Work Diary, Feb 23 2020

Hey everyone!  This is the first (kinda second) of my “work diaries.”  These posts will be irregular recurring posts just talking about what I’ve been up to as far as all the content I create and so forth, musings and ramblings, and that sort of thing – the kind of stuff that probably isn’t going to interest many people who aren’t subscribers, but that I feel is an important part of accountability and transparency for people who are.

Consequently, these posts will be visible to subscribers only for two weeks prior to being released to the general public.  This also means you’ll see them appear twice on social media through my feeds – once when they’re dropped as subscriber-only, and again when they go public.

So what have I been up to?  Well…

The Website

I’ve got things more or less where I want them to be with this site.  My most recent work was installing and configuring the Blubrry Powerpress extension to manage my podcasting; this makes it nice and simple to propagate my podcasts to all the major platforms without a bunch of work, although there’s just no getting around some of it (like initial signups for services like Apple Podcasts and TuneIn Radio).  As of now, I’m listed in Apple, Spotify, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

One of the issues this will eventually create is that I’m on borrowed hosting space with pretty tight space and bandwidth limits.  Currently I’ve used about 40% of my available server space, and about half my bandwidth…and that’s going to keep going up, fast, as I add podcasts five days a week (to say nothing of other content).  Consequently, I’m probably going to have to go ahead and move servers again in the next week or two, a month at the most, and that means I’ll have to start paying for space – one of the things your support helps me with.

Outside The Site

As I’m sure you’ve all noticed, I’m now doing a one-hour (ish) livestream every week called “The John Henry Show,” in which I discuss various topics and issues that attract my attention or that are part of my core mission to increase media and political literacy.  Things are unquestionably rough right now, mostly due to mechanical limitations like shooting in a basement on a webcam.  It looks like I did manage to get my greenscreen kinda working today; we’ll see how it comes off on tomorrow’s live broadcast.

I’ve spent considerable time working on the sound quality.  The first few shows were super rough with a lot of “clipping” (distortion) in the microphone, but I think I’ve got that about 95% worked out now – it sounds “clean” through everything but my high-end in-ear studio monitors, so I’m going to take that as a victory for now since I likely won’t be able to really improve it without putting at least another full work day into signal analysis and tracking down where in my “chain” the overdrive is happening.

I’ve also started publishing at Medium.Com, which is a semi-paid platform, meaning I make a few cents when one of their paying customers reads my work, but it’s also available to non-paying readers and naturally I make nothing from that.  The real value in Medium is that it’s a widely-recognized platform that both adds some credibility to my work among the general public and exposes me to a new audience that isn’t tied to Facebook or my prior work – a new traffic funnel, in other words.  This will be a slow-build resources that I expect little immediate return on but should be able to build up a good following with over time.  (You can read my first article there, “The Rise Of The Unruly Woman,” if you’d like.)

In response to feedback from fans, I’m also creating very short videos – 30 seconds to three-ish minutes – from clips of my livestreams.  These will be collected under the title “Short Cuts,” and added to a playlist by that name on my YouTube channel.  At the time of this writing I’ve got seven cuts from my first podcast up.

Even though right now none of you are Patreon subscribers (since I don’t even have the Patreon campaign launched yet!), I absolutely think of you as investors.  Whether it was plain old cash money or some kind of valuable resource like web hosting, you’ve put something in to me, and I take that very seriously.

You can help maximize the “return” on your investment by helping to spread the word – liking, sharing, commenting, etc., anything that encourages new people to stop by and be exposed to my work.  I’m sure I don’t need to explain that step-by-step, you’re all reasonably intelligent people or you wouldn’t be here in the first place, but it’s key to remember that I have no ad budget and no “team” propping me up; the best marketing resource I have is admin privileges at “I Loved To Wake Up In The Morning When Barack Obama Was President,” and frankly that’s not a super-effective tool for me because it mostly attracts people who want anti-Trump memes and short takes, as opposed to my own page where I’ve deliberately cultivated a fan base largely composed of the sorts of critical thinkers who consider memes and sloganeering at best a second-tier tool for spreading information just as I do.

As I write this message I’m moving back and forth also creating my subscriber reward “tiers” on Patreon (or more honestly, continuing to create them – I first started setting this up just before my life collapsed in Utah at the end of 2018).  That should be done within the next couple of days and I’ll submit to Patreon for final approval and finally get that whole thing moving properly.

A very important note for subscribers I’ve “grandfathered in” to subscription benefits:  One of my planned benefits is to include a thank-you list that will roll in the end credits on The John Henry Show.  If you do not want your name to appear on this list I need you to let me know by the end of next week, Feb 29th.  I will begin this behavior with the March 2nd livestream.  If I haven’t heard from you by then, you’ll be on the list by default.

Also currently struggling with how to keep the podcasts up and running – that stuff chews bandwidth like gum and I’m on borrowed space that I’m not paying for and which has pretty tight limits.  But I’ll work it out – as I’m writing this, I’m re-encoding all my audio files for podcasts at half the bitrate I was, which will cut the load down by a little less than half.  That’ll buy me a little time.  I’m probably going to go ahead and spring for paid space this weekend and move the site again.  I hate to dip in to the guitar fund for that, but it’s gonna catch up with me if I don’t (even with the reduced file size).  The good news is I can sell the space to myself at a deep discount – like $12 a month for what most people are paying $20 a month for at GoDaddy or similar hosts.

And that’s the news from JH for now.

 

 

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