Updates to our YouTube channel!

     Now that we have been vlogging for a year we've decided to make some changes and updates that you will see take affect across our website/blog site and our YouTube channel over the next few weeks.

     One of the main changes will be a new logo! Our previous logo was a concept I, (Matthew), created while we were still in the city waiting to start our homesteading adventure. It was based on the idea, after much research, that we were going to be pig farmers and raise ducks for eggs! How the times they do change. :) If you've kept up with our videos you'll know that we had great difficulty with the ducks and they were not as easy as I had convinced myself they would be. We now have mostly chickens and how sweet it is! Unfortunately we also lost our breeding pair of pigs to an untimely death and this made us rethink everything we had considered for livestock options on our homestead. You can see how I felt it necessary to go with a new logo that was less "dedicated" to a particular theme and more just represent us as a family. This new logo is also a motion graphic that I can use in our videos giving us a hint of a more modern look without being too complicated since its mostly based on a font and some colors. Sometimes you have to rediscover... just keep it simple!

     Another change may be less noticeable but will have quite an impact on our YouTube channel. Up until now, when we post a video, in the interest of speed, we have opted not to write a description and just post our music credit to BenSounds, which is where we get all of our vlog music from, and a link to our website. After doing some reading about YouTube's algorithms and how they direct people to your content based on interest, I realized this was a huge mistake. I have already been going back to all our previous episodes, in order, and writing descriptions for each one. As of this post I am on about episode 14 and think I will be able to finish up over the next week.

     Along with the description change comes a desire to make more accurate or even topical titles for the videos. Most of our videos are named in such a way as to try and reflect what was the most important theme or topic in the video. Some I feel we failed on and so while writing descriptions, if i think its necessary, I will also be renaming a few videos.

     Since the beginning of our vlog we tried to keep ourselves to posting one video a week and we tried to maintain our videos as "episodes" which means they may cover a vast amount of content from that particular week and can make it difficult to title them. I believe we will keep making "one week episodes" going forward but we are considering going to 2 videos a week with an occasional topical or interest focused video to go along with the regular episode every week.

     We also got a new camera! YAY, Scream! It's been along time coming. We first began filming our vlog with a HUGE dslr hd camera and while it took great pictures and video the sound quality was not that great and if you wanted to add a quality microphone the whole device just got bigger and clunkier and didn't fit our "vlog on the run" style. Also the dslr would make funny sounds when it was auto focusing that would be in the audio of our film. Needless to say we wanted to find another option. We began using Kristin's cell phone because of convenience and size but this too had its own set of problems. Even though it took pretty good video it was very susceptible to wind noise in your audio, bad auto focusing and lighting issues. The biggest problem with using the cell phone was the fact that Kristin likes to use her "book style" cell phone case which has debit card, drivers license etc. in it and grabbing that and slinging it around for videos isn't the best idea. Yah, we lost some cards that way. So by this point you are dying to know what camera we bought to film our vlogs. What are our first impressions, pros and cons, how much did it cost... but your going to have to wait and tune in for the special video we are going to post about it. You will however be able to see the film quality and the camera in action when we post our next video showcasing our trip to silver dollar city with the kids!

     I want to wrap this up with an obvious change that has more to do with our website/blog. If your reading this on our website than that's a big change! Up until now we have only used our website as another outlet to post our vlog videos. This is especially helpful for those who don't actually want to navigate YouTube to watch our videos and believe it or not there are people who prefer not to do that. While your here I'll let you know that I am going to try and start writing some blog post on occasion that may just be about anything & everything but probably mostly about homesteading, parenting and what works best for us. So please subscribe to our blog by clicking the subscribe link at the top right of the page and follow along as the Stevens Family Farms! :)

     So there you have it. These are going to be some of the changes you are going to see over the next few weeks. We want to make our YouTube channel better for you, easier for us and overall an awesome and encouraging experience. Please comment below and thanks for reading!