Step Back to Move Forward

An album is linear, and a movie, and the calendar year. It’s planned out, mapped out, and can’t deviate. Song one comes before track two, the dramatic motorcycle chase follows the fight scene, May comes after April. That’s the way it goes.

Life, however, moves. Ups and downs, peaks and valleys, sure.

One of my best career moves was ditching a sure thing (full-time AV tech a NYC university) for something totally uncertain (a three month contract at AOL). Leaving a high paying job for a lower paying one, which led to the right conversations which set me on the path I’m on today (which is still working in music in 2018).

Nothing in permanent, change is always coming, so buckle up and do what you can.

All in With Daily Burn

Well, I gave Aaptiv a shot, but it just wasn’t for me. I need visuals and I need people.

So it’s back to Daily Burn.

I’ve flirted with the service about a year ago, but balked at the price (it starts around $12/mo) on top of a $20/mo gym membership. But since I only really use the gym for the treadmill and rowing machine, well I cancelled the gym and all in with Daily Burn.

Every weekday morning at 9am Daily Burn has a LIVE streaming workout. Real people, all different abilities, and the trainers are absolute characters. Sure, the whole WORKOUT thing can be cheesy for folks like me, right? I’m a metal head computer nerd, right? Who are these people with bubbly personalities and corny jokes?

Well, it turns out they’re pretty great, and much more encouraging compared to canned audio saying, “you’re doing awesome!” So they can keep up with their bubbly selves, because they keep me going.

The 30 minute workouts leave me worn out, sweaty, occasionally cursing, and ready to die, so I feel like we’re off to a good start. It’s weird to pretty much feel like I’m not in shape doing these workouts when just a few weeks ago I completed a half-marathon, but, I know by doing these workouts, and movements, and cardio, and push ups (oh my god) that I’ll be a faster, stronger runner, and that’s what I want to gain from all this.

Jocelyn Aucoin Makes Good Words

I met Jocelyn Aucoin years ago when running my first music blog (Buzzgrinder), and she was co-running Lujo Records. We lost touch as our paths drifted, but we started talking again in the past year and it’s been fantastic.

There is just something to this internet thing, when you meet other creative folk from far away places, and you don’t talk for years but you pick up right where you left off. Like magic.

That’s what Jocelyn creates, magic. With words. It takes engineers and programmers and designers to make all the amazing apps and services and brands we see everyday, but it still takes words to create magic.

It takes words to make compelling slides for presentations. It takes words to write all those amazing videos we see everyday. It takes words to make people feel something, fall for something, buy something.

If you need words for something you’re working on – paragraphs, articles, planning – you should speak with Jocelyn Aucoin at Jawbone Creative.

Getting Lost Along the Way

This from ‘Quitting Instagram: She’s one of the millions disillusioned with social media. But she also helped create it‘ at The Washington Post:

“There was so much pressure to do things that ‘scaled,’ to use the Silicon Valley buzzword,” said Josh Riedel, the third (Instagram) employee after Systrom and Krieger. “But when you have over a billion users, something gets lost along the way.”

My first job was at a tiny grocery store in a busy vacation town. Everyone knew one another. Lots of hand written notes in the employee areas. The express check out aisle was built out of wood.

Then we moved to a bigger store. Suddenly there were people we didn’t know. The charm and grit of those small aisles was replaced by a vastness of overhead lights and neon signs.

Now years later that quaint express lane has been replaced by self-checkout lines.

Lots got lost from that progress, from the growth, from the expansion. I mean, easy to just think nostalgia, right? But same goes for this website stuff.

You’re not “succesful” unless you have a ja-gillion users, or followers, or listeners. The allure of “big enough” is rarely praised.

First Ten is Still Relevant almost Ten Years Later

I love this bit from Seth Godin, riffing on his 2009 post, ‘First, ten.’ There is no sense trying to win 1,000 fans if you can’t see the 10 right in front of you.

“Do your first 10 see your thing and thank you and move on,” asks Seth, “or do they go tell more people?”

If they don’t tell anyone, you need to work on that. Back the drawing board. No amount of tactics or tricks is gonna make it spread, you need to bake that into what you’re selling.

Our Well-Being is All We Got

This is amazing (via CNBC):

Our findings strongly suggest that limiting social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day may lead to significant improvement in well-being.

Read More: https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/10.1521/jscp.2018.37.10.751

How many of us hit 30 minutes by 9am?

I’ve been trying to put two things in my way of checking social media in the morning – do some pushups, then make my bed.

When I do those two things, then I allow myself time to scroll through my social media feeds. Funny thing is, though, after pounding out a few pushups and making my bed, I actually don’t want to open Twitter.

 

Please Secure Your Sites

Been noticing a handful of non-secure music sites lately. I mean, I’m no security expert, but Google has been warning site owners for years (like, 2014) to secure their sites (at the most basic level that means a site starts with https instead of http).

And, I sort of feel like it’s affecting search results. I use web search quite a bit for my day job and I am noticing some sites being left out of my initial search results.

Working All the Channels

I have a love hate relationship with podcasts. Having worked in and around online media for 17 years, I can’t help but wonder about the work flow, the revenue, the sustainability… it’s just stuff that goes thorugh my brain all the time. I can’t help it.

It really seems like so much of podcasting is built via SqaureSpace, Blue Apron, and Freshbooks (at least the stuff I’m listening to). As SNL poked at last weekend, it’s pretty damn predictable. And once those dollars go away, then what?

I’m surprised the skit didn’t include a bit about Patreon, to “support the show” and get exclusive bonus content. Sigh. This is stuff I used to think about with Skull Toaster (RIP 2011-2018), and honestly I’m glad to be out of that game.

But this is all the million dollar question – how do you monetize? How do you support a media project without sponsors, or member support? I’m not trying to answer that here, but I think about that situation a lot.