In April of this year I began my “year of Operation: PUG”, having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a year and focus on the site and figure out where it was going what what I personally want out of it.
It’s been an interesting time, and naturally hasn’t gone 100% as planned. Originally it was the plan to focus on the cartoon since that is by far the most time-intensive part of the project. I’m pleased that I did get Ep 2 done in fairly short order, and have made a start on Ep 3, but then… well then in October New York happened. Then it became all about puppets, and remains so. A whole new show is in the works to start shooting in January, and for various reasons I have hopes that it will be able to gain more of an audience than the cartoon ever could.
And that has me reflecting on exactly what O:P is and how I approach it. Originally it was simply a central place for the cartoon, then the podcast grew out of that, and the focus shifted. I’ve spent too much of the time here worrying about audience size, and I now understand that this isn’t the point. O:P as an entity just doesn’t have the right alchemy to break through in the Internet landscape of 2018. We like to dabble and play with different things. 2018 Internet audiences tend to want the same stuff, at increasing octaves, with increasing frequency. That’s just not what we do or how we do it.
O:P has become, for me, less about size and reach and more about an umbrella for various connected hobbies to live under. It’s about the Maker movement, about the original promise of the Internet to provide a creative outlet for people who never had one before. If there’s an audience for that, that’s great. If it never grows past family & friends, I’ll still do it because there is archival value in what we do here. I can look back on O:P and see a long trail of creativity and growth. It’s the chart of the ocean I’m sailing, including those whom I’m fortunate enough to share the journey with.
Next? Onward and upward. I plan to start shooting The Oracle in a few weeks as the finishing touches are put together. The re-formatted podcast is fun to do again, and yes, Ep 3 of the cartoon *will* happen.
Taking next week off for the holidays so I hope you & yours have a great holiday season and I’ll see y’all in 2019 for some really fun stuff.