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#GaryVeeChallenge and general updates

Hey guys, hope you’re all doing well! Last time I made a post we were talking about:

  • The restoration of the Learn section of the site and the future work required there. (Duplicate pages that you can’t see because they’re set to “draft” behind the scenes may have better explanations or formatting than what is currently being displayed, and I need to just sit down and do this tonight probably.)
  • I spoke of getting back to work on Let’s Play Yo-Yo, and
    • I believe I’ve discovered a way to trick myself into this. Since a little before the last post on the 6th I’ve begun live streaming regularly to YouTube (generally late at night after my family has gone to sleep) under the title of “Let’s Play Yo-Yo Live: [whatever the stream’s topic is]”.
    • Generally a lot of goofing around since I’m not sure what to focus on but occasionally that process leads to cool looking tricks so I have also been recording these live streams from a second camera with a higher frame rate for later viewing in slow motion, but there are some lighting issues with this at the moment.
    • The main goal is to take the hour or more long streams and trim them down to about 10 minutes. I have just barely started doing this with a stream from the 1st of December. We’ll see how it goes. I’d like to get into the habit of editing what I have from the day before and posting it before going live again. But that could be problematic. Who knows.

This all leads me to what’s new at the moment. Obviously I’m working on this project now, having the site to keep track of it and other yo-yo projects has been helping. And now I mention something called the #GaryVeeChallenge in the title and don’t mention it until well into the post. What’s that about?

So if you’ve been following me for long. A handful of you have been around 10+ years. You’ll know I’ve been obsessed with this Gary Vaynerchuk guy since I first stumbled across him in 2009. Well, he recently started something to help lazy folks like me get their asses in gear. Or maybe not so much lazy folks like me, but folks similar to me who are on the fence about going all in on whatever their thing is.

And I want to do it. He sent out a new deck (60+ page pdf of ideas on how to make good regular content) and challenged folks to apply it, tagging the posts made from applying said concepts with #garyveechallenge.

I am only even posting about this because I’m fairly confident this is not something I’m ready to put myself into fully right now, but because it’s a good guide for creating the kind of content I want to create, I want to see if I can somehow trick myself into doing a decent job at this challenge.

I have glanced around through the deck. It reminded me of the last one Gary put out. I need to actually study it a bit further, as it shows you the process of using pillar content (like a show, a podcast, vlog) and splitting it up in to smaller highlight chunks that can be distributed to the various platform available, regardless of the time you’re doing this challenge in.

I am currently taking my live stream and when I hit trick I want to share I do my best to remember when I hit it, and then immediately afterwards I go back through the footage, find the trick, clip it, edit it into something fancy with some cool music, light it artificially as best I can, and then share it to youtube, twitter, instagram, tiktok, and facebook. I am supposed to tag all of these posts made from the pillar content (and the pillar content as well I suppose) with the #garyveechallenge tag.

I started writing this post while I waited for footage to both import from my little action camera and download from YouTube.

My action camera doesn’t record good audio so I’m depending on good audio from the live stream to sync over the action camera footage that I do end up using. I will also potentially use voice overs but will have to record them on my phone, which considering I’m doing this all on my own and the mic I bought is garbage, I’m not going to beat myself up too much for doing so.

Between now and January, if I make enough noise and presumably adhere to this deck well, I (or several other participating in this challenge) could potentially win some cool things, all of which are rad, but I have my eyes set on that ‘fly you to the office’ one haha…

Well I’m now blogging to procrastinate, I’ll post some updates later.

P.s. I haven’t also been sharing all the videos I’ve been making on the blog because a few of you get emails every time I make a blog post and I’m concerned about spamming you.

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It’s December already

Wow this year flew by. Since the last post I was able to successfully extract all of my old tutorials and lessons. Those have been mashed into the Learn page and are slowly coming together as I have time to clean up duplicates. I’m looking forward to being done with reestablishing this learning section so I can being making more tutorials.

I’ve been talking about it for a while, I’m starting “Let’s Play Yo-Yo” again, but it’s going to be more a general yo-yo show. I will still learn tricks on camera like I did before, but now I’m going to show the trick creation segments as a part of this series, and tutorials, unboxings/reviews, and interviews. Really anything yo-yo related.

I think making this a regular show will have a lot of benefits rather than making random pieces of stand alone content. It will help me reconnect with the yo-yo community I hope. In a way as an audience forms around the show it will have it’s own community for me to work with. That part of the process is what I mostly miss from the first time we did this.

When it comes to tutorials to teach initially I will be following whatever the most current sports ladder is. I will also teach original tricks or anything I learn along the way. Basically, whatever I can find a way to trick myself in to producing that might be of use to others I will endeavor to create.

A part of this import of information means that I have 10+ years of blogs in varying levels of organization. And a lot of duplicate content. So… I suppose I should stop writing this blog post and get some work done.

Until next time!

MikeMonty

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Restoration of old website posts

I’ve begun what will most likely be a pointless task, the restoration of my old posts. I’ve downloaded a program call XAMPP so that I can attempt to restore a backup of my website I lost seven years ago to it locally, and then export all the posts from it to this live site. I’m just taking it one little thing at a time for now. Right now I’m waiting for XAMPP to install, it’s quite large and my laptop is rather old. Well it’s maybe four years old but I was poor when I bought it so it was already fighting with one arm tied behind its back.

In addition to doing this pointless task I am waiting for my kids to wake up. They went down for their nap three hours ago but didn’t actually sleep until the last hour. So I’ve opened their door but didn’t actually wake them up. I am kind of hoping this loud keyboard will wake them up.

The installation has completed. I need to follow a tutorial to make sure I don’t screw up the setup steps… ( https://themeisle.com/blog/install-xampp-and-wordpress-locally/ )

It’s not going so well.

It’s been 40 minutes or so. Weston has woken up, I’ve got him situated and entertained. Willow is still asleep but the door is open and there is a kids show playing in the other room so I’m hopefully it’ll coax her awake peacefully.

The website backup/restore system I used back then no longer works. So I need to figure out how to restore the website manually… Which I believe means I need to install a blank wordpress first and then move my files over the top and import my database over the top… Blah…

It’s making me download and install something called Bitnami now. It is kind of like those ‘website in 5 minute intaller’ things you see on most webhosts these days.

My hope is once it’s installed I can overwrite it with the old files and then do all the other things.

Both of the kids are awake now.

They have a wooden train/car track in the living room that they’re playing with. Mostly racing cars and trains down a ramp.

Also it just started snowing.

Children are screaming over who gets what train now…

Oh it’s done installing wordpress. Sweet. I think. Now that hard part begins.


I couldn’t get it to work… Uninstalling and reinstalling the app and going to try just importing the wp-content folder and the comments/posts/pages…

 


 

Okay it’s 11:57pm. I’ve successfully imported all of my posts from the backup to the local website thing. Then I exported then and added them to this website. But all of the images are linked incorrectly, so I will need to fix those. I still have a lot of missing posts from 2012 to 2017 that I believe I have backups of.

Honestly I’m not sure any of this adds anything or helps anyone…

It just feels like it needs to be done.

I’ll finish it later, time to get some sleep!

MikeMonty

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My Social Pages

I have some of my social stats on the sidebar of my website right now. They’re from August 30th of 2019. They say I have 1,520 followers on Instagram, 5,528 subscribers on YouTube, and 1,945 likes on Facebook. I also have 1,276 followers on Twitter, but for some reason I haven’t put it in the sidebar. The main reason I am making this post is because besides offering a link to the pages, I’m not sure why I have the following count showing.

It’s not even accurate. I was too lazy to find a plugin that could update these numbers automatically for me so I simply put what was there on the 30th of August and thought to myself, “It’ll be cool to see how much they grow as I get back into this whole internet video maker thing”. When I said that to myself I didn’t realize just how busy I was going to be working from home. Instead of stocking shelves, sweeping floors, running registers, and fixing bikes, I’m selling things on eBay and starting a yo-yo brand.

Most of the time I spend working is focused on listing items on eBay. I found several large boxes of toys at a yardsale a few months ago and have been listing them ever since. It’s enough work were it keeps me fairly focused on listing and shipping whenever I don’t have my kids. When I do have my kids my listing time’s drop significantly, but I figure the weeks they’re away can be maximized for listing and the weeks they’re here I’ll ship sales in the morning and spend the rest of the day with them.

But that hasn’t given me much time for yo-yoing. Which has always sort of been my main focus. It’s strange giving other aspects of my life so much more attention when I’d rather be working on a trick. But until I have a big enough audience that I can sell yo-yo’s or have a patreon to pay my bills and send me to contests, I’ll have to focus on eBay. (I do technically have a Patreon but I’m not sure what to give as rewards.)

Well, the reason I even started writing this is I figured I was either going to update the numbers or remove them. I think I’ll say what they are now here in this post and then remove them. Instagram currently has 1,625, so it went up 105 followers since August. YouTube has 5832 since August. Which is another 304 subscribers. That’s actually really good I think, but every time I’ve posted a video it’s been lucky to past 50 views. To be fair most of the videos are short trick clips that would do better on Instagram or TikTok (I joined that by the way, not sure if I’ll be able to grow on it yet but I like the idea, its more about being creative than anything). Facebook… Facebook went up 5 likes. I don’t know what to think about Facebook. Sometimes I’ll make a post an it’ll get a thousand views (Facebook counts 3 seconds of watch time as a view though). Mostly it’ll sit around 100 views.

Basically I’m not sure where to focus my time right now. I think focusing on making tutorials when I have time and getting this site to be more of ‘a place to learn how to yo-yo’ and less of a… whatever it is right now, that I’ll start to see results because I’ll be creating content that is useful to people and not just an effort to boost my ego.

Alright, I need to get back to eBay. That’s it for now. I’ll knock the numbers off the sidebar shortly.

MikeMonty

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Live stream highlight reels

Hey guys, hope you’ve been well, it’s been a few days over a month since my last post so I wanted to give you an update since the last time I bothered you. This time around the main highlight is this… highlight reel from several live streams I did earlier this week. I’m still figuring out my formula for all of this but basically what I have been doing is going live on instagram, facebook, youtube, and twitch when i’m feeling like yo-yoing and I practice elements, tricks, and combos I’ve been working on lately live.

It’s a fun process and helps me not feel insanely alone (I work from home) when that is getting to me. I’ve also started setting up a second camera with a higher frame rate so that I can create these reels. Anyways, here’s my first one. Up until now I had been just posting individual tricks I liked but I had enough in this one to make something longer.

I hope you enjoy it!

Catch ya next time!

MikeMonty

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Posted a really hard trick, seems like people are liking it

I started working on this trick just shy of a month ago. I had been looking through some old videos and saw this wrap/unwrap thing I once used to tinker with but never really took anywhere and decided to spend some time on it. After finally finding an interesting and techy way into the mount I quickly came to see that the exit from that mount perfectly set up a move for landing a gunslinger hook I had recently learned, and so I added that in there. Immediately after that I was left in another mount that perfectly fit a different element I started working with in 2017. Basically this is a conglomeration of a bunch of abandoned tricks that all lead up to a flashy slap bind behind my arm.

Exploring and attempting to improve my consistency at strange mounts that I don’t see the majority of my peers performing has always been somewhat important to me over the years. I thought I should take advantage of the obscure and diverse inputs to create and interesting and uncommon trick. Hopefully I’ve accomplished that! 🙂

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Lots of eBay lessons in a very short amount of time

Some of you who have been following my exploits over the various social media platforms of late (probably three of you) might have possibly noticed that I have gotten into flipping items on eBay more seriously as of late. If you weren’t aware… well yea. So I’ve been listing a lot of things on eBay. That’s basically it, that and shipping things when and if they ever sell. It’s fun. It makes enough to pay my few bills and it seems like the more time I put into it on a daily basis, the more money it can make.

Time in can be shipping items that have sold, which is a process I’m learning to love and have previously sucked at. Or still somewhat do. More on that later. Time in can also be searching for an item I have to sell for a family member to see if it is selling, what for, and then taking the additional time to list and describe it as best I can and then hope it sells for something that won’t piss off said friend of family member.

It’s fun. But there have been a few lessons in the last week that I’m not too happy to have had the opportunity to enjoy so soon into my new enterprise. First that comes to mind, ship one item from start to finish at a time. Do not print all your labels at once, box everything at once, and then apply labels to boxes after they are closed. I was only shipping two items, two incredible hulk items I found for a steal and was super excited about until one of the item’s recipients contacts me with a polite, “As much as I’d love to keep this cooler item, something got mixed up here.” message and I jumped back into customer service mode from back in my office days.

Shipping labels from each recipient to the other were generated quickly, apologies were written and sent quickly, a resolution was explained quickly, and only the slightest bit of worry about exposing two customers addresses to each-other crossed my mind and I crossed my fingers that they’d appreciate the quick resolution of my complete fuck up and hopefully not be too pissed. I offered them both refunds, luckily they were gracious, citing, “we all make mistakes / are human” and telling me to keep the money. One panicked bit of worry dealt with. Lesson only cost me some dignity and 14 dollars to generate the two new shipping labels. Now I pack items one at a time from start to finish.

Next lesson, might be obvious, but if you are going to sell an item that has been opened it would be wise to check and make sure all the pieces are there. So I have a few model cars I am selling right now, I opened up this previously opened box, saw all the pieces were bagged, saw the instructions were there, saw the plastic sprue things that the pieces had originally been cast onto while in the mold, tossed them figuring they were trash anyways. Closed the box, listed it for 6.99 and was done with it.

Now, it sounds like I checked. I looked, I saw the pieces. But I didn’t grab the instructions and look at every single piece and make sure it was there. And I think I should have. I think this was a mistake more of laziness. I wanted to hope and assume all the pieces were there and not have to deal with it. Just be done with this item and move on to the next one. Instead of taking my time and making sure to not list something incomplete I just rushed through the process and ended up having to refund the buyer of the model car because the BODY OF THE CAR was NOT IN THE BOX.

How the fuck did I miss that? Are you kidding me? So what do I learn from this? Well, I already know I’m lazy, and I don’t see myself changing that quickly. So for the immediate future I’ll only sell items that are sealed or are strictly as is. I don’t like making such stupid mistakes. All I can tell the dude is I’m sorry I sent you an item with a missing part and refund him. In the meantime I look like an idiot because how did I miss that the car body, the most important piece, wasn’t in the box?

Oh well, packaged items from now on. Maybe as I get more into this and develop a more refined work ethic I’ll find myself motivated to nitpick a 150+ piece item that might bring $6.99 in if I’m lucky. Could you imagine if it had been something insanely rare and sold for $1000 or more and I had to refund it because it didn’t have the body in it? I may need to focus better while I’m working, looking at those two things.

That’s all I guess. 🙂

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It’s windy out

It’s definitely fall. The trees are all changing colors and the horrid cold wind has begun to blow through the hills around our house. There’s a repetitive metallic tink tink tink of a windmill blowing around. This almost river through the pine trees while you’re camping sound takes over, and then silence. Just as quickly as the powerful gusts come they go again, off to spin a windmill elsewhere I guess. Meanwhile I’m sitting here trying to decide what to focus on.

I have a video project that has to be uploaded and live at midnight. As far as I’m concerned it’s done but I still have to get an ‘okay’ on it before I schedule it.

I have art to draw for the final video in the project, which I have been struggling with.

I have a Cambium (yo-yo) to woodburn flames onto for the lucky Instagram winner.

I have several hundred items I can and should be listing on eBay, Facebook Market Place, and Craigslist.

I also can’t seem to get this idea out of my head that I should be spending some of my time each day writing (hence what I’m doing now) ideally on a book idea. I want to write a story. I have a few concepts I’ve been kicking around for a few years on a Wattpad account. I’m not too pleased with them, I honestly have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to writing a story and I’m sure it shows. But I just want to do it. I’ve always felt like I should be writing.

The wind is back again. Now I can hear it whistling down the chimney. They’re going to be playing Christmas music again soon…

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Importing content has been time consuming

I’ve been working on the site a lot this week. Mostly working on the site in fact. I have been able to film and post a few short trick sessions here and there by utilizing Instagram live but the footage quality is lacking and most of the tricks that I do land cleanly aren’t all that perfect so I struggle to want to post them. But better something than nothing. And the more often I go live and make up tricks to the music in my headphones the better I’ll get, the more opportunities I will have to practice new elements out to music, and in general, any time spent yo-yoing is usually a good time.

Today I wanted to talk about what I’ve worked on and then what I’m thinking of doing next.

On the website this week I learned how the portfolio function worked and discovered that it was better for organizing, displaying, and categorizing videos. Trick tutorials can be sorted into various difficulty levels but I can also add the ability for search by attributes (slack, tech, horizontal, 1a, 2a, etc). I am also using this for the watch page, where I am displaying any shows I have made, currently only Let’s Play Yo-Yo is displayed, but I will add all of my videos not in the learn section here, old trick videos, vlogs, contest coverage, and anything else I feel inclined to display.

As far as the content I am creating currently goes, the plan is to begin making Let’s Play Yo-Yo again. I would like it to be more of a daily to every-other-day sort of production. It would allow me to be more topical, run it more like a show and less like one off videos so that I can interact with the audience between videos, and after a few days of working on a trick and finally landing it I can go back, edit down however many videos it took to hit the trick into one shorter overview that would be more like a one off video. This way I’m working on new tricks all the time, and when I’m done working on the trick the people who don’t care about watching the boring learning part can watch the finished, polished, video showing a quick learning process with all the best parts and none of the drudgery.

I’ve been dragging my feet on doing this because I’ve over thought how nice it all needs to be or how much energy I need to have in the video. Then then other day I found out most people like my stuff because I’m laid back anyways, so I decided to just move forward with making the show and ignore what I think will happen because I’m probably wrong lol.

Wanting to make the show again forced me to put time into the Watch page, which now prominently displays all of the let’s play yo-yo episodes of completed tricks and the one part of an uncompleted Zach Gormley trick. After organizing the videos and discovering I left a trick partway through allowed me to save time deciding on what trick to work on in part two of episode 14. I’ll be honest I’m not looking forward to it but I have a lot more time to focus on it now and may actually be able to hit it.

So what happens if I can’t seem to make any progress on a trick? Then I start another trick. I can be learning as many tricks at the same time as I need to ensure I am able to post something that has moved forward that day. If I rotate to another trick when the one I’m working on is stuck it’ll allow me to continue to improve elsewhere and allow me to come back with a clear mind another day. There’s less pressure to simply quit because things got hard and more excitement to try something else. Who knows if it’ll work but I’m just deciding that now. Honestly there never were any rules so it doesn’t matter, but I still felt like sharing my thoughts on it.

I’ve also finished moving all of my files into one place and they are beginning to become organized. I’ve also downloaded a program called Tabbles, which sounds like a possible option for adding tags to my files so their easier to search and use. I have no clue but anything is better than where I was before with everything (and 40gb of duplicate files) scattered everywhere and not being able to know where anything I was looking for was.

I’m hoping by adding this software into the mix I’ll be able to find and reduce even more duplicates so I can move forward with creating a few copies of the files and then start using them to make content. That’s the main thing I’m excited about when it comes to working on these files, they’re full of 15 years of self made yo-yo content. I realize its not perfect but I am excited that I have it available to illustrate points, tell stories, etc.

That’s all for now, hope you’re all well!

Michael

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Seeing the light at the end of the file organizing tunnel

Hey Internet Friends!

It’s been a long day. I woke up at about 7am, resumed organizing the files already on my external hard drive chronologically, finished that around 8pm, and now I’ve been waiting for the files on this laptop to transfer to the drive. I’m trading the laptop and a camera I no longer use for a different, better laptop that I used to own. Long story, but thankfully it will allow me to work on videos faster.

Speaking of videos, because this week was largely dominated by this compulsion to organize my data, I’ve obviously been slacking on that front. I’ve been thinking of a way to do a daily show. I really want the ability to make a daily video that would be entertaining or informative (or both) that would allow me to interact with an audience via comments or live streams when the videos are being created. Ideally they would require no editing and would be created in one shot.

Obviously it would be about yo-yoing. Low hanging fruit would be teach whatever is on my mind at the time and show something I’m working on or learning. Basically yo-yo themed show and tell. Throw and Tell? Why do I like to use puns in my project names? Unless I think of anything better lets go with that. I would like the shows to have a structured format so I have a general idea of what I’ll be doing or talking about. And preferably there is minimal industry coverage because frankly I suck at staying caught up with the ever changing world of yo-yo. Though if I had a daily show (ie a reason to do so) maybe that would change…

I feel like I’ve been sent back to 2009 to retry all of the various video projects I was working on. I just have to modernize them.

Anyways the format would be intro > show topics (kinda intro related but separate) > education topic > daily discussion (could be topical, probably will just be a response to comments) > community highlight (a subscriber, fan, follower, etc that has done something cool recently that would be fun to share… I’m going to have to edit these if I do that.) > ending.

I have shied away from daily projects that require editing because they tend to get ended by my life becoming overwhelming. That being said I have a lot more control over that now… Well, I need to get back to working on this file transfer so the laptop is ready for tomorrow.

Goodnight folks!

MikeMonty