Episode 150! Even I'm amazed that I've produced so many episodes. So many reviews! So many interviews! So many bad jokes! Yes, it's time to celebrate. Besides a great interview with Shane R. Monroe--who I assume most of you are familiar with here, I offer up a special "thank you" in the form of an old school demo!
You can download the video here. Below are some thoughts on the show and reflections on 150.
Dear Matt Chat fan:
I started Matt Chat three years ago as an experiment. I was watching some great retrogaming shows on YouTube that I enjoyed despite their low production values. These were basically just guys recording themselves in front of a webcam and talking about their favorite games, maybe throwing up a few screenshots or (if they were really ambitious) some gameplay footage. I thought--man, I bet I could do that. It looked like great fun, and I had just gotten a webcam from my brother-in-law, so I figured, hell, why not?
My initial plan was to try to promote our books Dungeons & Desktops and Vintage Games. I wanted to produce informercials that would get people interested enough in the topic to get the books. A lot of people wrote nasty comments about the "advertising," though, so I eventually gave up on that and focused on the games. I figured if anybody became a fan of the show, they'd probably find out about the books on their own anyway.
I didn't like the webcam look, but I didn't have anything better. However, I learned that our library on campus loans out cameras and equipment. Bingo! So for awhile I was going there each week and reserving the tripods and cameras and such. I told myself that if I stuck with this long enough and it looked like it had a future, I'd spring for my own equipment. Eventually I bought myself an HD camera, tripod, lav mic, some work lights on stands from Home Depot, and Sony Vegas Platinum editing software. I later added a green screen for kicks, which I seldom use (too much hassle and no good place to work here in my apartment!). All in all, I think I've spent about $900-$1000 on equipment. Looking back, I could've gotten by with a much cheaper camera, since the prices on those have fallen dramatically. I think you could achieve similar if not better results than I do with half the price.
In my naivety, I expected my audience to swell as my experience and production quality rose. That was wrong. The strange thing about YouTube is that production quality is never an indicator of popularity. You could spend $10,000 and months editing a video and get 20 views. Show your girlfriend popping some zits on your back and you get a million views. Show your dog licking its nuts--priceless. Cute little otters holding hands? You're Jesus.
I frequently get messages or comments along the lines of, "Show X is crap compared to yours, but he has 10 times the subscribers. What's up with that?" That's a bad attitude to have, and one I've had to deal with myself. But it's really just as silly as saying, "Why does that Justin Beiber sell millions of records, and hardly anybody cares about the new Maiden album?"
There's no accounting for taste. Me? I have always sought out the exotic pleasures. Budweiser? Never. Give me some weirdo import from a distant land. I've tasted many ales that I love infinitely more than Bud. McDonalds? Nah, let's to go that little local burger joint instead, you know the one that puts gravy on their fries! That's just who I am, and probably how you are, too, since you like Matt Chat! So instead of getting miffed that some other show is more popular, be happy that you found something YOU like and adopt it as your own! Hey, that place that puts the gravy on the fries needs and appreciates your business a lot more than that mega-chain!
Will there be 150 more episodes? Who knows? It's really up to the fans. As long as they continue enjoying and supporting the show, and I can continue to recruit good people to interview, I don't see why not!
Anyway, thanks again for being there through 150 episodes!