“Now is the tim…

“Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. Once you have determined the spiritual principles you wish to exemplify, abide by these rules as if they were laws, as if it were indeed sinful to compromise them. Don’t mind if others don’t share your convictions. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be?”

– Epictetus, The Art of Living

Racing family

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Funerals change lives just like racing.

Yesterday I attended the service for a 7-year-old Peewee racer; I wish I could have recorded the whole thing. Walking into the church, I nearly fell over and not because I had to climb a few steps on crutches. No, hobbling into the viewing, I saw hundreds of sharp-dressed people, both strangers and friends, who filled the room. The loving energy filled my heart. Watching the slide show of photos it was hard to keep my tears from falling and I heard others sniffling so I knew I was not alone.
That’s what I learned yesterday, again. As much time as I’ve been spending by myself lately, I am never alone with my FTR family.
My friend Jacob, his girlfriend and I drove more than 3 hours to spend less than an hour at the funeral but we were there. We showed up and we came together for Evan and his family even if we never met them or knew their name before then.
Driving home, I started to question life while at the same time I had never felt more alive. I hoped our presence was somehow comforting for the family. I hope they know they are not alone.

“A part of us has died. But he lived. He really lived.”

Symbolic

I recently spent two days living my best life: I went without creamer in my coffee, ate all (pre-prepared) raw meals and drank more than enough water each day. Then I drove downtown for the Tuesday night urban ride and broke my ankle and it all went to crap…

It all happened in a parking garage – we ramped up the first floor and as we were going around the first corner, I tried to take a short cut in between the concrete pillars and my front tire slid out and the next thing I know I’m on the ground in EXCRUCIATING pain and holding my right ankle. Note to self: there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

After getting a once over from one of the cyclists who happened to be a medic but assured me that my ankle probably wasn’t broken, I rode back to my truck with a few of my motocross friends who bailed on the ride to keep me company (thanks, guys) and managed to drive my stick shift truck home, get myself up three flights of stairs to the couch where I remained with ice packs for the rest of the night. The next morning, I woke up to a swollen and bruised ankle that I could barely move; at the doctor’s office later that day, X-rays showed a broken tibula and fibula.

The lateral malleolus fracture

The lateral malleolus fracture

Two days later I went in for surgery and I have been stuck sitting on the couch watching House Hunters and Law and Order ever since.

Frankenstein ankle

Frankenstein ankle

The bad news is I’m out for the season most likely, and I was on my way to battling for the Enduro championship. The good news is I have more than enough quiet time to myself, which is one of my New Year’s resolutions…

At least my cast is FTR orange!

At least my cast is FTR orange!

Crash is back!

I joined 16 other bicyclists last night for an 18-mile urban ride through the streets of downtown Orlando and beyond. This was my first urban ride in more than 2 years but what made me more nervous was meeting an entirely new group of cyclists (we are competitive by nature and often a little standoffish until we get to know you.) Plus, I had no idea how fast this “fast Tuesday” ride was. Before, we used to meet on Church Street but that ride started getting “too fast” for some and so the folks at Retro City Cycles started hosting a ride for the “not too fast.”

Tuesday's ride around Orlando

Tuesday’s ride around Orlando

Ironically, it was still FAST and, according to my heart rate monitor, my heart rate peaked at 190 BPM and averaged 161 BPM. Also, my max speed was 30 MPH – riding down the John Young Parkway overpass around mile 13 – while I averaged 10 MPH, which is hard to believe but we did do a lot of stop-and-go while waiting up for people. Thankfully, I was not the slowest and I only crashed once, less than a mile after the start in front of everyone, but at least I got that out of the way early!

There have been recent studies that suggest that indeed the body does crave consistency, and even that those whose lives are more consistent (sleep approximately same time/duration, eating is consistent, weight fluctuates less, etc.) live longer. – The Case for Continuous Progression

Countdown to Spring 2014

It’s been more than a week since the start of 2014, but I still don’t feel like it’s the New Year yet since classes don’t begin until Monday, Jan. 13. So, these past few days, I’ve been stuck in my office updating syllabi and moving over last semester’s course content to the new blank shells. (I was able to get away to Miami for one day for a journalism conference sponsored by Google!)

Anyway, I’m looking forward to meeting my new crop of students and hoping I can continue to feel like I’m exactly where I belong in front of the classroom giving back the education that’s been handed down to me. I realized over the winter break that as much as I love teaching and caring for others, I still need to live for myself and do what I want to do. This means that I’m going to start riding my bicycle more and renewing my CrossFit membership because those things bring me happiness. I also traded in my car over the winter break and scored myself a Yamaha blue Ford Ranger so I’ll be riding a lot more in the coming months as well.

 

Part 3: YouTube strategies for news

Reach: More than 40 percent of YouTube viewers use mobile devices, and this is only going to increase.

Revenue: YouTube’s partner program allows you to monetize your content and expand your reach.

Rights: There’s a CMS for YouTube that allows you to customize your content.

Reporting: YouTube has a robust analytics platform built into it for measuring performance and revenue.

The lifecycle of a news video on YouTube and the steps that are crucial at every stage:

  1. Build a home – create a channel icon, banner (cross promote social media sites), welcome video, sections (string together pieces of content: breaking news, stories for today, most popular videos)
  2. Create and package content – local doesn’t have to stay local; it can be global if you program the content to reach a specific audience. Attention spans on YouTube are very short; try repacking long pieces into top 5 highlight reels.
  3. Upload: search and discovery – the most important thing when you’re uploading video onto YouTube is to remember that YouTube is the second largest search engine, right behind Google. Influencers: metadata – every single video starts off with 0 views; the title is the most important and provides context and engage curiosity; you want to make sure the thumbnail describes the video; recency - if there’s a breaking news event, YouTube bumps it up, focus on publishing breaking story with great metadata; watch time and user-generated data - the backbone of how we recommend videos in suggested, related and homepage feeds, the easiest ways to extend watch time are to use playlists and annotations (at the end of the video can be programed in through the Video Manager and allows people to become a subscriber with one click.)
  4. Promote and retain viewership – Look at the videos that you are investing in through packaging and put some promotional weight behind those videos. The focus in promoting your content isn’t to have a viral hit that brings in a bunch of views once. The real goal is to acquire a sustainable audience, and you do that through the Subscribe button. If you look at the data of where the views are coming from in the first hours of the upload, the majority is coming from the subscribers.
  5. Measure success – YouTube Analytics can concretely answer who is the audience, what demographic are they, what they like, how do they find us, what platform are they watching on, how well each ad format is performing, click-through rate and annotation effectiveness. Just remember that analytics will help you iterate and improve so that your next upload is more popular than your last. Learn from your recent uploads and key in on who your audience is and create content for that.

Tools – The live landscape is changing especially with Google Glass for streaming live events. When you’re a YouTube Partner, you can stream on YouTube live for free. Google News and YouTube has been integrated in two ways: YouTube videos from Google News partners are becoming more prevalent. Google News pulls YouTube partner’s videos. Trending topics on Google News influences YouTube’s recency algorithm so if something is trending on Google News, it’s going to be trending on YouTube as well.

Resources

  • YouTube.com/playbook
  • YouTube.com/creatorhub
  • YouTube.com/yt/playbook/guides.html
  • Google News integration: goo.gl/t0tbwh
  • NPR local news: goo.gl/tzb1nm
  • YouTube for nonprofits