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Thank You YouTube

For this year’s Project for Awesome, I decided to pull out all the stops and show you guys a lot of the stuff I’ve been doing but haven’t had the time to put into individual episodes or videos. I keep saying that this project is less about me and more about the community behind it – hopefully this latest video helps convey that.

And, yeah, this video does use copyrighted music by Coldplay (part of EMI Records). I did enough research into YouTube’s agreement with EMI Records and am fairly certain this video won’t be taken down. But, of course, I also had to forfeit any chance of earning any ad revenue and (as I later found out) any reasonable chance of having this video being featured or promoted. EMI can also reserve the right to take down this video, region lock it, or place ads on it where they can earn all the ad revenue from it (just like the Counting Crows & Universal Music have region locked my Cyclone Sidr video and take all the ad revenue from it).

But that’s cool. This was a kind of video I wanted to make for ages. I just never could find the right match of visuals and music until I heard “Life in Technicolor ii” by Coldplay.

The Importance of YouTube

ny-times-cover

Last Thursday was a good day for the YouTube Community. One YouTube’s biggest personalities (Michael Buckley of the What the Buck Show) was on the frontpage of the NY Times. The article was about something a lot of people within the YouTube community already knew – how it’s possible to make money (sometimes a lot of it) through YouTube.

I posted this scan of the frontpage of that issue because I wanted to show you what the main story on the frontpage was. You might not think that a story about the plight and suffering in the people in the third world (the frontpage story) has anything to do with YouTube. But for me – and what I’ve devoted myself to these past two years of my life – they couldn’t be any more related.

We live in incredibly trying financial times. Forget the boardroom table, all of us are feeling this hardship at the dinner table. And money which could have been used to provide mosquito nets to every man, woman, and child in a malaria hot zone, or education to every child in the developing world, or clean water to every human being on the planet – is instead being spent on bailouts for Wall Street.

As it gets harder for us to p4a4by3convince politicians the importance of those beyond our borders – we’ll need new ways to continue the fight against global poverty. And YouTube is absolutely critical to that. This year’s Project for Awesome is a great example of that. We can keep the conversation going about global poverty well into a future where the mainstream media debates whether the day’s main story should be about a new bailout or Britney’s new single.

And, as my parents and I look into the family financial situation to see how many months (not years) this project can continue, this NY Times article is a poignant reminder of the fact that it is theoretically possible to make this project sustainable. All that we’ve been able to do together – all the lives this project has been able to touch – cost about 1/10th of what Michael Buckley earns through YouTube’s partnership program.

I’m not saying I will ever (or even deserve to be) as popular as Buck. Whether or not I can continue to sustain what I’m doing, I just hope that one of the greatest technologies of modern history can be used to fight one of the biggest plights that humanity faces.

Cow Sh*t to Clean Water: The Reasons & Science Behind It

I didn’t drink purified cow feces to be sensationalist. I also don’t consider myself a stunt man. This quick video up on my secondary channel on YouTube shows some of the reasons why I did this particular experiment and some of the science behind why I was at virtually no risk in doing it.