Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Love from the Argonauts

I've been feeling a little blase about YouTube lately. I still log on every day - check my vids - respond to PMs and check comments - and watch vloggers I'm subscribed to - but the energy to create my own new vids seems to be waning a bit.

So I asked my viewers (I have almost 3,000 subscribers, but of those about 1,500 watch regularly) to ask me questions - they could ask just about anything - and I would answer. It was fun making the response vids, and two of the 4 (I have a problem with brevity) are posted now, with the other two coming later this week.

It gave me a nice shot in the arm and a bit of motivation. Not being in Japan these past few months, I was worried that my channel would languish and not attract any new subscribers, but it just keeps chugging along.

I also get incredibly nice emails from folks I've never met thanking me for all the videos and information - which is really great.

I thought I would share two recent examples with you below - edited a little to keep them relatively anonymous.
I've spent a fair amount of time over the past 18 months on YouTube, so it's gratifying to know that people appreciate the time and effort I've put in.

Hope all is well with you. I'm hopefully off to see Avatar at theaters this Friday - first time I've gone to a movie on opening day in a long, long time. Just can't decide if I want to see the 3D version first or the regular version. I want to see both for comparison sake - but maybe if I see the 3D version first I'll feel seeing the regular version is redundant.
I'm also gonna see a movie called "The Hangover" this week on DVD- my sister got it in her Netflix shipment so we're gonna watch it together. It hadn't come out in Japan before I left, but had already left theaters by the time I got back. I've heard it's really funny.

Be good,

Email 1 -
I just wanted to contact you to say thank you. Your videos are great, I look forward to them all the time. You are able to communicate a deep love of teaching. Through your videos I have been able to see many of the joys and difficulties you found in JET. You manage to be positive often, and when faced with hardships, you are honest about them. You seem to have an attitude that compels you to help others. I remember you sharing the video to help someone in their speech competition, an entire series on Japanese language, and the many video requests. You released a whole series on applying to JET and commented on essays for the program. Within this context, you have shared so much of yourself. I am amazed you can put yourself out there like this. I have no doubt you will make it back to Japan. Thank you. Ganbate ne!

Email 2.
Hi Jason! New generation of JET applicant here--hoping to go to Japan in 2010. My name is XXXX and I'm graduating this year from college, so I'm kind of whippersnapper, but I don't plan on going crazy once I get to Japan. I'm genuinely interested in the kids and teaching. Your videos have been a godsend for me in that way, because reading BigDaikon and even the official JET forums has been depressing for me. I just wanted to thank you for being so positive and extremely informative in your vlogs. They are an inspiration to me, and I hope to vlog about Japan myself once I get there, hopefully providing a different perspective, because I think your vlogs are still the best, and they're still relevant. I've been recommending them to every applicant I know this year!

Anyway! Don't lose that genki spirit!!! Know that a whole new generation of JET's are gearing up and you're the best out there for actual advice and not incessant whining!

One last thing: we have 5600 applicants this year for JET, so it's going to be really competitive. We're going to need lots of advice, haha, so I bet your views will be going up a lot.

(Jason again)
Thanks for the nice comments and PMs - each one is read and appreciated!
Mata ne.

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