Why YouTube Is Warning Content Creators On Gleam Giveaways

Jay of JayzTwoCents recently made a video on why he will no longer do giveaways on his YouTube channel after giving away $100,000 in PC hardware over the last eight years. YouTube slapped him with a warning for using an external website link in the description of his giveaway video that could have driven traffic to inflate his engagement metrics. The offending external link was for Gleam, a popular contest management service that Jay and many other content creators have used for years.

Gleam, however, was a known problem for several months by content creators who pay close attention to YouTube policy changes. When I expressed my opinion in comments that Jay was responsible for the situation that he was in, I got push back that he had done nothing wrong and YouTube should not have given him a warning. Even big content creators like Jay need to stay current with YouTube and third-party policy changes.

Giveaways are either a curse or a blessing for content creators. Newer channels use giveaways as a way to grow fast at the risk of gaining an audience that cares more about free products than the latest video. Established channels use giveaways as a way to give back to the community and reward long time supporters.

Roberto Blake recommends that content creators should not do giveaways until they have at least 1,000 subscribers. He mentioned in a recent video that a channel with 1,000 subscribers represents the bottom of the top 10% of all channels on YouTube. To put that number into perspective, the top 10% include channels from 1,000 subscribers to 91 million subscribers. The 1,000 subscriber mark is where the remaining YouTube features become available, including monetization and super chats.

About two dozen content creators in recent months got warnings by YouTube for using an external Gleam link in the description of their giveaway videos. TeamYouTube tweeted a response to Erica the Technology Nerd that giveaways are not being ban. The external links that can inflate engagement metrics, such as views, likes and subscribers, are ban under YouTube’s “Fake Engagement Policy” and “Contest Policies And Guidelines.”

It’s unclear whether or not YouTube knows what Gleam does for the community.

Gleam is a popular service for keeping giveaways fair for the viewers and manageable for the content creators. Larger channels like JayzTwoCents can easily have 400,000 contest entries spread out across multiple platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The days of dumping contest entries into a spreadsheet, using a random number generator, and picking the winner from the corresponding row number of the spreadsheet are long gone.

Gleam has many actions for setting up a contest, including asking for views, likes and subscriptions on YouTube. Those particular actions are no longer compliant with YouTube policies. As of March 4, 2019, Gleam is recommending “visit a YouTube channel” as the preferred action for YouTube and let the viewer decide what to do once they are on the channel page.

On March 11, 2019, JayzTwoCents posted his giveaway video with the Gleam link in the description that asked for comments, likes and subscribes on YouTube. Shortly thereafter an asshat reported the Gleam link. YouTube disabled the Gleam link and slapped JayzTwoCents with a warning. The warning itself was a recent policy change in how YouTube handles community guideline violations. Under the old policy JayzTwoCents would have gotten a community strike with serious consequences for his channel.

On March 15, 2019, JayzTwoCents posted his follow-up video on why giveaways on YouTube were no longer worth the trouble. If he had made himself aware of the policy changes at YouTube and Gleam, he could have avoided the warning altogether. Or maybe not. With YouTube cracking down on external links in the video description, using Gleam or any third-party link may no longer be safe for anyone’s channel.

Jay announced his Gleam giveaway link on Twitter and his only YouTube action is to visit his channel. There is no penalty for telling viewers to go to his Twitter account for the giveaway link. For now, at least. By hosting his giveaway on Twitter, Jay will also need to stay current with policy changes at Twitter in addition to YouTube and Gleam.

When Your YouTube Video Attracts The Wrong Kind of Audience

Image by C.D. Reimer

After news broke that pedophiles were using time codes in comments to tag “sexually suggested” content in family friendly videos on YouTube, I kept a close watch on my only video with young children in a musical performance at a public event that had previously attracted the wrong kind of audience six months earlier.

After I saw the initial traffic spike for the video while watching the real time analytics for my channel at 5:30PM on Friday, February 22, 2019, I disabled the comment section for that video as a precaution.

I went to the tech news website that my dedicated band of trolls called home and located the video URL in an anonymous comment for an article about YouTube’s latest child safety problem. Readers were asked to report me as a pedophile because a little boy had his “peewee” hanging out at a specified time code in the video.

The video shows a little boy with his hands over the front of his t-shirt and the waistband of his shorts while running around.

One comment called the anonymous comment a perfect example of the nonsense that the YouTube community is struggling with. Another comment told the troll to get psychiatric help.

After I sent an email to the CEO of the tech news website at 5:45PM, the entire thread got deleted 15 minutes later. The traffic spike ended with 14 new views for the video. Each view represents a person who wanted to see a little boy with his “peewee” handing out, either out of curiosity that such content exist or hopeful that such content was real.

Read the rest of the essay at Medium.

Why Is Bill Maher “Adulting” Stan Lee, Comic Book & Superheroes Fans?

Kevin Smith, Mark Hamill, the team behind “Spider-Man: Into to Spiderverse,” Clark Gregg, and many others gave a special tribute to Stan Lee at the famed Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The proceeds for that event went to the Hero Initiative, a charity to help comic creators with health expenses. However, no good deed ever goes unpunished on the Internet. Bill Maher doubled down on his blog post that he posted after Stan Lee’s death in November 2018, describing comic book and superhero movie fans as children who need to grow up. Looks like someone is #adulting pop culture again.

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Get Microsoft Certified With Confidence Voucher

In my Microsoft certification video four months ago, I talked about the “Replay Exam” special offer of an exam voucher with one retake exam good for one year. That special offer expired last week on January 31, 2019. The new special offer is called “Get Certified with Confidence” and expires on May 31, 2019. The new special offer is identical to the old special offer with some changes: the exam voucher comes with two retake exams good for six months. The good news is that you get twice as many retake exams. The bad news is the initial and retake exams must be taken in half the time. Is the “Get Certified with Confidence” special offer still a good deal?

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Three Options For Retiring Windows 10 MCSA/MCSE Certifications In 2019

When I started looking at my Microsoft certification options for the New Year, I saw the announcement that the Windows 10 Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) and the Mobility Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) being retired on March 31, 2019. Somehow I missed that announcement before I posted my Exam Replay certification video last October.

Here are the replacement certification exams:

  • The Windows 10 MSCA exams being replaced by the Microsoft 365 Modern Desktop Administrator Associate exams, “Windows 10” (MD-100) and “Managing Modern Desktops” (MD-101).
  • The Mobility MCSE exams being replaced by the Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator Expert exams, “Microsoft 365 Identity and Services” (MS-100) and “Microsoft 365 Mobility and Security” (MS-101).

Here are three options for getting Microsoft certified in early 2019.

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Did 4 A.I. Robots Kill 29 Scientists At Japanese Weapons Research Lab?

Did four AI robots kill 29 scientists at a Japanese weapons research lab? A tweet with that headline and a linked video briefly lit up social media for one week in December 2018. The mainstream media didn’t even bother to cover it, suggesting a possible government cover-up. Like most people who saw the story, I thought it was too sensational to be true. When I saw the thumbnail for the linked video, I knew it was fake news.

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Who’s Your Daddy, Spider-Man?

A new trailer for “Spider-Man: Far From Home” came this week. One of the big surprises was Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. replacing Tony Stark in the father figure role to a young Peter Parker. Since the story line for the new Spider-Man movie takes place just minutes after the ending of “The Avengers: Endgame,” that raises an interesting question. Who is the better spider-daddy, Tony Stark or Nick Fury?

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What Is Hub by Amazon for My Apartment Complex?

You have often heard stories or seen videos of Amazon packages being stolen from a porch by a random package thief walking off the street. That is nothing compared to what goes on inside an apartment complex. The porch is the doorstep to your apartment, the street is your building hallway, and that random package thief is most likely your next door neighbor. And packages disappear all the time.

If your leasing office does accept packages on your behalf, their business hours are often the same as your working hours and you will have to wait until the weekend to pick up your package. Beyond using Amazon Locker for Amazon packages, sending packages to a FedEx or UPS store, and renting a post office box for everything else, there are few alternative solutions for apartment residents.

That’s where the Hub by Amazon comes in.

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