As promised, I am beginning my series of YouTube videos about history. The first one, which is uploading (currently at 11%) now, is about the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 and the insurrection in Washington earlier this month. I compare and contrast Germany in the 1920s to America in the 2020s, seeing what lessons can be gleamed from the past. Interesting stuff, at least to me.
The sound is terrible. The lighting is worse. And I get a little flustered at times, as you’ll see, so the narration isn’t as good as a proper YouTuber. It’s also incredibly long. I think about 50 minutes. That is far longer than I intended, but not surprising. Thinking back to university, I remember I always had problems keeping to time when giving presentations. I am eternally grateful for my editors, who help me trim the fat of my pieces. Because God knows there is a lot of fat to be trimmed.
I will get better at YouTube videos. The most important step you take is the first, though, so whether this one is perfect or not is of less consequence than the fact that I actually made a video. I sat down and researched it, found the pictures, recorded the narration. I’m quite pleased with the final product, rough though it may be.
I’ll get better at editing myself, both editing the video and editing the script, as it were. I plan on playing around a little with Microsoft’s Video Editor to see if I can figure out how to use it to make better quality videos. I used Powerpoint for this one, and as you’ll see, it didn’t work as well as I hoped. Still, it did work, so there’s that.
It took well over an hour for the Powerpoint to convert to a video so I could upload to YouTube. Now the video is 12% uploaded, which means it won’t be available until tomorrow. Not much to be done about that, I’m afraid. That’s another lesson learned here: the sheer amount of time that it takes to save, download, and upload these videos means that I should probably plan to do all this the day before I want it to be live.
13% now. YouTube is not meant to be my full-time job, yet today it was. That’s alright. I need to learn, and I learn by doing. It may seem odd that I need to learn, since I’m a writer and not a videographer. Yet, having a presence on YouTube has been deemed necessary by enough writers that I feel I must take note. It was actually Jenna Moreci’s videos which convinced me to bite the bullet, as she talked about branding and building up an audience on various platforms. There is something to be said for that, especially if you are self-publishing like she is. I’m not self-publishing a novel, but I do self-publish on Medium and on this blog, so I reckon the principle is the same.
The thing is, I enjoyed doing this video. It was something different. Something new. I could have just as easily made this a Medium blog, but that wouldn’t have been as fun. My video isn’t sophisticated, but the research is sound and the information is accurate and interesting.
There is no real reason for this blog, other than to pass the time while I wait for this YouTube video to upload. I have already watched EastEnders. I don’t have any outstanding articles to work on (unfortunately). The dog is cuddling with my grandmother, so we can’t play tug.
Skylar Baker-Jordan is a freelance writer based in Tennessee. His work has appeared at the Independent, Huff Post UK, Salon, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @skylarjordan and become a sustainer at www.patreon.com/skylarjordan