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After returning from a little holiday, I thought it was time for a more personal update about the progress of “OneLoneCoder”. I’ve been outputting a lot of content since I started this blog. Clearly, videos have been top of my agenda. I’m trying to learn the art of video crafting, and it’s great fun, but certainly requires mountains of effort. My plan has not changed though, once I’m confident enough with the format, and the technology, I intend to release a series of considerably more basic tutorials than those so far. I believe the target audience to be younger too. I figure, if I started coding at 9 years old, with no internet, and only technical manuals and time to guide me, surely young people today could benefit from an non-patronizing, yet approachable source of material? I’m disheartened by the fact that there are many new enterprising projects with the honorable aim of educating, but they seem a bit naff, almost maker-y, craft-y, let’s teach code through the medium of climate change and social responsibility way. Then there’s the sock puppets and animations to explain simple arithmetic, coupled with “teaching hardware”, expecting young-lings to get excited by a blinking LED after their responsible guardian has helped them drag n’drop the “blink LED” algorithm onto a cartoon microchip.
I believe that in many cases, perhaps it’s the parents that get in the way of the child exploring and learning for themselves because they feel the need to be able to answer the inevitable questions, and perhaps, completely acceptably, harbor a slight embarrassment about not understanding the technology. Surely then there is a happy medium where educational material can be presented to both audiences at the same time. Anybody can code. In fact, I believe this so much, that I stake my YouTube introduction on it.
I’m unsure about my “character” yet in videos. I’ve set myself some rules:
- Never swear or be offensive – Too many people on-line seem to make profanity part of their “act”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fountain of sweary vocabulary off camera, but I don’t need to rely on it to appear cool. I’m quite secure in myself – after all, I build freaking robots dude. That’s “way cool” to quote Earthworm Jim.
- Don’t ally myself to any agenda – No politics from me. Actually, I’m quite political, but it’s none of your business what I think about an issue, unless it’s related to my central message – “you can code”. I can’t stand videos where the host’s views are foisted upon me – I don’t care about your myopic view of the world, and frankly, it’s offensive that you, a nobody, thinks I should. Go away.
- No fluff – “Hey Guys! What iz up? Anywayz, like, I’ve been kinda working so hard making these kinda videos, you know, you absolutely gotta give me like, a thumbs up, in fact, if this video sorta gets like, 5000 likes I’ll consider making one about like, something you guys say in the comments, anywayz, try to spot the kinda hidden message in like, the upcoming content, if you do, hashtag video dudez all over like, social media guys. Anywayz, here’s my top ten styles of ketchup packet. Like, subscribe and I’ll, you know, obviously, keep making more of this stuff for you guyz, Anywayz, see ya next time” – No.
- Videos should be complete – This is a tough one. I can do some videos that are only 5 minutes, covering a single topic, but lets not kid ourselves, technology and engineering is complex, it does take some time to absorb it. If you can’t stand the thought of watching a video that’s more than a couple of minutes, perhaps coding isn’t for you. On the other hand, I agree that 45 minutes is a bit too long. I’m guilty of long videos, but I picture myself as being the Bob Ross of coding, If you’re into it just a little bit, watching someone gently explain code whilst creating something can be quite soothing.
- A sense of humour – Code can be a bit boring, but among coders there is humour to be found. All of my coding videos so far have little Easter Eggs to find that will stand out to the advanced coders out there. I’ve also tried being a little explicit with humour too.
I got my first dislike 🙁 . At the time of writing, my videos have had 760 views, I’ve gained 15 subscribers, and 50 likes. On average, each video gets about 30 views. But my most popular video so far is this with 180 views:
The title may be a tad click-bait-y, and sadly it would seem that works. Anyway, to the one viewer that was so put off by this video that you physically felt the need to register your disgust. Thanks, at least you were engaged with the content. Engagement has been a little underwhelming generally, I was expecting a few more comments. I won’t deny there are other video makers out there doing similar things to me that seem to get loads of engagement but each one has been going for years, and started when there was not a lot of competition. Time will tell in this regard though, but perhaps I should make more of an effort to get noticed. I’ve no intention of monetizing my videos either, which I expect works against me, why should YouTube bother to promote a video it receives no revenue from?
BUT, I’m not giving up so easily, as mentioned at the start, I’m new to this, I’m going to get it wrong, somethings will work, others won’t. I do know that I need to regularly update with new videos and material. I’ve just started trialing a new little format “Two Minute Review”. This will mostly be computer games, but I feel sometimes it can be reviews of other stuff. I’ll stick to my “character” though, no hate, just honest feelings being expressed.
Here’s a sneaky peak. Anywayz, like, see you next time guys!