Rough Draft Typing | Behind the Scenes

Today’s post is brought to you by…you. Thanks for all the likes and follows. Thanks for all the book purchases. Thank you!

Every job, or hobby for that matter, has its ups and downs. There is always that thing that makes you groan when you think about doing it. It could be having to charge the batteries to your drone’s remote or having to put up with the demands of your clients.

For me, one of things I don’t like about writing is moving my rough draft from paper to word processor. It feels like “didn’t I just do this?” I want to go on to the next chapter; see the next adventure, but you are stuck typing up what you’ve already done. Now I know you can just type a rough draft and not do a handwritten version. I’ve tried that but the story seemed to slow down as I stopped because of noticeable red lines under misspellings; I knew I had something misspelled, and I had to go back for it. Also, there are a lot of distractions on computer screens with notifications and messages.

One way to help me with the transition from notebook to computer is listening to livestreams or music.

The trouble is it matters which livestream I listen to. If the livestream is full of action, such as a superhero video game or a shooter, I spend more time watching the video than working on the book.

stampylonghead

The livestream needs to be a kind of chill one that is almost like a podcast. However, there are some exceptions. For instance, the Valorant livestream by Blitzwinger. It is a shooter game, but the match format allows me to watch one or two matches; get the idea of the game; and listen from then on.

The good news is that if a livestream is too “rowdy” for the typing period, I can always save it for a break period. The longer video format allows me to have something to watch for multiple breaks; I don’t have to keep trying to figure out what I want to watch.

Ironically, if I’m listening to music while typing, it is the opposite. I need to listen to upbeat or thrilling music, much like “Hero of Our Time” by NateWantsToBattle or “Build Our Machine” by Dagames.

What are some of the downsides of your favorite hobby or job? How do you cope with them? Let me know in the comments section.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


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Defy Media v YouTube Creators

It started with a The Game Theorists video called “They stole $1.7 Million.” I was hesitant at first about clicking the video, it sounded clickbaity. But, I clicked anyway; I’ve been watching Game Theorists’ videos for awhile now and figured, “meh.” It started out with MatPat talking about all the high and low points of 2018. I thought, “Oh, it’s one of those videos,” but I was interested in what this $1.7 million was about. Finally, the video came to Defy Media, a YouTube multi-channel network (MCN), and how it stole from 50 YouTube Creators. Now, I’m looking into the issue myself (*sigh* How do I keep getting myself in these messes.)

According to the video and YouTube’s support page, an MCN helps channels with “audience development, content programming, creator collaborations, digital rights management, monetization, and/or sales.” It kind of works like a publishing company. An author submits their manuscript and if the company likes it, they distribute it and help the author with marketing, sales, legal issues, editing, and so on. When a book sells, the money goes to the company; they take their piece; and give the royalties to the author. The MCN does the same (except the Creator publishes the video on YouTube and YouTube distributes it); YouTube pays the MCN the ad money; the MCN takes their cut and gives the rest to the Creator. It’s not that abnormal of a process. It works pretty smoothly until someone decides to be a jerk.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Defy Media announced its closer on Nov. 6 and that most, if not all, of their YouTube affiliates found out through the press, not the company. The YouTube Creators naturally began wondering about their AdSense paychecks, since YouTube sends the money to Defy Media and they give it to the Creators. So, the Creators asked Defy Media what was happening. According to the article, they got little to no response. Even The Hollywood Reporter couldn’t get the Defy Media CEO Matthew Diamond to comment.

The article continues to state that, “Some partner managers who were laid off are still responding to creators’ requests via personal phone numbers and email addresses, say sources, but they have had few answers.” In other words, some of the employees who just lost their jobs are now using their own time and resources to try and manage the mess.

Fortunately, YouTube has stepped forward to say that they will begin sending the Creators’ next paychecks to the Creators. But, some Creators say Defy Media still owes them money, specifically the money Defy Media received before the closure (Sept. and Oct.).

Also, according to the article, many of the YouTube Creators believe that Ally Bank now has control over the money. These Creators have been contacting the bank in order to let them know that some of the money is theirs. Again, they haven’t been told much. The Hollywood Reporter tried to get in touch with Ally Bank but the spokesperson “did not respond to a THR’s request for an interview.” I can understand that Ally needs time to look through the Defy Media records, discuss what to do, and so on, but at least tell people, “We’re looking into it; we’ll let you know more at X time.” Even a little information is better than none.

Apparently, Variety and The Verge also had trouble reaching Defy Media so they could tell their side of the issue. The Verge adds that Defy Media has also gone “radio silent on social media.” I recently checked Defy Media’s Twitter feed; the last tweet was in September of last year, and it was nothing about closing down. Their Facebook page also ends in September with no mention of a shutdown. And their website no longer exists.

The THR article further states that not only are the YouTube Creators angry, but so are the laid off employees. At least one has filed a class-action lawsuit stating that Defy Media didn’t inform them as is required by law. It turns out, Defy Media did send them the proper paperwork stating that the company would continue to run until Jan. 2, but they then closed at the end of Nov. 6–the day the employees got the letter.

So, what can you do? Research the topic for yourself, come to your own conclusions, then (if you so choose) support whichever side it is you believe to be right. If you believe the YouTube Creators, you can support their channels (some are listed listed in the above mentioned articles). You can also tell others about the issue through social media or on your own blog. If you believe Defy Media, you can do the same, share your opinion on social media.


Joe Rover eBooks are available at many online retailers, such as Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Walmart eBooks, and more.

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SystemZee Goes Full-Time

img_2581Recently, SystemZee, a YouTube Creator–known for Minecraft videos and a Minecraft Evolution SMP member, decided to go full-time on YouTube.

Over the weekend, I was able to interview him.

Let’s start out with some typical background questions.

What’s your favorite movie, book, animal?

These questions are always so difficult to me, I love everything usually. My favorite movie(s) would have to be Thor Ragnarok right now, along with the other Marvel movies. Ragnarok was such a great movie, great story, comedy, action, etc! 4.5/5! Other than that I really enjoyed Man of Steel. I’m a big superhero kind of guy. I think you just made another subscriber…if I wasn’t already one…that is.

Age of Adaline is also a cool movie, interesting story. As for my favorite book, my all time favorite read was How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I’ve learned so much from that book, as have many people. That book has been around for nearly, if not over, 100 years. My favorite animals are dolphin-ately dolphins and dogs.

Speaking of superheroes and dogs…no, Joe, now is not the time for shameless self-promotion…

Do you watch other YouTubers? If so, can you name a few?

I watch a lot of other channels similar to mine. To name a few, all channels from the Minecraft Evolution SMP, BdoubleO100, GoodTimesWithScar, Welsknight, etc. Non Minecraft close friend channels would mainly include Tom Syndicate and his vlogs.

When did you start playing Minecraft?

I started playing Minecraft early 2011.

What got you interested in Minecraft?

My close friend Logan (KingMasky). I actually have him to thank for a lot of things. He may not be reading this but if you are Logan – thank you, for everything. Heck, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am now without him. Anyways, yeah I always thought Minecraft was a game about building tall towers and jumping off of them. Weird huh? I kept seeing high jump videos on YouTube so I just ignored it. Logan inspired me to look further and I’ll never forget that first day playing on his locally hosted hamachi server.

How long have you been on YouTube?

Since 2009 believe it or not. I started my current channel in 2012 though. I would honestly not even consider that time as “being on YouTube.” I’ve only been consistent and dedicated for nearly two years now.

How did you come up with the name SystemZee? What was the inspiration behind your avatar?

I totally took it from my uncle. Back in the 90’s he used the systemz as his alias. My cousins and I always thought it was cool. I took that name back in 2009 and just kind of kept it. At least I added two “e”’s though right? Haha! As for my avatar, I wanted something to symbolize my name in the form of a quick signature. So the SZ, or g2 as some people call it, came to mind. I illustrated it and still need to clean it up.

How would you describe your avatar? Is it steampunk? Is it an inventor? Is it an Wild West character?

My Minecraft skin is definitely a steampunk/inventor/bartender type character. I recently changed it to be wearing suspenders to resemble an old, tired builder who loves to create.

What made you want to start doing YouTube videos?

The freedom. My entire life has been driven by creativity and the ability to simply – create. Its such a fascinating topic to me. I started doing YouTube videos because I loved to play the games I was recording; I enjoyed the editing part, and most importantly – seeing reactions. My community is solid and very much enjoy what we’ve all created together.

How do you deal with trolls or naysayers (those who say things like “YouTube isn’t a real job”)?

Ha! YouTube ISN’T a real job, and that’s the point. I can’t say it’s easy though, I’ve done a lot more work in the past month going full time than I have otherwise. But I just ignore those types of comments. I’m fortunate enough to have a very cool community full of nice people.

What are you best known for? Such as catchphrases, sound effects, intros. Did you decided it or did they just happen organically?

I think I’m best known for my unique editing style and builds more than anything, but there are definitely a number of things that we could consider memes on the channel. For example, on my livestreams we have these random moments where we rave to “Dolphin On Wheels” by Kill The Noise and celebrate by spamming dolphins. That was totally random honestly, but everyone loves it. We also have the #squidsquad – which was all originated from me building a giant Squid in Grian’s base. Just things like that. It’s all random haha.

What made you decide to do YouTube full-time? How did you know it was “time”?

I guess honestly I realized I was always waiting for the right time but that time would never come. Late January was around when I decided to quit my job and go full time and it came from analyzing the past few months of performance, having tons of support from family and friends, and a push by my community. Everyone seemed to agree that I could do it – and it was the best decision of my life by far.

How’s it been going full-time? How did you feel about going full-time? How did your friends and family react?

It has been absolutely liberating. I’m no longer bound to a schedule! All of my videos for the week are made, so I took my lovely girlfriend down to Destin, Florida for the week, which is where I’m answering these questions actually! I was super nervous at first, but it’s been completely worth it. Family was also pretty nervous but overall supportive, they are all pretty aware of the possibilities from YouTube. You were with your girlfriend in Florida at the time? Sorry on my bad timing. Hope she didn’t mind.

How did you get a custom email address? What kind of programs do you use to make your job easier, such as Hootsuite or video editing programs? Any programs, software, cameras, microphone, so on you would recommend to other YouTubers?

Custom email addresses can be created by setting up a mail server and attaching a domain to them. Most web hosts offer it actually. As for programs, I use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit, Photoshop for thumbnails and other art, Fraps for recording, OBS for livestreaming. As for hardware, I don’t have any cameras at the moment, but for the microphone I use an AT2020 attached to a pop filter and boom stand arm. I have nothing but love for that microphone! As far as other YouTubers go, I always just recommend using what you have and slowly grow from there.

What advice would you give to people just starting out on YouTube or wishing to go full-time? Or just advice in general?

The best advice I can give, even though I feel like I’m not successful enough to be giving advice, is to love it and only do it if you love it. Don’t ever expect success as none of us are entitled to it. You have to grind and make quality content and stick to a schedule. Since none of us can predict success on YouTube, or expect it, the only thing you can do is your best.

How do you get the word out about your channel? How do you promote it?

I track SEO and other analytics through the Creator Studio. Whenever I upload a video I test to see what does and does not work. Other than that I try to network and make as many friends as possible!

Is there anyone you wish to thank or acknowledge?

All of my friends, family, and everyone watching – naturally. But I’d also like to thank the group of other YouTubers who have helped lift me off the ground and inspired me to work hard.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Thank you to everyone for helping me slowly achieve my dreams here on YouTube. This has been an unreal experience and I can only look forward from here. I’m excited for what the future may bring.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview (especially if you were out with your girlfriend). I wish you lots of luck in your future endeavors.

You can look for SystemZee on YouTube and Twitter.

Now is time for shameless self-promotion.