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.

Continue reading “Belvidere FoxTrot Race Report”

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.

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.

 

Running After the Finish Line

I hit my $500 goal for the 2018 Blue Cross Broad Street Run. Together we raised $500 for Students Run Philly Style.

  • To think that me running in 8℉ weather did this.
  • Or running in rain.
  • That tripping and falling the woods and staring up at the trees then laying on my back in the cold somehow mattered.
  • Starting to run back in the summer of 2016 mattered at all, nearly two years later.

It’s sad that after-school programs are getting axed, and funding for schools drying up, and that we need to resort to running 10 miles in Philadelphia (or run 200+ miles across Haiti) for good things to happen in this world, but that’s the way it is.

Can it change? Well, it changes every time someone pulls out their card and donates money to these things. It’s not perfect, but it works, and we’ll keep doing it.

 

Starting is the Easy Part

Lots of people start email newsletters.

Starting is the easy part.

Running an email newsletter, well, that’s serious work. But really it’s not.

Everyday we read, consume, have thoughts, conversations, take photos – there is never a reason to sit down at our computers and not have anything to write about.

It’s just that sitting at computer can be paralyzing.

I’m telling you – if we took half of our flippant Tweets and just threw them into a draft folder (text file, Bear, WordPress), we’d never run out of material.

The allure of tossing these ideas and pondering to Twitter is strong, I get it. You’ll get four likes, and you’ll recognize some of the faces, and maybe one or two people will reply. But four hours later that Tweet is gone, pretty much forever.

But if you put that on a blog, or in your newsletter, it has a home. It can have a life now.

The fun part? You can do both.

You can Tweet it, than flesh out your thought even more in a bigger piece. The people that don’t use Twitter (which is a lot of people), they can read it now, too. And three years from now, your blog post or newsletter has more of a chance of coming back to life that that Tweet.