128: Turn Left at the Big Tree!


00:00:00   You have a lot of AA batteries.

00:00:02   Uhh...

00:00:04   Oh. Have you been spying on me, Myke?

00:00:06   I was like, how does Myke know that?

00:00:07   I wouldn't say I've been spying on you. I have been rummaging through the drawers in your apartment, yes.

00:00:11   Oh! I don't like that at all. You're not supposed to do that.

00:00:14   Hey look, sometimes a friend needs a smoke alarm changed.

00:00:18   You know what I'm saying? And you gotta help him out.

00:00:20   Oh, is the smoke alarm beeping when you checked on my apartment?

00:00:23   Yeah, so my wife and I went and checked in on your abode.

00:00:26   abode and it was just very funny to me. I was doing DIY in your house. I was just sorting

00:00:31   some stuff out for you. Thank you. I was like, oh this is beeping, which I'm sure is driving

00:00:35   your neighbour insane at this point, because who knows how long that's been going on for.

00:00:41   Because I could hear it in the hallway. Oh, oh god, oh no, we've made some enemies then

00:00:46   I guess. Yeah, so I was like, oh, smoke alarm! But it's like first it's like, alright, get

00:00:52   in a cabinet, turn on the water.

00:00:54   So we could turn all the taps and then like,

00:00:56   all right, now surely there's a step ladder

00:00:58   in here somewhere, 'cause I'm not gonna stand on any chairs

00:01:01   'cause I'll only break the chairs.

00:01:03   So I found the step ladder.

00:01:04   It was in the first place I looked,

00:01:06   so I enjoyed the logic in that.

00:01:07   Whoever decided to put it in the Coke cabinet,

00:01:09   it's perfect, grabbed it, got it.

00:01:11   - Yep, that would be my wife.

00:01:12   She's in charge of the entire house inventory.

00:01:14   - I couldn't work out how to get the smoke alarm

00:01:16   off the ceiling, so I had to Google

00:01:19   for an instruction manual.

00:01:20   (laughing)

00:01:21   Because it was one of these ones, I mean you probably know this, it's like attached to a plate and the plate is screwed into the ceiling

00:01:28   so there's like a specific way to get it off the plate.

00:01:31   Yeah it's like a funny combination lock that you need to do. It's like oh two turns left and one turn right.

00:01:36   Yeah and then like pressing the tab when the moon strikes at the right moment and you can get the thing down.

00:01:42   And then lots of batteries, you have lots of batteries.

00:01:45   Yes. Well, yes.

00:01:47   Yeah.

00:01:47   That was a disagreement between the wife inventory management system and the

00:01:52   husband inventory management system about we need some new batteries and whether

00:01:57   or not the old batteries were too old or whether weren't.

00:02:00   Okay.

00:02:01   A long story short, we ended up with a lot of batteries and mixed up the colors

00:02:04   and we don't know which ones are the new ones and which ones are the old ones.

00:02:08   So everyone has ended up unhappy.

00:02:10   So maybe the smoke alarm's dead already. Cause I don't know what,

00:02:13   I just got batteries and put them in there, you know?

00:02:16   I don't know how old they are.

00:02:17   - Yeah, so if you put the white batteries in,

00:02:20   my guess is those are the old batteries.

00:02:22   If you put the black batteries in,

00:02:23   my guess is those are the new batteries,

00:02:25   but it's not 100% sure.

00:02:27   There's also sparkle batteries.

00:02:29   Well, thank you for checking up on my apartment.

00:02:31   It sounds like you might have to do this again.

00:02:33   I also especially appreciated it

00:02:34   because there's nothing you like getting more

00:02:37   when you're going on a long vacation

00:02:39   than while you are at the airport,

00:02:42   a notification from your bank that they have decided

00:02:46   to reissue all of your cards for no reason.

00:02:50   - You had more mail than I've ever seen anyone get.

00:02:54   There was so much mail.

00:02:55   It was astounding.

00:02:57   It was like in movies.

00:02:59   You know, you can see it in a movie

00:03:01   where someone like can't open the door.

00:03:03   It was like that.

00:03:04   It was so much mail.

00:03:05   And then so I think Adina just like collected up

00:03:07   a bunch of it.

00:03:08   And then that started a whole thing of how on earth

00:03:11   to get male courier to Hawaii was like,

00:03:15   that was like a whole project.

00:03:16   It took her the best part of a week to work that one out.

00:03:19   - I can't even believe I'm getting started on this already.

00:03:21   You've hit upon one of my great Hawaii pain points.

00:03:24   - This whole episode is this.

00:03:26   I mean, I have like 6,000 points of Hawaii follow up

00:03:29   to get through anyway.

00:03:30   So we might as well start with this one.

00:03:32   - Okay, let me just,

00:03:33   there's a lot of small frustrations in life.

00:03:36   And one of them for me is, hey, I'm in Hawaii.

00:03:40   You know what I would like?

00:03:41   I would like packages.

00:03:43   How can those packages get to me?

00:03:45   Not easily.

00:03:47   Because, okay, so here's the situation.

00:03:49   I was like, okay, Amazon, let's make a deal.

00:03:53   I'm gonna buy something and you're gonna send it to me.

00:03:55   Great, everybody's happy.

00:03:57   No.

00:03:58   So if you want something sent to you,

00:04:00   there's a simple piece of information

00:04:02   that you need to know.

00:04:03   What's the mailing address?

00:04:06   Now, before I go any further,

00:04:10   just so people can get some sense

00:04:12   of what I'm dealing with here.

00:04:13   Some of the addresses,

00:04:15   including addresses that I'm involved with,

00:04:18   include things like, "Take a left at the big tree."

00:04:23   That's what you write on the envelope.

00:04:25   - No, you're (beep) me, that's not true.

00:04:28   - I am not.

00:04:30   I 100% am not.

00:04:32   - You swear. - I swear to you.

00:04:34   - Like if someone was gonna mail you a letter,

00:04:36   they would write on the envelope,

00:04:38   "Take a left at the big tree."

00:04:39   Where I currently am, no.

00:04:42   But this is what addresses are like around here.

00:04:46   - Okay. - So this is like,

00:04:47   you need you to understand the baseline.

00:04:49   I have sent envelopes where I write,

00:04:52   "Take a left at the big tree on them."

00:04:55   And that's how the mail gets to them.

00:04:56   - Do you just throw it out the window

00:04:57   when you write mail like that?

00:04:59   Like, you just write, and then you just hope

00:05:01   a bird comes and gets it?

00:05:02   Like, how does that work out?

00:05:05   You sound like you're in a Miyazaki movie right now,

00:05:07   is what I'm saying.

00:05:08   Like this is what I'm imagining for you.

00:05:10   - Well, yeah, I mean, yeah,

00:05:10   'cause you write it on the envelope

00:05:12   and then you hand it to a hermit crab

00:05:13   and the hermit crab scuttles off with the letter

00:05:15   and follows the instructions

00:05:16   on how to get it to where it needs to go.

00:05:18   So this is, again, like there's so much,

00:05:22   I don't even know where to start.

00:05:23   I feel like every time I try to talk about this,

00:05:25   I'm just exploding with all kinds of details

00:05:28   because no one here ever sees any of this as a problem.

00:05:31   And I'm like, I'm the crazy person,

00:05:33   but I'm not the crazy person because listen,

00:05:35   here's the basic problem.

00:05:37   The United States Post Office and private carriers in rural areas are often not friends with each other.

00:05:47   And they don't work with each other.

00:05:48   And so here's the issue.

00:05:50   If someone is sending you a package, if they don't use the mail...

00:05:55   All right, let me phrase it this way.

00:05:56   Okay.

00:05:57   Let me, let me, what's the best way to start this?

00:05:59   Okay.

00:06:00   Someone wants to send you a package.

00:06:02   Like it should be so simple.

00:06:06   - It should be so simple. - I just need you to understand.

00:06:08   That point where you said, "Hell is best,"

00:06:10   that's all staying in, man.

00:06:12   I mean, come on.

00:06:13   This is too good as it is.

00:06:15   You're just tying yourselves in knots,

00:06:17   just trying to understand how do you send a package

00:06:20   to someone?

00:06:21   - Okay, okay, so, all right, all right, all right, all right.

00:06:24   So in rural, okay.

00:06:26   (laughing)

00:06:27   In rural areas, the deal is often everybody gets a PO box

00:06:33   Because in rural areas, basically it's like the post office doesn't have adequate funding

00:06:39   to actually send a mailman to the four corners of the earth with how spread out everybody

00:06:45   is in a rural environment.

00:06:47   Just the amount of time to actually deliver the mail is crazy.

00:06:51   And so the US federal mail is like, "LOL, nope, you're coming to us.

00:06:56   We're not delivering the mail to you.

00:06:57   That's logistically impossible.

00:06:59   So you have to come to the post office."

00:07:01   But here's the thing.

00:07:02   What the post office doesn't accept is packages from private carriers.

00:07:08   So if someone uses UPS or FedEx or any of these various things, they can't send it to

00:07:15   your PO box.

00:07:17   So the basic situation is the US mail will not deliver to your house.

00:07:24   Private carriers will deliver to your house if you give them adequate instructions as

00:07:28   as to where that house is,

00:07:30   but they won't deliver to your PO box.

00:07:33   Now, everyone seems to be like,

00:07:35   yeah, that's quite reasonable.

00:07:37   But my position is, you don't know

00:07:39   what the person sending you the thing is using.

00:07:43   Like you don't know.

00:07:45   It's impossible for you to know.

00:07:46   And especially for you, Myke, trying to send me something,

00:07:49   you yourself don't even know what the hell's gonna happen

00:07:53   on the other end when you send something.

00:07:54   Well the bigger problem for us is, lots of carriers will not send to PO Boxes.

00:08:01   They won't do it.

00:08:02   So we had to use FedEx, which would have been my preferred one anyway, but it cost a hundred

00:08:08   pounds to send.

00:08:12   I didn't know that.

00:08:13   I'm so sorry.

00:08:14   Because they were the only ones that would do it.

00:08:16   Nobody else would take it.

00:08:18   I mean what did happen, which is kind of incredible, is like we sent it Wednesday, you had it Thursday,

00:08:23   I don't even know how this is possible.

00:08:25   It was like, I imagine like there's just a guy

00:08:28   and he picked it up at her house

00:08:29   and immediately went to Heathrow and got on a plane

00:08:31   and just took it to your PO box.

00:08:34   But like we, like Edina was struggling for days.

00:08:37   Like can, will anyone take this mail?

00:08:40   And like she was contacting companies

00:08:42   'cause they said they would take it.

00:08:43   And she's like, yeah, but I've been in this situation before

00:08:45   where you say you'll do it.

00:08:46   And then it gets returned to me

00:08:48   because you won't take it to the PO box.

00:08:50   So we went with FedEx.

00:08:51   I mean, I think she shopped around

00:08:52   because it costs a hundred pounds, right?

00:08:55   So it's like, will anyone do it for less than a hundred pounds?

00:08:58   The answer was no.

00:09:00   And this is why FedEx could charge you a hundred pounds, because they're

00:09:03   the only ones that will do it.

00:09:05   They've got the local hermit crab connection.

00:09:07   Like it's us or nobody, right?

00:09:09   But so, so, okay.

00:09:12   So you're a human who I can talk to and you're even having a problem.

00:09:15   But if you're doing something like ordering through Amazon, you have no idea

00:09:20   how it's going to be sent to you, right?

00:09:22   So you don't know if they're going to use the mail or if it's going to be a private carrier.

00:09:25   So I was just like, "Well, I don't know. I'm going to just roll with it, hope it's a private carrier,

00:09:32   and order a bunch of the stuff that I need while I'm here."

00:09:35   And I tried so many different variations of the address, and I don't know what happened.

00:09:42   But I had like 10 packages. I could see them on the App Tracker, right? I'm using Parcel.

00:09:46   It's like, "Okay, it's in New York. It's made it to California. Great.

00:09:51   It's made it from California to Honolulu.

00:09:54   It's made its way from Honolulu to the island I'm on.

00:09:57   Fantastic.

00:09:58   Oh, sorry.

00:10:00   Undeliverable.

00:10:00   Why, why is it undeliverable?

00:10:02   And then I sadly watch it slowly make its way back across.

00:10:06   (laughs)

00:10:07   Where it's like, there were times where I'm like,

00:10:09   this package is 20 miles for me.

00:10:12   Can I like run and try to get it before they load it

00:10:16   on this boat to send back to Honolulu,

00:10:18   to send back to the continent?

00:10:20   Can I try to intercept this package?

00:10:22   So anyway, I had so many packages returned to Amazon,

00:10:25   and I'm like trying every combination of the address.

00:10:28   What's gonna work, man?

00:10:29   How can I make this situation happen?

00:10:31   And long story short,

00:10:33   Amazon won't let me buy anything anymore.

00:10:36   Every single item says,

00:10:39   "We will not ship to your location."

00:10:41   I think I triggered some flag in their system

00:10:43   where they're like, this guy,

00:10:44   now that I know it could cost like $100 every time,

00:10:47   it's like, this guy cost us two grand

00:10:49   trying to ship him a flashlight?

00:10:50   No, as long as his address is anywhere in Hawaii,

00:10:54   we're not going to do it.

00:10:55   So I've been trying to be like sneaky, right?

00:10:56   Like I'm changing the address.

00:10:58   It's like, I'm trying to like move things around

00:10:59   to my Amazon account.

00:11:01   I switched the credit cards from like a UK credit card

00:11:03   to the US credit card.

00:11:05   No, everything I click on, Amazon goes,

00:11:07   "We won't ship to your location."

00:11:09   I was like, "God damn it, Amazon!"

00:11:10   Like 100%, my account was flagged.

00:11:13   We can't send you things.

00:11:14   - You let me know what you want.

00:11:16   We'll put it in a box.

00:11:18   four grand later and FedEx will bring it to you.

00:11:22   - Okay, so listen, you know how you like,

00:11:23   you just want things to be consistent and correct.

00:11:28   Oh, there's a system for things

00:11:29   and it should just be consistent and it should be correct.

00:11:33   And the thing that I have stumbled upon

00:11:35   is the highest success percentage of getting packages to me,

00:11:39   not a hundred percent success by the way,

00:11:41   but the highest rate of success is to do a thing

00:11:45   which kills my soul that wants order.

00:11:48   And the thing is, I must write the address of where I am,

00:11:53   the PO box of a relative,

00:11:57   and then a zip code that doesn't match

00:12:02   the address where I am, but instead matches the PO box.

00:12:06   I know you have not written letters in America.

00:12:10   If there is one thing that they teach you in school

00:12:13   is how to properly format an address.

00:12:15   And rule number one is PO boxes and street addresses,

00:12:19   they never mix.

00:12:20   You don't put those two things on a letter,

00:12:22   'cause that's not how the system is supposed to work.

00:12:24   Like these are two totally different locations.

00:12:26   Like it's just, it's not supposed to happen,

00:12:29   but it's like, but that's what I have to do.

00:12:30   I have to tell people if they're starting

00:12:31   to send me something like, okay,

00:12:32   write this street address, write this PO box,

00:12:35   and then the zip code just really gets me.

00:12:38   It's like, oh, the zip code only matches one of these things

00:12:41   And the reason is because the PO box is in like another town

00:12:45   from where we are to go get the packages.

00:12:47   And it just, it basically all depends on,

00:12:50   literally talk to the lady in the post office,

00:12:52   who's like, we'll keep an eye out.

00:12:54   And it's like, oh my God. - You're tricking the system

00:12:56   and relying on the regional mail carrier

00:12:59   to know what that means and then hold it aside for you.

00:13:03   - We are depending on whoever is the second to last mile,

00:13:07   not the last mile person, to make a reasonable decision

00:13:11   on how to send this package to wherever it's supposed to go.

00:13:15   So sometimes that means it's the PO box,

00:13:17   sometimes it means it comes to our actual door.

00:13:20   But it's like, it's such a small thing,

00:13:22   but it is infuriating.

00:13:24   And for other stuff that I've tried to order

00:13:26   and have sent to the house, plenty of companies

00:13:29   will simply not let you format an address in this way.

00:13:32   No, that's an incorrect address.

00:13:34   Everyone knows you can't do this.

00:13:36   The street address doesn't match the zip code

00:13:38   that you've put there.

00:13:39   I know, I know, but you don't understand.

00:13:43   We're depending on three people on the island

00:13:46   to catch this and know what to do.

00:13:48   I know it's not formatted correctly, but just send it.

00:13:52   Just send it.

00:13:53   And when it gets to the island,

00:13:55   80% chance it's gonna make it to me.

00:13:57   And only a 20% chance it's gonna get shipped back to you.

00:14:01   So that's how the mail works in Hawaii.

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00:16:05   of this show and all of Relay FM.

00:16:06   There were a number of people in the subreddit and on twitter

00:16:11   and in the Relay FM discord as well who were saying

00:16:15   "Oh you didn't put any of those spider photos in the show notes"

00:16:20   Let me tell you, Cortexians, what you don't want is for Gray to send you spider photos because

00:16:28   the last month of my life has gone like this. Message from CGP Gray, "Pop quiz!"

00:16:34   That's how he starts every message he sends me now. Pop quiz and then an image.

00:16:40   Spot the spider!

00:16:41   But they know it, no, but you never say that. You just say "Pop quiz!"

00:16:45   And then I have to look at this image and try and decipher, because sometimes there's no spiders.

00:16:50   and just try and decipher what it is I'm looking for.

00:16:53   And I think my problem was I was engaging with you

00:16:56   because they got increasingly horrifying

00:17:00   as time has gone on and they've continued to.

00:17:03   And now, I'm looking at a lot of people who would have said,

00:17:06   hey, I wanted to see one of those.

00:17:08   If these people follow you on Twitter,

00:17:10   they will have seen the kinds of images

00:17:12   that you've been sending me.

00:17:13   I will put them in the show notes too,

00:17:14   in case people wanna go subject themselves

00:17:17   to just abject horrors that you've been dealing with.

00:17:20   - Yeah, see the problem for you, Myke,

00:17:22   is that you are sympathetic to my situation.

00:17:25   - I am.

00:17:26   - And no one here is sympathetic to my situation.

00:17:28   - This is where it's like,

00:17:30   there is nothing in the world I want less than these images,

00:17:35   but my care for you is one of my closest friends.

00:17:40   I know why these images are being sent to me,

00:17:43   so I'm allowing it, right?

00:17:46   Because if you were at home and was just Googling pictures of spiders and kept sending them

00:17:52   to me, I would block you.

00:17:53   I'd be like, "Until you can learn to stop, I'm blocking you.

00:17:58   You can send me an email when you're ready to be unblocked.

00:18:00   But for now, you're blocked."

00:18:02   I think you have sent me more messages in the last month than the rest of the maybe

00:18:06   last 18 months.

00:18:08   And so I know that you need it.

00:18:09   Oh, that's easily true.

00:18:10   That's easily true.

00:18:11   So like, I'm here, you know, like whenever you need to send me stuff, you send me stuff

00:18:16   and we can joke about it or I can commiserate with you.

00:18:19   I've been getting a lot of use out of two new emoji.

00:18:22   One is the face melting one

00:18:24   and one is the dotted line grimacing one.

00:18:27   They've been doing good for me right now.

00:18:29   Yeah, you've been, oh boy, some of that nature.

00:18:33   - Yeah, but see, the thing is,

00:18:34   you validate that my opinions are not crazy, right?

00:18:37   Where it's like, oh great, I can show Myke.

00:18:40   And the thing that I've tuned into is that

00:18:43   when I point out stuff to locals,

00:18:46   I always get some variation on,

00:18:49   "Oh, that's unusual."

00:18:50   "No, it's not. Look everywhere."

00:18:53   Like, it's everywhere.

00:18:55   What's unusual is you're noticing

00:18:57   because I'm pointing it out,

00:19:00   but your brain is like photoshopping all of this away.

00:19:03   I've actually thought of,

00:19:04   like we sort of mentioned on the show before,

00:19:06   that I think selection effects are really quite powerful.

00:19:09   And one thing, say, a jungle environment selects for is lack of sensitivity to arthropods.

00:19:18   Like, Hawaii is selecting for that.

00:19:21   And so here I am just showing up like, "Oh, this guy should never be on this island."

00:19:25   And I'm looking around and seeing all the things and I point them out

00:19:28   and it is maddening that people go, "Oh, that's unusual."

00:19:32   It's like, okay, so we have now caught a double digit number of centipedes in the house

00:19:37   and every one of them is remarked as being unusual.

00:19:41   And I'm like, "It isn't! It's not unusual at this point!"

00:19:44   So what do you think is the situation?

00:19:46   Are people just ignoring them and not noticing them?

00:19:49   Yeah, I don't know.

00:19:49   I really do think, like, people who live on Hawai'i –

00:19:52   again, I am, like – hear me, listeners.

00:19:55   I'm the weirdo here, right?

00:19:56   Like, I'm the exception.

00:19:58   Everybody else on Hawai'i – literally everyone else –

00:20:01   is having a great time.

00:20:02   Like, I'm the only person who isn't,

00:20:05   And I just think that there's a lack of sensitivity, right?

00:20:10   Or people who've lived here their whole lives, like they're just totally used to it

00:20:13   and just don't really think about it.

00:20:15   Whereas for me, it's like, I can't get used to it.

00:20:18   And that's the frustration.

00:20:19   We can come back to this, but this is actually veering towards something

00:20:22   that I've been wanting to talk about for the last couple of weeks.

00:20:26   Oh, yeah?

00:20:26   I feel like we need to once again address resort Hawaii

00:20:31   before we start to receive formal complaints from the Hawaii Tourism Board.

00:20:35   Because there have been so many people that have contacted us and said,

00:20:39   "I'm never going to Hawaii."

00:20:41   And I feel like something has been lost,

00:20:43   because I really need to impress upon people here.

00:20:47   I have spent two of the best weeks of my life in Hawaii.

00:20:51   You're going to go to Resort Hawaii.

00:20:54   You're going to go where the hotels are, which is in all of these areas.

00:20:58   Are you going to go where the vacation rental homes are,

00:21:01   which are like by the beach.

00:21:02   I had a couple of people who contacted me

00:21:04   to give me a bit more good context for this.

00:21:06   'Cause you were saying about, you know,

00:21:08   in resort Hawaii, people come around

00:21:10   and they like sweep the spiders away, right?

00:21:13   Which is like a nice way of putting it.

00:21:14   But like I had someone say,

00:21:16   like the resort Hawaii is incredibly manicured.

00:21:19   The grass is cut really short on the lawns

00:21:22   and like the areas, the trees are all cut down.

00:21:25   Everything's perfectly planted.

00:21:27   The manicuring and sculpting of these areas naturally removes a lot of the nature and

00:21:35   the wildlife that you are experiencing because these things grow in places where it's mostly

00:21:42   untouched.

00:21:43   So if you go to Hawaii and stay in any of the places you would stay in when you're on

00:21:47   Hawaii because that's where you would stay because that's what it's made for, for the

00:21:53   tourists, you're not going to experience any of these horrors.

00:21:56   Yeah, and again, like this is this is why I'm on Twitter and for some people I'm like no no go to Hawaii

00:22:01   Like you'll have a great time

00:22:03   I just saw so many people say oh I wanted to go I'm never gonna go now and I just I

00:22:08   Feel like we really you know

00:22:10   We did a disservice to people if that's what they took away people should come people should come because the entire

00:22:16   Economy depends on people coming and it can be that way because everyone loves it

00:22:21   Yeah people I spoke to there. It was like this is what we do. We're a tourism

00:22:25   our entire economy is based on tourism,

00:22:27   so I don't want to be, considering how much I love Hawaii,

00:22:30   I don't want to be responsible at all

00:22:32   for any less people going there.

00:22:34   - This is actually quite, this is quite selfish

00:22:36   from Myke's perspective.

00:22:37   His main concern is he doesn't want to come back

00:22:39   and discover that the resort has been shut down

00:22:42   and there's just tumbleweeds blowing across the landscape.

00:22:45   - Well, to be fair, Grey, what it might mean

00:22:47   is that the hotel rooms would be a little cheaper

00:22:48   for me next time I want to go,

00:22:50   'cause that it is not either, you know?

00:22:52   Even when you pass through the little towns,

00:22:55   it's like, oh, they all look very great,

00:22:57   but you're also seeing the storefronts

00:22:59   that are set up for tourists right on the road.

00:23:01   Those are always very nicely kept.

00:23:03   And for some of them, if you walk just slightly behind

00:23:08   where those storefronts are,

00:23:09   you can start bumping into a very different sort of world.

00:23:11   But you never will when you're on vacation,

00:23:13   and that's totally fine.

00:23:14   That's the point of a vacation, right?

00:23:16   It's supposed to be nice, and you just see stuff,

00:23:19   and it's set up for tourists, and it's great.

00:23:21   So since our last episode, how has work stuff been for you?

00:23:25   Have you had any changes?

00:23:26   Are you remaining productive?

00:23:28   - Yeah, so when we spoke, I was fairly optimistic,

00:23:33   I would say, with my, I will get 80% of the work done.

00:23:38   That was my life.

00:23:39   I'm only gonna give up 20% of the work,

00:23:43   and I'm only gonna give up the 20 unimportant percent, right?

00:23:46   and it'll just be 80% and blue skies and rainbows from here on out.

00:23:52   I would say I'm probably hitting a lot closer to like 40% of the work.

00:23:59   I think that's a reasonable estimate for how it's actually gone over the last six weeks, I guess?

00:24:06   I mean, to be fair, I'm still gonna count that as a major win

00:24:10   because my assistant, who was around the last time I was in Hawaii,

00:24:15   Her baseline was zero percent of work occurred.

00:24:19   And so she was extremely concerned about, you know, we're just going to lose two months.

00:24:25   And I'm like, no, no, it's going to be fine.

00:24:27   We're going to get 80 percent of the work done.

00:24:28   And she was like, I'm sorry, the base rate of this is you will get zero percent of the work done.

00:24:33   So I am not going to plan for that.

00:24:35   So I'm still going to take 40 percent as a big win.

00:24:37   So I am reasonably happy about that.

00:24:40   People have been mostly good.

00:24:42   But the problem is that while people can be informed of schedules,

00:24:49   cows and chickens and all sorts of other creatures cannot be informed of schedules.

00:24:57   And they don't really care what time it is if there's something that they need.

00:25:01   So yeah, my life has been disrupted by animals very often for the working times.

00:25:07   So yeah.

00:25:08   I noticed there's a chicken in the mix now.

00:25:10   Well, no, so I can't even with this whole story. There's six chickens. There's not a chicken.

00:25:16   There's six chickens that we'll just say arrived in our lives and are here to stay.

00:25:22   But yes, so while I sit down these rules of like, "I will not be disturbed before 1 p.m.

00:25:27   I'm not available before 1 p.m." and like, "Please don't tell me about a problem with the chickens.

00:25:32   I need to be working." But here's the thing. What happens, Myke, when one of the chickens gets sick?

00:25:38   - Becomes a sicken.

00:25:40   - No, that is terrible.

00:25:42   I absolutely refuse to allow that in the podcast.

00:25:44   That is awful.

00:25:45   (laughing)

00:25:46   - Hey, it's late.

00:25:48   What do you want from me?

00:25:50   It's 10 p.m. right now.

00:25:50   - It's early, Myke.

00:25:51   It's 10 a.m.

00:25:52   Like, what do you mean it's late?

00:25:53   We're only exactly as far as we can be.

00:25:56   But yes, so one of the chickens got sick,

00:25:59   and a sick chicken making sad,

00:26:03   cheeping noises is the most heartbreaking thing

00:26:06   in the whole wide world.

00:26:07   And so she needed to be separated from her litter mates and she needed medicine and basically

00:26:14   24 hour care around the clock.

00:26:17   And so yes, I ended up losing quite a lot of time because I ended up taking care of

00:26:23   a sick chicken.

00:26:24   And so that's the kind of thing that can really blow a hole in your working day is trying

00:26:30   to arrange, "Hey chicken, I know you're sick and sad, but also I need to work."

00:26:35   But like, chicken don't care.

00:26:37   don't care at all like chickens got other things to do so yes this has been

00:26:41   one of the one of the interruptions in my life is taking care of a little

00:26:44   chicken I am happy to report that she has pulled through and she's now been

00:26:49   returned to her brood and so all six chickens are now happy and back together

00:26:54   and everything is fine it was it was a week of like oh poor chicken we just we

00:26:59   just need to make you comfortable in your final hours like how can I say no

00:27:02   to that only a monster would say no to that it's like no we just we gotta make

00:27:05   the chicken comfortable. But yeah, so she's all fine now. Not conducive to I'm just

00:27:11   gonna get up and get straight to work. It's like, oh no, my wife hands me a chicken after

00:27:17   pulling the night shift with chicken medicine and she goes to sleep and it's like, "Well,

00:27:22   okay buddy, this is what we're gonna do. I'm gonna put you in my hoodie and we're

00:27:26   gonna try to do work." And it's gonna be at a very low productivity rate.

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00:28:57   I 100% believe that there is a correlation between Sick Chicken and you breaking the top 1000 in Magic the Gathering again.

00:29:05   Uh, I don't know what you're talking about, but yes, that did happen during the same time.

00:29:08   [Laughter]

00:29:14   Uh, oh, you noticed that overlap, that Gray was not able to work as well as he could,

00:29:19   and also Gray broke into the top 1000 ranked Magic players.

00:29:23   Those might be related, that might be a correlation, I don't know.

00:29:26   Congratulations.

00:29:27   Yeah, thanks. I know it's dumb, but I do feel ridiculously pleased with myself over that.

00:29:32   Being in the top 1000 in any popular thing is always good. It doesn't matter what it is.

00:29:38   Yeah.

00:29:38   How many hundreds of thousands of people play Magic the Gathering? Do you have like an idea?

00:29:43   Yeah, so the company doesn't give an estimate for Arena, which is the online version. Their numbers

00:29:49   are that there's something like 5 million players worldwide, but that includes the paper version.

00:29:54   Yeah.

00:29:54   I've tried to ballpark it. I'm gonna say I think there's about a million players and I would be surprised if the actual number is either 50% smaller or 50% bigger than that.

00:30:07   That's kind of my rough estimate, but I'm basing that on I use a like a tracking program to kind of automatically keep track of stats.

00:30:14   And that gives reports about how many people are playing games using this tracking system.

00:30:20   And the number of games taking place just for the obsessive weirdos like me who like it enough to pay extra for a program to run on your computer only to track your stats,

00:30:31   the number of games they're tracking is like hundreds of thousands of games.

00:30:35   So it is a big number of people because there can't be 1% of players are using like an add-on system in the way I am.

00:30:44   I just think it's got to be basically 0% of players are doing that, so it is a big number.

00:30:49   It sounds ridiculous but I was thinking about it. I was like,

00:30:52   I think this might actually be, in absolute numbers,

00:30:56   the thing that I've been the best at in my whole life?

00:31:00   No, that can't be true. No, I-

00:31:02   There must have been a time where you were in the top 800 YouTube channels.

00:31:10   I'm not confident about that. I also like-

00:31:14   Going all the way back in the day? Come on.

00:31:17   I don't know. I don't know if that's true.

00:31:19   Here's my thought is like, I'm also saying absolute terms as in like top 1000.

00:31:24   I'm not saying percentage terms because especially now it's like, I don't know,

00:31:28   50% of people worldwide like wants to do YouTube and have YouTube channel.

00:31:33   Like the number is just enormous.

00:31:35   So percentage wise, the thing that I actually earned my living at, it's like,

00:31:38   oh yes, I've been a very small percentage number of that.

00:31:41   But in terms of absolute terms, I don't know.

00:31:43   Maybe I was in the top 800 at the very beginning, but I'm just not confident about that.

00:31:49   I feel like even when I started, YouTube was still already quite big.

00:31:54   And I remember having what I thought were ridiculous conversations with people at some of the very first conferences I ever went to,

00:32:01   where this is like 10 years ago, people were already saying,

00:32:05   "Oh, it's too late for people to get started on YouTube.

00:32:08   Like the people who are big now have such a head start."

00:32:11   I always thought that was just the world's worst advice in thinking about it.

00:32:15   It's like, no, that's not how any of these things work.

00:32:18   Like there's this thing is totally going to get bigger.

00:32:20   Yeah, but what about this show?

00:32:21   What about the show?

00:32:22   A thousand podcasts, right?

00:32:25   Because I don't know.

00:32:27   I mean, I know that there are more podcasts in the world created than I could ever imagine.

00:32:31   But podcasts with listenerships of our size, they aren't that many.

00:32:37   And if the fact that we are successful and successful with advertisers and successful

00:32:41   with advertisers that advertise on the most popular podcasts, so you know, advertise every

00:32:46   episode, Squarespace is, I think, advertises basically every episode of the show.

00:32:50   I can't imagine, I'd have to ask them, but I can't imagine Squarespace advertise on 1000

00:32:56   podcasts, right?

00:32:58   Yeah, okay, yeah, I see what you're saying, but also, okay, I mean, it does seem like

00:33:04   Squarespace advertises on every podcast that exists but that's also that's also a selection

00:33:09   effect of I think I'm the sort of person who listens to the sort of podcast that Squarespace

00:33:15   is way more likely to advertise on.

00:33:17   Of course.

00:33:18   Right but so so Squarespace isn't advertising on a thousand like they're not going down

00:33:25   the list of like one two three four five and then they get to Cortex and they still have

00:33:29   money left they're picking some subset of that so I don't think the fact that Squarespace

00:33:34   advertises on the show is an indicator that the show is in the top 1000.

00:33:38   I don't mean this specifically but like a thousand is a very large number.

00:33:44   Yeah.

00:33:46   And I just I don't know I mean maybe we're like 1700th most popular podcast in the world,

00:33:51   I don't know. But like I just a thousand, a thousand shows where the hosts can make a living

00:34:00   I just don't know if the market is big enough.

00:34:04   - Yeah, it's funny you mention that,

00:34:05   'cause I think I'm in my head now

00:34:08   having to try to scale what is the actual size

00:34:13   of different worlds.

00:34:15   I wonder which is true.

00:34:16   Do more people make a living at podcasts,

00:34:20   or do more people make a living at YouTube channels?

00:34:23   - It's gotta be YouTube.

00:34:24   It's gotta be YouTube.

00:34:25   - I feel like it has to be YouTube,

00:34:27   but I'm suddenly unsure.

00:34:29   just law of large number stuff.

00:34:32   Like there's just more YouTubers than there are podcasters.

00:34:36   - Is that true?

00:34:38   I wonder if that's true.

00:34:40   I'm not super confident.

00:34:42   Like I think it is.

00:34:43   I think if I had to take an even money bet,

00:34:46   I would say that there's more people

00:34:48   who are trying to do YouTube than trying to do podcasts.

00:34:52   But I don't know.

00:34:54   I feel like I've wandered into the jungle of like no data.

00:34:59   Teenagers aren't trying to be podcasters.

00:35:01   Why, Myke? It's so cool.

00:35:03   Like, isn't everything about being a podcaster really cool?

00:35:06   What's cool about being a vlogger? Nothing, right?

00:35:09   What's cool about being a podcaster?

00:35:11   Everything. You get to talk about microphones,

00:35:14   you get to have all your aux cables.

00:35:16   One of the biggest advantages, no one sees you.

00:35:19   That's what people want, right, is to not be seen.

00:35:22   So, like, that's a huge advantage for podcasts.

00:35:24   It's gotta be true that there's more podcasters.

00:35:28   Man, I can't stop running that number in my brain now a

00:35:31   Thousand I don't know any right. I don't know if I've if I've said something that's wrong here

00:35:37   no, but like but so this this is actually quite a good thing with

00:35:40   like the way humans think about stuff a

00:35:43   Thousand is one of those numbers where if like it just crosses the human ability to

00:35:50   Conceptualize in a real way. I feel like numbers that are still in the hundreds

00:35:55   you can think about in terms of objects and actual things, like how many people.

00:36:02   You can imagine 200 people in a room, but I think once you cross the 1000 mark,

00:36:09   it starts becoming hard to really think about what that number means.

00:36:17   Like, this is just our limited monkey minds.

00:36:19   So that's why I'm feeling extremely uncertain now about

00:36:23   How do podcasts and YouTube channels rank? I just don't know.

00:36:28   What we've actually stumbled in here is the whole power law question about how everything works in media.

00:36:35   It's all just related to a power law for audience sizes.

00:36:40   You keep multiplying by 10% every time you want to go down an order of magnitude in audience size for how many people are at this scale.

00:36:49   Right? So it's like, "Oh, how many podcasts get tens of millions of listeners?"

00:36:55   I don't know, like, ten?

00:36:57   How many podcasts get millions of listeners?

00:37:00   Probably hundreds?

00:37:02   How many podcasts get hundreds of thousands of listeners?

00:37:05   Thousands? Is that about right?

00:37:08   That would be like a power law distribution?

00:37:10   And then, you know, what, tens of thousands is tens of thousands as well?

00:37:15   I don't know, I lost track of it in my head.

00:37:16   I'm desperately googling. I'm trying to get some kind of indications to the numbers, but I don't think I'm going to get it.

00:37:22   Yeah, see this is also the thing for listeners, which may not be obvious, is that the podcast industry is shrouded in mystery.

00:37:29   Yeah.

00:37:30   Like, no one ever talks about the numbers since it's not centralized like something with YouTube. You have no idea how anybody else is doing.

00:37:40   I think there's also a lot of shenanigans with listeners being conflated with just downloads that are happening.

00:37:47   Well that's just a thing you can't, it's really hard to know.

00:37:50   Yeah, there's just so much going on, whereas with something like YouTube it's better.

00:37:56   YouTube actually does a very good job of not inflating the view numbers.

00:38:00   I think YouTube is just about the only platform where you can quite trust those view numbers.

00:38:06   is like, "Oh, an actual person watched this for some amount of time." And like, they're,

00:38:11   I think they're quite good about that.

00:38:12   But it's the "some amount of time" thing too, though, right?

00:38:15   What do you mean?

00:38:16   Well, it's like, do people ever consider that? Like, if you had like a 10-minute YouTube

00:38:20   video, but 50% of the people stopped watching it in the first two minutes and it counted

00:38:24   as a view, you know what I mean?

00:38:26   Yeah, but like, I think YouTube does a good job of that, precisely because in the back

00:38:31   end they're they're really focused on what is the retention rate and so

00:38:36   Like they start counting things as views

00:38:40   Fairly soon into watching the video, but then if that person bails it counts against your retention rate

00:38:47   And so I think you can see because like oh retention rates are actually I think quite reasonable at least in my experience for

00:38:54   Videos of decent length. It's like yeah

00:38:56   No, this view number means something.

00:38:58   Like, I'm not expecting 100% of the people make it to the end,

00:39:01   but I think like, "Oh, when you see a video has X number of views..."

00:39:05   I'm basically comparing this to other platforms like

00:39:09   Facebook in particular and all sorts of other things.

00:39:12   No, no, no, their view numbers are just like garbage and you cannot trust them.

00:39:15   But the podcast world, just because of the way it works,

00:39:18   download numbers and how many listeners there are,

00:39:21   it's just intrinsically more difficult to get a good answer to what that is.

00:39:25   I can give you something here, right?

00:39:27   Just to try and help put it in perspective.

00:39:29   So this American life, it seems like looking at

00:39:34   we company called Podtrack,

00:39:36   who have statistics that I will trust,

00:39:38   they estimate or publish that they have

00:39:40   about three and a half million listeners.

00:39:44   That is their US unique monthly audience.

00:39:48   And they are the ninth most popular podcast in the charts.

00:39:53   So number nine has three and a half million downloads.

00:39:58   - But when you say in their charts,

00:40:00   they're the ninth most popular that this company tracks?

00:40:03   - But Podtrack have most of the live shows.

00:40:06   So all of NPR, all of Wondery, all of Disney, all of BBC,

00:40:11   Barstool, Fox, CNN, they have all of these numbers.

00:40:15   - Okay.

00:40:16   - So if number nine is three and a half million,

00:40:20   what would number 1,000 be?

00:40:22   You know what I mean?

00:40:23   Yeah, maybe.

00:40:24   Okay, so we just need to go around and ask the top 1000 podcasts to see where their listenerships

00:40:33   are so we can create a rank.

00:40:35   And they'll say, "Why are you doing this?"

00:40:37   And the answer will be, "Oh, we want to compare this to CGP Grey's rank in Magic the Gathering."

00:40:45   That's why we're going on this data exposition.

00:40:49   I don't think we should record the show at these times anymore.

00:40:53   [laughter]

00:40:55   Myke, what's wrong with this 12 hour time difference? Nothing!

00:40:58   [laughter]

00:40:59   I've forgotten why we were even talking about this.

00:41:03   [laughter]

00:41:04   Oh boy.

00:41:05   I'm casting slip out the back and we can move on.

00:41:08   Let's try and get this episode back onto some kind of course here.

00:41:13   If anybody does know the answer to this thing, by the way, I would love to know.

00:41:16   You can reach out to me.

00:41:17   I can keep it secret if you need it.

00:41:20   I just really want to know now.

00:41:22   (laughing)

00:41:23   I feel pretty confident in it,

00:41:25   but it's also one of those things that now I've said it,

00:41:27   I'm like, am I gonna regret having said that?

00:41:30   I don't know.

00:41:32   - I can also feel like this is one of those things

00:41:33   that's just gonna, it's just gonna like,

00:41:35   it's wormed its way into your brain

00:41:37   and you're gonna be thinking about it all the time now.

00:41:40   So if you happen to be a person

00:41:42   who has secret podcast stats,

00:41:45   please get in touch with Myke

00:41:46   and relieve him of his constant thinking about this,

00:41:49   which is inevitably going to happen.

00:41:51   - Myke wants to know.

00:41:52   - Myke wants to know.

00:41:53   (chime)

00:41:54   - This episode of Cortex is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs.

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00:43:32   So you posted your first YouTube short.

00:43:36   - Yes, a thing I actually have data on.

00:43:39   Yes, I posted a YouTube short.

00:43:41   - I wanna know about this

00:43:43   and I hope that you have some stuff you can share

00:43:45   because everyone's doing this now.

00:43:48   I mean, and really on YouTube,

00:43:50   all I'm seeing is people reusing their TikToks, right?

00:43:53   Or like it's content is being created

00:43:55   for multiple avenues, right?

00:43:58   So like I'm seeing a lot of like content creators now,

00:44:01   they are creating short vertical video

00:44:03   that they are posting on TikTok and YouTube and/or Instagram

00:44:08   and possibly Twitter as well, right?

00:44:10   Like this is definitely a thing

00:44:13   that I am coming into contact more with now

00:44:17   than I have been before.

00:44:18   - Okay.

00:44:19   - Of like the content creators that I follow,

00:44:21   I'm seeing more of them post this stuff,

00:44:24   like tech and gaming focused YouTube channels.

00:44:29   I'm seeing them either post YouTube shorts

00:44:31   or I'm seeing them post them on their Twitter or Instagram accounts.

00:44:35   Okay, so since I'm in research mode, I feel like with regard to shorts,

00:44:42   what do you think of this?

00:44:44   Like, not as a content creator.

00:44:46   - As a consumer? - As a content consumer, right?

00:44:49   Like...

00:44:51   As a content muncher.

00:44:54   I didn't like that when I said it.

00:44:56   - But I said it now. - So much work.

00:44:59   As you munch your way through content, how do you like it?

00:45:02   - I'm like the cookie monster for video.

00:45:05   - That's what consumers are.

00:45:07   Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom.

00:45:09   Right, and it goes everywhere.

00:45:11   He eats none of the cookies.

00:45:12   - I should preface this by saying I am not a TikTok user.

00:45:15   - Okay.

00:45:16   - 'Cause I think that, not I think.

00:45:17   It's obvious that that is where this drive has come from.

00:45:20   TikTok created this new format, this new system

00:45:24   of this algorithmically generated content, right?

00:45:27   and now Instagram wants a piece of it

00:45:30   and YouTube want a piece of it.

00:45:32   So the only place I ever see this content

00:45:35   is on the social media platforms that I'm already a part of.

00:45:38   And for me, it's very much additional, right?

00:45:42   So like when I'm on YouTube, I'm not looking for shorts.

00:45:46   - Right.

00:45:47   - When I'm on Twitter, I'm not looking for quick video.

00:45:50   And when I'm on Instagram, I'm not looking for reels.

00:45:53   So for me, I see this content

00:45:56   mixed in with the stuff that I'm already looking at

00:46:00   or looking for.

00:46:02   So for me as a consumer,

00:46:03   there has to be something about it that grabs me enough

00:46:06   to take me out of what I was doing to watch that video,

00:46:10   which is very different to somebody who is using TikTok

00:46:14   or using Instagram Reels and just like watching the videos

00:46:19   just fly by on their own, right?

00:46:20   - Right, right.

00:46:21   - So I'm not an average consumer,

00:46:23   But what I will say is the people whose content I enjoy

00:46:28   that do this, I like it.

00:46:31   So for me, one of the channels that I see do this the best

00:46:35   is Kinda Funny.

00:46:37   Kinda Funny is a selection of gaming culture podcasts,

00:46:40   which I've gotten into in a big way in the last few months.

00:46:44   Like I watch basically all of their shows.

00:46:46   But like they are podcasts, but they have video versions

00:46:49   and I watch them mostly.

00:46:51   So I'm very used to engaging with them through video

00:46:55   and they publish lots of content.

00:46:56   And so what they do, which I really like,

00:46:58   they pick out funny things that have happened

00:47:01   either recently or in their past,

00:47:03   and they just make a short out of those.

00:47:06   And they also make shorts out of game reviews.

00:47:09   - Right.

00:47:10   - Right, so they'll do like a 30 second video game review,

00:47:13   which I watch that before I watch their longer review

00:47:16   on one of their podcasts or whatever, right?

00:47:18   Like, you know, this is like the snackable version

00:47:20   of this content that you're about to go and get.

00:47:22   It's like a trailer really for the longer conversation.

00:47:25   - Yeah, you're using it like a trailer.

00:47:27   - Yeah, or a best of kind of thing.

00:47:29   And that content's working for me,

00:47:31   but I really only think it's working for me

00:47:33   because I'm already so engaged with them

00:47:36   that at the moment I'll watch anything

00:47:38   that the Kinda Funny crew make, right?

00:47:40   Like I'll just watch all of it.

00:47:41   So I will watch the shorts the same

00:47:43   as I'll watch their two hour breakdowns

00:47:46   of a movie trailer or whatever, you know?

00:47:48   Like I'm just in on that content.

00:47:51   So I think for me, I don't consider myself

00:47:54   an average consumer because the shorts that I'm watching

00:47:58   or the short form videos that I'm watching

00:48:02   are for content creators I'm already really engaged with,

00:48:05   which is not what TikTok is about, right?

00:48:08   TikTok is like, you don't even know these people

00:48:10   most of the time, like, and you don't need to.

00:48:13   And that's their whole thing.

00:48:14   It's just like, our algorithm is so good,

00:48:16   we're just gonna keep serving you this stuff.

00:48:18   I'm assuming you're not a TikTok person either.

00:48:21   - I have never installed the app.

00:48:23   - And for me, I don't have a problem with it.

00:48:26   I just don't need it.

00:48:28   I don't need another thing personally to suck time away.

00:48:33   And I already can't keep up with the social networks

00:48:38   that I already like or the content that I already like.

00:48:40   Between YouTube, Instagram and Twitter and podcasts,

00:48:45   there's already, I am already behind on everything.

00:48:47   I don't need to add another one in, right?

00:48:49   That's just how I feel.

00:48:50   And I'm very much, you know,

00:48:53   we spoke about this on the show

00:48:54   and I think there are a lot of our listeners are the same.

00:48:56   I'm very much the kind of person where

00:48:59   I don't personally want an algorithm trying to tell me

00:49:04   what content creators to consume.

00:49:07   I've already made those decisions, however I've made them.

00:49:11   And I want to watch content from people

00:49:13   I already know I like.

00:49:14   Like I'm not so much of a, hey algorithm,

00:49:17   who do you think I'm gonna be into today?

00:49:19   So I like that for me, actually,

00:49:22   I like the way that YouTube's given me this content

00:49:24   maybe the most out of all of them or maybe Twitter maybe,

00:49:27   because it's people just posting videos like their tweets.

00:49:29   And I also, by the way, I like shorts.

00:49:31   I think that's the best brand name.

00:49:32   I like it better to Reels.

00:49:34   I like it better to TikToks.

00:49:36   Like I think shorts, I actually really liked that.

00:49:38   'Cause I think it does a very good job

00:49:39   of explaining what the content is.

00:49:41   They're short videos.

00:49:43   Like I actually, I think for once YouTube has landed

00:49:46   on the best branding for me.

00:49:48   - Yeah, I didn't think about that, but you're right.

00:49:49   Yeah, they do have the best name for it, for sure.

00:49:51   - Do you ever see any of this content?

00:49:53   - Yeah, so this has been on my mind for a long time

00:49:58   is trying something with a YouTube short.

00:50:01   And I can say just from anecdotal experience,

00:50:05   every YouTuber I've spoken to who hasn't done a short,

00:50:09   it's the same thing.

00:50:09   It's on everybody's mind about,

00:50:11   Is this something that we should do?

00:50:14   - For like, for YouTubers, I assume the problem there is,

00:50:17   you don't have to say anything one way or another,

00:50:19   there is either YouTube will ask you to do it,

00:50:22   incentivize you to do it,

00:50:24   or you think YouTube wants it so you have to.

00:50:26   - Yeah, exactly.

00:50:27   So YouTube hasn't tried to incentivize me to do it.

00:50:31   - I know they are incentivizing some people though.

00:50:33   - Yes, but they're definitely incentivizing some people.

00:50:35   - The same as how they're incentivizing podcasters.

00:50:38   We haven't spoken about this,

00:50:39   but since we spoke about this, I don't know,

00:50:41   a couple of months ago.

00:50:42   - Oh, right, yeah, that's right.

00:50:44   - Apparently YouTube is giving money to people

00:50:48   to make video versions of their podcasts.

00:50:51   This is like apparently a thing.

00:50:53   I'll put some links in the show notes.

00:50:54   This is something YouTube does, right?

00:50:55   It's like, we have this medium,

00:50:57   we want you to come and be a part of it,

00:50:59   we'll give you money.

00:51:00   Spotify is doing it for podcasts too, right?

00:51:02   Big platforms do it as they give people money

00:51:05   and in the hope that they'll come and produce content

00:51:07   in the place that they wanted to produce it.

00:51:09   And I'm sure, and I think I've seen reference to this,

00:51:12   that there is like a YouTube Shorts fund.

00:51:14   I know Instagram has one for reals.

00:51:16   You can get bonus payments for publishing this content.

00:51:21   - Yeah, so it's important to this conversation

00:51:23   that I'm not a part of any of that.

00:51:25   Like I just decided to do this thing.

00:51:27   YouTube didn't ask me to do it.

00:51:29   I'm not getting any extra money from YouTube for doing it.

00:51:32   I just thought, okay.

00:51:33   A thing came along with our place like this.

00:51:38   apparently now every other year maybe or every four years.

00:51:42   I don't remember what last time they did it, like little event.

00:51:44   Oh, did they say they were bringing it back?

00:51:45   Cause I know they brought it back for April falls, right?

00:51:47   But like I didn't know if they were like,

00:51:49   they're bringing it back on a schedule now.

00:51:51   There is no way that they're not bringing it back again.

00:51:53   Like it seems so much more popular this time than last time.

00:51:57   It was way more popular this time because people knew what the deal was for

00:52:00   anyone listening who doesn't know.

00:52:02   Basically Reddit had a kind of collaborative canvas that everybody could paint

00:52:07   using pixels one at a time. So like every 10 minutes you could put down a little pixel.

00:52:11   Technologically this time it was so much better than the time before.

00:52:16   Yeah I think it's great. It's honestly the sort of thing that lifts my heart about what the internet

00:52:22   should be. It just feels like this is what I thought the whole internet was going to be like.

00:52:26   It's like oh pixel rainbows and also fun shenanigans is like oh it didn't turn out that

00:52:33   way, but our place is like the best of what the internet can be.

00:52:37   A fun way for like millions of people to collaborate on a thing that just

00:52:41   wouldn't be possible in the real world.

00:52:43   Like it was just great, but it's just a big collaborative art project.

00:52:46   And so that came along and it was delightful.

00:52:49   And I happened to have this little fact about the Albert Memorial in London

00:52:55   having messed up the reconstruction.

00:52:57   And long story short, I'd been kind of angling for a long time to try to do

00:53:02   something about the Albert Memorial, but as we have discussed on previous shows, sometimes

00:53:08   institutions are really uninterested in working with you if you are not a gigantic corporation,

00:53:14   and if you're like but a humble YouTuber, they have a whole bunch of GTFO for you if

00:53:20   you come along with like, "Hey, I have an interesting project!"

00:53:22   So I kind of had a fact that I was like, "This is never gonna go anywhere."

00:53:27   Like I think this video about the Albert Memorial is never gonna happen, but this is one like

00:53:31   fun fact from that thing.

00:53:33   And so, I don't know, it just popped into my head one morning.

00:53:36   I thought, "Oh! Everybody's griefing on the Canadian flag

00:53:40   and messing it up on our place."

00:53:42   And it just sort of made me think about this pixel art in the Albert Memorial.

00:53:46   I was out for my morning walk with the cows who were following me around,

00:53:50   and this popped into my head, and I thought,

00:53:53   "Okay, I'm gonna spend my work morning working on this,

00:53:58   and like, whatever I have at the end, it's just done.

00:54:01   I'm not gonna spend any more time on it. I'm just gonna upload it and we'll see how it does.

00:54:04   Mainly because I wanted to start getting some data about how do shorts do on my channel?

00:54:12   Because I know again from talking to other youtubers that my channel has a lot of...

00:54:17   It's a bit of an outlier in a way that a lot of the statistics work.

00:54:22   And so I just knew I couldn't really depend on anybody else's data about how shorts have worked for them.

00:54:28   I needed to do something for myself and just see because my channel always ends up just being a bit weird when I compare the

00:54:34   Numbers to other people. So yeah, I put it up. I had just no

00:54:37   Expectations of how would this do I just didn't really have any thoughts

00:54:42   I'm just like I'm just gonna collect some data and see and at the time of recording it's at about

00:54:47   1.7 million views right now, which I'm very happy with because that means like oh I have

00:54:54   Actual reliable data about this short like I can try to make some decisions about it and that would be you know

00:55:01   Correct me if I'm wrong if you made a video a typical gray video

00:55:05   Even like a gray explains video and you got those numbers you'd be like, I'm happy with that. Oh, yeah

00:55:11   Yeah, you come away and be like, yep. That was worth my time, right?

00:55:15   so oh why I was keen to know kind of more about the kind of as you say that the stats and the deets of this because

00:55:23   This is obviously vastly different in a production process

00:55:27   And I'm really keen to know if you think that like having now achieved those numbers

00:55:32   What does that actually mean on the other side?

00:55:35   Yeah, and for just for a frame of reference for the listener roughly my median video on the channel is about two million views

00:55:43   So this lands it like very solidly in the middle because it's gonna get there right like yeah, it's only two weeks old

00:55:50   Yeah, I think it's gonna hit two million views.

00:55:52   So this this makes it very very solidly like right in the middle of the pack for a video

00:55:57   which is actually perfect for making a decision about statistics.

00:56:01   And I guess the summary that I can give is my experience with shorts is

00:56:06   terrible.

00:56:09   It is unbelievably bad.

00:56:12   And so now if you are not in the business,

00:56:15   you're hearing me say a thing like "I spent a morning making a video.

00:56:19   It's done about two million views and that was awful. Like it sounds crazy

00:56:25   but so let me just talk through why is this just

00:56:29   abysmal. When you make a video, there's a bunch of things that matter.

00:56:34   There's the obvious stuff that matters like how much money did the video make and

00:56:40   I'm in the position now where it's like, this is not just a question about paying myself.

00:56:45   I have to make decisions about paying all the people I work with and so how much money does the video make?

00:56:52   Versus how much time did I spend on it is very different now from how it was when I was starting so

00:56:59   Revenue can't be a like trivial consideration

00:57:04   This is kind of at the top of the pile was that did this financially make sense or would I go bankrupt if I kept doing?

00:57:09   This there's other things that you care about

00:57:11   So one of the things that you can care about is how many new people saw this video

00:57:18   versus how many of people in my existing audience saw this.

00:57:23   Which is slightly different from another thing that you can care about which is how many subscribers did you get?

00:57:29   So YouTube, they do a pretty good job of trying to track viewers who are basically like

00:57:34   non-subscriber subscribers, so people who watch all of your stuff, but just haven't subscribed.

00:57:40   So you can kind of get a metric of roughly how many people who haven't seen one of my videos in like the last year

00:57:48   watched this video. So it's new people. One of the other things I care about is

00:57:53   engagement. Like how many people who watched this video watched another one of my videos?

00:58:00   So they watched this thing and they thought, "Ooh interesting. I want to see more from this guy.

00:58:04   Let me see another one of his things." And as

00:58:08   Listeners to the show will know I love spreadsheets

00:58:11   and I put all of this stuff into a spreadsheet to try to give me an overall view of like

00:58:17   How well does this video do against a bunch of metrics that I care about?

00:58:22   let me try to combine everything together and think about it and make comparisons and

00:58:27   the bottom line comparison is that for me to be happy with the way this video is performing

00:58:36   [sigh]

00:58:38   It would have to do somewhere between 10 to 20 times as many views as it has done to be worthwhile.

00:58:48   Which is to say, every metric I care about is like 1/20th what I would want to see in terms of a video.

00:58:59   And so it's just abysmal looking at the stats. Like, across the board for everything.

00:59:05   The revenue is, even though I only spent but a morning working on this,

00:59:10   it's like, "Oh, if I just made shorts, I would go out of business."

00:59:14   Like, paying all my expenses and doing all of that kind of stuff.

00:59:18   It's like, "No, I literally couldn't make a living doing shorts."

00:59:21   So then you can ask questions like,

00:59:23   "Oh, but is it worthwhile because you're reaching a new audience?"

00:59:27   No. Like, as far as I can tell,

00:59:30   maybe 90% of the views have come from people who have watched my other videos

00:59:38   and maybe 10% of the people who saw this were actually new people.

00:59:44   And that's like, what are the subscriber numbers?

00:59:47   They're like 1/30th what I would expect from a video.

00:59:51   They're just brutally bad.

00:59:54   And the absolute worst one is,

00:59:57   Has someone who watched this video, have they gone on to watch another video?

01:00:03   I think that number, it's a little bit hard to estimate, but that may be a literal like,

01:00:09   four digit number, right? So like this video got two million views,

01:00:14   and maybe a thousand times someone watched another one of my videos after this.

01:00:20   Like, it's just savage. It's so bad.

01:00:24   I don't know if I would have assumed differently, if I'm being honest with you.

01:00:30   Yeah.

01:00:30   If you would have said to me, "Hey, I'm going to do this short video.

01:00:33   How well do you think this is going to turn out for me?"

01:00:37   I think my assumption would have been like, "You'll get a bunch of views on it,

01:00:41   but it's not going to make you any money."

01:00:43   Because there are less ads on it, I'm sure, if there are any.

01:00:45   And I'm sure the ads are cheaper anyway, so the CPMs will be lower.

01:00:52   so any cut you would get is already tiny. And on YouTube, I don't know...

01:00:57   I mean maybe it's being served to people. Honestly, maybe like you ended up in the best

01:01:03   place situation because you were doing it about R/place because people may have seen that in their

01:01:10   recommendations and they were like "what is that thing? I've been seeing people talk about it."

01:01:14   Like you may have actually ended up doing best case scenario for you, for a short,

01:01:19   which I think makes this even worse.

01:01:21   I think that's very possible.

01:01:23   I think it's very possible this is best case scenario for a short, yeah.

01:01:26   And I think that if this is the situation you're seeing,

01:01:29   I don't really know why people are doing it.

01:01:32   I think by and large my expectation is...

01:01:35   So I'm talking about the content creators I'm seeing, right?

01:01:39   So tech and gaming and culture YouTubers, right?

01:01:42   Why are they publishing this stuff?

01:01:45   My expectation is they're making it for TikTok

01:01:47   And because they've made it for TikTok, they're also just going to put it on YouTube anyway,

01:01:51   because if you get any benefit, like it's not even made for this platform, so anything else,

01:01:55   it's just sprinkles right on top. I think that's what we're seeing everywhere, right? Like if

01:02:01   you're seeing this content anywhere, it's because it started on TikTok. I bet if you put this on

01:02:05   TikTok, you would have got 100 million views, but you would have made even less money probably.

01:02:09   But for some people, I mean, understandably, the most important thing is views at the start.

01:02:15   The money is not important. It's about trying to build an audience. And some people have

01:02:19   successfully built audiences in TikTok. I think it's harder to build audiences in TikTok because

01:02:24   you don't have a feed as such of like, these are the people I've chosen to see.

01:02:28   I think you can follow people and I think that increases your likelihood of seeing their content,

01:02:33   but it's not the same, right? And you see a lot, like the most popular TikTokers, they are trying

01:02:39   eventually to shovel you off somewhere else. They want you to subscribe to their YouTube channel or

01:02:45   or their podcast or whatever, right?

01:02:47   Because they know TikTok is not the place

01:02:50   for them long term.

01:02:51   I mean, this happens everywhere.

01:02:53   Then at a certain point,

01:02:54   YouTubers wanna get television shows, right?

01:02:56   Because they know that YouTube's not the thing

01:02:59   for them long term, right?

01:03:00   Like you see this a lot, like people,

01:03:02   they move you from place to place, right?

01:03:04   Like, "Hey, check out this other thing that I'm doing.

01:03:06   We do it, I do it, right?

01:03:07   Like, hey, I'm doing this other thing.

01:03:08   Come check this out."

01:03:09   - There are very natural career progressions.

01:03:12   And it's one of the reasons why,

01:03:14   Like I wanted to start this off by emphasizing,

01:03:17   I'm in a different position now for making content

01:03:20   and I have to think about things differently.

01:03:22   So if you are at the start of your content creation career,

01:03:27   views is the only thing you care about

01:03:30   because you're not making any money off of it anyway.

01:03:34   But when you fast forward and you are running a business

01:03:39   and there's people whose livelihood depends

01:03:41   on that business, then the views question changes

01:03:46   because it's like, yeah, views are great,

01:03:50   but it matters that they translate

01:03:52   into things that actually matter.

01:03:55   And that's where I did not expect

01:03:58   to make a bunch of money off of shorts.

01:04:01   Like, that was never in my dreams.

01:04:04   I mean, the fact that I made less than minimum wage

01:04:07   was quite surprising to me.

01:04:08   Like, I didn't expect it to be that bad.

01:04:11   I wasn't looking at this as a money maker, but what I wanted to see primarily was,

01:04:16   okay, views for me matter if they're translating as "new audience". Then, like, that's a thing that

01:04:26   really matters, is bringing more people into the extended CGP Grey universe. And so, like, ooh,

01:04:33   do shorts accomplish that as a goal?

01:04:36   And my experience so far has been no, like even that thing, which I would say YouTube and

01:04:46   many YouTubers the way they talk about it, that's sort of the dangled promise is,

01:04:51   oh, shorts will gain you new audience.

01:04:54   Look at these huge view numbers.

01:04:56   They'll translate into new viewers.

01:04:59   and my initial foray into this has said, "No."

01:05:02   Like, that does not hold true.

01:05:04   And so that is the part that I am a little bit more surprised at.

01:05:08   I expected that, like, at a bare minimum,

01:05:11   it would be something like 50% new viewers and 50% existing viewers,

01:05:16   but it's just not close.

01:05:18   And then that really calls into question, like,

01:05:20   "Man, I don't know about this."

01:05:22   There is an asterisk here, which is just that

01:05:25   I am going to do some more shorts

01:05:28   because I do think that there's like a self-feeding nature to this.

01:05:34   So the only question that I have left is,

01:05:37   does it matter if you have three shorts or if you have four shorts?

01:05:42   Because from having browsed around on YouTube and using the actual short system,

01:05:47   it's like, boy, one thing I have learned is,

01:05:50   if you watch a short from one person,

01:05:52   YouTube will go way out of their way to show you every single short

01:05:56   that that person has ever made.

01:05:57   Yeah, I mean they do that with anything.

01:05:59   Like if you watch a video from someone on their recommended page,

01:06:02   or at least I find this on the rare occasion that I do it on the homepage,

01:06:06   well then I'm gonna get a string of everything that these people have made for as long as possible, you know?

01:06:13   Yeah, I just think the way that it works on the phone, the way you browse through,

01:06:16   it's just a much more, it's way more aggressive.

01:06:18   Right? They're not presenting you with options,

01:06:20   they're just literally showing you like every single thing that the person has made.

01:06:24   So that's the question. It was like, maybe there is a way in which one short is not great,

01:06:30   but there's a kind of—the reverse of a power law distribution—there's an exponential effect

01:06:35   that having two shorts is four times better than having two, and three is nine times better than

01:06:41   having two. So that's the only thing that I do kind of want to see before I can make a final

01:06:47   judgment on this, but my initial foray is like, "Oof!" This may literally be the worst

01:06:54   video I have ever made across every metric I could ever care about, even after you divide

01:07:01   by the amount of time I spent on it. It's just brutal.

01:07:04   [laughs]

01:07:05   All right, so if one of the things is increased new people that you're looking for, would

01:07:13   Would you consider then publishing them on TikTok?

01:07:17   Yeah, I don't know.

01:07:19   I think part of the problem there for me is like, that's just a platform that I have no

01:07:23   experience with.

01:07:24   But it doesn't really matter.

01:07:26   You're making the content that that system wants.

01:07:28   I mean, I may just, if I make more shorts, I may just put them on TikTok.

01:07:31   Yeah, that's what I mean.

01:07:33   But again, I think the issue is my experience from talking to people and just from seeing

01:07:38   a little bit of this world is the thing that you're saying like, "Oh, people on TikTok

01:07:42   try to push you to YouTube doesn't seem to be very successful except in quite unusual

01:07:50   cases.

01:07:51   Oh I have no doubt that it's really unsuccessful but my point more is just like if you're doing

01:07:56   it anyway, why not try because you could end up being one of those people where it's weirdly

01:08:03   successful for them in some strange way.

01:08:06   To me it's just more like if you're putting the effort in you may as well just do it.

01:08:11   them for YouTube, but then just put them on TikTok too. Just because you could at least

01:08:17   then compare.

01:08:18   Yeah, yeah, I might as well do that.

01:08:21   You might as well just see what happens, right? Because the content's exactly the same. Like

01:08:26   you don't really need to do anything different for either of them. And then you can just

01:08:30   publish it there and just see what happens.

01:08:32   Yeah, okay, I'll do that. I'll just throw it up on TikTok and just see what happens.

01:08:36   I guess the reason why I'm just so meh about that is again this issue of I care about views

01:08:43   that connect to something real and I just see that as like, man, I could easily imagine

01:08:49   even in the most dream case on TikTok of like, oh, this gets a hundred million views.

01:08:54   It still doesn't translate to anything real and I'm not at the stage of my career where

01:08:59   that part of it, the view number is the thing that is paramount.

01:09:02   But then it's like, why even tweet links to videos?

01:09:04   You know what I mean?

01:09:05   (sighs)

01:09:07   Yeah, yeah, you're not wrong.

01:09:09   - We will do it, right?

01:09:11   But how many people are like,

01:09:13   "Oh man, I never even known about this."

01:09:16   I would just be keen to see if you just made

01:09:20   a TikTok account, publish video, what would happen?

01:09:23   Would you get 100 views or would you get 100 million?

01:09:26   I think it would just be intriguing.

01:09:27   And because you've already made the content anyway,

01:09:30   you might as well just try it.

01:09:32   And then if you ended up getting,

01:09:34   say 50 million views on a TikTok video,

01:09:38   then there's questions, right?

01:09:39   I don't know if you can find the answers to them,

01:09:41   but like, why?

01:09:43   Why is it more popular on TikTok

01:09:45   when these people don't even necessarily know who I am

01:09:48   because they have no relationship to me?

01:09:50   So this is kind of stuff that I've seen.

01:09:51   Like, I think it was MKBHD was talking about this

01:09:55   at one point, like when they set up a TikTok account

01:09:58   and he published like something about like an LG phone

01:10:01   that wasn't even new at the time.

01:10:02   time, you got like 70 million views on it.

01:10:04   He was like, this is my most watched piece of content ever.

01:10:08   And he does.

01:10:10   And it's like, why did this even happen?

01:10:11   Right.

01:10:12   Well, I do have serious doubts about TikTok's view numbers, but if it pleases

01:10:16   you to know, I have sent a message saying, please post my short up on TikTok and

01:10:21   please don't involve me in this as much as possible, just make it happen.

01:10:24   I just think it would be a fascinating little thing to just do some comparisons

01:10:29   on after you've done maybe a couple more of them.

01:10:31   And I also do, like, I was gonna suggest

01:10:34   don't just do it as a one and done,

01:10:36   like, 'cause you don't know, right?

01:10:37   You don't know what it could end up being like.

01:10:40   And, you know, maybe the next one

01:10:43   you make truckloads of money from, you won't,

01:10:45   but you never know, right?

01:10:46   Or it might be like, if you say that second one

01:10:49   or that third one, that's when you start

01:10:51   to see positive changes towards the lead-on

01:10:54   to further videos, right?

01:10:56   - Yeah, and the weird thing about shorts

01:10:59   and all of this content that I do think

01:11:00   captures everybody's mind who is in this business is...

01:11:05   So when I say something like,

01:11:06   "Man, this video would need to do numbers

01:11:08   that were 20 times bigger in order for it to make sense."

01:11:11   That's possible.

01:11:12   - That's the thing, right?

01:11:13   - That's the thing that's unbelievable is, right?

01:11:17   So if there's no universe in which I would go like,

01:11:19   "Oh, if I spent a morning just working on a video

01:11:22   and I published it as a regular YouTube video,

01:11:24   could I get 30 million views on that?"

01:11:26   No, no, you're not gonna get 30 million views.

01:11:28   Like that's never gonna happen.

01:11:30   But having just scrolled around on the Shorts viewer,

01:11:34   it's like, man, the number of videos I see

01:11:36   that have 50 million views.

01:11:38   - On YouTube?

01:11:39   - Yeah, on YouTube.

01:11:40   - Who's watching them? - Like there's huge ones

01:11:41   on there, I don't know.

01:11:43   I have no idea.

01:11:44   But like there are gigantic numbers

01:11:46   even on the Shorts channel.

01:11:47   - Like I get it on TikTok, and I even get it on Instagram.

01:11:51   But like who's spending time on YouTube Shorts?

01:11:54   Like, that's so intriguing to me.

01:11:56   - Yeah, so here's the thing where I give credit to YouTube.

01:12:00   So when I publish the video, from the backend, everything is the same.

01:12:04   There's no special button to tick that says like, Oh, this is a YouTube short.

01:12:08   YouTube is just automatically inferring it's under a minute and it's vertical.

01:12:12   It's a short.

01:12:13   They've just done that automatically, even if you don't label things as shorts.

01:12:17   Which I don't know if you labeled our, our one short on the cortex channel as a short.

01:12:22   I thought you did it.

01:12:22   I didn't do it.

01:12:23   And if you didn't do it, that means YouTube picked up that one video where I scare you in VR on cortex.

01:12:30   like it just retroactively declared that's a short.

01:12:33   - The reason that I came across this is recently,

01:12:35   I was like, that used to be our most viewed video.

01:12:39   And I was thinking, how many views did that get?

01:12:41   And I didn't see it.

01:12:42   And I was like, oh, where's it gone?

01:12:43   It's like, oh, cause in the YouTube studio,

01:12:44   it's now in the Shorts tab, not the Videos tab.

01:12:47   - My assistant has replied back with OMG to my request

01:12:51   to put a video up on TikTok.

01:12:54   I told her it's for Cortex, that's why we're doing it.

01:12:57   - Well, here's the thing.

01:12:58   This is where we can find out.

01:13:00   Is it because she is a TikTok viewer herself

01:13:04   and is now like, I can't believe what's happening here

01:13:07   or she's just genuinely just surprised?

01:13:09   You know what I mean?

01:13:10   It's like, I'm wondering from her perspective,

01:13:12   why is this a surprise, you know?

01:13:14   - It's a mystery, we'll find out later.

01:13:16   So the reason I'm mentioning about,

01:13:17   oh, you just publish it as a regular video,

01:13:19   there's no special button to push,

01:13:21   is YouTube has said that when you publish a video

01:13:26   that they identify as a short.

01:13:29   They are doing their best to not notify your subscribers

01:13:34   if those subscribers have not already watched shorts

01:13:38   and if they don't regularly watch short content.

01:13:42   So YouTube is doing something to identify

01:13:45   the subset of their whole audience

01:13:48   that wants to watch shorts.

01:13:51   And while I have been extraordinarily vocal

01:13:54   complaining about YouTube not notifying subscribers,

01:13:58   I think this is 100% the right decision.

01:14:01   I would have been so much more hesitant publishing this

01:14:04   if it was going to be sent as a normal notification

01:14:07   to everyone like, "Hey, CGP Grey has uploaded a video."

01:14:09   It's like, no, no, no.

01:14:11   They're just trying to shovel this

01:14:13   to people who do like shorts.

01:14:15   And so I think that's correct.

01:14:17   I am glad that they have done that

01:14:19   because part of the reason why I asked you

01:14:22   about what's your experience with these things

01:14:23   is I don't watch a lot of TV, but I watch a lot of YouTube.

01:14:27   And I feel really annoyed when I click on a video

01:14:32   and, oh, it's a short, it's not an actual video.

01:14:35   I'm quite frustrated by that experience as a YouTube viewer,

01:14:38   but because I was watching shorts to figure them out,

01:14:41   YouTube thinks I'm a shorts viewer now,

01:14:43   and so now they're just showing up

01:14:45   in the recommendations for video.

01:14:47   Big shorts fan.

01:14:48   I don't even wear shorts in Hawaii.

01:14:50   I'm not a big shorts fan at all.

01:14:51   - Oh, boy.

01:14:52   But like, so I don't like them from like all of my subscribers.

01:14:58   I would greatly prefer not to be notified and shown the short.

01:15:02   One of the things that does bother me about YouTube shorts is they are entirely

01:15:08   the energy of the beginning of a YouTube video.

01:15:10   Yeah.

01:15:12   And I don't always want that, you know, like sustained for a 20

01:15:15   minute period of me watching.

01:15:16   Right.

01:15:17   One after another, after another.

01:15:19   Welcome to the Smash the Like!

01:15:21   That's what they're like, you know, because they are their entire thing is they need to catch you and grab you and keep you which is

01:15:27   I actually think is different to YouTube videos, right?

01:15:29   Like you get those first few seconds when you might catch someone and they're gonna leave

01:15:34   But you let that calm down most of the time not always but a lot of youtubers like you get that

01:15:39   Immediate bump and then it calms down into the rest of the video

01:15:43   But most of the shorts content that I've seen is like it is that energy for the entire length of the short

01:15:50   however long it is. Right, which is a bit exhausting after 20 minutes. I find it. Yeah.

01:15:54   One of the other things for me about shorts, which is tricky, is whenever you talk about

01:16:01   spreadsheets, right, you use spreadsheets to help you make decisions, but the spreadsheet is not

01:16:08   your boss and there are things that the spreadsheet cannot capture. And there's one thing that I

01:16:15   really feel like is actually the way in which the short may perform worse than everything I have

01:16:22   previously mentioned that a spreadsheet can't capture, but I think is really important. And that thing is

01:16:30   how many

01:16:33   really engaged fans does this video create?

01:16:38   And so one of the things we have talked about many times is at

01:16:42   at large scales, when you post a video,

01:16:46   it's going to be guaranteed that it is many people's

01:16:50   favorite video you have ever made,

01:16:52   and it's very many people's final straw

01:16:55   where they unsubscribe, and they're like,

01:16:56   "I can't deal with this," right?

01:16:57   You get both ends of that.

01:16:59   And people who unsubscribe, like, that's fine.

01:17:01   That's no problem.

01:17:02   Like, preferences change, or you subscribe to a thing,

01:17:04   and you realize, "Oh, I don't actually like this

01:17:06   "as much as I thought that I would."

01:17:08   Whatever.

01:17:08   What matters is people who are really engaged.

01:17:13   And I think one of the reasons why, for a lot of analytics,

01:17:19   my channel is a real outlier on YouTube

01:17:22   is that I think I create more people who

01:17:27   are super engaged with my videos than an average YouTube

01:17:31   channel.

01:17:32   Again, this is the kind of content that I like.

01:17:35   I like stuff that I am super engaged in and I don't like middle of the road.

01:17:41   So it's like, why did I put off getting back into magic?

01:17:44   Because I knew I was going to be incredibly engaged when I got back in.

01:17:48   It's like YouTube channels that I watch.

01:17:50   I'm really engaged with those things and I want to create that kind of stuff for people too.

01:17:56   Videos where when they watch them multiple times it's like,

01:17:59   "Oh, I got more out of this the second time than the first time."

01:18:03   But I think the Shorts format, it's fundamentally opposed to the ability to even create that sort of thing.

01:18:11   I think with less than a minute, you simply cannot create an engaged audience.

01:18:20   I think you can create stuff that's like fun to watch once.

01:18:24   I think you can create stuff that's really funny in a minute.

01:18:27   I think there's a lot of stuff that you can do in that constraint.

01:18:31   But what you can't do is create fans who are really into something.

01:18:38   I think it's just too small of a format.

01:18:42   So the metric that can't go on a spreadsheet is how many people saw this and it's the favorite

01:18:49   thing I've ever made that they saw.

01:18:51   I think the answer to that question for this short is literally zero.

01:18:56   There's no one who saw this and thought, "Wow, that's amazing."

01:18:59   And that's a really important metric and I just think shorts, even if I continue to do

01:19:04   them in the future, like let's say everything turns up sunshine and roses and it's like,

01:19:09   "Oh, I am bringing in new audience members and all of the shorts are feeding into each

01:19:14   other so the view numbers make sense for them to do, blah, blah, blah."

01:19:18   Let's say all of that works.

01:19:20   I still think no one will ever become really engaged because of the shorts.

01:19:25   The short's whole purpose is to funnel them over into the actual main thing.

01:19:32   That's the way in which I think the shorts actually perform the worst.

01:19:37   This is no one's favorite video I have ever made.

01:19:41   It's just not going to happen with the nature of the format.

01:19:43   - You know you wish you could ever gonna have said that.

01:19:46   Someone's gonna be in the Reddit and gonna be like, "Gray, this is my favorite video

01:19:49   you ever made."

01:19:50   - Yeah, sure.

01:19:51   - But I know what you mean.

01:19:52   I know what you mean.

01:19:53   - Yeah.

01:19:54   In a weird way, my wife is a particular exception because she loves that thing where I point

01:19:58   out that the towels aren't real.

01:20:00   It's her favorite video I've ever made.

01:20:01   Is that not a short?

01:20:02   Yeah, it is a short.

01:20:03   Surely it has been classed as a short on the channel.

01:20:07   It's not filmed vertically.

01:20:08   I should just re-crap and upload it to the main channel.

01:20:10   That's what I should do.

01:20:11   Actually, maybe I should do that.

01:20:12   That's not a terrible idea.

01:20:13   I think you should do that.

01:20:14   I think you should do that.

01:20:15   I feel like you're right.

01:20:19   I think the asterisk I would maybe make is like, it probably takes time, like a frequent

01:20:29   uploading getting into the system and then you have the ability as a short video creator

01:20:37   to break through to someone and be like "I like this person" but I would hazard to say

01:20:44   say it is harder than YouTube. It is harder than long-form content. I would expect it

01:20:51   is easier with longer-form content to develop that bond.

01:20:55   And it's also, genre really matters here. Like, pure comedy can do a lot better in the

01:21:01   shorts format than anything that is even vaguely trying to explain something.

01:21:08   Comedy and dancing, that's what the short-form video is best at. And that's what all the

01:21:12   popular TikToks are, the comedy and its dancers.

01:21:15   That's what I'll do for my next short, comedy dance.

01:21:18   Great, if you made the stick figure character do a TikTok dance,

01:21:22   I swear to you it'd be the most popular thing you've ever made.

01:21:25   This is again, you put me in again like this no-win situation

01:21:28   of if I do it I will be so depressed I can't possibly tell you if it's

01:21:33   successful and if I do it and it's not successful

01:21:36   I'll also feel better. It's like there's no winning there so no.

01:21:40   - Well, I tell you, it would be amazing, man.

01:21:43   It would be so good.

01:21:44   - So we actually have an interesting comparison point here

01:21:47   for Cortex, which is the Cortex animated stuff,

01:21:51   which all of those animations,

01:21:53   they're not much more than a minute,

01:21:55   and almost every single one of them

01:21:57   is actually two little scenes,

01:21:59   so they could easily be cut down into two videos

01:22:02   that are 30 seconds each, right, every single one of them.

01:22:05   But I just don't think if they were shorts,

01:22:09   they would be as good at getting people into the Cortex show

01:22:14   as they are as actual videos on YouTube.

01:22:18   And this is just anecdotal my using shorts,

01:22:21   but it's like YouTube really seems to treat

01:22:23   the shorts browser and the regular YouTube browser,

01:22:27   I'll say almost completely as totally separate worlds

01:22:31   with the little asterisk that the main YouTube browser

01:22:34   does try to funnel you into shorts

01:22:36   by putting stuff in the recommended side

01:22:38   and then like you're in the shorts browser.

01:22:39   But there's no way going back.

01:22:41   And one thing I found quite interesting is,

01:22:44   so again, I've spent time using shorts

01:22:45   and just watching them.

01:22:47   And even the channels where it's like,

01:22:48   oh, I clearly have watched a ton of their shorts.

01:22:52   When I am on my computer or I'm on my iPad

01:22:54   and I'm just using YouTube,

01:22:56   YouTube is not recommending me the real videos

01:22:59   from those creators.

01:23:01   I'm just very aware of that.

01:23:02   It's like, guys, there's channels where you know

01:23:05   I have watched 20 or 30 shorts from these guys

01:23:09   and you've never put them on the actual main YouTube channel.

01:23:14   - Like on the homepage?

01:23:15   - Yeah, on the actual homepage.

01:23:17   Like it just doesn't show up in browse.

01:23:19   And like again, maybe that's just some peculiarity

01:23:22   of the way that I'm doing stuff.

01:23:23   But like I have for some channels literally gone to check.

01:23:26   Do they have any real videos?

01:23:27   And the answer is, oh yes, they have a bunch.

01:23:30   All of which are performing way worse

01:23:32   in terms of view numbers than their shorts.

01:23:34   I would not recommend like, "Oh, we should do the Cortex Animated stuff as shorts because

01:23:40   maybe this will convert more people over."

01:23:42   It's like, "No, I don't think that will."

01:23:44   I think YouTube will just show people all of the shorts that we would put up as Cortex

01:23:49   Animateds and never in any way recommend that like, "Oh, hey, maybe you go listen to one

01:23:56   of the whole episodes on YouTube the way that they do on the actual main youtube.com or

01:24:01   in the YouTube app."

01:24:02   So yeah, I don't know.

01:24:04   I just think it's interesting that we have content that easily could be a short, but

01:24:08   I just don't think it's a good idea to do it.

01:24:12   But yeah, I don't know.

01:24:13   Maybe we cut them up and we put them on TikTok, Myke.

01:24:15   There we go.

01:24:16   We could do that.