Category Archives: Blogging
Well, I’ve officially been a blogger for more than two years. The fact that I didn’t do anything big to mark the actual day (which was about a week ago) is unfortunately a reminder that I have not been particularly focused on this blog of late.
The name of the blog, Angry 365 Days a Year, was a description of a challenge I set myself when I first started: write something angry at least once a day, every day, for a year. I actually achieved this, partly by driving myself crazy a few times in my desperation to maintain my quota. Once the first year was over I relaxed a little, promising myself that I wouldn’t get to worked up if I missed the occasional day.
Even so, for quite a while I was still averaging 25-30 posts a month. The turning point was when I took time off work to organise the YouTube gathering in Melbourne last year. I never realised how much I relied on the rhythm of a workday – 90% of my blog posts were written in my lunch hour. Without that pattern, I found it very hard to make the time to sit down and type a post.
Also, YouTube has been taking up more and more of my time. For some reason I find it easier to make videos than it is to write blog posts, even though making the videos takes longer. Thinking of the idea, shooting it, editing and rendering the video, then uploading it takes at least 2 or 3 hours. And that’s not even factoring in the time I use up answering comments.
It took me almost 18 months to reach 1,000 subscribers on YouTube and in the last 6 months I’ve gone up to almost 4,000. Along with this, the number of comments on each video has gone up gradually from a handful to at least 100 for each video, often more than 200. So given my obsessive need to answer comments, most days I’m answering well over 100 comments (as I still get a lot of comments on old videos.)
One of the reasons YouTube has become more appealing for me than the blog is there is much more instant gratification on YouTube. It is much easier to find an audience on YouTube than it is on an individual blog as YouTube aggregates the videos in a way blog hosts don’t. On the other hand, achieving success with a blog post feels more satisfying as you have to do it yourself.
And while there are more people watching YouTube than there are reading blogs, I shouldn’t underestimate the power of a popular blog post. After all the closest I’ve come to a “big break” has come via this blog. My infamous “alli diet pills make you shit oil” post was noticed by someone from one of the American broadcast networks and I was almost interviewed for one of their feature programs. I’m still kind of bitter that didn’t go through but that’s the way things go sometimes in this big, tough world.
Well, I’m about to start a new contract. The last one was pretty stressful and I never regained the rhythm of writing in my lunch break – I essentially had to get the fuck out of the building for an hour each day. Maybe this one will be a bit more balanced and I’ll get back to writing regularly.
Anyway, to round off, I want to thank everyone for their support (for however long you’ve been with me). Particular thanks to the die-hards who’ve been reading almost from the start, like Sandra with whom I pretty much share a blog birthday. It’s been quite an adventure and I’m not about to stop now!
So in my relatively idle time of the last couple of months I’ve managed to hit a few milestones. I’ve just posted my 500th video to YouTube and I’ve passed 700 posts on this blog. Then there was organising the first major physical gathering of YouTube users in Australia, getting featured a few times on the Australian YouTube page, meeting one of my favourite online people Cory Williams (AKA Mr Safety AKA SMP Films) and making some videos together.
So when I say idle, that’s a relative term. What I really mean is I haven’t worked full time since October. By which I mean I haven’t worked full time for someone who was paying me. But I’ve been pretty fucking busy.
This blog has suffered in terms of regular posting. It turns out full time work gives me a rhythm that is conducive to writing blog posts. Most of what I wrote was produced in my lunch hours. I know, normal people get away from their desks at lunchtime. I never claimed to be normal. But I start a new contract on Monday so it’s quite likely that regular posts will resume as well.
In the meantime, here’s my 500th video for YouTube. For those who aren’t familiar with my milestone videos, every 100 videos I make a compilation of the previous 100. Short grabs from each video that provide a concentrated dose of angry. And hopefully entertainment too.
But be warned: make yourself comfortable before starting if you plan to watch this video. Even five or ten second grabs add up over 100 videos. This is a bit over 16 minutes long so make sure you have the free time!
We’re having extremely warm weather in Melbourne at the moment. To rub it in for people from the Northern hemisphere I mad this video the other day:
I think I’m being punished for it now – we’re having one of the hottest New Year’s Eves on record. It’s been over 40 degrees Celsius (or 100 Fahrenheit) for most of the afternoon. And I can’t remember the last time the humidity was so low. It feels like the moisture is being sucked out of my body every time I go outside.
I actually had an episode in a shop earlier when I went in to buy something. The shop assistant said the usual “How are you?” greeting and I tried to say “Fine,” but all that came out was a strangled croak. I had to swallow a few times to create enough moisture in my throat to talk.
I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions. I suppose I could resolve to getting back to writing for this blog properly but I don’t really need to. I’m going back to work on Jan 7th and that will put me back in the rhythm to write more regularly.
But it’s interesting to look back on the year. My readership fairly exploded, thanks mainly to two posts, the Alli diet pill one and the “When insults had class” quotes. I’ve had a little bit of attention from media (which may still go somewhere – who knows?) My profile on YouTube has also gone through the roof since the gathering in Melbourne on December 1st.
So 2008 is looking interesting. I want to thank everyone who reads and comments regularly, it’s that sort of contact that makes putting time into this blog worthwhile. I hope everyone has a great 2008 and hopefully I’ll get to meet a few of you this year.
I had a funny experience today. The upcoming YouTube gathering coincides with the Melbourne World AIDS Day Concert hosted by the Burnet Institute. Both events will be at Federation Square on November 1st. Given the global nature of YouTube and the global nature of World AIDS Day seem like a perfect fit, I’m working with the people at the Burnet Institute to do some cross-promotion with YouTube.
At a big meeting today it was my job to explain to the various attendees what the As One YouTube gathering actually was. When I described the promotion that had been happening on YouTube, the guy next to me said “Yeah I saw a video about that done by AngryAussie.”
The fact that he referred to me in the third person while I was sitting right next to him threw me for a moment. Then I realised. He had no idea I was AngryAussie. When I explained that I was AngryAussie his reaction was amusing to say the least.
About a dozen expressions flickered across his face. What? What are you talking about? You’re crazy. Oh, wait a minute. Yeah, maybe. No, but… Do I look like a dork for not recognising him?
It’s nice to know that my “disguise” actually works. Apparently I come across differently when I’m not wearing a mask and ranting. Who knew?
I received confirmation of my travel plans for going to LA next week. I’m flying in to LA on Monday November 12th and doing the shooting for the TV show on the 13th. They’ve got me staying at a place called the Montrose Suite Hotel in West Hollywood. I had a look at their website and it looks pretty good.
If anyone is in the LA area and wants to get together, I’ll probably be in the mood to party a bit on the night of Tuesday the 13th. Assuming the shooting goes well, that is. If I screw it up completely I’ll be in the mood to get so drunk I forget it all. So youknow, either way could make for a good time.
So, the inimitable Funky Brown Chick has asked me “why do I blog?” This is a multi-answer question for me. The most obvious answer is in the “Why am I doing this” section of this blog. I describe the blog as therapy – if I vent my anger here I theorised I would be less angry in day to day life.
While that’s obviously tongue in cheek, there’s an element of truth to it. My girlfriend for one will vouch for the fact my moods generally have been better since I started blogging. I’m a big believer in the benefits of catharsis. Venting anger in a way that doesn’t physically harm someone is a lot healthier than letting it build up until you burst a blood vessel in your brain or go on a shooting rampage.
It’s more accurate to say that I wanted a creative outlet. I’ve always been a pretty good writer and I’m a firm believer that writing is a skill like any other – the more you do it, the better you’ll get. So I was actually quite methodical when setting up the blog. I had been working on some material for doing some standup comedy and decided I might get more feedback on what’s actually funny by writing a blog. I could test out material here and use the most popular bits in a routine.
Standup is hard. And it doesn’t provide a very rapid feedback loop. You get the instant feedback (or lack thereof) from a live audience but if some material doesn’t go over all that well you can’t really come back the next day and try some new material. With a blog I could try whatever I wanted, see the audience response and try some more the next day.
I made a couple of choices before I even started. First, I was going to do it anonymously. I’m a contractor and the IT community in Melbourne is too small, too conservative and too gossipy to take a huge risk career-wise. So I decided to invent a persona. Honestly, Mr Angry isn’t me. He’s a mouthpiece for a few things I want to say but more often he’s a character who says things I never would myself.
The other decision was to be disciplined and regular with the writing. The name “Angry 365 Days a Year” is not a coincidence. I decided up front to set myself the target of writing at least one post every day for a year. Which I actually managed (just). There were a few close calls but some new content went up every day for the first year.
Since reaching that milestone I’ve relaxed a little. Now occasionally a day or two will pass without me posting and I won’t freak out. Oh and I abandoned the idea of doing standup as well. Too hard. Too 20th century. YouTube killed that idea for me. Only the biggest name standup comedians in the world get a bigger audience than even a fringe player like me can get on YouTube.
Which brings me to the last big reason why I blog. I want to make a career of this. I’ve been a bit vague on exactly which direction this will take as I enjoy both the writing and the performance side of what I’ve been doing. But there have been a few positive developments in the last year. I’ve made a few thousand dollars doing videos for The Fizz on DirecTV (which has paid for camera upgrades and my broadband).
And then there was the New York possibility I mentioned a month or so ago. A journalist with one of the US broadcast networks had approached me about being interviewed for a segment on an upcoming show. For what felt like the longest time it continued to dangle as a possibility with no definite answer one way or the other. Now I finally have an answer. Sadly, I won’t be going to New York.
I’m going to LA! Yes, Mr Angry is going to Hollywood. In two weeks. I fly in on the 14th of November (unless something changes). So if you’re from the LA area, let me know. I definitely want to catch up with as many people as possible while I’m there. As you can see in this video, I was quite excited by the news:
So another brainwave from SeanBedlam for the Melbourne As One YouTube gathering is aiming for a world record for the largest number of people liveblogging from the same event. There is some finetuning to be done, like defining how to measure the record. I’ve never heard of anyone claiming this record before so I think we have a bit of leeway.
My biggest concern is not with the record but with Sean’s insistence on referring to video blogging as vlogging. Attentive long-term readers/video viewers will know that I prefer the term yologging for reasons that are to obvious to require repeating here. Although I will explain it in the following video.
A bit of background for the video. The key organisers of the Melbourne As One gathering are Sean, Adrian Calear and me. We decided to record some of our planning sessions for posterity. Because the future will want to see our genius at work. The framing and sound in this video are kind of crap but I think it’s worth watching. And even though we play up to the camera occasionally, none of this is scripted.
You see the sort of disrespect I have to put up with?
So I can finally go public with my other big news. Along with notorious YouTuber SeanBedlam (AKA Sean Burke) and my good friend Adrian Calear, I have been involved in organising the first big YouTube gathering in Australia. We are having a gathering in Melbourne on Saturday, December 1st.
Our original plan (and the one I still want to happen) was to have a gathering in Sydney on the previous weekend. This was mainly so we could have a road trip between the two gatherings. The problem has been that we couldn’t find someone on the ground in Sydney to commit to organise things. But it isn’t too late! Anyone who lives in Sydney who fancies themselves as an organiser should contact us and we’ll do everything we can to support an event in Sydney.
The gathering in Melbourne will be at Federation Square, right next to Flinders Street Station in the city. This is going to be far more than a bunch of people gathering in the same place to meet each other (although that alone would be good). We’re partnering with the people who run Fed Square and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI – which is right in Fed Square) to make it a great event. There are some fantastic facilities at Federation Square and ACMI and I’m looking forward to showing some of them off in the lead-up.
It looks like the launch has gone off with a bang on YouTube with one of the highest profile Australians on YouTube, Blunty3000, putting up a video celebrating us finally having a gathering in Australia.
Cory Williams (AKA MR Safety of SMP Films) will also be helping promote the event. Cory ran the first successful large scale YouTube gatherings in Hollywood and San Francisco under the banner “As One”. The San Francisco As One gathering in particular has been described by attendees as “life changing”. So with Cory’s help (and hopefully the whole YouTube community’s help) As One Melbourne will be even better. Cosmos changing maybe.
Anyway, here’s my launch video:
And here’s Cory’s As One videos from Hollywood:
And San Francisco:
The New York deal is looking good.
I want to take a moment to thank everyone for all the positive responses to my post from yesterday. It’s obviously exciting to me that I might get to go on US network TV but it’s also really gratifying to get such a show of support from everyone. And not just for this specific incident; the support and feedback I’ve received from readers over the last 18 months is what keeps me going.
The story so far: I got the expected call from the TV guy last night and it went well. This is for a show that will be produced by the news/current affairs department at this network in New York. Apparently they are doing a show all about anger and they want to interview me for it.
The guy asked me a whole bunch of questions about my blog, my character, why I’m angry, all that sort of thing. He’s going to take his notes to his producer where I guess the final decision on whether or not to use me is made. He said I should hear in the next week or so.
I don’t actually know if they plan to do more than one show or whether they might use me for 5 seconds or 5 minutes. I guess I’ll find out more as I go along. Still. T fucking V! Me! And it ain’t cable, baby! (No disrespect to the fine folks at The Fizz on DirecTV who have been very good to me over the last year)
I’ll hold off actually giving identifying details regarding the network until things get verified. I’m not sure if that’s important but it feels like the right thing to do at the moment. Plus it adds an element of suspense. Which network will debut Mr Angry? It’s sure to be the talk of tinsel town. Or possibly not.
As for people suggesting some sort of get-together if I get there: FUCK YES! I’d love that! I’ve never been to New York so I’m going to be a bit of a goggle-eyed tourist. Some local help would be appreciated. My only regret is I’m unlikely to have an opportunity to do any sort of a road trip. I’d love to explore some more of the country and meet a few more people but I don’t think I’ll have the time.
Obviously when I get my own series or make a feature film I’ll make the time to get around a bit more ;)
Here’s how I announced the news on YouTube:
I have to add, I’m really pleased this possible break has come from the blog, not YouTube. The TV guy in question found me via my famous alli diet pill post from a few months back. It just goes to show, kids: writing about pooping your pants is the path to success.
I’ve mentioned on several occasions in the past how not being featured on YouTube has pissed me off. That’s the easy path to lots of recognition and I’ll be honest; it frustrates me that they feature some real shit and haven’t featured me. I’ve been more philosophical about it recently. As I approach the twin milestones of 1000 subscribers and one million views I actually feel good that I accomplished that without the help of being featured. That’s an achievement I can own.
I almost wrote that I’d done it alone but that isn’t true. I’ve had great support from a couple of people, most notably Cory Williams (Mr Safety) of SMP Films. People in the community have been great to me – it’s the YouTube editors who haven’t done me any favours.
But this potential New York gig is all about the blog. That belongs to me and you, dear readers. And that feels damn good!