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Friday, 9 July 2010

Am I famous and Homeless?

So I am homeless, well not totally, I put my house up for sale three days before we went on holiday never expecting any viewers, but the estate agent called the morning we were due to leave saying she had a viewer, so we left her the house keys and the following Monday we got a call to say the viewer had made an offer above the asking price which we accepted without hesitation. Now you might say it's silly to accept the first offer but we are in a recession and at least where I live it is a buyers market right now and to get an offer over the asking price so fast is very rare just now.

We have located one house that we want to buy, the price of which has dropped by £25,000 ($37,000) in the last year, yes its been for sale that long, but I know of a few other houses in our town that have been for sale for three years, there is nothing wrong with the houses other than they are way over priced and even though the one I want has dropped so much I have already told the sellers estate agent that if they do not drop another £10,000 off the sale price then I will walk away from the sale, he did not rule out my demand and said that "Yes there is room for negotiation on the sale price" Now this may seem cheeky of me to make such a demand but I know exactly what the seller paid for the house, they are still making a profit, I also know that they have bought land on which they plan to build a house but they need to sell their house before they can start the build, I also know that they have had very few viewers and no offers on the house during the year they have had it for sale and so the odds are stacked in my favour that I will get the house I want at the price I want to pay.

The house we hope to buy is big enough to offer me a decent sized room as an office, so I will be able to set up microphones and lighting to do Ustream broadcasts and have all my video and computer gear to hand instead of stored away.

Am I famous? My son who is eight told a few people on holiday "My dad's famous on YouTube" Fame to most older people is being on TV or radio, not the internet. I really get very little publicity for the videos on YouTube, while other YouTube video makers with many thousands less subscribers and millions less views than me have film crews from all over the world beating a path to their door, am I jealous? You bet I am. Well, not so much jealous but a little annoyed because my relatives don't look at my videos, but they do sometimes see things on TV or newspapers about other YouTubers and they ask "if you're so famous on YouTube how come you're not on TV and these people are?" My guess is that there is no face to market and the videos are not exactly PC with people pretending to be Nazis etc in my videos, to those of us who play Airsoft we are just having fun but to TV producers they must see possible complaints from the politically correct brigade and so they avoid me like the plague.

The last press I got was almost two years ago when in the space of two days four national newspapers ran short reports on the amount of views and subscribers I was getting, most reports were about a quarter page which was OK and that was followed by a little bit in Airsoft International who I am sad to say just copied the text from the newspapers and never bothered to contact me, I was more disappointed with AI than anything else as I still buy that magazine every month even though a lot of players slate it on internet forums.

In the last month though I have had contact from four magazines and one newspaper asking for interviews, the magazines are based in the USA, South America and Ireland, the newspaper was in the USA, the odd thing is that all emailed asking for interviews to which I agreed with no conditions, but none took it further which is kinda odd, one though was a Paintball magazine which the reporter told me was the longest running and most popular in the USA though I cannot remember the name of it, but after I agreed to the interview I did point out to the guy that I was not exactly the most popular person among Paintballers and in fact I have blocked thousands of them from making comments on my videos, I do have thousands of subscribers who are or were paintballers and I appreciate their support but it seems the vast majority hate me which does not worry me in the slightest.

Airsoft gun maker G&G emailed me on 7th July asking for some exclusive video for a forthcoming DVD release so I will see what I can dig out for them, thankfully I have kept almost every bit of video I have ever recorded so have a very big archive of unreleased footage and a lot of it is brilliant stuff but I just never got around to using it, so if they use whatever I send them I will give you a link to the DVD release when they put it out. Over the last year or so I have thought about releasing my own DVD but as I know little about distribution and marketing I have decided not to bother, YouTube videos can be seen in HD for free so I see no point in releasing a DVD which may involve a lot of my time and effort for a few pounds or perhaps even no profit.

I read a recent video industry report on a top selling UK DVD which made no profit at all and in fact the people who made the video ended up losing thousands of pounds from its release, Im not sure if the producers of the DVD spent so much making the thing or if the company was just badly ran but I decided to avoid this.

Talking of HD my latest video was supposed to be in the 1080p format, to be honest I don't really see a lot of difference between 1080p and all the 720p videos I have recently made, maybe I need my eyes tested. All the videos for about the last 18 months have been filmed in 1080p NTSC format but I never knew how to render them as 1080p after editing until the other day when a subscriber sent me a message via YouTube telling me how to do it and it was easy. After the video is edited together using iMovie 09 I just export it (save it) using Quicktime, the file is saved on one of my external hard drives then that file is uploaded to YouTube. A ten minute 720p video usually takes about 45 minutes to render ready for upload and that upload can take almost five hours, but it took over three hours to render a 1080p video and could take twelve hours to upload, is it all worth it you may ask and I am not really sure that it is.

I noticed that three of the US based YouTube video makers I subscribe to have recently released videos which viewers had to pay to view and the backlash from that was exactly as I expected, one US YouTube chat show I look at wanted just 99 cents to download a three hour show, they ended up having to put up a video saying they were sorry about charging and tried to explain the reasons behind the cost etc but even that video got so many bad comments they had to stop all viewers from leaving any comments and removed all the ones that had been already been made.

This pay per view feature will be rolled out to some UK and European YouTube partners in time and I can assure you that I will not be going down that route, the great thing about YouTube and other video host sites is that you can see videos for FREE and that's what made them popular, I am not knocking anyone who decides to make PPV videos as I do realise that they all have to make cash in order to continue, but they make good amounts of cash from the adverts you see at the bottom of the videos and the pre rolls which are TV type adverts you may see before a video starts, earnings from these adverts are nice without being greedy and you the viewer still see the videos at no cost.

I had a lot of messages via YouTube plus a few from the blog and Facebook asking me about the soccer World Cup, in my world it's a non event, I have zero interest in soccer and I have never had any interest in it.

Usually when I tell people this they ask what team I supported when I liked it or say that I should have an interest because it's the World cup, WHY? I usually ask them what part of "No interest ever" did they not understand. Part of my hate for the game may stem from school where we were all forced to play, when I was about eight I was told by Mr Chalmers the school coach "you're going to play for the school team" to which my reply was "Are you fucking joking" I got three of the belt for that one, the belt incase you do not know was a heavy leather belt which was slapped hard onto your hands, it was worth it though as I never did play for the school team.

Talking of FaceBook, about seven weeks after I started the fan page it has over four thousand followers, I am very embarrassed about starting a fan page for myself but my old YouTube mentor pushed for me to start one over a year ago and I just did not bother, I have a private FaceBook account for friends I actually know and family but seldom use it and until recently I did not even know how to set up a fan page, but after the guy who did have one in my YouTube name closed the account I started another and I guess its been successful, at least now fans of my videos can really see where I will be filming, what I will be doing etc.

Starting my own fan page made me take a closer look at the fan pages I was following on FaceBook, I then realised that most of the fan pages I was subscribed to on FaceBook are not actually operated by the people they claim to be, in fact out of ten I was following only two were operated by the real people, the rest were operated by fans who while never really claiming to be a famous person did not make it clear to followers that they are not and have nothing to do with the person who's page they run. The real ones incase your interested are ran by people I know a little so I did not even have to check if they were the real think or not, one for example is ran by a guy called Billy Rankin, I worked for the same company as him for a few years and Billy is now a DJ on my favourite radio station 96.3 Rock Radio which is based in Glasgow. I listen to Billys show every morning and probably annoy him by texting in most days, but he is good enough to read out most of my texts, as well as being a DJ Billy was the guitarist in among others Nazareth, The Scorpions and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band as well as having a top 20 solo hit in the USA many years ago.

Do me a favour, drop him a message via Facebook and tell him that I am more famous than him on the internet now, though I will be forever jealous of the fact that he met the late and very great Mr Stevie Ray Vaughan.


Best

John AKA Scoutthedoggie