The Art Assignment’s “Case for Kanye West” video.

In which John Green discusses the poor quality of civil discourse online (and off), the lyrics to the Kanye West song “Power,” what’s so wrong with the way we’re talking at each other these days, and Hank’s + sign proposal to maybe make life in the comments section more bearable.

Hank’s hankschannel video about gaming the comment algorithm.

Hank’s vlogbrothers video about race and racism in the U.S. 

Study exploring the ways that poor quality comments affect Internet experience for creators and consumers alike.


Rewatching old vlogbrothers videos and discovered in Many Truths One Lie John Green says “I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, baby!” referencing a stock he just sold (or did he?). Now this may not alarm you but the video in question (watch here: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kF2c4eumx1U) was made in 2011. BEFORE THE fault in our stars was published!!

Hank’s Video - Vlogbrothers and the news

I just saw Hanks’ Video on Hankschannel titled “Vlogbrothers and the news”. I gotta be honest, last year when we had a devastating earthquake here in India, I was surprised that the guys didn’t talk about it. Even if I didn’t consciously decide to, I kind of expect John and Hank to have deep thoughtful opinions about what’s going in my world. Which I know is unfair. That’s not what they are trying to be. And I KNOW THAT! Just hearing it from Hank gave me a perspective of what it would be like to feel that pressure whenever you’re trying to do your job. 

Also, when I go back and watch the old Vlogbrothers videos, I feel this pang of nostalgia for all the silliness! I definitely want more of that to come back to the channel. And Hank, you are 100% allowed to make any kind of videos that you want, I know now not to burden you with my unfair expectations of being a spokesperson all the time (even if the expectations were in my own mind). We love what you do, please try to be as less stressed as you can :)


2016 so far


Four days ago Hank Green posted a video on Vlogbrothers in which he talked about the Black Lives Matter movement. The comment section, which is normally civil and respectful on Vlogbrothers (one of the few miracles of the internet), quickly got out of hand. I did not wade into this particular comment section since Hank tweeted about how terrible it was but I think we all can imagine what awful things were being said.

The following day, Hank posted a video on his own channel (cleverly named hankschannel – I love you, Hank) talking about how the YouTube comment algorithm is broken because it rewards controversy over constructive conversations and he may have found a way to “fix” it.

With a simple + symbol.

He instructed viewers (Nerdfighters) when they see a comment they like even if they have nothing to add to the conversation to reply to it with a +.

This ,he said in his video, will hopefully push positive comments up and minimize the amount of vitriol that normally rises to the top.

Such a simple solution.

Why hadn’t YouTube thought of it? Why isn’t this just the way comment section works? Shouldn’t the thumbs up icon count for something? As a programmer, I see no use for having a basically dead button. (And I also appreciate the small irony that he chose to make it a + ,what with Google & all) but I digress.

The thing about this, the reason I am writing today is that this simple idea has now spread to a great deal of other videos. I am seeing +’s all over comment sections within a few short days of the idea begin born. And that, to me, is amazing!!

I have never met John or Hank, but I have seen the power of their community work before my own eyes. Nerdfighters are everywhere and we are all focused on making the world a better place. And (not to steal too directly from Voltron but) with our powers combine we really, truly can effect great change.

And sure in this instance it is improving the comment algorithm of YouTube videos but as anyone who has ever interneted before knows, that’s not a bad place to start. And yes, Nerdfighters have done more fantastic and far reaching things to make the world more awesome such as the annual Project 4 Awesome, The TSWGO Foundation, The Harry Potter Alliance, contributing to Kiva.org and almost defeating MIT in the DARPA Network Challenge (which I admit the last one may not seem like much but just goes to show the power of the community to work together)

And all of this is to say that even though for my first few years as a Nerdfighter I felt physically isolated, the last two years in particular (getting to attend VidCon, going to see Hank Green & The Perfect Strangers in concert, making real friends with Nerdfighters across the globe) have shown me that even though I may be the only Nerdfighter where I live, I am far from alone.

This community is vast and far reaching, which, if John and Hank were evil masterminds, I admit would be terrifying.

But Nerdfighteria has always been based on the principles of being kind to your neighbors, imagining others complexly and a belief that people are good at heart.

And so, I am incredibly proud to call myself a Nerdfighter and to know that I am (an infinitesimal) part of something greater, something that chooses to seek out what is good and promote it throughout the world even if it’s with the power of something as simple as a +




*14 billion years, in case you have annotations turned off.


I know, bone-deep, that this also applies to “chronic” mental illness–clincial disorders like depression, anxiety and the like. They sometimes make those of us who suffer from them literally UNABLE to do things, but we are still EXPECTED to do ANYWAY. It makes my blood boil. It doesn’t help or encourage me or anyone else.





Vlogbrothers Sponsorship Application
Half the money generated from pre-roll advertisements on the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel goes to The Foundation to Decrease World Suck; Nerdfighteria collectively decided that the other half should go into a fund that will be used to help creators make awesome things. If you are working on an online educational/informational/super awesome project, consider sending in an application in order to be considered as a potential funds recipient.

Are you working on an interesting, helpful, educational online project? Consider applying for the vlogbrothers sponsorship! Previous sponsorship recipients include Physics Girl and Engage by Uplift. No need to be a US resident to apply. Further details at the link above. 


okayjohnson  asked:

I just want to say thank you for making your vlogbrothers video. Like. . No other YouTubers that I'm subscribed to have even touched on the topic without becoming agitated. You went about it respectively. I can not express how absolutely happy that makes me. It's everything myself, and my friends have been trying to say for years, and no one has been listening, or the dismiss us because we're black and it's a chip on our shoulder. Hank. . just thank you. Thank you.

Well, first, I am unsatisfied with that video. Though, I think we are all unsatisfied with pretty much every conversation about race in America right now. Second, I very much understand why other creators haven’t taken it on and respect their decision. It is a very difficult thing to do right even with lots of experience taking on tough stuff. And if you’re not going to be able to do it right, the best course of action is probably to not do it.

I’m also lucky to have had a few friends who were willing to look over my script and give me great feedback.

I particularly want to shout out Ahsante who gave me amazing notes and helped me feel more confident that I could actually do this in a helpful way. I don’t know her super well but we’ve have corresponded a bit and she was so so helpful. She has an amazing YouTube channel and you should check it out. 

Love online video and learning random, fun stuff? Here’s a list of some of my favorite content providers!


  1. vlogbrothers 
  2. CrashCourse
  3. SciShow
  4. Healthcare Triage
  5. How to Adult
  6. The Financial Diet
  7. Thought Cafe
  8. TED-Ed
  9. TEDxTalks
  10. TEDxYouth
  11. Philip DeFranco 
  12. GCFLearnFree.org
  13. AlanBecker Tutorials
  14. AsapSCIENCE
  15. AsapTHOUGHT
  16. coolipra
  17. Cute Life Hacks
  18. DIY Creators
  19. Educators.com
  20. eHow
  21. Geneva Vanderzeil
  22. Google Science Fair
  23. Half Baked
  24. Howcast
  25. LittleTranscriber
  26. Maqaroon
  27. MidiMelody
  28. Mental Floss
  29. MidiMelody
  30. minutephysics
  31. Scientific American Space Lab
  32. sexplanations
  33. Skill:Draw
  34. studyign
  35. Tasty
  36. The Fitness Marshall
  37. blogilates
  38. The Game Theorists
  39. The School of Life
  40. thebrainscoop
  41. Vsauce
  42. watchwellcast
  43. withwendy
  46. Documentary Movies - Topic
  47. appsademia (Credits to my girl @pyrogirl88)


  1. Watch Documentary
  2. Top Documentary Films
  3. CBC Marketplace
  4. The Passionate Eye
  5. National Geographic  (Credits to my girl @pyrogirl88​)

Your Illness is Not Your Fault - Hank Green

I really needed this today. It has just been one of those days. #keeponkeepingon