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Disney World 2016 – Of vLogs and Solo Holidays

So, I’ve posted my first vLog. Well, my first vlog that has been made public, there has been a couple of experiments that have stayed set to private, such as uploading, camera, outside vlogging and quality tests. The vlog is part of an experiment, part of that experiment has passed and worked out great the other part is on going.

You can find the actual vLog below or go directly to it on YouTube.

The vLog

While I don’t want to put anyone off, I am aware this is not the most exciting one, but it was one of the more personal ones and only my third and four attempt at talking to the camera! I haven’t even left the country, but it I think it’s essential it exists for those who care to check it out the context of why I ended up doing a solo trip, and Disney World of all places.

There is also some discussion of this in Solo Disney..WTF! which I posted on the run up to going.

When on holidaying alone…

I had a number of strategies on how to make this holiday work on a solo basis, some of them were structural and a number of them where digital and social media based. One of the key strands that would be woven through the holiday was vlogging.

There are two reasons for this. The first is I’d been inspired by the vlogs of Olaf and Olivia (this is what happens when a true extrovert gets a camera), Ellie Steadman, Lilmisschickass, Gillian at Home and Adam Hattan while scouting around for holidays. I’ve never been a big YouTube visiter, never mind thinking of creating content, but it has ramped up over the last couple of years in terms of consumption. Primarily product reviews, my brother’s TV has it on a lot when I visit (where I get my Fail Army fix) and now watching vlogs. It’s probably helped that at some point over the course of dealing with the divorce I started watching some Twitch stuff, specifically Critical Role.

I found the vlogs fascinating, immediate and very interesting to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I also encountered vlogs where people who started out normal had become people consumed by the monetary side of their vlogs, and they were really sad, especially since you could see that journey over the course of the channels life. And when I say said I mean actually sad in terms of how it had moulded the way the individuals needed to portray their lives.

Anyway, it inspired me as to whether I could do something similar?

This brings me to the second reason. I was on holiday alone, I needed the holiday to have new and interesting elements. I figured one unique and interesting element could also prove to be a slightly odd way of dealing with the loniness. I figured I’ve got no one to talk to, so why not try talking to the camera.

This also became a bit of a challenge to actually do it. The technical skills of it. The workflow of it so it was all manageable. The equipment I’d need. Would I talk to the camera in public? I’m an introvert really, not a cripplingly dysfunctional one by any measure, but I suspect I’d be on the introvert rather than extrovert scale despite enjoying things like delivering presentations (something I don’t get to do much of anymore oddly). It’s weird, it’s like I’m an introvert but in certain controlled situations I’m relatively extroverted.

I guessed it would also be an activity woven through the holiday to give it purpose and context beyond me just wondering around on my own. As while I wasn’t going to let the vlogging become a job it would drive me forward as it gave the holiday a content creation spin. This in turn gave me some odd, disembodied partner in the process.

It worked out very well. Did I speak to the camera in public? A lot more than I thought I would, but not as ridiculously so as a more extroverted person (like those who can do it when literally surrounded by loads of people). I did it was when people could see me doing it, but surrounded by people a few feet away, not so much.

Though I suspect that’s a journey as it got less of an issue relatively quickly!

Beyond The Holiday

The vlogs of the holiday should generate circa 14 weeks of content if released on a weekly basis. I guess the question is whether it will continue beyond that? The initial idea was probably no, but as I went through the prepartion for vlogging on holiday and then actually doing it I changed my mind.

I’m just not exactly sure how yet, but I have a bit of time to consider it.

The decisions I have made are to make any steps in this direction just an extension of Fandomlife.net. That’s not necessarily an audience to build off as it doesn’t really have one, but it is a brand and a focus I can use as a start. You see I want to start and see if I can get some traffic and subscribers. I’m not looking for massive numbers, but some number (it’s not really a figure) that makes it a worthwhile discussion forum and community. We shall see. It’s no big deal if it doesn’t happen. It’s a challenge.

It’s handy that Fandomlife.net hasn’t always been about places and events as well as its usual stuff. I’m aware you’re supposed to have a sharp focus for a YouTube channel, but many female vloggers go for beauty, fashion and travel / Disney, so I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to keep it focused on media, games, tech, travel and life and the intersection of those five things, as that intersection does exist. We shall see, I think there is a core there, but I can see how others might think it means anyone person would always be pissed off with something.

I’ve not got beyond that though. How often vlogs will appear. How they will be formatted. Where I will film and other practicalities. They all seem a while away. It’s all spinning around in my head and I’m pretty sure it will be all sorted, but it is just early days and I’m using the Solo Man v Disney series to give me a bit of space while learning some essential skills (editing is awesome!).

It’s all a bit of a challenge that is bearing fruit in terms of learning new things and driving me to the things I actually like to do but for mysterious reasons never get around to.

Until Next Time…

That’s about it at the moment. Hopefully the Man v Disney vlogs will get some people viewing them beyond just family members, if not I’ll have obviously failed at my challenge. There is still a chance they’ll not edit into anything that interesting, but I’m not worried about that too much.

The tying up of Fandomlife.net across twitter, Facebook and Instagram is still on-going, which has had some success wasn’t I discovered the miracle of hashtags in Instagram. The content beast will need to be fed which will mean I’ll need to engage with stuff I like doing but get too apathetic about it. This is a good thing, as I suspect I’ll have to build up a debt of content before I see any community return, even on the most optimistic view of these things (and I’m terribly realistic in my expectations!).

About Ian O'Rourke

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