$10 000 dollars to encourage rational video makers! Your help needed.

We recently had David Silverman on The Magic Sandwich show, and I agree completely with him that above all, the conference scene should be FUN!

Fun like this!

I have great memories of our group singing of ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ at the end of that conference!  Telling ya, we have GOT to adopt that as our anthem!

Kinda difficult to have fun like that with the killjoy PC police telling you ‘your tshirt is too offensive‘ or ‘creates a sexualized environmental‘ or that  ‘fake jewelry is against the conference code‘.

We are responsible adults thank you, and do not need to be treated like children!


…..anyway, I digress.  However much fun conferences might be, they are effectively still a side show compared to the potential reach of the internet.  Lets keep it real: the internet is a place where religions come to die!

-New media is a game changer in a way that conferences never were, and likely never will be!

In this sense, I see it as vital that we maintain a strong internet presence on viral media.  Regrettably the secular/ rationalist community has a problem on youtube at the moment.  Established players have been slowly drifting away, and because the barriers to entry are so high, there are not being replaced!  To be honest, this is to me a far bigger issue than pretty much anything that is happening on the conference scene.

The way I see it we want people making good videos on a semi-regular basis.  But how to encourage this?

Well I actually care about this a lot!, and so I am going to put basically all of the donations I received from last year into a fund to encourage this ($10 000).

So how best to do this?  Well this is where I want your help, for many minds are better than one, and I have essentially no experience at doing this sort of thing.

So far my rough ideas looks like this:

The first thing is of course, while I will supply the prize money, I should detach myself from the judging.  So far Eugenie Scott, Elisabeth Cornwell and ZOMGitscriss have suggested that they would be willing to help out with the judging.  If you have any other names you would like to suggest, please leave them below.

I was thinking about three categories:

1) Merit grants.  This is basically giving money to established people who have contributed much for little reward.  Its just a small way for the community to say thank you for all you’ve done! I also think this would create a lot of good will among our established video makers.

2) Equipment grants.  This is for folks are happy to spend their time making videos, but think that its a bit much to have to spend their own money to make videos for other people to watch for free.  The solution is simple, buy them what they need, HD webcam, microphone, green-screen, etc. and everybody wins!

3) A video competition.  Youtube is becoming an increasingly competitive attention economy, and what is really needed is people who are making competativley good media on a semi-regular basis.  So I suggest that people get to submit their three best videos made over a period of 3 months with the winners taking home cash prizes, and getting their work featured on my channel etc.  We do our best as a community to bring new blood in that are making good videos on a semi-regular videos.

So what do you think?  Good ideas? How best to partition up the prize money?

That is, if you had $10 000 dollars to spend to invigorate the secular presence on youtube, how would you spend it?

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80 Responses to “$10 000 dollars to encourage rational video makers! Your help needed.”

  1. Ayame Sohma Says:

    Any chance of starting a Kickstarter project for this, Thunder?

  2. Vladimir Says:

    I’m sure there’s plenty of rational minded folks out there who want to make videos and spread our ideas but I don’t see how a new HD camera or a grant can bring them much needed views (which stops most of them before they even started). What if you use this money to set up and promote a channel where people can post their videos and reach out for thousands of subscribers. They could even receive some help with post production, editing etc. Once such channel in big enough there will be ways to monetize it and maybe share profits between contributors to motivate them even more. Just a thought…

    • Anonymous Says:

      A machinima for the secular community? TF would be the guy to start that i guess..

    • Danny Roberts Says:

      I would base it more on Phil’s channels and polipop.
      (Yes I am plugging the crap out of this – but its a solid idea)

    • PirateFish Says:

      The problem you refer to is, in my opinion too, a valid truth. But then there are also many on the sidelines who do have the ideas, the basic equipment and ability to produce good items, where this incentive may be just the thing to bring them off the sidelines and into the game.
      But even with that considered I think that with some moulding and some though you could be onto something. Off the top of my head logistics does become a concern though, because what you’re suggesting would need ongoing monitoring and administration to some degree, and even more so when you include the idea of post production assistance.

      However you slice it though, I think Tf00t’s initiative here (with some credit to David Silverman too for the idea) is a great move in a good direction, and I for one will eagerly await seeing the fruit produced from this labour.

    • Vladimir Says:

      Looks like this can be a good idea. I would contribute to such a channel without a doubt. I can do editing and graphic / web design. I thought about making videos of my own for quite some time but getting the views is a major issue. I guess I’m not brave enough to invest all this time and not get the audience. So working together is a logical way to go for us all. I think we should think about it :))

      • Danny Roberts Says:

        Well hey, I would be willing to try even without the foot. XD So feel free to message me. We would need some heavy hitters though… We should talk to Bob Smerfac. h
        e’ll try his best. XD

        • Duhon Says:

          I think you guys might be on to something, and I can say that I myself have had problems as well with creating content on my own. If you guys are seriously considering that idea and need some more help, I have skills in motion graphics and video post production that I would be willing to contribute. I have other skills and even equipment that may be useful too in a video setting but I think the motion graphics may be the most useful.

          • Danny Roberts Says:

            Sounds awesome. yah there seems to be a barrier whether real or imagined, but a group of people should be able to pull each other by the boot straps.
            My info is in the document feel free to add me on skype.

    • Vladimir Says:

      This will be pretty challenging and we better make sure that it’ll come out right cause it’s important. There will be other people posting here for the next couple of days, let’s see what they have to say. Maybe we’ll have more folks on board with this but after thinking about it for an hour I agree – we should try.

    • PZ Says:

      Fuck off you cum gurgling faggot! Ask thunderf00t for a rim job instead.

  3. Jon Says:

    I’d spend it on creative writers and directors who can make appealing content rather than give an enthusiast a new HD camera. I find sometimes with very academic types that they know their given field exceptionally well and cram it with so much content that they lose the edge of the context. It’s better to pay someone creative to sell the idea across a wider audience. A bit marketing and advertisey but one need not have been Caesar in order to understand Caesar.

  4. Danny Roberts Says:

    I wrote to you awhile ago with this idea. Just putting it out there again. I would love to see it happen for the Atheist Youtube community. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/27743524/Athiest%20Youtube.docx

  5. tardisguy Says:


    Where shall I post my ideas?
    And in what format?

  6. AnticitizenX Says:

    Think about dishing out the money in smaller sums. A chunk of $1,000 can go a long way for someone. That way you can reward 10 people with 10 decent prizes instead of one person with one huge prize.

  7. Adrian Says:

    Hi TF. This is a great idea. Have you considered FactvsReligion as a judge, or perhaps Zinnia Jones?

  8. tardisguy Says:

    Well here’s my take on it.

    [Goal]: – Stimulating honest and critical discourse on youtube media.

    Target Audience: The [most critical and most intelligent] are unlikely to want to [gamble]
    ==> And so a [Monetary Reward] Might not be the best option. Its a terrible incentive to creativity.
    —# However: They are likely to appreciate a semi-frequent chance at [fame]; To better get some of their (Potentially) good ideas out there.

    —&& How to structure that? Perhaps a “featured video”
    (or something the like, I dunno)

    In fact… *thinks*… Im quite sure that would be the most successful method.

    The money -> What to do?
    > My opinion on that is incomplete
    The only think im sure of is that you should* find an application that best supports the as so desired [cause]
    —-> But I somehow doubt you have the time to run a website.
    (Though that really would be the best option)
    –# Something independent of potential ‘legal abuse’
    and of course “Hypersensitivity”

    Anyways yeah, thats all I got for now.

  9. Baud2Bits Says:

    I have commented before that exposure is the greatest prize any Youtube poster could wish for.

    If I had $10K to distribute:

    Top of my head thoughts:
    A bi-monthly competition.
    Announced on the BIG channels.
    Producers – with less than [choose arbitrary number] subscribers, invited to submit their entries [must have three videos in past three months to be considered]

    Panel selects shortlist [how many?]
    Categories – possibly – open field would be simpler
    Shortlist then announced on BIG channels
    Simple Youitube “Like” count – perhaps unworkable

    $1k prize to winner

    End of year shoot out amongst the six bi-monthers.

    $4k to annual winner.

    All about exposure – with money icing rather than cake.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I think that a way to lower the ‘entry barrier’ for promising new talent, could be to synchronise the FEATURED VIDEO of all the major established players, showcasing a particular video. I think that committing 1 day every 2 weeks or so to this practice would really help with the replacement problem and reinvigorate our presence.

  11. Greg Gauthier Says:

    Why not use the money to start and promote a “network” for atheism/secularism? Some place where people who enjoy making media of all kinds: video, podcasts, presentations, etc. can post their material, and get a reasonable assurance that the broadest possible audience is going to see it.

    Right now, a YouTube channel is just, well, a YouTube channel. They get lost pretty easily in the sea of content that people are churning out all the time. Kind of like the situation BLOGS were in six or seven years ago: Everybody has one, so nobody gets read.

    If there were a place to go that was BIG, and well promoted, and well organized, like a “Huffington Post” — or hell, a NY Times — for philosophy, science, and secularist new media, I think that would go a lot further toward the goal of popularizing it, than simply encouraging yet-another-youtube-channel (as much as I personally enjoy them).


  12. Youtube: Scott UK Says:

    Just to throw another idea out there, why not use some of the fund in the following way:
    To inventivise more YouTube videos to be made on a regular basis of good quality, you hold a prize for top 3 athiest videos each month for a year, 1st place may get $100, 2nd $60 and 3rd $30 etc. If you mentioned the winners each month then a side effect would be that viewers get introduced to new content makers each month and this will help their view base increase. What do you think?

  13. Mike Cunningham (@MikeCunningha19) Says:

    Honesty , I can’t understand why you have not been offered a televised podcast , surely somewhere out there must exist a secular executive that would have no trouble funding such a thing , IDK , but there must be a solution , if I were wealthy , I know I would fund such a broadcast….

  14. Anyone74 Says:

    Quick thought:

    It seems that the greatest resource that we are not sharing are the secrets of how to make good videos. Having our best and brightest create videos on HOW TO CREATE GOOD VIDEOS would be the best way to get people to make better videos. And it’s free.

    Sure, someone can just turn on a web cam and jabber, but what makes for compelling videos? Perspiring minds want to know….

    BTW, 5 dollars of that 10K are mine! 😉

    • Anyone74 Says:

      Hmmm. No responses at all. OK, no problem.
      How about a question? What risks are there with teaching people how to make good, persuasive, atheist, videos? (I can think of a couple)
      If the best of us aren’t willing to teach the rest of us, how does that help our chances? (I have a couple of answers to that too!)

      But the basic idea of creating atheistic You Tube videos that teach people how to make better (if not the best) atheistic You Tube videos, I think is strong. 😉

      Isn’t that one of the intentions of “community”? If you keep it a secret, why?

      • baud2bits (@baud2bits) Says:

        The competition has been announced

      • alandeon2 Says:

        Well, I thought the same regarding the how-to videos until I did a search and found all sorts of people explaining how to better make and edit YouTube videos and a fancier home page and the like.

        Topic wise, it would be up to us to choose our topic and to try and sound convincing while speaking about it. Present FACTS and try not to be too condescending while replying to the delusional.

        I’d also say to start your video career replying to a creationist video with FACTS as to why he\she is wrong and why. Research before recording and review your video BEFORE you post it. Be prepared to be attacked and grow a thick skin. Spell check any text. Don’t record in your Pajamas or with food stains on your shirt (i.e. Look presentable) and keep the area behind you tidy in the video. People will criticize anything, no use giving them anything unnecessary to pick at.

        And be able to acknowledge when you are wrong on a point of fact and correct yourself when necessary.

  15. Michael Michalchik Says:

    TF there are lots of good skeptics, atheists, and science vloggers coming up and replacing the previous wave. They are just somewhat buried under youtube policies. If you gave a shout out to them it would help a great deal. Contact me if you want a list.

  16. Mike de Fleuriot Says:

    We do have a problem here, and that is all of religion, whatever flavour, has long ago been debunked and shown to be invalid. So most people coming new to atheism, will get pointed to the old videos, and this reduces the need for making new stuff.

    Maybe it is time for the movement to start thinking about rebuilding our library of knowledge, finding the best videos, and remaking them, cleaning up their points, and structures. For the science stuff, update them with the new research that is coming out. For those speeches with piss poor sound, ditch the audio, and have the speaker redo the audio again in studio conditions.

    Of course, WDPL and Foundational Falsehoods could do with a remake, as well as many of the other great series out there. There is a lot of good stuff out there, that just needs to be organised so that it carries the message even better.

  17. Patriarchae Persona (@noelplum99) Says:

    Got to applaud this particular venture. YouTube seems to have taken a bit of a dive the last year or so with regards to the atheist/theist debates.

    One aspect of this you can do nothing about: the opposition appears to have left the building. much of getting the atheistic standpoint across has been built on having theists making videos that we can get out teeth in to. As the theists have disappeared so the pickings have reduced for those of us who want to expose the holes in their reasoning.

    i think the three ideas you list above are all very sound and well needed. It appears that almost all the big atheistic YT channels have fallen silent (other than your own and ones like TJ and Lacey green who rarely, if ever, discuss atheism). I think this has been a double whammy effectively because not only do we miss their videos and perspectives but we also miss the shoutouts and sponsoring which is what made tiny channels into small channels; small channels into medium sized channels; medium siz…. ok you get the picture!
    Since I returned in May I have tried myself to give a fair number of shoutouts and recommendations but my reach is pretty small and with such an absence of channels the next size up, the way the ‘community’ used to pull itself up by its own bootstraps is simply not going to happen atm.

    i think this money may have some benefit but featuring winning videos on your channel, giving shoutouts and otherwise bringing people to the attention of your own subscriber base would probably do more than throwing any amount of cash at the situation imo.

    If i can help in any way get in touch, this is something that has been concerning me the last few months also.


  18. PZ Myers Says:

    Thunderf00t is a lying sack of shit

  19. Colin Morrison (@colmo_ni) Says:

    It’s a superb idea. One thing I’d like to see is a little more international spread – it is currently concentrated in USA and GB (probably for language reasons). I’ve spent the last year taking on creationists in N.Ireland (we have them in our government!), and the Republic of Ireland also has a fast growing secular movement, but as far as I know, no YouTubers of note.

    I have little experience of YouTube in other languages, but rational secularists posting or subtitling in Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Spanish and languages of other regions particularly blighted by religion and irrationality in general should be supported – and helped to maintain their anonymity too; I hardly need to say the names Alexander Aan, Hamza Kashgiri and Alber Saber for the reasons why.

    Noelplum has a point that the theists have largely been crushed in the secular west – the next step is taking on governments – the UK and Ireland are secularising fast, but anything to speed the process along would help.

    We’ve picked the low-hanging fruit, time to get a step-ladder for the next branches up.

  20. mikmik Says:

    I have already been considering a sort of catalogue of feminists techniques and arguments, based on some sort of data mining, to find out the ratio of unreasoned and illogical method, a list of fallacies they employ, and how often.
    It can form the basis of a ‘teaching video’ on skeptical thinking: What skeptical thinking is, and what it isn’t.

    Their actions and reasoning is packed with every kind of tactic that fanatical zealots employ, like the NRA, Tea party, young earth creationists, and also the techniques of fascism.

    I haven’t given much attention to examples of the last one, but I am starting to notice this.

    The big revelation that will tie this all up together, IS THAT I WILL COMPARE THEIR NEW FEMINIST MOVEMENT TO THE START OF THE FIRST ONE IN THE 70’S.

    They are using the behaviors of the most radical arm of the of the first ‘consolidation’, represented by Andrea Dworkin on the extremity.
    Another chapter will be devoted to examples of the infiltration of ideas that are contrary to feminism, yet are driving features of the movement today. I’ll let you guess what that is with a concluding quote:
    “Radical feminism opposes patriarchy, not men. To equate radical feminism to man-hating is to assume that patriarchy and men are inseparable, philosophically and politically.”

  21. Jonas Samuelle Says:

    Why not embrace more mediums? (no, not by hugging a psychic) Youtube, Twitter, Fb, etc, aren’t the only forms of expression accessible worldwide. Promote the work of atheist artists, even the work that’s not specifically about religion. I’d been an atheist and a writer for years before realizing that great writers like Ian McEwan and Martin Amis had long since been reinforcing their works with very matter-of-fact secular content and ideas. The mainstream success of these works gave me great hope for people agreeing with concepts of secularism, provided it’s not approached so directly.

    Atheists are still seen as outliers and fanatics, defined and limited by our atheism. It’d be good to point out all of the pursuits we have where our lack of belief is incidental, though it may play a (positive) role in our methods or style. We should demonstrate (through the showcasing of non-religious-specific works by doubters) that in a rational world, atheism is normative-even in the realms of art and metaphor.

    It seems to be very effective when our lack of faith is shown to be not just congruent with reality, but embraced by millions of those who spend their lives and make their money on surreality, metaphor, passion. You know, all that stuff some folks call “spirituality.”

    Let’s talk about novels, paintings, music, plays that have been composed, created or put-on by doubters. Not just because we’d like the sales (and we would) but because it demonstrates we have all the passion, creativity and “rapture” of believers, just with a few less bad ideas.

    • mikmik Says:

      You are correct! “but because it demonstrates we have all the passion, creativity and “rapture” of believers, just with a few less bad ideas.”

      Yes, I have wanted to do something along these lines as well. I thought this contest was about the feminist thing, but that’s just the particular video I saw this at.

      Excellent idea. Thanks, Jonas Samuelle!

  22. alandeon2 Says:


    I’ll tell you what stops me if that helps. (aside from my monkey face)

    How to choose a topic that is relevant.

    My crappy webcam.

    How to edit and bring some flash to their vids. Software lessons and/or tutorials

    *I’m Not actually afraid of getting ignored but possibly getting inundated with replies which I might not have a clear answer to right away thereby taking up my free time out of an obligation to reply thoughtfully (or with a massive “fuck you”).

    *Having a wife that keeps telling me to “get of the YouTube thingy and fold the damn laundry 😉

    *Of course, being wrong about something I’ve said. I’m ok with being wrong at times but IF it happens too often I’d begin feeling like an ass and might back off before getting better at it. (You guys wouldn’t be able to help any ineptness on my part, that would all be on me).

    *I suppose the obligatory research time I’d need to put into each topic before opening my big mouth to the world.

    *real world repercussions.

    *Real name or change my account to a pseudonym?

    *MOST importantly, how to NOT get a DMCA against me.

    The giving money for hardware and software thing I think is pretty good. I’ve seen some awesome posters who have shitty webcams and no software to edit and improve them. Seeming more professional to the masses might encourage people to try and step up their game and produce better products. It would be a confidence builder to some.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    you rock thunderfoot

  24. Anonymous Says:

    In my humble opinion i would be very, very, very interested in the Equipment Grant. I’m a Philosophy Major and i’ve always wanted to try my hand at making Youtube videos but all I have is an absolutely horrible laptop webcam/mic. I’ve never started making videos about my work because I reason that if I can’t stand to watch videos with horrible production value, then why should I expect anyone else to do the same? I’m on a college students budget and every penny counts. I’d be happy to put a lot of time into making videos for free if it were on even a cheap, but not horrible camera with a mic that actually mess with the audio on. Anyway, regardless of anything, i can say (by induction) that there must be countless others out there in my position. Love your stuff, thank you for all you do.

    • tardisguy Says:

      Equipment grant is great, but also, You can learn to use your phone as a webcam (on your computer) which would help you make videos.

      Works for a start.

  25. stonedcommander Says:

    May sound like a bad idea but maybe give some Christian a small amount of cash so he or she can use it making a video from a religious standpoint. Would show your fairness and would give someone a chance to make a higher quality video or series with your donation. Either way its a nice idea that this money is being spread to others. Good luck.

    • PirateFish Says:

      You mean like give some of the money to people al la ShockOfGod and VenomFangX?
      Yeah, then you could ask your local church to make a donation to the Secular Students Alliance, to help them fund billboards on campus. Maybe get your local synagogue to help fund a project at the Creation Museum. And maybe the Salvation Army will sponsor a float at the next gay pride day parade… That would just be the fair and nice thing for all of them to do to spread their money around too. /end sarcasm.

  26. Bighairyninja Says:

    I would be interested in doing this as well, the only problem I see is the originality of a video. I f you look at YouTube most concepts and ideas have been posted by other skeptics, so finding an original idea to focus on is difficult. I can’t help shaking the feeling whenever I think of posting something it is in some way plagiarizng another youtuber

  27. JediVerse Says:

    I think hardware grants are the way to go. Relatively cheap way to get the most amount of people making videos. To facilitate this, if some of the prominent atheist youtubers could let us beginners know what hardware you use and what software to edit, and maybe a short how-to to get us going, that would be good too.

    In terms of video ideas, I have thought for a long time it would be great to have a series of videos which refuted Christianity biblically. This is the only authority most Christians recognize. Most of the best arguments for the a-historicity of Jesus are biblical. They know all the scriptures, they just haven’t considered them in this way before. I think it is the best way to wedge the door of reason even slightly ajar for a bit.

  28. U5K0 (@U5K0) Says:

    I have a suggestion for the 3rd point, the video competition. I thought it would be best to make it an Xprize type thing where prizes are awarded for achieving an objective ambitious benchmark to the first second and third person who does it.

  29. 12i0t Says:

    I don’t know how to say it but: “Dude you ‘ve gotta watch this video.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=vp8tToFv-bA

  30. Daniel Newman Says:

    The student Humanist society that I’m a part of would probably be interested in applying for an equipment grant if you offered one, we could use the camera to record our talk and maybe get some society video making going

    • GMS Says:

      I think this is a great idea you’ve hit on!

      While giving equipment grants to individuals would probably be useful, giving them to organizations–particularly student groups which can expect a continual inflow of new members–can be expected to have a larger impact. Instead of just one individual benefiting from new equipment you’d potentially have dozens of people, current and future, access it not just for youtube but also reaching out to people in their real-world college.

  31. Captain Disillusion Says:

    I would like to nominate Captain Disillusion for a merit grand. I’m told that he is really talented and handsome. And every bit as good at making videos as he is bad at business. In other words, very.

  32. R. L. Culpeper Says:

    I have been considering this for a while. I’d like to make my research available to people through Youtube videos. As it stands, I maintain a blog so I’d essentially reproduce my writing in videos. I say this because I don’t think there is a lack of willingness, nor desire within the greater atheist / secular / skeptic etc. community. I think we lack a unified front, if you will. Sure, there are various projects that all offer opportunities and sponsor events for likeminded people to participate in; but I rarely hear of them. When I do hear of them, it’s usually only a few days prior, or in most cases, after the event has occurred. Would it be too excessive if you used the money to simply promote similar causes by way of a comprehensive website? A website that promoted different organizations, listed event dates and locations, featured independent writers, vloggers, and public speakers, etc.

    I see this as more viable and possibly more valuable than offering someone a new HD camera or software. I mean, how are you to decide on something like that? Wouldn’t the person need some of that to begin with in order to choose them anyway?

    You could use a site like this to showcase new Youtubers as well, so it’s a win on multiple fronts. Anyway, whatever you choose I will certainly support.

  33. GMS Says:

    It looks like one of the barriers to making youtube videos is lack of viewership. Although it would likely help established makers more, I do have an idea to bring in new views–assuming it is workable.

    While it is good to give shout-outs, that basically just recycles viewers. Some new guy would benefit from TF’s subscribers learning about him, but I’m guessing anyone who subscribes to TF already knows about AronRa. Why no try to grab new people through google or youtube search results?

    I don’t know how google decides how to order search returns, but I know it can be shaped to some extent and there used to be companies (claiming) they could sell you high google returns.

    What if we could get high google returns for youtube videos?

    Can you imagine searches for Elijah and the bears/2 kings 2 returning Brett Palmer’s excellent video series about JP Holding’s nonsensical excuses for it? Imagine if searching Noah’s Flood on google (or even youtube) put a Potholer54 video in the top 3. How many potential new viewers could that bring in–viewers who ever set out to search for an atheist video–?

  34. Edd Says:

    Well, I have just been thinking about the internet.

    It is the game changer here. It seems to me that whenever you can replace a physical thing with its electronic version you get a huge increase in its general supply and this feeds demand.

    Take youtube for example. If I had wanted to watch a video on critical thinking, or see the colour of sodium vapour I would have had to be lucky enough to find a full scale documentary in a library, or attend some class, conference or similar event.

    Well all these different people, seem to be interested in conferences or public and live debates. The reason being they generate cash, and that cash can be used to pay the bills as well as support the movement by arranging further conferences, debates, book tours you name it.

    These conferences can in principal be replaced electronically too. I know this has even been done to some extent with stuff like ‘the magic sandwich show’ but I think it could be taken significantly further.

    Who wouldn’t want to attend for a small fee a live conference with lots of big names. The money generated can be used to pay for interesting people who would be at them. If you put the cash into making sure that it was all done with the maximum production values for everyone in the show, you could soon have an effective revenue generating non-profit pro-scepticism object which would facilitate furthering the movement itself.

    Anyways, thats my idea.

  35. Chad Says:

    I would say to start a charity. The experience that cemented my atheism was being right over the Mexican border in Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo and seeing whats happens to people who no one cares about when there is no state funding for the homeless, no food stamps, nothing. Many of the homeless are deported persons who lived in the USA since their infancy and do not even speak spanish.
    Secularists have a drive to help others and in my opinion are more prone to do so with “hidden intentions: than theists. I think that is important to show youtube and the world.

  36. Educated Gadfly Says:

    Why don’t you try promoting people being aware what Christians believe and understanding the variations in Christian theology; and I mean people being aware of men like Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Wesley, not like WLC. The issue of existence of God is trivial to the Christian religion.

  37. KP Says:

    This is such a great idea! You really wouldn’t even need money. There are many successful YouTubers who got their start by simply being mentioned by another YouTuber. You could simply hold a contest, and simply have prominent YouTubers such as yourself or zomgitscriss give them an extended shoutout. They’d gain thousands of subscribers and the community will be widened. The money could be an added benefit, but I honestly don’t think it’s necessary if all you want to do is promote rational thinking on YouTube.

  38. Anonymous Says:

    honestly, I don’t believe money is right incentive to go with. Thunderf00t, what was your incentive to do all these cool videos? And then think of videos from some whos incentive you would believe is money…

    • alandeon2 Says:

      I think everyone’s incentive is different. I don’t really know if it would help to compare.

      I do like what the AthiestHub is doing and like thier motivation for promoting Athiest video makers. Maybe they could get some promotion?

  39. King Tut (@AmirTut) Says:

    As an Ex-Muslim Atheist, I think this is a great initiative TF you’re taking.

    Anon (January 16, 2013 at 12:03 am): Who cares if one makes videos for the incentive of a financial reward so long as they contain good quality content does it really matter? And also its not just about being motivated by money, some folks as TF pointed out don’t want to spend/have money they can spend on equipment or software.

  40. siriusunrelated Says:

    Personally I am a fan of the first two, but would be happy with whatever you decide. I already try to up the quality of my videos by using my HTC smartphone, since it has the capabilities of shooting in HD, and I have purchased video editing software to help as well. It just all comes down to creating more content, and getting it out there.

  41. Tim Says:

    The problem with youtube is that there is no ability to browse categories to find new material that looks interesting.
    This is why unless a new video maker is publicised by someone I already watch, I am not likely ever to know they exist.
    I dont see any of the 3 suggestions would address that.
    If I had 10 grand to spend, I would set up a youtube channel dedicated to publicising and bringing to attention new and interesting content providers and podcasters to mirror their work, with an associated website to provide category search for subjects of interest. This would then need to be publicised and supported those already popular for it to have any impact of course.
    The way youtube is these days people dont want to subscribe to channels unless they are really something special. To bring new content in to one secular, science and educational content would be a huge plus.

    • Tim Says:

      to add –
      Ive read a few of the comments above now, and I see a few people are of the same mind as me…
      I hadnt heard of the Atheist Hub before, but yes thats the right kind of idea IMO.
      I wouldnt do it quite like that … I would include mind enriching material beyond atheism too (god dosnt exist, ok, now what) science, philosophy (i know, yuk) the humanities etc …plus you want to bring in people who maybe dont consider the atheist label fits…
      But yeah, thats totally what I would do with 10 grand and a few willing volunteers

  42. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve seen ExtentDodo, Donexodus2, cdk007, and for a while c0nc0rdance was gone.

  43. MumblingMickey Says:

    Yeah thunderf00t you undersell yourself…which I might understand can be done easily since you might think we can all work things out really easily.

    I’d rather not have your money. Not sure I need that… I can’t think of how I’d use it, I have a camera, I can get a green screen (I think) .I can use Vegas Pro and I have no educational barrier to entry… I have all scripting languages, use php and Jsp, Can set up an adwords campaign with tracking in an hour or so…

    Educationally Amazon appears so regularly on my CC bill that my wife would be shocked if she didn’t see it up the top. This on top of qualifications in computer science and physics. In fact the phrase ‘Mick can you get all these books out of here bythe time I get home’ is such a regular occurrence I’m considering having the attic reinforced to cope.

    But what I would like… which is worth more than the entire 10k fund is your advise… And if I got that… then I wouldn’t have any problems producing vids that are content rich, knowledge filled on many subjects and above all educational.

    That’s what most of us need from you guys… forget about the money for the most part… All many of us need or want from you and others is to help us and advise us… We don’t know as much as you do…. And we would rather not repeat all your mistakes.

    At least thats the only thing stopping me from producing a plethora of vids on everything from the discovery of tPNA to basic questions of philosophy.

    Just your personal input… not your money.

  44. siceneandshit Says:

    I would absolutely love to do this! it would be a great way to get people interested who haven’t tried to put out videos to people. Just wondering what kind of stuff you are looking for in the video’s do they all have to have some sort of link to science? just wondering cause you asked for top 3 videos (not that i have any) but never left any requirements for video content

  45. JohnVal Says:

    Hello Thunderf00t.

    for market research purposes: I found this link from “why feminism…”.

    Uses for the cash – I have many suggestions for you:

    Nominations for Youtube work (cash prize)

    Potholer54, Darkmatter2525 (Darkmatters’ comedy series is funny)


    Potholer54 uses a lot of scientific papers for his debunking vidoes, maybe some of this cash can be used to purchase them?

    Business idea:

    Chris Hitchens coined a phrase on the “God is not great” release. The phrase was “…can be purchased from all good book stores”

    The idea is to start a rental library/bookshop called “All good book stores” that sells secular media and acts as a memorial to him. If profits are sustained then additional funding can be used to promote similar prizes to this.

    Hope you are well and please continue to post


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  49. Charles Says:


    I have recently been shocked to see the level of ignorance within certain communities regarding topics that I felt were covered in high school (30 years ago now).

    As such I am working on putting up a demonstration of evolution on a public website for anyone to be able to manipulate their own little plant filled world.

    Would you be willing to correspond with me in order to fine tune my model?

  50. David (@sourblaze) Says:

    Hey thunderfuckface, where’s the rest of the winners for this year?

    Where’s the rest of the money?

    You’re a fucking goddamned thief.

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  52. nagerst Says:

    I love your videos, and i am especially pleased with the “Why does People Laugh at Creationists” Series. It pains me that i can no longer comment on videos due to the stupid “Google minus” crap as i refuse to use any Google products since early November. Much love!

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  54. Sofie Liv Says:

    I wonder if I would qualify for any of this.

    I’ve been making videos for a couple of years, some of them about womens role in my favourite medias, which are indeed fantasy movies and comic books.
    And right now I am SICK to death of such people as Sarkeesian whom tries to speak for me while I simply do not agree with her messages. I am actually someone whom changed my mind about her, at first I felt sorry for her, no I feel decieved.

    In responds I started to review games, another part of geek culture I have enjoyed in moderation and have been looking for an excuse to get a bit more into.

    My show and my work works as an exploration journey, I started out with little in knowledge and then went to explore gaming in all of its aspects going for the as wide a marked and as broad an perspective as possible, as I couldn’t help but notice the current talks about games seemed to be incredible one sided and only focused on an extremely small spectrum of gaming. So I am trying to go over Indie games as well as AA games, new games as well as old games, and already now I feel like I gained a whole new perspective… And the more I get into it and explore it, the more bullshit people like Sarkeesian sound.

    All though since my show is made with minimal exspenses, everything comes out of my own pocket, there are some short comings.
    What I particularly would like would be a stage lamp for better lightning and then of course there are other exspenses cropping up.

    Well, my youtube account is here.
    I only recenly tried to move my stuff from Blip to Youtube since Blip is pretty much dead these days, therefore there aren’t many videos on my youtube account, but I am slowly updating.

  55. Re-Energising YouTube Atheism: What Can Be Done? - Skeptic.live | Skeptic.live Says:

    […] https://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/10-000-dollars-to-encourage-rational-video-makers-… […]

  56. John White Says:

    I’m a relatively new deconverted Christian who would consider making videos or helping in some way but I’m not up on debate. Call me a newbie, a neophyte but I’m not convinced that I could be the strongest voice. I’ve worked on a podcast in the past so I’ve done audio editing. Plus, I have a face made for radio so I’m in no hurry to be on camera. I am prepared to help in anyway I can. Too many atheists are falling into the hole of Atheism + and those of us who still think for ourselves need to make some serious noise.

  57. Satyajay Mandal Says:

    so bad

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