Why "Back to Basics" Month?
Why "Back to Basics" Month?
Zach and I will have a segment in the next FoundryCast podcast that will go into much greater detail about the theme and how it affected our website in general. Hopefully we will share how we FEEL about things, where we WANT to be in the future, and what it is that NEEDS to change. We both have a mindset of putting quality into everything we do, even for a limited audience, and getting back to basics is a very much a part of that. We have always agreed that, while we don't enjoy the term "Brand", our brand is important and we want to remain faithful to that. This means that if we need to change things to make our videos more popular or just easier to watch, we are still going to do our shtick our way.
Zach and I had a sort of Phase II inspired meeting a few months ago and that helped shape where we were going production-wise throughout the summer. After two conventions and all that came with them, we looked at what we had done. We were underwhelmed to say the least. We weren't as proud of what the were able to publish as some earlier attempts and we definitely weren't as satisfied with the quantity of videos we were able to get out there either.
After reflection, I decided that I needed time to refresh things. I feel I need to reset; to adjust my own focus. I enjoy creating things; such as making props, assembling costumes, both filming and editing videos, and just writing stories and blogs is a special treat for me. I was to be the CraftyBastardGamer and I was going to burrow my way into the crafting community with my own brand of humor and my own brand of GM'ing. But after a few unboxing reviews... the CBG well had run dry. I wasn't working on my pet projects anymore and I wasn't documenting any of the crafting that I had been doing.
The FoundryCast was built to be the main hub for all of our different "channels". It is almost an old fashioned idea now.... your audience going to a single website to enjoy creations from a TEAM of individuals with varying themes and styles. We were still putting SOME stuff out there, but it wasn't classic CBG and it wasn't true blue 9-to-5. We want all kinds of content to entertain and ensnare... but we weren't feeding our needs. Even our podcast skewed further away from conversations about current projects highlighting our individual brands.
Staying on Brand
I feel that we started having too many disparate projects that were fun but didn't build on our brand or were more ambitious that we could carry out, each of us working 6 days a week and having a home life. Zach and I are just idea generating machines. We spitball an idea that we like and we roll with it and it is very gratifying, but also very consuming. We'll have an idea, get excited, start working on it, and then move on to something else that is new.
Why has a juggernaut franchise like McDonald's seen record low sales over the last 5 years? Over-saturation of product, beyond their known brand; they were diluted with too many options. McDonald’s seems to have two options: to emulate the likes of Burger King and go back to basics, or to spruce itself up to compete with the likes of Shake Shack. If Zach and I had a larger audience and/or some sort of budget supplied by ad revenue, then we would be more likely to upgrade everything and hire a staff. But as small creators with limited options, the back-to-the-basic-burger approach is the better option. This isn't a downgrade by any means. It is just a realignment to what we know and what gets US the most excited.
This means I want to go back to the beginning; namely CBG crafting and mini tutorials. You see, I take it as a personal failure that I did not ride the rise of the crafting community. I learned so much from those creators and I felt like I had something unique to add to the conversation, but I waited too long until the audience was diluted with other talented people. Now it is even harder for my voice to find a resonance with an audience because there are 8 other people trying to do what I do. But in repetition will come an easiness that I still require, as will more of my true voice... which is what will catch an audience's attention. I have to put more stuff up there, not expecting anything to come from it, but eventually I think I'll catch some eyes and I will grow.
I will also need to be smarter about what I publish. There needs to be a hint of HUSTLE to what I do. Smarter tagging, getting videos up sooner, and getting up MORE videos overall. I will have to pay better attention things like analytics and algorithms. Again, had we the resources, we'd have a YouTube expert telling us how long our videos should be and we would let them handle our social media and networking. Until then, I need to work on my hustle. I hope to set up a semi permanent recording corner, better than I have things set up now. From which I can more quickly dive into a video without setting up and tearing down each time. So, nothing new and super sexy, just getting into a better groove and getting back into an updated version of what I enjoyed producing in the first place.
And also Minecraft!!!!