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An Honest Conversation About Porn

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Nobody pays for porn anymore. Well, almost nobody.

Sure, there are a handful of sites out there that will sell you monthly memberships for access to all of their, ahem, content. But who the heck actually pays for those?

And why should they? There’s so much free porn available online (so I hear) that you’d be pretty silly to pay for it. Yet somehow adult entertainment continues to be a multi-billion dollar industry. That’s billion with a “B”.

So how do the websites do it? Volume and advertising. According to Adweek, the #1 adult website gets 35 million visitors EVERY DAY. Any website with that kind of traffic can make quite a bit of money through advertising. More importantly, it’s worth noting: they are successful precisely because they are free.

So what does any of this have to do with Flair Bartending TV?

When I launched FlairBartending.TV 15 months ago, the plan was always to try and build a profitable business. My friends thought I was little weird trying to make money by putting videos online for free but I had a long-term plan to test out. The idea was to start for free, build an audience, and then try and convert as many of them as possible to a paid version of the site. My recent Kickstarter campaign was my experiment to do just that: by offering a $44 annual membership as a reward, it was a safe way to test the waters and see how many people were willing to pay for membership to FBTV before I invest the time and money to film the next 100 lessons.

I had lots of friends and FBTV fans support the campaign, but as of this morning there were only 16 people signed up for annual membership.  As of today, I have cancelled the Kickstarter campaign. The whole thing was an experiment to see if a paid-membership flair bartending site would be a good idea and it’s obvious to me that it’s not.

In retrospect, I should’ve learned that from online porn – as a business, that is.

I’m not disappointed that my campaign didn’t get funded. The realization that “Free is better” was a worthwhile lesson. I don’t pay for videos online. Neither should you. I can reach a bigger audience of all you fantastic flair beginners and not alienate people who can’t afford to or don’t want to pay. It’s 2014 and I earnestly believe that learning should be free, if you’re willing to put in the time.

So, what’s in line for the future of FlairBartending.TV? Pretty much the same thing I laid out in my Kickstarter campaign, just not necessarily on that time scale. I’ll continue to add new video lessons as I produce them. It will continue to be a labor of love. The flair bartending community is like no other group of people I have ever met – passionate people from all over the world from all walks of life – and FBTV is my way to contribute to fostering and building that community.

Be sure to join the FBTV forum if you want an email when new stuff gets added and of course, subscribe to the YouTube Channel and follow the Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to my Kickstarter campaign. I hope I’m not disappointing you by cancelling the campaign, but I very much appreciate your support during my experiment. A special thanks goes to Howie at Stars of the Bars who actually paid to help advertise my campaign on Facebook, completely of his own accord. Check out his site; that guy rocks. And a special thanks to Marc Bensasi who pledged a higher amount than I thought anyone would. All of you who supported my campaign are the best.

I’m starting a new job next week opening a new restaurant here in Minneapolis, so I’ll be on a little break from FBTV while the new job takes up all of my time but I will back to posting new lessons before you know it.

On a side note, not having to worry about managing a paid-membership site – and keeping my paying members happy – frees up my time to develop a few other websites I’ve been stewing over for the last year or so. Later this summer, stay tuned for a second website. Yes, it will be about bartending – and yes it will be free.

Kickstarter Campaign Off To A Great Start

Barely 24 hours into the campaign to create the next 100 videos for FlairBartending.TV and we’re off to a great start. New members have signed up from Europe, Australia, and North America. Still waiting on our first from South America, Asia, and Africa. Will it be you?

Have a great weekend, flair bartenders. Flip them bottles, make that money!!

Kickstarter Launch

Alright, let’s get back to it…

Some of you have noticed that I took a hiatus from posting new lessons the last couple weeks. I did so for mainly for 2 reasons:

1) I wanted to see how many people would notice. Over the last year, I’ve been privileged enough to build an amazing audience. All of my metrics (measure of views & traffic) have been steadily increasing week by week and month by month. However, recently my “user engagement” has dropped a bit and I wasn’t really sure why. User engagement is things like commenting on the videos, sharing posts on Facebook, liking the videos on YouTube. My numbers tell me that I still have a growing audience but I couldn’t tell just exactly how people were responding to my videos. So, for better or worse, I wanted to see who would notice if I didn’t post anything new for a month. It may seem a little weird but I really wanted to experiment to try and understand things a little deeper than just what the numbers were telling me. I’m happy to say that I’ve received numerous emails from people asking when the next videos would be coming out (thank you for that!). Moving forward, if you like my lessons it would mean a lot to me if you comment on them, share them on Facebook, and interact with them on YouTube or on my website. Those kind of things not only reinforce what I’m doing but they also help YouTube distinguish what’s worth watching which in turn helps other people discover my lessons.

2) The other reason – arguably the bigger reason – I took a short break from posting lessons is because I’ve been working on a very important project I’m excited to tell you about. For those of you who don’t know, I tend to film my lessons in batches; it’s a lot easier to film a dozen at once and release one each week than it is to film them one at a time. As I hit a 100 lessons – which was a major goal for my first year – I realized that I only have a handful of lessons left that are ready to upload. It’s time to start filming the next 100 lessons, which is no small undertaking. I’ve been thinking a lot about the best way to film the next 100 lessons. Up till now, all of the videos have been filmed in my garage during the winter months – which are insanely freezing here in Minnesota. So, I’ve been looking for a better space. I also want to upgrade the quality of the videos by shooting with a better camera, better lighting equipment, a new shotgun mic so I can include other instructors in the lessons, and possibly even a green screen. Not only is it time to upgrade the videos to a more professional look, it’s also time to get into more complex lessons. I’m going to teach you everything I can about multiple-object moves, about building routines, about maximizing your flair, but I’m also going to bring in other instructors so you can learn from flair bartenders with different styles and potentially learn moves that are beyond my ability.

So, what does this all mean? Well, FBTV has been a labor of love this past year – it’s completely break-even from a financial standpoint – so if we’re going to do the next 100 videos and do them right, I need to crowd-fund this new equipment. Today, Flair Bartending TV is launching its Kickstarter campaign. If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s a crowd-funding platform that thousands of musicians, restaurants, inventors and other creative people have used to help fund their projects. More importantly, it’s a way for people like yourselves who enjoy the work of a particular person to help support them as they continue to develop and create new things. Watch this video and you’ll see what I mean:

 

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE REWARD LEVELS

So, that’s what I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. I’m really excited about the prospect of filming the next 100 lessons and I hope you’ll help me make it all possible. Thank you for supporting the campaign and for sharing this video. Let’s get ready to rock some serious flair and, you know, practice, practice…

Sincerely,

Chris

 

On a side note, I wanted to say thank you to my amazing audience. FBTV hit two major milestones recently: not only did we hit 1 million views on YouTube sometime right around midnight on New Year’s Eve (seriously) but 3 weeks ago my YouTube channel got its 10,000th subscriber, making it by far the most watched flair bartending channel online. That’s insane. You guys are the best. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

 

 

Juggle 3 Bottles: Steps 3 & 4

Steps 3 & 4 are the final steps in learning how to juggle 3 bottles. Make sure you’ve got Step 1 and Step 2 down already and take your time. If this were easy, everybody would be doing it. But I promise you if you stick with it, and follow the lessons, you’ll be juggling 3 bottles before you know it.

 

 

Juggling Bottles: Step 2

Today’s lesson is Step 2 in our 5-step series that will teach you how to juggle 3 bottles. By now, you should be comfortable with Step 1 - learning how to throw a double across your body. With Step 2, we add the second bottle and work on the throws, catches, and timing.

 

 

The most important tips I have for learning Step 2 in juggling bottles:

• Make sure you are incredibly comfortable and consistent with Step 1. You should be able to consistently throw a double-spin, from right to left AND left to right at least 50 times in a row before you attempt Step 2. The height should be consistent, the rotation should be consistent, and you shouldn’t be reaching out for the bottle – it should be landing right in your hand. Step 1 is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of learning to juggle 3 bottles.

• When you’re ready to add the 2nd bottle, grip one firmly by the neck in each hand. Toss the first one exactly as you’ve been doing in Step 1. As the bottle hits it’s peak (the highest point of its arc), throw the other bottle just as you’ve been doing in Step 1, making sure it is slightly inside/under the bottle in the air.

• In order to avoid the bottles crashing into each other in mid-air, focus on throwing the 2nd bottle from a position slightly closer to the center of your body. Watch the video and look at my elbows as I juggle – they are constantly rotating in small circles. The catches are slightly to the outside (away from my body) and the throws are slightly to the inside (closer to my body).

• Don’t watch your hands; watch the bottles. Specifically, you should be watching the top portion of the path the bottles take when they fly through the air. Your eyes should be looking about 1 foot in front of you and almost 1 foot up.

• If you’re getting frustrated, try throwing the bottles and purposely drop them. As juggler’s say, “get a good throw and the catches will come.” So focus on your throws. Throw the first bottle, then the second bottle, and let both of them fall. Stand over your bed or a sofa so you can easily pick them up. Repeat this frequently. It will help you to improve your throws, learn the timing, and reduce your anxiety of the bottles getting away from you.

• The most common problem people have when they start juggling bottles at this step is keeping the throws from getting away from them. Usually, the 2nd bottle goes flying 5 feet away from you because you’re not used to spreading your focus between two objects. That’s cool; it’s part of the process. The goal – which you will achieve if you follow the video and the tips I’ve provided – is for each bottle to travel the same consistent path, equally high, equally far away, equally spinning, and caught in the same place every time.

• Try this drill: with a bottle in each hand, throw with your right hand first, then left. Once you catch them, begin throwing with your left hand first, then right. Continue going back and forth, starting with the opposite hand each time. This can be very difficult but is necessary and will help you smooth out your pattern.

• Once you are comfortable with the drill I mentioned in the previous bullet point, your goal is to perform this drill without pausing. As soon as you catch the first bottle, your arm dips a little while catching it, then launches its throw again quickly. When you do this properly, the bottles will “chase” each other and you will begin to understand the timing of where the 3rd bottle will go. In the video, you can see my open hand waving in the time/place where the 3rd bottle goes.