godix wrote:When I uploaded my latest video, I also put a direct link to megaupload for the thing. It's the exact same file, and the description of the direct download says that (specifically, it says "Same as local, just for those who don't wanna log in to download"). It's been about three weeks since then, so I just checked it's download stats. These will be a little skewed because, at my request, there is no preview of the video which drives a lot of views. Anyway, at the moment, it has 101 local downloads and 60 Direct downloads.
Now I realize this is just one video, without a lot of downloads, and with no preview. So it's hard to say much based on this, but still this strikes me as worth noting. When given a choice, roughly 40% choose to deal with megauploads crap rather than logging into the org. Since the two choices are identical files, things aren't skewed by different quality/format versions or some such. Based on this extremely limited data, I think it's pretty clear a significant portion of viewers do not want to log into the org to download/watch.
I have more data on this, which tends to support this thesis. The last four videos I've done have all been released with both .org and external links (indirect, not direct, since direct wants a link to the actual file rather than a page hosting it), for the following stats:
The closer totals are likely because these are for the most part pretty .org-unfriendly videos, and more of the traffic is coming from people who run across them from outside searches and don't have an account. Indirect only counts links clicked from here, not actual completion of the download on the external site.
I'm not so sure, though, that godix's conclusion isn't a solution in search of a problem. Obviously, there's a way to make your stuff available to general audiences, even if the implementation sucks (eventually, those links will die due to timeout or copyright claim and need fixing), even with the .org as it is. What this comes down to, essentially, is the question of whether we want to keep access to the reliable, consistent, local server as a member perk, or if we think more people will be brought into the conversation if it's open to just everyone.
The next stage is probably going to be releasing my next video, whenever that gets done, on direct on my own webspace in addition to local and indirect, to see how the inclusion of a legit external direct link to the file changes the numbers. Hosting is cheap enough these days that this may start to be a viable option again, at least for those of us whose works are profoundly unpopular.