Tuesday, December 09, 2008

YouTube Bulletins vs Recent Activity Box

Removing YouTube Bulletins was a Mistake

So, the other day I logged onto YouTube and noticed that the bulletin box was missing on my profile. I went into my account settings to turn it back on, when I found that there were no settings for a bulletin. I went to several other profiles that I knew displayed bulletins, only to find that theirs were missing as well. I thought that maybe one of my Firefox addons were keeping the bulletins from being displayed, so I logged on to my Wii. Sure enough, bulletins are gone.

Now, every major website who's been in the biz for a while knows that anytime they make changes, they're going to get complaints and opposition. It happens to YouTube every time they make a minor cosmetic change. My concern is that YouTube may grow numb to user feedback. You see, the thing about the decision to remove bulletins is that it wasn't a minor change; they have taken away a major function of their website.

The bulletin system was the only way to get word out to large groups of people without spamming their accounts. Vice-versa, it was the only way to see what other people were up to short of going to every single profile to find out. You see, the bulletin board was... well... a bulletin board. An establishment puts up a bulletin board as a non-invasive way to communicate with people. Somebody who wishes to share a message can pin it to the bulletin board without taking the time to go around and harrass people. When somebody takes an interest in what is going on in their community, they can check the bulletin board rather than hoping to catch something by word of mouth. Without the bulletin system on YouTube, not only is it now more difficult to participate in the community, but it's sure to increase spam as well, as the alternative has been taken away.

YouTube posted this, reguarding bulletins, on December 3:

Regarding bulletins, we've listened to you, and most of you didn't see the value in bulletins as they are today. So, we're taking a first step to make bulletins more useful. Although the bulletin box will be going away, now you can broadcast a bulletin directly to your channel visitors in your Recent Activity box. This not only provides a fun place to shout out personal updates and news, but also provides an additional way to communicate and engage with your channel's fans.

Most of us? Can you elaborate on that? What was the sample group whom you decided represented the majority? One thing about that; anybody who didn't "see much use" in the bulletins had the option to turn them off in their profile anyway. So why take them away from THE REST OF US who were actually using them?

And what's the alternative? I can now post a bulletin to MYSELF in the new recent activity box that MIGHT be seen by a few other people. In fact, they've pretty much made the YouTube freinds feature pointless. The whole point of having a freinds list was the abiltity to communicate with and see what your freinds are up to without having to go profile to profile. Now all that the freinds list is, is a list.

One drawback of the bulletins was spam, ie people posting several of one message, chain letters, ect. But the cool thing about bulletins was if somebody violated them, all you had to do was remove them from your freinds list and never hear from them again, unlike profile and video comments which can be spammed by anyone.

As for the recent activity box; I don't really see a problem with it. It's really only a consolidation of things that YouTube already had like recent comments, recent ratings, that kind of thing. Privacy settings can be adjusted to allow only what you want to display. It is a bit redundant; showing things like recently favorited videos, which already show on your channel anyway. But it doesn't interfere with regular YouTube activity. The problem with the removal of the bulletins is that it does interfere with regular YouTube activity.

Now, mixed in with the irate masses, there are a few people saying things like, "it's time for a change", and "you'll get used to it like all the other changes." Now I agree that changes are normal and natural and that it's okay for YouTube to change their site. But, as I have previously stated, this particular change is not just a mere annoyance, but a major drawback for many users.

YouTube's blog post

Bulletins Gone - How to Contact YouTube vid

Does God Love Your Bulletins? vid

I Want My Bulletin Box Back vid

YouTube Bulletins - Where Did They Go? vid

Dissapointing YouTube Site Update vid

No More Bulletins? What is YouTube Trying to Pull? vid

YouTube search results for "YouTube Bulletins"

1 comment:

Railfans said...

I agree takeing a wat bullitens was a bad idea. I removed my recent activety box.
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