a blog by sam christie. former home of "12 Months of Stuff"

Month: May 2015

I’m Building A Website in Ruby for May’s Stuff

Whew. It’s been rough the past few weeks. You know the drill – life gets in the way, things get shuffled around, your 12 Months of Stuff project is the thing that gets pushed aside. Well I’m back on track and jumping in feet first to may’s project: Building a website. What’s the site gonna be? The plan is to use it in June’s month of stuff. For now, here’s a handy intro video.

April Recap: What I learned from 3 drum covers

I’ve been lagging on this post. There’s something about procrastination that is exponential – the more I put off something, the more I want to put it off. More on that in a future post. 

For now let’s recap some stats:

I did 3 drum covers this month
“Bonfire” by Childish Gambino765 views
“Woo Boost” by Rusko44 views
“Knock Knock” by Mac Miller234 views

That’s over 1000 views in one month, which is exciting for me. Although to be honest, the goal of this project wasn’t to necessarily get views (He told himself as the Woo Boost video tanked).

The goal of this project was to play drums, film it, and discover some new best practices for cover videos. In that regard, this was a success. 

An Ideal Space to Create: Setting Up The Equipment

By far the most annoying part about recording anything for me, whether cover videos, non-cover videos, podcasts, or music, is the set up process. I’m in a one bedroom apartment. I don’t have a lot of space. I don’t have a constant mic set up where I can simply push a button and go. That’s on the wish list of course, but for now I’ve discovered that I need to identify road blocks as they happen and course-correct as quickly as possible. 

Identifying Roadblocks

For me, the prospect of connecting all my wires, setting up the camera, and testing the microphone levels is daunting. It’s the exact type of work that I hate doing, so in my mind I view it as a monster task. It turns out that these tiny pieces of the puzzle really only take 10-15 minutes of actual time. (Look for a video on this shortly.) Once I nailed that down, I forced myself to commit and block out enough time to set up, record, and break down. Yes, I still don’t enjoy setting all this up, but I figured out the quickest and best way to get it all done and got started on time, which minimized my time wasted. Now when I think of these annoyances and see a wall, I can visualize myself busting through the wall since I already found the quickest way to get it all done. 

Finding An Audience

It was important to me this month to find a core audience for these videos and focus on promoting to them directly. Letting all my friends and family know about my projects is nice, but if I ever want to turn this into a business somehow, I’m not going to market to people I already know. Hitting the ground running with a new project each month has proved challenging as far as finding an audience, but this month I found a comfortable match.

Banana suit in hand, to Reddit we go

The first song I had in mind for these videos was Woo Boost by Rusko. I own a banana suit, so I figured why not do the cover in the banana suit, put it up on Reddit, and see if I could get a viral hit. As the deadline for the first video approached, I realized I wasn’t comfortable enough with the song yet for that to be the first video. So I pulled out a sleeper favorite of mine, Bonfire by Childish Gambino, and put that up. 

I scouted r/donaldglover and r/coversongs for a bit before hand. I noticed a certain time frame during which the Donald Glover board became active, so I aimed for that and posted my video. Surprisingly, it took off on that board, with 46 upvotes and a handful of positive comments. I also ended up submitting it to r/rap.

I took similar approaches for Woo Boost and Knock Knock, and even submitted Knock Knock to the r/Flyers board. Some people got snarky since I posted a drum video to the hockey board, but most understood. (“So this is what missing the playoffs is like”) The Mac Miller subreddit isn’t nearly as active as Gambino’s, so I’m not surprised with the drop in view count. Honestly though, I had high hopes for the Woo Boost cover. I submitted that to EDM and cover song subreddits, and didn’t even eclipse 100 views. You’d think a fan base that is into having cake thrown at them would be into a banana suit drum cover, but apparently not. 

Key Takeaways

All in all, I’m happy with this month. I played some dope tunes, got a lot of good feedback from friends and strangers alike, and learned some things I can bring into my next project:

1. Identify and remove roadblocks as soon as possible

I can’t wait until week 4 to adapt since each project is only a month long. I need to find the pain points that keep me from doing the Stuff of the Month and remove them or adapt to them if I want to complete these projects on time and successfully. 

2. Finding an audience is key

I knew this going in, but I’ve struggled with it. If I could, I would devote much more time to this, but in the span of one month, I need to be more strategic. I plan, from here on out, to find the most suitable, viral, hungry people I can find for whatever content or creations I’m dreaming up, and get it into their hands/brains appropriately. It’s no surprise my most successful video this month was Bonfire, since Gambino’s subreddit is the most active and he has a dedicated niche of fans that follow everything he does. 

Lastly, thanks again for all the support. If you’ve been reading, listening, or watching what I’m doing, thanks. I appreciate your time and I hope I’m inspiring you to do the things you love. Put a pin in this, because I was aiming for 4 drum covers and only hit 3. Maybe I’ll have to release some “Bonus Stuff”…

In love and stuff,

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