Halloween Weekend Update

By Steve Higgins
November 01, 2015 2:00 PM

This weekend London seemed to go crazy for Halloween, meanwhile I've completed my second productive and healthy week of my new way of living.

First, weight lost as this is what I'm most pleased with this week. In a week where I've been out for a meal at an Indian restaurant, eaten out at the food court of a big Oxford Street store and had a notoriously unhealthy Christmas coffee from Starbuck, I've managed to loose so far 1.2KG ahead of tomorrow's official weekly weigh-in.

I've also continued to avoid caffeine apart from festive treat in Starbucks and a cup of tea on Saturday while I was out for a mammoth walk, again this was a bit of a treat and mainly a chance to sit down.

I have walked a lot this week actually, I'm a bit of a walker anyway but it's been a good week for walking. On Saturday I walked almost 14 miles, more than the distance of a half marathon and today I walked 8 and half miles on a nice little wander around South London on a really sunny and mild first day of November.

In terms of work this week, I've managed to plough through and make enough videos to fill most of November, I just have one video to make for the end of the month which will be a Star Wars themed video to try to capture some of the buzz ahead of the release of the new movie, 'The Force Awakens'. So I'm hoping to get that done early this week and then I can start thinking about December's Christmas video content.

I'm planning on making two Christmas videos as well as two half hour long episodes which will be a 'Best Of Potions 2015' and a 'Best Of Higgypop 2015' shows to go out over Christmas and the new year.

This year I also shot my first sponsored video. I was approached by one of the big YouTube networks and given a brief. I can't give too much away but it involved me being sent an anonymous book through the post and I had to make up a story based on the book title. The video has now gone back to the network for some editing and then it gets uploaded to my channel in December.

Something that didn't go so well this week was my first live stream. I've done live video streams before professionally of varying degrees of complexity from single webcams right up to multi-studio live streams with pre-recorded content dropped in. But on Halloween night I did my first live stream with my own kit on my own YouTube channel.

Technically it went fine, the basic set comprising of a desk, a laptop, some paranormal props and some nice lighting looked great. I was wearing a lapel mic and being shot with one camera in SD (as I feared bandwidth might be a problem,) and I had another camera shooting in full HD for archiving and a highlights video. I was using the free YouTube version of WireCast to cut between the live camera and video inserts.

85% of my audience are in the US so I'd scheduled the live stream for 11pm Pacific Standard Time to get the most engagement, unfortunately that was 6am in the UK so I'd built my set and put all the AV kit and lighting together on Saturday night and then got up at 5am on Sunday morning for the stream.

My fears on bandwidth were confirm, I'd tested my connection speed a few times and it's pretty low but I thought if I streamed in SD I might just be able to get away with it. I couldn't, Virgin Media (just to name and shame them) just wasn't up to the task. I felt really bad because before the stream started people were commenting in the YouTube chat widget with things like "I'm so excited I could scream," there were a lot of people who were really looking forward to it, so it's a shame their experience was that of buffering and drop outs, looking back at YouTube's archive it was pretty unwatchable.

I did use the HD footage straight after to edit down a highlights video where I answer some of the questions viewers asked me in the live stream's comments. So all was not lost, it's still an OK piece of content which will reenforce some loyalty with my subscribers. I'm wondering if next time it's the kind of thing I might be able to do at YouTube Space, the studio for Creators' at Google's offices in London.

So other than that, the saving for a camper van continues, I'm on budget for this month. I've also added a new string to my return to Bristol plan, I've created a new profile on my favourite dating website in the hopes of arranging some dates in Bristol rather dating girls in London when I'm not planning (or financially able) to settled down here.

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