Saturday, January 15, 2011

My wild YouTube ride

I started posting clips to YouTube innocently enough, maybe as far back as 2005. YouTube offered a pretty low quality image back then, but then again so did I. I kept plugging away, as did YouTube, being absorbed by the Google collective. Video quality improved, at least on YouTube's end. More people started watching my clips, which was cool.

In December 2007 I was surprised to get an e-mail from YouTube, inviting me to join their partnership program. This meant I could make some money off advertising on my channel. I figured what the hell and gave it a try, though I never expected to make much money off it. Maybe enough to cover a nice new lens some day. I expected it would take a while to earn the $100 minimum to get a payment, so I didn't even bother setting up in my Adsense account or "monetizing" all my clips for the first few months.

I was in the Navy for 20 years, much of which I didn't enjoy a lot but I stuck it out for that pension. After one year as a partner I found my little hobby generating more income than my pension. I have a pretty good paying job with the Navy as a civilian now, but for the last half of 2010 I was making more from YouTube.

Yep, I was lucky. If I thought the money was reliable I would have quit my day job, as some successful partners did. But that was a big "if." My audience grew, but largely because YouTube was constantly thrusting my clips in front of people who didn't want to see muscular women. Negative comments, thumbs down, and flaggings for inappropriate content increased with my viewership. I also got more aggressive about asking YouTube to take down my clips when they were copied by scammers and thieves, knowing they could retaliate in cowardly ways I was vulnerable to. The bigger the audience and checks got, the shakier it felt.


Anticipating this post a few weeks ago I captured the above image from my statistics page, showing the steady increase in views over time. The lower chart features 2010, as my daily views staggered up from about 80,000, then leveled off around 120k for a bit, then a sudden surge close to 200k... and a sharp descent to under 80k again.

So, what happened? This past December 1 I came home from work and checked YouTube out. Cleaned up the comments, checked my daily ad income and started uploading a new clip as I did every two days. As I edited the clip info I noticed there was no place to adjust the advertising settings. No big deal, that happened now and then, it would be ready to edit after the clip uploaded. Only it wasn't, and there was no advertising on any of my clips. After a day I e-mailed customer support, and I wrote back every few days after that. Nothing back.

On 16 December I received the following:
I write on behalf of Google to inform you that we are exercising our contractual right to terminate your Content License Agreement (“CLA”) with 30 days written notice. We have determined that the videos associated with your YouTube account are not suitable for advertising. This email serves as written termination notice that the CLA will terminate thirty days from December 16, 2010. After termination of the CLA, your “Tomnine” account and all of the videos in that account will remain on the YouTube site subject to the YouTube Terms of Service, including the applicable license provisions.
I replied with some questions, and received a prompt answer that this decision would not be reversed. There was no clarification about what would happen thirty days after December 16.

When the ads were dropped, my views actually went UP for a while. I had pre-roll ads on my most popular clips, and I assume some people never made it to the clip. My single most popular clip, an interview with Dawnice Beckley from 2007, soared to over 100k views a day by itself, eventually getting well over 21 million views. Then it was flagged for adult content, that is the big drop at the end of the graph.

A few more clips were flagged, including many that were totally G rated. While I was a partner I think I was protected from random flaggings and real people reviewed the complaints, but no more. Attacks from the parasites increase, bolstered by their earlier victory in getting Mike from HerBiceps knocked off YouTube. I was also curious about what would happen "thirty days from December 16" A few hours ago I got this e-mail:
The following video(s) from your account have been disabled for violation of the YouTube Community Guidelines:
  • Barbara Fletcher - FBB - 2008 - (TomNine)
This is the second Community Guidelines warning strike your account has received within six months. Accordingly, the ability to post new content to YouTube from this account has been disabled and will not return until two weeks after you acknowledge this message. Please review the YouTube Community Guidelines and refrain from further violations, which may result in the termination of your account(s).
This was a very vanilla clip that no one could object to. I went to log onto my YouTube account to acknowledge receipt so I could get the two weeks suspension over with, only to find more trouble.


Oh well, easy come, easy go. I always viewed my success with YouTube as a happy accident, but was also proud about it. Muscular women are rarely seen in the media, so I was glad to present what I thought was a positive image to folks who would never see it otherwise. It was also nice to give back a little cash to the ladies, along with the publicity.

I have lost much of my zeal for YouTube, and for "do no evil" Google in general. I may start a new channel some day, or maybe not. I will absolutely continue to remove my content from the parasite's pages.

I plan to keep puttering along with what I'm doing, just with a smaller presence of the interwebs, and certainly paying the models less than I would if the cash was still pouring in. Maybe there are some new wild rides waiting for me.

11 comments:

  1. A very honest and open man you are. I know of no one else who would share their revenue stream with the public as you've done in this message.
    You Tube in the beginning flagged lots of bodybuilding videos for the most frivolous of reasons. A woman flexing would be enough to throw up a warning about content. Considering what other sites show, a woman in a thong flexing seems pretty inoffensive since it's no worse than what one would see at a public beach in Summer.
    I've posted several videos on Youtube that I've gotten from other internet sites. One featured body builders in their '60s and '70s. I was asked several times if I would like to make money off of it since it was popular. I didn't since I didn't film it and I didn't have rights to it. Like you I figured it would be a paltry sum anyway. Your monthly revenue stream surprises the heck out of me. None-the-less I'm glad I didn't take Youtube up on its offer.

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  2. hey tom,

    Thank you for sharing. well obviously an interesting read for me because i have a similar channel.. . I can understand the malicious flagging, but I can't see any other way to protect our content just because of the nature of it. We just can't make these videos into anything resembling a puppy chasing a RC car. I have a question: Are you blocked from accessing your videos in your account?

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  3. Thanks for the kind words from all sources, I may have a follow-up post in a week or so.

    Just to answer James's question, I can not access my YouTube account in any way and all the videos seem to be gone.

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  4. Hey Tom, sorry to hear it got pulled. If anything, at least you showed the world more female muscle!

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  5. i already spit in YouTube's general direction. Now i'm going to find their contacts/comments and try to get the peons right in their f@cking eye!
    YouTube always pisses me off in this regard. Every sexually insecure little moron bumbling about for whatever turns their primitive little brains on can- and for some plebeian reason ALWAYS DO-bitch, slander and scream like howler monkeys at a video of a physically fit woman. Because it......totally fries their puny brains? It's ludicrous, You can view teen-beatings and sexually lewd material from every corner of the globe, but THIS OFFENDS THEM?!?

    This World is Bass-Ackwards.

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  6. Sorry to hear this Tom. Your youtube videos are the best!

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  7. "Just to answer James's question, I can not access my YouTube account in any way and all the videos seem to be gone."

    :( Wait. You still have the original videos which you uploaded to YouTube, yes?

    I'd subscribe to a DVD collection if you chose to make those available.

    Saddened to read that idiots have taken it upon themselves to sabotage the good work you've done on behalf of these female athletes.

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  8. What goes around comes around. You fuck with us we take you down Tommy. We warned you Tommy - you didn't listen. Same problem with Tre Scott from femflex. Both are dead now.

    We don't care if you do 7K per month or 1 million per month Dog - we take you down if you fuck with us. We don't care about money {} we only care about respect. We are more than 50 guys from different countries and we have the power to do so.

    If you don't fuck with us, you will survive. We won't touch you. You can see all the muscle girls with personal channels on youtube stay there because they don't fuck with us and we don't touch them.

    TRE is not only losing his hair - he's losing his memory too. this brotha used to join our private channel and say: "I don't care if you give away our stuff". But the black dude changed one day and started taking videos down - even vids he didn't own - same as mickey. Mickey looked like a nazi taking everything down at discretion.

    Remember Tommy if you gain 'bad karma' things like these happen. The only reason you posted your 100 vids on youtube was because of money, so don't say you did it for the hopeless schmoes that will never ever have sex with a muscle woman - don't lie buddy.

    And you are very upset that we CUT your 7K monthly earnings. you boy CAN'T say we didn't warn you. We warned you many times. You forced us to take you down. You didn't listen. Now live with it.

    Once you are banned you can't go back. Even those who were banned by VIACOM in the multi-millionaire case that VIACOM LOST to YouTube, even those guys didn't get their account back. So have no hope buddy - you only made 70K. :-)

    at least you can buy a few NIKON'S and pay some days in all those expensive VEGAS hotels. Btw Im curious - why do you shoot the muscle stars always in Vegas Hotels? And in that tunnel with windows on the sides.

    Try to change locations from time to time champ. Now enjoy hell! (:>-<:)

    <-- Posted through secure socket via Charon v0.7.1 -->

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  9. Thanks again for all the words of support.

    Curt, yes, I have all my material saved. I don't think the market for selling DVDs is particularly viable, but I am considering other options.

    Original content providers are being driven off YouTube, leaving it to the criminals running their venusblogger scams as represented by Jesse. The fans can decide who their friends are.

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  10. The attitude of the freeloader pirates is pretty astounding. They feel entitled to, well, what exactly? The right to repost copyrighted works? To want to take whatever little bits of money are in female muscle away from the women?

    Thanks for sharing the info. Good luck dealing with this. Perhaps take a look at blip.tv as an alternative? I don't know how their ad sales or content policy compares, but if you're generating that much revenue on YouTube, someone should want to sell some ads for you.

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  11. Wow, so that's what happened. I was wondering why I could not find any of your interviews around. It is too bad that you cannot post anymore. Can you post under a different identity? You know like Tom9? Your content has been missed. Good luck to you!

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