Friday, June 20, 2014

Great Ideas are great, but execution is critical

In my travels around teh interwebz, I have discovered great ideas people have had, but nobody has pulled the trigger on most of these ideas. That just got me to thinking about what it takes to get an idea off the ground, particularly in trying to establish a web presence for oneself. As I thought about it, there are some startling parallels between setting up a web presence and starting a business. Here’s why I think that:
- One needs access to resources, preferably affordable ones, in order to change the idea into a reality, whether it be a product that one physically consumes or a YouTube channel that somebody subscribes to. There are monetary constraints, equipment constraints, and availability constraints which will be discussed later.
- One needs to commit time, and find other folks that can commit similar amounts of time to a project in order for it to get off the ground and noticed, but sometimes “life” happens. Deadlines get pushed back, contributors are unavailable for personal reasons, and so on. This can make producing a web presence difficult when it is not your full time job.
- One needs to be cognoscenti of how a product/web presence looks/behaves/attracts attention. That, in and of itself, seems to be a huge time-suck, and can often lead to some disappointing results. Just by being careful, one can go their entire Internet career and not get noticed, simply because pushing boundaries is the exact purpose of the Internet. To shape and connect the world via a very large network that can reach anywhere. For that, I am grateful that we have the opportunities that we have to make ourselves known… even if by total strangers.
That said, there are some folks that have been able to establish successful web presences, with fans that keep on wanting more and this has not only opened up opportunities for them, but also causes more of their products/presence to be marketed and put forth. One of my favorite web celebrities that I have come to follow is theRadBrad on YouTube, aka King of the YouTube Walkthrough. theRadBrad is a gamer that records himself playing video games from start to finish, creating series of multiple videos for each game. He has a very pleasant demeanor and is very respectful and thorough while playing through the games. I have gotten through some games simply because he did some things first, and I’m very grateful that he decides to do this for a lot of different games. theRadBrad comes highly recommended if you want to be entertained with funny commentary while playing games.
Another popular web group is Team Four Star, creators of Dragonball Z Abridged and Hellsing Ultimate: Abridged. From day one, these guys and girls have made me laugh with their videos of the shortened, hilarious, and often raunchy versions of both of these series. Over time, I have noticed that the editing, writing, and commitment to these shows have improved greatly. They even make LP’s of different video games in person and in character, which has provided my friends and I some really great ways to laugh. The most amazing part to me is that they do all of this for free in addition to living lives outside of their web series babies. I’d go as far as to say that they could go pro as voice actors, video editors, and producers. That is the quality of work that I see them doing. Team Four Star comes highly recommended, and I support them in any future creative endeavor.
Anyway, if you want to make it big, take a page from web celebs like theRadBrad and Team Four Star, and start busting your ass in your free time. That seems to be the only way to be web famous (hence the reason I don’t think I can be that right now). You can aspire till the cows come home, but it takes the drive to pull the trigger that makes the difference. On the Internet and in life in general. Go forth and be famous! But get off your ass first…

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

From one face to another...

There are some things that just hit you like a ton of bricks, especially in this age of war. People dying from all walks of life; some deserving and some not. No matter how many times it happens one sees it happen, it never seems to get easier to cope with. However, when somebody dies from my home-world, it's a different story entirely.

My race has the ability that some view as "coming back from the dead." There is some truth to this statement, but there are some subtleties that it fails to address. First, although we come back fully recovered, we look different, think differently, talk differently, and have quirks unique to that, "incarnation", I suppose it can be called. Each incarnation can live several centuries in ideal conditions, but I haven't been able to reach the multiple century mark yet with any one of my faces.

In the moments before I change, I see two other lives flash before my eyes. My first face was that of a young, black-haired gentleman who, from what I recall, was a bit of a thrill seeker and thought he was talented and indestructible. With 150 years of life, he had a right to brag, but only for so long. He died from from a severe spinal injury performing one of his many stunts.

My second face was a bald, middle-aged recluse of a man, perhaps due to the embarrassment of how he previously died. He all but hated interacting with others unless absolutely necessary. This man buried himself in his work and developed weapons for our planet's military forces. His philosophy dictated that he be detached from interaction and getting close to others so that he could justify his work and never feel guilty about what he built or caused. Eventually, the long days and nights caught up with him and he collapsed from exhaustion at the age of 97. Crotchety old fool had it coming.

I rather like the man I became after him. I am younger, but not as bold as my first life was, and surprisingly open-minded unlike my second life. I get the feeling that those people whom I did not know dying around me would have enjoyed spending time with this one. I didn't get the chance to meet too many new people outside of the military this time, but I seemed to get along with damn near everyone I did know. On the other hand, I have done some terrible things with this face. There are many things that I regret and question to myself, but that is not our way. Horrible things, for which I am dedicated to atone for. Despite that, I am still able to keep a smile on my face, though I'm not sure how.

As I lie on this not-so-hallowed ground, I wonder who I will be next. Young or old; brave or cowardly; thin or... not so much, perhaps... What kind of man will I become? All I really hope for when I die and come back is to come back as a good man.

I turn my head toward my hand as it begins to glow a brilliant gold. The time is almost here, and I must admit, I'm scared. These rebirths can go in a lot of different directions, and I just hope that I'm able to change for the better... maybe with fewer flaws... and the power to say "no."

Fate, please be kind to me...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The only thing wrong with me is... I can live forever

Walking down an empty street gives a man time to reflect. I, myself, don't really have much to reflect on, being that I'm only in my mid-twenties, but I know some people who have far more experience than me. My parents are a couple of examples. Not to say that they're old, but... they're old. Like, really old. My mom is about to pass the 500 year mark and my old man is about 650 years old. With that in mind, I can't help but wonder about the stories that they have told me from their pasts.

My dad has been in every war imaginable, on either side of them, and came out of it "changed every time." I have no idea what he means by that. My mom keeps telling me about when she helped in the finding of the United States. I never knew a person could know too much on the Mayflower before she told me this story. When I was younger (by normal standards, anyway), I used to love hearing about their exploits and how they have influenced history throughout the years, and I thought that I might do something like that at some point in my future. Now, I start to wonder if there is such a thing as living too long.

I'm sure people have felt something like this before, like when loved ones deal with terminal illnesses or if their lives are in such disarray that they seem to lose control at nearly any instance. Those are two things that I don't have the misfortune to deal with, but there's another side of that coin: the mental instability that can be accumulated over the span of a couple of centuries. Makes me think that it's an unavoidable truth that happens to everyone like us, and I have to admit it... I'm scared. Scared of what I might become, scared of what will happen in my wake, scared of all of it. Every facet of it. I can't get the lingering notion out of my head. That's when I drop a couple of pain killers and hope that it numbs the thought. More often than not, it helps. I'm not proud of it, but it's not like I can die from it.

I don't know how my family has done this for so long. It's almost like seeing all the people around them, friend or otherwise, die all the time doesn't matter to them anymore; like they're desensitized to the whole notion of everyone they've ever known die without them. I don't have the heart to ask them how they do it. I'm afraid of what the answer might be. Something horrific or inhuman... I can't say, but I really don't want to know.

I was always taught that "only those who stand as the dust settles can influence the future." Sometimes I wonder what I will end up influencing. Will I be good and benevolent? Or will I turn the human race toward destruction? These are the questions that pop into my head when I think about the potential that people like me have to affect the course of human progression. Nobody one person should have to make that kind of call. Progressing as a species should be a group effort, and not decided by the people who will outlive them, which is why I don't think people like me fading into obscurity would be totally out of the question. I know that sounds hateful, but I don't think I belong with other people, and neither do others like me... but that's where we are.

I'm not sure how I'll be when it happens, but I hope you all can forgive me for what I'm going to do...