The big news this month was the John Oliver video I had produced the month before. In under a month, it zoomed up to become my second most watched video ever, doubling monthly views for the channel and driving them over 10,000 for only the third time in the year since I started. fifteen months later, monthly views still haven’t fallen below 10K. If it weren’t for this video, I’d be sitting in a law office somewhere right now. Its success convinced me to stick with the channel and look for freelance jobs rather than go back to full time employment. This month also featured my first tentative steps into crowd-funding, setting up my Patreon page, which allows supporters to chip in on a per video basis. This was a pretty pivotal month. Speaking from a year or so later, when Patreon and freelancing are combining to provide a decent for Istanbul lifestyle it’s interesting to look back to the beginnings. It took another five months before the Patreon page produced enough to even bother taking a payment.
This month’s videos played with format, and they played with ideology. Any body of thought is going to have weird edges and contradictions to it, especially one that has existed over any length of time. This month’s first video makes a “modest proposal” to the US National Rifle Association, that it broaden its demographic by fighting drug prohibition. It’ll never happen, but the reasons why are worth thinking about. Next we questioned just how conservative Ted Cruz’s war mongering is. The month’s most successful video “How US Bombing Helps The Islamic State” pointed out just that. Next up was a “Bitter Island” a parody video, and an homage to the great Adam Curtis‘s Bitter Lake. We learned a valuable lesson here. I didn’t mark it clearly as parody, and some regular viewers were pretty confused(!). It was also fun to work collaboratively, which I need to do more of. Our last February video took a look at Tourism, and how important it is for economic development.
As I mentioned above, views finally topped 10K again this month, going up to 10,055 from 5,385 the month before. Only one of the month’s top five videos was produced in February. The big story was the John Oliver video, which racked up 4,953 views all by its lonesome. Only one of the five new videos broke 100 views on the first day, but 15 months later all of them are at over 200 views, and three of them are over 600. As of the end of February we had 79 videos, all but one of which was viewed at least once, 57 of which were viewed over ten times, 12 of which over 100 times, and two of which over 1,000 times (FATCA and John Oliver). This was a tremendously heartening month. I decided that I would keep on trying to make it work as long as I could stay above 10,000 views a month. So far so good, 15 months later!