Being a “Dude” on the Internet

by John Basile

Being a “Dude” on the Internet; How These Dudes can Help you

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes a dude (düd) as either:  1: a man extremely fastidious in dress and manner: DANDY or 2: a city dweller unfamiliar with life on the range especially: an Easterner in the West.

If we take a moment to look at these definitions, I would say that definition #2 is probably the most applicable to what I am getting on about. The key words in this definition that I want to focus on are “unfamiliar with life on the range.” 

Photo Credit: Photo 36802925 / Cowboy © Olivier Le Queinec |

When we think about “the range,” images of riding horses across a vast prairie; saloons with dirty shot glasses filled to brim with whiskey; and people dropping dead from a sliver-induced infection… you know, the “Wild West”, so to speak. In today’s modern, technology-filled world, our nouveau version of “the range” would be the equally convenient—yet scary—place simply referred to as the internet.

Navigating this modern take on the Wild West can be challenging, but if you can harness the reigns effectively, it can be the greatest tool for promoting your brand, image or ideas. What does it take to go from being “unfamiliar” to becoming the king of the open range and presenting your virtual self as a real “dude,” as described in definition #1? The first step involves having a vision of how you want to present yourself.

How do you want to Present Yourself?

Whenever I work with clients for the first time, the very first question I ask everyone is “what do you want your visitors/viewers to see and experience?” Although this sounds like some bogus pickup line an undergrad may use at the annual Philosophy Club mixer, it actually is the foundation for creating goals to work toward when building your online video presence. It always amazes me how this simple question answers so many unknowns in just a matter of minutes. 

Once I determine WHAT a client wants their audience to see or experience, I then begin to reverse engineer the workflow and start answering the almighty HOW questions:

  • How do you want your audience to interact with your content?
  • How many platforms will share your content?
  • How are you currently producing your content and how is it working out for you? How much is your budget? Those last two questions are actually tied together. 

How do you want your audience to interact with your content?

How many platforms will share your content?

How are you currently producing your content and how is it working out for you?

How much is your budget?

Understanding what a client currently has for production equipment along with their current budgetary needs are very important. One thing that I have found more often than not, is that clients may have perfectly good equipment, but just might be using it improperly or at times…not at all. Learning this detail can not only save money on a project, but it also can make it easier for a client to grow into an improved production workflow as they already have some familiarity with their existing equipment.

I have found that this approach most helpful to my House of Worship (HoW) clients who have a rotating staff of volunteers with little to no professional experience with video or social media. Without a doubt, these “dudes” usually fit squarely into definition #2. Making sure they fully understand the capabilities of their current equipment helps them make an informed and intelligent decision as to what they need versus what they may simply want. Luckily, budget constraints can inadvertently act as a great focusing tool as well.

Understanding Needs VS Wants

Much like a cowboy extracting water from a cactus under the sweltering sun, working within a budget can get prickly, but it is also a good lesson in resourcefulness. For example, I recently assisted a client who honestly needed a new Dude PC to be the nucleus of their video production goals, wanted 4K PTZ cameras to go along with it, but only had a budget that would allot for one or the other. Reality bites, but luckily their current camera was not only quite capable, but it also was able to be upgraded to NDI|HX and still look amazing in full HD.

Photo Credit: Photo 190604840 © PX_Media |

In this example, simply looking deeper into their current equipment setup not only helped me save them thousands of dollars, but it also allowed me to get them closer to their end goal for less money. Unfortunately, a lot of people who try to elevate their productions without professional guidance often overlook the obvious; fall subject to a shiny object in the middle of the prairie; or in this case, a video production forum where people are praising the latest and greatest. 

I honestly get it. Personally, I love fixing items around the house; mowing my own lawn; shifting my own gears; cooking my own dinner; and being as self-sufficient as possible. This is not only a source of personal pride, but it also is a great way to accomplish a goal on a budget…or is it? I mean it may seem logical on the surface, but does this DIY approach actually save you money or does it merely delay the inevitable of bringing in a professional when it might be too late or too far into your project?

The marginal price of a professional consultation can not only save money on unnecessary equipment, but also ensure that a project is headed in the right direction

This is why I always encourage people to reach out to our team at Stream Dudes FIRST, before purchasing any equipment. The marginal price of a professional consultation is a worthwhile investment as it can not only save money on unnecessary equipment, but it can also ensure that a project is headed in the right direction before a single dollar is spent on any additional equipment. This is the real value in what we provide our clients and why these “dudes” can help you become a real “dude” with your internet presence by increasing the quality and quantity of videos online