Sept 27th 2017
Welcome folks! Hello one and all!
SO I had something interesting happen to me this week. I discovered a way to promote videos on YouTube.
Let's start a little ways back. One of my biggest challenges with Marketing my site and have always been aware of services on Fiverr that will promote Videos for a fee (Something I haven't forgotten and might still do) With Fiverr, however, there isn't really a way to measure the metrics of a videos progress as it goes through its advertising cycle. Which in my mind can be just as important as the video itself. You have to measure things out and see how long people are engaged or where they lose interest and where any drop off are. Its the easiest way to measure a videos success and failure in one go.
If I were to do fiverr it would be up to the person advertising it on their Channel or through their own means and I don't see the obvious way of measuring anything. On the Fiverr side of things I have also taken a look at Editing Services for Videos if I get way too behind. Anyway, Marketing a video can be a tricky thing and the more control over a videos progress, the better.
YouTube, for anyone paying attention to the site over the past week or so, will know that they went through a huge re-brand with their site style, look, layout, and Logo. It's really clean and fresh. They have also changed up and gotten rid of the old editing suite where I used to edit my videos. Yikes. Big changes. One of the other things they have added and I noticed recently is a "Promote" option in the video section in my Channel Suite. Here is where things get interesting.
So I look into the promote option and, low and behold, it's a Marketing tool for content creators to market videos through YouTube Advertising. AAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Best part too is that I can track and measure all the metrics throughout the cycle of the Videos Campaign. It's very in depth and detailed. And while it still does cost, you set the budget! I went with $20 dollars as my first go. $20 bucks! I could have spent more but it said that at 20 dollars it would reach 0-1000 potential viewership. It would either flunk or succeed and 20 dollars isn't a bad price to start with or lose if the campaign fails. I just had to know though.
First video I wanted to put up was Part 1 of my Last of Us Video. WRONG! It was denied. Apparently YouTube has a clean video clause and they won't advertise or run campaigns for Videos that have violence or are vulgar, and brother, that video is violent (But enjoyable). So I had to reroute my efforts. I had already spent 20 and I don't think that I get refunds once I spend it. I went through some of my videos and the most family friendly video that I had that was the most polished was a Minecraft Monday where I went into the Nether.
So fast forward a Week. I don't even know if the campaign is over, actually. I took a look at the video. 510 views! I was freaking out! I was soooooo excited. Then, I noticed something else. I had another subscriber. I am at 11 now. 20 bucks, 510 views, 1 subscriber. Money well spent. Correction! 598 views. It's still going!!!!!! I took another look and it's up to 598. Almost 600 natural views from Ad Source Campaign Advertising. It really does work.
I really do want to keep things natural but you really cannot argue with metrics and results. So, I am thinking of ramping things up for next time. I really want to go all out but I can see this as something that can get out of control. Maybe 50 dollars next time. Gotta have the right video though. It has to be enjoyable. I'm not going to just through old videos out there. It has to be good. It has to be something that people will come back for. Quality is very important to me. But now I have a way to get quality out to the masses. It's a very exciting time for me, I have to say.
So that's what has happened to make me so excited. I had to share with all of you. Look out for more fun to come. I intend on making a fun video that's work-worthy of Ad Source campaigning later on so comment if anyone has any good suggestions. PEACE!!!
What's In A Game?
August 15th 2017
So up until now, you guys have seen me go through a lot of things and transitions. Hardware was a big one. Schedule was an even bigger one. I even got a little deep and meta last blog. I was a little down into the wine from dinner, to be honest, but it was all still true. I do want to be a creative and it makes me happy that I get to do things with Photoshop and Illustrator again.
Now I am down to the nitty gritty of my streaming journey. The Games I play.
Not just any games but games I enjoy. The last thing I want to do is phone it in by just playing what's popular. Nothing turns me away faster by watching a streamer aimlessly play a video game for hours at a time, even though those streamers do well (some are very successful). My goal is not really a goal at all because I'm doing it right now. I am having fun playing what I love and broadcasting it all online and being part of the social machine. Adding my voice to the noise is an easy thing to do but being heard is a thing not easily pulled off and it will take me some time. However, if I am going to be successful at this it needs to be done in a way that feels alright.
Back to the point. Games I love. It's already obvious that I shoot myself in the foot by doing too much but I don't think or believe that streaming multiple games is part of what will keep me on track. I'm a variety gamer. Just like some gamers only play Destiny or Call of Duty or WOW. I just get bored easily. I could never stream the same game over and over and over because the enthusiasm I want to bring to the table would be gone immediately. It gets old to me. Instead, I mix it up and make the week a mix of Themes. MINECRAFT MONDAYS, WORMS WEDNESDAY (still in the works), THURSDAY TWITCH, WEEKEND LETSPLAY.
I try to stay away from random by repeating that week to week which may seem weird but there still needs to be a consistency. It does seem to work and because the games I play tend to have a story line, it's new to the viewer just as much as it's new to me! Fresh material every week. I have hit a rut once or twice with Minecraft, being that all you do is build, but I have started adding themes to the streams as well. This past Monday was a Let’s Build and before I knew it I had streamed for over an hour and 20 minutes making it the longest stream I've done to date. I just concentrated on building my castle and adding my typical commentary. Next time I am going to dig to the center of the earth for materials! Stuff like that will keep things fresh for me and hopefully for the viewers as well.
Other games like Horizon Zero Dawn just catch me in the best way and the world is so immersive I can't help but come back time and time again. It's also a fan favorite so I'm driven to give the people what they want. And let's not forget the crazy and terrifying environment of Alien Isolation. That game is ROUGH. Partially because I'm always screaming like a little girl and dying. LOL. I have even had a fair share of nightmares due to this game. Guys, I am serious when I say this game is for your enjoyment! It’s a great game and I love the movies but submersing my brain into the actual world where I am constantly terrified the Alien is going to jump out of nowhere (And it DOES) and I'm jumping at every sound, will give me PTSD. I swear. To. God!
But that's the point, right? The main source of entertainment isn't just the game. It’s me as well. My personality and reactions to these games are more than half of the draw. At least I'd like to think so. My future endeavors will have a consistent change every once in a while. I just recently shot part two of UNRAVELED, a side-scrolling puzzle game rife with challenges, entrancing music, and a cute protagonist Yarny that tries to help an old lady recapture her memories and photographs of her grandchildren. Or Children(?) Hhmmmm. I've also shot play-throughs of 7 DAYS TO DIE and I intend to make a go of a few Worms Play-throughs and even start a new Horror game UNTIL DAWN. When will I do all of this? Or even find time to edit these videos for my site? Who the hell knows? Or Cares?! It's still going to be fun.
Which brings me right back around to my point. Having fun by being a Variety Gamer. It's about mixing it up. It keeps things fresh for my viewers and keeps me from falling into a deep trap of boring monotony.
New Ideas New Dreams New Avenues New Streams
AUGUST 8TH 2017
I am writing this because I feel like I have discovered something more than just wanting to share my experiences. I want to keep a door open to the public view so that I can finally show off a piece of me that hasn't existed in over 10 years.
I am a creative. Or I was once.
I want to recapture a part of me. Something that I haven't been able to express since the long ago. I was once a writer. I wrote poetry, screenplays, even tried to write a novel and that was In the 8th grade. Now I'm feeling a sense of reanimation with my creative past that's been brought about by this new hobby of streaming and it feels refreshing. Life just seemed to take over and there wasn't enough time. Life and financial obligation after graduation has pushed all that under and we all know how terrible I am at managing my own time.
Those of you that have not seen me in years only know me by my facebook and twitter posts. You haven't hung out with me since last you saw me. You haven't heard my voice since last we physically talked. We haven't shared ideas since our last class together. Well here I am. I am revealing, not a new side of me, but an older side that's being allowed to express itself in a new way that wasn't available then. Who knows what could have been?! Maybe I might start vlogging. Lol
Okay. Now on to the current. On to what's happening now. Lets leave that philosophizing to someone else.
I'm so much better with editing. I just need to pick up speed. I still have two videos of Horizon Zero Dawn to release but they're going to be so good, the wait will be worth it so stay tuned. Also, as promised I have made two new videos from two new games. Both will be short videos but they will be entertaining for the whole family. The first is 1 of 2 parts featuring the surreal game "UNRAVEL" in which I play a character made from yarn that runs through an old lady's property recapturing her sweet memories. It's actually a nice break from the norm. And speaking of norm, the second video is me trying to survive in the Zombie wastelands of "7 DAYS TO DIE." I start out NAKED! Waaaaaaat?
It doesn't end well. And I mean that I seem to find myself in the d-d-dark trying to build a block. Lol in the worst way. Not a great video but it's something that might take off later on. Who knows?
I have also been able to set up a green screen in the studio and I can transpose my logo and my gameplay and scenery onto the background through OBS. Exciting!!! Can't wait to give it a try but first I need to get my videos done. I do have a great announcement that I think will be a huge success. I am teaming up for a few videos with @CheesemanCT of "WORMS" This is an awesome sidescroller that pulls its roots from "TANKS" that I know we all played way back when in highs chool during Typing Class. At least I did. Hilarity will ensue so that will take place next week. Stay tuned.
Okay. This blog has run its course and I need sleep. But just know that I am still going strong. I find myself often daydreaming of leaving work early in order to work and stream. Crazy. As long as I take the long way around and continue to work I will become more and more a master of a creative side that's been buried deep longing for fresh air and room to scream out loud its intricacies.
AUGUST 1, 2017
No worries guys. I'm not stopping. I'm just getting busier. And because of this I am 3 large videos in that have not been edited.
It is my fault I can't deny. . . The one thing I have not been able to do lately is value my time. I do consider my time valuable, I swear but only practice can make perfect with scheduling and I have learned first-hand how fast I can fall behind simply because I "Felt it okay" to change my schedule on a whim.
Thursday the 27th was MY BIRTHDAY! WOoT! The big 33. I had taken/ been given 2 days off to concentrate on me. I hit my quality stream goal almost a full week ahead of time so I was pumped to do nothing but stream and edit on my Birthday and Friday. That is not what happened. I slept most of the day and Binged Watched One Man Punch. (Awesome Show)
I thought, "Why Not?" It’s my birthday and I can cry/ sleep if I want to. Well I paid for it. Everything got pushed to Friday and that became an issue due to the fact that my wife took that day off un-unbeknownst to me to spend time with me. Don't get me wrong, it was very sweet and I should not have been a grouch about it. But as Lennon once said, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." or something like that. It was unexpected.
So Friday was off as well. That left Saturday and Sunday. Fast forward through Saturday and all the stuff we did that wasn't stream related and I only finished MineCraft for Monday and Streamed Horizon Zero Dawn Pt 8 all on Sunday evening. Good stuff but nowhere near what I was intending to do with my time taken. Whelp, lesson learned (Hopefully). If you have a plan and a schedule, stick to it! IT will make life all the more easy for you.
So now we have come to the point where I need to at least start editing my material. Thankfully I have gotten used to iMovie Maker on my Mac. A great program that is allowing me to slide back into the editing master that I once was. I can even add humorous elements to my videos that I couldn't do on YouTube's editor. And I can even Add Music!!! Anywhere in the video. Finally! It has sped everything up ten-fold and so long as I organize all my saves from my Elgato, I don't even need to download VODS from Twitch! Easy and Breezy.
I have given some thought (Okay, a lot of thought) to my website. Everything eventually ends up there and that's where I want everyone's attention to be. I only host the vids on YouTube and Stream with Twitch to stay current and live. Wouldn't it be great if I could direct everyone that wants to watch my Live Streams to my Website? Of course it would!!!! Well, I found out and will my trying a few things that may actually let me do it. It's easy to do just not if you're a Noob like me. So that will be my next step. Apart from that, I have also gotten my hands on Photoshop and Illustrator editions that I can have forever so my thumbnails will have a consistency to them finally. I may even go back to some videos and change the current Thumbnails just to save grief in the long run.
It all comes down to experience earned and learned and luckily for me there is a tone of references and material out that that can help. Even though I only host my videos on YouTube I still use it as my go-to for issues, questions, and trouble shooting. I am finally able to at least perfect the habits I have already developed and the future to this hobby is getting brighter. One sour note in all of this, I have had to slow down on building my PC. Turns out even, a DIY build is more expensive than I thought it was going to be. I have a grocery list of items ill need but it requires a good half-grand to do it. Oh Well. One day I will and for all the good reasons of making my stream and other things look better.
It’s at least humbling to know that people are watching and reading and enjoying what I am doing. I've had great connections all around both on social media and within the streams themselves. Its only fuel for my fire.
Burn, baby! Burn!
Good News /
My Goal / My Build
JULY 25TH 2017
I’m coming off a mid-day slump and part of me doesn’t want to write. But I have been so good with posting every Tuesday for the last month, I’d be remiss for not keeping up the habit. 21 days, they say, till it’s a habit. Boo-ya.
As of my last blog, I went through a no-stream rut. I had tons of family and old friends in town last week. I live out in the country and downtown is 30 minutes away from me. Somehow I managed to go downtown for drinks and dinner 3 nights in a row. What is WRONG with me!!?? Then the In-Laws were in town and I couldn’t get a second in my studio at all. Oh well. It’s a new week and a new period for creating and cultivating my content. I wrote about my goal to get my new pc up and running and executing a solid stream on Twitch or Mixer. Well, I did it! I ran a solid stream in the green the whole way through. On my Mac. Lol.
Don’t get me wrong I tried. I went through different methods of clearing space and maximizing the C: Drive and minimizing the programs that start up when you turn on the computer. I also received my webcam and hooked it up and ran a test stream. But I could not get programs to work well with each other. OBS wouldn’t stream at all and Elgato kept shutting my stream down due to low ability to stream to Twitch. Finally I had it and reconnected everything to the Mac. And do you know what happened? Perfect stream. Used Elgato. Got my face and logo in. I even got to wear my new MzArlowe Branded t-shirt that came in the Mail this past Monday. All a good 3 days before my birthday!
I’m still a little peeved that my PC couldn’t handle a program worth a crap but in its defense, it isn’t strong enough as it is. For it to handle simple editing, I’d have to install a Solid State Hard drive, new processor, extra RAM, and, maybe, a new graphics card that requires its own 500 watt power bank to support it. I have a little ways to go. And it won’t be cheap. Total, everything is looking to be $500. Which is fine but then I run into the problem of my PC case not being compatible with any one of those pieces. It’d almost be smarter to buy an empty case and starting from scratch. Which, then it’d be more like 700-1000 dollars. The fan, motherboard, network card, disc drive, would all add to that cost.
So, to my sha-grin, I am back to using the Mac. Not a problem for me cause at least now I know I can handle a great stream at 480p. What evs!
So now I just have to try using OBS with all that I have learned. It might be a little more intensive since I still have to have my Elgato capture card running which may have been the original problem. And I still have to – OH!
Mid typing tangent. YouTube is discontinuing the creative studio!!! WTF YouTube?!?! I have til the 20th of September to finish all projects in editing. I still haven’t been able to verify my website. It’s all a frustrating thing but I think it’s a blessing in disguise. It will make me learn Movie Maker and it will keep me from wasting my lunch breaks at work on editing. Or maybe it’s not a great thing. Well I suppose time will tell.
Okay. Back to my Mac. Actually, I think that’s it. I’m back to using my Mac.
This week is a bit of a crazy week. I have a four day weekend coming up for streaming and editing and content creation. Awesome. What’s not awesome is my PC build and the upcoming work load weighing on my mind and If anyone has any thoughts on what works best with editing software or what build is best suggested I’d appreciate the help. Researching all of this is its own pain in the ass.
As always, if anyone has PC build advice, let me know in the comments.
A Turning Point?
JULY 18TH 2017
There is a lot I can say about my journey. Its clearer how I feel at this point but I have hit my first slump.
I am still having OBS Issues with streaming but I believe that’s about to come to an end. I have a new OLD PC 2013 (Dell Optiplex 790)but the processor and internal graphics card are better for streaming and can handle a direct Internet connection which my old Mac can’t do. Currently looking at GForce Graphics cards but I have to remind myself that I need to slow down, yet again, and see what the PC I have now can do.
The SLUMP I have mentioned earlier is from the inconsistencies that are plaguing my schedules from week to week. I can’t ever update my viewers with certainty when I will release videos. My MINECRAFT MONDAY has suffered the most. Last week I was not feeling well and, as of the blog, I am not too sure of the post that graced this Mondays Video. Editing is also a big hurdle I am still overcoming. YouTube is still my primary editor (NOT THE BEST), mostly because Movie Maker on my MAC scares me. Too much to learn in so little time. That’s my next issue I will have to overcome if I am ever going to live up to the quality I want for my viewers and also for myself.
It’s getting me down at times and my attention is being pulled in multiple directions. It all came to a head when last Thursday, I was all set for a solid stream to twitch and nothing looked good at all. My stream quality was awful and laggy and un-editable. Even I can’t tell what I was looking at. I can say for certainty that it bodes ill for my Mac as my primary machine. Hence the PC. That story is still unfolding. On top of that I have googled, YouTubed, and asked the general public as to what settings they recommend for lag and upload issues, of which I have been having. I have a to-do list now and I can’t wait to put those to the test, both on the Mac and the New OLD PC. (Since my last post, I have found that my Intel i5 processor is decent enough which is a good thing is since I have also found out from our IT Manager that they are soldered into the system with everything else; it can’t be upgraded).
BUT there is a shred of exciting good news with Elgato HD60. This is a system that I have not looked too much into since it was only being used to bridge the consoles to the computer for OBS. I can do Overlays and everything that I am originally trying to do in OBS in ELGATO! This means I can place my face cam, do alerts, link my website, and add chat. Also, I would only have to worry about one system using my CPU rather than two which can only help my stream quality. That makes me EXTREMELY HAPPY! Putting my only purchase to better use. I still will learn how to do OBS because the tools are far more extensive I think but I will find out about Elgato’s capability as I go along.
I’m still having fun while streaming, though. I brought myself back around and did a successful part 7 for Horizon Zero Dawn and found I can plug my snowball mic directly into the PS4. Good sound to it and the audio came out great. I’ll have to see if the same can be said for the XBOX. All in all it’s the issues any newbie streamer is going to have and problems do happen and will continue to happen. I’ve learned a lot about my tech threshold and what my current mac can withstand.
My birthday is coming up next week. July 27th. I plan to have everything up and running by then. I will stream a graphic intense CPU harsh game through Elgato/ and OBS and have everything intractable by the time I get online. If I can do that it will be a good birthday indeed. How’s that for lofty?
PS: IF ANY OF MY READERS HAS SUGGESTIONS FOR MY PC BUILD, I HAVE A DELL OPTIPLEX 790 WITH AN I5 3.1 GHZ (QUAD CORE) CPU AND A ATI RADEON HD 5450 GRAPHICS CARD (AFTER LOOKING AT THE SPECS)
I AM OPEN TO OPTIONS FOR UPGRADING THIS FOR OPTIMAL USAGE.
I am having Fun?
JULY 11TH, 2017
Yes. I am. I am having fun as a content creator and streamer.
I am currently at work on my lunch break watching "How To" Videos on YouTube and updating my blog and website so, at the very least, I am keeping myself busy. The fun is still happening though, albeit slow and steady. I have tried to keep to my schedule and I have tried to keep myself honest as well with the few followers I have. Another thing that IS happening, albeit slow.
I knew going into this that it would be hard work, and I am happy to announce I was not disappointed. I still haven't found a happy MEDIUM with all the work I still have to do on the side to keep this hobby going (Smoothly). Last night I had my first issue with being sick while trying to work. The downside of that is, since I am on a schedule where I can only do Minecraft on Monday (Mincraft Mondays), I have to either work through it, post it on Tuesday (and then it just becomes Minecraft Streaming) or wait til the following week and do something EXTRA SPECIAL to make up for not streaming the previous week. Short version, I didn't stream. I want the best and I don't want my viewers to see me at my worst. I spent that time working on OBS.
I know Whine Whine Whine. It still makes things tougher and not more fun.
I also have found I can no longer tolerate the low quality of the video, camera angles of my "Beautiful" face, and the crappy sound quality of my voice. I was fine in the beginning since I was doing just that; beginning, but now I have the strongest desire to improve in these avenues. I already have the capture card and mic and software. NOW I am branching out and editing everything. I realize all my Mixer and Twitch Streams onto YouTube but I don't release to the public until I have chopped them down, added my intros and extro-s and doctored things up.
Also, I have downloaded and started learning iMaker on my Mac book to make things look, sound, and behave better (If not more predictable) online. This is a pain in my ass because I have already put in the time to perfect my use of You Tubes "Limited" tools in the Creator Studio but eventually it will all be worth it. First off, It will keep me from working at work. Second, it will allow me to concentrate and perfect my videos to the level I really want them to be. THE DOWNSIDE? I have to find more time to do all this and still spend more time on other things; my Wife being the most important (Love you Honey!)
Another task I have taken too is learning to use OBS. Its a free Broadcasting program that will increase the quality of my streams to Mixer and Twitch but will also, and I just found this out last night, allow live YouTube and FACEBOOK(!) streaming. Holy Crap. Plus, it works with my ELGATO, it allows me to do overlays, and it will put my face on the stream. Something I could not do using just my ELGATO Game Capture Card. That ONE THING does make me very happy. I have always said I intended to better myself as I went along and I am also not disappointing myself in this regard as well. And there are still tons of things left to learn.
Don't get my wrong. I know I am rambling but all of this is happening just in this week. I have tons more coming at me in the weeks to come but at least its all exciting. Which brings me back around. I am still HAVING A BLAST! Yes, its hard work and I think a lot of people would have given up by now, but since I have come this far, I feel more and more proud of all that I have accomplished. I have subscribers and followers. I am being given shout-outs by influencers and I am making (Real if not digital) friends and learning from them everyday. I am getting better and better at being more efficient. I am KEEPING a solid schedule and coming out with NEW material every week. Its all so exciting simply because its me and its my vision and its what I wanted.
No first draft of a plan survives the enemy, and that's true, but I haven't crashed and burned. It doesn't look like I will, although if I do, I can take advantage of a lesson learned and bounce back twice as strong.
JULY 5TH, 2017
I am predictable if not borderline crazy. We are on month 2 of my streaming frenzy and I have come to realize I am in trouble. The good kind of trouble.
You might here computer enthusiasts (Nerds, Geeks, PC Gamers) refer to their office desk or computer as their "Battle Station." Its a thing, trust me. It basically comes down to their set up and how they use/set up their computers for online gaming or work. And traditionally you have more than two monitors. At least. My set up is no different.
I also have a TV.
I have mounted a 32 inch Vizio Smart TV over my desk and I have dual casting monitors flanking both sides connected to my Macbook Pro.
On top of that I have a Sony VAIO Computer linked to my TV that mirrors my screen AND I have a HP Rove 24 inch Tablet that has the most up to date Version of Windows 10. The last two are old and crappy but only because I use them and have used them for over 3 to 8 years collectively.
Why have I gone overboard? Why do I have so much? I DON'T KNOW!
Well, that's not true. I do know. My older computers have all my work on them from the past 8 years and I cant bear to part with them. I still use them. I also freelance as a graphic designer so I use my mac book, given to me as a Christmas Present, that has my Creative Suite. I have a hand-me down Samsung Monitor my mother gave me and I bought an AOC 24 inch monitor for a PC I purchased a while ago. I have since sold that PC (I so wish I hadn't now that I am streaming) and I use both monitors with the Mac now.
I have taken all of the tech junk and put it to use on top of a gigantic L-shape office desk my step mother let me take since she no longer wanted it. You wake into this office and you'd think I was running a hacking operation out of my study.
Long story short; Why am I in a "good" kind of Trouble? Ever since streaming, I have spent less than 200 bucks on everything. I have everything and more to run a streaming site. My Capture Card and Mic are the only things I have purchased for this. I was even given a swivel arm for the Mic (Snowball Yeti and i have no Idea where I am to put it). I already have and use my DSLR camera for face capture during game play which was also a Christmas Present.
Its a crazy set up but I feel like all of this tech, given or purchased over the years, only means I was meant to stream. Its like I was meant to do this. I have only recently realized this. So recently that the Epiphany was the inspiration for this blog. (had no clue what I was to write earlier)
All this, my set up, makes me the captain of this operation. The admiral of my own Battleship.
Normal For You?
JUNE 27TH 2017
Well. . . I'm three weeks into MzArlowe Gaming. I think its starting to look like a constant struggle. I can already say, my new streaming endeavor is "bogarting" my time more than I expected. I knew I'd be busy but you never really know how busy until you're there in the thick of it.
So My streaming schedule being able to stream really boils down to the extra time I have/when my Wife is working or her shows are on. Monday (Bachelor/ Bachelorette night), I either stream half hour in the morning or an hour in the evenings. MINECRAFT MONDAY!
Then I have husband duties Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is Twitch / Mixer Thursday. Any game goes but it has to be an hour.
Then Saturday or Sunday is LETS PLAY. That takes minimum two hours of dedicated time.
While this doesn't seem busy to anyone by a long run, that's just airtime. Now we have to move on to the constant VoD (video on demand) editing, website updates, the emails, the stream views you do for those you're following (A courtesy requirement) consistent Tweeting and Facebook updates/ interactions, logo and Brand management, AND the constant work put into making each stream look, sound, and flow better (A daily struggle). I have equipment and computer components that need tweaking and updating so everything stays consistent.
This comes at a bit of a price. Not money price, mental price. I have a problem turning my mind off when I need a disconnect. In the beginning, it was rough. We are talking loss of sleep and appetite. I have calmed down since then but I am constantly thinking about growing my channels, follower, and viewership. It will take time but it will take a lot more.
My wife is very supportive (of course shes allowed to call me a geek all she wants and she still comes first in almost all things) but it still feels like I am torn. When we are together (Or anytime outside of streaming) I feel like I am neglecting my channel and (few but growing) followers. When I'm not with her, I feel like I'm neglecting my wife, (and friends, family, etc). Its tough and it eggs me. I have noticed.... that I have begun to neglect my friends the most. Or at least it feels that way. It may not be the case but it I still cant help that I have ignored people in order to stream and make content. Sometimes people want to hang out and I feel like I have to make an excuse. Somehow "I cant, I'm Streaming tonight." just doesn't make any sense yet.
Eventually it will all be normal and unlike some other things, I will not quit this unless absolutely necessary. I actually feel like I am doing something much bigger than myself. This isn't a pipe dream. Its a physical thing I have created. And it feels AMAZING. Its fun to be both gaming and connecting at the same time. I really cant wait til I am a year in. Just so I can look back to take stock on all that I have done.
(and determine if it was worth it)
FRIDAY 23, 2017
I don't blog. I don't stream. I don't do anything - Me before June of 2017.
As of June 23rd of 2017. I am a certified Streaming Video Blogger and Content Creator. I thought it was random at first but now it's normal and I am constantly concerned about imaginary numbers associated with my analytics.Stupid....
It's my life now and I have to defend it. How, you ask? Are you even asking? Oh well.....I defend it well. I get a lot of joy out of it. And that's enough to make people okay with a Hobby.
I have a friend. His name for this blog will be Kermit. (See P.S. at bottom)
Kermit has this side dream of being a content creator. He's a gamer like me. Kermit came to me shortly after we reconnected 15 years after we both Graduated High school. Kermit said that he was going to make an honest attempt at becoming a Gaming Streamer on YouTube. Or Twitch. Or both. I had creative bones in me. My 90K Degree in Design said so. He wanted a logo. Something I could create for him to become Branded.
That's where things kinda slowed down. By that time I had moved on from design, even though, I was still freelance. Tried to reconnect with him about it and if he wanted to stream together so I could check out his style. Stop! Take a break! I have to tell you about me a little to lend this relevance.
I am a gamer too. I love gaming. I was actually jealous of Kermit because I watch You Tube Gamers all the time and I am a huge fan of Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunters and multiple Podcasts. Okay, back to the show. But also, I love being connected on social media. I love twitter, Facebook, Klout. All these sites and services that catch my unhealthy addiction for checking people out and staying in touch and connecting.
Fast forward several weeks/months - By the time we reconnected, Kermit said all that Stream Dream was on hold. He's a full time chief and he's married and he no longer has as much time to do anything, let alone spend money on games. I was kinda said. I tried to tell him that streaming wasn't that hard and you could stream anything. The games he got on XBOX Live Gold could be streamed on Twitch. Maybe. . . Is all he would say. I don't want to disparage Kermit, if he were to read this, I think he still can but being married myself with a full time job, I can relate. Money isn't flowing in through Patreon as of yet and I have to get games when I can, but from what I can tell, Kermit might be a bit more preoccupied than he lets on. And that's okay. That's life. That's what all the people say.
Here is what I said. To myself and to him. I'll do it. I can show you that all it takes is a morning, half an hour, and a good game you enjoy. I wanted to show Kermit that his Dream wasn't out of reach and these days, who cares if you don't get 1000 viewers! I set to work. I took an evening when my wife was at work. I logged onto my PS4 Network. ((Sidebar) I spent a little money on a game I really wanted to try and used this as an excuse to buy it. Hee Hee). PS4 has a direct link that will let you stream to Youtube automatically that XBox doesn't and I had a YouTube account I could save the video to. I started the stream with my PS4 Camera and Mic. Started to stream and...well...Streamed. Horizon Zero Dawn. Amazing experience for a game.
It was not a success. It streamed without Audio. But the one thing that changed things...A random Person Commented on my video saying he like it. That's all she wrote. I logged back on soon and streamed a second time, succeeding in recording my audio. Then a 3rd time. And a fourth. And that's all she wrote. Kermit found the stream (Cause I told him to take a look) And he became a subscriber. WAAAAAAAAT?! I have a few subscribers. So what. Well I then started streaming on Microsoft's Mixer service. 10 more followers. Something was happening I could not account for. My joy and love for Social Media and Gaming were coming together and combining into something beautiful. I felt I had a responsibility to continue for the new followers I had. This imaginary number that increases everyday what becoming more and more powerful. (Even at the time of this Blog, three people started following me on my twitter handle. I freaked out.)
Well, how do I end this. Now I have a fully functioning Website (www.mzarlowegaming.com), Twitter Handle, Brand Logo on both, two new email address's, a blog site, a streaming schedule, and new equipment. My wife is not thrilled. However, she's been so supportive of my hobby so far and appreciates that I try and do all of this when she's busy so that when she's not we are still spending time together. How can I not love her for that?!
I digress. All of this happened within the span of a week. or Two. I may have gone insane. But, regardless of this brief time, it's been a blast and I feel a rush when streaming and I see people chatting at me and I can interact with them from across the country. IT'S SO AWESOME!!!
I really hope I can stream with Kermit soon. I feel bad and a little guilty. This was his dream and I'm the one who ran with it but it's not too late for him to jump on board. I can only hope that when he does, he takes to it as fervently as I have. Who knows. This might actually turn out to be the second best thing I have ever done.