said 6 months ago:
That’s what I thought when I first looked at it, but after researching a bit more and actually trying it out one day, I realized that, like all tools, it depends on what you do with a tool that determines whether it’s “blackhat,” meaning underhanded or cheating, or not.
Three things changed my mind about it.
One, I’m not buying views and I’m not trading them either. I turn on Vagex on a computer I don’t use and let it run. Like I said, I’ve been discovering tons of stuff I NEVER would have had I not watched… products, services, businesses, links I save, really great music from unknown artists, cool stuff. It would take me 20 time longer to search or even just scan through, click on a vid, watch, then go to another one if I did this manually. It’s more like watching a TV channel or radio station. They’re doing the programming, but that programming consists of videos supplied by its users. When something’s awesome, I reach up and click like, share, etc., just like when I do that manually. I actually LIKE watching this Vagex Channel, if you want to call it that. It’s a continual playlist of user generated content.
Two, the credit you get for suppying them with their free content is not a one to one equal exchange. It’s tiny, but you do get some credit. Let’s say in an hour I watched 60 one-minute videos, but only watched 30 seconds of each before I clicked to the next one. YouTube LOVES it when you at least watch half a video, the long the better, but half is good before people bounce.
I get only a portion of credits, maybe 10 to 30 credits. I think that’s the least they can do to compensate me for using “my” content. I know some people will “buy” extra credits. To me, that’s blackhat and I won’t do that. Like I said, it’s what you do with a tool that makes it blackhat or not. The marketers I (and you, whether you realize it or not) compete against are using this and other tools like it to garner top spots on YouTube and, because of the YT/Google connection, the top spots on Google (vids come first, above your articles most of the time). To NOT use it in a fair, whitehat way is to not take advantage of a fast-growing TV channel (like YouTube) that is collecting a huge following.
Three, Firefox has added a special app to its toolbar for using Vagex and Vagex gives almost double points for using Firefox’s app. That was an endorsement I couldn’t ignore. It also solved my problem of the new Google Chrome update totally destroying my ability to watch flash videos in Internet Explorer. There’s no direct FIX and it can’t be undone… so far. THAT, to me, is definitely BlackHat on Google’s part.
Since the Google Chrome debacle, I’ve reevaluated just how deep I want BigG’s tentacles in me and my business. I already use Foxfire more on my Mac, but I decided to start using it on my laptop PC now, too. The minute I did, that’s when I discovered Vagex works like a charm on Firefox.
I think most people here realize I lean so far over the “do-the-right-and-lawful thing” side of business that I tend to go totally ballistic over people touting blackhat ways or copy-cat copyright thieving. They usually describe that side of me as… uhhhhh… passionate, lol.
However, my initial gruff impression of Vagex changed when I used it in a very whitehat way… and to my great benefit. It’s not the technology that’s a problem. It’s not the system that’s a problem. Buying views IS a problem, and if I were Vagex, I would quit selling views as that will surely be their demise. I, personally, would hate to see that happen.
But rewarding me for watching YouTube videos on their site is not blackhat. Those videos are getting real views… my views… I’m watching. I do other things while I watch, just like I do with the TV on and the radio on. Same kind of view Neilson Ratings Service credits when we fill out their little forms. Seems to me they pay us to fill out their little forms during those weeks we watch TV and participate in their studies, don’t they?
The return I get? I get to submit a video for others to view… a specific number of viewers then view my video… and those viewers do whatever they want to with that. I’ve never requested anything other than views, though I often get likes, favorites, and shares from those who watch my videos. I guess I could check those other boxes and request that to happen, but I don’t. I wanted to see what happened just by having others view. They react in the same way any other viewer does… sometimes that like and share, and usually just about at the same rate. I will say I get a higher number of actual channel followers from viewers when I run a video on Vagex. That tells me someone’s watching, just like I do, and acted beyond what I asked them to do… which was just watch.
So for me, I’ll keep using it, now that it works again using Firefox’s toolbar app. To not even check this out, however, because it’s “blackhat,” may be a bit naive at best and a gross distorted misunderstanding of the function of the tool at worst. It may also be an indication of the level of YouTube knowledge and understanding one has of how to actually make money on or through YouTube. Vagex is strict. If you run a YouTube video that you’ve monetized with YT’s adsense, you are permanently banned from Vagex. No second chances. That is definitely cheating YouTube’s advertisers and neither will stand for it.
Would I buy fake YouTube views? Absolutely not. Vagex views are NOT fake; they’re real views. Would I pay for those real views? Absolutely not.
Do TV stations pay for the content they broadcast to their viewers? Yes. Does YouTube pay for the content they broadcast? No. But they do allow content owners to share ad revenues they sold to advertisers. Vagex doesn’t share money with content providers, but they do credit the time/views you invest in their “channel” by likewise encouraging others in their network to view your video content. I think that’s extremely fair.
If YouTube ends up banning Vagex users for “watching YouTube videos” without payment, then there’s plenty of room and plenty of legal precedence for the legal types to jump right in and object to this whitehat practice in a huge way. What YT does with those who pay… well, whatever’s fair… more power to them. That would surely help ME beat my best competitor… who actually wrote a book about the experience. He paid. I didn’t. He won. I didn’t. He made money. I didn’t. We both used Vagex. Out of hundreds competing, it all came down to buying those extra views.
So when anyone says to me they don’t know if Vagex views or buying extra views makes a difference to a business… pleeeeeeease… that tells me they don’t work on or with YouTube for money or any other type compensation, unless they’re faking it with local clients just to impress them. People love to imagine what they don’t really know, I guess. No offense, but THAT sounds pretty blackhat from my viewpoint.
Guess we all see things differently. It would be a pretty boring world if we all saw things the same, lol.