I wrote about finding your power when no one cares. And that’s great, it is. But then there’s also the feeling that accompanies the realisation that – yes, really – NO ONE CARES. It is not much fun. Especially when you feel like you’re really doing great interesting stuff, really cultivating a talent, really developing a voice. At times you have to wonder if it is worth having a voice that nobody is prepared to listen to.
What if there was a territory that represented this struggle? Well, Ford Fiesta Movement team members Sam Proof and Jen Friel think there is. It’s the internet… or, erm, Los Angeles. Either way:
Go Big or GTFO, This … is the internet. LA is a city like no other, and a city that itself is most like the internet. It’s full to the brim with creative people wanting for a modicum of recognition. Opportunity is a bullet train speeding by at a thousand miles an hour. You can sit there and watch the blur, or you can take a leap, stick out a hand and grab on for the ride. – We’re going to give the LA community, (creative & viewer) the ride of it’s life.
I should probably tell you that I’ve known Sam Proof for several years now. We met in a Stickam chat room, he was a friend-of-a-friend… and at the time I remember him creating funny videos – often as Zeus or Jesus (it’s amazing what you can do with a beard and a toga). I’ve interviewed him on my podcast about online video creators (twice). I love catching his weekly web show Failpire whenever I can. And, yes, I even contribute periodically to another of his ventures – Podpocalypse.
What might be less apparent, even to those who know both of us, are the early morning (for him; late night with the time difference for me) peptalks and commiseration sessions.
At the beginning of the year an important part of my YouTube channel branding was drawn into question. The powers that be weren’t convinced that I had the right to use something in my videos that had been created specifically for use in those videos. It was annoying, but I wasn’t just annoyed – I was furious. It was the final straw in a growing sense of dissatisfaction about creating content online. My subscribers – my theoretical audience – was growing and yet the number of views a given video would receive was actually going down. Talk about diminishing returns…
As it happens, there’s a “90-9-1” Rule For Participation Inequality online but even knowing this was cold comfort.
So when I recorded the first JOJCAST for the year, it was a miserable resentful lament. I told the world I was going to continue but on my own terms. Out of the ashes came some sorely needed encouragement:
I think we all struggle with this, and for those of us that are not in the 100,000 club I think we struggle with it nearly daily.
Good luck john, I’ll always be around to cheer you on
And in that moment I think I finally understood the message of his catchcry ‘Stay Strong.’ To me that means keep going. It’s okay – indeed normal – to have doubts, to experience frustrations, but don’t give up! We all get by with a little help from our friends…