Tf00t, now in Blog form!


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,

http://www.youtube.com/user/thunderf00tCC

(thunderf00t creative commons)

and

http://www.youtube.com/user/freecoolmedia

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.

 

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29 Responses to “Tf00t, now in Blog form!”

  1. BlitzNeko Says:

    Godspeed TF!

  2. Gary C Says:

    I have a new bookmark!

    Good luck with your funding hunt. If it doesn’t work out in the US of A, you are always welcome here in Canada!

  3. Colt Buckley Says:

    Might I suggest also looking into putting your videos up on iTunes as video podcasts? That may help more people see your videos. I normally get Pat Condells vids in my iTunes and tend not to miss them as much because my iTunes always downloads it for me, whereas I’m not always on YT as much as I used to be…

  4. Justin B Says:

    I agree, I think this [arranging things on your our terms] is probably the best way forward. You’ve touched on a key point there – ‘Subscribe’. Many little trickles lead to an [income] stream, but don’t forget merchandising or Facebook. I’ve just discovered this semester that every successful new venture usually requires 3 people minimum to develop it properly – a Product person, a Financial person and a Marketing person. Which one are you? You could substitute the word ‘person’ with ‘entrepreneur’.

    As a ‘follower’ [and poor uni student], I’m still interested in the direction and style of the output created by TF, and apparently so are tens of thousands of other curious open minds. I suppose the issue for me would boil down to ‘bang for buck’ – how much and how often, a dollar a month?, a week?
    Personally, as a follower, I would value having the option to access a line of communication with TF [or his bona fide followers] should anything ever come up that required explanation or clarification. [EG: a website with a member’s area or a moderated forum]

    Anyway, keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to the next phase of TF’s evolution.. even if it’s not free

  5. Trevor R Says:

    be the next carl sagan. you have all the tools, its just a matter of desire. if you put forth the effort, you will be rewarded. but just remember a lot of people are put off by the richard dawkins and christopher hitchens types because of their perceived negativity. don’t be come so entrenched in speaking against religion that you forget to show your followers the beauty in the universe

  6. James Says:

    There may be some potential to balance revenue and broad exposure with a ‘Freemium’ service: Have most of your service as before in order to promote your videos and have as broad an influence as possible, but have some premium / value-added content that your hardcore fans would be willing to pay for on a subscription etc basis. This lets you capture the value at the top of the demand curve while still informing / educating as many people as possible.

    Good luck in your travels. I’m actually going cross country with my brother-in-law in late June and most of July staying at national parks. I even just bought a starterscope for the trip based on your recommendation. After a couple of years living in Manhattan, it will be a welcome change to actually see the night sky for a change. He’s an organic chemistry professor, so I’m sure they’ll be a lot of science talk along the way.

    Keep us posted and looking forward to more great vids. You in part have reignited the passion for science had in school.

  7. Kyle Says:

    I’m glad to see you’ve entered the Blogosphere!

    I’ve made a few pennies with “flattr”. It might be worth looking into their system for additional funding. It is a payment system built like a social network, the more people who use it, the bigger it will become.

    Also, the website “techdirt.com” is always covering interesting new ways that people are using to leverage their popularity to generate dollars. It might be worth checking out on occasion if you are not familiar with them.
    The gist of their message is to “use what’s free to advertise what’s scarce” and “connect with fans then give them a reason to buy” (You’ve already connected, so you are half way there!)

    Best of luck and I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  8. Jordan Says:

    Oh, man – the summer Thunderf00t again! I love your educational and adventure videos, plus the time-lapse videos with the trance and hard dance on them (on your old beautyintheuniverse channel). Your current direction is a good one, Thunder; your direction, the PayPal donation system and advertising system via YouTube and your blog is a great direction for extra revenue. Keep up the good work, man, and your revenue and fan-base will grow and improve! I can’t wait for your new summer vids! Bring it on!

  9. John Radford Says:

    We all love you here thunder and i think this new blog will do allot i think to expand your fan base and to provide great educational material to a lot more people. Keep up the good work my friend. (physics ftw)

  10. coughlan Says:

    pretentious douchebag

    • Nathan DTS Says:

      Attention Whore.

    • Bruce Gorton Says:

      Coughlan – what have you ever actually produced? I mean apart from an event dedicated to stirring shit in order to get attention, what have you ever actually produced?

      With Thunderf00t the drama is the price we pay for good, lulzy science vids. What do you offer us apart from drama? Nothing.

      You aren’t informative, you aren’t intelligent, and lets face it you aren’t even funny. You are a poor man’s Amazing Atheist, and he isn’t even a poor man’s third rate George Carlin.

      You attack bigger channels in order to get subs – fine if that’s your schtick but the fact of the matter is these channels are generally bigger than you because their flaws are all you have.

  11. Vasilieos Says:

    Hey Thunderf00t. Keep up the good work!

    I will definitely support you when I can via donation.

  12. Mike Says:

    Look, I have to break it to you Thunderf00t, for your own sake. Because you are taking all this way too seriously, and seem to be quite naive.

    Your videos just aren’t that good. They just aren’t that helpful on anything, least of all Reason, Science and / or Religion.

    People watch your vids for THE LULZ and the DRAMA! The YouTube LULZ and the YouTube DRAMA! For the BITCH SLAPPIN’!

    In contrast, someone like Potholer54 is making proper, informative, clever, funny videos about those subjects. Not you. He doesn’t get your viewers, but that’s life – he doesn’t get mixed up in schoolyard DRAMA like you.

    Follow Potholer’s lead. Lighten up. Make videos for fun. Quit this talk of ‘revenue streams’ and ‘market places’ ffs. You’ll waste your time and regret it all in the end.

  13. monoster Says:

    Please Thunderf00t keep ’em coming.

  14. Margot Says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that you have a black background with muted white text. The rest of the (idiots) world hasn’t figured out yet that the web is NOT PAPER where a white background is simply a bright light that we stare into!

    GL Thunderf00t. Pave your own way.

  15. Grand Lunar Says:

    Great to see you now in blog form.

    I agree with your reasoning; Youtube has become a forum for attention seekers and entertainers. It really isn’t an enviroment for education. At least, nor for the masses.

    I imagine you may indeed have more success in the blogosphere, like so many others have (like PZ Myers and Phil Plait).

  16. Twunt Says:

    If during your vagrancy you find yourself in north central Iowa (although why the fuck would you?) and you want have a drink or two with a fellow expatriated limey I’d be happy to offer you a bed, a hot meal and full use of my daughters.

  17. Prelude610 Says:

    The blog looks great and I look forward to seeing it develop.

    Your science videos are excellent., with rich language and a passion for the subject. I am sure you can develop a brand of sorts in this area.

    As for your ant-reason videos, also excellent! Some people might not like the in-your-face and occasionally mocking tone, but I think it is appropriate given the subjects covered (The volcano one was the very best, a classic). We need all kinds of voices in this area, from Dawkin’s polite but direct and uncompromising style to NonStampCollector’s wit and humor to yours which comes across as justifiably incredulous and also very well grounded in established science.

    But I still wonder how and why you get dragged into debates with Neph and the other psychotics on YT. Granted, your skewering of them has been fun and have provided excellent examples of how college freshman-level science can be used to refute their nonsense. But maybe you can focus on bigger fish, the Haggards of this world and his ilk. Get a game plan and maybe some partners and take those guys on. Think of nephi as practice, a minor league career.

  18. tadpole256 Says:

    I wish you the best of luck. I really hope you are able to make your online endeavors profitable enough for you to be able to reasonably continue producing your high quality content. I am one of your biggest fans, and would love to offer any support I can. So what is the best way to help? PayPal Donations? Advertising and getting the word out? A charity drive? What are the options, which seem most realistic, and how do you think it is best to move forward. I can tell you from experience, getting a blog off the ground and keeping it profitable is no easy task, but you are right about YouTube. So do you have a plan? Are you open to partners? What exactly do you mean when you say “sponsor this channel” in your videos?

  19. Dan Says:

    You will have my subscription as soon as paypal is done with their 2 to 3 day charges to my bank account. As a side note, I don’t know if it is more difficult to set-up a direct pay method, but it might be worth a try. I don’t like the fact that they asked for the password for my bank account! That is crazy and most people will not do it. Only trying to help you with positive feedback on trying to subscribe. Your efforts deserve support and I am out of the Atheist closet now because of people like you. I hope I can keep my job at a hospital (guess who runs it) so I can make my small contribution. Thank you for hard work at fighting the irrational. Maybe we can caarry the fire for a while longer.

    • Twunt Says:

      I’m a very vocal atheist and I work for a catholic hospital. I even display whiteboards in my work area with rationalist writings, and occasional respectful criticisms of instances of religion interfering with science and education. It has never caused any problems for me.

  20. Jusify Says:

    Your videos aren’t that great. You’ve spend years being a hypocrite and you think you should be paid for it? Your videos suck! The reason why people watch your videos is the same reason people watch the moron on reality shows. And you are not even as good as them! A piece of crap can be viewed on ebay millions of times and not be sold and you’re that piece of crap. It is not because you’re videos are educational and please don’t equate it with education. You’re just a jobless loser trying to get paid for doing nothing. A pretty girl can talk shit and get more subcriber than you! That is youtube! Get of your fucking ivory tower and get a job like everyone else!

  21. Thunderf00t Says:

    Just a test to see if links can be posted
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thunderf00tCC

  22. James Says:

    I know lots of places in America and new York to see great plants!

  23. Julie Was Here Says:

    Yay! I was hoping you’d start a blog. I just wish I’d noticed it sooner. I will be following this. 🙂
    Good luck.

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