Warming trend……

Richard Charpentier Airstream Blogs, Arizona, Notes from Rich Leave a Comment

I’m pretty confident the ultra deep freeze is over.  That’s good news.  Honestly I’m getting a little tired of cold feet all day long.  Someday I might just purchase a skirt for the Airstream and have warm toes year round!

When it’s super cold out I find myself hiding out in the Airstream.  That’s a good thing right now, as I’m wrapping up a new database design and working on some marketing materials.  The cold is keeping me indoors and at work.  Today will be the last big push on the database.  No longer design work and testing, but creating a tutorial video for using the system.

I’ll be announcing the system soon, and providing a few video links if you’re curious.

No Photos

With the morning temperatures running 10 – 14 degrees Fahrenheit in the early morning getting out to take dramatic sunrise or sunset photos is a no go.  The most I’ve been doing lately is shooting an image here or there with the trusty old IPhone.  Those images seem to wind up over on Facebook.

Photos will resume this weekend.  I’ve got a shoot scheduled for Saturday, and I’m really hoping the temperatures rise.  Cold weather makes for cold subjects.  And nobody likes to look like they’re freezing for an image.  Bleh!

Pondering web stats, visibility, etc

This morning I woke up way too early.  Apparently my recent marathon on catching up with “The Walking Dead” has had an impact on me.  My dreams are waking me up.  Today’s “nightmare” was me in a parking lot on the phone talking databases with an engineering friend, and suddenly a zombie on roller skates came after me.  Roller skates!

Let’s see.  Too much walking dead to be sure.  Too much database work as well?

Sitting straight up in bed at 4:30 a.m. and feeling a little shaken over a skating zombie leaves you time to troll around the web and get some reading done.  This morning I came across and interesting post on Facebook that left me wondering about marketing, web advertising, readership, and just getting taken in by someone who is good at BS’ing potential clients.

I read a Facebook post from a travel blogger / video blogger who I ran across several years ago in Prescott.  This guy travels the country, and at each town he stops in he offers to make videos featuring local businesses for a price.  It’s a sponsorship fee, and in exchange you get a few minutes of video shot and posted at YouTube.

When I first met this guy years ago I was a little suspicious.  When I saw him in action my suspicions were proved out.  A cheap handheld camcorder, no audio equipment, no lighting, no camera stabilization.  The final product that went online was way shorter than what had been shot, and a lot of the “client’s” information got lost in editing.

Bottom line, the client spent a few hundred dollars on a short, shaky, poorly put together video.

PS….I wasn’t the client.  There were several folks in town who tried this out, and I don’t know if anyone had good results.  And yes, I too make shaky videos and post them here hiking, biking, driving….but those videos aren’t costing anyone several hundred dollars in sponsorship

Seeing this guy’s post today I decided to check out his website and YouTube.  The website is painful, and just contains page after page of links to YouTube videos.  And on the YouTube channel there are well over 1,000 short videos.  I went on this journey because the video blogger was announcing “X thousand views” on the channel.  And it was true, but spread across more than 1000 video over years it doesn’t mean much.  In the end I found……

  • Years of short videos with many, many sponsors.
  • Poor audio so you don’t know what the sponsor is saying.
  • Poor editing.
  • A website that has no Google Pageranking, no Alexa ranking, and no other rankings.  Bottom line, the site gets no traffic.
  • The YouTube videos for the local sponsors have 60 or 70 or 100 views.  Those views most likely come from the sponsors themselves and their friends.
  • In the case of one local sponsor, their YouTube video has had a whopping 73 views.  Another sponsor, 45 views.

So, how is it folks go in for this?  Small businesses are very cautious when it comes to spending, yet watching this guy in action years ago I know he made several thousand dollars from local businesses in Prescott.  I’m just not quite sure, and I think I’ll be scratching my head about it all day long.

Sorry for the ramble.  When this guy came to Prescott years ago several business owners I know spent on the sponsor videos.  And when each owner saw the videos online weeks later they were beyond disappointed.  Somehow, this guy off the street with a camcorder easily got folks to open wallets and shell out cash to be on his travel blog that has no visibility, no credibility, and no reach to any target audience.  What gives?


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