Sudden Left Turns


Back when I worked in advertising, I learned first-hand why it took so long to get anything done. 

If you had an idea, you waited until your weekly check-in with your manager to float it past them. If they were game, you then spent maybe a week or two trying it out and compiling data to prove that it worked. Then you'd arrange for a meeting with people a little higher up, which was always inevitably a week from whenever, in order to present your findings.

Sometimes they liked it as-is, but many times they had their own ideas on how to tweak your idea, and that required more testing, more data, and more meetings. I've seen it take months for new tools or ideas to get approved.

On one hand, I grew to find comfort in this. Whenever the idea was first presented, you just knew it would be weeks, if not months, until the real work of implementing it kicked in. I also think it's not a totally flawed system. The reasoning behind it is sound, just so slow. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I found comfort in that process because my heart wasn't in the field, and I can only imagine the frustration I would feel if it was something I was really passionate about, like my channel. 

This is why one of my favorite aspects of being the sole owner of my channel is that I can make changes and sudden left turns whenever I feel it's the right thing to do. No weeks of study. No meetings followed by meetings followed by meetings. The only person I need to convince is myself, and I can get moving on it instantly.

Now a few days ago during my last post I considered the idea of splitting off my vlogs into another channel. At the time I figured no, why bother? However after the back to back livestreams this week I realized that there was actually an argument to be made that it was a good idea.

I won't go too far into it, because I'll talk about it on this weekend's Patreon podcast, but the short version is that it's theorized (and I've noticed) that YouTube will adjust how much or little they promote your channel and videos based on how well or poorly your latest video performs.

It was the driving reason behind my decision to ultimately drop gaming and go Disney only. Whenever I would post a Disney video, half of my audience would ignore it. Whenever I posted a gaming video, the other half ignored it. So from the moment any given video went live, I had already lost half of my potential audience, and that hurt performance. splitting them up (or in my case dropping one of them) made sense. I just seemed to think the principle ended there when it seems like that's not the case. I may be Disney only now, but Disney history and Disney vlogs are not the same type of content. Sure the audiences overlap a lot more, but they're still not the exact same group.

This video promotion trend was especially the case after the back to back livestreams this week. I went from videos that averaged thousands of views over a few days to two streams that (understandably) only had a few viewers, and sure enough my real-time views almost instantly tanked.

So after thinking about it for a couple of days, I decided to actually go through with the new channel idea. Beyond that I'm going to host my future livestreams on an older channel I had setup during my gaming days. That way, Rob Plays will be for Disney history and op-eds only. One video a week, highly polished and researched, and that's it. 

The trip vlogs will live on their own dedicated channel, and that channel will also free me up to potentially do vlogs at places that aren't Disney, not to mention vlog related videos that I've always kind of wanted to try but didn't want to put on my channel. Stuff like vlog editing tutorials or videos about the best equipment to use.

My plan is to start the new channel this week and begin uploading all my old vlogs to it over time. I'll finish posting the January trip vlogs on Rob Plays just for the sake of completing them, but the April vlogs will go up on the new channel. 

I just feel crazy. The best months of my channel's existence were the months where I was doing one video a week that was as good as it could be and focused on the same type of content people were watching. Why in the world did I mix that up again with the vlogs? 

Luckily I don't have to schedule a meeting for a week from now to pitch the idea, or run weeks of tests to confirm the viability of it. I get to just do it. Today that's just what I'll be doing.