YouTube Ends 2006 With Technical, Customer Support Fiasco

problems.jpgYouTube is ending 2006 with dozens of technical support problems, and customer service that is reminiscent of AOL when it had a virtual monopoly. In fact, YouTubers have organized a “Bed In” to bring the company’s attention to problems. Ironically many can’t participate because the site, for days, hasn’t accepting videos in a timely manner. My videos in the past 24 hours have been held in a cue despite confirmation messages. And YouTube’s “recent” section shows that there are gaps of time where very few videos made it live (relative to the massive amounts that are uploaded typically).

Technical problems in the past weeks have included:

  • Severe problems with messages and comments
  • Videos are encrypted beyond recognition. Look at this one.
  • Loads of spam in YouTube mail
  • Errors reporting the quantity of mail
  • Several days of chronic bugs related to uploading videos
  • And now, in the past 24 hours, the site confirms uploads but doesn’t post them. Most of mine have vanished, and others have appeared 10-14 hours later.

In recent months I’ve come to appreciate YouTube and the powerful community it has fostered. I’ve met people via YouTube and have collaborated with fellow YouTubers on The GooTube Conspiracy (which mocks the power accumulated by Google and YouTube).

But it’s perplexing how indifferent YouTube has appeared despite this technical fiasco. The response is less excusable than the technical snags:

  • I’ve never received a response from a message sent to customer service or technical support. Not once.
  • There have not been messages on YouTube that alert people to the problem, or plan to fix it. At best we’ll see occasional red error messages when certain functionality (like uploading) is down.
  • YouTube’s technical support fails to alert YouTubers through their YouTube mail (or e-mail) when problems arise.
  • There’s virtually no way to reach YouTube via phone

phone.jpgThis is a stark contrast from the way other video sites handle problems. Revver has been one of the less stable sites, but uses its blogs and forums to update users. blip.tv’s founders answer problems via their cell phones at dinner.

YouTube has obviously been swarmed with users, videos and customer-support and technical inquiries. And there’s a certain amount of this that can be explained by rapid growth. But some of these issues can be addressed simply by communicating. But YouTube appears to be sweeping the issues under the carpet.

Here’s hoping the site has a New Year’s Resolution to stabilize its technology and improve its communication with users. The community is tight, but if there was a viable alternative I’d suspect an exile of many users in 2007. Especially since many of the traditional portal sites are beginning to recognize the power of community, and rapidly developing tools to foster it.

Author: Nalts

Hi. I'm Nalts.

15 thoughts on “YouTube Ends 2006 With Technical, Customer Support Fiasco”

  1. tell ur buddies over at revver this:when they start paying for clicks,i’ll start advertising my videos again.And tell metacafe this:when they make a video “ineligible”for producer rewards,i will delete it.Im sick and tired of being robbed of my share of the ad revenue,guess i will make my own website and show them both how its done!!

  2. Are you not making your Revver income? Do they respond when you raise this? As for Metacafe- I’m totally confused about producer rewards. I’ve got 4 videos that made it and countless that are pergatory.

  3. showmethemoney – Micki here from Revver. We do pay out on clicks. We pay once a month to users who have $20 or more in their verified earnings. You can check our FAQs for more details. If you have any questions, you can always contact us at support@revver.com.

  4. Okay, here’s how to make a video work on MetaCafe. This method still leaves a lot of guesswork to the video creator, but this is how it is done:

    1. Create and upload video.
    2. Make sure your video has an accurate, yet attention-grabbing title and description.
    3. It must then get a rating above 3.0 to be released to the viewers on the “front page” area.
    4. If the videos on the very front page have above a 3.2, your video needs to be above a 3.2 to make it on that page. Likewise, if the videos on the very front page have above a 3.8, your video needs to be above a 3.8 to make it on that page. If your video makes it to the very front page and stays there for one or two days, it is very likely to break the 20,000 mark.
    5. If you video is released but does not make it to the very front page, you still have a decent chance if #2 is followed properly and a lot of people are interested in it or comment on it.

    That’s all I can say. Out of all of the videos I upload, I have several misses.

  5. You too huh? YouTube has been driving me crazy the past couple of weeks. VERY difficult to Upload vids. And I’m getting the crap spammed out of me. And all the other things you mention. Could it be the Google effect? I hate it when these big companies take over smaller companies and fuck things up. Oh yeah…nearly forgot…for the first time ever they refused to Upload one of my vids. Said it was “offensive”. Well it was a capture of a “Vag-in-a-can” ad which I thought hilarious. Obviously the suits didn’t. So whadya do? There’s YouTube and daylight. I’ve tried Google, Blip, Yahoo, Metcafe, Revver, the French one who name eludes me and several others whose names I can’t remember either. None of them have the traffic of YouTube. Although a lot of them have much better compressions. BTW my completely crap videos have had something like 450,000 views. “Mac is Gay” alone has had 180,000! Now if I could just get a slice of that action. Even at a cent a time I would have Four and a Half Grand. That reminds me…I’m still waiting for Google Adsense to start paying. On one site I get 2000+ Unique Visitors a week and Google views makes me about $6 or something. I don’t even look anymore. And yes…I’ve tried different styles, sizes, placement.

  6. Heya,

    Thanks for the shout-out, but I wonder if maybe we could switch the “bliptv.com” to “blip.tv”? :))

    Yours,

    Mike
    Co-founder & CEO, blip.tv

  7. There are so many problems with youtube now, I don’t understand it. None of these problems existed even 3 months ago, so WHAT is the deal? The site is digressing instead of improving. OK, so my most recent issues:
    1) Yes, I understand it takes a while after uploading a video for it to show in searches, but over 10 hours!?!
    2) It says I have a comment on a video (from 5 hours ago) and I still cannot see it.
    3) My channel has not been updated with a) the newly uploaded video (now like 16 hours ago), b) a video that I changed to “private” has not been changed (again, like 16 hours ago).
    4) The view count is completely inconsistent- meaning instead of increasing, the view count decreases or goes back to a lower number.
    What is the point of having features such as view count, ratings, and the ENTIRE “MOST RECENT” section if none of it works properly? How can a video be recent if it was 9 hours ago? What I cannot understand is why youtube is going down the tube. THere is no way that within just 3 months or so, the volume of users has increased so much that the site is experiencing THIS many problems. So WHAT IS the problem? I’ve sent so many error messages and bug problems etc and all I’m ever told is to be patient- that people are working on it. If that’s the case then WHY are there MORE problems and WHY are things getting WORSE!!? I cannot tell you how frustrating this is and I really don’t need to be placated by saying they understand my frustration and to be patient. Just fix the problems. It makes no sense whatsoever and it had turned into a completely illegitmate and unfair system because of the delays and errors.

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