The Stress of Journalism

The state of journalism is a wild one these days.

Back in my senior year of high school I was encouraged to go to school for journalism. My thinking then was I could live anywhere and always have a job, since every town has a newspaper! Even with knowing what I know now I still regret not going to school for journalism.

Photojournalist Ryan Kelly won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for an image he made at The (Charlottesville, Virginia) Daily Progress on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.

It was the day of a white supremacist rally. It was the day a man plowed his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. And it was Kelly’s last day in the newsroom.

Kelly left to run social media for a Richmond brewery and still works as a freelancer.

From ‘This photojournalist won a Pulitzer for an image he made on his last day in the newsroom

Kelly cites “the state of the industry, the stress and the schedule” a reasons for leaving. I mean, I can’t imagine going to bed at night without replaying the images of that day in Charlottesville.

More Latte Art

Before the internet, before social media, things that were important to us still got in front of us. New music still made its way to us because we went to the local record shop, listened to the local radio DJ, or went to a show and picked up fliers.

We didn’t need to “follow” magazines we liked because we subscribed to them, then they showed up in the mail once a month.

The same can be done today, but it’s going to be a bit painful.

See, everyone is sending out multiple updates per day. EVERYONE. When everyone is employing a certain type of marketing it becomes invisible because there’s so much of it. Now mix in news, turmoil, sports, and harassment! Weeee, how depressing!

Less is going to be more. We can no longer out-hustle everyone in the attention economy. Serious, what’s a coffee shop to do? Post more latte art? What’s a band supposed to do? Post 18 more times about their next show which is irrelevant to 98% of their audience?

If I have to throw a pebble at your bedroom window every time I do something new, reminding you that I exist, then I’m not doing my best to even give you a reason to visit my website.

How to Change the World

Change the world a day at a time. Buy an album or tshirt from a band. Text someone a song you like. Don’t let social media get you down, because it’s designed that way to keep you clicking and commenting. They make $$$ from misery because “misery loves company” is fucking true.

I say “text” someone deliberately. Social media companies aren’t in the biz of sending you clicks. They wanna charge bands, labels, and small biz (big biz, too) lots of money to reach their own audience.

So while you CAN tweet about a band you like, chances are it’s only being seeing by 10% of your followers anyways. Better to start an email list (which usually have 20%+ open rates). Or text a few pals. Make a zine or a podcast and send it around.

Your world was changed years ago before the internet, right? Well, we can still do that.

Belvidere FoxTrot Race Report

My second race of the year, and it was a fun one, with a good lesson learned.

I didn’t know the parking situation, so I found a nearby park and jogged to the starting area. I like doing this when I can, since warming up is always a good idea. It also gave me an opportunity to take in the area again, as I’ve passed through this little town before.

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Work For Yourself

This quote from Seth Godin’s post, ‘Speaking up about what could be better‘ is right on point:

“Our social networks have turned us into unpaid factory workers, toiling in a giant system, one that pushes us to feel shame, to be in a hurry, to worry about nothing but the surface.”

If I asked you to upload all your photos and thoughts to this site (sethw.com), and told you I was going to use that content and activity to sell ads against it and make lots of money for myself, you’d probably walk away.

But that’s what we all do on social media. All our discussions make money for social media networks. Our event pages help pay for the health care of social media employees. Uploading vacation photos helps pay those six figure salaries.

Our time, our attention, our focus is shifted to the short term on social media, and when those sites shutter (and they will), we’ll be left with nothing.

Leaving Facebook is Scary

Of course it’s scary. Going first usually is.

 

Starting a music blog in 2001 was an okay move. Starting one in 2011? Maybe not.

Publishing lots of content to social media in 2007 was an okay move. But in 2018? Eh.

Everything comes down to relationships, which are built on positive feelings (I don’t know what sort of lasting relationships you want to maintain around negative feelings). Make someone happy, make them smile.

That feeling when the barista remembers your order? That’s a good feeling.

That feeling when BestBuy fucks up something for me again? That’s a bad feeling.

And if you can build good feelings, those vibes travel. So when you announce you’re leaving Facebook, your true fans will join your email list. When you ramp down your Tweeting, they’ll follow you to your podcast.

Not everyone will join, or follow, and that’s okay. Do what sits well in your own heart, and the fear won’t hold you back.

 

Raising Money with an Old Jean Jacket

My fundraiser for Students Run Philly Style hit its $500 goal, but with nearly a full month to go before the Broad Street run in Philadelphia why not try and raise more?

For every $25 I raise in April I will put a new patch on this jacket which I will also wear the day of the race. Sweating is very metal, right?

Expect lots more photos of my training leading up to the May 6th event!

If you’d like to sponsor this wacky endeavor, click here for the sponsorship page.

Small Details

I search for Megadeth in iTunes / Apple Music and hit enter. Wait… wait… okay, finally it loads.

I do the same in Spotify and I don’t even need to hit enter – it just loads the results.

I’ve been using iTunes forever, but in the past several years it’s become almost unusable. Testing out Spotify recently really has me thinking of making the switch.

10 All Time Favorite Albums

I was tagged for this on Facebook, but rather than give my work to a 3rd party who will sell ads against while I get nothing in return, I am putting my list here where it shall remain so long as I pay my hosting bill. Facebook, on the other hand, well…

  1. Helmet, Meantime – sharp and tight, started my love affair with John Stanier
  2. Primus, Pork Soda – started playing bass in high school, so of course loved this dark album
  3. Soundgarden, ‘Badmotorfinger’ – singing along to this in the car since the 90s. RIP Chris Cornell
  4. White Zombie, ‘La Sexorcisto – Devil Music Vol. 1’ – so groovy and dark and spooky
  5. Metallica, And Justice For All – my first real introduction to METAL
  6. Zao, ‘Where Blood and Fire Give Rest’ – first “underground” release that rattled my world
  7. Jimmy Eat World, Clarity – so tender and sweet, I will always love this album
  8. Mastodon, ‘Once More ‘Round the Sun’ – a recent pick, but hit at an important time in my life
  9. Alice in Chains, ‘Dirt’ – Another mid-90s grunge pick, but I absolutely loved this. RIP Layne Staley.
  10. Nirvana, ‘Nevermind’ – Changed music forever for me. Taught me that you don’t have to be slick and flashy to have an impact. RIP Kurt Cobain.

EDIT April 11th, 2018 – HOW did I forget Guns N Roses’ ‘Appetite for Destruction?’ It’s the album that got me to pick up the guitar, THEN the bass (because I stunk on guitar). It’s the album I listened to over and over again, to this DAY.

Mobile Surged

I wrote this back in January 2014.

Mobile is Surging
I love this. If even Google is struggling to make a dollar from mobile, where’s that going to leave the bloggers?

“Just three years ago, in 2009, (Global mobile traffic) was at a measly 1%. It edged up to 4% in 2010, and it hit 13% in November 2012, according to StatCounter Global Stats.”

It’s coming and you can’t stop it. As Napster did to the music biz, mobile will do the same to traditional web media. If you rely on four banner ad placements on your blog page x your daily traffic, everyday, the surge towards mobile will be devastating.

Yeah, I’d say mobile surged a bit.