VideoNeat is back, and why that’s important.

VideoNeat is back, and why that’s important.

A month and a half ago, half of VideoNeat went offline. I knew this will happen one day and I was prepared to let it go. To move away from the project, because it was too much of a hassle to rebuild it in case it will happen. But I spent the last month and a half rebuilding VideoNeat.

 

But dude, why you spend time on this and not only focus on TROM? You know, we have Netflix, Youtube, shit like that for documentaries, why bother reinventing the wheel? Or at least why not just make a list of recommended documentaries and people will find them online to watch if they are interested….

I think people do not have the ability to distinguish between good science documentaries and bad science documentaries. Just because it is called “a documentary” it does not mean it properly “documents” a particular subject. I feel like people nowadays are just impressed by the way something is presented and they don’t go further than that. If they see a cool Netflix trailer for a documentary they are hooked. The package is what people are looking for, and not the content. From my experience of curating documentaries and science materials for the past years, I would say that when you see a great package it is very likely that the content is shit. Netflix, NatGeo, Discovery, and the like, are in the business of selling you stuff, so it is in all of their interests to make documentaries that look “wow” so that you pay to watch them, or TV stations and Cinemas pay to broadcast them. BBC or PBS are very different in that they get a budget from their countries (from taxpayers money) to make educational materials, so they don’t have to sell the stuff they create, and so the quality of their products trumps the other like Netflix because the focus is on making these documentaries for the public. These last ones are far from perfect, but it is something you should bear in mind. But these publicly funded organizations that make documentaries are limited in budget and distribution. US makes some documentaries from its citizens’ money via such organizations (like PBS), and then US is like: “We only make them available for out taxpayers, our citizens, and the rest of the world can suck a duck.” And so these documentaries are rarely available anywhere else.

Show me a site like VideoNeat with its library and I’ll shut it down :D.

So no, Netflix and other sources do not compare to VideoNeat. Not to mention that VideoNeat is free, providing multiple options in terms of watching/downloading. If a documentary cannot be found on youtube, it is on p2p, or Dailymotion, or Internet Archive, or other sources. At times there will be links to pay for a particular documentary/course/movie, but you’ll find more options than on any other website. Plus people can submit more links (more options).

The basic idea is this: good documentaries are hard to find, and Netflix and the like (although more available) make quite shallow content.

 

Ok dude, but we can find documentaries on Youtube for free nowadays. So why make a website that sends me to youtube to watch a documentary?

I know people who search “documentary 2017” on Youtube to watch documentaries, and my head explodes when I see that. Here’s the thing: if you watch funny videos, or videos that do not try to explain you the reality, then I see no harm in searching “funny videos 2017” on youtube and watch a bunch. But when it comes to watching documentaries, then you can’t be that naive, can you!? We live in a world of attention whores, a rush for likes, views, shares, because that brings money money money. Therefore Youtube is just another platform for prostitution and many people along with scripts (bots) upload a shit ton of fucked up content there for this reason. Content that is messed up: the footage, the year, the title, the everything. They will take good documentaries, chop them up so they are not detected by google copyright or for other reasons, combine them with other documentaries, and label them with a bombastic title and a “2017” tag, so that they can get more naive people watching them and make money off of ads. Not to mention the shitload of ‘documentaries’ that are just videos made by lunatics about all sort of conspiracies. Youtube is full of crap. If you are really looking on youtube for documentaries then you are either knowledgeable of what I said and you know what to search for, or you are very naive.

 

Look dude, there are a dozen of websites out there (like topdocumentaryfilms), who sort these documentaries for us and recommend us good ones. So you are a copycat of those websites basically.

These websites are one of the worst parts of the Internet. They do not sort documentaries, they find tons of content that can be labeled as “documentary” and simply add them on their websites for ad revenue. Look at these websites: they are full of ads. Their goal is not to curate documentaries for you, their goal is views, likes….money. Not to mention that the vast majority of the content they post becomes unavailable in just a few weeks after posting because they take videos from YouTube and embed them on their website and these videos are deleted soon after (for all kinds of reasons). These websites are zombie full of ads.

VideoNeat never added or will add any ads. I make no money from VN. I rely on donations to keep the site alive. If I’ll have no money I’ll shut down the site. I won’t prostitute it over anything. That being said I have 0 reasons to add stuff to VN for views. I only add stuff for VN that I watched and consider good quality material.

 

Ok, enough with asking myself questions. Let’s point out to other important aspects.

 

One source = Troubles.

Vpro is a public broadcaster (like BBC or PBS) from Netherlands. They make very good quality documentaries and post them for free on youtube either in English or with English subtitles. They contacted me a few months ago and asked if I want to post their documentaries on VideoNeat. Sure, I said, but I must review what I post so that it is good quality. All great so far. I posted several documentaries and looking forward to posting more. It’s great that they themselves post these for free on Youtube as they are easily accessible, but because Vpro is quite unknown worldwide (not like BBC or PBS) these documentaries can ONLY be found on youtube and this is problematic. Why? Because Vpro can shut down or restrict their channel at any point, and all of those documentaries will be gone. Or maybe Youtube will close their account, who knows. If that’s the only source where they post their documentaries then it is a shaky decision. Same applies to ABC Four Corners, great journalism-based documentaries and again public broadcasting (in Australia this time) – it is super hard to find their work in any form online, and that’s perhaps because they are largely unknown and/or do not make the effort to distribute their content on multiple platforms.

This is where VideoNeat tries to stand out: options, options, options. And you can always help by submitting links. If you see a documentary only available on Youtube via VideoNeat, but you find it on another website, then don’t be a dick :D, submit the link (I made it so easy – just paste the link, and send, that’s all). Look at what happened to the old VideoNeat – it relied on a single source for streaming, that source was shut down, then all the site got fucked. This aint’ gonna happen’ anymore with the new VN. Now with the new VN you can use p2p along with streaming and indexing sites. You can find direct links to watch a documentary, or link to websites that search online for that documentary, or magnet links to stream/download that documentary via peer to peer (sharing) technology. Plus download these materials when available. Even buy them at times.

Actually, the original idea of VN was a database of documentaries for sourcing purposes for TROM ebooks. I linked hundreds of times from TROM ebooks to VN to cite/source parts of TROM ebooks, so that’s what I wanted VN to be. But then I realized I also have to make it easy for people to access these materials because if I make a claim in an article and I source a documentary, but people can’t watch that documentary (only read a description of it), that’s pointless. So I had to make this option a must.

 

Why VideoNeat is crucial for TROM.

Besides the fact that it acts as a database of citations/sourcing, VN is a wonderful tool to keep people sane on a daily basis. TROM is about educating people on how to think scientifically and contemplate a very different kind of world than today’s one. People need a shit load of scientific baggage to accept a world without trade, to contemplate a world without work, to get comfortable with a world where we share instead of sell. It is a life long journey. VN can (and is) keep people busy with relevant stuff. As simple as that. If I only focus on TROM and release TROM ebooks that can be read in a few days, though it takes more than a month to make one, then what are people doing the rest of the month? At least with VN they can keep on enjoying good science content.

 

Being busy is great and sucks.

I work way more on VN and TROM than most people work at their jobs. I said this many times but it is hard to explain properly. So I have this ‘masterplan’ about VN – to make it a great tool (stream from p2p, offer options, and all that I explained and more), and I start working on it and doing it, but then I feel so tired to explain it to people. I do a lot of work and I have tons of ideas, but it is hard for me to explain them to you. I want to explain to you why this is important though I feel I can’t do that properly because it is too complex to perhaps understand for someone who doesn’t read my mind :D. I don’t just make VN, I know a great deal about other documentary-based-websites, I know a great deal about how and why some documentaries are bad quality, and so forth. I am doing this kind of thing for a while now, so it is not like I make a simple, blog-like website, where I share some documentaries I see, and post some links to Youtube where you can watch them. I add proper sourcing for these documentaries (so you can trace them down and see who made them), I add a proper description, I add proper trailers/previews, I create a system that enables people to watch these documentaries. I made VN stand time in a world of the internet where everything is so shaky.

 

Don’t use the Internet without these!

I wrote about this on VN (tips page) but I’ll briefly mention it here too: The Internet is a reflection of our profit-based (trade induced) world. People want and will take advantage of you for their own gain. This is not a conspiracy, it is pure business. Your browsing is tracked to show you targeted ads, your internet traffic is monitored to punish you if you do ‘bad’ things. Whatever these are, they exist. Give them all the middle finger with these 3 tools that will allow you to enjoy VN and use the Internet like a boss:

  1. Virtual Private Server to encrypt all your internet traffic. No one would be able to look at your traffic. I recommend Private Internet Access (PIA). The best one out there, period. Don’t get fooled by their cheap stock footage on their site, they are old in the business and everyone recommends them. $40 a year is a bargain. They also block trackers and ads. Free VPN’s are very limited.
  2. AdBlocked. I recommend AdGuard. It is free as a browser extension and $8 or so a year for desktop and app license. On phone, you don’t have to root it as with other AdBlockers to make it work.
  3. P2P client. The best, most robust, and safest way to share stuff. This is basically about “torrents”. I recommend installing WebTorrent as a P2P client. It is free and open source. On VN most items have a MAGNET link. Click it and it’ll open WebTorrent and you can download and watch the stuff. Simple as that. No ads and nothing like that.

That’s it. Be smart online. On top of these, I would recommend the Brave browser (for beginners). Free and open source browser that blocks trackers and ads by default and allows for downloading of torrent files (p2p) and also to stream these files. You can simply install Brave browser and that’s all. But I would recommend the above 3 options.

 

That’s all. Enjoy VideoNeat! It is not as simple to watch as before where you would click and play, but it is something like (click, click, play; or click, wait….play). The new VN is robust, secure, fast, optimized for all screens.

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David
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David

Thanks Tio, the site sounds easy to use, I’m looking forward to watch good stuff

ps. I suggest you change the title of the “help” section to “support” or “support us” 🙂

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