Thursday, January 26, 2012

Don't Step in the Shit

Don't step in the shit! Why not? Isn't the shit the stuff that's going to get you all the viewers on You Tube and al of the readers on your blog? Well, what I mean by "shit" is controversy. Controversy is something that gets people watching videos on your video blog or reading your blog posts. Being edgy and controversial is interesting if done well. It is exciting if thought through. Controversial views are often the key to success in the world of content creation. Being a hot young lady also works if you are on You Tube!

As a mid 30-something guy, my hot lady days are far behind me. Come to think of it, they never existed. So, what is a mid 30-something Canadian blogger with a receding hairline to do in order to get tens of thousands of people to read my posts and millions to watch his videos? I could take my shirt off! Wait a second...that might cause a violent physical reaction known as "vomiting." I could simply show more cleavage! Wait a chest hair might impede the view.

What's a guy to do?

Ah....that's right. I can get edgy and controversial. BUUUUTTT...I don't want to. I don't want that sort of attention. Don't get me wrong. I love attention. If I didn't love attention I never would have become a drama freak in university or done improv theatre after university. I never would have played music in so many bands. If I didn't love attention I wouldn't have three You Tube channels and this blog. I wouldn't be such a Twitter whore ( can follow me here)!

In the past I have made some edgy videos and they have done well. A lot of people watched them. On a former blog, I used to write some edgy posts and many people read them. The problem was and I'm sure still would be that I attracted negative attention. I was noticed by normal readers and viewers, but at the same time I was noticed by internet trolls.

More than fours years ago I was in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa and there were duel protests on Parliament Hill (Canadian houses of government). There were are very large number of pro-China supporters and some Free-Tibet people (with heavy police protection) a block away. This was just before the Beijing Olympics. I shot a video of each group and as I did, shared some of my thoughts on the issues at hand. That night I posted the video and went to sleep. The next morning I awoke to thousands of hits which I initially thought was very cool. Then I noticed that I had dozens of very insane/nationalistic/threatening comments on my page by Chinese netizens. Some of my loyal viewers tried to support me in the comment section and then they were attacked by large numbers of netizens. After a few days of FAR TOO MUCH ATTENTION, I decided it would be in the best interest of my You Tube channel to just pull the video down. I didn't post another video for a few weeks and by then, the storm had calmed.

A few years later, while here in Japan, I made a video defending English teachers in South Korea. I worked there for more than five years and it is pretty common knowledge that there are certain nationalistic segments of society there that like to use teachers as scapegoats. There has also been a history of tabloid journalists there doing the same. I made a very frank and abrasive video (I was pissed off at the time about the topic) defending teachers and "poo pooing" their detractors. I posted the video and it immediately began to get lots of hits. Soon after that though, I started to attract the trolls. I left that video up for more than a year though. I didn't care, but every once and awhile a very nasty and persistent troll would rear his ugly head.

Fast forward to now. In 2012, I am still an attention whore. I would love for my videos and blog posts to all be popular and viral. Heck, I'd love to even be able to make a living doing this hobby that I love so much! BUT….I now refuse to be controversial. Well, a little edgy is ok. Some bloggers and video bloggers obviously pander to their audiences and only say positive things. Some never speak their minds freely.

I intend to speak my mind, but I never go looking for a fight. What is the point? I am not a very angry person. At times I become a little disgruntled about things in life, but we all do. I don't want to get myself noticed because I am negative or angry. I'm just not that sort of person. I suppose I could pretend to be angry and that would probably get some hits. Many people have online personas and it works for them. In my case though, that just isn't the "angle" I am shooting for. In fact, I don't have an angle. I'm just Kevin sharing his non-angry thoughts with all of you folks out there.

Being controversial definitely works if you want to be noticed online. BEWARE though. With all that attention, some negatives are bound to be included!


Kaori said...

Your interesting and at times hilariously outrageous tweets caught my attention, not to mention your great photos. I think being "just Kevin" is all you need to get attention :-)

Kevin O said...

@Kaori Thanks so much! I appreciate it.


cdncarlie said...

I second Kaori's comment. It's your honest, down-to-earth, comedic writing style that I love so much (one of the many reasons I can't wait for you to finish your book!), and it certainty doesn't hurt that your son is freakin' adorable. :D

In your blog posts and YouTube videos, I feel like I can relate to you because you seem like just another ordinary person like myself :)

Don't forget, it quality over quantity...ok I realize that sounds stupid but on some level it's true.

Oh, and stop kidding yourself! For a mid-30s year-old man, you still got it! :P

Gros bisous!

Anonymous said...

I don't think you are an attention whore on Twitter. Your tweets are either informative, or promote links I am interested in.

Stirring up controversy is for flash-in-a-pan, here-today-gone-tomorrow, user created content. Quality stuff is what your audience is after.

Also: hurry and finish that e-book! I wants ta give you my monies.