Posted by Dave Bull at 2:21 AM, May 25, 2012 [Permalink]
This morning - as with most mornings - I had the Woodblock Webcam running while I worked. I usually put it on twice a day; my morning session is 'targeted' at people living in North America (their afternoon/evening), and my evening session for European viewers (their morning/afternoon).
It doesn't really draw a very large crowd of viewers; there are some 'regulars' who drop by once in a while to see what is going on, and there are a few who are in the habit of leaving it open in a corner of their computer screen while they do other work. This is possible because the view in the webcam isn't one that will tend to be very distracting. Watching me work on my prints is basically like watching paint dry ...
I use the Ustream system to broadcast the webcam view, and at my end there is a simple Control Panel that allows me to set various parameters, and which also has a feature that shows how many people are currently tuned in. This number usually sits at 2, 3, or 4, and sometimes climbs as 'high' as 5.
But as I was working this morning, I looked over at the panel at one point, and saw this:
In case you can't read what it says down in the lower left corner, it is this:
Eleven viewers! Woot!
A couple of them typed questions into the Webcam Message Board, and - although I had no idea who these people were - I of course answered as best I could (whatever I speak is clearly audible to watchers) while continuing with my carving.
But as eleven viewers at once really is quite unusual, I asked the viewers if somebody would perhaps let me know just what was happening today that had brought so many people to the Webcam all at the same time. A minute later, a posting on the message board filled me in - a collector in the US who recently joined the current Arts of Japan series was pretty enthusiastic about it, and had contacted many of her friends to 'come and watch'. And they did!
Now this was all very well, but a few minutes later, during an automatic email check, the workshop laptop gave out a fanfare ... the fanfare that lets us know that a print order has come in.
It was from one of the new viewers - a subscription for the new series. And it came with this comment:
I actually started visiting yesterday ... After watching you work and looking through the galleries of your past prints, I am completely hooked. I am a tinkerer, hacker, hobbyist and crafter in my spare time and love working with metal, wood, ink, paint, electricity and fire. It will most likely become a nightly ritual for me to tune in to your webcam to watch the progress on this series unfold. Thanks for answering my questions and generally explaining things as you go, I really enjoy it.
Later in the morning, packing assistant Yasui-san had his box all ready, and it was off to the post office later before they closed in the afternoon ...