Monday, 27 October 2008

Puppet Festival Update

So the very first EPMF in Derby happened this weekend just past. It was a great time with about 150-200 puppeteers coming together to learn, compete and perform. I was teaching workshops on both the Friday and the Saturday, as well as judging some of the competitions so it was quite a tiring weekend... but it was fun! The venue was Derby Community Church which is almost opposite Pride Park, the home of Derby County Football Club. It was a lovely ground which looks to be very well kept and relatively new.
It was a positive weekend with lots of interest in the puppets that I took, and I am hoping to follow that up with some commissions and sales in the weeks and months ahead. I am looking forward to this weekend in Reading for the second installment of this EPMF double header... it's gonna be good.

If you're going - i'll see you there!
Take care - Dave

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

European Puppet Ministry Festival

It's that time of year again!

That's right people One Way UK are hosting their annual European Puppet Ministry Festival in Reading (England). It's a great opportunity for puppeteers to get together and share ideas, learn and also watch some great performances. As the name of the event suggests the majority of the puppeteers who attend are Church based, or sympathetic to Christian puppetry. However the festival is by no means exclusive and other performers can and do come along to join in the activities.

This year however there is a twist - there is not just one festival as there has been over the past 15 or so years... for the first time ever One Way UK are running back to back weekends! One in Derby and the other in Reading. This should help more people from Scotland and the north of England to be able to come and join in. If you are coming, be sure to let me know and i'll keep an eye out for you.

I'm going to be leading workshops at both weekends and I'm excited to see what will happen. I'll try and get some good pics to show those of you who can't make it.
Take care - Dave

Monday, 6 October 2008

YouTube Partner Program UPDATE

So back in February of this year I wrote a blog about the Partner Program on YouTube. I stand by what I said, but there are a couple of points that need to be updated.
  1. YouTube is not designed to help you make money... but you can do it. As YouTube and Google optimise the Adwords adverts that get displayed in the box to the right hand side of your videos the more chance there is of you getting clickthoughs and ultimately that means there is a greater chance of you getting paid. I know this because in the early days I was receiving no clickthoughs (you can monitor this through the Google Adwords tool) but now I am ticking over with a few clicks a day, which has led to me receiving my first cheque from Google this morning! I am considering framing it... but to be honest I actually need it (the Lord moves in mysterious ways).
  2. So how do you get clickthroughs? Is it linked to views or content? surely the answer has to be both. My brother recently posted a video which was viewed by 70,000 people in a single day (not massive by "most viewed" standards, but very respectable really when the average video must only receive 1000 views I would imagine). That video generated half the number of clickthroughs needed to qualify him for a paycheck through the Adwords scheme. In that case I would say that views caused him to get clickthroughs... however I have received my first cheque from Google today without any stand-out success videos in my back catalogue. This means that my slow burning videos just tick along gaining a few views but they must be linked to adverts which are relevant to the videos. My vids normally get 500 - 5000 views total (there are exceptions above and below that) so how can it be that I am getting paid? It must be that Google's system for matching the advert to the video has improved. I am noticing a lot of Jeff Dunham's (Achmed the Dead Terrorist) adverts next to my videos... which makes complete sense. I am a puppeteer/puppet builder and Jeff Dunham is a ventriloquist. It stands to reason that people interested in my videos would be interested in him. Previously I have had gay dating sites and Reebok advertised next to my videos... neither are lifestyle choices I endorse!

This discussion makes me wonder whether slow burning videos or big overnight successes are better for you in the long run. Would you prefer 100,000 people to view you video overnight or over a year? You could argue that either is better depending on your point of view i guess. As for me I am beginning to favour the slow burner.

All the best folks - take care!