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Concerning Vlogs

During this bit of downtime, I’ve had a lot of leeway to examine things, which is why I’m writing this note for Patreon supporters and the general audience out there. Because, really, this is about you. Or rather, this is about your choice. Let me just ask the big question flat out:

Do you want the vlogs to continue?

I ask because a few factors have made me have to take a second look at it. Let me preface this by saying that, yes, I love doing the vlogs. I love if they entertain or help anyone out there. I love doing things that entertain you all. But, I’m also a self-employed creative. So, one of the things I have to take into consideration is time spent.

The vlogs average between 2-3 days of work to make. Since I’m also working on other things in that time, let’s wax generous and say that I could do one in a 12 hour period. That’s script writing, filming set-up, recording, editing, and all the post tricks I have to do to make the footage looks less like garbage due to the low quality of the phone camera I use. Then upload, listing, and reposting to the blog and elsewhere. Realistically, it’s still more like two days for breathing room’s sake. That’s totally doable.

If there’s demand for them. Right now, I can’t say that there is. That’s kind of the problem.

These things take time to build. I totally get that. Anything of the entertainment enterprise needs ample time to flourish. But, after awhile, it can become readily apparent when things aren’t working. Be it because the tide of social media makes it get lost in the digital foam, or the simple fact that the work’s just not that great.

And the fact is, since I launched the Ground Xero Vlog 6 months ago, the average viewership hasn’t increased. Sure, I’ve nailed about 10 new subscribers, but that’s over half a year. The average views per video haven’t gone up. Feedback from viewers has been practically non-existent. While the Patreon isn’t contingent on this, it’s worth noting that the few patrons I have are all friends, and there’s only been one new one over the past two months.

I bring that up because there’s always things to do and ways to improve, but it’s a Catch-22. More support would improve the quality of the vlog, but as it stand I don’t even know if folks honestly like them to begin with. I mean that. It’s the downside of putting out content like this: by and large, you won’t hear a lot from the people consuming it unless it’s that stellar, or they are that motivated.

So, when you take the time, the admittedly not top shelf quality, the lack of uptick in consumption, and the lack of overall response, is it any wonder that I just assume it’s not doing well because it’s just not people’s cup of tea?

But that’s through one lens, and a limited one at that. A lens, I add, colored by my own hangups, so it’s not the best way to view things and make a decision. That’s why I’m leaving it up to you.

I love making these, but it’s not paramount. My main drive is to keep entertaining you all, and make enough money doing so to keep the lights on. That extra time spent not doing the vlogs would just go to other things. More music. More wallpapers for Patreon folks. More time spent working on my books to get out for publication.

You note I don’t mention the blog posts here, because really those would be done just to be done. I bang out a blog post before I’ve finished my morning coffee. People not reading them by and large is a secondary notion. The vlog? Well that’s considerably more effort for something that doesn’t seem to be striking a chord with anyone.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m a bit lost, and am asking for your help. If people don’t want the vlogs- that’s fine. Honestly; no harm, no foul, and no offense taken. I’ll just turn that energy towards the rest of my work, and keep cranking out the very best I can for ya.

But if you do, sound off. Tell me what you like. Tell me what you don’t like. Tell me if it’s worth the time to try to save up for a better camera and equipment. Let me know that the hours spent making it are worth the effort. Because the fact is just my loving it doesn’t equate to “best business decision” when it comes to this weird career of mine.

Thanks, and Horns Up.

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