Reply Fri 25 Sep, 2009 01:41 pm

I guess You Tube, or Google for that matter, isn't expected to demonstrate adherence to a particualry high level of ethics, but Google's corp motto is, after all, "Don't Be Evil."

Maybe there's just a technical glitch with their counter. Cool
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Robert Gentel
Reply Fri 25 Sep, 2009 02:24 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Not even a glitch this is likely caching by design. The same thing happens here on a2k. If we write to the database on every thread view there is potential for a bottleneck as two writes can't happen concurrently (at exactly the same time) and one will be delayed.

Most of the time this is not a problem as it can handle many per second, but with enough traffic the view counter becomes a single bottleneck. The way to solve it is to cache that value, and have a background process count up the views and update it.

Here on a2k, the views will sometimes be out of sync if the background process dies, but usually gets done within a minute. Try it for yourself, start a thread and see how long the views are reported to be "0" even though you've viewed it yourself.

In youtube's case it seems at least hours off sometimes.
Robert Gentel
Reply Fri 25 Sep, 2009 02:27 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Here, I found Google explaining it themselves:


An update on Video View Counts

Recently we have seen questions about why some YouTube video view counts "freeze" around 300 views. To help prevent confusion, we wanted to post a quick explanation of what's going on. View counts are extremely important to our community, so we work hard to ensure those view counts are accurate. Occasionally, when a video becomes popular quickly, it takes our computers longer to make sure those views are accurate. This means a video's viewcount may not update for several hours, sometimes allowing ratings and comments on the same video to climb temporarily higher than the views. So if you see your video views aren't moving, or that your video's comments and ratings are moving faster than your views, don't worry. If you're still getting views, the count should update soon.

Finn dAbuzz
Reply Fri 25 Sep, 2009 02:35 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Thanks Robert.

If it happens on this site, I'll accept it as a reasonable explanation for You Tube.

It means eventually the counter will catch up with the traffic so we'll see for sure.

Robert Gentel
Reply Fri 25 Sep, 2009 02:40 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
We don't delay it for hours, but we generally have smaller scale problems than youtube.

I know for a fact that this happens all the time on non-political youtube videos though. I see it every single day a few times. If a video makes it to the front page of a site like digg, reddit, or slashdot it invariably means tens of thousands of views but if it's a brand new video I almost always see the counter frozen in the 300s.

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
It means eventually the counter will catch up with the traffic so we'll see for sure.

The story is from yesterday so you can already see the updated view count, it's showing 435,169 views right now.
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