There was a time you could help us make this HUGE. It is now

The 2006 movie “Lucky Number Sleven” begins with Bruce Willis saying, “There was a time.” I’ve been thinking about that one moment and that line for a few weeks now. It comes to mind every time I get an update from Logan about product reviews. There was a time when he got to do creative stuff. Really out there stuff that people loved to watch. There was a time when he got to play video games and talk about that. There was a time when he got to do more than sit at a desk for 16 hours a day and there was even a time when exploring a new product was fun. But that time is dwindling when it is being burned off at both ends.

Back at the end of March this year when I was talking to Logan about helping him with sales and marketing, what intrigued me about working for Tek Syndicate was risk and the big picture. Logan is a big picture leader, and more importantly a risk taker simultaneously. I have worked for a few start-ups that were run by risk takers or big picture seers, but not both.

Some take risks because they are looking for big payoffs with minimal effort. Their mentality is, “If I just get through this hard part of taking the risk, my rewards will roll in on the easy train.” Purely big picture seers or visionaries, only see the completed product. They live in a fantasy world where the big picture comes to them with little risk or work. They are in love with a dream and no real idea how to make it reality or are too scared to take the risks necessary to push it into reality. Both start businesses with no plan, no capitol, no 5 year projections, and no market analysis. None of the things that are the essential scaffolding of holding the damn thing together. Just a picture or a lottery-ticket-purchase-like-risk of capitol.

Wendell is really the scaffolding. I am like the bridge between the scaffolding and the creation underneath being crafted one idea at a time by Logan, Qain, and Pistol. Sometimes I feel like the job foreman, coming around to check the structural integrity of the thing being created and then reporting back to the scaffolding how it’s all holding up. Lately parts of the creation aren’t being made up to spec. Due to a shortage of human resource and burnout on the subjects, some of our creation quality is starting to slip.

Here we have a conundrum that we really need our community’s support on. Support in the way of feedback. Support in the way of loyalty. Support in the way of leaving if what we’re doing really isn’t working for you. We want our community to grow and flourish, but we’re not so selfish to believe that we can meet all needs at all times. That turns into a situation like what we have now.

Right now we need community members in the Seattle area to reply to Logan’s post:

We also need you to tell us how you feel about our content. We are going to continue to put product review videos on the separate hardware channel. The main channel is going to grow into something more. Something more human interest/tech driven. What would you like to see?

We have a big picture and are willing to take a lot of risks. A tree with roots and many branches. Then our members can sit under it and say, “There was a time Tek Syndicate was just a YouTube channel.”


To me, Tek Syndicate has always seemed like a platform for deep learning, mostly on the platforms of science and tech: "Raze the World with Knowledge." Probably my favorite videos you guys have done are not the product reviews or even some of the tutorials (which I know can take a lot of work), but the interviews and tours, like the build video with Eric S. Raymond or the China videos. They aren't approached from that consumer sort of point of view that you get watching 99.99% of any targeted videos, but from that aspect of learning more about a certain industry than what you're told or what you assume as a consumer. I appreciate the time and effort that go into those videos, even though they may be the least "profitable" from a business perspective.


I joined the forums because I wanted to learn. I joined when it was RazeTheWorld, with another account that I've forgotten. I have learned an incredible amount of things, from tech to science, from good books to new vocabulary. I really enjoyed the tutorials and the build videos you all would do. The reviews were by far my favorite, because you all were the most unbiased source for product reviews when you did them. But, right now, my favorites are the traveling, interviews, gaming, tours of factories and your own facilities, and the Linux videos. On the main channel, I would like to see more tutorials. I loved the old tutorials. They were super informative, and just packed with information and energy. I think they need a comeback.


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I love what you guys have been doing ever since I discovered ya'll on the Youtube. Helping with video editing and such would be great, but I live in PA so that wouldn't work. I hope to see you guys hire some new people to help with the work load, and take the pressure off of Logan and the others. Keep doing what you're doing! But Logan, chill out and stop interrupting Qain or Wendell :)

I personally like the tutorial videos and the news via the TEK. It's just fun to listen to you all. You make more technical subjects seem less intimidating while goofing around which is nice. I also appreciate the stance you guys take on a lot of the unethical practices of tech companies. Boldly stating to not buy Apple products won't win you any popularity contests and I thank you for that.

I think there is room for improvement of course. I think a more structured approach to content might be helpful to lessen the load on people like Logan. I don't know what the workflow is like for you guys' videos, but less is more when it comes down to it. It may seem boring, but having a todo list of what subjects you want covered and a schedule for release might help if that's something you guys aren't doing. Maybe narrowing your Youtube network's focus down a bit might help a bit as well. You all probably do this anyway, but I'm trying to be helpful.

I will say that I was excited when TekLinux was started. I think you have a great opportunity with that channel if you do it right. Linux isn't really the hand-holding type of OS, but offering a series on part selection, getting started, and up through daily use would be a great asset. I think a lot of users are looking for a way to not only gain more technical knowledge, but to free themselves from some of the craptastic practices from companies like Microsoft and Apple. Coupling that with more focus on Linux gaming could help change the landscape of which OS is the preferred gaming platform.

Lastly, videos like tutorial on applying thermal paste the Kentucky way are priceless. Those kinds of videos are great.

Hope this is somewhat helpful.

If it weren't for stumbling on Logan and Qain's video on making a pfSense router I wouldn't have delved into the networking realm and built my own firewall. And I most certainly wouldn't have been as up to speed on hardware as I am these days. It really is all thanks to you guys.

The borderline tinfoil hat topics, and even the full blown ones, are always great to listen to. I never used to take it seriously when I was younger (and a LOT dumber) but Logan, Wendell, and Qain have all managed to connect the dots so I can tear away at the wool that was pulled over my younger self's eyes.

I agree with @blacktooth, the video on applying thermal paste the Kentucky way was a riot and it's still my favorite shenanigan video to date along with the inebriated version of WASD at 2014's QuakeCon. Personally I would love to see more shenanigan videos every once in a while (e.g. once every month or two) if time, energy, and the right inspiration permit.

Very sadly I'm on the opposite side of the country and I wish there was a way I could lend my help to you guys. If there ever is a need for work that can be done remotely I'm all ears.

That all being said I absolutely love the dedication that the entire Tek Syndicate team (read: Team Tek) has put in and all of the personalities that appear in every video. Tek Syndicate indeed did just used to be a YouTube channel. Now it's becoming a thriving community. Tomorrow? Well ... the sky's the limit really.

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This was one of the first videos I watched on the channels and it struck me as something that no one else seems to be doing. 95% of linux videos on youtube are just comparing how easy it is to change background images on one distro or another. As a professional programmer who is stuck in a very closed Windows world (client environment specifically) I want to see how other professionals actually use linux and other systems carrying out their everyday work. So please lets have more ESR videos (as promised??) and more information on realworld use of these techs, rather than an unboxing or "best $4,00 gaming box" video.

Keep up the good work!! hbPhil (London, England)

Keep everything just as it is and do more. The casual but not really inappropriate videos are perfect. I'd like to bring up a competitor in this situation - LTT. I'm not going to compare them by community size (no wars here), but only by their videos and the community experience on the Tek Syndicate side that has been demonstrated to me).

  • First let me cover how they produce videos so quickly. They only have a few people actually making content (in front of the camera). The rest are either behind the camera or editing. They've grown to the point that they can push out at least one video a day by having one person produce content, one person film, and everyone else edit. Of course, it isn't always this way, but it is for most of their reviews. Of course, don't go and hire four people at once, but this is definitely a model to grow on. I'm also not saying that only a few people can be reserved for be in front of the camera, but rather that everyone's job has to be editing as well as being in front of the camera or filming.
  • Be funny and keep it obvious when you're going to do it. LTT has they're own separate shenanigans channel. It is uploaded to regularly and is separate from the main channel. The main channel's videos will eventually direct you there, but by subscribing to one you won't both. I like how it is similarly for the Hardware and other Tek content. Honestly, I don't care to watch every single GPU review.
  • LTT is very very good at keeping you tuned in. In every video they do the following:
    • Have a short enough to not bother skipping but long enough to capture my attention sponsered ad at the beginning of every video after a quick summary of the video.
    • Ask to like the video in anticipation of a later video. This vote system is probably useless and isn't actually used, but it definitely pull in more likes (they've probably already filmed the video when they say to "drop a like" for it).
    • Sometimes a longer worth skipping ad at the end
    • A dedicated message at the end with visuals saying to like, subscribe, and donate.
  • LTT is often too casual. I often wouldn't feel comfortable showing their reviews to some other people because they bring in inappropriate topics (like in their Apple Watch review). SUre, what they're saying is true and professional, but they bring in the wrong contexts. Tek Syndicate creates humor in a less slapstick to the extreme way that's still appropriate and still entertaining.

By no means go out and copy LTT directly. The Tek Syndicate community would not be what it is now if it had done what LTT is doing in their videos. This community is amazing. Everyone can speak freely about whatever they want however they want. Heck, I responded to a developer asking about how to set up GitLab. There's a separate forum dedicate to that that that person could have asked his/her question on, but this community is simple more attractive and prosperous. There's no constant "this is completely off topic" or "this is dropping you 30 points" or "you're not as reputable a source as him/her." There's no required commitment except to join and say what you want to if you even want to. LTT is simply more popular on YouTube because it's a whole bunch of young people making videos everyday and doing ridiculous things in them.

Tek Syndicate speaks for tech and tech laws both from professional and consumer oriented views. Tek Syndicate makes consumers into prosumers by informing them and showing them that there's a giant group of people who feel the same way. They said, "go try Linux," and people actually did. It's even more amazing that a community here is ready to help each and every one of those newbies with their Linux woes.

I actually turn off uBlock on Tek Syndicate because I care. Also, Wendell runs his own Newton server, so the ads aren't tracked to bigger companies (at least I don't think so).

I feel proud being a member of Tek Syndicate. One of my friends asked my what it was the other day when I mentioned it by saying, "what is it? A cult? That's what is sounds like!" :D

If you're looking for someone to write for the blog every once in a while about tech, networking, software, electronics, and etc of free, then PM me, but it doesn't sound like you need that right now.

Happy Tekking (after you read 779 words).

It's a shame I'm the other side of the pond, really. I would've loved to come pitch in by running around for TS.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I assume that they're currently trying to catch up with the back-log after moving office, the NAS dying, the trip to Hong Kong and the trip to QuakeCon. If so, I know exactly how that feels as I'm one of two people in my office handling the technical support of hundreds of customers per week (the total is in the many thousands but they don't all come in for support at once) so when there's any kind of change to the daily routine it throws everything out and we're clawing for days trying to get it back to a more manageable level. Undoubtedly, anything that frees Logan up will be a big help.

If that is indeed the case then people are going to have to wait one way or another. If you bring in an extra set of hands you have to train them up, which slows you down for the duration but speeds you up (hopefully substantially) later. That's the best-case scenario. It's tough making the call to do that because you have to cater for that additional member and, if they don't work out then that sets you back again and you have to start the process over.
Without the extra set of hands then the back-log is going to build up until you're either able to plough through some of the tasks or make some sacrifices for the bigger picture.

TS is a marvellous concoction of information and entertainment and that's a rare thing, which is why I decided to be a Tek Supporter. If I have to wait, I wait, but if there's anything that I can do, outside of showing my support, to pitch in and free the guys up in any way, shape or form I'm happy to help and I've no doubt plenty of others will too. I just don't know how that may be.

We always need blog content on hardware. We're trying to grow the main site into an editorial driven machine. If you have a passion for it, I don't mind editing any submissions. Let me know.

I've thought a lot about where Tek Syndicate is at right now, and it would take a long time for me to get all my thoughts out. My first thought is that you guys see one of the main problems, and that is personnel. (I would absolutely jump at the the opportunity to help out if I lived in the Seattle area. Unfortunately, I do not.) You need more help, but more than that, you need consistent and quality help. I think one of the reasons that LTT has been so successful is that Linus (and the team) has made some great hires. TS has a history of good people coming and going, and that isn't a bad thing, but it is the nature of the culture and mindset that this community attracts.

I'm already going deeper into my thoughts than I intended, but my short-term recommendation is to look toward local education centers for help. An internship program with a local college could be exactly what you need. Cheap help, predictable turnover, and a drive to learn and succeed from the right candidate(s). You could even do two interns: one from a film/production/design major, and one from an IT/CS degree.

I don't know if my ideas are way off the mark, but I thought I'd comment and throw it out there!

I'd like to see the tek as it is and always has been. I've been watching for a long time, and the Tek still is the perfect blend of politics, tech, and science. That's what got everywhere here in the first place for the most part, that and inbox.