The Plight of the Small Creator

I know I keep talking about supporting your favorite creators on twitter. I keep harping on it. Let me drop some knowledge, and explain WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Whether you create reviews, videos, books, movies, blog posts, maps, or really any form of content, you are prolly aware of just how rough it can be to get your content in front of those who may enjoy it.

Its the worst part of being a small time content creator. You have this amazing kickstarter, say for a DND Book. Or a dice box. You know your product fills a need, but how the hell do you get people to see it? In general, the only solution is to spend money on advertising.

You see, despite people building followings on places like Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets, getting your followers or fans to actually share your work can be near impossible.

For example: I have 1900+ followers on Twitter, about 200 on Tumblr, about 200 here on WordPress, and 355 on Youtube. I dont post enough on Tumblr or WordPress however for these people to really matter, so lets pretend its just the 1947 twitter followers and 355 youtube subs.

Wanna know how many people pay attention to nearly ANYTHING I do? I am not even talking about when I mention my own content. I am talking almost ANYTHING.

Bout .5% on twitter, and 10% on Youtube.

Thats it. Think about that. No one really shares my own work, or comments. The comments I see on youtube are from the same 10ish people. I can get 30-40 views on a video, but maybe 10 people hit the like button. On twitter its even WORSE. I barely bother promoting my own videos beyond the day I post em, because I know no one is going to pay attention to it. Instead, I use twitter now to talk about other peoples work, and it seems to help a great deal. And what do people do on twitter? They hit the most useless button they can.

The like button. I hate that little bastard heart. ITS USELESS. Its maddening. On youtube, the like button has a purpose. Youtube considers that as part of its algorithm in regards to promoting videos, mostly due to like to view ratio.

On Twitter the like button might as well not exist. No one sees that you liked a tweet unless they expand it. Creators need those Retweets. We need those shares. If no one shares our work then we cannot grow. We cannot expand.

Whats interesting is how many people tell me how awesome I am. But they wont share my work on their own. And its not just me affected by this in the slightest. I see it ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE! I see people commenting “Oh I love your art!” or “I love your comic!” or “This Kickstarter is amazing” but they do nothing else. They dont go out and share the item or anything. They don’t try to convince people that its worth looking at.

I try to make sure that if I think something is awesome, I hit that retweet button. I make it a point to share things on my own if I think they are worthwhile. I try to promote people I feel are worth a damn. Because that is what you should do with something you love.

If you really care about the creator, then help them. Spread the word. Tell your facebook friends about that awesome dice blog you found. Tell your twitter followers about that amazing comic you read. Link to them. Tell your tumblr followers or blog about em. SPREAD THE WORD.

IF you never tell others about the content creators you love, we will never get anywhere. We, as creators, can only do so much. And let me tell you something else: The internet HATES self promotion. It DESPISES IT. Why do you think Ad Blockers are so prevelant? We, the internet, HATE advertising.

Word of Mouth is really what works. But it only works if YOU do it.

Please help us. Hell I dont even care if you promote me. What I want to challenge YOU to do is this: Without prompting, without warning, pick someone whose work you adore. An author, a comic artist, an artist, a youtuber. Someone small who could use the help. And tell the world about them. Post about them somewhere. Talk about WHY you like them. Dont just say “This guy is cool” but try to explain WHY they are cool. If you dont, who will?

Help and Support your favorite content creators. So they can grow, and succeed, and continue to make the content YOU LOVE. Otherwise, eventually, they will give up, and fade away.

Patreon: Thoughts and Musings

As I get nearer and nearer to 300 subs on Youtube, I start to ponder where I should be going with it. Granted, my recent shift in focus to RPG content in general seems to be perfect. People love my RPG stuff (I think?) and I am doing well overall.

I think one the coolest things I have gotten into is reviewing RPG products. Recently I released my first review, on the campaign setting the Ice Kingdoms, and it was (I feel) pretty well received. I got a few more things to review already, and I really enjoy sharing these products. Its also easy to do (For me at least).

However, I have one limiting factor in all this. Its the same thing that limits me upgrading my equipment such as a better camera, or getting new games for reviewing, and so on.

Its money.

Now Patreon is a BIG THING in the internet world. Its basically crowdfunding artists and creative types. I know a ton of people who have em, and for a while I even backed a couple (minimally, had to stop cause, well, money!). Hell I even have seen a guy create a patreon before he even has a prodcut / show / blog / anything! Its a big deal. Popular folks even live off patreon like it was a full time job (Which given some creators, it actually is!)

I like the idea of patreon as well, personally. I like the idea of the fans of something / someone helping to support it. I love how fans can pledge as much or as little as they want, with limits built in. I like how Creators can have rewards for pledge levels, goals, and even setup if its monthly or per “creation”. I have had a few folks I know tell me I should create one… But the fact of the matter is, I don’t know if I should.

Most Patreon accounts have reward tiers. Stuff like “Pledge $10 an episode and get a free sticker!” and shit like that. Thing is, when thinking about my own show / videos, I dont really have anything to offer. I have no merch, although my wife is working on a shirt design at the moment, I have no time to do things like game nights and the like. I just dont have anything to offer BUT my work. It seems silly, and a bit rude, to ask for cash for no other reason then to do so.

Then there is the issue of reach. I have roughly 290 subs on Youtube, 1500 followers on Twitter, and a smattering of folks elsewhere (here on the blog and tumblr ect). I seriously doubt any of the folks following me would in fact support my weird ass little youtube endevour for no reward at all.

Granted, all I would use the Patreon money for would be things to support the show. Stuff like more products to discuss and the like, maybe giveaways and things. Or paying my net bill (cause I need to keep my upload rate!)

I dunno. Just thinking out loud I suppose. Sometimes I need to do this so I can put my thoughts on paper.

What do you think about Patreon?

My Giant Episode List Has been Updated!

For those who want to see what kind of videos I have been making, not including my gaming livestreams, you can now check out my Handy Episode List which is up to 18 total videos! Thats not too bad. Episode 19 is coming out tomorrow, so that should be fun as well.

I also removed a few topics from my topic lists that are already done, and added one new idea. I don’t have the DND retrospective listed there yet either as I am not sure if I should or not. That whole thing is its own special beast.

Here is to 2017, a year of videos and fun! Stay nerdy folks!

Personal Update: 2016 Year in Review

The end of 2106 is nearing and its been…a wild year hasn’t it. Deaths, controversy, madness. In my own life I had to buy a new car, reviewed and then stopped reviewing games (although I might start this up again). I started doing youtube, deleted my channel, and then restarted it as Terminally Nerdy to match my blog. My job went through a huge merger and has had a ton of shakeup there. No Mans Sky released and fell flat. The Walking Dead started back up. Ect ad naseum.

I figured with the year coming to a close I could sit down, and reflect on some of my choices I have made. I know, its not really the end of 2016 but its close enough for me, and this is on my mind. And when things are on my mind, I like to get them out. It gets crowded in here ok?

1) WoW Legion: So Legion released, my wife and I dove in, and played for a while. But despite changes that made the game more fun, it just couldn’t hold our attention for long. Both of us find that growing as characters, leveling up and exploring a world vastly more fun then any amount of end game content, and because of that WoW only managed to hold the two of us for two months. Granted, legion is an AMAZING expansion, the artifact system is fun as hell, and the sheer amount of crap you can do solo is amazing. And Suramar is an amazing city zone that feels like a real life city.

2) My Car: So back in May, I had to trade in my old PT Cruiser (Pretty Lady) and get a new car. It was on its last legs and would literally take more money then it was worth to repair it. Got a 2016 Kia Soul and could not be happier. Its a solid dependable car, and my wife and I have had no problems with it. Granted, we dont drive nearly as often as most people do, but hey, I am just happy to have a new car. It also costs me nearly double what I used to pay but we manage that as well.

His name is BONESOUL by the way. Just for the record. All caps is required.

twitter_2010_logo_-_from_commons-svg

3) My Twitter Growth: HOLY CRAP Just look at this picture!

twitter

I never ever thought I would reach over 1k followers.  Granted, very few of them follow me on Youtube or anything or even here, but still, thats a ton of reach and possible interaction.  Its quite scary to be honest.  And every day I lose one or two and gain a few, and its been steadily going up and up.  I have met quite a few cool twitter folk too, like NPC By Day, Wally D2, Ric M the GM, Chandler I, Deven Rue, Chaotic Anarchy, DunnGeon Jim, DM Shadow, Yuemi Star (I think thats her name!), Parks Guy and Parks Gal, Dusty of Podunk, Kevin Mason, and plenty plenty more.  More then I could EVER name here.  Its been unreal and I really enjoy it.

4) My whole Youtube thing: This has been prolly the biggest thing for me, personally. Its not life changing or anything, but this is one of the rare times I have stuck with a project for so long, have not lost interest, and have seen actual returns. Yes, I did book reviews last year in 2015, on this blog no less. And they were insanely popular all things considered. I did game reviews on another site, and they were pretty popular. Those projects lead up to the rebirth in part of my youtube channel. My story was simple, I had an old channel, and it was full of nonsense with no direction, tons of dead subs, and so on. So I deleted it. I was ready to just not bother, but then folks who I had made friends with on reddit refused to let me quit. They bothered and badgered me and would not let me go, and thus Terminally Nerdy was born, with a greater focus. As I previously stated, growth has been pretty good. As of today, I am at 140 subs, which is a small number, but good enough for me. I am back to where I was before I deleted point of fact, and I have done it in less then 4 months.

Given my lack of advertising I find this to be really amazing. Perhaps if I promoted my videos more often I would generate more views and subs, but who knows. One day, perhaps I will get over my aversion to doing that.

The friends I have made however doing Youtube are worth a ton more. These guys are some of the coolest people I have met. Lil Big Gamers, Walking Virus Gaming, Doc Shattered, BraxBox, Shelbutt, Ivan, Adman, the Golden Bolt, Mikkomar and others are just fun to talk to. Each of them are also insanely creative and work their asses off for their channels as well. Truthfully, I feel they are better then me. And deserve a look.

Overall, my year has gone fairly well. Sure, it could have gone better. Everything can always get better. And it sure as shit could have gone worse. But for once, I am actually pretty pleased how 2016 turned out for me.

Here is to 2017! I hope to write a bit more on the blog here as well. Maybe start posting my once every 2 week videos with some text about how the video came about. I need to focus on you guys a bit more. You have been around for a LONG time.

Thanks for sticking with me folks. Lets stay Nerdy, and get AMPED BUDDY WHOOOOOOOOOO!

Oh and as a note: Mass Effect Andromeda is getting closer and closer.  GET HYPED.

Its time to talk Youtube Numbers again! – Channel Update

I like to write these posts, it lets me get my thoughts down on paper about how my youtube endevours are doing, where things are going, and where I think they will go!

So, I started uploading on 8/24/16 with my new channel. As of today, I am at 136 subscribers to my channel, which is pretty neat!

Now lets talk monthly growth. The big factor to youtube is actually not your sub count, but rather a combination of sub count, retention, views, and watch time. Its “the algorithm” as they say. So I may have very few subs, but according to my other numbers what I have is insanely loyal. Lets take it month by month.

September 2016

So this month was when I was just getting started again. I only had 4 videos total go up, and I dont believe I had started livestreaming yet. This is represented in my overall numbers:

sept2016

As you can see I have quite a bit of watch time but my over per view watch time average is very low, at 2 minutes. This is because I tried an advertising thing on Fivvr, and got nearly 1k views on a video, but each view was like 1-2 minutes in length. You can see the spike clearly in the left column. Thats why those numbers are so skewed. I have not bothered to try such an experiment since. I also got a total of 74 likes across the 5ish videos I had uploaded by the end of the month, so thats excellent. Overall, a solid start.

October 2016

This was the first month where I started to get rolling strong I think. Here is the overall for that month:

oct2016

Now this month you can see that my Watch Time overall and my average per view has gone up drastically. And if you notice, it happened towards the end of the month. What else did I start doing in October? I started STREAMING. In fact, the longest videos are the streams, and they have the largest amount of watch time. This actually helped my channel as a whole. Youtube only cares how many minutes of my stuff people are watching, and they watched TONS of stuff towards the end of October. Mind you, these numbers are a combination of LIVE and On Demand vieweing. If I switch to just On Demand (meaning no live events) I get Watch Time Total 1959 Minutes, Average of 5:26 per view, 360 views. Still damn impressive overall, and a direct increase from the previous month.

Novermber 2016

I might as well call my youtube a gym cause of all the SICK GAINS I am getting. Check this out:

nov2016

This is the first month where I really try to livestream at least once if not twice a week. And you can clearly see this. My overall watch time is high, my average watch per view is high again, and so one. Now you will notice that I am gaining less subs each month as time goes on, which honestly is fine, I kinda expected it given I don’t really promote myself or my channel very often. Same with the amount of likes I get. Basically, people really like to stick around and watch my stuff. And if we go to On Demand only (ie not live) I am looking at 1787 minutes of video overall, average per view of 6:39, with 268 views. So my overall views went down, but the average time each person watched went up. Interesting indeed!

What do these numbers tell me? That I am clearly doing something right, even if I myself feel I suck. What fans I do have genuinely like what I am doing and clearly want more of something, but what? I am moving to twice monthly (or every 2 weeks) for my VLogs, and my streams will still be at least once a week if I can swing it, barring any personal stuff. So we shall see how December shapes up for the month. Already December is sitting at the following however:

dec2016

Not too bad of a start, and doesnt include the last 2 days when I gained 3 subs putting me at my current count, so there is that. Lets see where the month leads, shall we?

Oh and for fun, here are all my videos, sorted by most watched, with the overall total watch time, average per view, and total average percent viewed. Its kinda eye opening. I should do more long streams! :P

vidstodate

And for those curious, you can find my Youtube Channel here – http://www.youtube.com/terminallynerdy

 

How the elections actually work in the US

So Trump won. Thats the end of that. Lots of people are angry. And in truth, no matter what, shit was going to go down after this one way or another. I am not going to get into my choices or anything because thats private (but it werent trump nor hillary I can tell ya that much as I find both deplorable choices).

Further, people are freaking out now because it appears that Hillary won the popular vote, but Trump still won. Well thats cause your vote, as a person, for the president literally means nothing. The electoral college chooses the winner and while they generally go with their state, they CAN choose to ignore it. This is also why a 3rd party candidate will NEVER win. The Electoral college is made up of Dems and Reps and they will never choose some random Libertarian or whatever.

But here is the thing, what people forget: The president actually matters very little. He/She is a figurehead, there to make $400k-ish a year for LIFE (yes LIFE!) and glad hand.

The president has the following powers as his office:

“The Constitution explicitly assigns to the president the power to sign or veto legislation, command the armed forces, ask for the written opinion of his or her Cabinet, convene or adjourn Congress, grant reprieves and pardons, and receive ambassadors. The president may make treaties which need to be ratified by two thirds of the Senate. The president may also appoint Article III judges and some officers with advice and consent of the Senate (consent being by simple majority) and if there is a Senate recess, he may make temporary appointments.”

Thats not a whole lot. What it really means is he is the guy who decides if a law is valid or not (the veto), he is TECHNICALLY in charge of the armed forces, and he can mess with Congress by adjourning it. He/She can also appointed Supreme Court Judges ASSUMING there is a seat open (which is rare as these are appointed for life).  Basically the President cannot do shit without Senate or Congress approval.  Yes, he does have the Presidential Order option, but that is nearly never used as it can cause Congress to rise up and Impeach the Pres, removing him/her from office for Abuse of Power.

Now here is the important thing: Congress (aka the House of Representatives and the Senate) is where the real power lies. These are the men and women who make laws. Who decide what gets voted on, and how its voted on. These are the people who really make the decisions that shape our country.

Even if Trump veto’s a law he doesn’t like, Congress can actually overturn it via 2/3 majority vote!  So again, Congress has the power.

And the worst part? Its nigh impossible to determine who is worth a damn in Congress.

For the Senate, there are exactly 2 seats per state, so usually there are 4 options (2 dems, 2 reps) for you to vote on. You can usually determine which candidates for these seats match your views and what you want.  Sometimes there are 3rd party options, and these CAN WIN because the Popular Vote chooses these folks.

The House? Well thats a whole nothing mess. You see the House seats are based on state size, divided equally amount the states based on population. A Small state will have fewer seats available then a larger. There are 435 house seats available total, for example, and 27 of those are Florida, 53 are California, ect. Wyoming has 1, and South Dakota has 1. See the issue?

And just imagine that for each seat there are 2 options (One Dem, one Rep) plus any 3rd party options!

And these folks ARE VOTED IN SOLELY BY THE POPULAR VOTE! This means, for my state alone, there are something like 54 available people I would have to sit down and research to try to determine which ones I feel are best suited for the job, not even thinking about the 3rd party options. This is maddening, and I simply do not have time for it, as most people wouldn’t. Imagine Cali? Over 100 options easily.

And these are the folks who decide what happens by law, them and the 100 Senate Members.

And if you notice: The Media NEVER talks about it. They focus on our scapegoat, our Pres. Never the power behind the throne. Its to make you focus on what less important.

This is how The US System works. Right here.

And right now the Republicans have the majority in Congress, meaning they have the most power.

In the overall scheme of things, Trump matters very little. He has no power, he cant MAKE Congress do what he wants. He is just the public face of the country. Unless the folks in Congress agree with him, his policies will never happen. Its not and never has been a 1 person show.

REMEMBER THAT. Cause the Politicians sure as hell don’t want you to.

Oh, and unlike a Pres, Congress has no term limits. These mother fuckers can go forever and ever, and frequently do because folks see that long ass list of names and go “Well they are already there fuck it keep em there!”

This is shit taught in High School, usually for half a school year.  Most folks forget this is how it works.  I don’t blame em for it either.  But there it is.

The Promotion Conundrum

Something that has occurred to me to discuss recently in my Youtubing endeavors is the concept of promotion, advertising, and spamming. For those who have somehow missed my nonsense here, I do in fact have a Youtube channel. No, I am not going to link it in this post. This is to save all of you who follow my blog and are sick of me promoting it hehe.

On top of that, I have a twitter as well. Somehow or another I have however become…popularish on Twitter. I hit 800+ followers recently. That’s pretty damn cool.

The problem I am facing is how to leverage that group of people in order to get the word out of my actual creative endeavors. Further, I have to decide how much is “too much” when it comes to self promotion.

Currently, I barely promote. I mention my youtube channel roughly once every few days, usually at specific times. I use a site called Twuffer to preload those tweets, along with loading comments and advertisements for youtube channels and things I find interesting that are in fact not mine.

I spend more time promoting other peoples work then my own.

Now I do have a twitter AutoDM, and while for the first week or two of having it I used it to promote my channel I have since stopped. I felt…dirty honestly. Now its used to try to talk to people and get to know them.

Weirdly, despite my lack of self promotion I seem to slowly grow no matter what. I have had my current channel active for roughly 2 months now and as of today I hit 109 subscribers, thats roughly 50 subs a month, roughly 1 and change a day average. Its bizarre.

I see people who advertise constantly, through DM on twitter, through twitter posts, facebook, reddit, and get nowhere. And lets not even get into the nonsense of Sub4Sub / Follow4Follow.

Promote too much, people hate you and you come off as a robot. Promote too little, you never grow.

There seems to be no good real way to do this. Could I grow faster somehow? SHOULD I? What is a good medium? Do I need a facebook fan page? Should I bother? Its driving me nuts. I want to share the things I make with the world but at the same time I don’t want to be an annoyance to others, and thus am left trying to puzzle out the perfect medium and method. I mean I have gone so far as to try to avoid posting here on my own blog so as to not annoy people. And I have friends who tell me that I need a facebook fan page, while others tell me to not bother. No one can ever agree on anything.

Sometimes I wish things were easier but life ain’t easy, is it? What do you guys think?