YouTube’s New Rules Are Billed as Protecting the ‘Community’ but Only Protect Advertisers

In the wake of repeated scandals, a new YouTube rule makes it dramatically harder for smaller creators to make money on the platform. But the rule may have no impact on the platform’s worst offenders. Worse, it prioritizes advertisers over users.

The past year has been a tough one for YouTube. There have been cartoon images aimed at children that veer into violent and scary territory. There have been videos that drew hundreds of comments from pedophiles and disturbing scenes of child abuse. There have been videos promoting violence, racism, and hatred. Then concern over YouTube hit a fever pitch this year when superstar Logan Paul posted video of an apparent suicide victim in Japan’s Aokigahara Forest. Like San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the “suicide forest” is a popular destination for those who seek to end their lives.

All these events have drawn a lot of negative response from YouTube’s advertisers, understandably perturbed at having their ads run alongside this distasteful stuff (although the suicide forest video ran ad-free). Google, YouTube’s parent company, built the success of its search engine and advertising program by consistently putting users’ interests first and advertisers’ desires second. This time, it’s come up with a solution designed to appease advertisers at the expense of its viewers and creators, especially those with a substantial but not huge following.

The response to YouTube’s public image crisis began in December, when YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki explained in a blog post that the company was vastly beefing up its monitoring of video content, both by vastly expanding the team of humans responsible for reviewing content and deploying machine learning to flag inappropriate content. YouTube followed up this week–soon after the infamous Logan Paul video–by enacting new rules that make it much harder for YouTube creators to earn money from the platform by having ads run with their work.

It’s the second time in less than a year that the platform has made such a change. For more than a decade, anyone who wanted could post videos to YouTube, have ads run on them, and receive a portion of the proceeds, although that made for negligible sums for YouTube members with smaller followings. Then in April, likely in response to advertiser complaints, the company announced that only channels with at least 10,000 lifetime views could do so. Members grumbled, but for anyone serious about posting video to the platform and sharing it on social media, it was a relatively easy number to reach. Now YouTube has raised the bar considerably. New channels now need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months before they can be considered for advertising, and the rule will extend to existing channels on February 20.

The new requirements, especially the watch time rule, will be challenging for many of the platforms smaller channels to achieve. One music producer with several YouTube channels told TNW that under the old rules, YouTube channels with a smaller following could at least earn enough to cover the costs of DIY video production. Under the new rules, he’ll be canceling some YouTube projects, and so will others he knows. He added that the gap between the old rule and the new one is “massive.”

In it for the money?

In the blog blog post announcing the change, Neal Mohan chief product officer and Robert Kyncl, chief business officer argue that while many channels will be affected, most were making very little money from YouTube in any case. According to the blog, 99 percent of them were making less than $100 per year from advertising, most of them quite a lot less.

The blog authors add that the move will “tackle the potential abuse of a large but disparate group of smaller channels.” But they don’t explain exactly how changing the rules about advertising revenue will tackle that abuse. If their numbers are right and the vast majority of YouTube channels that carry advertising make less than $3 a month from it, then it’s safe to say that most people who post to YouTube aren’t doing it for the money. Three dollars a month of lost revenue doesn’t seem like a powerful disincentive to get someone who’s been posting offensive content to stop.

It will, of course, make it much easier to protect YouTube’s advertisers. With a greatly reduced crop of YouTube channels able to carry advertising, coupled with greatly expanded capabilities for reviewing content, the company now has a much better shot at keeping advertising off channels that post offensive content. 

So far as I can tell, that appears to be YouTube’s strategy: To focus its attention on the very large channels that can carry advertising and stop worrying about everyone else, YouTube viewers included. All the same pornographic, racist, violent, and otherwise offensive content that has always been on YouTube still will be there–but now it will be ad-free.

How Your E-commerce Business Can Build Trust With New Customers

Customer trust is probably the biggest factor that can set your business up for success. However, winning the trust of your customers is generally easier said than done. Especially if you’re a new entrant in the market, building credibility can be quite challenging.

Fortunately, or unfortunately for ecommerce businesses, your website is the single biggest weapon you can use to gain customer trust. However, there are many tried and tested ways in which you can tweak your website that send out trust signals.

Here are a few ways in which you can build trust with new customers to your online store.

1. Connect on an emotional level.

Have you ever met someone whom you didn’t find too agreeable? Would you trust such a person? Obviously not. Believe it or not, the same thing applies to all of our interactions. Even our online shopping experiences.

If I land on an ecommerce store that I don’t like, it’s quite natural that I won’t buy from them. As an ecommerce business, your main focus should be to get your potential customers to like you. If they do so, they will start trusting you and eventually buy from you.

The first step towards this is to avoid using technical jargons on your copy. Instead, create copy and product descriptions that people can relate to. Your content should connect with them at an emotional level. Only then will they start trusting you.

2. Flaunt your reviews and testimonials.

Testimonials and reviews reinforce the fact that people have found your products valuable. In other words, your ecommerce store can be trusted. You are worth spending money on.

Studies have revealed that 55 percent of consumers look up product reviews online before buying. So make sure to display your customer testimonials and reviews prominently on your website.

3. Display your trust badges.

Like I said earlier, your first step towards establishing trust should be to get customers to like you. For an ecommerce store, it means liking your content.

Compelling product descriptions, high-quality images, reviews, and testimonials are great at getting people to like and trust you. However, getting them to actually trust you with their credit card information is another thing altogether.

19 percent of online shoppers ditch their carts because they don’t trust a site with their payment information. So display your trust badges, payment provider logos, and SSL certificates. These are powerful indicators that your customers’ payment information will be encrypted and processed safely.

4. Display shipping costs upfront.

I’ve come across numerous ecommerce websites that do not display the extra costs like shipping on their product pages. As a result, nothing prepares me for the surprise waiting for me on their checkout page.

Even if I’ve decided to buy something, when I see the additional costs at checkout, I get easily discouraged. Especially, knowing that Amazon most certainly might give me the same product at zero shipping costs.

It’s not like people are not willing to pay for shipping. It’s just that when you only see those costs on the checkout page, it puts you off. 23 percent of people abandon their shopping carts just because they didn’t know the extra costs upfront.

In order to gain customer trust, make sure to display all additional costs on the product page. If there’s a certain amount that qualifies them to avail free shipping, mention it clearly. You can even display the entire cart contents including all costs whenever someone adds a product to cart.

Can you think of any other simple but effective ways in which an ecommerce business can build trust? Let me know in the comments below.

The 1 Trait Great Bosses Are Hiring for in 2018

If you break down your company into what really drives its success, it’s not just the product. It’s not just the marketing campaigns. It’s not the tech you’ve built. It’s the people.

Your team is the source of all your ideas, excitement, and engagement.

Don’t believe me? Then listen to the late Apple founder Steve Jobs:

“When you’re in a startup, the first 10 people will determine whether the company succeeds or not.”

Unfortunately, finding those A-team players isn’t always an easy task. Hiring managers are inundated with resumes that have the same skills, same schools, and same experience. Applicants are playing it safe and not doing enough to actually stand out. This is a problem for everyone.  

The One Trait This Top CEO Looks for When Hiring.

As CEO of employee engagement and training company Jellyvision, Amanda Lannert has grown her team to close to 500 people. In a recent article, she talked about what she looks for in anyone applying:

“It feels like companies hire people, but in fact people hire people,” she explained. “By and large, recruiters are bored. People play it safe. They commodify themselves into just a bullet-point list of skills and experience.”

Instead, Lannert explains that the best way to show yourself off–and for hiring managers to see if you’re a good fit–is to get weird. Don’t Google “best resume template” and fill it out. Instead, think of how you can show off your unique skills, interests, and opinions in a smart and engaging way.

For hiring managers, an application that takes risks is also a quick way to see if the candidate is a right fit for the company. Skills and experience won’t tell you whether someone is a good fit or if their values align–and hiring the wrong person can be a costly mistake.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. While Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh once estimated bad hires had cost the company “well over $100 million.”

To make sure you’re finding the right person, here’s a few expert tips from top CEOs and hiring specialists:

  • Focus on the cover letter, not the resume. Know Your Company CEO Claire Lew says “To whom it may concern” and “Please see attached resume” are wastes of ink. Instead, look for cover letters that grab attention and say something real about who the applicant is.

  • Find people who will show what kind of employee they’ll be. Unsplash CEO Mikael Cho says resumes and applications should be back-up for the work someone does, not a replacement for it. Look for people who will show that they can do the work in interesting ways. When Cho hired me 3.5 years ago (disclaimer: I no longer work for Unsplash), it was because I wrote a top Medium post and used it as my application. No resume needed.

  • Make your application about this job, not just any job. Certified resume writer Steve Burdan explains that a resume and cover letter that doesn’t say why they want to work there specifically is a huge red flag. You want to know the reasons why they’ll be the right fit, not just another person taking up space.  

If you want to find the best person for the job, look for the person who puts in the best effort applying for it. Not only will you know you’re getting someone who will fit the culture and stick around, but it could potentially save you millions of dollars.

10 Most-Anticipated Books of 2018

I love books. One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to read 100 books. (I probably read around this every year but I’ve never tracked it…this year I will.) So naturally, one of the first things I wanted to do in the new year is assemble a reading list of sorts. I’ve read a few of these already in their advance copy form, but I’m looking forward to seeing all of these in print this year.

Below are the 10 books publishing in 2018 that I am most looking forward to (in order of release date):

When by Daniel Pink (January 9). We know that so much of success come down to timing, but we don’t really know that much about timing. Luckily, Pink has put together a great primer on the science of when to do what.

Powerful by Patty McCord (January 9). I’m obviously a fan of many of Netflix’s people practices, so I can hardly wait for a book by the women who wrote many of them.

Herding Tigers by Todd Henry (January 16). Managing creative teams is as easy as herding cats….cats that can also maul you. Luckily, Henry shows how to unleash (but direct) the brilliance of creative teammates.

Big Potential by Shawn Achor (January 30). What Achor did for understanding happiness, he’s now doing for the success and achievement.

Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk (January 30). I’ll be honest, I owe a lot of my initial motivation to build a platform to Gary Vee’s original book, and so I’m looking forward to seeing the collection of equally motivated success stories captured here.

Great At Work by Morten Hansen (January 30). A five-year study of what separates peak performers from everyday employees. What Jim Collins does for organizational performance, Hansen’s research is doing for individual performance.

In Defense of Troublemakers by Charlan Nemeth (March 20). I’ve loved Nemeth’s research and written about it since before my first book. I’m so excited to see her release a trade book version of her ideas on the power of dissent.

New Power by Jeremy Heimans Henry Timms (April 3). Their article years ago in HBR is still one of my favorites, the book unpacking the power of movements will undoubtedly be as well.

Friend Of A Friend by David Burkus (May 1). Okay. This one is my own, so of course I’m anticipating it. But if you wished you could have the benefits of networking without all the meeting strangers at cocktail parties…this is your book.

Build An A-Team by Whitney Johnson (May 1). The mind who brought disruptive innovation to thinking about our own careers now shows managers how to use the same learning curve to build a winning team.

I’m sure there will be more, but this should keep my first half of the year full. I hope you’ll join me and boosting your reading this year and leveling up your thinking.

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A How-to Guide to Help You Solve Your Office Dispute

Picture this. You’re at your desk and you desperately need to speak with your boss. In fact, this is a conversation that you’ve intended to have for the past couple of weeks. Long story short, your co-worker’s offensive comments are preventing you from getting your work done and resolving the situation yourself isn’t working or isn’t an option.

First things first, I’m sorry you’re in this situation. It’s not fun. But it is, in many cases, fixable. However, as you probably already know, how you approach this can not only be tricky depending on where you work, but also because it’s an uncomfortable situation. You don’t want to be a tattletale and you also don’t want to look like a complainer. However when a situation’s serious and speaking to the offender isn’t working (or isn’t appropriate), you should address it with HR.

And that’s why I’ve outlined the email you need to send to get the conversation started.

1. Begin With a Thank You

Most people respond well to a compliment. So, beginning with an acknowledgment for how busy they are and sharing your gratitude for the person taking the time and consideration to read your email, is a great first step to take.

2. State the Matter You Want to Address

Clarity’s key in life. If you have a problem with a co-worker or an incident that happened at work can you clearly define what your issue is? Calmly breaking down the facts of what happened and showcasing why this is an issue demonstrates the importance of your position.

3. State the Reasoning Behind Your Position

After explaining the situation, make sure you’ve clearly stated the reasoning for how you feel. Ensure that the reader knows how you feel about the situation that transpired, so then he or she knows where you stand.

4. Provide Solutions

Doing this shows that you have taken the time to assess the situation and you’re mindfully seeking a positive resolution to the matter.

5. End With a Thank You

Gratitude can never be underestimated. Taking the time to thank the reader for reviewing the email in totality will show your reader you appreciate their attention to the matter. It helps the reader understand why they need to take action on your concern(s). 

Dear Nancy,

Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I know how busy you are and truly appreciate your consideration for this matter.

As you might know, I recently had a disagreement with Jennifer Smith last week and the matter still hasn’t been resolved. This is a situation that needs to be addressed so I can continue my work without any distractions. Last week, Jennifer Smith and I were having lunch in the lounge area. Having lunch was somewhat typical behavior as we have eaten lunch together at least once a month for the past two years.

During the lunch, Jennifer was mentioning that she disagreed with how I handled a client matter. Jennifer said I was behaving very petty and silly. Because of this, she said she personally talked to the client and personally apologized for my behavior. When she said this, I told her that I was completely shocked and taken back by her actions. I went on to tell her that I appreciated her feedback, but it wasn’t necessary for her to call me names and talk to the client behind my back. Jennifer proceeded to call me a “Bitch” and said, “I couldn’t tell her what to do.” At that point, I stopped engaging with her.

Since that incident Jennifer and I have not spoken to each other. It has been very tense and difficult to be near each other. Despite, this unfortunate incident, I would like for things to go back to how they were before the incident occurred. I understand we might not go back to being as friendly as we once were, but it is preferable for us to have a more cordial atmosphere at the workplace. Without anything being done, I fear that it will be difficult for us to focus on our jobs and work product.

Given what has happened, I am confident that you will have great solutions to address the matter. However, I wanted to share my thoughts for this situation. For me to be more comfortable at work, I would like for Jennifer to provide an official written apology and agree to address work related matters in a scheduled meeting with the appropriate Human Resource contact. Additionally, if I have an issue with her, I would raise my concern in the same manner.

Again, I would like to thank you for your time and attention to this matter. It has been a pleasure working with you and I would like to address this matter, so that I can focus on doing my job to the best of my ability. If you would like to have a follow up call or meeting about this matter, I am happy to schedule it at your earliest convenience.



Dealing with tough situations are not enjoyable, but they are a must. The good news is that when you tackle them with strategy and preparation, they become much more manageable.

With that said, you may send this email and not get the response you want. In fact, it could even make matters worse. And because I don’t know your boss or your HR department, I can’t tell you if that’ll happen or not. However, you need to know that if it does, you have options: escalate the situation or look for a new job.

While looking for a new job doesn’t seem fair to you (because it’s not), it’s also important that you work in a place that you’re not only respected, but feel safe.

This post originally appeared on the The Muse.

Amazon’s New Headquarters: Suddenly, It’s Between These 3 Cities

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

There have already been more twists and turns than in the average day on Twitter.

Many think they know where Amazon’s second headquarters will finally be perched.

The company itself, however, is known for being famously recondite about, well, almost anything to do with Amazon. 

It’s hardly, then, going to offer clues as to its so-called HQ2.

Regular readers — bless you for that — may know that I’ve resorted to rigorously following the betting on this subject at Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.

It’s been a joyous exercise.

First, Atlanta and Austin were the clear favorites

Then Atlanta broke out on its own.

Then Austin came back.

As time went by, suddenly Dublin leaped in the betting. And then disappeared entirely.

I must report, however, that today I’ve noticed yet another dramatic change.

For Atlanta and Austin have been joined by a third city at 3/1.

I hear you sniff that it must be New York, which one celebrated marketing expert insists is the actual lock to house HQ2. 

Sadly, not. America’s loudest city remains at 14/1.

Instead, it’s Boston that has joined Atlanta and Austin in the betting public’s minds. 

Might it be that Amazon sees Boston as a sort of Seattle-type east coast enclave, better suited to the company’s purpose than the sheer claustrophobic vastness of New York?

Boston had previously been quietly fancied at 7/1.

Now, however, there’s a vast gap between the three at the top and all the remaining cities.

The next challengers are at 14/1.

Please, this is only betting. One cannot possibly be sure that the money suddenly going on Boston is informed money. 

But with Amazon only declaring that it will make its announcement some time this year, what is one supposed to do? 

Speculate, of course.

5 Ways to Attract Amazing People Into Your Life

The truth is, we need people. No man is an island, as poet John Donne famously wrote. And when we surround ourselves with great people, we are much more likely to do great things. Funny how that works! Association is so important to the way we think and act. I don’t know about you, but I want to surround myself with amazing people who are in the pursuit of worthwhile dreams and goals!

So, here are 5 ways to attract amazing people into your life. 

1. Be that Person!

If you want to attract other amazing people to you, then be that person too. Be what you want. We are often drawn to those who are like-minded. If you want amazing people in your life, be an amazing person! It sounds so simple and basic, but it is so true. Be the person that builds people up not the one who tries and tears people down. 

2. Speak It!

The power of positive affirmations. Speak what you want. For example, “I attract amazing, like-minded, positive, dream-driven people to me every day!” and “I am aware of opportunities all around me to connect with people headed for success!” This kind of positive self-talk can give you power and focus that you might not otherwise have. 

3. Make the Connection!

Get good at being genuinely interested in others. Ask questions. Listen. People will be drawn to you when you take an interest in them. When you have made those connections make efforts to reach out and check in on how they are doing on a regular basis. I reach out to 3-5 people every day that I have met over time in my professional career. 

4. Add Value!

People want to be around people who make them feel valued and appreciated. Show others you care, point out their strengths, and always let them know you believe in them and what they’re doing. Limit your time with people who drain your energy. We all have those people in our lives, and it’s important to limit time with people who aren’t healthy for us. 

5. Lastly, Communicate your Vision!

We are naturally attracted to people who are successful and have a clear plan.  Get good at communicating your vision with others. Make the invisible clearly visible to them through your excitement and words. Paint a picture of what you see so that others can learn how they can be apart of it.

Put these 5 tips into practice in your life, and then watch people come from miles to be apart of what you’re doing! 

26 Percent More Small Businesses Were Sold in 2017

Small businesses were a much sought-after commodity during 2017, with the number of sales transactions rising more than 26 percent from the previous year. That report comes from, an online marketplace for small businesses that tracks the number of transactions reported by business brokers. The company counted 9,919 sales, up from 7,842 in 2016.

The median sales price for companies was up 14 percent at $227,880.

In the fourth quarter, sales rose 23 percent from a year earlier. Nearly 30 percent of the businesses sold the last three months of the year were restaurants, bars or other eating and drinking places. Three percent were manufacturers, and 18 percent were retailers. Forty percent were service providers, in a wide range of industries from hair salons to landscapers to dry cleaners.

Eighty percent of the brokers surveyed expect the sales momentum to continue this year.


The recent wave of arctic cold, snow and ice in the Midwest, East and South hurt retailers — unless they were selling things to keep people warm.

During the first week of January, demand for blankets was up by nearly three-quarters from a year ago, according to Planalytics, a company that tracks weather and retailing trends. The company is estimating demand for heaters to be up by two-thirds. That’s not surprising given that it was the coldest first week of January since 1988 and the third-coldest in more than 55 years. In New York and Washington, the average daily temperature was 17 degrees lower than in January 2016. In Detroit, it was 20 degrees lower.

People were hunkering down inside their homes. Restaurant visits across the country were down 1.3 percent. Retailers — except for those online — generally had fewer customers, as did entertainment businesses like movie theaters.

Some potential good news in Planalytics’ forecast: The cold is expected to help retailers sell their winter merchandise. That may cut down on their need to discount cold weather wear.

–The Associated Press