Why yes, that is a pun. If you don’t get it, don’t worry about it.
So it’s been a long time since I’ve done an update video. Even though I’m not creating at the moment, I still like to post update vlogs every now and then, but I just haven’t had the time or energy to do so. Not to mention life just hadn’t been that interesting until less than a month ago. Most of my days were spent sitting around wallowing in my own self-pity because depression is a vile beast, but that’s a blog post for a different day. The TLDR is that I’m currently doing really well. I just started a new full-time job, today actually. It’s a bit on the boring side, but the staff is awesome and it’s something that fits my skills and current physical needs. I just got back from RangerStop as well! It was not only great but was a much-needed rejuvenation for not only my creativity but my love for Power Rangers. With my eyes set on the future, I hope 2020 can be a year of financial stability with loads of creative outputs and all-around happiness. To put it simply, I’m tired of depression kicking my ass.
That being said, the whole point of this post was to talk briefly about the whole FTC COPPA YouTube debacle that is currently happening. I’m not even going to begin to explain the ins-and-outs of the deal, because a lot of it goes over my head. Basically, the FTC is using COPPA to push child protection laws onto user-created content like YouTube, as opposed to just commercially generated content you would find on TV. Any content creator on YouTube that the platform deems “Made for Kids” will see a huge loss in revenue due to the loss of personalized (the most expensive) ads, on top of losing things like comments, end cards, the community tab, stories, and a slew of other, standard, YouTube features. The biggest problem is that YouTube and the FTC are being really vague about what constitutes “Made for Kids”. For most content creators in the Pokemon, Power Rangers, and Transformers (my trifecta) fandoms their content is either made for all ages, or uses a kid-orientated brand to make content that’s aimed at adults, whether it’s because the toy is considered an adult collectible or the creator uses an abundance of obscene language.
Yeah, I might be doing a toy review of the Lightning Collection Lord Drakkon. Power Rangers is a brand made for kids. The Lightning Collection is a line made primarily for older collectors. The language I use in the video is relatively clean, but may occasionally use terms like “This sculpt is absolutely badass.” or “Damn, this blows the floppy Legacy figure out of the water.” It’s still passable for slightly older kids but is still obviously written or performed with the intent for adult viewers. Where does THAT fall under this scale? It’s an adult-focused figure from a kid-focused brand with the occasional adult word in a script that still is suitable for kids. This is the kind of thing that we need answers to, and we need them fast.
Now I’ll be honest, at this stage in my life, the outcome doesn’t affect me much. I haven’t posted reviews since May, and it’s even been a hot minute since I’ve posted a vlog. All this really does is make me have to think about how I want to stabilize the channel in terms of what’s “Made for Kids” and “Not for Kids”, which really is a huge question given my content was intended for adults but presented as suitable for kids.
Truth be told I’ll probably mark my whole channel as “Made for Kids” and just watch it die. In full transparency, at the height of my channel (when it was my career), I was pulling roughly $1200-1800 a month depending on which month it was. When it dwindled down to getting $400-500 a month, I began to worry. When it hit $200-$300, the drive to continue was all but stalled. Now I’m lucky if I hit $150, and more or less consider the revenue from the channel a slight bonus. Seeing it go completely wouldn’t be the end of the world at this point. What matters most is that the content would still be there for people to enjoy, even if they can no longer comment on it.
Granted, this move more or less ensures that I will never return to doing YouTube in a consistent manner. If I ever did, I would have to be shifting focus away from toys, and more onto vlog like content. Unfortunately, my life isn’t exciting enough to warrant doing that, and I don’t get enough toys consistently enough to warrant making unboxings, which may or may not even fall under that “Made for Kids” line. More or less, this is the end of the road for me on YouTube. It was an incredibly fun ride, but if all this actually happens, there’s no reason for me to attempt to come back.
That being said, it will still be some time before I feel comfortable jumping back, but I don’t want this stupid FTC COPPA thing to be the end of me creatively. As I’ve said many times, writing is my passion, and if I can work up the ability to take moderately decent photographs, I may just give written toy reviews a shot (with a bit of video for those sound demonstrations). Hell, if I can set a pattern I might even start gaming or “live chatting” on Twitch. There’s a lot of alternatives to video toy reviews on YouTube, and while I know it’s the end of the line for me with that, I don’t want it to be the end of the line for me overall.
Until that day comes though (hopefully sooner rather than later), you can check out my (roughly) bi-weekly articles over at PokeJungle.net, possibly some articles over at PwrRngr.com, and anything else that may pop up in the future. I hope that one day, I can get back to the swing of things, regardless of the format. I just hope you all will join me on that journey as well.
As always, take care, and have a great one.