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Bow down to time-stamping YouTubers
For once, the comment section isn't trash
When you’re wading through all the nazis and nonces it can be easy to forget the internet can be a Really Good Thing, Actually™.
Mixed in amongst some of the worst people you’ll ever see are, surprisingly, some absolute mensches. People of honour. Of substance. Of style.
And, in this edition of The Rectangle, I wanted to take a moment to shout a section of them out: the people who comment with time stamps under YouTube videos.
Truly, you’re the best of us.
YouTube is undoubtedly the best place online for finding videos of live music, but I, a busy man, rarely have the time to trawl through hours of footage to catch a song or two. This is why our time-stamping saints are so important. They’re doing the hard work for us.
To me, it’s a glorious microcosm of what can make the internet so great.
One person has put in the effort to digitise and upload a music concert. Then, someone completely unrelated took the time to watch, categorise, and neatly tag the whole thing.
Not only does this require an in-depth knowledge of an artist (honestly, how many musicians could play a live show where you know every single song they play?), it’s also an act of pure selflessness.
What’s the reward for the time stamper? Some upvotes? A few thankful comments?
More likely, it’s the sense of having done something constructive, delivering a service, of bringing a smidgen of order to a chaotic world.
It’s enough to warm your heart — but also serves as a reminder.
Getting sucked into an endless cycle of negativity about technology and the internet is now so ingrained in us that it’s a gut reaction to almost anything that happens. Certainly, there are awful things going on in the industry, but that doesn’t obscure the fact there’s amazing stuff too.
For once, the people in YouTube comments aren’t the worst.