I is for Internet

I love these infographics (this one is outdated though)

When I think of the Internet, I think of a giant web (hence the name we call it) that just keeps on growing as more websites are created and more links are created between different places, like portals we can throw around anywhere we want. What’s interesting to me is this whole idea of sharing and syndicating your content – your video can be watched on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google +, and even a blog like WordPress, giving you more chances of it being watched if people aren’t just ignoring it. Same with any content – it can be distributed and cloned across certain points of this system that is like billions of nerve synapses in a brain.

I’ll now leave you with this acrostic poem I wrote:

Interesting developments have led to
Notorious people in an all-out war of
Tenacity and destruction to
Entertainment led by the
Rising stars of tomorrow, while
National news comes quick and
Educational is its purpose,
Technology is rapidly evolving for the next great leap

April A to Z Challenge

BATZAP by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

My Own Hollywood

I’m already all four of these
Director, camera, pen, and actor
Even though I’ve never been to Hollywood, trying to get by with laughter!
My movie work has been at home, producing various YouTube videos,
Most of which have been lost on the Internet, never to reach anyone’s nose!
They range from awful bad to surprisingly good
Most of them star me, usually as exciting as bare wood
I’ve been at this for six years, started when I was seventeen
And how many times have I seen the spotlight? I couldn’t even count three!
My experience and production have taken great leaps,
I finally bought a camera and use a program that can count peaks
There’s also the editing that has taught me a lot
All the fun I’ve had, learning what to cut and what not!
My rocky road of a journey continues this year,
Starting yet another channel and hoping for great cheer
It’s a lot of hard work, I’ve greatly come to realize,
Trying to get my work in front of millions of fickle human eyes!
But that’s my own Hollywood and it’s not exactly the real thing
But it’s got my production stamps all over it, and my love, passion, and sing!
I may never go to L.A. and live the dream for real, knowing as how hard that may be,
So I’ll continue to make my name on the Internet, maybe someday make history!
I’m a producer at heart, always ringing out new ideas,
And when one fails badly, I start to wonder what the reason is
There’s usually not much input, so I’m left to figure out alone
But then the nail hits me and I realize how I must drone
It’s a very fun experience, even though the business may be rough
My creative ways of making it all work and the motivation,
Shut out the voice that says, “That should be enough!”
Hollywood may not be calling me, and that figures to be true
So I’ll continue to work on my aspiring craft,
Entertaining me and you!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: The Show Must Go On

If you were involved in a movie, would you rather be the director, the producer, or the lead performer? (Note: you can’t be the writer!).

Believing In My Internet Life

My life is on the Internet. For the last 10 years or so it has been. The sudden rise of the social media era (circa 2002) and all of these websites that basically act as stop and go community hubs along an interstate highway has made me realize you can’t feel alone anymore on the web, not like when I first discovered it one sunny day in about 1998, when Google was still just a search engine and nothing more. We are closer to one another than ever before behind these machines and other devices of ours. The Internet (or internet) is bigger and more accessible now than it was ten years ago (does anyone still use dial-up?) Our lives on social media seek approval from the number of followers, likes, comments, views, re-tweets, and other statistical things that are basically the currency of the Internet (other than those bit-coins that someday might actually gain trust in using). Not that those things actually are of a big importance to me though but it still makes me feel good whenever I get likes on my content or someone enjoys it so much that they would feel free to follow or subscribe to me (something that is taken for granted by some of the larger players out there).

I feel like I’ve had moderate success on the Internet. I might not be the most popular person on the interwebs or have the most followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook, or subscribers on YouTube but I am apart of this huge playground and have contributed to it in a small, if not effective way. I’ve posted content, chatted it up with the popular, up and coming, and outcast crowds, and put my two cents in on various topics and discussions (talking about you, 2014 Ferguson). Wow. A surge of nostalgia races through me whenever I think back to when the Internet felt like such a small and unfamiliar thing as in this video. My mind has been opened to so many new and exciting things with my presence online.

I want to be better at the Internet. I want to connect with more people and have them see my work and give me feedback, rather than it being lost and never to be read – if it’s a blog post – or viewed – if it’s a video. My voice needs to heard. Being just a face in this virtual crowd is not an option anymore. I want to be found, to be recognized, to have the satisfaction that what I’ve done online actually means something, has replay value so to say and can be great enough for someone to go back and view again.

Which brings me to what I love to do the most: making videos, YouTube videos in this case. I love blogging as well but that’s pretty self explanatory.

This past year I’ve really been going at it hard with my YouTube channel and making it look like something that is actually worth people’s time investing in. I’ve made significant progress this year, even if the subscriber count doesn’t say so, and have updated and gotten rid of videos that I wasn’t exactly proud of. I have scaled up my production value quite a bit, keeping within my budget of course. There is so much this year (and the end of last year) that I have learned that has made me go back and look at my previous work and think “Man, I could do so much better.” I shake my head at the things I could have done in the past, the things I missed since I was so new and inexperienced with video making.

Becoming successful on YouTube has never been a realistic dream of mine, since it is mighty tough these days, competing with content on the levels of a Hollywood movie production (many of those channels are actually run by or working with Hollywood talent now), and YouTubers with large followings of course, and so right now it’s a passionate hobby of mine. Sure, you can make money, big vaults of money, but only a handful actually make enough to pay their monthly rent and nothing more. No, I’m not in the YouTube business for money either, though it would be nice if this little venture of mine suddenly became lucratively successful, but as of now I’m still a little man with a computer, video camera, and humor that people may or may not find funny. I love making videos, want to continue making videos, have fun in the process, get new and better ideas. Having all of the work and effort being translated into thousands of views and subscribers hasn’t happened yet, at least not for the good reasons – which is partly because of my ignorance and not paying attention to detail. Keeping an audience (whoever that may be) engaged for at least two minutes of one of my videos is my goal for the future. I have to have people think, “Hey, I kind of dig what this guy is doing,” and later on say, “I want to see more!,”rather than “Ugh! Forget this. I’m outta here,” which, based on my latest stats, has been the case. But practice makes perfect. Rome wasn’t built in a day and so shouldn’t a great YouTube channel.

By the way, if you’re interested you can check out my channel here. I go by the name “Matthew Lombardi” on there, but that’s not my real name. I’ve recently gotten into doing “Let’s Play” videos, quite a popular but congested genre with the YT community and hope to continue to expand and make this something that defines my channel.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Have Confidence in Me.”

Are you good at what you do? What would you like to be better at?

Justifying YouTube’s Existence

I don’t think it’s necessary to take three hundred words to justify the existence of one of the most helpful tools and sources of entertainment in my life: YouTube. This video sharing site with a plethora of piano playing cats, death defying jumps, talking heads, and people overly insulting video games, not to mention the helpful things such as how to tie a tie or how to create an interesting design in Photoshop is what makes getting on the internet fun.

YouTube exists simply because people want to create and watch videos, and catch up on the daily scoop, the ever changing cultural trends. Anything big that happens in worldwide news ends up here, and a lot of those initial videos have been taken and made into funny montages or auto-tuned phenomenon. YouTube is getting close to celebrating it’s tenth anniversary of being founded on February 14, 2005; the first video was uploaded on April 23.

I’ve taken a crack at making my own videos and placing them on the site, on my own self-created channel. My success has been moderate so far. My most watched video ever was a lyric video for the full theme song of The Big Bang Theory, which was the first video on my current channel. It received close to 37,000 views, about 170 likes, and tons of comments – in about two days – and I appreciate getting this kind of response on a video for the first time but it makes other things I did seem smaller in comparison and trying to equal or exceed that video’s success has been difficult – mainly because I only have about 53 subscribers and most of them are not even active anymore.

The most subscribed YouTuber is a Swede named Felix who goes by the name PewDiePie (which originated from him forgetting the account details to his original channel, PewDie, and creating a new channel and adding “Pie” to the old name). This creator of hilarious video game commentary, montages, and other over the top nonsense has over 36 million subscribers and I so happen to be one of them. I’ve enjoyed most of his videos even if the language and content are not something for virgin eyes and ears, but I wouldn’t call myself one of his “Bros” just yet.

So there you go. YouTube exists if you didn’t know already. It took way more than three hundred words to write this, not because I don’t care about following the code of the Daily Prompt word for word, and not because I paid to have the word limiter on my keyboard lifted by the secret WordPress police, but because I needed to get my substantial thoughts out in a coherent way without rushing or making things seem incomplete. And I don’t believe YouTube was going to vanish simply because I didn’t explain its existence in exactly three hundred words. Seriously, this has to be the dumbest prompt ever.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Do or Die

You have three hundred words to justify the existence of your favorite person, place, or thing. Failure to convince will result in it vanishing without a trace. Go!

Stovetop Chats

These days, it is getting harder and harder to keep up with blogging, because for one I have officially gotten into the groove of making YouTube videos again, cutting away a lot of time from my daily posting. Things are getting more elaborate, more time consuming, I’m getting more adventurous, more creative. This is why I have not posted in the early morning in a long while, letting the hours tick away until the time seems right. So trying to make every post from now on seem like I put the well earned effort into making it shine, not typing up something with haste just to keep my streak alive (which has ended now) takes more willpower and time dedication than ever. The habit of waiting until the final hours of the day to post is not very good, because I find myself cramming in words to meet a pressured deadline.

The thing that is difficult with blogging day in and day out is that my mind seems to “close off” from wanting to write and I basically feel burnt out, out of ideas, not sure where to turn next, the inspiration well running dry. The social part of the experience also starts to fall behind and I lose touch with the community, which turns out to have some bad consequences (losing viewership, likes, comments, etc.).

Which takes me to the prompt:

First of all, I don’t have a fireplace, but if I wanted to chat with someone by a “fire”, the video on Netflix featuring a slowly burning yule log would suffice – but the Christmas music that accompanies might be a little annoying to some. Or, I could just turn on the stove’s gas burner, pull up two chairs, turn off the lights except for that of the oven’s overhead filter, and converse in a secular moment.

I’ve never thought of chatting with anyone beside a fire, real or not, and this does seem like an early 20th century thing that has gone out of style. Franklin D. Roosevelt used to have “Fireside Chats” with people over the radio, aptly named because they used to sit by their roaring hearths, all warm and cozy, taking in FDR’s inspirational messages, words of hope, goals for the country to accomplish. It was a way of connecting with his country, getting to know what they liked, wanted to see happen. I guess if current President Obama wanted to have a “Fireside Chat”, it would happen out on Twitter or Reddit, questions and answers coming back and forth, but it just wouldn’t have the same emotional feeling that comes from soaking in the heat of a burning log and hanging onto every crisp word of the commander in chief.

Someone who would make a great guest by my little stove top fire, and a person I only know on the surface, would be one of my favorite bloggers, Angloswiss (sorry to single you out), whose real name is Pat. I would love to get to know more about her travels in England, what she grew up with, the source of her witty humor, where she got the inspiration for her blog from, and more about her photographic skills. Her blog, Chronicles of An Angloswiss, was actually one of the first blogs I started reading regularly (or when I get the time to). I know she would be able to tell her life story the same way she writes – with elaborate detail, vivid imagery, powerful, outspoken narrative, and always with a tasteful sense of humor. Mr. Swiss would probably be there too, supervising the whole matter, feeding advice into my subject’s ear. And then after meeting and chatting face to face for the first time, I would set her cats down by the stove top fire and get to know them as well – and I would be surprised that they could speak English as well.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Fireside Chat

What person whom you don’t know very well in real life — it could be a blogger whose writing you enjoy, a friend you just recently made, etc. — would you like to have over for a long chat in which they tell you their life story?

The Axed, The New, and the Broken

Prompt: Write for (another) ten minutes without stopping.

For the seventh time, I get to write about anything in ten minutes.

I just found out that “The Millers” has been cancelled. Too bad – it was starting to turn into a good show. But I heard that its numbers were down after four weeks on Monday night and was dragging down CBS’ new hit “Scorpion” which I had low expectations for that have been quite exceeded.

I’m curious as to how “Empire” on FOX in January is going to fair. January always sounds like a great month for new shows to premiere and maybe capture a brand new audience but in reality, it is quite hard sometimes to get attached to a new show and if the ratings are not good after a few episodes (imitates cutting of throat).

So this year is nearly over. I’m finally getting back into uploading videos to my YouTube channel that is still, after two years and some change, a work in progress. I’m thinking about restarting my news show that centers on trending topics in music, sports, videos, and news.

5 more minutes

Our furnace has to be replaced; the old one is early 20 years old. Some techies came over and looked at it. They said they would replace it free of charge unlike some previous technicians who said it would cost over 800 dollars to fix it. The control board melted from the heat getting so high in the furnace. Something about Freon having to be drained as well as it being illegal to replace a furnace with an old, used one that would be cheaper than getting a new installation. We have a downward air furnace, the techs said, which is a bad thing since those aren’t used in many homes, aren’t manufactured. We live in a mobile home and have the short end of the stick when it comes to innovation and remodeling. Can’t do much because we basically live in a limited box on cement slabs.

I hope to get a job in 2015. The 30th anniversary of the first film in the Back to the Future trilogy is set for November and the 10th anniversary of YouTube’s founding is also set for that month – I can expect a huge celebration online, with some of the biggest stars coming together to create a video commemorating the grand occasion.

DP #73: “Ready, Set, Done”

The Impossible Dream

“Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?

Day 83

I’ve been waiting for something for a very long time, but like this farm land, reaching it is a vast and far away reality. One of my biggest and most relentless dreams is to become a filmmaker or have any job in the film business, whether it be a cameraman, editor, special effects guy, heck, even a stunt man maybe, but even getting started on the right track has been a struggle. There always seems to be a demon in my head saying, “No, man, you’ll never be able to do it,” and the fact that I am stuck at home with no way to do anything drives home the point even more. I’ve tried scratching the surface a couple of times, making short videos that have no plot or direction to them, creating amateur animations, trying to create basic special effects in videos that really weren’t that special, putting together simple montage videos of pictures and home movies.

“Just give up, you’ve got no chance”

“Does anybody even what you’re doing? No”

“There isn’t anyone around to help you so this is pointless”

“Why would anybody care what you do? No one is even going to look at your videos”

“You’re going to create something good with that trash? Hmm…”

The point is, if I keep on waiting to become what I want to be, nothing is going to happen. I’m not just going to be handed a job as a filmmaker or any position in the production of a movie. Becoming an editor is more of my style since I don’t have to be in front of people and can be comfortable in front of a computer as I already am. I love editing videos on the computer and having better equipment and more knowledge to work with would benefit me much. But I’m never going to get anywhere by just sitting here and thinking about it. Right now the dream seems very impossible, even more now that my interest in even attempting to get into movie making has faded greatly, but pops up ever so often when inspiration strikes.

My attempts to become a YouTube star have always been met with great disappointment simply because I couldn’t keep up with the changing tastes of viewers or put together anything that is exciting or appealing enough to hold anyone’s attention. Since it was mainly me in every video and not really having any idea of what to say or do, things started to tank very quickly. I still try every now and then to start a successful series of videos that everyone will watch but getting noticed and out there has proven to be difficult. Four or five channels later of trying to go in a certain direction with the videos and getting as high as 33 subscribers on one channel has made me start to question if this is what I really want to do with my life. There is so much more I could do though, but I don’t ever attempt to step outside my comfort zone and try to do something that I have never done before that might just push me over the top. I think I’m just too afraid to go out and chase my dreams for real, instead of sitting here and letting them slip away from me day by day. I’ve never had the tenacity to stick with anything and work really hard to become successful because once I reach my peak, where I couldn’t possibly do any better with what I’ve got and I’m not grabbing anyone’s attention anymore, I tend to give up. After one dream subsides, another one enters, and as of right now I’m dreaming of becoming a successful photographer and on the side a renown writer. But I know these are just by the moment kinds of things and once I stop practicing in those fields, reality will set in again and I will be left wondering once more.

I think I’m on the right track to figuring out what I really want to be in life, way better than when I was in high school and just living by the moment and doing everything because I was told to. Following the impossible dream should not be impossible. I feel like I’m always writing and erasing things from a large whiteboard, scrapping ideas that don’t work and putting up new ones that, for at least a while, seem to hit the right notes. I can’t possibly keep on waiting for my dreams to come true. It is time to accomplish something. I am 23 and have a whole untarnished life ahead of me. There is so much opportunity and bound to be something I can be good at for once that will make me and lot of others happy.

DP #58