I need to take a look at my YouTube subscriptions because I think a bunch of the woodworking channels I follow simply need to go away. For some, they’ve just changed to something I hardly recognize and I just don’t enjoy them, but for a huge number, they’ve just become corporate shills. I’ve got better things to do than watch sponsored commercials.I think I first noticed this with Izzy Swan, who I’ve complained about before. He used to do these really cool shop-built tools and jigs that did bizarre things and that’s why I watched. Now that’s long gone, replaced by corporate-supported commercials. Not a video goes by that he doesn’t push some new tool by Rockler or Bosch or Fastcap. And his projects have gone from useful shop jigs to beer launchers and other utterly useless crap. I think he needs to go away.
Then you get people like April Wilkerson, who again, used to just make cool stuff. Now, it’s pushing Rockler and Triton. And the video that made me rethink who I’m subscribing to, David Picciuto’s Make Something, just made a stereo enclosure, filled to the brim with call-outs for every single product Rockler sent him. Enough is enough.
Not every YouTube woodworker out there does this. Matthias Wandel famously doesn’t care who sends him things, he does what he does for the fun of it, not the corporate sponsorship. He’s not going to kiss his sponsor’s ass, he’ll review the products fairly and honestly and if they suck, he’ll say they suck. I don’t get that from any of these other shills. And there are plenty of woodworkers who don’t even have corporate sponsors, they don’t get free tools and if they are in it for the money at all, it’s through Patreon. Viewer-supported is always superior to corporate-supported in my mind. Viewers don’t ask for videos to be a running commercial.
You know, I don’t give a damn about the tools. I care about the projects. I care about what you do, not what you do it with. So I think a bunch of channels are getting the axe and maybe I’ll look for more that aren’t corporate sponsored and exist more to make things than to shill the latest company products. I have never been impressed with YouTube as a money-making activity. It’s supposed to be regular people making videos for the love of sharing their knowledge. It’s turned into a cash grab. I’m not impressed with cash grabs. I think I’ll keep searching for something better.