July of 2015 involved a lot of running around the United States. I stayed with family in Connecticut and then drove up to Northern Michigan for my annual Fourth of July reunion with my college buddies. There are few things more American than a long drive. The 17 hour solo trip from Northern Michigan back to CT was probably unwise, but there’s nothing quite like putting on some country music, throwing in some dipping tobacco and just driving. If I can get the Patreon support over 100 bucks a video I intend to rent a car and spend a few weeks driving through the states to cover the US election this upcoming July.
All of last July’s travel cut down on video production a bit. I only managed five videos, but I got started on a series on the Military Industrial Complex that I’m very proud of. First up we had, “Kids Are the Worst: How Colorado Is Beating Poverty“. The video celebrates Colorado’s incredible success in reducing teen abortion and pregnancy through state provided contraception (duh!) but it also lays out one of my favorite points: that poverty is essentially impossible in the United States if you don’t have children. “3 Ways Vox Doesn’t get the American Revolution” was a response to a snarky article they published, claiming that the American Revolution was a mistake. I love responding to articles with video, but it’s important to get the timing right, or rather immediate. Because of travel, I didn’t get around to publishing the video until 12 days after the article it was responding to. This was waaay too long. Any buzz the conversation had on social media was long over.
The next video was one I had been building to for quite a while. “3 Iran Facts Every American Should Know” was the first of a series of videos on the Military Industrial Complex that I am still churning out months later. The “MIC” series hopes to show what the MIC does, who and what it is, and how we can save the world from it. This first video, traces the history of the US conflict with Iran, one of the MIC’s most conspicuous victims. The second video, “The Survival Of The Human Race“, lays out the stakes in our struggle to understand the MIC. I’ve still got a few more MIC vids to push out, ten months later.
Also published in July was my first and what I hoped was my last video on Donald Trump, “Everything Worth Saying About Donald Trump“. Unfortunately this ended up being the first of many videos on that particular subject. This first one, however, is probably the best. We wouldn’t be in the fix we’re in today if more media outlets had followed my lead in their coverage of Trump.
In July of 2015 viewership fell again, from 13,142 views in June to 11,745 views. None of the top five, and only two of the top ten videos in the month of July were produced in July. Only one of the five videos broke 100 views on the first day. 10 months later, all five July videos have broken 200 views, but only two of them have broken 300. At the end of July 2015 we had 107 videos, all but one of which were viewed in July, 63 of which were viewed more than 10 times, 17 of which were viewed more than 100 times, and 5 of which were viewed more than 1,000 times(FATCA, John Oliver, Hillary Clinton, China, Sanders-Paul).
July was a very US focused month, both in terms of my physical location, and the videos I produced. The US is the country I know best, and it makes sense that I would do a lot of videos on the topic. But having an entire month’s production be almost exclusively about the US is something I should probably avoid. This is good to keep in mind as the 2016 US election process begins to really heat up.