I picked Josh Woodward’s ‘I’m Letting Go’ as the track for this video even before I got the tattoo. After hearing the tune I knew I had to do something with it and damned if I didn’t find just that something. 

I decided on the semicolon faster than any other tattoo and more visible being on my wrist. Representing my love for books and writing alike but there is also another meaning. A semicolon is the choice at a hypothetical fork in the road. You have the option of ending a sentence or continuing with a semicolon; in theory it basically symbolizes to never give up when confronted with the option.  Within a few hours I had made the choice and was getting the tattoo. 

I didn’t however get the usual semicolon but more of a claw design, I had to make it my own.  I’m very comfortable with the fact that other people will notice but it’s still placed and sized where a watch band is enough to cover it. 

I decided to be more spontaneous in my life and stop planning everything then getting depressed when my plans don’t work out. Adopting a ‘free thinking’ lifestyle where I am just going and not dictating everything. It doesn’t get much more spontaneous than a tattoo to remind myself to keep going. 


History of my Internet video life. Blog #42 

This is a history of my Internet video life or just how I got to be me. A mostly untold story known only to me. I started a YouTube to watch videos in 2006. Saw there was a community there. The top dog at the time had about fifty thousand subscribers I think. Anyways I know that ten thousand views could land you a most watched for the day/week/month honor badge. This was before youtube money. SXEphil was still asking for donations to pay rent. The porn was just taken care of but nipples found ways to thousand of thumbnails as anyone could upload a thumbnail for a video at the time. The local news was starting to show the homemade rockets and backyard roller coasters of the Internet. The gossip news was showing celebrity mistakes caught and uploaded. The big news was showing the killing our country was doing in Iraq and how at home the government was starting to compare more with North Korea than anything the constitution said. I have started to upload magic tricks and there was a small group of magicians. I believe getting a hundred subscribers was a good first month of a new channel. The partnership program was rolling out to top dogs who by then had external partners or just asked for donations. I had upgraded many the coolpix cameras every year, now that shows brand dedication. By two thousand eight everything was different. Everybody reworked to a false goal of partnership. Like that would mean millions of dollars. With me in the race for partnership was many others. YouTube only let in about a hundred partners a month. I had bought my last coolpix time to upgrade to something more professional, a JVC Everio. It was amazing to me at the time. 360p while all the professional partners were at 720p. Amazing clarity and the Internet you had to have to watch a three minute video in less than ten minutes costed a pretty penny. I had started my World of Warcraft addiction by now and was playing upwards of ten hours a day. My magic video empire faded out because of lack of well anyone watching. I made a channel with my real name, Russ Catalano. Something only some people were starting to do. Seven eight nine one of the first mega YouTube gatherings was underway while I was recording my first undercover secret journalist footage. After of hours with my Everio hidden in my pocket on record. Gun threats, police, arrests, beatings, unfair fights, abuse of power, mental clinics and rehab. My Everio captured these crazy people I was living with. The day I had drunk people chase me with intent to kill in front of police while I was shouting that this had to end I was turning over tapes. The first time anyone ever knew what was going on, the recording. The police ended the craziness after placing everyone in handcuffs. I was taken to the police station where I had been asked to join a lady in a office. I walk in and she has the jump drive I had tossed the officer during the chase. She asked me to sit down, I did. She told me the paper in front of me is for me to sign. It’s a permission slip for the police department to use my video in the training of new officers. I was free to go after I had revived many thanks. I went home. Uploaded one of those clips to YouTube under a fake name. The video had some attention going to it. My idols at the time was talking about it. The people in the video did find me and questioned me about how that ended up online. This was still a time where lying for personal safety was easy. I said someone linked me to it on MySpace and it auto puts any links sent to me to my YouTube. They bought it enough to let it go. I continued upgrading equipment and upgrading news stories. Although my YouTube uploading days were over there was still a deep respect on how the website mended me and so many others in such a way. I still uploaded videos to embed on my website but my focus became photography. Mostly of a journalistic type but often I would go shoot street photos and graffiti to get my mind off of the news photos I was taken. People’s lives lost while I was standing there with a camera, all possessions collected though a whole life burning to ash. Now street photography and graffiti photography was a therapist. Still is, on a bad day I take these artsy non news photos. Not that my news photos weren’t artsy. I had some Nikon DSLR then. Only to keep upgrading. Then this last year jumping the gap to Canon EOS DSLR and gathering lenses instead of the yearly camera body upgrade. Recently gathering the EOS 7D as a all purpose carry everywhere camera. Something I carry and use all day everyday. If it wouldn’t have spawned by those magic videos, police accommodations, YouTube. I would not be who I am. Talk to who I talk to. Six years later. Good or in cases bad it’s still the history of my camera life.

Selling out. #40

I’m in the business of selling out, the internet business. Staying open and honest about sponsors here is like shooting yourself in the foot, wouldn’t do it knowingly but shit happens. Banner ads, skyscraper ads, audio sponsors, affiliate links, paid linking, and using sites because of compinsation. It’s happing all around you once you are in the business you can’t avoid it. YouTube is the worst, although I can’t tell you how because they will remove my ads. That right there is the single largest problem on the internet. It’s all secret. Im always trying to be open with ads and sponsors to my blog, I figure I don’t need a disclaimer everywhere else if you care enough you read this. It is a hard thing, very very hard thing to get sponsors when you are fighting the goos fight of being open about compensation. I used to go get any sponsor to my hearts desire, it was easy. Nearly all of them have something in the paperwork that makes it illegal to even make it known that you are getting paid for something. I started noticing advertisements hidden everywhere, I can go to any and I mean any vlogger and find a advertisement ‘hidden’ in the video and hell I would probably be able to tell you the sales agent who made that product placement happen. I’m not in that business anymore though and fighting the good fight doesn’t pay as much but I’m happy with being open with all my sponsors even if that means I can barely get any. 

This week on the blog we are welcoming Audible.com as a sponsor.-

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Better equipment downfall of all? (Day 17)

This applies to all bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, photographers, and any other type of creative media producer. Some of them have no issues growing with their audience, but the some that don’t will be showcased today. Once you start gaining a fan base, maybe making a little off of ad revenue also there comes this one in a few stage. The beggar stage, maybe its something innocent like a paid twenty four hour live show, extras on the website. It will soon progress into a donate button or similar. Nothing wrong with that right? I mean it’s up to the viewers right? Well it will turn into asking for money for better equipment, better camera set up, audio, computer, etc. one example of someone stuck helplessly in this beggar syndrome is TheAmazingAtheist at the start and end of everyone of his YouTube videos there is something that you have to pay to get, most of time its equipment related. A guy, in his garage ranting. He says he needs a six thousand dollar teleprompter, for YouTube. A guy, in his garage ranting. Go ahead look back at his videos, I can’t find more than five in a row without some type of asking for money or to check out this paid content. He once had a twenty four hour live show you had to pay to get into, the show was to get people to donate for said teleprompter, you had to pay to get in then twenty four hours of asking you to pay more for a piece of equipment you can make out of your computer screen and a slideshow, or your iPad, maybe a piece of paper might be too hard to set up. People man, it always comes down to the equipment excuse too. If some of them knew that not exploiting the fans can help build more fans to bring in more ad revenue and maybe a sponsor to pay for all of that equipment. Needless to say these people don’t get very big they get there chance at a semi-large viewer base and blow it exploiting them. I can name countless people who are and were doing this, but only named one so I have less of a chance of getting sued, I mean I don’t know what some of these people will do for money so better not list them. TJ if you are offended by this, I would like to settle the upcoming lawsuit with that teleprompter you’ve been wanting, its called Microsoft Word.

Don’t exploit your newfound fans, just wait until there is a lot of them and exploit them on a large scale with a netflix movie club like the pros. Sign up now using code:CTSxE. See what I did there? 

I’ve been blogging daily, and I suck at it. (Day 8)

Blogging is very easy, wrong. Not for someone who is new to it, I in around five years of having a blog have about fifty posts under my belt, although only around twenty are new and plublic. I’ve been tying to cut back on tweeting after I found myself with my phone in my hand every morning after I awoke. So let this be a warning that my blogging skills are very new. It takes time to get good enough at something to even be readable. I am not at that point yet. I have not developed a style or a “groove” of things, but have a feeling that doing this in some form everyday will help speed up the learning curve. Many of my posts will be a mixture of what I’m up to and my thoughts. Photography/Videography of the week although most of my pictures go to my microstock agency the ones that don’t get accepted will end up on my flickr, seems fair enough right? Almost all of my pictures have a story behind them and I plan to write that story here and my videos they have a story all of there own. Okay I know I stole that last line from the intro to American Pickers, I don’t think there producers will mind. So lets recap shall we? I will be blogging daily. What are the subjects of my blogs? Whatever the fuck I want. Okay, Okay busted again, Stole that one from the intro of Viva La Bam. My blogs will mostly consist of Thoughts on random subjects, Stories behind photographs, behind the scenes of videos. Not to be mistaken on the YouTube videos I have planned in the future on the taking of pictures, thats more of the science behind the photos, geek stuff you see. This is more of the thoughts behind it, what I see in the photos and what my thoughts were while snapping them. Now I’m not going to bore you with my thoughts behind the stock photos, more of my photography if you can call it that. My stock photo thoughts are most likely something that resembles “Okay, yeah. This apple with a pencil sitting next to it looks good. Wait, we need a stereotypical teacher in the shot.” I hope this explains my actions on this blog. Hopefully I grow out of this crappy new phase and really get the “groove”.

CTFxC Video diary affected after tragedy.

The news rattles though twitter like a social media earthquake, at least for the youtube scene out there. Charles Trippy has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Now, before I get into the whole tumor business I’m going to give a little information on my viewing of Charles life. He started making a daily video diary of his life, at the time it started it was himself, his girlfriend Alli, his roommate Jeff, and his two dogs Zoey and Marley. I started around the sixteenth day when he he went with Corey Williams from SMPfilms to Colorado. I enjoyed that episode, so I watched the past and subscribed to the channel. Every few months or so I will go on a watching binge and catch up to the current episode. Well right now as this news rings out over the internet I’m stuck two hundred and thirty videos behind. Not a easy task. Even worse as the world is finding out that something is wrong and watching the current video leading up to the trembling news as I am stuck two hundred days behind.

All that I am finding out is though twitter, so far here is what I have gathered:

I have around fifty hours straight to be up to the current date to find out the extent of his sickness and add around fifteen minutes for each additional day that it takes for me to view all the episodes. Alli was on a trip to HongKong with Lindsay Jordan, Phillip Defranco’s girlfriend when she received the news of her husband being rushed to the hospital with a seizure, Alli and Lindsay booked the next flight into LAX, Sixteen hours later they would arrive and Alli would catch the next connection flight to Charles’s location. Charles’s mother arrived sometime while Alli was still on the flight back from HongKong. Charles finds out that he has a tumor. Alli arrives and they have a emotional reunion as Alli finds out about the tumor. The couple update the YouTube channel on what is going on. To my understanding they came to a conclusion that they will continue the daily episodes regardless of what the situation is/turns into. Charles, his mother, and Alli fly back home to Tampa after getting the approval from the hospital. Charles and family sets up an appointment with a surgeon to find the next steps in treating the tumor. 

This is all my understanding of what the current situation is and the steps it took to get here. All is speculation derived from twitter. I refuse to skip past two hundred and some days to see the current situation. All I know is that for the next week I will be catching up to the current situation. 

Too much power. (Day 1)

Sometimes I wonder what it feels like having the power to give other people a fan base and career off of one nicely worded tweet. Is it too much power, is this the new age of social media jobs that hire you with a surprise tweet and thousands of fans, or is it just too much to put that much power in one hundred and forty characters or less; All these questions screaming in my head as I read my twitter timeline. Maybe it’s just time to start following less Internet-Famous people.