Crossroads Conversations: Building an Empire

This week has been a little shaky in terms of recording the Crossroads podcast. Normally this column would come out after the podcast, and would be a continuation of the conversation. Due to scheduling issues, Crossroads won’t finish recording until tomorrow.

My topic for this week is going to be this blog, and the six new columns I’ve recently debuted. I spent the past week introducing these columns. Now I’ll look ahead to their potential future.

Lock It In

I didn’t do it on purpose, but the columns I’m most sure about happen on the first two days of the week. This column, of course, has already been realized as it’s own independent project, the Crossroads Podcast. Going forward, we’ll continue getting more consistent with our streaming and publishing schedule, and I’ll get the show an actual RSS feed. Plus some theme music, and album art with a logo. Stuff like that.

Real Talk is my longest-running column, which makes sense. It’s the easiest one to keep up: I literally talk about whatever is on my mind for a thousand words or so. I could see Real Talk evolving into a vlog fairly easily. The only obstacles to that are time and a better webcam. A decent webcam doesn’t cost much these days, and I could easily find ten to twenty minutes a week to rant to a camera. No promises yet, but this is definitely something I could make happen.

That leaves the question of what to do with the Real Talk column. Do I talk about the same things in each, so people can consume it either as text or video? That’s the easiest option but doesn’t really appeal to me. It could be what this column is to Crossroads, a continuation of whatever I talk about. The problem is that on Crossroads I get feedback from Alaric which gives me new thoughts to talk about here.

Most likely, I would use time to my advantage. Real Talk happens on Monday, so I’d put the vlog on Friday. Then I can share what I’m thinking about at the beginning and end of the week, and set goals on Monday then talk about how they turned out on Friday.

Barriers to Entry

Again, not intentional, but the columns spanning the last three days of the week make up another category. I have clear ideas about how I could expand them, but the obstacles are larger.

My Living Let’s Play would, ideally, be supplemented by a live stream of each game I do. That should be easy to do–I’m devoting time to playing anyway, I just have to push a button to stream it. Unfortunately, my internet isn’t capable of producing a stream of watchable quality. I’m renting a room in a shared house, so upgrading the internet isn’t a plan. I would gladly do that if I could. I’m probably not moving any time soon, either.

The Witchtide Project is all about working toward an end goal: running and recording a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. We’ll get there one day, but first I have to build the campaign itself and recruit a couple more players. I could throw together a playable campaign tomorrow if I had to, but the whole idea is to create as polished an experience as I can. In other words, the barrier isn’t a fixed amount of time, but the amount of time it takes for me to feel like it’s ready.

Uncertain Paths

Finally, we have the columns that could grow into more but probably won’t anytime soon.

Low Fantasy Adventure is one of the columns I’m most excited about. The project it could become is insanely exciting, too. While the column reflects on past adventures, I could make videos out of my adventures going forward. I would love that, but the sheer production that would go into that, not to mention the cost of travelling regularly, means it will have to remain a dream until a later stage of my life. One where this whole crazy experiment actually brings in some money, for example.

The Stained Glass Gazette is a tricky one. I am happy with the approach I’m taking toward news and do enjoy talking about current events. That said, I’m still trying to figure out what unique value I can add that you can’t already get ten-thousand other places. Most likely I’d want to find several cohosts, creating a roundtable-style show with voices from different ends of the political spectrum.

Bonus Round

There’s one other project I’d like to add in the future, though it’s not necessarily related to any of my columns. I’ve been thinking for a while that it would be a good idea to create a newsletter for Desdenada, but haven’t quite figured out what would go in it.

It would have to be something that everyone who likes the site would be interested in, which is tricky, because my columns are so eclectic. Probably should have listened when people told me to establish a clear brand. Anyway, how can I appeal to people who only read the Witchtide Project because they like dungeons and dragons as well as people who only read Low Fantasy Adventure because they like travel?

I could look for one topic that encompasses everything, or I could just include everything. Like the blog itself, I could break it into segments, and include a little nugget of extra content related to each column every week.

This isn’t rhetorical; I actually haven’t decided yet. When I do, you’ll be the first to know!

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