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?

Some Announcements #dnd #youtube #important #rpghandi

So I have been pondering these last few days about my YouTube channel, where its going, and what my aims are at the moment.

I realized a few things about it and I wanted to make a little announcement. Most folks who see this will be from Twitter, and those who are on YouTube will get an update video next week mixed in with my Pathfinder game Play Report.

First, one of the big things that has occurred recently is that I went from 173 subs back in January to 238 as of today. That’s a jump of 65 subscribers, and its all because of a particular video that I did that Mr Matthew Mercer (voice of Mcree and DM of Critical Role) retweeted. So that happened. Thanks to all those who followed and subbed by the way, hopefully I don’t disappoint. The video is found below.

Next, I wanted to talk about where my channel is going, content wise. Originally, my channel was going to be a place to talk about all the different nerdy things I enjoy such as movies, music, gaming, and reading. However, its really ended up being focused on gaming. With RPGs being the specific sort of gaming. I mentioned in my personal discord server that I was thinking of going full RPG on my channel, and I got the following comment:

rpghandi

Ya know what? He is right too.  Although as She-Wolf on twitter pointed out Ghandi was Hindu not Catholic so ya know, whatever.

I do talk about RPGs a lot. Both video games and tabletop rpgs in fact. My most popular videos are the ones talking about DND, and my most popular streams are the RPG based ones.

I guess I am #RPGhandi (although #RPGBuddah makes more sense, given my size). Thanks Zardoz on twitter for that hashtag lol I claim that btw I am now #RPGhandi hehe NAMASTE

So this is a formal written announcement that from now on, my channel is going to be focus on both video games and tabletop RPGs. Streams and Vlogs both.

Finally, and prolly one of the biggest things here is this: My DND Retrospective Videos are going on Hold. One of the things I told myself when I restarted my Youtube channel was that I would only do things I found fun and that I enjoyed. And I like doing Vlogs and I like streaming, but I found that I really am not a fan of doing these structured and edited reviews, especially of games I just don’t like playing. It feels like a waste of time. Further, these videos have the least amount of watch time (ie total amount watched) and while they have more views that only because I stick em on Reddit. If I didn’t, I doubt they would have anywhere near the number of views. The watch time might be better though.

I think I still want to do a few more Retrospective Reviews, but I want to focus more on STYLE rather then just sheer number. And I want to take my time with them as well. 8 hours is an unfair amount of time to spend with a game when it might last 20-30 and to judge it on that and then review it is kinda shitty to be frank. So for now, until I make a decision on how I am going to handle them, I am putting those on hold. I may never do another full review styled thing for them either. Sorry if you enjoyed it. I just don’t like making em.

So there ya go. If you have any questions just comment here, or when I do my update video next week feel free to comment there.

Thanks for reading and watching and all that jazz folks :D

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.

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

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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.

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?

Musings on Youtube and Twitter

I think this will be the first time I have written a blog in a long while, and its about analytics, my Youtube channel, my Twitter, and thoughts about such things.

So its been about 6ish weeks since I relaunched my youtube channel. In that time I have gotten a total of:

432 Total Views, of which 140 are from Subs
2:23 Average Watch Time (Sub + Non Sub) / 18% Retention
4:17 Average Watch Time (Sub Only) / 42% Retention
86 Total Subscribers

This is across 7 videos. So I am doing pretty good all things considered.

Whats interesting to me is that if we take the total views of 140 from my subs, and spread that out, it means that each video has roughly 20 views from subs each. Now, I have been told (and I forget where) that 10% of your videos views should be subs, which means you should expect 10% of your subs to be active subs. For me, that would be about 8.6 / 9 views per vid. So I am WELL above that curve. Happy Days! Also, I am gaining subs at a rate of roughly 1 every day or two. Which is kinda nutty when I think about it.

Granted, several of these are folks who are all “Sub 4 Sub” which is pointless, and I will have no part of. I want people who will WATCH my content not just random numbers.

Now, my worry here is that most of these subscribers came because of my recent Tabletop RPG 101 Series. Granted, I intend to have more videos about Tabletop gaming as its a big thing in my life and I love it dearly, but honestly, not every video going forward is going to be about that. I mean, my next few vids are going to be (in order)

– The Rest of the Tabletop RPG Series, including a new special Part 6!
– A Comic Book Review (Liberty Deception)
– A Tale from the Tabletop (based on this Poll I ran on Twitter)
– Maybe a Top 5 of some sort.
– A game review or two (Shovel Knight tops this right now)
– 2 Book Reviews (by the same author in fact)

My focus is on nerdy stuff not just tabletop stuff you know. I got movies I wanna cover, games I wanna talk about, Top 5’s and things. I mean just look at the Topic List! I just updated it today by the way so its got all 7 videos I have done so far linked ;)

Whats fascinating is how big a role Twitter seems to be playing into my growth. I have never been one to really “get” twitter, and honestly I still don’t. 140 characters is very small, and its hard sometimes to get my point across, especially when you get more and more followers and follow more people. I am currently, as of today, at 670 followers. Thats NUTS. Granted, I am pretty sure the breakdown of them is:

– 300ish Bots / Advertisers / Business Accounts
– The rest are Real People

Thats amazing. The great majority are fellow Tabletop gamers like me. This worries me because, again, my videos and my tweets and myself are not all tabletop rpgs 100% of the time. I talk about wrestling, video games, music, movies, ect. Books. Nerdy stuff! Thankfully I have made a few friends it seems so far on twitter, and everyone has been super welcoming! I am actually enjoying it, and I like chatting to folks about cool Tabletop Plot ideas, and running games, and so on. Hell I even helped one lass via DM with creating an interesting backstory for her character which was fun :D

One thing I have noticed from a few folks, however, who are also youtubers is this obsession with getting all their twitter followers to sub to them on Youtube. Lets be real, if I had that I would be doing stupid good, but at the same time I am not going to ask my followers to do something I wouldn’t do. And frankly, I am not going to sub willy nilly to people who I have zero interest in listening to. Same with following em on twitter! I am just not going to do it.

I get it, people wanna be successful (for their definition of success) on Youtube. Some people want the fame, the recognition, the fans. Others want the money. But I am weird in that I don’t really care about any of that. I just like sharing what I love. And being me of course.

The attitude of folks online, like these other youtubers, makes me sad. They are so focused on advertising that they forget to be real people. I cannot count the number of small youtubers who followed me on twitter and when I go check out their tweets, its nothing but advertising of their own works, and maybe some “XXX liked this video” tweets that come from Youtube. And thats it. No engagement with the people who follow em, nothing. Its a giant circle jerk.

Yes, I advertise my channel on Twitter. I usually tweet at most once a day about one of my videos. Thats it. And I actually use Twuffer to set those up ahead of time. The rest of the times just me, chatting with folks, retweeting fun things, cool art, and such. I am a human, and god damnit I am gonna act human! Bout the only thing I still have on full automation is my Auto DM, which doesnt even mention youtube! It actually says, and I quote:

“Hey there and thanks for following me here on Twitter! Hope ya don’t mind the AutoDM. I am an old fart and honestly can barely keep up with this twitter thing but I am trying. Lets start chatting! Tell me something about yourself! Favorite game / gaming system / book / boardgame / video game? Any fun stories to share?”

Wanna know something funny? I have gotten the following responses recently:

“Sure I’ll check you out !! Could you also check me out here? *LINK* let me know when you’ve subbed so I can do the same!:) hope to see you round in my comment section!?  Also, heres a new video of mine if you wanna check it out! leave a like or whatever ?:)”

“Could you maybe check out my channel?”

And similar. It makes me laugh honestly. These were in response to my Auto DM above, where I don’t mention my channel, or anything. I swear people don’t read.

All in all so far I would have to say I am doing ok. I could always do better. But at this point its a forgone conclusion that I will hit the 100 sub mark and get a custom URL, which will be fun. Not in any rush though. Lets see what happens by the end of the year!

Oh and since I forgot to post it here is Part 3 of Tabletop RPG 101

Stay Nerdy folks :)

When is a game “Dead”?

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This is the logo of a dead game.  Behold its sadness

People love to shout about a game being dead or dying. Recently its been Battleborn getting such cries, over and over again. Why do they think its dead?

Because very few people are playing it.

But here is the thing. A Game is not dead until its no longer playable. Games do not just vanish. Can you play the game? Then guess what, its not freaking dead. Are the official servers still active and maintained? Then its not dead!

It might be unpopular sure, it might have a very low playerbase, but its not dead.

Battleborn in fact is slowly getting an upswing with the current 2k Humble Bundle, as you can get the game at the $15 tier along wtih a ton of other good games.

You wanna know what a dead game looks like? Star Wars Galaxies. Warhammer Online. Planetside 1. Darkspore. These are games that literally cannot be played (officially at least) any longer. They are gone. Vanished.

Dead.

People think a game I have recently got back into playing, Warmachine Tactics, as being dead. But the devs are STILL making new units for it, and content. People STILL play it, the forums are STILL active, and hell I am planning a few PVP Matches this weekend. Its not dead. It just has a small but dedicated fanbase.  Hell, if you are curious about WMT, might I suggest checking out the Demo the Steam Page offers?  Its a good turn based strategy game, and the Demo even lets you play PVP matches!

When a game is no longer supported and officially playable, then you can call the thing dead.

Hosting my Own Site vs WordPress

Recently I have been pondering things, such as monetization and ad revenue and ways to make additional money using what few skills I have.  It hit me that my site, while not super popular, does do pretty well.  I mean, over the last few months I have been getting 20-30 unique visits a day roughly.  In May for example, I hit 410 Unique Visits, and so far for June I am up to 629.

That’s no small feat.

Sure it’s not as nuts as some sites get.  I am not where near what even the site I write reviews for, Vox Ludicus, gets on a daily basis even when we post nothing.  But it’s still something.

Sadly, being on the Free WordPress system limits my options.  I cannot use Google Adwords, or Project Wonderful or anything to attempt to generate revenue.  I am unsure if I can use Patreon or even if that would be something smart, or hell if I could even post a donation link to Paypal!

So how do I make money, even a small amount, with my writing?  I dont know how to freelance for example.  All I have that belongs to me is this little corner of the web.

Well the obvious answer would be to start by getting myself my own domain and site hosting.  There are tons of options out there, and some are not too costly.  The old “you gotta spend money to make money” adage would apply here.  I would have to pay monthly for site hosting, but I could possibly generate small amounts of money via ads, which could then pay for the site hosting?

I could also have total control over my site, from how it looks, to its domain name, everything. Have ads if I wanted (unobtrusive of course) and all that jazz without worry.

I am concerned however that doing such a move would cause me to lose my audience, my followers, and traffic connections.  I know that the WordPress tutorial says that they help with all of that, but I am unsure.  Also I would be on my own for support for the most part, and I would have to make sure to monitor things closely.

Have any of you moved to your own site?  Why did you do so, and how has it managed?  I mean, I honestly am unsure if I would even have access via my own site with a WordPress Install to people I follow….