14 gennaio 2006

I am Grouchy

Come prima resolution per il 2006 voglio fare conoscere a tutti la storia di un amico e del suo splendido lavoro che, cominciato per caso, prosegue oramai da 5 anni. E ora, via con la pubblicità. Sto parlando dei video di GrouchyMedia.com. Chi non ne ha mai sentito parlare è invitato a visitare il sito web, cliccate pure sul banner qua sopra, e capirà molto in fretta di che cosa stiamo parlando.
Tutto ha inizio quando Ryan Hickman nel dicembre del 2001 decide di scaricare la sua rabbia contro i terroristi assassini dell’11 Settembre in un modo tutto suo.
Siccome non ha la possibilità di saltare su un C-130 con un M16 e aggregarsi alle truppe in Afghanistan, “Grouchy” inizia a mostrare il suo supporto alle truppe nel modo che più gli è famigliare: editando videoclip sul suo PC. Ryan scrive programmi per una piccola compagnia a West Palm Beach in Florida e con un po di lavoro e con molta carica ha prodotto e editato dei videoclip militari mirati a sostenere ed incoraggiare le truppe degli Stati Uniti e degli alleati. Come dire, lui si che inspires the troops overseas !!
GrouchyMedia ha avuto un enorme successo in tutto il mondo e i suoi video sono stati scaricati centinaia di migliaia di volte e dal 2001 ogni mese il sito ha più o meno 2 milioni di visite. Ryan è stato intervistato dalla NBC e i suoi video sono popolarissimi tra le truppe al fronte. Chi non ha mai visto i suoi video ne avrà molti da scaricare e sul sito troverete tutti i video prodotti finora scaricabili gratuitamente in diversi formati, a seconda che vogliate visionarli solo per curiosità o, come il sottoscritto, scaricarli in formato SuperVideo per farsi dei bei dvd per il televisore. Consiglio a tutti di fare un salto sul sito e girare un po, non rimarrete delusi!
Qui sotto ho messo la storia scritta da Ryan stesso, buona lettura!
Keep it up Grouchy !!!

All about Grouchy and GrouchyMedia.com

GrouchyMedia.com is the place to find those pump-you-up-to-kill-the-bad-guys videos everyone has been talking about. This entire site is focused on providing a morale boost to our U.S. and allied troops around the world. The videos you'll find here are about them, for them, and couldn't have been made without them!

This website officially began in December 2001, after the Taliban Bodies video became a hit a few months earlier. I made Taliban Bodies in October that year after retuning from a vacation in Europe where I had to watch the September 11th attacks on CNN International to get the news. When I came back to the US at the end of September I would drive in my car to work and crank up the heavy tunes that go along with my more 'grouchy' side. Every time "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, came on the radio, I always pictured military equipment blowing things up to the beat of the song. So I opened up Adobe Premiere, found some pictures and videos using Google, and Taliban Bodies was born.

I originally posted the video to friends website and sent the link out to some newsgroups, chat rooms, and Fark.com. The video quickly became such a huge hit that my friends website was overwhelmed and I needed my own place to post the large files. So I registered GrouchyMedia.com to reflect the 'Grouchy' nickname my friends know me for and within a few months over 1 million people found the site and downloaded the video from all over the world.

The huge number of people who regularly visit GrouchyMedia for new videos required some hefty servers to handle the traffic. I've had lots of people over the years volunteer their websites and equipment to help share the load and now rely entirely on the fine folks at WebRax. Every day the videos on this site are downloaded thousands of times and that number grows with each new video.

The timing of new video releases is probably what people ask me about most. I guess it all depends on how much free time I can find since this website is just a hobby and not intended to be a business. The videos here are always free and I'll never try to make a dime on this website although many people have asked to donate money or buy shirts and DVD's. Just posting videos by other editors takes many hours of work and keeping up with emails is a part time job now, so I'll try to get a video or two posted each month.

If you've ever wondered who "Grouchy" is and why I keep running this site, then you wouldn't be surprised to know I have some military background in my family. Besides two grandfathers who fought back in the WWII days, my dad went to Annapolis and was in the Navy and reserves for many years. My sister recently became a civilian engineer for the Navy and analyzes all those parts you boys keep breaking out there in the sand. Even my mom, who isn't directly involved with the military, uses her retail business as a public location to gather huge boxes of goodies for the troops and sends regular shipments of items they request.

My day job is not as exciting as theirs since I spend my time writing computer programs and running an IT department for a small media company in West Palm Beach, Florida. Coming home to tons of email each day where people share stories about their time in Iraq or Afghanistan is why I spend so much time maintaining this site. I've heard from military members all over the world and their families back home who all appreciate it when people show their support. So whenever I have time, I'll keep posting new videos, and maybe get some new ones made myself.

With tons of new videos already this year made by many different people, it's clear that America stands behind it's soldiers and our allies. Now it's up to you to pass this website around to everyone you know as a reminder to support our Armed Forces until the last troop returns home safely!

-- Ryan Hickman --

a.k.a. "Grouchy"