Friday, July 3, 2015

Is anybody out there?

What do I have to do?

I don't get it...

Or at least I think I don't get it...

I'm not the social media butterfly that many are but you will find active accounts in places like Facebook, Twitter, Google plus and even among others.  All are maintained and updated frequently.

I've got 4 active YouTube channels and accounts on two game streaming services (TWITCH and HITBOX).  I've been published online over 100 times on (former) news sites like Technorati and Kupeesh! and even had an article or two mentioned on Leo Laporte's TWIT.

I've branded my work in hopes that the brand will follow the creator.  I've taken great pains to try to  provide quality content in easily digestible and searchable formats.  I've torn down a YouTube channel only to reconstitute the content into separate more focused channels because someone told me viewers like it better that way.  

I'm still waiting for proof of that.  I've gone from being able to at least make a few bucks a year to virtually nothing since the change.

Which has led me to the realization that contrary to YouTube's advice, I don't believe most people who use YouTube could give a damn about the channel organization.

Hey, you do a Google search and Boom!  Content is served up regardless of the portal it resides on.  That's both the beauty and the Achilles heel of services like YouTube. 

Even being owned by a search giant can't guarantee visibility of your content.  

So I've done all of that stuff I'm supposed to do and still I'm lucky to make pennies a day.  

So how bad is it?  

It's been almost a year since I've had an adsense payment and never received a dime from my Amazon "partnership." 

BTW The threshold for a payout from Google Adsense is $100.

So I guess I just suck then? 

Content not interesting enough? 

I've seen much worse do far better so I don't think that's it.

Perhaps it has more to do with those who do well online being at the right place at the right time for their niche. 

I think it's far more likely, however, that online success is simply a byproduct of success elsewhere. 

Silky smooth radio voice or not would Leo Laporte have ever gotten TWIT off the ground without a stint in television and a long career in radio?  I doubt it.  I've heard better content elsewhere that struggles to match a fraction of the revenue.  

Want more evidence?  Simply look who's consistently hitting the top 20 in online media.  Personalities  like Adam Carolla and Marc Maron, News organizations like NPR and the Huffington Post not to mention tabloid TV like TMZ with the balance consisting of celebrity and fluff sites.   In short, we knew about them (or at least some incarnation of them) long before the Internet.*

It  doesn't mean their content is any better.  They're just leveraging a traditional media presence online.

So how fair is that?

For me it seems an online presence is less the great equalizer and more just adding to the noise.

I admit, being a bit older than most online dwellers there may be a generational bias that I'm at least in part struggling to overcome.

For example, when I write about gaming I'm not going to be anyone's fanboy.  Nobody's paying me to talk them up and if they did you could be sure I'd let you know about it.  

I wouldn't promote anything I didn't like so no worries there.

Still, I've been critical of the antics of the publishers like EA, Activision and Ubisoft.  I could care less about gussied up game trailers and technical demos.  I'll put it to you this way.  Battlefield 4's demo was awesome, the final product...notsomuch.  There's a lot of people who agree with that but I'm not seeing them around here.

Thing is, just like everything else those that pander to the hype seem to get the lion's share of views.

I don't just write about gaming either (obviously...) I'll tackle current events, politics and anything else that sparks a point of view. In fact that's what this particular blog is for.  That's why it's tagline is:

"Uncategorized reading for the randomized mind"

Perhaps that's the problem.  Nobody can identify with me.
I've been called overly negative, a troll not to mention any number of profanities.  I dunno, I just call 'em like I see 'em but it seems that if you don't buy into the prevailing online fads you're somehow a deviant.

Which to me signals the final evolution of online culture.  It's become as commercial and shallow as anything Hollywood could come up with.  It seems online success comes only to those either willing to put aside critical thinking or who've already made their mark elsewhere.  

Now before anyone runs off claiming my problem stems from being an arrogant a-hole with an overactive troll complex I'll simply give you this statistic.

I've written close to 500 articles in 4.5 years on a variety of topics.  Of those approximately 12 of them have proven the most popular with over 5K views each. 

All of them were critical of TWIT.  Meaning what people seem to like the most is a more critical point of view.  

Which implies that....
If you write an article about Leo's penis pics you can guarantee 5K views.  Write about a good book you read and you see 12.

Yeah, so take that!   

But seriously, the most popular stuff I ever wrote I never really wanted to write.  That being, the downfall and slow disintegration of someone I once held up as role model.

So I guess negativity isn't the problem. If I was as big an ass as some have made me out to be I'd have a lot larger  readership from the numbers I see.  

So the real question is, what kind of posts do you really want to see?

What do you think folks?   Glass half full or half empty?

I'll publish your answers in an upcoming article.

...Of which there will be none if I don't get any.