Hello again; I wanted to update you on the progress of my google hangouts the creation of a new logo, and the launch of an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for taking the youtube show on the road.
Google Hangouts Status
The one thing I have learned about google hangouts is that I am still learning. For the past month I had been struggling with the process of starting the hangout and inviting the people on my list who have asked to participate. At first, I thought this was solely caused by a change in the screen you use when logging into a hangout. After three weeks I discovered that I was responsible or at least partly so. I heard an alert from my screen reader about drop box. It reminded me that I use a plug in on my site that routinely backs up my website to drop box. It does this at a pre determined time every week. And yes you guessed it, I had accidentally set the time for this back up to the same time as the hangouts. My computer just couldn’t handle the combined strains of a video call, system back up, and a screen reader. After reseting the back up to midnight like it should be, last week’s show started much more smoothly. It only took me about two minutes to have the session live and the guests invited. I am just happy I figured it out.
Sharing Images And Videos
I do have some good news to share. Thanks to help from my friend and hangout regular Chelsea Stark I learned how to share my screen with people during a hangout. This means that I can now share images and even videos from my computer with the audience and have them become part of the video call. They are then included when the hangout is backed up to youtube for later viewing. The instructions were pretty straight forward, but given my experience with Google; I didn’t want to try it without practicing first. So Chelsea joined me in a regular hangout to practice. In addition to telling me what she was seeing on her end, she also made suggestions as to what files were good enough to share online. She also explained to me about making sure videos were set to play in full screen. It didn’t work perfectly when i did it online, but it did work. And now I feel confident I can share media during the hangouts. I plan to use this to discuss equipment or share interviews with the audience. In the next section I’ll tell you how we used this in the process of coming up with a new site logo.
New Logo Process
Some of you know that I have ben working on establishing my brand as Mr. Midway. I’m keeping the Midway Marketplace website, but I filed for a new site domain of www.mr-midway.com which is forwarded to the existing site. I feel like the shorter url and Mr. midway are more marketable. And these moves put me in a better position to go forward with an Indigogo campaign to raise funds to take the youtube show out on the road. Part of any crowd sourcing campaign is the offering of gifts, usually logo embossed merchandise, as inducements to encourage people to contribute. So, I asked Kelly Corbin, the lady who created my site logo; to come up with a new one for Mr. Midway. Below are some of the images she came up with. I should mention that it isn’t an easy job for her to design a logo for a client who can’t see the results of her work and judge for himself whether or not it will work. She sends me a design, and I share it with my family and social media communities to get their opinions. She has done an amazing job, and I think we are very close to a final version. I couldn’t do this without friends like Kelly. And this time I’m even going to pay her. smile
These first few designs we discussed during a hangout two weeks ago using the screen sharing I mentioned earlier. While Kelly wasn’t able to join us live, she did make it into the end of that show. We did get some valuable feedback most notably that the designs had too much text to be suitable for all merchandise. They would have been good for a mouse pad, poster, or maybe a mug; but not for shirts.
From there, Kelly had what I think was an inspired idea. She decided to forget about a carnival themed logo and come up with a universal logo that would be identified with my company no matter where it is seen. She said the plan was to end up with something iconic like the Nike Schwoosh, McDonalds arches, etc. She said then I could embed the logo in anything I wanted. I want to show you the basic image, a high resolution version of it; and a ferris wheel combined with the image. I think she is really on the right track.
Web Series First Season
I also made some progress on the schedule for the first full season of shows. For those who don’t know the plan is to start with 12 weekly episodes to run from June through August focusing on amusement parks, carnivals, and family entertainment centers. I decided that in the beginning I wouldn’t focus too much on the equipment for sale. This means I have to find twelve companies willing to have me film at their location. So far I have two firm commitments. The owner of the Hog Wild Family Fun Center in Conway Arkansas has agreed to take part and has even volunteered to go first. And the owner of Shoeppner Shows in California has invited me to visit his midway during July when he will be in the Los Vegas area for three weeks. Both of these gentlemen probably agreed because I have known them for a while. I sold two rides for the carnival owner, and for a while I was working to sell the Hog Wild f e c. I plan to reach out to more people that I have worked with in the past or who have known me for a long tim in hops of filling in the other ten weeks. I am sure that once people see the kind of shows I will be doing that more will want to take part.
First, I want to build the audience for the hangouts and my youtube channel in general. I know it takes time for people to find a new personality or show. And as another regular Eric Weigand said we really needed to work out a lot of technical issues so we could have turned off a lot of people if they had been watching. However, I do feel I should b doing better in terms of number of people participating, questions submitted, live viewers, and youtube subscribers. I hope you will help with this by subscribing to my feed. You can also use the sharing buttons on youtube to let people know about the weekly meet ups with Mr. Midway every wednesday night 10 Pm Eastern, 9 PM Central, 7 PM Pacific, etc. If you want to take part, then message me through google or send me an email asking to be added to the hangout. You can send questions by using the hashtag #askmistermidway on twitter.
I am hopeful of launching the indiegogo campaign in the next week to ten days. I could use your suggestions about potential merchandise or other ways I can encourage people to contribute. A couple of things we have been discussing is a signed dvd of the first season along with the usual items shirts, mouse pads, coffee mugs, playing cards, etc. I have also thought about compiling images for a pictorial or coffee table style book to be produced later. This one would b expensive, but it would also be unusual. And once the campaign is launched, I will need your help promoting it.
Naturally, I want to recruit more equipment listings and make more sales as that is the primary goal of the site. In this area the key will be convincing people that I handle more than just rides and that my services are worth the commissions I am charging on completed sales. I also need to bring in more products and services related to the amusement industry. And I want to locate sponsors of the website and the show along with regular advertisers for the website and blog. Yes, I know that’s a lot to ask.
Sharing Is Caring
I appreciate your taking the time to ready my posts. I know everyone is busy with their own lives, jobs, businesses, kids, etc. If you liked this post, or if you appreciate my site in general; I hope you will share it with your friend and family as well as across your social media networks. I also hope you will leave a comment. Th comment Luv system is working properly again, so leaving a comment gets you three links. You get one to your website, another to your twitter profile, and a third to your most recent blog post. I value all your comments and will reply to all of them. And I do my best to reciprocate by visiting your site and finding at least one post to read and comment on. I look forward to your suggestions.
I know this post covered a lot of ground. I had planned to post after every hangout, but I wasn’t personally satisfied with a few we had in the last month. I didn’t think enough happened to justify weekly posts. I hope that is behind me now. I always love hearing from my readers. I look forward to your opinions, questions, suggestions, etc. Whether you want to discuss the amusement industry or talk about blogging and social media or ask about what it’s like to be a blind business owner; I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again and take care out there, Max