It's My 50th Post!

the big 50th postWe made it to the big 50 (although we should it made it to the big 50 months ago)! Nonetheless, this is the 50th post, and although I should do something really special and amazing because it's a huge milestone, it looks like that I am not going to do much of that. Don't fret! I will make sure to do something extraordinary for my 100th post, which will come in about 50 days. July 10 is a day to mark on your calendars, indeed.

The News Show Has a Name!

Yes, it does, and it's not "Fresh Interpretations." A friend said that "Fresh Interpretations" was too much of a mouthful, and offered "Fresh Perspectives" as a better alternative. I then considered both options and hated them both because I thought both of them were mouthfuls. I also thought that the word "fresh" wasn't punchy enough, although I did like the word and what it meant. I went back to the drawing board, looked at the thesaurus for another word, and stumbled upon 'mint.' I like words that can have more than one meaning, like 'mint' is very similar to 'fresh' but also has a different meaning when used in the phrase, "mint condition" or a "minted coin." Yes, I want this show to be associated with perfect coins and distinctive smell and taste. It's so my thing.

First Video Will Be Up By Tomorrow

By tomorrow, I will finally have that first video up: the first edition of The Mint Opinion covering the similarities between the Benghazi incident and Watergate (hint: there aren't as many similarities as some would hope). I am preparing what I'm going to say this evening and will shoot once I finish my preparations. I'm still doing research on the issue, and I do want to run through what I'm going to say a few times before I post it online. All this preparation and research is hard work, much harder than if I were preparing for this same question in a speech and debate tournament. I would only have 30 minutes to prepare, and most of the time what I have would be inadequate for preparation.

The trick with these new experiments and ventures is that's there's always more to do than you first realize. There's been so much testing and research and practice that had to go into all this. I feel like I've done a ton already even though I don't have a video up yet. Nothing's going to get done unless I have a video up first. This will definitely be the case, as I've been practicing what I'm going to say and I can finally get that done.

I Just Need to Keep Going!

It all seems so hard and unobtainable, like none of it is going to work, or that content marketing work will start pouring in and then all these great ideas for the YouTube broadcasting empire will never come to fruition because I'll be too busy and I'll have to prioritize paying my bills and making some money over trying to put together the next big thing. On the one hand, having the content marketing work would be great because it would mean that Stirring Media, as it is, would be able to keep going. On the other hand, I think this YouTube broadcasting company direction is an awesome idea and it ought to be done before someone else does it. If someone else does it before me, I would be absolutely sad and I would probably kick myself for not getting to it first. I mean, this content marketing agency idea has already been done and I don't really think I can differentiate myself and my brand with a content marketing agency the way that I can through YouTube.

I Need a Good Name for a News Show

good name for a news showOne of my ideas for my budding YouTube broadcasting empire is a news show. I've finally crystallized this idea with topics and a format, and I might shoot my first show as early as tomorrow. But, one that's hindering me here is a name for this news show. I know I could just put up a video of me talking, but since I want to build a brand and develop some real content and programming here, I do think a name and something reminiscent of structure is good. I think a video of me talking is going to make it look like I am a political vlogger, which is not what I am and not what I want to be.

Topics and Format

So, my idea for the news show is to utilize my previous experience in international extemporaneous speaking and provide analysis of current events while answering questions that could come up in actual coming rounds during speech and debate tournaments. I will pull my questions from Extemp Central, which does a good job of regularly posting relevant questions on a weekly basis. In each episode, I will answer one question to the best of my ability, doing research and practicing what I'm going to say before I shoot the video. It's newsy without becoming 'entertainment', it's something I can do by myself, and it's something that I think can be of value beyond the speech community. Below are some of the most recent questions that I want to tackle:

  • Is Benghazi the next Watergate?*
  • Will the U.S. launch a manned mission to Mars by 2030?
  • Will Mark Sanford’s victory assist the Democrats in enhancing their appeal to female voters in 2014?
  • Can Jeb Bush escape his brother’s shadow and win the presidency in 2016?
  • How should the Department of Defense handle new allegations of sexual assault in the military?
  • Will the U.S. Senate approve the UN arms trade treaty?
  • In regards to the Middle East peace process, can China succeed where the United States has failed?
  • What steps does Pope Francis need to take to enhance Catholicism’s reputation in Europe?
  • Is natural gas the global energy source of the future?
  • What can the international community do to encourage more corporate responsibility in areas of the developing world?

*Definitely tackling this one for my first episode, even though it probably is the most controversial of the selected topics.

What About "All is On with Allison?"

This name, which is the name of the blog if you haven't noticed, was what my fiancee suggested I name the news show. Although it's good, and the name was originally for a political radio show, I really don't think it's a good fit. I don't like that it positions me as the star as the show, which is not what I want because I do want to have the flexibility to expand it to include a panel of experts in the future to discuss these issues. I also don't think "all is on" fits either. I don't think all is on, at least with this show.

Actually, after all this. I think I just thought of a great name for my news show: "Fresh Interpretations." That's what I hope to provide with these videos, and I believe that I am doing something that at least the mainstream media isn't doing. With some of the proposed topics, I don't think the main news sources are asking those questions and providing that specific insight. It also reflects on what I do best: offering a new perspective and doing something better than the rest.

Okay, so after all that, I might not have needed any of your help at all. I just needed to listen to the first few bars of Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" and I just came up with it all on my own. Who knew jazz was so inspiration and so good at getting the juice flowing?

So... About That Video

about that videoI know yesterday I said that I was going to make my first video and get it up on YouTube. That didn't happen, or else you would have heard about that. It's not that I didn't try. I ran into a few obstacles along the way.

The Oblivion Video

With Oblivion, I made the character. I tested the software I had downloaded to see how it worked and to see how good it caught my voice and the audio. However, when I recorded a minute of game play, I stopped it because I wasn't sure if it was still catching the audio since I was still wearing a headset. This is when I discovered that it didn't catch any of the game visuals. It was only catching the desktop. So, I couldn't make an Oblivion video and that made me very sad.

The Poker Video

However, that did not stop me! I decided that what I can do is make a video of myself playing poker. I would accomplish the same things, except that it would either be a short or long video depending on how long I lasted in the tournament. So, I actually started recording myself! I got 12 minutes of recording done, and actually learned a few things (there's no evidence of this 12 minutes because I deleted it, but it's not wasted time I promised). Here's what I learned throughout this whole little recording, making my first video ordeal:

  • Talking while I'm Playing Poker is Really Tough - I found that trying to play and to say what I'm thinking is very difficult, and probably hinders my ability to play my very best. Communicating my ideas and thought processes only slows down those processes, and trying to explain what I'm doing and what others are doing is tough to keep straight to do before the hand ends. Perhaps poker videos just aren't my thing, at least not yet.
  • I Do Need to Plan What I'm Going to Say - Even though I do have experience in impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, I do think I do need to plan some of what I'm going to say. At the very least, I could outline my introduction and a few big points that I want to mention in the video. Obviously, more planning is going to happen for the talk show, the nightly news show, and any other shows that I do.
  • I Need More Practice at This - After the 12 minutes, I continued to play and to speak as if the camera was still rolling. If I'm going to do these types of videos, I do need to practice constantly talking and having something to say. The big reason why I deleted the 12 minutes is because there were too many instances where I didn't say anything for several seconds. I would have had to throw out most of it in editing anyway.

Still Testing Software

Today, I spent time looking for a solution to the Oblivion problem, of which I am still researching and testing. First, I looked for an option to play Oblivion in a window, versus the full-screen takeover, and there is no such option (unless its been disabled with one of the mods, but I don't think so). Then, I looked at recording software that's designed for video games, and I found one that's highly rated. It took some trial and error to get the hot keys right, so starting and stopping recordings is easy and doesn't interfere with the game play. I think I have something, but the first one I tried froze the game and I had to reboot. I'll have to try again to see if it was just a one time thing.

That's where I am in this whole video thing. I needed to take a break and write this post before getting back to the problem. Hopefully, it's just about solved and I can actually make a video today. If not, then I might just do a powerpoint or me talking or something. By now, I need to start making some videos and getting some things up on YouTube.

Ideas for My YouTube Programming/Empire

YouTube EmpireYesterday, I discussed the very real possibility of venturing into YouTube, creating video content that people will love and maybe turning into the Viacom of YouTube will all sorts of channels on all sorts of things. Today, with consultation from my business coach, I'm totally gonna do it and I have several ideas on some really good programming and on how to start. Fortunately, it's all going to work out because I have a fake fireplace in my home office, which will make a great backdrop for my shows and I can top it all off with an app of roaring fire and it will be great.

Pilot Idea - Me Playing Oblivion

My idea to get the first video up, just to see what happens here, is to do 30 minutes of me playing Oblivion. It should be good, since Sean uploaded a whole bunch of mods that I've never really used, so I don't know what they do. I've also never played the expansions, so I could get those and play those as well. This is more just to see how good my audio/visual equipment is, practice talking as I'm playing so the audience doesn't get bored, and to give something to my friends to watch, to share, and to laugh at. I mean, to be frank, they'll be the only ones watching in the first place.

This is also just a pilot idea because there's a whole group in the UK already doing something similar with other games, and I don't need to copy what they do. Maybe if I just do really old games it will be okay, games that still have that sentimental, nostalgic value. But, I don't want playing video games to be my YouTube thing. Perhaps poker from time to time though, because poker is awesome.

For Real Kine Idea - A Talk Show

So, after everyone has made fun of me playing Oblivion, I will get serious with the serious topics and broadcasting. One of those serious, for-real-kine ideas is a talk show, where I interview cool people doing things, or awesome people who are part of an awesome project. I need to make a list of all the people I want to interview, because I can think of a whole bunch of neat folks to interview. However, what I want to do more is just interview them, but turn it into a conversation about the broader topic. So, for example, one of the people I want to interview is my business coach. Instead of it just being an interview with her and her business, I want it to expand to the broader topics of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, and cool things like that. This is the talk show idea.

Another For Real Kine Idea - A Nightly News Show

This is another idea that I have that I'd really love to pursue because American mainstream media and cable news is so messed up. I don't know if there's anyway to fix it, except to be the change that you want to happen in this world. I'm going to be change in cable news and American mainstream media with my nightly news show. I'd like to cover international news since it's important and no one does that. I'd also like to cover those tough big issues that never get any coverage. I'll work on it and deliver the news next to my fake fireplace. It'll be amazing.

That's all I have right now for ideas. Maybe if this gets really big and awesome then I could have other people carry out their ideas, and it'll be a cool little YouTube video media empire. That would be great, you know, to hire people to make YouTube video's of themselves and their passion. Sounds amazing. Stirring Media at its finest.

My New Plan Towards Saving the World (and Reaching Oprah Status)

saving the worldMay has so far been a stressful, spring-cleaning, rethinking, must-build-identity-capital, sort of month. This month has been all about making the key decisions that will define, oh I don't know, the rest of my life or something like that. My business is just about broke, which isn't fun, and this is the primary reason that I've been stressed, and thinking, and building identity capital. I've lost some major revenue sources, on top of the fact that my latest big project ended up costing me money than making me money. It just seems like I make the money, but the costs keep increasing and have finally increased more than what I've been making. I need to do something quickly. I'm thinking that since I've come to terms with the idea of my business failing and having nothing but a website, and a domain name, and inbound marketing skills, that I should try something new with all that. Do some sort of 180, perhaps almost ditching all that I've done before.

I'm Actually Thinking YouTube

So, my magnificent plan B here is to go for it with YouTube; just start making videos and posting them, figuring out how to make great videos and to create that identity capital that turns me into a YouTube star. From what I've read, YouTube is the untapped gold mine, where there's not only a lot of traffic but there's also tons of opportunity to create great content and for YouTube and advertisers to help you create that content and to help you make money from that content. YouTube is competing with Hulu and Netflix, and they want to compete with television when all is said and done, so I think there's a huge opportunity there to create great videos, to create content that's of value to people and entertaining at the same time.

I don't have much idea of the kind of content I'd like to produce. I could fit the gamer girl niche. I could also produce a talk show or news show, interviewing awesome people doing awesome things. I could just make some sort of YouTube reality show, of me doing things in life and commenting on them. I could film my journey as a Half the Sky Ambassador, spreading the word about those issues and spreading the word about what others are doing. I do, however, have a fake fireplace in my office. I totally intend to use that, make that all camera worthy. My home office, it turns out, was totally made for YouTube videos.

What Is Oprah Status?

Oprah status is my phrase for being so awesome that you can just start your own television network, you know, because you're Oprah and you have that kind of clout. Then, you're so awesome that when your network isn't doing too well, the way to save it is to go back to hosting your own television show, on your own television network, and that does the trick. That's essentially how it went down at OWN, and I know this because I wrote a 700-word article for a client on the future of OWN. Oprah's back doing what she does best, so I'm not worried.

Did I mention Oprah also has her own magazine and website and book club and what not? The woman is fantastic. I mean, she said something about not liking beef, and then the beef industry got angry and sued her because she was Oprah, and the beef industry knew she had the power to turn everyone against beef. That's the kind of influence she has, and that's the kind of influence I want to have. I will use that influence to save the world, you know, end women's oppression and end poverty and good stuff like that. It's going to be fantastic.