Today I turn 51 years old…and FAN FILM FACTOR just turned two.  This blog doesn’t have an official birthday, but my earliest posts are dated January 10, 2016.  It’s two years later, and in that time, I’ve published 465 blog entries!!!  Holy shat!

Although some of my blogs are just 200-400 words, others get well over a 1,000 or even 2,000 words.  (If they reach 3,000 words, it’s time to split them into Part 1 and Part 2!)  So assuming I average a little over a thousand words per blog, that means I’ve probably written nearly a HALF MILLION WORDS in two years…mainly about fan films!

Some folks out there criticize me for writing blogs that are too long, but think of it this way: that’s dedication!  Do ya know how long it takes to research, plan out, organize, and write a half million words of blogs???  (Don’t make fun of me; it’s my birthday.)

About 15 months ago, I added Google Ads to the site to help generate some revenue.  Since then, my ads have earned me a whopping $529.65…or about a tenth of a penny per word.  If you check online, most freelance writing assignments pay about 10 cents a word (maybe a bit higher for more high profile work).

So I’m making 1/100 of what a gainfully employed freelance writer makes!  And yet I still do this.  Why?

Well, there’s a few reasons…

  1. I’ve grown to really love fan films…especially Star Trek ones.  And I love getting to know the people who make them and introducing those folks and their projects to the readers of this blog.  The passion and dedication that goes into even the most humble of fan films speaks to the very essence of why most of us became Trekkers in the first place.
  2. When I began, there was really nothing else remotely like Fan Film Factor out there.  Oh sure, there was Barbara Reader’s excellent and invaluable Star Trek Reviewed blogspot site, which covered every Trek fan film and audio drama ever!  But that site usually only scratches the surface, providing mainly links to fan films and articles about them.  Fan Film Factor dives in deeper…telling the stories behind the stories, interviewing fan filmmakers, and doing a whole lot more.  Fan films deserve BOTH Star Trek Reviewed AND Fan Film Factor.
  3. Because I can.  I’m an entertaining (and obviously very humble) writer, and I’m good at organizing and presenting information.  And hey, it’s fun to actually have people read  what I write!  Even on a slow day, this site gets a few hundred visitors.  On good days, I’ll easily get into the thousands.

But it’s a lot of work…and I mean a LOT!  So far, I’ve had the time to do it nearly full time, as I haven’t been working a regular job.  But that’s potentially about to change (hopefully I didn’t just jinx it!).  Soon I’ll find out if I’ll be picking up a part-time gig…still working from home and leaving me time to take my son Jayden to and from school, play dates, and other activities.

But how this new job will affect Fan Film Factor, I don’t know yet.  I’m guessing the frequency of my posts might slow a little.  Maybe grace will shine down upon you and my blogs will get shorter!  And I might be slower to read, approve, and respond to posted comments.  Maybe nothing will change.  It’s just too early to predict anything.

One thing will not change, though: my love of fan films!  This blog will NOT be going away.  I’m gonna try my darnedest to keep it as fresh and interesting for all of my readers as it is now.  All you have to do is keep visiting every so often.

And hey, if you find there’s not enough new blog entries for you, check out some of the old ones!  Things like the history of Starship Farragut or a spotlights on Star Trek: Aurora aren’t likely to go out of style anytime soon!

“And where might I find all of these blogs on your website, Jonathan?”  Glad you asked!  Look up.  Higher.  No, higher.  Just scroll to the top of the page.  See the third item on the top menu bar?  BLOG ENTRIES.  That’s where nearly all of my main blogs are:

Or maybe you’re looking for that perfect fan film or series to watch and read about.  The fourth menu item is LIST OF FAN FILMS.  You can view all of my fan film focused blogs in order…

Or maybe you want stuff to be quick and amusing?  No problem!  I have a whole bunch of mini-blogs spotlighting various FUNNY Trek and sci-fi video shorts…all laid out in the FUNNY STUFF section.

Next up, if you want to learn more about your favorite fan film blogger, check out my BIOGRAPHY blogs about my many interesting experiences as a professional Trekkie.  Actually, there’s only two bio blogs posted so far, but I swear I’m going to write more…just as soon as things slow down a bit around here!

Don’t get too attached to the CROWDFUNDING NOW section, as I’ll be dumping it soon to make room for Vance Major‘s FAN FILM REVIEWS (starting in March).  I usually spotlight crowd-funding campaigns on the main page while they’re active.  But keeping them up-to-date in a separate section of the site has been a hassle, and few people were ever clicking on that link anyway.

Oh, and did you know I have an ONLINE SHOP?  Yep, you too can get awesome Fan Film Factor shirts and headwear!  And if you do, send me a selfie!

And finally, CONTACT US.  There’s no actual blogs on that page, but you are more than welcome to shoot me a message or ask a question.  Insults, however, are better when posted on Facebook because more people will see how clever you are at mocking well-meaning bloggers.

And that’s my Birthday Blog…which doubles as a tour of this website.  Take a look around!  Click on a few online ads and generate a few pennies in revenue for me!  C’mon, it’s Jonathan’s 51st birthday!!!

26 thoughts on “HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me…and to FAN FILM FACTOR!”

  1. Happy Birthday Jonathan! Yours is one day before mine. I enjoy your blog and the insights you provide. I will say that as I get older (I watched TOS when it originally aired while I was in junior high) I am less interested in the conflict and more interested in the human stories you describe. Still and all, well done!

  2. Another Happy Birthday wish (you can never get to many)! And NO, your blogs are not too long! It’s great to read your blogs. They may be long but they don’t ramble on. Concise writing is hard to find on the internet. Keep up the great work! And again…Happy Birthday youngster.

  3. Happy Birthday Jonathan !!!

    And thanks for doing this blog, I really enjoy it immensely. And if you figure out how to add a PayPal button to the website, I’m sure many would be willing to buy you a coffee, or beer, or two. It’s a quick way to make one time donations.

    1. I appreciate the suggestion, but it seems a little presumptuous on my part, David. Truth be told, I doubt I’ll get much more than double-digit dollars in total donations, and it’s not like I’m in this for the money. On the other hand, if anyone needs a Fan Film Factor T-shirt, sweatshirt, polo, or baseball cap, I get $2 for each of those that sells. So it’s kinda like making a donation PLUS you get a really cool, ultra-rare piece of FFF merchandise! Just click on the “SHOP” button on the top right of this page (or any page on this website). Oh, and clicking on the occasional Google Ad ups my revenue, too. 🙂

    1. I am SO glad that I am not the only person I know who uses the word “groovy” in casual conversation. My day has, indeed, been groovy…and I am feeling as such! 🙂

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, Jonathan!! Have a fun one this year, alright? Live long and prosper… P 🙂

    1. On Monday, my best friend took me to dinner at Dan Tana’s in Beverly Hills ($220 dinner for two people…sheesh!!!). Tomorrow, my ex-girlfriend Joanne will be taking me to lunch. (Get your heads out of the gutter, folks! She was at my wedding and I was at hers. Jayden even calls her Auntie Jojo.) On Saturday, Wendy will be taking me and Jayden to my favorite Chinese restaurant west of the Mississippi. And next week, one of my former employees will be taking me to lunch in the San Fernando Valley (or possibly Westwood). So if fun can be measured in calories, this year’s birthday looks to be a huge success! (Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?) 🙂

  5. Hey young whippersnapper. I can dig that at your age a birthday is to be celebrated with glee and great anticipation for the future. And that is far f*ing out of sight, man. At my age, 72, I’m not eager to go where many many have gone before, so hopefully you’ll keep writing and I’ll keep reading far into the future. LL&P

  6. A belated wish that you had a happy birthday. You may have noticed that I am a regular reader, and the amount of research and time spent in writing these blogs is obvious to anyone prepared to pause and think (not all of your respondents do this – or so I believe from what some have to say!). For me, your blogs (I don’t read all of them) are interesting, informative, sometimes amusing and sometimes even contentious – although much less often for me than for some of your respondents. Some of the negative comments can be entertaining, although some are more likely to be frustrating for you.

    One thing I am moved to comment on is the very high standard of you English usage. We both speak an inherited language, a language whose structure is widely so often abused, particularly by journalists, although the USA is thought by some to be guilty of such abuse more often than other countries. In a time where, even in England, many pro journalists are guilty of poor sentence structure, I think of G. B.Shaw and, ” We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.”

    Well, you give the lie to any criticisms of American usage and set a standard from which, even when at your most informal, journalists in all English-speaking countries could learn. It’s rare for you even to split infinitives!! 😉

    1. “One thing I am moved to comment on is the very high standard of you English usage.”

      Sorry, Bryan, I just got a chuckle out of that typo. 🙂

      I’ve always taken a special pride in knowing how to write a proper sentence, and I appreciate that you’ve noticed. My mom has taught reading and English skills for nearly six decades, and we’ll often have long chats/debates about grammatical questions. For example, a few weeks ago, one of the children she tutored encountered the following sentence: “Generally speaking, I don’t enjoy long drives.” What part of speech is “Generally speaking”? Obviously, “generally” is an adverb modifying “speaking,” which is a present participle. But together, what do they do in the sentence? Unlike an adverbial phrase or a prepositional phrase, they don’t modify any specific word in the sentence. They don’t modify “enjoy” the way that an adverb like “truly” or “really” would. As it turns out, after doing some research “Generally speaking” and other words and phrases like it–“frankly,” “essentially,” “mainly,” “honestly,” “by the way,” “all things considered,” “for what it’s worth,” etc.–are known as absolute constructions and serve to modify the sentence as a whole, rather than a single word.

      Now, most of you have just experienced an eyes-glazing-over moment. But for me, this is fascinating stuff! No, really!!! I find this crazy language called English fascinating. And I believe in using this amazing tool in all of its wonderful diversity, quirkiness, and complexity to the fullest extent possible to convey my thoughts to others while I still have thoughts to convey!

      So I’m glad you appreciate the effort, Bryan. Now go tell Sandy Greenberg! 🙂

  7. Ahh – even spell-check misses that typo’ typo!

    And you missed my concluding witticism!

    I’ve always enjoyed language and while I sometimes err, like to produce, as well as read, writing that speaks intelligently, engagingly, and with clarity. [Yes, too many commas for modern writing style]. Such is, in part, a consequence of good grammatical construction, which you employ along with the other stated qualities. Whilst I’ve forgotten much about parsing a sentence, I get annoyed with so many journalists in particular (and here in Oz in particular) who transfer the predicate to the middle of the sentence and so doing, often transfer it to a secondary object.

    You don’t need a huge vocabulary either, even though English is probably the richest language for expression. Shakespeare managed with a pallet of approx 5000 words (some of which he invented anyway). So you flourish very well in good company and with a wider vocabulary.

    1. Actually, I caught the witticism and even shared it with my mom, who said, “But it’s okay to split infinitives!” And yes, it is. I try to generally avoid it (see what I just did there?), but I don’t consider it a hard and fast rule of English grammar. It stems from Latin and Romance languages where verb infinitives are usually single words and, therefore, cannot be split. But in English, our infinitives are all two-word combinations–to eat, to sleep, to write (pretty much my day!)–and can, in fact, be split.

      As for language, at an early TNG convention (like second season) in Binghamton, NY, Patrick Stewart (not yet knighted) told the audience how he believed that we as individuals owed to to each other to use as wide and diverse a vocabulary as possible. Why? Because most of what we have to say during a typical days is downright boring and uninspired (yep, even me sometimes…and think about your own casual conversations with friends in person and on Facebook). And since we are inherently boring most of the time, we should strive to express our “boring” thoughts in as rich and compelling–some might say engaging!–a way as possible through the use of an expansive selection of words. We owe it to our friends to at least TRY to be interesting.

      And hey, if Captain Picard says it, I make it so! 🙂

      1. I agree with all you say. Splitting an infinitive, like ending with a preposition, is OK but needs to be used with discretion and generally minimised. As with the famous star Trek split infinitive, the guidelines of avoidance (and they are only guidelines) can lead to some stilted phrasing, whereas ignoring what is only a guide, can add dynamism and punch.

        Of course, a good vocabulary is an asset for all in everyday communication, in speech and in writing (I think mine is larger than average). But Shakespeare showed that brilliant and subtle expression can be achieved with what we could consider to be a small vocabulary. Why his was small I have no real idea. (And ‘Picard’ was a Shakespearean).

        1. “Splitting an infinitive, like ending with a preposition, is OK but needs to be used with discretion and generally minimised.”

          One of my favorite jokes dealing with the stigma of ending sentences with prepositions…

          A little boy was sick, and he asked his mother to go downstairs and bring up his favorite book so she could read it to him. Unfortunately, she did not bring up the correct book.

          The little boy then asked his mother, “Why did you bring the wrong book that I wanted to be read to out of up for?”


  8. Now that’s clever. I have great admiration for someone who has the ability to skillfully write a sentence with such a collection of prepositions to end up on.

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