As stated in part one, brtv is just a network of independent Pipe and Cigar shows. For now there are nine shows currently on the network. Those shows are
The Artful Codger
The Cigar Society
London Calling with Simon
Top 4 with 4-Eyed Piper
In total we actually have 12 shows. One was not ready to go for an early Oct. start because it is a high production show and needs more time. The ohers just chose to join us on their own timeline.
One show you might see right away, the others should be ready to go by the Holidays.
Independently Owned and Operated
Each show has their own ideas on what they plan to do. Some will produce videos more frequently than others. Some of them will produce content totally different from their YouTube channels and some will just use brtv as an extension of their other online content. It is totally up to them.
The content they provide will be, for the most part, exclusive to brtv. Shows you won’t be able to see anywhere else. It is not a requirement but it’s one factor that should make our network strong and appealing to viewers and advertisers.
Our philosophy is not to dive in head first or to try everything and see what sticks. We prefer the methodical approach and try to learn as we go.
As one of our hosts, Ben from The Artful Codger, said;
“I [am] excited by the prospect of changing the relationship men today have with pipe smoking by helping to offer normalcy, acceptance, and casual enthusiasm without allowing it to feel so “niche” and arbitrary.”The Artful Codger
How could anyone say it better than that?
He is so right. We are trying to take what some people have shoved into a corner and call a niche and give it a space and say, we are not a niche, it’s perfectly normal and no bigger advocate exists than us.
Better To Have It and Not Need It
One of our other goals is to work out all of the problems now while it really does’t matter all that much, rather than when YouTube pulls the plug and everyone is scrambling.
The Big Question
How we decided on how many shows to go with and who we invited.
This past Spring we conducted an extensive study. We tracked forty YTPC channels and looked at things like the number of minutes downloaded per month. The number of views each video got as well as some other stats. Some shows are more consistent than others in not only how much they produce but in content as well. Some people really focus on the things we focus on while others mix it up. We love all the shows and how they are different, but we wanted to stick with the ones who are producing the kind of content we are looking for right now. We used those numbers, as well as the specifications for the server we could afford and came up with the size of the network we could support. Using that as a baseline we invited some of those hosts to join us.
It was not a popularity contest but rather a practical decision of who we thought would fit best in the new network. That doesn’t mean we would be opposed to expand that scope in the future, but for now we need to decide what the core of the network is and build from there.
I wish we could have invited everyone but that was just impossible. Everything is based on the capabilities of the server and the number of visitors we actually get. In other words the more people that go on brtv the more advertising revenue we raise. That means the bigger server we can afford. In the end, it is the size of the server that determines the number of shows we will be able to host.
Features? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Features
There are some features that you may be used to that we don’t have. At least not yet. Most of that was omitted for a reason. We didn’t want to be caught in the Too Much, Too Fast trap. It doesn’t mean we don’t want these features, but managing too many changes all at once, we were afraid things could get out of control.
Enabling comments in the videos is an example of that. We don’t have the means for each show to maintain their own comments section, and it would be too much for us to do it here on our own. Not to mention that we have in the past been hit with spam attacks from outside the country. We did not want to take a chance of chaos or even worse happening right when we are trying to get on our feet. These were hard decisions to make but for now, we feel are the right ones.
The Shameless TV Guide Ripoff
As stated in Part 1, we needed a way to let people know about our network, new videos and what to expect. What better way to do that than a TV Guide style magazine?
What we have been calling our “newsletter” is actually the BRTV Guide. It will be published every Friday and give you all the latest network news. It will have articles, letters to the editor, show spotlights and even listings of all the new videos.
It’s not exactly a high tech. work around, but it does get the job done. Plus it does so in a fun way and it’s FREE. I’m sure you are going to be looking forward to your weekly issue. Make sure you’re subscribed (www.briarreport.org/) to get it sent to you each week.
We Welcome Your Thoughts
We value your feedback, not only about the shows and their content but on the entire network in general. Keep in mind we are feeling our way around and know there is a lot of room for improvement. We want more than anything to provide the viewer with the content they really want. What you have to say and the experience you have on brtv is important to us.
We know that we are not going to be able to do this on our own. Besides the work of the people creating the shows, input from the viewers is a great resource that we plan to tap in on.
Don’t hesitate to let us know what you think. You can send us your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to send in questions or comments. Those may even appear in the BRTV Guide each week. Since we don’t have comments enabled yet that might be a good way to get your thoughts out to the public.
We know that people can have strong feelings about subjects and might think they are being ignored or being brushed off. I can assure you they are not. It would be impossible to do everything. Also, keep in mind that while some ideas are wonderful they come at a cost. The ideas must be put into perspective with regards to the entire picture. What’s good for everyone and what would put us in the best position to succeed. That is our focus.
It is our hope that people understand that. It’s an important point.
Having said all of that, it is our hope that you join us on brtv. Learn about pipes, cigars and premium tobacco. Enjoy yourself and possibly be entertained in the process.
Briar Report Editorial Staff