Milestones, past, present and future…

On 12/09/2017 I passed the 600 video mark on YouTube.  I also recently broke the 25,000 views mark, and earlier this year I hit the 250 subscriber target as well.  Not too shabby (jerkin).  With 25,000 views of 600 videos, that’s an average of 41 views per video.

I started creating content for YouTube in 2011, so I’m averaging creating 100 videos a year (that’s 2 videos a week!), with an average growth of subscribers at 42 new subscribers a year.  I certainly didn’t expect to get more than just family and friends as subscribers, and I certainly didn’t imagine that I’d still be doing it 6 years later.

I’ve been privileged enough to have made friends with some awesome content creators and subscribers over those 6 years.  It all started with one content creator, Vaygrim, who for reasons best known to himself, reached out to me to ask if I wanted to be a part of a Minecraft Mod Spotlight video for a Mod called Minestones with another content creator called TheDarkPreacher.  The three of us then went on to create The League Of Ordinary Gamers, a group of amazing people, that I’m incredibly proud to still be a part of.  Another group of which I’m proud to be a part of is The Bromigos.  Founded by myself and my good friend Dawgeth, the group has been through its ups and downs, and members have come and gone, but Craig, Dave, Mango, Effect and now Ferg remain some of the most amazing friends I’ve ever had. I’ve had the honour of producing content with some amazing creators, such as RedCharpie, and encountered some amazing, hard working individuals, such as Button_Pusher_ and Shep, and been a part of groups I never would have thought I could ever be a part of.

It’s been a roller-coaster ride, this content creator thing. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve laughed till I cried. I’ve quit, and come back, cursed and wondered what the point is, but above all this – when all is said and done, I’ve had a bloody good time, and met some of the most amazing people on the internet.

I’m not sure what the future holds.  Will I break the 300 subscriber mark? The 30,000 views mark? The 1,000 videos mark?  Will I still be creating content in another 6 years time?  Those are questions I don’t have definitive answers for, but I HOPE the answer is yes to each of them.  Regardless, the friendships I have made on this crazy journey are more valued than any other part of my YouTube “career”, and for that I am, and will remain eternally grateful.

Thanks for being a part of it.

Shads

x

 

 

Overwhelming support. And common sense.

Following on from my last post about jumping off of the YouTube ship and moving only to Mixer, Twitch and Video.me, I received a massive response from friends, followers and subscribers. The message was clear: “Don’t leave!”

I’ve taken everyone’s comments and suggestions on board, and will be staying with YouTube, but also producing content for Mixer, Vid.me and Twitch. Obviously spreading myself across so many channels is going to take alot of effort, and I have some limitations:

1. I can’t upload more than 3GB a month to Vid.me till I get 100 follows.

2. I have settled on using Restream.io to help me stream to Twitch and Mixer simultaneously. This keeps the chats tidy and in one place so I only need one chat window open. Restream.io doesn’t support YouTube right now, so I will have to upload the VoD’s to YouTube and Video.me separately.

3. While I’m not creating content to support my family, I have spent an awful lot of money on equipment to produce my content, and I’m always looking at ways to improve, and new games to play to keep my channel varies and up to date. With this in mind (and due to the fact my YouTube content is no longer monetised) I have created a streamjar link to enable followers to give one off tips/donations. I also have a Patreon page where you can pledge small amounts. I’m not asking for big wedges of cash. $1 a month would be absolutely amazing.

Links to these pages will be in the description of every video I create. I’ll be updating my website to include my Streamjar tip page shortly too.

A massive thank you to each and every one of you for your unwavering support. My Twitch and Mixer channels are slowly growing, and I’m still around the 250 subscriber mark on YouTube. I didn’t think I’d ever get this far, and you’re all an inspiration to me to carry on.

Special mentions go out to the following:

Vaygrim (for keeping it real and telling me that I’m a douchebag sometimes), The Bromigo’s (for your unwavering support and patience), Dawgeth (for always managing to make me laugh), Ferg (for being a solid fellow flailer, and going above and beyond in being available to co-op stream and record with me), Slothy (for continued support and encouragement), Saphrym (for being my one and only Patron), DragonRacer (for always trying to show up for my streams, RedCharpie (for helping me to grow my Twitch channel via shoutouts and the challenge of the snorty laugh), Button Pusher (for huge encouragement and being an awesome guy to bounce ideas off), Crystal craze (for added support and banter). And last but by no means least Shaz for her patience while I spend eternity at my desk streaming, recording and editing videos.

If you haven’t had a mention, fear not – you’re still awesome and I appreciate each and every one of you.

Shads

So long, YouTube…

This has been a sad choice to have to make, only made easier by the way that YouTube appears to be treating the smaller content creator.  I’ve been chatting with other creators, who confirm that videos are now being marked as “unsuitable for some advertisers”.  My own videos have been marked as such, and there appears to be no reasoning behind it – PUBG may not be completely PG, but half of my PUBG videos have been marked – the others have not.  And they’re not all mature ones.  Additionally, I’ve had other strictly PG games (Wonderboy: The Dragons Trap, Citadel: Forged with Fire, and ROKH) be marked as such.  It states that:

Limited or no ads due to content identified as not suitable for all advertisers.
Your video remains fully playable and is eligible to earn subscription revenue from YouTube Red.
Advertisers avoid placing ads on videos that don’t align with their brand. For example, they may choose not to advertise on content that’s sexually suggestive, includes bad language, or is considered controversial.
What can I do? If you think our automated system got this wrong and your video is suitable for all advertisers, you can request a manual review.”
“Limited ads” and no ads are VERY different things.  I may be getting reduced money or ZERO money. I can request a “manual review”, but I’ve hear rumours that unless your video has over 1,000 views, it won’t be reviewed.  Now I understand that to Mr 1 Million Subs, this is potentially a LOT of lost revenue, but he can request a manual review to get it overturned.  To me, it’s a few cents of lost revenue.  However, what YouTube fail to seem to grasp is that it’s RELATIVE. No revenue off of my 10 views is proportionally as devastating as no revenue off of 100,000 views. Every cent counts towards hopefully netting me enough money to withdraw it from my Adsense account.
Ok, so thankfully I don’t rely on YouTube to pay my mortgage, or put food on the table form my family, but for a content creator who has around 10,000 subscribers, and who rely on this income, this could be a pretty scary time for them.  It appears to me that if you have 1,000 subs, you’re JUST about on the YouTube radar.  10,000 subs puts you at the bottom of the “we do really care, honestly” list. 100,000 subs means you’re effectively increasing YouTube’s revenue, so they’ll listen to you a little.  1 million plus subs and you’re in with a good chance of having your complaints and suggestions considered.
I’ve produced almost 600 videos, spent money on a better PC, recording and production software and audio equipment, and I’ve made a total of £15.  I can’t even spend that money, because I have to reach a balance of £60 before I can withdraw it, meaning at the current income ratio I’d have to produce another 1,800 videos over another 18+ years to be able to get that money into my bank account, provided I don’t get further crippled by this monetization issue.
So today, I’ve decided that YouTube as a source of income is a total waste of time if you’re just starting out (or if you are like me and you’ve been creating content since 2011 but not full time, so haven’t been able to invest a lot of time into it because I actually have to pay the mortgage and feed my family with a salary from a “regular” job), or you haven’t got over 10,000 subs already.  They don’t care about you.  You’re a drop in the ocean.
As from today, I am removing monetization on my entire channel, and I will not be adding any more content to it. Existing content will stay.  From this point on, I will now be streaming on Mixer and Twitch, with recorded content going up on my Vid.Me channel (links at the top of the page).  So long, YouTube – it’s been a blast, and I’ve made some awesome friends along the way.  Hopefully they will follow me to pastures new, and I can continue my journey into content creation on a new platform that actually cares…..
Shads

Enter 2017

So 2016 has been and gone.  It was generally speaking a good year for me personally.  I got a new house, a new car, won my battle with BT for compensation for my internet issues, broke 200 subscribers on my YouTube channel (albeit briefly!) and had a great Christmas with my family and loved ones.

I’ve made and strengthened some amazing friendships, thanks to the internet, including (but not limited to) The Bromigos, The Couch Crashers, The League of Ordinary Gamers and all associated followers, members and “fans” (I hate that word, but can’t think of another suitable one at the moment).

I’ve decided to make 2017 somewhat different.  I have goals that I have set myself which are not YouTube related, and goals that ARE YouTube related. To achieve them, I’m going to need a little understanding from my subscribers (that’s the word, not fans!), a fair bit of understanding from my friends and family and a ton of hard work from me.  I wanted to share these goals with you, so that you can track my progress and share in the trials and tribulations of my successes (and possibly failures).  With all this in mind, there will need to be some drastic changes to the way I run my online and offline life.

YouTube Content Goals

  1. My YouTube channel will essentially become the place for occasional Vlogs, Tekkit: The Return, and the occasional livestream – no new series’ are planned for the channel, with the exception of POSSIBLY running a stream/recorded content of my Monday night Roll20 D&D sessions – this idea wholly depends on whether the people I play with agree to allow me to do this.
  2. I will continue to Stream with the Couch Crashers every Friday on the Couch Crashers channel .
  3. Vaygrim’s Chance Season 4 content (which I know is sporadic at the moment, my apologies) will go up on the Bromigo’s Channel.

Offline Goals

  1. I’m going to be studying for my Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in Server 2016 and Windows 10 – I have around 9 months to study and take the exam – no pressure!
  2. After I have completed the above, I will be studying for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) – I want this to be completed by Xmas 2017.
  3. Continue to assist Dawgeth to help him grow Aim2Game as a business, and hopefully help him find time to concentrate on HIS goals

On top of all this, from 25th January 2017, I’ll be spending 14 days in New Zealand, where I’ll be pretty much off the grid regarding YouTube, Twitter, Facebook etc, then when I return, I’ll be spending a lot of time away from home with work to get a project finished before April, so again I will probably only be able to produce vlogs while at hotels during the week, while trying to spend time with my family at the weekends.

I’m not expecting my YouTube channel to grow at all over 2017, and I’m fine with that.  I appreciate the support I have of my friends, family and existing subscribers, and I’m perfectly aware that my content will never be good enough to make me the next pewdiepie, and I’m fine with that also – I’m doing it for fun, not as a main income source (though if I can make a little pocket money along the way for a new game now and then, I’ll not complain!).  My offline goals on the other hand ARE my bread and butter – if I can get more qualifications to bring in more money to improve my families way of life, and support those I already donate to even more, then so much the better.

Family comes first. 2017 is, for me, about family and friends.  If my YouTube channel becomes a burden, then I’ll have no issues with taking it down so I can concentrate on real life matters. It’s fun, but when it becomes not fun, you’ll be the first to know, and that is when I’ll call it a day.

I’ve waffled on for far too long now, so I’ll end here.  Happy New Year, and may 2017 bring you all happiness, peace and prosperity.

Much love

Shads

The “BT Incident”

I’m angry.  So very angry.  I probably shouldn’t be writing this blog post in the mood I’m in.  If you’re easliy upset by angry people, please stop reading now.

I’m going to tell this story from start to finish, so if you already know some or all of it, I apologize in advance.

In June, I bought and moved into a lovely brand new house.  It had literally just been built. Becasue it was a new build, all the cabling for the internt and telephone was state of the art “Fiber to the Premesis” (FTTP), meaning I could expect amazingly fast up to 300Mbps broadband.  Excited at this prospect, I contacted British Telecom on 16th June to purchase Broadband, IP TV and Landline telephone services from them.  While on the phone to them, I explained that the property was FTTP and that it was a new build, so the address probably wouldn’t show up on their systems.  I was assured that this was OK; “we deal with this all the time” said the lovely lady on the end of the phone. After a short while, my services were ordered, and I sat back and eagerly awaited the day it would all be up and running. (At this point, it’s worth noting that I can only use BT, as they are the only company who can provide FTTP services in my area).

I waited patiently.  After 3 weeks, I logged into my online BT account to see what the hold up was.  My services had been cancelled. No notification. Just cancelled.  I contacted BT, who informed me that they had cancelled the order because it was a FTTP property, and copper services had been ordered.  Not only that, but my house wasn’t hooked up to the BT network.  I knew this, as the cables that came out of my house did not go into the  ground.  (I also discovered that the cabling in my house was wrong, and had to get the contractors back out to replace this, but that’s a whole other story).

The cabling got replaced and BT Contacted Openreach (which used to be a part of BT, but apparently are not now) to install a Fiber Termination box/modem in my house. An appontment was made for 19th July.  I took the day off work.  Nobody showed up.  An appointment was made for 25th July.  They arrived and installed the equipment, but never connected the property to the BT network.

on 6th August I chased to get the property hooked up to the network, and was told I would have to wait 2 weeks.  I went on holiday to France on 27th August, and when I returned on 3rd of September, lo and behold my property was connected.  I did a little dance. I then noted that the PON light on the Openreach Modem was flashing. My knowledge of networking tells me that this light tells the user whether the connection to the network is synchronized or not. I stopped dancing.

On 5th September I contacted BT again to request services, and to ask that this PON light issue be resolved.  I was informed that orders could not be made against my property, as the line had not been provisioned (the cause of the mysterious flashing PON light). Services would automatically be ordered once this work was complete.

On 12th September, I logeed into my BT portal again to check the order status.  There was no order.  I called customer services to discover that no order had been placed, that they were very sorry, and that they would put me through to the FTTP team straight away.  I was on hold for 52 mins, before someone picked up the phone, and hung up on me.  I sent a less than savory letter to the CEO of BT, mr Gavin Patterson.

on 16th September, I received a call from the Executive Complaints Department, who were very sorry about what had happened and were going to take ownership of this issue until it was resolved. An order still could not be made against my property, and  I was asked to provide the Serial number of the Openreach Modem, which I provided, by taking a photograph of the Serial Number sticker and emailing it.  I was then informed that this would be processed, the PON light would go solid, and she would call me back on the 19th to complete the order.

I indeed received a call from Susan, at the Executive Level Complaints Department, telling me she could now order my services.  With the order complete, I queried that the PON light was still flashing, but was informed that this would be resolved before my router arrived, and not to worry. By 22nd September, everything would be resolved.

20th September, I contcted Susan to say the light was still flashing, so there was clearly a sync issue.  Nope – I was worrying about nothing, it would go solid when I connected my router, and services went live.

22nd September – the go live date.  I logged into my BT portal to check the delivery status of my router.  There was a problem.  Services could not be provided, please contact customer services. I emailed Susan at the ELCD, who called me back to say there was a fault with the modem.  An engineer would need to attend my property.  The earliest appointment was 4th October.  I stifled my rage and agreed to take the morning off work. Again.

4th October – I receive a call from the engineer – could I re-arrange the appointment as he was very busy. I flatly refused, saying this had gone on long enough.  He reluctantly agreed to turn up at my house.  He arrived, checked the modem, called his technical support number, gave them the serial number.  Openreach had entered the wrong serial number on the system.  They entered the right number and lo and behold, the PON light went solid.  Line was tested with a phone, and the engineer left with a job well done.   I logged into the BT portal to check the status of my Broadband order, which was booked for the 5th.  It had been cancelled.  Rejoicing stopped. I called BT, got services ordered.  They would go live at midnight that very night.  By 5th October, I would be online again!

This morning, I check the status of my router.  The PON light was flashing on the modem again.  I checked the status of my order.  “There was a problem with your order.  Please call customer services.” it stated.  As of now, I am trying to calm myself down enough to speak to someone.  I fear it may take a while.

01/12/2016 UPDATE: So things have finally settled down enough for me to find time to post an update.  On 16th October I FINALLY got internet.  How did this happen?  Grab a coffee and get comfortable….

Oct 5th – I called BT again, stating the issue.  I was told that there was a problem. Really? I hadn’t noticed.  I’ll admit that I lost my temper. I may have used several naughty words.  To be fair, the customer service representative didn’t hang up on me. Medal deserved.  I was told that someone from the faults team would get back to me ASAP.

6th October – I had a call from the BT FTTP team.  They were aware that there was clearly some kind of problem going on, but currently there was a fault at the local exchange, so nothing could be done till this was fixed.

12th October – I had a call from the FTTP team – the issue at the exchange was fixed – and my broadband was ready to go. It would be live by Friday.  I checked my PON light – it was solid green again. I didn’t hold my breath

14th October – I checked my PON light.  It was flashing.  I swore, and vowed to drive to London and lay waste to the BT HQ.  My phone rang, it was the FTTP team asking if my Broadband was working. With superhuman effort I was polite and said that the PON light was flashing. Again.  The guy said he would get it sorted by Saturday.  He had a susp[icion that the provisioning team was doing something wrong, so he said he would go back to them and ask them to provision the Broadband onto port 3 of the Openreach modem, rather than port 1.  On The morning of Saturday 15th October, my PON light was solid green, and the Router light was blue. I had internet.  I ran a speed test and almost fell off my chair when the result came back 219Mbps down 21Mbps up.  Finally, my journey was over……. Or was it?

 

In the almost 2 months I have finally been able to use my broadband, I’ve had 2 faults at the exchange causing a MASSIVE drop in speed (20Mbps Down, 5Mbps up), and also discovered that 90% of my equipment doesn’t have networking hardware that can support over 100Mbps throughput (though this is not BT’s fault).  Its worth noting that the faults I raised were fixed within 3 days each time, and that I’ve bought some Wireless AC adapters for my machines to get the full 200Mbps speed

At the time of writing, I’m still waiting on the Telephone Ombudsman to get back to me regarding getting me some compensation from BT, but for now, I’m able to get online, make the most of my Sky Movies on Demand, Xbox Live and Netflix services, and upload YouTube videos again.

Phew.

Welcome to my new look website

After some issues with prevous webhosting, I’m back with a new host, and a new look website.  I’m happy with the way things look here, but if there’s something you’d like me to add or remove, then please let me know via Twitter!

I decided to add links to the most popular information I get requests for, such as my Xbox Live Gamertag, Steam ID etc, so feel free to check them out and if you want to add me, please do – I don’t always add random people, so hit me up on Twitter to let me know who you are!

For the most up to date info on me, Twitter is the best place to get me – I’m always online so shoot me a DM, or @ me – I try to respond to everyone as quick as possible.

Thanks for dropping by!

Shads