July 2014: Vietnam, Pompey the Great, and Other Disasters

I closed last month’s entry with a question. What happens when your most successful video peters out? In July I got to find out. That month saw an initial FATCA deadline pass without the disaster predicted in some of the internet’s more ridiculous quarters. My predictions of FATCA disaster were never immediate, but my video suffered as general interest in the topic slowed down. The effects were pretty dramatic.

That aside, it was a great month. I posted videos from Istanbul, Tuscany, Northern Michigan and the New York City suburbs. The constraints of travel and (very voluntary) homelessness helped hone my craft rather than slow things down. Whether people were watching or not, I was very pleased with the month’s production.

July is named after Julius Caesar, right? That’s fitting, because this month’s production was all about Empire, and American empire specifically. We started the month by looking at our two great wars of Imperial over-reach, Iraq and Vietnam, and the embarrassing parallels. Next we moved on to the Imperial Presidency and why we really don’t want Hillary Clinton to occupy it. After that, we made a brief departure from the theme for an installment of Notes From The Golden Age, debunking the overreaction to the recent European elections. After that, back to Empire, with a brief history of Rome, and what every American Founding Father knew about it. Then another break for a second installment of Ask A Libertarian. We closed the month with a return to the Imperial presidency, specifically its birth, with the ¬®Worst President Ever¬®.

The viewing statistics were depressing, but they were also very interesting. In June we got 18,123 views, and in July we got 8,617. Most of this drop can be traced to the drop in views for our FATCA video which fell from 13,903 views and 77% of the total to 5,611 views and 65% of the total. The effect on viewership of all the other videos could be clearly discerned as well. Despite there being another month’s worth of videos, viewing of all of these videos fell by more than a quarter. The fact that viral videos are important for traffic is not news, but it is interesting to see it laid out this clearly. My confidence in FATCA’s return to the headlines leads me to believe that the video will grow in strength again, but it hasn’t happened as of October. Since its decline I have not had a single new video approach the 1,000 hit mark. Interesting stuff.

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