Yesterday I received this message on my most recent upload to YouTube, no doubt a dig at the current content being uploaded to the channel but still a fairly accurate comment none the less.
I haven’t really spoken publicly about the direction I’m taking World of the Orange for 2015, mostly because I simply don’t know. So instead I’m just going to explain where I’m at and what’s going on with me and then y’all can rest easy once and for all.
In January this year I started working essentially full time on video editing for an external company. Completely separate from any of the personal editing I’ve been doing for the past 4 years on WOTO.
Reasons for accepting the job as opposed to forging forward with a YouTube-centric career?
The channel wasn’t providing a huge income for me and YouTube’s ever more broken platform for channels with less than 6.8 gazillion existing subscribers didn’t help matters. So yes, money obviously plays a factor. I have rent and bills to pay. I live with my girlfriend and my dog and sometimes we like to eat. Sponsorship deals would poke their heads around the corner from time to time but I’m not hugely into acting or presenting or generally portraying a false version of myself in front of the camera, which seemed to be what most of the offers coming my way required, so most of the opportunities I was turning down anyway.
There have been many incarnations of WOTO but generally people only think of one (2013/#CONTENT era). The channel how it is now is just another regeneration. (I’m aware that’s a Doctor Who reference and I’m sickened by it.) To explain I will have to cover essentially the entire timeline of WOTO. So here goes.
2011/2012. The channel actually started off as a comedy VFX channel. 4 years ago both myself and Liam were slightly below par video editors with some small experience in video effects software like After Effects. So we made little sketches like Epic Mundane Task’s etc.
Then we gave that up. The stress of producing high quality content regularly whilst juggling work and university was insane. So we actually ended the channel. During 2012 we ended the channel. It was dead. We had retired. Resigned to the fact that it simply wasn’t for us. Then at the beginning of 2013 we sat down and turned on a camera, poked fun at the system and broke every rule that YouTube had asked us to follow with their “Creators Handbook” and made a stupid, poorly shot, poorly edited, piss take of a video. Then we did it again… every week, for an entire year. That was the peak of WOTO. The chaotic 2013 era that saw multiple collabs, sofa banter, #CONTENT and nothing but laughter. The second incarnation of WOTO is what most people think of it as being, still, even after Liam left, even now.
At the beginning of 2014 we tried to branch out with our brand. We reached out to radio and television to see if we could push WOTO beyond YouTube and further the brand. We spruced up the channel. We even attempted a longer format (incarnation three) over the summer to test our skills but after 6 months of mostly fruitless attempts we stopped pushing and not long after that Liam wisely decided to throw in the towel.
That was obviously a huge blow to the channel. It left me at square one. I didn’t know how to run a solo channel. Since I can’t do makeup tutorials or direct short films, I was faced with the crossroads of either vlogging or gaming. So I tried vlogging (incarnation four) and I hated it and myself within about 2 weeks. I had spent 4 years honing the skill of bouncing comedy off of my partner in crime Liam, not sitting alone in a bedroom classic vlog style. At the end of the year a pretty decent opportunity was offered to me as an editor. The years of WOTO weren’t fruitless, in fact they honed my skills as an editor better than a performer or comedian. So I took the job expecting to be able to easily continue providing content for the YouTube channel.
There was a transitional period, I moved house and settled in at my new job and it was pretty tough to find time to upload. So I didn’t. But without the guillotine of rent dangling above my head I was able to step back and take a look at the last few months of the channel. Did I want to keep uploading vlog-style solo videos? Is YT even a thing I want to do anymore? Was I just doing it to pay rent?
No, no and yes.
Honestly, I probably could easily keep uploading at least a single video a week but I realised I didn’t want to. For one thing the whole landscape of YouTube has changed so dramatically over the last few years that it’s not even a platform I like anymore regardless of whether I am on it or not.
But aside from that, I found that, bit by bit I was carving away at my own personality. Forcing myself to be very vanilla to appeal to brands and make sure that nobody watching the video would be offended or turned off by anything I said or did. The pressure to be something your not starts to really affect your ability to have fun and enjoy the content you’re creating. WOTO was supposed to be fun first and foremost and frankly it wasn’t anymore. In reality I would never heavily censor myself like that. I had built a version of myself that was starting to feel more like an act than anything else.
Recently, I started live streaming on Twitch in my spare time. Mostly I wanted to chill out after working all day and play a game. But I still love the interaction with an audience so streaming on Twitch seemed like a good idea. The reason I made YouTube videos was to have a laugh with my friend and provide something decent for everyone to watch. The comments on our videos used to make us laugh as much as much as filming the video did. It was like YOU were all involved with us. A huge group of friends from all over the world. But by the end of last year it was just me churning out a video containing a false version of myself in the hopes somebody would pay me enough money to promote something so that I could make rent that month. I had become the same as every other channel on the platform and WOTO made its name by swimming against the current. I no longer represented my own brand. I no longer represented myself.
So for the time being WOTO is in its next incarnation. Number 5. On a whole different platform. And yes, I guess that what’s left on YT is a gaming channel in a way. If you subscribed for me and Liam, we’ll pop up from time to time playing a game. If you subscribed for collabs with other YouTubers on a sofa, that ended 2 years ago. If you subscribed for me then I haven’t really gone anywhere. But if you subscribed for a specific type of content then likely it is gone. Essentially it’s complete overhaul number 5. Me, working as a video editor, then coming home and streaming games and possibly uploading that to YouTube for those who want to see it.
So if you wanna hang out with me this year I’ll most likely be at Twitch.tv/BradWOTO. If you wanna watch whatever bits and bobs I upload to YT then go for it! That’s great! But I think we have to say goodbye to WOTO 1,2,3 & 4 and accept that everything eventually moves on.
New YouTube channel! Well, an experiment really, to see if a more fox-centric channel with more, well, fox-related content can help be exposed to more people and so it can be shared :D And of course, her fluffy foxy brother, the cross fox!