Iraq, Poverty and Other Problems We Shouldn’t Still Have | March 2015 Update

March was a fantastic month. Views doubled from the month before, giving us our second best month to that point. Looking at it now, this month’s vids were pretty heavy on the “big pink wall” I used to shoot in front of in my room in my old apartment in Tophane ( as opposed to my new apartment in Tophane ). I do not miss that wall. Maintaining a good mix of formats of videos is a big concern of mine, and a lot of the videos this month look distressingly similar. I’ve got a lot more tools in my arsenal now than I did last year.

After the success of February’s “How US Bombing Helps the Islamic State” video, I decided to start this month with two Iraq videos. Almost a year and a half later, it’s striking how relevant they both still are, and how the US government is still making the exact same mistakes. Both videos, “Why Attacking Mosul Is A Big Mistake” and “Why It’s Time To Admit We Killed Iraq” refer to the impossibility of maintaining a unified Iraq when our main ally is the sectarian Shia Iraqi government. This problem has only grown in the year since. On a brighter note, “Why Are There Still Poor People” points out how our efforts to help poor countries have been much more successful than is recognized.

The next two videos provide an interesting case study. “Why Washington, DC Won’t Change Income Inequality” and “The Genius of John Le Carre’s The Looking Glass War“, released within a day of each other, initially performed horribly. Both took weeks to cross 100 views. But in the 15 months since, their behaviors diverged. Here’s a Graph. Compare Ineqcarre
The Inequality video finally crawled above 200 views after 9 months, but the John Le Carre spy novel review regularly picks up 35 to 50 views a month. This makes it one of my top 40 performing vids. Its certainly a better video, but what makes the difference, I think, is the subject. By mixing a well known novel, and Iraq War Villains in the keywords, the Le Carre video has more legs. It has less “likes” than the Inequality video, and didn’t get its first comment until about a week ago, so that’s not it. These are the things that I ponder into the wee hours of the morning. Maybe I should do more book reviews? More weird juxtapositions? Sigh.

The last vid for the month was a fun little meditation on the worth of popular culture, and a transparent attempt to get clicks entitled: “Are We Doomed? Kim, Kanye and Popular Culture”. The vid somehow manages to feature both Kathy Ireland and Prince Potemkin, which is something I’m very proud of.

Views this month more than doubled, going from 10,055 to 20,410. This was overwhelmingly on the back of one video, “How Powerful Is John Oliver” which received 14,894 views. I don’t know if I’d call that viral, but it’s pretty damn good for my channel. Only one of the month’s top five performers was published this month. Only one of the 6 videos broke 100 views on the first day, but 14 months later, all of them have broken 200 views, and 4 out of 6 have broken 500. At the end of March we had 85 videos, all but two of which were viewed at least once, 60 of which were viewed more than 10 times, 12 over 100 times, 2 over 1,000 (FATCA and…) and one over 10,000 times (John Oliver). At the end of this month I was pretty ecstatic. It was finally happening! After the disappointment of a channel that died after early success with one video almost a year prior, things were finally taking off! Surely this time growth would continue and the sky was the limit! To be continued…

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