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Playing to My Talents

So here’s something I bet you didn’t know:  the concept of a “talent” is actually a biblical concept.  Specifically, in the times of Jesus, a talent was a large block of silver, maybe 80 lbs or so.  They were very, very valuable.  Today, it would be just over $4,000.  The concept of a talent being related to a skill actually comes from a parable attributed to Jesus, where he seemed to have been saying something to the effect of “if you’re given a seed, make it grow”.

So, with that in mind, I’ve been thinking a lot about talents – specifically, what mine are, what I want to do with them, and where I’ve messed up in making use of them.

Texihabara has failed.  It failed because while it did exercise quite a few of my talents, I really had no interest whatsoever in what I was writing about.  I was writing about Japanese pop culture, with the intent and express purpose of pandering to those otaku who are much more obsessed than I with said culture.  But I don’t share that obsession, I don’t share that interest in the same way that they do, and at the end of the day, pandering is pandering, and it was a transparent and obvious attempt to make money pretty much for the sake of making money.  Long and short, it was a good idea in theory, but it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that it would fail.

The Lily project has not failed.  It is not yet a success by any conventional meaning of the word, but I’ve been writing it for over a year, it has 200,000 words, I don’t intend on stopping, and for those few people who are fans, they are really fans.  I’ve taken pretty much the same set of talents that I used for Texihabara (with a few notable distinctions) and turned it into something pretty good that I actually want to continue.

So what is different between the Lily project and the Texihabara project?  In hindsight, that’s a simple question to answer.  In the Texihabara project, I was not putting any of myself into it.  In the Lily project, I am.  Texihabara was an attempt at molding my talents into a shape that I was not comfortable with.  Lily is expressing something that is already inside me and sharing it with the world.

So it is clear the direction I need to move, in the future, isn’t it?

So, with that in mind, Texihabara is going to be taken offline in its current form, either today or tomorrow.

Back when I was in college, I discovered a talent and passion of mine that I have made very little use of for many reasons, but when I did I made use of it to very good effect.  I’m not sure what this particular talent is named.  For the sake of discussion I’m going to call it “tour guide”.  I have always very much loved showing people around places that I am familiar with and/or call home, and seeing the world through their eyes.  I think this might be why those “UK sucking up to America” channels like “Lost in the Pond” or “Mr. H. and Friends” are so popular.  People love sharing their world with other people and seeing them enjoy it through their eyes.  It’s not just related to travel, but other things as well.  That’s why reaction channels in general are so popular – people love sharing their passions with other people and watching them react to them.  It takes two types of people for that kind of community – the reactor themselves, or the “focus”, and the audience, which is actually a group of people who are… sharing.  The reactor is a focus for people who want to share.

That is why people send them boxes of stuff, etc.  It’s because they’re sharing with someone who they think will be safe to share with.  And the reactors build a business model upon being shared with.

I don’t want to become a reactor.  That’s really not me for many different reasons.  I’ve actually grown to mostly dislike the reactor channels because it feels like most of them have figured this out and have started to play to the trope to build their audience.  Some do try very hard to be honest, but even then, there’s something about them that gives me pause.

But the point is that I do have many unique things to share, and the path to success is to share those things.  I am a very unique person, and while I won’t gain a huge following by sharing those things, it’s the only way I’m going to meet any measure of success.

I have a few ideas for content that will play to my strengths and my unique personality and upbringing, but will be quite a bit different from anything I’ve done so far.  Stay tuned.  It’s going to be a wild ride.

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