What's Happening With RedBlue Labs!


*Transcription for the companion YouTube video.  What this blog post has that the video does not is additional pictures that will not be included in the video.

Hey, welcome back to RedBlue Labs!  It's been quite a year and I wanted to take some time to share with you what I have learned.  There were challenges, exciting moments and generally I have better idea of where I want to bring this channel in the coming year.

First off, you are watching a recording of me doing some photo edits on a picture of myself.  I don't profess to be an expert in photo editing.  At best I dabble in it because I enjoy it.  It's pretty cool feeling creating something that never existed before.  

I know legit professionals may see this and cringe and that's fine.  At the end of the day as long as I am happy with what I have produced I think I can call that a win.

If you want to turn the sound off and just watch me edit the picture feel free!

So, what's the plan for the future of the channel?  I'm going to stick with it.  Truthfully I actually really enjoy it.  I get to talk about cyber security, I get to be creative and I get to communicate and share my passion with the world.

I have learned a lot since starting, and looking back honestly makes me cringe a bit.

Let's actually chat about the beginning.

Why did I start?

It was a conversation with someone.

I was teaching a class and one of the assignments required the students to setup a moderately complicated network.  

Someone came to me with a question, and from their questions I could tell they had waited a long time to start the project.  I gave them the info they needed.  I was not sure though how it would shake out.

They submitted their project and they nailed it!

Came back a bit later and had a frank conversation.  "How did you manage it?"

The student said, "I watched this YouTube video." and sent me the link.

I watched it and I hated it.  The music was pounding, it was blurry, there was no audio explanation at all, it wasn't abundantly obvious what was being taught.

But somehow this student understood it, was able to follow along and produce something of quality.  

I was proud of that person.

I figured, since this video had 100,000 or more views.  I could make something marginally better and be just as successful.

So I just started.  I didn't research at all, I just jumped right in.

I had no idea how to make thumbnails, I still am trying to figure it out.

 I was terrified of showing my face, which is why it took me about 50 or more videos before I started turning on my camera.  

Looking back I went through some weird phases

Black background only white letters

A few with me smiling on the front in front of a flying numbers and big white "techy" font 

A pretty serious phase of retro 80s theme....again with big white letters.

And a whole stack of videos with my logo on some dudes jacket

Live and learn, I didn't know this but your thumbnail has a huge impact on click through rate.  

So a year later from that original conversation.  The channel has grown some.  

I use my videos in class with the students, they have provided me with valuable feedback.  They have told me some things that work, and aspects that could be changed.  I actually have taken their advice seriously.  At the end of the day I want my micro tutorial videos to be something that people can learn from.  Or even spark an interest in the subject matter.

What has been my biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge has been thinking to much when someone unsubscribes.

In my mind of I have gamified YouTube.  I like making the content, it's not splashy and I won't be giving away brand new cars to viewers 

* wink

but when the views go up, and the click through rate increases, or more people are commenting.

I feel 




So, since that is my thought process.  When a video "tanks," or someone unsubscribes I feel like I am "losing." 

Which is ridiculous, my content is my art.  People can like it or not.  I think about how I am now comfortable to have my face on the internet I will get more comfortable with the numbers going up and down and not take it personally.

I think it will just take time.

What's coming up for the channel?

The theme isn't going to change, I will still be doing micro tutorials on offensive, defensive security.  I love Wireshark so I don't see those videos going anywhere.  But I do plan on going back into the library and taking out some videos that haven't worked well.  I'm currently doing a thumbnail overhaul.  Some of the topics I am talking about I think are really cool, but it doesn't get out to the masses because my Title and thumbnail are boring.

I have to grow creatively, I don't want to have a Guy Fawkes mask on every video to denote that there is "offensive" security happening.  I want the Titles and thumbnails to be attractive and tempting enough that it shows to a larger number of people how cool cyber security is but not offensive click bait.  You know the kind.

To all who watch my channel, have provided constructive feedback.  

If you feel like sharing my content with your network, that would be awesome.  If this is your first time to my channel and you have stuck around this long, way to go!  We have long since gotten past the 30 second mark.  If you enjoyed please feel free to subscribe for more upcoming content.

Thanks Everyone!! 

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