I’ve started a blog for a couple of reasons.
1) In about a month I will be packing up everything and officially becoming a vagrant. To be honest I’m really looking forward to it! I have at least two months, a car and America as a home.
I’ve also been sup-ing up my kit.
- The AV drone now is kitted out with HD and a v. nice ground station.
- The telescope now has a choice of backend capture devices. Hopefully I’m going to somewhat refine the ability of the machine to get decent images of the planets, and find someone in Hawaii and Australia to do the (or at least have a first go) at the global planetary timelapse thing.
- I’ve now got the capability to record full HD timelapse of the drive across America.
Seeing as most of this sup-ed up kit was bought with the donations of viewers, it seems fitting that the raw footage should be hosted on a website as a creative commons library.
Got two channels lined up,
(thunderf00t creative commons)
The latter I’ve started uploading some of my older stuff to. But I’ve still not decided which of these channels to use.
2) The second reason I’ve started a blog is because youtube has changed. There is now so much quasi-professional media out there that unless you are in that league, you will simply be out-competed in the attention economy. Put simply, your choices are ‘IN’ or ‘OUT’. The days when youtube was ‘broadcast yourself’ and could develop a following are essentially over.
90% of the traffic goes to 1% of the media producers.
Further if I am ‘out’, it is unlikely that I will be replaced by similar content. It took 4 years, and about 1 year of work to get this channel where it is now, and when I started the competition was far less intense. If someone wanted to build up a similar channel, it would cost them many 10s of thousands in promotions and a similar amount in labor to do it. I just don’t see that happening.
If I am to be ‘in’, it requires the de facto sacrifice of a perfectly functional scientific career. Thats something I’m willing to do, but I’m not willing to commit financial suicide at the same time.
The reasoning for this is pragmatic. The channel has some 30mn views. Make the first order approximation that the material is primarily educational, and translate that into how much ‘information’ a teacher gives out to a class of 30 students. Turns out I’ve spent about 1 year of my life to make that material, and it translates to about a teaching career. Of all the ways to spend a year of your life, thats not bad!
This is why I’ve been trying to develop a funding stream that will in the first case allow a living salary. If that works out I have no problem whatsoever in deploying the funds to further rationality within society. However in the first case, LIVING SALARY. I’ve got about one year (long story) to work something out. Currently advertising revenue on youtube is simply not a viable option for this. Donations proved to have some potential, but only really come in if attention is bought to the need for them. I’ve been told that on a blog like this, you get much more control over the advertising, and therefore they bring in more revenue. I can also allow people to ‘subscribe’ via payal. Again a more constant stream of revenue.