This year (2023) will mark 10 years since I started content-creating online! I’ve come a long way from my humble beginnings starting a personal website to unleashing the uncommon…and I’m just warming up.
But first, I think it makes sense to take a look back at how I made it this far…
On October 18th, 2013, I launched my personal website, Sagefun.com, whose domain dates back to 2007—the first iteration of the website was built with iWeb, Apple’s obsolete WYSIWYG website editor.
Not too long after, I began making videos exclusively for the website: The first video I ever made there was a guided tour of my website…which is now lost.
The videos I made afterwards were mostly amateur vlogs and let’s play videos, with an occasional short film. (Hey, we had to start somewhere, right?) At the time, it was really nothing special—it was just a hobby, and I never expected it to go anywhere.
The website would eventually transition to Adobe Muse in 2014, and videos continued to be self-hosted through my website.
There was only one problem: The better the quality, the more storage space was used up. I started running into that problem by the beginning of 2015, so I had to find an alternative solution: Creating a YouTube channel.
On February 13th, 2015, I launched my first YouTube channel, simply known as SFC, an acronym for SageFun.Com. (And not to be confused with San Francisco County, System File Checker, or even Super FamiCom.)
The first video I uploaded to YouTube was a Quick Start Guide on the Raspberry Pi, released less than a week after I launched my channel.
Shortly afterwards, I started my first video series, titled “SFC Plays Minecraft”—this was quickly followed with more let’s play series on games such as Train Simulator Classic and Marble Blast. But everything would change with the premiere of my first animated show…
Technology Showdown was an homage to one of Computer Clan’s pre-Krazy Ken shows, Computer Showdown—the main premise involved tech mascots battling against each other in a space-like environment. (My relationship with the Computer Clan dates back to around 2012, when I first discovered them through their Spoof OS series.)
Despite it being mostly amateurish, Computer Showdown would grow a cult following—I liked it so much that it inspired me to remake the first five episodes (with the exception of the “Computer Battle” one) in HD, while also making changes along the way.
The first episode premiered on July 29th, 2015, and was followed up by 4 more episodes—it still remains my most successful and most viewed show I’ve ever made.
In 2016, I continued to expand my channel, with more tech vlogs and documentaries, let’s play videos, news videos, editorials, and more—I was slowly diversifying the channel beyond tech and games.
To reflect on my diversification efforts, SFC changed its name to The SFC Group. Throughout this and the following year, I had created a ton of projects: Railfan Central (a rail-themed website), RoadRailer Simulations (a Train Sim modding website), Shoppers Showcase (a retail documentary series), and PiOS (a Raspberry Pi operating system based on Debian).
But by far the most ambitious was Technology Showdown: The Prologue, which would’ve been the start of an animated cinematic universe.
All of these projects were being done on top of the videos I was making for the channel—I was releasing new videos every month (if not every other week) at a fast pace, and all while I was balancing that with personal life, which wasn’t an easy task.
There was a big downside to releasing new videos at this rate: The bigger the quantity, the worse the quality…and then came the Adpocalypse, which affected many YouTube channels, including my own.
By the beginning of 2018, I had decided to halt my diversification plans, and went back to the basics.
Steps taken included spinning-off RoadRailer Simulations as “The Train Sim Corner” (now TrainSimCommunity.com), shutting down Railfan Central, and consolidating all of my video series down to only a couple. The biggest step I took however was the cancellation of Technology Showdown, along with all of its “cinematic universe” plans.
That same year (due to Adobe ending support for Muse), I switched to the more mobile-friendly Mobirise for further website development, and started experimenting with new ideas: A mascot that would eventually become my Savvy Sage character, a comic series surrounding said mascot (among other characters), and livestreaming games over Twitch and Microsoft’s failed streaming platform Mixer.
Experimenting continued into 2019, which included switching from Mobirise to WordPress/Elementor, bringing back articles to the website—a first since my early days.
By 2020, The SFC Group was looking less like a group now, so it made sense to shorten the name back to “SFC” by the end of that year.
As part of an effort to focus solely on informative entertainment, I removed Technology Showdown from public viewing before the beginning of 2021. However, once I pulled those videos, viewership on my channel declined, and I eventually sought new opportunities in the content-creation space.
By the middle of March, I decided to start retiring the SFC and Sagefun.com names—they were starting to get old, dated, and kind of childish; they had also become more associated with my old animations, rather than the professional work I’m doing now.
My last *new* video released under SFC was a review of the Jackbox party game Fakin’ It!, published on March 17th, 2021—at the time, the channel had peaked at 4,000 subscribers.
After that, I took a brief hiatus to focus on personal life.
During my brief hiatus, I was contracted to edit episodes of Apple Keynote Chronicles, a podcast from the Computer Clan—during that time I learned new editing techniques, among other things, and had a lot of fun with them…just like the old days.
Slowly but surely, I started regaining interest in running a YouTube channel again. However, I didn’t want to start over with my old channel, as most of my subscribers were viewers of a show that I had no interest in continuing.
Instead, I started up a new channel—the original intent was to create a podcast called “Let’s Talk This Over” (now the name of a side project focused on preserving history one day at a time), but it eventually evolved into a web series under the name “Savvy Sage“—the first episode was uploaded in January of 2022.
Since then, I have continued to provide quality content for my audience, unleashing the uncommon bits of tech and gaming history, while also preserving quality over quantity.
I’m proud of the work I do now, and the audience reactions have been very positive—it’s a win-win scenario that took me a long time to finally get to where I am.
I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons over the years: Having a healthy community and getting feedback is crucial, and helping others in need is a virtue—it’s also important to balance it out with life and not weigh yourself down.
I take it one episode at a time now, so I can not only stay focused, but also preserve the quality of my Savvy Sage episodes in the years to come.
So to all of my loyal viewers who have stayed with me throughout the past 10 years: Thank you.