VidCon PowWow

When I was a camp counselor we would gather with our cabins at the end of the day and go around the circle doing a powwow. The “pow” would be the low point in the day, something that was frustrating or disappointing, and the “wow” would be the best part of the day.

In an effort to organize my thoughts from VidCon in a way that tries to show that I had a fantastic time, but also recognize some of the “pow”s of the event, I’m going to go back to my roots and powwow my VidCon experiene.

DAY 1
POW: I was really frustrated with the availability on Thursday. It was “Industry Day”, which is a great thing to focus on, but as someone who was mostly attending VidCon for the panels it was annoying that there wasn’t much to do on the first day.
WOW: Since I had so much time on my hands, I signed up to get a free manicure from the HLN booth. While I waited for it I met some pretty fun girls, one of whom is an LA local and I’m hoping will become a friend.
I also had a great time wandering the expo hall and meeting a few of my favorite YouTubers by happenstance which was lovely.

DAY 2
POW: This was the beginning of #linecon. While I was able to get into all the panels I wanted, I know that was not the case for everyone. I think that if they learn from this year and have a better system in place next year a lot of nerves and frustrations could be saved. Having tickets for signings and knowing about where in the line to at least tell people that they probably wont make it in would go a long way.
WOW: I went to so many panels on Friday and took lots of notes. I love the feel of learning that I got from being surrounded by other people who are also interested in creating online video. Such an inspirational feeling.

DAY 3
POW: More lines today. Specifically getting into the convention center was a nightmare on Saturday morning. Security people were contradicting each other and I saw one threaten to take people’s badges away. Both sides need to come in with an understanding that this is going to take some time. Clear communication would have been a huge step in the right direction on this one.
WOW: Saturday I got to meet one of my favorite YouTubers, and wound up meeting a bunch of people whilst waiting for a party that I never did manage to get into. It was great to connect with some new people, especially since I had come by myself.
I’ll also say that a favorite part about Saturday was that I finally mustered up the courage to bring my long board after debating it all weekend. It was fun to have that transportation, it sparked a few conversations, and was just generally useful.

Overall, I had a great weekend and am definitely interested in going again next year. Maybe with an industry badge? That my employer pays for? #wishfulthinking

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The New World of YouTube

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As the market for web content grows, the offerings grow even faster. The top destination for web content is quite clearly YouTube. While typically media content is scripted, shoot, edited, and then sent out to consumers via movie theaters or television airwaves; YouTube works under a completely different premise letting the viewers also be the creators of content (see my explanation of how different types of content make money for their creators here).

Unlike movie, television, and some web content competition, YouTube is free to creators and viewers, and also available upon viewer demand. Wherever you want to watch a YouTube video, you can. There is very little filter of content, allowing for a great diversity of video topics, production, origin, and length. All together this content, made by amateurs and professionals alike, has grown into a company estimated to be worth $45 billion (source).

The question that arises when YouTube makes money from the content shared on their site is not weather they are allowed to make money, but how much of that money should be shared with the people who are creating the content that YouTube is profiting from.

Monetization is the process of making money off of a product or service, that otherwise wouldn’t provide an income. Some bloggers monetize by selling ad space in their sidebar. People pay a fee for a month or two and have their site mentioned in a post, and do a giveaway, ect. YouTube is a for-profit company, of course they’re allowed to monetize and make money off of their efforts, but the service would be useless without the creators who draw people in.

The best way to make money is to figure out the best part of your business and find a way to get people to pay for it. What matters on YouTube*? Views and comments. Those are the interactions that both creators and consumers of videos get the most out of. They may not be the most profitable interactions, but they are the reasons people want to be a part of the YouTube community.

How can YouTube make a profit off these? To be honest, I’m not sure what the answer is. Advertising may be part of it, and certainly will be for the foreseeable future, but I can’t help but think that a more engaging form of advertising will eventually be thought up.

Meanwhile, YouTube as a company, seems to have decided that Subscriptions are the be all end all of video making. Here’s the thing: YouTube can provide the space, but if they want to grow as a platform they can’t dictate how people use it. In fact, the more freedom they give, the more likely people are to use their service in a way that brings in more viewers and – ultimately – more money for the site.

There are two things that can be achieved by introducing paid subscriptions.

Thing the first: no advertising. I can especially see the value of this in kids content. If I was a parent I would be willing to pay for a kids content channel, knowing that I could let my kids watch it without worrying about raunchy advertisements.  Peace of mind is absolutely worth $5-10 a month.

Thing the second: A requirement that paid subscription channels be high quality and consistent. If I was guaranteed an awesome video once or twice a week I could understand a subscription fee. Web series come to mind such as the Lizzie Bennett Diaries or Crash Course. Channels where I know I am getting consistently awesome content are channels I would be happy to pay for.

But the majority of content on YouTube is made by people who are not relying on said content as their source of income. People who make videos for fun, who got an account to upload that one video of their cat on a romba chasing a duck. In an internet climate where the only way to get noticed is through big cross-platform social media campaigns, what is YouTube doing to draw the general population of viewers and creators? Not much.

Do you YouTube?  What kinds of channels would you be willing to pay subscription fees for?

*to those who are creating YouTube videos

This Will Be June 2013 Edition

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June is the real official start on summer in my mind. Until college I had never gotten out of school until mid-june, so to me this is where summer begins. In the past few years summer has been travel and bits of school. There are no big travel plans for this years so far, but I do have a few goals in mind for this month.

I have been thinking about what I want this space to be and I would like to pull this online home together a bit more. This will start with a new ‘About’ page coming soon, and I hope to continue with more focused content. My goal is that I can pull this together a bit more by the end of the month.

I would also like to shoot, edit, and upload two vlogs. See my first one here, and subscribe to my channel here. I kind of love vlogging, but am working on building it into something that I’m more ready to share with the world.

I’ve also been doing what I’ll call micro-planning lately. Basically this means that before I go to bed at night I’ll look at my callendar and decide what I want to do the next day and schedule when I want to do those things. It’s been a great system so far, and it’s made me much more conscious of what I am doing with my time. I hope to continue planning as the month goes on, and ingrain it as a habit. It’s a good thing to be reminded of and I think helps me get more things done.

To be honest, there is only one thing that properly NEEDS to happen this month. I need to move to LA.  I don’t really have a plan for this yet and am just starting to feel the pressure to find a place to go.  My prayer:

Dear Lord, I need somewhere to live in LA. It can be a place for the summer, or a place for longer. It can be a place by myself or a place with a roommate. You know the exact place you want me to be, and it’s perfect for what I need right now.  Show me how to find it. Amen.

What are you all planning for this month?

This Has Been May 2013 Edition

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Just as I suspected, this month was very much a rehashing of the beginning of this year. Time spent at home alternating between blogging, watching Netflix, reading books from the library, and not quite knowing what to do with myself. Okay, there was a little more happening overall, but in general that’s what it felt like.

Probably the most exciting thing this month was a short trip to Seattle to visit my friend Allason. We hung out at sculpture gardens, went to the massive REI while on our way to a fancy film festival party (because we’re classy like that), and got to spend some time with another friend of ours. Of course this trip also included late night life decision discussions, accidentally weeding our friend’s backyard garden for two hours, and a very delayed flight. Overall a highly successful weekend.

I also got a chance to hang out with a bunch of old high school friends. Some I went for lunch or rock climbing with, others I met up with for a beach bonfire… which turned into hanging out in the mission after the wind started to get to us. It’s been great to see old friends and catch up on what’s happening with everyone. Some I’ve been keeping up with, others I was surprised by in the best sense. It’s weird to be in a group and slowly discover that I’m the only single gal in the group. How’d that happen? Craziness.

I did manage to get myself together enough to get a motorcycle permit and then to sign up for and take a motorcycle safety course, which I completed last weekend. I will be getting a certificate in the mail withing a week or so and then I can take it to the DMV and they will send me a motorcycle license in the mail. Magic.

For the moment I’ve abandoned my original script projects. I need to find a way to habituate writing and especially writing on stories and ideas. I’ve gotten blogging for the most part, but I need to find a way to consistently work on original stories. For now I’m trying not to beat myself up over it. I am still interested in the ideas and may return to them, but right now they’re not working. (Perhaps I need to find a writing mentor?)

While my story-writing fell through, I’ve been happy with my blog writing. I’m working on some bigger ideas and coming up with some concepts for what I want a redesign to look like. I also posted my first vlog. You can check out my channel here and if you like it subscribe! I’m not sure yet what my initial posting schedule is going to be, but down the line I’d like to put up one video a week.

On the entertainment front I finished The Good Guys and hemmed and hawed for a while deciding to watch Fringe next (other options included Chuck, JAG, and a West Wing re-watch). I finally got around to watching The Cabin in the Woods (review to come), and I’m so glad I did. I’ve also been reading a lot. I just finished Eat Pray Love and am working my way through a few others at once. I’ve made myself an account on Goodreads to keep track of my reading habits. I think I may have accidentally invited my entire Facebook friend list. Sorry guys!  If you’re a member we should be friends.

What have you guys been up to this month?

6 Things I Think I Would Be Good At

Have you ever seen something and thought to yourself “I could do that… and I bet I’d be pretty good at it too.”  I think that sometimes.  For a while I was reading a ton of blogs and thinking to myself exactly that.  So I did it.  Am I good at it?  Well, I’m certainly not terrible.  They haven’t laughed me off the internet yet.

I was thinking about this more recently and thought up some other things I think I would be good at.

  1. Scrapbooking.  Taking pictures and putting them in an album plus making it look pretty?  Yeah, I think I could manage that.  I’ve been watching a few bloggers work on Project Life and I think it would be fun.  Someday I’ll get to it.
  2. Travel Writing.  Go to far off places and write about it?  That’s been a part of a plan B for a while now.  Travel writing, as in making money from it?  That might be a little bit harder, but I could probably do that.
  3. Parkour.  I already climb on everything, I could probably take it a step further and try my hand at Parkour.  It would be really hard, and it would take a lot of effort, but I could probably learn a few tricks if I had someone to teach me.
  4. Teaching.  I’ve taught Sunday school before and I’ve taught friends how to do things, so I could maybe be a teacher.  I realize that there’s a lot more to teaching than that, and it takes a lot of time and effort to be good at teaching.  I think I would be a good teacher though, at least in theory.  I’m a pretty patient person and I like kids.
  5. Crocheting.  I love making things with my hands.  I already knit and sew, clearly crocheting is next in the handmade department.
  6. Vlogging.  I follow a lot of video bloggers on YouTube.  I could totally do that!  I know how to edit, and I learned a bit about how online video gets popular in school.  I even have a camera that I could shoot video with.  I guess we’ll see how it goes.

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All this in part to announce that I’ve started a YouTube channel and will be trying my hand at vlogging.  I have an idea of what I’m doing, but probably don’t really know what I’m getting myself into.  You can check out my first video already, and be sure to subscribe if you have a YouTube account.

I don’t know that I will have a schedule for vlogging quite as strictly as I do for blogging.  Down the line I’d like to upload once a week, but for now I’m trying not to put to much pressure on myself.

What do you think you would be good at if you ever gave it a shot?  Do you vlog?  Let me know what your channel is and I’ll check it out.