Friday, May 17, 2019

#OfficialHat2019 Week 4 Update

Disclosure: I am very happy with the way that the Hat of Summer campaign has improved in recent years.  I've gotten really fun and inspirational interactions with people nd devoted fans of the contest. The statistics on total votes has really jumped since the creation of the Google Form. So, there really isn't lots to be upset about.

But still, I am always slightly hoping that one of these years it will break wide and people besides my family and friends will jump on the bandwagon. I've joked about hosting a table in the April Fourth Friday community event in Westerville. I've teased my kids that I would buy ad space at a local movie theater. But I always a. forget and b. recognize that to do so is a stupid waste of money.

All that said, this year I did try something different this week in an attempt to kickstart my voting numbers higher.

I reached out via Twitter to the groups that (I thought) might benefit from knowing that I would represent them throughout the months of June, July, and August. I was confident that they would spread the word far and wide to the furthest reaches of Twitter and that I would finally and unstoppably go viral with my Hat of Summer concept.

But that definitely did not happen.

Oh well.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

The MCU Ranked [+ Shazam!]

Grace and I are big fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It's over ten years in the making and eighteen films deep (and always growing). Since Captain Marvel is coming out in theaters this weekend I've decided to finally put on WWYG?! the MCU rankings that Grace and I put together before Infinity War dropped.

And yes . . . you'll notice that we decided to include Deadpool and Deadpool 2 . . . and even Shazam! in our rankings. I regret nothing about this.

(This list is always being updated, as new movies come out.)

1. Spider-Man: Homecoming
2. Iron Man 3

3. Avengers Infinity War
4. Black Panther
5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
6. Guardians of the Galaxy
7. Deadpool

8. Captain America: The First Avenger
9. Thor Ragnarok

10. Avengers Endgame
11. Ant-Man

12. Ant-Man and the Wasp
13. Captain America: Civil War
14. Iron Man
15. Deadpool 2
16. Thor
17. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
18. The Avengers

[n/r] Shazam!
19. Captain Marvel
20. Iron Man 2
21. Avengers: Age of Ultron
22. Doctor Strange
23. Thor:The Dark World
24. The Incredible Hulk (Norton edition)

Don't like our rankings? That's fine. I know there are others out there that will suit you better. Here is another web writers thoughts on the MCU phenomenon.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

#OfficialHat2019 Week 3 Update

The Official Hat campaign is in week number three and I'm already thinking about its end.

Not the complete end, mind you. (That may only come with the heat death of the universe. But just the finalization of the 2019 effort.

For you see, as in every year past, the end of the annual #HatofSummer campaign is Memorial Day weekend, the (still?) unofficial start of summer. At least here in the United States. I don't know how they mark summer's arrival in the other parts of the world. Probably the same, to be honest, but I should not assume.

What was I saying? Oh yeah . . . Memorial Day. Well, Official Hat fans know that Memorial Day weekend is when I make my dramatic announcement of which hat won. And I officially begin wearing the chosen hat for the rest of the summer span. In the past, I've internally fretted about whether I should announce this as the Memorial Day weekend is beginning or if I should wait until the actual Monday holiday--which is chronologically at the end of the extended weekend. And I am still wondering about that in my head. I haven't decided . . . exactly.

Whatever I choose, I'll give you a few days of warning so that you can put in your flurry of last-second votes in a desperate attempt to make your chosen hat the winner.

But no . . . despite all that I just wrote, that is not what I'm actually thinking about regarding the end of this year's effort. For you see--whether I announce at the start of the weekend or on Memorial Day Monday itself--I likely won't be at home when it is done.

We're planning a vacation trip. And so I'll be either getting ready to travel or actually traveling on those days. And if I wait until I arrive at our destination to reveal the winner, I'll have to pack my laptop for video editing and uploading purposes. And even WORSE, I'd need to pack all hat options because I wouldn't yet know the chosen winner! Can you imagine having to pack all those loser hats, only to find out that they were rejected? I'd just as soon throw all of them into the ocean and watch the tide pull them away into oblivion . . . never to be put in the running ever again.

So, as you can see, I've got some real dilemmas to figure out in the next two weeks!

Thursday, May 02, 2019

#OfficialHat2019 Week 2 Voting Update

It's been another week in this year's Hat of Summer campaign and things got a bit interesting this week.

I continued my trend of adding new musical cues to the intro and outro segments of the video and I like that I was able to do that successfully without incurring the robotic wrath of the YouTube copyright's algorithm. These new videos are "flagged" in a sense with a copyright notification. But as far as I can see, the only problem is a notification that if any money is made on the videos then the copyright holder of the music in question (in this case the band Cake--I hope?).

And that is definitely fair enough. Though I don't think there is much chance of any money getting made off of these videos. I don't intentionally monetize them or anything, but there is no data out there showing me that there is money in the Hat of Summer game. But I don't do it for money. I do it for glory.

And there was a bit of glory. Voting really began in earnest during week 2 and pushed the total number of votes into the thousands. That always makes me happy because it wasn't that long ago that I got less than ten votes total for the entire effort.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

#OfficialHat2019 First Reminder

I've been doing these Hat of Summer videos for a while now. And I've tried to get a little bit better at them each year. But I'm always hampered by the limitations of the video editing software that I can get for free. (I don't want to spend money on a truly powerful suite of video editing tools when I a.) don't have the video equipment that truly demands it, and b.) I only really worry about making videos for about five weeks a year. 
So, my adjustments are minor. One year it was adding an intro title sequence. One year it was experimenting with outros and cards. One year I was working on embedding links within videos--back to other videos, etc. (But then YouTube made a lot of those features unavailable for mobile phone users. I still do lots of those things, but you probably don't even notice. I assume that most people watch their random YouTube videos on a mobile platform rather than on their desk machines.)

This year, I've added some actual music clips to my videos--both the intro and the outro. I didn't think about doing it with the official kick-off video so that one remains in the style I created last year. But with each new video for the rest of the 2019 voting season, I'll switch between a couple of different music choices that are paired for the intro and the outro.

I hope you enjoy the change.