RyCareyously is a wild concept I wanted to test that ended up working.
After 6 years on the inside of YouTube (sales/marketing), I’d seen more videos than most humans will in their lifetime. This gave me a high level view of a) what content was being created by millions of users b) what audiences actually watched and c) where the gaps to success were. In summary – everyone creates what they want – not what the audience wants. So, why not just ask people what they want to watch? Then go create it for them.
Combining a curiosity to be entertaining on camera with a desire to do good for others, while sensing a growing disconnect in society due to technology, my goal was to put the core purpose of my content in their hands, pulling from their imaginations. The only exchange I asked for was a donation to a cause.
The result was the first ever crowd-sourced philanthropic web series that allowed viewers to live vicariously through videos I created for them. Based on my geography (SF, NY, Berlin, Zion National Park,etc), I asked users what they would do in my shoes that day. What began as an initial creative way to help fund an educational program at my friend’s school, evolved into the creation, filming, and production of 50 webisodes leading to over $5,000 raised for charity.
Expansion! We’re going from just me filming requests in San Francisco and New York to as many markets/cities/towns/villages as there are good people (like you!) who’d want to be involved. We want to film meaningful things that audience members request, creating a team of good people and microgenre of real authentic content.
An idea can’t become a movement with just one person. In addition, there is massive room for improvement on every level. What I’ve created so far is merely a foundation for people like you to enter and add your own spin. One of the biggest drawbacks for me this during this entire time of strategy and building has been the lack of others to share challenges and victories with. Others who share the same goals and believe in the same mission. Also, seeing others do this work inspires me to do it myself – we’re building a massive, surging ball of inspiration for anyone who comes in contact.
How does it work?
Each new location will have their own ‘RyCarrier’ who lives out these experiences for audience members. Teammates will be responsible for 2 things: filming and file transfer to a centralized editing team. Optimal teams are 1-2 core people. Either a ‘do it all’ person, or talent + videographer. This does NOT mean than anyone who wants to be involved cannot. If you have friends who want to help you create for good, please find ways to include them. You are the official representative in that market. This project is about human beings so the more of us the audience can see/feel the better.
Example scenario - Chicago:
Request: My mother grew up on the South Side of Chicago and has not been back in decades. The home she grew up in is located at 1234 Main St. and she often tells our family stories about her childhood. It would mean the world to her if you could get some footage of the home and if possible, deliver this specific poem to her on camera.
If this is feasible, the Chicago team performs this task the best they can and once completed, sends the video files to Ryan at HQ.
What’s in it for me?
This is a volunteer role. If we can successfully monetize while keeping the movement pure, we’ll cross that bridge. This is an opportunity to give back and do something nice for someone else. You are doing something good for humanity, while inspiring too. It serves as a powerful creative outlet - you are the star of the experiences, yet the episodes are NOT about you. Coincidentally, you are bringing the audience into your life, your location, and your episode. It also goes without saying there is great value in this infant stage of video to have documented footage of yourself doing something supremely awesome and selfless. If there is a cause you feel strongly about raising awareness for, we can discuss incorporating that into your market.
Who are we looking for?
Very unique people. However, the people who get involved will be part of the beginning of something real. We’re looking for people who ‘get it’ and see years more than a revenue opportunity. We’re looking for people who see the project and want to join the tribe because of the potential impact it could have on the world and their own personal growth. We’re looking for mere video messengers, completely audience focused, to extend the movement.
- What I’ve learned thus far is that too much production or acting experience can be a killer. This does not mean those backgrounds won’t be considered, but I would request you try to ‘unlearn’ what you know. Why? Too much structure looks produced and less real. We want to audience to feel connected to where you are, as a person, as if they were you. It’s just you with a camera doing what they ask. You’re not acting – you’re being yourself.
- As similar concepts take off in this market of personalizing video, fundraising or paid, what will set us apart from any competition will be our talent.
- No flakes. We need reliable people, which in this digital age of less human connection, is hard to find.
On camera and in public. Often. You will own the camera and speak through it to that ONE person while keeping everyone else top of mind. Loud, fast, confidant. If you lose the audience’s attention, the episode is toast.
You’re being sent on an adventure. It should excite you. It should show.
Touching people %100 through video does not work unless you give %200 into the camera. That means magnifying your personality more than you typically would. Video is one place we’re allowed to act bigger than normal. RyCareyously isyour permission slip to do so.
You’re the focal point of the video but it’s not about you. Down play it.
Be open to different situations, places, and people. Be vulnerable on camera. This is not always easy.
You need to envision the depth of the recipient. You must believe that, as humans, we’re disconnected looking for connection.
You’re making something from nothing. The ideas submitted by themselves often don’t have the legs to be very entertaining beyond the recipients. Your role is to make the ‘idea on video’ seem very appealing to the rest of the audience watching. This inspires new users.
A Supportive Network
Many initial ideas may come from people close to you. The movement will also quickly spread through your network
and touch new users. Friends already trust you and this must be taken advantage of to show new users that you
are someone they can trust.
Know the Place
The geography you’re representing is something you should know thoroughly. Where would a cool shot be? How could it look great? You want people to be semi-envious of where you are, what you’re doing and wanting to somehow become involved.
ARE YOU INTERESTED?
Before you and your location become available for the audience to choose from, 2 things need to happen:
1. You’ll need to submit some example footage
2. Because the audience does not yet know this service exists, the creative part of their brain doesn’t know what to ask for. You need to earn the trust of the audience by showing you know what you’re doing.
If you think who you are as an individual lines up with the mission, email firstname.lastname@example.org