And provided some dopey new cleaner at YouTube doesn’t unplug the mainframe to plug in their hoover, in twenty years time I should pass the milliard (the proper name for an American billion) mark.
Here is a quick breakdown of the numbers…
First come the 1,620 audio-visual uploads. Most, inevitably, are on the dreaded YouTube; but 98 of them are on Dailymotion (a French version of YouTube – not a laxative) Metacafe and Vimeo.
So, 29 YT channels and 11 others.
Then there are the WRITTEN pieces (MY creative output – rather than my DJ/VJ presentation of others’ work, on the unofficial Universal Archive) which consist of 1,053 monographs (including this one) over my three columns – plus a book and two short stories.
Oh, and 58 IMDb film and TV critiques – and 1,365 Tweets (although IMDb and Twitter don’t DO hits as such).
These have produced 204,607,762 hits in total – of which 200,996 were for the written pieces (no-one READS anymore).
Which is the population of BRAZIL.
Although as an ex-pat BRIT, MY perspective on it is to draw a line around the UK – which is (currently) England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland the UK islands (the Orkneys, Shetlands, Arran, Skye, the Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Isle of Sheppey, Isle of Dogs, Canvey Island, whatever) and the Irish Republic.
Then stretch it out to take in France, Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands [Holland] and Luxembourg) and Switzerland. Next, loop in Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland) and the Baltic States (Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) and finally, hook in Iceland for good measure.
Either way, that is a LOT of people.
To PICTURE them, consider that helicopter-shot of the massive throng at Woodstock – then multiply it by SIX HUNDRED.
Or if sport’s your bag, try TWO THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FOUR capacity crowds at the new Wembley stadium. Every Saturday for over forty years.
If you’re American, that would be 3,334 capacity crowds at Shea (60).
Then again, given that most of my hits are for pieces of entertainment, how about a full house at the Hammersmith Apollo – every night for A HUNDRED AND FIFTY-EIGHT YEARS? (America: ninety-two years plus, at the Radio City Music Hall).
Every DAY, around A HUNDRED THOUSAND people hit something I put up into the public domain. And better than every SECOND, twenty-four hours a day, somewhere in this World, a person clicks on one of my uploads. In fact, during the time you have been READING this – I have had at least another hundred hits.
The Universal Archive is GIGANTIC – the collected works of excellence in entertainment for the last (in my case) one hundred and twenty-two years. Of course, I’m not alone in having compiled it – there are many of us (all treated like CRAP by YouTube, of course).
But at two hundred million-plus hits, I think I can claim that my chunk of it is SIGNIFICANT. In fact, when it comes to “making a difference in the World” – it is easily the biggest thing what I have ever done.
So how did it come about? (The picture shimmers, accompanied by a harpy – sorry, harpIST – running glissandi across her instrument).
It all began when I was nine (you might want to bugger off and read something else now – still with me? – okay, I’ll try to snap it up).
My Mum and Dad presented me with their record collection – 150 78s – and a 78s-only gramophone.
At first, I garnered more 78s from junk-shops, jumble sales, boot fairs and so on – then I modified the record player to play vinyl, so I could enjoy the SIXTIES – then I acquired an open-reel portable tape-recorder, various hi-fi systems, VCRs and a jukebox – then I went digital.
So cutting a VERY long story short: after fifty-five years, I now have 5,285 records, tapes (audio- and video-) and disks.
But in 2008, as I began sneaking up on sixty, this became a WORRY. I had seen how, when people PEGGED OUT, their painstakingly-acquired, lovingly-cared-for, neatly-catalogued Collection – could end up in a damned LAND-FILL.
My solution to this came from an unexpected direction: a few years after I retired to the Orient, the essential communications I had with people back home become ridiculously UNRELIABLE.
It began with the Boxing Day Indian Ocean Tsunami – a few hours after it hit, I began getting texts from friends, wondering if I was still ALIVE (had it hit about two weeks earlier, the answer might very well have been NO, but luckily that was ANOTHER Life Bullet dodged).
And after a few messages, it became apparent that NONE of them had received the Christmas texts I had sent them just two days earlier – despite them having been CONFIRMED delivered – and CHARGED for.
Then the snail-mail began getting silly – up to HALF of it going AWOL, if not sent TRACKED (I sent all MY outgoing mail tracked – it was CHEAP here – but miserable UK companies and organisations refused to do likewise to ME).
And so I eventually did what I had steadfastly REFUSED to do, during the Eighties, Nineties and first half of the Oughts – went out and bought a sodding COMPUTER.
At first, having had NO training, I bought a computing-for-idiots book and slowly worked out how to e-mail. But as time went by, I discovered that during the previous couple of years – the Interweb had finally become INTERESTING.
And one aspect was my ability to acquire (mostly through Ebay) items that had evaded me during my years of collecting. But every now and then, an item would turn out to be available on YOUTUBE.
Now I had always assumed that this service was exclusively for young jackasses who wished to view OTHER young jackasses jumping off garage rooves into bushes, to see if they could break a bone – filmed by yet MORE jackasses, on their toy cameras. And for the most part, I was right.
However, the service also turned out to be being used by COLLECTORS, who would upload snatches from their collections to attract other collectors, with whom they could SWAP stuff.
But as time went by, YouTube increasingly began to feature material uploaded by PHILANTHROPIC collectors who merely wished to SHARE their collections with others.
So within a few weeks, I had downloaded pretty much ALL the remaining items on my “wish-list” (which included stuff I would NEVER have found here) and being a generous chap, I figured it was time to GIVE BACK.
Initially, I planned on just setting up ONE channel, with say fifty or so of my gems. But then it suddenly occurred that here was my CHANCE – I could finally achieve REDEMPTION for those many THOUSANDS of hours spent recording and acquiring The Collection.
Having previously BEEN a semi-pro DJ, the dissemination/presentation of musical “discoveries” had always been a part of my DNA.
So one channel quickly became two – then three – until finally, TWO YEARS later, I had built up FORTY channels, with the best (about 100 hours – 3%, in all) of my “classic” pieces on them.
Then there was my writing. I came LATE to that particular party.
At FORTY-TWO, I joined Mensa – and began creative writing, when I (initially reluctantly) took over editorship of one of their publications.
But when I moved out here, continuing that pastime became impractical – so for several years I just STOPPED.
However, once I got online, a friend steered me towards WordPress. The idea of BLOGGING made me CRINGE – but running a column was okay.
And I could put my book up too. And do short stories. And MODIFY them at will.
Again, one column quickly became… three. And this is the latest piece on just one of them. What do you think of it so far? (Rubbish!)
Well, if you’re still with me – 1,153 words in – that is nearly IT, anyway.
I only joined Twitter (putting up conveniently SHORT bits from this column’s “Random Thoughts” and “Favourite Quotes”) to PROMOTE the pieces in these columns. Other than that, I have disdained the Social Network – that’s for KIDS – which I definitely am NOT.
But I have made my MARK. The Beiber may have more hits than me – but then, I wouldn’t give his problems to a monkey on a rock (thanks, Dave).
No, I have worked long and hard to put all this together, just for the JOY of the thing. It makes me not a penny, but I don’t care. Even the two hundred million hits are not THAT important. The FEEDBACK I get on YouTube is my main reward.
Much of it is routine – “Thanks for sharing” – “I wish modern Pop was as great as YOURS was” – and so on. But every now and then, I find myself communicating with people who were a PART of a piece. Either in the audience, or as a technician – and just occasionally, the ACTUAL STARS THEMSELVES.
THAT is when it REALLY pays off. And even if the piece is VINTAGE, a son or daughter may thank me for keeping the memory of their parent alive.
Plus there’s the YouTube like/dislike ratio: on virtually ALL of my items on their service, it tops 20-1.
So no, my TWO HUNDRED MILLION HITS are not essential to me at all.
But damn – THEY DON’T HURT!!!