(Silverdale, Washington; April 1, 2021) – The de-camping process has begun. I’m just over 30 days from packing up and moving out of Washington State.
I think, therefore, it’s time to present part 3 of this three-part series on going video!
Parts one and two discussed the basic equipment and software you’ll need. Part 3 will focus on presenting your content on camera.
Rule 1: Have fun!
Rule 2: Keep it targeted and concise.
Rule 3: Stick to issues and actions; don’t attack someone personally.
Rule 4: Address politics and religion carefully, gracefully, and humbly
Rule 5: Be able to handle negative reactions.
Normally I use a script as I stated in part 2 (https://sparks1524.com/2021/03/25/bloggers-notebook-going-video-part-2/). However, while that works for me most of the time, I often do speak extemporaneously, and will do so for the video version of this blog to demonstrate it’s a great approach if it’s the right tool for the right job.
I want to go over the five rules I laid out. These aren’t laid out anywhere except in my head, but I’ve codified them based on the good, bad, ugly, and indifferent I’ve seen and experienced on line.
Rule 1 is to have fun. Most people don’t want to watch a perennially angry and perpetually offended bubbling tea kettle steadily spouting spoiled sputum for ten minutes…much less an hour! There’s no reason you can’t address serious topics without descending into rage. Rage only attracts rage. Be upbeat, positive, and even cheerful most of the time; this will attract fans and followers. If you’re normally a level-headed, enthusiastic presenter, then the moments when you do go serious will actually carry some weight because they’re the exception, not the rule.
We all enjoy hanging with people who have fun doing what they do, so have fun!
Rule 2: I’ve done written columns advising readers to keep their written columns limited to two pages and one topic. This is just a critical on video. Keep your broadcast targeted to one topic, and keep it short. Again, look at your own YouTube viewing experience. Most of the videos with successful runs are short. Ten minutes is the average I’ve calculated that I watch (this doesn’t include actual live webcasts; only pre-recorded commentary). Keep it short, targeted, and concise.
Rule 3: Even before the horrible world of woke cancel culture, my mom taught me to never say anything about a person if I couldn’t say anything nice. If someone commits an action that you wish to criticize, stick to the action. Avoid ad hominem attacks. Most of our toxic political and cultural discourse is rotting from the poison of targeted personal attacks. Attacking someone personally might get you attention (and, let’s be honest, fame and fortune), but it completely obliterates the issue you’re trying to discuss. Stick to issues and actions; don’t go after someone’s humanity.
Rule 4: Granted our current political and social discourse is a mine field, but even in the best of times politics and religion must be addressed carefully and gracefully. Politics and religion are critical to the very identity of, well, most people on the planet. None of us appreciates feeling attacked for something that forms our actual identity, so be graceful and always give the benefit of the doubt.
Rule 5: No matter how inoffensive you try to be, bullies exist, but being bullied not the same as being debated. No matter how well-formed and logical your reasoning is, there will always be someone who simply disagrees with you in good faith, in addition to the bullies who exist only to enliven their miserable lives. You’ve got to be able to handle both.
Constructive criticism and honest debate might be uncomfortable, but you can learn and grow from such interactions, perhaps even form new friendships. Step back a moment from the emotions and look at what the person is saying, as opposed to how they say it. Some people are just not very graceful when rebutting an idea, but they are trying to do so in good faith, so give them the benefit of the doubt. Take a calming breath and look at the message, not messenger.
Sadly, bullies do exist, and bullies revel in trying to get power over you. Bullies are usually the loudest to comment so they can get attention (see Rule #1). Nine times out of ten it’s best to simply ignore online bullies (block them if necessary). To successfully handle them, you have to understand that you have the power over them! Their attempt to gain power over you carries the risk of them giving you power. If you ignore them, you make their sad, wasted life even more miserable at no cost to you.
Engage bullies only when physical safety is in question, or if they are falsely trying to get you deplatformed. In other words, fight the bullies openly only when it is a matter of physical and economic defense unless you are extremely sure of yourself. Otherwise, ignore them.
Now, I confess to having fun at the expense of bullies now or then. Once in a while I get a comment so outrageous I can’t resist responding, or else someone just won’t stop trying to get my attention. So, if I’m in the right mood, I give them my attention by trolling them! When I choose this course, I execute it by pointing out just how sad the bully’s life must be for them to be so obsessed with me, and how much fun I’m having watching them get angrier and angrier (in other words, I turn their quest for power over me into me having power over them). Trust me; I do this rarely and only to the worst of the foul-mouthed brigade, but I will block them after having my fun.
You take a risk anytime you put yourself and your work out in the public sphere. It takes courage to do so, and I understand how much trepidation one can have, especially in our current toxic culture. I encourage you to screw your courage to the sticking place and go for it if you want to. Don’t allow fear to rule you; let fear be a motivator to give your work a second look for quality, but don’t let fear stop you from getting online if you want to talk about your favorite cartoons, auto mechanics, gardening, child rearing, political commentary, etc.
Charge forward, but charge forward intelligently and carefully. Reach out to fellow YouTubers you like and establish relationships. Many will mentor you, and the three I’ve mentioned in this series are great examples of presenters having fun, targeting their content, and supporting each other against bullies. Check out Gary at Nerdrotic (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5T0tXJN5CrMZUEJuz4oovw), Lord Doomcock at Overlord DVD (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeCJB88u93eq91U0rlJsW-A), and Trillium (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaLIHcc4xFLV47zlHbAIe7Q). You’ll learn a lot even as you’re entertained.
Take a chance, have fun, and go do great things!
Check out Sparks1524 on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/user/SparkyMiller1524
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