The Great War 2020 - Breaking Out Of The Hamster Wheel

Posted by Florian Wittig on

Dear Patreons, dear Great War fans, 

we are approaching the 7th year of The Great War on YouTube. In Internet time that is probably the equivalent of 70 years on air. The fact that we are still able to produce this channel is a privilege for us - especially knowing that there were moments where we were not quite certain if we could continue this journey. The Great War has been a success even though the people that originally had the idea for the channel didn't believe it would survive its first year.  The Great War is also a bit of an anomaly on YouTube 2020, and I am almost certain it wouldn't survive if we started the project again from scratch.

When we decided to continue The Great War in early 2019, we made the conscious decision to drastically change the format and to introduce a new host. We knew full well that this would mean less views, less revenue and even calculated that some Patreons would discontinue their support - which all happened. We are now a channel that has 1.2 million subscribers and only a small fraction of those actually watch our videos. For YouTube's algorithm that is poison. But you know what? We don't care anymore about YouTube's hamster wheel.

What we started in 2019, we will continue in 2020 and beyond. We will produce high quality, independent and in-depth history content, the kind of content that we would have liked to watch as kids or teenagers, the kind of content that TV didn't offer back then and surely doesn't offer nowadays. And if enough people support this endeavor that we can continue this production, we will proudly do so. We will not chase the next viral video, and we will not compromise our attention to detail and objectivity to make the videos flashier.

With all that in mind, we are working on a bit of a facelift for The Great War, so that these things are properly represented when people find our project. From the logo to the channel trailer, to the Patreon page. And we want to hear from you, our supporters and the reason that we can continue this channel, what you would like to see differently? What do you like, what don't you like about the current state of the channel?

All the best


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