been steadily snowballing ever since. I am very grateful to all of you who have watched the videos, followed the Facebook page and encouraged me to keep going. The EzeeLinux web page and the Facebook page were originally intended as a way for me to attract freelance IT work helping folks get Linux installed on their machines. I did that for about two years and I still talk with many of the nice people I worked with one-on-one. I stopped doing that when I realized that I could help many more people if I concentrated my efforts on videos and answering people’s questions. I used to ask for a $50 donation in exchange for my time working with clients and it usually took about three hours from start to finish but there were a whole lot of phone calls and support e-mails. I averaged about three installs a month; you do the math. Meanwhile, YouTube ad revenue has been steadily growing and I’ve been super pleasantly surprised at how positive most folks are who leave comments or take time to send a personal message.
That brings us up to today.
The EzeeLinux project is just one color in my rainbow and I work on it while doing other things like raising three kids, tending to four cats and generally being Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. My day starts early with coffee and going though anywhere from ten to one-hundred e-mails, YouTube comments and messages… That’s seven days a week, mind you. I do try and help as many folks as I can but lately the volume has been such that I am lucky if I can jot off a few lines and a link to some documentation. On top of that, I have been finding it harder not to get overwhelmed with the number of nasty, obscene or just plain ignorant comments I have to deal with.
I set out from the start to keep the YouTube comments section friendly but the sheer number of comments and the vitriolic climate in the Linux world makes it very difficult to keep doing so. Bryan Lunduke, a fellow YouTuber and Linux guru, was forced to just turn them off. I can sympathize with why he did it but I still cling to the notion of a free forum and letting people have their say so I cannot do that myself. No matter how much you tell yourself to ignore it, that steady stream of abuse wears on your soul. You can’t possibly understand it until you’ve lived with it on a daily basis. More about YouTube comments later…
Another pressure that I have been struggling with is simply coming up with new video ideas. I have pretty much covered all the fundamental points of using Linux and so a lot of the things people suggest are already covered. Opinion based videos do not do as well as the how-tos and are usually a haven for trolls. This leaves me uninspired as of late and dreading the chore of creating new videos.
The fun has leaked out of the whole thing!
So… I am taking a break from YouTube. I posted a lot of what I have written here in a video which was immediately besieged with hateful comments. This was on the heels of the much misunderstand Windows 10 “distro review” video I posted, half as a joke and half as a way to piss on MS. After a bit of thought, I just deleted those videos as not worth the mental stress… Some have asked where they went.
Anytime you pour a lot of energy into a long-term project and you do that consistently for years on end you leave yourself open to getting very burned out on it. I am not burned out yet but I am seeing the signs. Now is a good time to stop and reflect and ponder the future. Only YouTube videos are going to stop, though. I will continue to interact with the EzeeLinux Community through the EzeeLinux page and the Facebook page.
Q: How Long? A: I don’t know… When I feel ready to start posting videos again.
You know, YouTube doesn’t have to suck..
I would like to work with other YouTube content creators to push for a better comments system than what YouTube forces us all to deal with now. It is impossible to moderate, the notifications are inadequate and commentators have way TOO MUCH freedom as to what they can put in a comment. Maybe we could get some ideas together and present them to Google. I know I’m not the only one who wants to see this change so let’s talk about it. Even if you’re not a YouTube creator, I would love to hear your take on it.
A sad farewell.
Before I close this little epistle, I would like to make note of the passing of Lee Keller last month. Lee was a very good friend of the EzeeLinux project and a silent monetary contributor. He will be sorely missed.
Thanks to all for your understanding!
– Your Fearless (but tired) Leader.