After some deliberation, I have decided to discontinue Vintrospektiv. Originally, I had planned on looking back after one year, which would be the end of December, and then make up my mind about how to proceed – but I am so far from any hope to earn money at all, let alone be able to sustain myself, that it would be naive to think this could be achieved in a reasonable amount of time.
To give you some numbers: at the time of writing, after 10 months of operations, I have 121 subscribers on YouTube (out of 1000 necessary to start monetising my videos), 1 follower on Medium (out of 100), 141 followers on Instagram, 25 followers on Twitter, and 8 followers on TikTok. Even if the speed of gaining more followers would increase tenfold, I would hardly scratch the numbers necessary to earn any money at all after another year.
I thought for a while about drastically changing strategies and pander to the various audiences’ more proven tastes, for instance by posting more images with less content on Instagram, or switching to “Let’s play” videos on YouTube – but apart from probably still falling behind my goals, that was not what I set out to do, and if doing something I don’t like doing just because it gets me some success was an option, I might as well go back to my old job.
One of the most important lessons was that my main strategy of being visible on a large number of platforms so that people could discover my content, didn’t work out. It seems that there is very little overlap between the various communities, and people might like a screenshot on Instagram, but still not be willing to check out the video it comes from. That’s just how those platforms have evolved, and I’m not blaming anybody, but whatever strategy would have been successful, I didn’t find it.
On the positive side, I learned a lot in the past year: I became quite adept at editing videos, I am slightly less awkward with modern graphics software, and of course I am now something of an expert in gathering reliable information on the internet. Many of these skills and insights will be put to work in my future endeavours. I also learned some things about myself: how my motivation works, what methods I use well and less well, and how I can get stuff done when there is no external pressure. That will help me in the future as well.
My small communities on YouTube and Instagram were close-knit and fun, and I had quite a few short but helpful and uplifting comments and conversations. I got to know many interesting people, and had the honour of having some of them follow my exploits.
So what will the future bring? I will probably not create any more videos for the time being: a short video every few weeks doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, and the longer videos cost so much time to create it would be detrimental to my other activities. I will very probably write more articles and possibly even books – and the finished book that I have now teased for a year will certainly come out in the next few months.
The Vintrospektiv homepage and the YouTube channel (and my presence on Medium) will continue to exist, but my other channels will be closed soon. I am more than grateful for the people who supported me financially on Patreon, but I will close that channel as well, since I cannot in good conscience keep taking money from those people.
I will remain active in the field of retrogaming, though in other ways, and if you are interested in finding out when something new happens, I encourage you to join my Discord, which I will also keep running.
It was a wild ride, and I had an incredibly exciting year with many ups and downs. I thank everyone for their support, encouragement and feedback, and I hope you found something interesting or useful every once in a while!