Dear YouTube:


I have meant to thank you for the advertisements at the beginning of your videos for some time now, but forgot to do so.  Please forgive my oversight.  I was going to tell you that without your help, I wouldn’t be able to learn five seconds worth of information about products I don’t use or bought last week.  Some of them are really cool, because they gave me a chance to play “what is the thing being sold” before hitting the “Skip” button. Happy people in a movie-set looking colonial house laughing and cooking could be a set-up for so many product pitches.  Will it be a refrigerator?  Life insurance?  Healthy chicken?  Who doesn’t love a good mystery.  The game almost made me watch the whole commercial.


Out of respect for you, though, I didn’t.  I figured, since you had the skip feature so prominently displayed, you were selling the advertisers the first four seconds.  The mystery is why they made the commercials longer than the time before skipping.  I hear you’re working on that with the advertising people.  It must be difficult for you trying to explain things to old guys sipping bourbon and chasing secretaries around desks.  They probably still have flip phones and Sony Walkmen.  Is that the plural?


But, I go on.  And I know you are busy.  And I know I am supposed to get right to the point–even with praise.  It’s just that I have so much to say and wanted to write you earlier and I didn’t want you to think my affection for your company was new, and. . . oh, there I go again.  I’ll just start over.


Thank you for adding commercials in the middle of the videos.  Fantastic.  This is perfect for me.  Some people see to be complaining (like these people–LINKS), but you can dismiss them as haters.  You’ve got a friend in me.  I get so bored watching an entire two or three minute clip, I look forward to the break.  And who knows, maybe I’ll learn something.  Not being able to skip ahead to finish my video gives me the focus I lack otherwise.  Blame the fast-paced media.  You are reversing the trend, slowing it down a bit, and giving me the attention span I need to deal with the difficult world I will face.


To be honest, I missed ads.  It became so easy to ignore them on TV, I got out of the habit of watching them.  You at YouTube are always cutting edge, though.  You knew when I was tired of watching what was “on” and gave me the ability to create my own stream of entertainment.  You gave creators a space to share their vision.  Check those things off the list.  Now, you’ve innovated again, and re-introduced me to ads.


If it were appropriate to end a letter to a corporation with “love,” I would.  Since it isn’t, I just say. . .


Nostalgically Yours,