Today I’m going to update you on the question I asked earlier. I need to be able to sustain myself and I need to do something I’m genuinely passionate about. An office job is never going to be something I’ll be very passionate about. I could choose the safe route in life, find a wife, cling onto an office job where I make sure not to offend anyone, have children, send them to school and at age seventy retire and buy an impressive looking boat.
I’m bad at that, I don’t enjoy it and it’s fundamentally not who I am. Why should I send children to school, if I cried before going to bed on sunday as a child because I didn’t want to go back to school? Why should I perpetuate that cycle? I’m going to have to choose an alternative route in life, because the conventional route in life is not one that I’m ever going to fit well into. I’d rather fail at something I care about, than succeed in something that disgusts me.
This doesn’t mean that I plan on failing. I plan on succeeding. I plan on earning a living, by producing something I believe genuinely benefits other people. I want to set up a multimedia platform, where I entertain people and offer people my own perspective on things I care about. This will involve a Youtube channel.
If you’re wondering what you’re going to get, my hope is to produce something inspired by Psyched Substance, Dan Bell and Styxhexenhammer666, some of my favorite channels on Youtube. The subjects you can expect will be covered include the interests you see here, but also some interests that simply don’t fit my current format well. As an example, I plan on covering some of my own interests too. I want to make Urbex videos, host music, review obscure video games and films and cover scientific research that I rarely manage to discuss in a captivating manner through articles.
So what will it take to succeed? I believe the following principles will be important:
Decentralization through Multiple platforms
Let’s face it. If I had a Youtube channel I would expect to be demonitized or stealth-banned within two weeks, without being given a proper explanation. So, the solution to that is to maintain a steady presence on multiple platforms and for my central platform to be a place I completely control myself. Things need to be published as duplicates, on multiple channels.
There are some obvious issues I’ll have to consider, like copyright infringement. More importantly perhaps, I would need to seek out partnerships, to keep this a sustainable self-financing endeavor. If you make a video about psychedelics you can wait for Youtube to demonitize it, or you can seek out a partnership with someone who offers exactly what you’re discussing. Never make yourself dependent on one central point of failure.
Community versus an Audience
Some people have an audience. I don’t want an audience, I want a community. The difference is that an audience is passive. The content producer releases stuff and people either view it or don’t. A community is interactive. People give advice to the producer, the producer gets new ideas from his community, people from the community get involved in producing content, new friendships are made and everyone benefits. With an audience you extract value from people, in which case I’d rather just stick to an office job.
Quality over Quantity
People have limited time. It’s not sufficient that something interests me, it needs to interest the people watching. On this blog I publish whatever interests me, from the growth of my Salvia plants to the decline of Industrial civilization. If you want a genuine community, you need to make sure that people can expect to see stuff they genuinely care about. This also means that I’m going to filter. If I make videos, I’ll filter the clutter.
Consistency and Regularity
To create a community, people need to know what they can expect. There needs to be consistency and a pattern in the content you release. Right now it’s exactly the opposite: I publish something whenever I feel like it. My current plan is to have a website (probably this one, although the domainname may be too obscure), where I consistently release new content every saturday, whether it’s an article or a video.
People reading a book need to be motivated to keep on reading, as soon as they see the first page. People browsing the Internet need to know what to expect within the first five seconds of opening a link. Unless people are extremely passionate to seek something out, because they heard about it elsewhere, you need to make sure that people know they’re going to get something that interests them as soon as you can.
This is why succesful Youtube channels look the way they do: An attention-whoring title, some interesting excerpts from the whole video within the first five to ten seconds, followed by a short intro video, followed by the actual video. Bad youtube channels consist of a guy telling a story in front of a poor camera for ten minutes, with lots of “uhhs” and “ehhhs”. If that’s what I’m going to produce, then I shouldn’t even bother.
I don’t want to jump into this overnight. The first video will take multiple shots, days of setting up the software properly, contacting people for approval to use copyrighted material, etcetera. I also need to properly think through the consequences. The Internet remembers everything forever. Just like carving a pentagram into your forehead as a high school kid makes it difficult to become a Catholic priest ten years later, on the Internet everything we do is stored forever and can come back to bother us years later. The bright side is that everyone deals with this now. In the future, most guys won’t care if their girlfriend can be found naked online or not.
Nonetheless, I still plan to do all of this anonymously, for the forseeable future. If it works out well enough, I’ll gradually drop my masks. If there’s anything else I need to consider, please let me know.