CALL FOR COMMENT: what do you think of this video idea?


Right before the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, This Site scored its highest-ever hit count with more than 178,000 views.

Now, Vox Political is lucky to get 3,000 views per day.

All those readers can’t have died out in the pandemic, and the site’s quality hasn’t changed, so something must have changed.

Colleagues on sites like Another Angry Voice are adamant that the social media giants – Facebook, Twitter and so on – have used algorithms to divert readers away from us.

They have suggested that this was at the request of right-wing politicians who don’t like our views, or of mass media publishers who were losing readers (and sales) to us.

The latter would amount to interference in the marketplace, so I’m wondering if there is an official course of action to be taken over it…

Alternatively, some have said that our negative coverage of the government’s activities during the Covid-19 pandemic may have triggered political interference intended to put us out of business.

Whatever is true, we need to find ways to reverse the trend – because people need to have factual information about current affairs, now more than ever.

So I’m trying a new thing and I’d like you to comment on it – and that includes all you lurkers who read but don’t usually say anything!

I’m thinking of creating short videos on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and anywhere else anyone can think of, to compliment articles on the Vox Political website – as summaries of the longer articles here.

The aim is to – I believe the term is ‘funnel’ – readers into the site via alternative routes to Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s a sample I created, using a recent story:

The question I’m putting to you is simple, and twofold: first, is this a good way of generating interest? And secondly, is it worth seeing in its own right?

I’ve used Wave Video’s free generator to make this one; if anyone has recommendations for better options, then I’d like to hear what they are.

Comment, please, down below.

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41 thoughts on “CALL FOR COMMENT: what do you think of this video idea?

  1. jeffrey l davies

    You answered your own question they stop you by burying you making looking for site harder they started ages ago anyone who goes against them gets buried. Just look at stammer the spammer he alone like Boris are made to look like saints when we darn now criminals are they so using apps to rid themselves of pesky devils by burying you

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      There has to be a way to foil it, though.

      I mean, if they’re deliberately favouring mass media giants over the rest of us, is it a matter for the Monopolies Commission?

      1. Jon Lisle-Summers

        I regularly share your articles on Facebook, Newsfeed and Story but rarely get more than half a dozen reactions.
        Video is a bit tough for me due to deafness.

  2. Margaret Gothard

    The video is fine and stands on its own. However the loud music is a total distraction from the words. Get that you are using it to keep people’s attention but could it be something a little quieter please?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’d use different music for each video clip, and I can turn the volume down so it isn’t over-intrusive. Thanks for the input!

    2. Alexandra Kelly

      Agree! Different music would be needed to keep my attention – many people don’t process info well if distracted by noise.

  3. Alison Hogg

    Hi Mike
    I prefer reading your articles. It’s quicker. My internet connection is iffy!
    I often can’t be bothered to watch a video!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Well, the articles won’t be going away!

      The idea is that the videos will just bring more people to the articles. Thanks for your input!

  4. Jayne

    Tictok is where you’d probably get more views, far less interference from outside interests, Twitter Instagram and Facebook are only interested in revenue via advertising and the algorithms lean towards the more right wing posters

  5. gillyflowerblog

    I’m not sure how you get your numbers. Can people access via search engines that remove trackers? I subscribe via WordPress but I must say the ads can be intrusive, esp those advertisements for noble young ladies from Eastern Europe!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The ads are tailored to each reader according to yet another algorithm so what you get is nothing to do with me!

  6. Mathilde

    There’s so much sickening sameness in the Tory government activities and state of things, that for my own mental health, I now mainly read headlines of articles like yours before sometimes deciding to open and learn details. I am housebound with ME, old and all alone. It’ so demoralising to see the same same same problems and scandals. I do the same daily with The Guardian email I get. Usually select a few things to read, go to YouTube for a couple if American progressive videos, and that’s all my mental health can handle.

    Also, as sad as your long court battle was, the, albeit necessary, asking for donations wore me down. I am very poor. However I did hope against hope that you would win. Sorry to hear the outcomes.

  7. bebbingtonmark

    I liked the idea of short video presentations, both stand alone and as a catchy link to further information. I agree that major social media outlets favour those willing and able to buy attention and am hoping that growing ‘independent’ media groups may consider grouping together with like minded groups to build co-operatively owned alternative platform.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That has been suggested before and it seemed as though it was happening at one point. Then everything went quiet.

  8. Rachel Howard

    I still get your stuff, tik tok for the young, YT for us older ones IMO, and music far too loud and doesn’t fit with the video at all , in fact it’s very distracting.

  9. marijo1951

    Mike, I read your every Post and find it useful that you often direct readers to relevant videos by Maximilien Robespierre and others. So I’d be certain to watch your own videos. I agree with Margaret that the music in this one is too loud and obtrusive and, to me, it’s frankly downright unpleasant. Are you thinking of appearing in the videos or, at least, doing a voiceover? That might appeal more.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I would probably appear or do voiceovers in different videos, depending on how I thought I could best get the message over. Thanks for getting in touch!

  10. Zena

    I have stopped using Facebook and Twitter, I don’t like the way they are going. I use Instagram and YouTube much more these days and from listening to others, I think a lot of people have turned away from Facebook/Twitter for precisely what you’re saying; a lot of the sites I have followed historically seem to have disappeared off the radar! Yes you get the ads with Instagram and YouTube but that’s an inevitability to generate income, which I’m prepared to go with, so I think it is worth you exploring. TikTok I don’t know much about.

  11. Paul Grayshan

    Seems like a good idea – give it a try and see how it goes…. I don’t use “social media” but I do look at YouTube.

    By the way, thanks for all the email, lots of interesting, not to say educational stuff!

  12. John Earle

    I toot all of your articles to Mastodon, having left Twitter. I got some reactions and retoots there. I’m with Jayne, Tictok may be a good place to upload. I checked out the video on youtube and subscribed. Music is an important part of the vewing experience. Guitar riffs are more suited to petrol head vids, could be a turn off for some, especially potential younger viewers

  13. clove888

    I share your articles on Facebook and twitter regularly. Most of my political posts end up being put way down in newsfeeds. A friend recently shocked at how she had not seen a post I did even though I tagged her for more than a week later. What we need is a socialist movement that speaks to the general public about how the media is able to make innocent honest people appear guilty and make the guilty appear innocent. My own face and name was in the national newspaper painting me as an antisemite as I was booted from the Labour party based upon a misquoted tweet and other tweets taken out of context. It is shocking how people will read a newspaper and accept their word as factual.

  14. Brian

    I think your right on all counts, but another factor is people may just be being more choosey in how they spend their time and usage, maybe the lure of the web is loosing it’s sparkle ?

  15. Stephen Brophy

    I watch your videos, I’m not taking credit but I did encourage you to make YouTube video’s some years back! maybe you can connect with NOT THE ANDREW MARR SHOW, that could help expose you to a bigger audience.

  16. Craig smith

    I find your articles very useful and informative and have been subscribed for a number of years, it’s a shame your views have dropped off. The video was ok but as someone else suggested voiceovers might be better. When on YouTube I don’t always concentrate on the screen because I am doing other things and I expect others are the same. Also any music would have to be neutral and unobtrusive because everyone has different tastes for me your choice this time sounded ok because when it started I thought sounds a bit like Hendrix,plus, shock horror! some of us lefties actually are petrol heads.

  17. Laurie Cornelius

    Good idea, the music needs to be less in your face though. As far as coverage goes, Tic Toc for the young, but for the older, Odysee, bitchute, Brand new tube and all the other up and coming alternative sites is where you may generate more traffic from IMO,
    keep up the good work…

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      See, I hadn’t even heard of Odysee, bitchute or Brand New Tube! Thanks for the advice!

  18. NikkiW

    Mike, I have found that Fb seems to now be throwing anything at me that ostensibly is an Interest group as well as loads of advertising and it is crowding out everything else.

    Your email gets through to me of course and it never fails to register in my old fat nut but I also subscribe to quite a few YT channels, including Byline Times, Michael Lambert, Max Robespiere and of course Novara Media.

    YT is certainly an excellent source of good political long form content and it is perfectly possible to do it on even a tight budget. Michael Lambert’s channel has grown substantially over the past 18 months and it is him sitting in what seems to be a conservatory for good light and he has a white wall behind him. I suspect he uses his mobile phone to record everything and he seems to have very few edits, so it is likely he does it all in pretty much a one take.

    His approach is very much a from the heart ‘stream of consciousness’ style and I do not detect his is using a teleprompt device to work from a script but he seems to have paper notes off camera to his left.

    He tends to release one video a week on a ‘news of the week’ format and it is an interesting study on how honestly held beliefs , firmly propounded works well. He also seems to post daily in a casual way on Twitter, but his YT channel is now attracting in excess of 35k subscribers.

    Since I appreciate you writing style, it would be a pleasure to see and hear you on YT. I do not ever recall seeing you on YT but if i am wrong, please correct me and I shall subscribe to your channel.

    British commentators seem to post on one specific day and time so their subscribers can expect a new video at that time on YT. They do have a community page tab which aids them to announce anything new etc though also YT are pushing hard back against tikTok by pushing YT Shorts where vids are no more than 60 seconds. Many long form content creators tend to use YT Shorts to attract long content subscribers.

    Since I have refused to pay for a TV licence to fund the govt propaganda outfit, BBC, I find I can get excellent videos from YouTube all to suit my increasingly left wing political interests despite now being 68 !

    Keep up the good work, the only thing you really WILL need is a very good microphone that feeds directly into your smartphone. Mine is s DJI Mic (2 clip on microphones and a receiver) and it is excellent. Good sound is valued greatly for political shows over and above smart video editing.

    So why not give it a try and plop each video in here too as a cross feeding method. Once you get to 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours, you get monetised so a small but of income might be assured AND of course, there is Patreon where can offer ad-free videos for your monthly subscribers?

    Anyhoo, just a thought.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Thanks for this detailed comment; I’ll take your advice on board, and will certainly give Mr Lambert’s channel a look! I already see the others.

  19. lydiakconwell

    I think extending your reach from a couple of problematic, corporate-owned sites to more problematic, corporate-owned sites is not the answer. Especially since many of them are owned by the same companies. The algorithms of TikTok seems to be favourable at the moment – as they were on both Facebook and Twitter – but I suspect that’s only to encourage more users. When they get big enough, they all seem to shadow-ban the wrong kind of content.

    My suggestion would be to join Mastodon which does not use algorithms and is a network of many websites federating. This means no single website can ever be in control of the entire thing. Thousands have been joining since Musk took over Twitter and quality of content has suffered a little. But it’s actually a really great and social place.

    You won’t get the same reach you might have had. You will definitely have to work at building up an audience. But in my eyes it’s exactly the right place for left wing accounts. To me however, the trouble is left wing commentators tend to be drawn by perpetually arguing with right wing shills on the bigger platforms. Or they think by announcing their opinions online everyday, they are doing activism.

    But interestingly, none of the comments above seemed to mention how they can guarantee to see your every post. Email alerts means a reader can receive unfiltered daily updates. So the answer to part of the problem already exists: encourage your readers to get email updates.

  20. kateuk

    I always read your articles but I don’t use Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media apart from Facebook. I don’t like watching videos as I have to use headphones for sound, I prefer to just read. I get email notifications of your articles and usually (but not always) see your posts on FB.

  21. Phil Whitfield

    While I like the music it’s a bit loud and distracting. Never been on social media so have always gone straight to your site, but maybe the future is in the short form video on your YouTube channel?
    There’s a great community on there as you well know and the more people doing that can only be a positive. Maybe, if you are able, give the audio/video thing a go like Max/Damo etc. It would be great to interact with you on that level. Your writing is excellent by the way and good luck!

  22. Peter

    Hi Mike, I think I read somewhere that due to TikToc the attention span of the younger generation is now about 30 secs. I would suggest you post very short and to the point videos which link to the more serious content. Personally I have no problem with the long form but I am 74!

  23. flttymartyn

    Facebook is continually shutting me down, giving me bans of up to 60,to 90 days whenever I criticise Starmer and Israeli crimes against Palestine and the Palestinians….I have one more day to go before my latest ban is ended….No doubt I am being watched closely by those who don’t want the truth to get out.
    Videos would be good,as long as they can be shared.
    Keep up the good work!

  24. darkfooter

    This is a great idea, I don’t bother with Twitter anymore but do watch YouTube videos, and I access your site via your well made emails.

    YouTube now uses 30 second ‘shorts’ like TikTok, could be useful, they’re addictive too.

    Some criticism: the music is too distracting and that made it difficult to concentrate on the text or take in the information.
    But I watched again with the sound very low and only then I could read it comfortably.

    The text was badly laid out, e. g. ‘price cap’ was separated into two snippets. This doesn’t aid comprehension.

    Longer snippets of text, with a little longer on screen, and a voice-over (possibly from AI, like the screen reader) would be my preference.

    There are now new artificial intelligence apps that can create videos from text using a library or a convincing voice-over from a given text, with YouTuber techies enthusing about them. AI can even create the script itself with the right prompts. The recent advances in AI are a resource that could be used (and now by the not too tech-savvy) to massive advantage. Viva YouTube!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      These videos are made using an AI app but I don’t think it’s perfect just yet! Hence the issues with the text layout. The soundtrack was all my own fault, though.

      I’d prefer to have the images with no text and a voiceover but I don’t know where to go for that (yet).

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Wave video.

        I’ll look up Pictory but I’ve worked out how to do it in Wave now.

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