2020 has been an interesting year.
Between the sorry state of our politics, the Left finally admitting what they are and COVID-19, nearly everyone’s life has changed in some significant way.
I am no exception to that. I have had to make some significant decisions regarding how I want to proceed with my online presence and one of the main realizations of that was that it is difficult to combine the long form written articles I have been publishing for all these year with the way content is distributed in the modern era.
Another thing that happened was my introduction to print media. I have been writing for Guns and Ammo’s Special Interest Publications for a little while now and I have to grudgingly admit I enjoy that immensely.
There have also been other demands on my written musings. As a result of that, my ability to put together long written reviews has been diminished. Partly it is due to time constraints and partly due to me simply needing a change of pace once in a while.
“Change of pace” ended up taking the form of making more videos for my Youtube channel.
Another realization I had as I went along was that I am not a huge fan of the affiliate marketing model. Affiliate marketing is where you click on one of the links I post and I get a small percentage of whatever you buy. It turned out that in order to be successful with that I have to follow market trends and post links to stuff that people are already looking for.
Well, that sorta runs counter to what I do here: I look at products I find interesting, analyze them to considerable depth and share my impressions the best I can. I really have no interest in trying to follow market trends and I am not nearly well known enough to set those trends myself.
Affiliate marketing business introduces a set of split loyalties that I am not hugely comfortable with. I believe I should only be responsible to my audience and noone else.
From that standpoint, Youtube was interesting in a sense that I have no control over what type of advertising they add to my videos, so I can focus on content. Also, Youtube opened my channel up to offer paid memberships which is an approach I prefer. If I am directly supported by people I make this content for, there are no split loyalties.
The way it works, Youtube takes 30% of what people pay and I get 70%. As a thanks to people who financially support my channel I have negotiated discounts with a few companies for my supporters. There is no kickback to me. I am just trying to get a you a better deal. Another perk of being a paying member is access. I am facing an increasing number of questions and channel members have dibs on my time.
However, Youtube is generally hostile to 2nd Amendment people, so eventually I see them pushing people like me out.
That is where my latest idea comes in. I stumbled onto a website designed for creators. It is the initiative started by Dave Rubin and it purports to be everything that Big Tech is not. They also offer a “supporter” model, but I get to keep a lot more than I do with Youtube and they have a healthy respect for both 1st and 2nd amendment. And on top of that, I can combine a blog with video stuff on a community page there.
They finally approved my community there and it resides at darklordofoptics.locals.com
www.darklordofoptics.com is pointed there as well.
Starting now, opticsthoughts.com remains here as a database of legacy material I have written, while darklordofoptics.com becomes my new start.
I hope to see you all there.