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Do It 2017 #10: A gentle nudge can work wonders

July 20th, 2017 No comments

It is a simple fact that, when it comes to productivity, we can all use a gentle nudge every so often. Our latest nudge came in the form of our new, young, neighbors. After renting the house next door for a long time, the owners were finally able to sell it outright to this couple. This has meant a lot of change…for the good…on both their property and ours.

We have been wanting to replace out south fence almost since the moment we moved in 21 years ago. At that time, our neighbor had some issues that made him reluctant to replace the fence. Then the new owners were not living in the property and so the fence was not a priority item for them. Over the years it descended further and further into disrepair — completely falling over in some cases.

Enter the new neighbors. They needed to dismantle the worse parts of the fence in order to complete their mortgage funding and we were fine with that. Even better, they wanted to replace the fence immediately. One of the reasons we hadn’t simply replace the fence ourselves was the cost. Paying for it all by ourselves was going to be expensive. Luckily, they were willing to split the cost. Just like that, workmen were on-site and 3 days later we had a nice, vinyl fence between our properties.

Moving, Moving, Moving

For me, it was a bit difficult to suddenly jump into action on such a long wanted project, but I also knew that this was the best time to get it done. It was amazing to have the young energy about giving us a push in the right direction. I have always sought out opportunities to work and hang out with younger people, especially as I crossed the threshold of 40, and this is one of the biggest reasons why. As we age, we can get a little too settled and a little too comfortable in our lives and having someone to push and challenge you a but can be a welcome change.

I know that our neighbor’s energy and excitement has certainly rubbed off on us. We have been working in the garden more lately — especially with Rosanne finally on break from her teaching for a few weeks — gotten our large tree trimmed and tidied, and we are getting our living and dining room paint refreshed after 10 years. As I often say, movement begets more movement. Action begets more action and that has certainly been the case here.

In return for all this added energy from next door, I am enjoying sharing any wisdom I have gained after 21 years of home ownership. We talk about their trees, what they want to add to the property and just general life stuff. They are free to ignore any advice I give, but it feels good to be able to offer some insight. 21 years ago we were the, relatively, young, folks moving in. Now we are in the position of being the “older” neighbors. I hope to be as good a neighbor to them as ours were to us.

Seek out energy and movement

So where can you turn and who can you turn to reinvigorate your thinking, your energy, your activity and your life? Is there a group that could benefit from your experience? Are there activities you can find that being you in content to younger folks who still have that amazing level of energy and excitement? There is nothing wrong with using a bit of that energy to add some fuel to your own fire. In fact, I think it is critical to seek out new thoughts, new places, and new adventures, especially as you grow older and more settled. Even better, you’ll find this new energy affecting parts of your life that are entirely unrelated. The simple act of being around more, good, energy means that you’ll be more inclined to do everything in your life. I know, for myself, the simple act of having these new neighbors has me re-energized to do a number of things — including returning to writing these regular blog posts.

From Today’s Perfect Moment

What would you do with a little energy boost? Take the first step and seek out those people and experiences that rev you up instead of those that grind you down. It can be a tough step to take, but it will become easier with time as each step leads to the next and the next. Like a snowball rolling downhill, it will gather its own energy and influence with just a little push from you.

 

Worrying about the right things [Essay]

July 16th, 2016 Comments off

Worrying about the right things

There are so many things to worry about these days. It used to be we worried about running out of gas or milk or making a mistake at work or missing our train. These days, though, we wake up each morning to more and more horrific disasters, both natural and — ever more frequently — man made. How are you supposed to cope?

As we head off to Europe this week, I found myself trying to get my head around all the big worries that confront us from, dealing with airport security to being caught up in political turmoil to making sure we make it home one piece. You know what? I will worry, but I have decided to worry about the right things on this trip.

Family festa at Casa Rinaldi House

I’ll worry about having a mind-expanding trip that takes me back to visit far flung family, new people, new cultural adventures and understanding.

I’ll worry about having a great time with great people — many who I don’t even know yet.

I’ll worry about helping my son better understand the world that surrounds him and how, through directly experiencing it, he can make it a better place.

I’ll worry about whether I am living the happiest, most accomplished, most impactful, most meaningful life I can live.

I’ll worry about meeting new acquaintances, making good friends, having amazing experiences, eating great food and simply enjoying life day-by-day.

I’ll worry about learning something new about the world, its people and myself every single day of our trip — and beyond.

I’ll worry about treating everyone as an individual and not some stereotype sold to us by mass media and politicians.

I’ll worry about how I can carry the lessons of our trip with each day we are gone and every day after we return.

We can’t always control the world around us, but we can do our best to control what we experience, how we experience it and what we make of it.

The next time you find yourself worrying, make sure you are worrying about the right things.

At Sperlinga with Orazio and Maria Conchetta and Filippo Montalto and family

Categories: Friends and Family, Opinion, Writing Tags:

Takata Air Bag Crisis Hits Our Home [News]

June 30th, 2016 Comments off

The long-running and widely reported problems with Takata air bags in a variety of Japanese vehicles has be on-going for a long time now and as owners of 2 Honda vehicles, we have been dealing with it for over a year. We were lucky enough to get replacement air bags for our 2004 Honda Element, although to took several trips to the service department, over several months, to get them all replaced.

We recently traded in a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, which didn’t have any air bag recalls with a 2014 Honda Insight Hybrid. Unfortunately, we recently received a recall notice for this new vehicle and tried to get it into service. What has happened, though, would seem ludicrous if it didn’t involve injury or death from a malfunctioning Takata airbag.

takata-air-bags

Our service department was unable to get any replacement air bags for our vehicle and recently offered us an option. First, they would take the vehicle into their storage lot and offer us a full paid rental car for the full time required to receive and install new air bags. Unfortunately, the dealer’s service storage lot was completely full with other vehicles awaiting air bag replacements. Instead, the dealer agreed to provide the free rental and told us to simply park the car at home and not drive it.

We waffled a bit on doing this, as it seemed odd to just have a car sitting around, even if we would get a replacement vehicle. I had heard how dangerous the air bags could be, though, so my wife and I finally relented and picked up a rental car about 2 weeks ago. It still seemed silly, but better safe than sorry, we thought.

It looks like it was a good idea, though, as today the US Department of Transportation has issued a press release that “…urged owners to stop driving the “unsafe” cars until they have been fixed.” (U.S. Warns Honda and Acura Owners to Replace Airbags, New York Times, June 30, 2016) I had seen previous stern warnings like this for other affected vehicles, but this was first one I had seen specifically for Honda. What’s interesting, though, is that these recall warnings only seem to address 2001-2003 vehicles, but ours is much newer, so there must still be large issues involving vehicles made up to the 2015 model year. You should check this article (Takata Airbag Recall: A Complete List of Affected Vehicles, Daily News, June 3, 2016 ) and with your dealer to see if your newer vehicle is affected.

Based on this new warning, I would urge you to immediately call or visit your dealer’s service department, confirm that your vehicle is under recall, and then take advantage of whatever programs they provide for replacing your vehicle until it can be repaired. This situation has clearly reached a crisis point where car dealers realize that the potential legal exposure of not replacing the vehicles far outweighs the cost of providing rentals to affected vehicle owners. As several of the related articles said, the very next trip of your vehicle should be to your dealer for repair and nowhere else.

 

Categories: News, Opinion, Technology Tags:

Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails by Matthew Biancaniello [Book] [Food] [Drink]

January 26th, 2016 Comments off

Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails by Matthew Biancaniello

Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails by Matthew Biancaniello

(I was provided a free, ebook, review copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own)

Once we get over the peer-induced binge drinking of your college years, many of us go looking for a more enjoyable, and mindful, consumption of alcoholic beverages. As I moved into adulthood, I began to appreciate good wine, and my marriage to a Sicilian-American certainly didn’t hurt my exploration of both homely table wines and more expensive fare. Finally, as I have grown older, I have developed a taste for liquor of many sorts, cocktails of all descriptions and even began making my own liqueurs and digestivos, branching out into making my own hard cider, too.

As my love of cocktails grew, I began looking for books and blogs that could help me expand my knowledge and enjoyment of the countless combinations of liquor, mixers and infusions of all sorts. My wandering through the online world crossed paths with Eat Your Drink.

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The title immediately caught my eye. What could it possibly mean to “Eat Your Drink?” Living here in Los Angeles, I have been exposed to the heightened levels of mixology that various cocktail creators have been bringing to our local, and hip, bars and restaurants, In some ways, I have been a bit intimidated by the complexity — some might say, oddity — of cocktails with homemade or unusual ingredients along with the high price tag of most of these cocktails. Still, I thought I might be able to find some ideas I might be able to use in my own humble ways.

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While I found the foreword by Roberto Cortez a bit intimidating and off-putting, once I made my way into Biancaniello’s recipes, I was sold. Sure, most of these recipes are not something I would attempt to duplicate in my own home, within each one I found something that intrigued me — something that made me think differently about food, drink and cocktails in particular. One major theme in Eat Your Drink is that of combining spirits with food products to yield something new and unique while still being true to the original ingredients.

Biancaniello takes a chef’s approach to cocktails. He even divides the book into sections that would be at home on any fine dining menu. These include Amuse Bouche, First Course, Second Course, Main Course, Dessert and After Dinner (a traditional placement of cocktails and digestivos) He’s also not afraid to include food elements in many of the recipes — Blood Orange “Crackers”, grilled pineapple, passionfruit and more.

The use of homemade infusion of various liquor talked to my own cocktail sensibilities, too. Fruit and spice infused liquors abound in the book, each bringing a unique twist to each drink, but also something that could be easily created and used in my own kitchen and bar. I make my own limoncello each year to share with friends and family and — even if I might not make any of the book’s cocktails in full — there are variety of infusions that I look forward to making in the coming years.

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One particular infusion of note was toyon berry-infused Capurro Pisco. I am surrounded by this native plant covered with red berries around Christmastime, but I have NEVER seen it used as a food item. I didn’t even know it was edible to be honest. I plan on doing some further research on Toyon berries and might even make that the next infusion I make.

As Biancaniello moves into the Second Course and Main Course recipes he loses me a bit. The inclusion of savory ingredients in cocktails is something new to me and a bit challenging for my palette. That said, his Cactus Sage Heaven does sound a bit “heavenly” with agave syrup raspberries, sage leaves, ginger and tequila. Still, cocktails including Uni (Sea Urchin), horseradish and oysters are a bit too much for me. That said, there might be those among you who are already salivating just thinking about it. To each their own, for sure!

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After reading about these adventurous Main Course cocktails, the Dessert and After Dinner, pulled me immediately back in, though. The Mayan Campfire with tequila, chocolate syrup, smoked jalapeno tequila and marshmallows had me dreaming of a warm fireside and a comfy chair where I might imbibe and enjoy it. Chai Iced Tea, made with chai-infused gin also caught my eye.

Again, while most of these cocktails might be a bit exotic for me to try making them in own home, the infusions, interesting ingredient combinations and sheer creativity of the recipes certainly got me thinking about what small portion I might be able to use for my own creations. I am fond of saying that any book that gives you one or two great ideas and gets your own creativity flowing is a good book. Eat Your Drink certainly hit this mark for me.

Preorder Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails by Matthew Biancaniello

Categories: Books, Cooking, Drinks, Food, Opinion Tags:

Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker [Book] [Food]

January 20th, 2016 Comments off

Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker

Bourbon curious cover

* I received a free ebook copy of this publication from the publisher for review. All opinions are mine.

I am fond of saying, “A geek in one thing. A geek in all things.” It’s certainly true of me and I have countless friends who feel and act in the same way. This means that I can “geek out” over gardening, bees, architecture, art and, of course, food and drink with ease. I am self-learner and over the years I have “gone down the rabbit hole” with Alice many times. With this history, it only makes sense that Bourbon Curious caught my eye when I was recently looking for new books. It is, above all else, a geek’s guide to bourbon.

So what does it mean to be a “geek’s guide?” Well, first Bourbon Curious is written by a true devotee of bourbon, award-winning whiskey writer, Fred Minnick — someone who obviously loves everything about the drink — the history, the science, the culture, the business, everything. I would describe him as a fellow geek with the same ease as I would apply to my technology geek friends. He’s knowledge, passionate and, above all, informed about bourbon and wants to share it with the world.

It seemed only natural that I should love this book. It hits all my loves including the (somewhat murky) history of bourbon, the science of bourbon making, the dispelling of bourbon myths, the somewhat rough and tumble world of bourbon marketing, and, of course, the buying, tasting and enjoyment of bourbon.

Bourbon curious presidents

Like many books on food and drink, there is an entire section dedicated to the how, what and why or tasting bourbon and some of the possible flavor notes you might experience there.

The last 3rd of the book is taken up with a detailed listing of popular bourbons for tasting containing information on each distillery, the bourbons they produce, the name of the master distiller, proof and product age, mashbills (basic breakdowns of which grains are used in product) and more, including items to look for when tasting. It is quite a lengthy list and working through it in your tasting would develop quite the bourbon education.

Finally there is an Appendix with short histories of a large number of the current bourbon brands

Bourbon curious whiskey whisky

If you want to increase both your knowledge and enjoyment of bourbon, then Bourbon Curious is a great place to start. Go “down the rabbit hole” and see where it leads. I think you’ll greatly enjoy the journey, as I have.

About the Author

Wall Street Journal best-selling author Fred Minnick wrote the award-winning Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey. Minnick writes about whiskey for Covey Rise, Whisky Advocate, and Whisky magazine. He is the “bourbon authority” for the Kentucky Derby Museum and regularly appears in the mainstream media, including CBS This Morning, Esquire, Forbes, and NPR.

Categories: Books, Drinks, Food, Fun, In the kitchen, Opinion Tags:

Book: John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography

January 15th, 2016 Comments off

John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography

As regular readers have probably noticed, photography is an ever growing part of my life and nature photography in particular. While I am not chasing wildlife around the world, I do love photographing plants, flowers and scenic views. With these interests in mind, I was so glad when I saw this book was available from Blogging for Books, a service that provides free review copies to bloggers. I have spent the last several months dipping into the book whenever I had time and then giving some time to let the lessons seep in.

First, as it should be with any book on photography, the photographs included in the book are beautiful, but also explanatory and good examples of each concept being discussed. A picture is worth a thousand worlds might be a cliche, but in a photography book, photos are worth much, much more than just a thousand.

Digital Nature Photography takes you clearly through each step in the photography process from choosing your camera, properly setting it up to work the best it can — touching on subjects like proper white balance, RAW vs JPEG file storage, setting your autofocus and much more. When reading this section of the book, I st  with my camera and camera manual close at hand and worked through each setting as it was discussed. I think this allowed me to get the most out of every bit of advice Shaw was offering. Shaw is careful to show when their were different names for features in the ubiquitous Nikon and Canon camera worlds, even with my Olympus Micro Four-Thirds camera, the feature names were similar enough to allow me to apply the settings, even if I did have to be a bit creative in locating some feature settings. The gear discussion also includes clear and detailed advice on accessories like tripods, lenses, filters, flashes and more. The writing is clear and straightforward with good examples of the pros and cons of each option.

Next comes some great guidance on exposure, aperture and ISO that all photographers need to learn and apply. Shaw gets direct and practical examples of how each effects your photographs and provides clear and specific examples of when you might want to alter these settings such as shooting birds as opposed to other wildlife or scenic subjects. There is so much information here, I am still trying to process and apply it all. I figure it will take me a few more reads through the book before I can glean and apply everything I have learned.

The sections on Composition and Closeup turn away from the more technical aspects of the early sections and seek to explore the artistic side of photography. Here again are great example photographs illustrating each topic such as Learning to see Photo-graphically, Lighting Changes, and Vertical vs. Horizontal format and framing. The section on Closeups delves into focusing issues (one of my biggest problems, Macro lenses, creating good backgrounds to your closeups and more.

John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography is a great book which can help any photographer jumpstart their growth from someone who takes simple, casual, snapshots to a photographer who creates beautiful, artistic photography.

Recommended

From Amazon.com…

JOHN SHAW is the author of many enduring bestsellers, including seven previous books on nature photography. His work is frequently featured in National Geographic, Nature’s Best, National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, Natural History, Sierra, and Audubon magazines, as well as in calendars, books, and advertisements. He has photographed on every continent, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and leads sold-out workshops around the globe. Visit him at johnshawphoto.com.

New Media Interchange 17: Technology & Leadership Changes at YouTube [Audio Podcast]

August 17th, 2015 Comments off

New Media interchange, my new show with 3rd Pass Media, is now available on iTunes. 

 

Please subscribe, review and rate via iTunes 


New Media Interchange is a podcast spotlighting various developments in New Media & focusing on the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more. Hosted by Douglas E. Welch , pioneer podcaster, blogger and new media consultant.


New Media Interchange 17: Technology & Leadership Changes at YouTube [Audio Podcast]

Listen Now

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New Media Interchange is part of the 3rd Pass Media Network which is launching a series of shows this week including Mindul(l) Media, The Render Break Report, New Media Interchange and More. You’ll find more information about 3rd Pass Media at http://3rdPass.Media.

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New Media Interchange 17: Technology & Leadership Changes at YouTube

This is New Media Interchange where we talk about the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more. I’m your host, Douglas E. Welch, pioneer podcaster, blogger and writer.

In today’ show…

  • YouTube News about personnel changes, new services and technology updates and competition from Facebook
  • A number of follow ups on stories from previous episodes
  • A VR camera from Nokia in the Hardware Hotlist
  • See the complete show notes at 3rdPass.media

More after this…

Today’s show is brought to you by Audible.com. I love New Media like podcasting and YouTube, but I also love all types of books. If you love audio books you can support New Media Interchange and 3rdPass Media by starting your free 30-day trial with Audible today. Choose from over 100,000 books, Including The Cold Dish: A Walt Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson

Visit AudibleTrial.com/3rdpass or use the link in the show notes today.


 

Categories: Audio, New Media, News, Opinion, Podcast, Show Tags:

Elsewhere: Audio: New Media Interchange: Nintendo and Youtubers, Netflix to spend $5B on programming, Best time to post your videos and more!

April 20th, 2015 Comments off

Check out a preview of my new podcast, New Media Interchange, from the 3rd Pass Media Network.

New Media Interchange is a podcast spotlighting various developments in New Media & focusing on the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more. Hosted by Douglas E. Welch , pioneer podcaster, blogger and new media consultant.


 Nmi logo lg

Listen to Nintendo and Youtubers, Netflix to spend $5B on programming, Best time to post your videos  and more!


New Media Interchange is part of the 3rd Pass Media Network which is launching a series of shows this week including Mindul(l) Media, The Render Break Report, New Media Interchange and More. You’ll find more information about 3rd Pass Media at http://3rdPass.Media.

#rd Pass Media Logo


Nintendo and Youtubers, Netflix to spend $5B on programming, Best time to post your videos  and more!

This is New Media Interchange where we talk about the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more. I’m Douglas E. Welch, pioneer podcaster, blogger and writer.

In today’ show…

Nintendo wants a piece of that YouTube Money and plans on taking it out of the pockets of Let’s Play video makers, Netflix plans on spending over $5 billion on programming in 2016, and Tubefilter explains the best times to post your YouTube videos for maximum impact.

Will round out the show with some words about “Attracting Attention to Yourself” and end up with the first entry in my Subscribed series, highlighting the podcasts, blogs and YouTube Channels I am subscribed to.

More after this…

Today’s show is brought to you by Audible.com. I love New Media like podcasting and YouTube, but I also love all types of books. If you love audio books you can support New Media Interchange and 3rdPass Media by starting your free 30-day trial with Audible today. Choose from over 100,000 books. Including one of my favorites, The Hobbit..

Visit AudibleTrial.com/3rdpass or use the link in the show notes today. 


Gaming is the #2 category on YouTube, behind music, and you can find a wide variety of gaming reviews, recaps and a growing number of Let’s Play video series, where a gamer walks you through their experience of game from beginning to end. Some of these Let’s Play series can go on for 30 or 40 episodes as the gamer hacks and slashes their way through the zombies of Dying Light, works to save the fictional country of Kyrat from a crazed dictator or performs speed runs of amazing dexterity in Zelda or Mario Brothers. While many game manufacturers have a good relationship with Let’s Play producers — even providing them explicit license to play the game on video — the aged “big boy” of the gaming world — Nintendo hasn’t been playing nice of late.

Back in mid-2013, Nintendo starting claiming all YouTube revenue from many videos that included Nintendo Copyrighted content, like Let’s Play footage. They eventually backed off this wholesale money grab and last month created a “licensing” program that allows YouTube producers to continue sharing YouTube videos of Nintendo games in exchange for 30%-40% of the revenue according to articles from Game Informer. com.

While this certainly is a better deal than taking 100% of the revenue, I always look suspiciously at large companies taking money away from some of their biggest fans — turning off many of these fans from ever playing or sharing a company’s products in the future. Is this a sign that Nintendo is struggling overall and looking for a quick way to gain a quick cash boost? The company has been struggling of late, but I think trying to level out their balance sheet on the backs of fans might not be the way to do it.

What do you think? Are YouTuber’s getting a free ride on Nintendo gaming content? Is Nintendo making a desperate money grab? What does this mean for the thousands of hours of Nintendo gaming already available on YouTube and its creators? I’d love to know what you think. Send along a comment on the blog or via Twitter to @NMIPodcast.

Read More
Nintendo Updates Their Bad YouTube Policies By Making Them Worse


In our next story, courtesy of Business Insider, Netflix will spend $5 billion on programming in 2016…

Netflix will spend $5 billion on programming in 2016, more than everyone but ESPN, says Janney

I often comment to people how I am amazed to took so long for large, Internet companies like Netflix, Google and Amazon to get into content creation for their services. Living here in Hollywood itself, I have seen the production companies — those entities that do the actual nitty-gritty work producing a television show — don’t really care who pays the bills, as long as there is money to be made. I knew it was only a matter of time before they started to see services like Netflix, Google Play and Amazon as potential partners in content creation.

Therefore I see no surprise at all that Netflix is going to be spending even more in the future creating exclusive content. With critically acclaimed series like House of Cards, I think they can see a great potential for content beyond the traditional, mainstream, broadcast networks. I would expect to see even more players enter this market, both in the existing ranks of high-tech businesses as well as new startups focused on becoming the next, great, content network.

You can read the complete story using the link in the show notes.

 


 

Finally, for all you incipient content creators out there, TubeFilter provides a detailed article on the best days and times to post your videos for maximum viewership. If you are looking to turn your content into an on-going moneymaker, information like this can be critical. Moving the number of views 5% upwards could result in a significant boost in advertising earnings. As a fairly casual producer of YouTube content myself, I tend to post videos whenever I have time and whenever they are complete. After reading this article, though, I think I am going to spend a bit more time and consideration on my video release schedule. All the detailed tables and charts are available in the TubeFilter link in the show notes.

Want To Know The Best Days And Times To Post YouTube Videos? Here’s A Yearly Calendar.


Attracting Attention Yourself!

Ever since I first heard George Carlin’s comedy album, Class Clown, a certain phrase has always stuck with me… (paraphrasing) The job of a class clown is…ATTRACTING ATTENTION TO YOURSELF! I call this “Carlin’s Law of Attraction!” Replace class clown with any other profession and you will see the universal truth of that statement. Replace class clown with “podcaster” and you can probably see where I am headed.

Podcasting offers anyone the ability to “attract attention to yourself”, your business, your cause, whatever is important to you. Sure, it can be difficult to rise above all the other folks who have already discovered podcasting, but the odds are certainly much better than they ever were in the traditional media.

Carlin’s Law of Attraction, also dictates that you want your media spread as far and wide as possible. This means posting your videos to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and any other spots where your audience might stumble across them. That said, each piece MUST have some links driving people back to your home site where they can subscribe to your content directly.

Everything depends on your ability to attract attention to your content. Scripts and books don’t sell themselves in your drawer (or trapped in your computer), art does sell when it sits in a closet and your podcast doesn’t attract an audience if no one ever gets to see it.

Apply Carlin’s Law of Attraction to everything you do, podcasting, writing, office work, whatever, and you will find that things just start to happen for you.


That’s it for this episode of New Media Interchange where I talk about the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more.

New Media Interchange is part of the 3rd Pass Media network. For more information, visit 3rdPass.media. Do you have questions or comments? Send them along to NMI@3rdpass.media or via Twitter at @NMIPodcast .

I’m Douglas E. Welch and I’ll be back next week with more New Media news on New Media Interchange..

Walking. Just Walking – End of the Day for March 22, 2014

March 22nd, 2014 Comments off

End of the day Logo

Sometimes it is just about the walking.

We had a chance to walk twice today, a luxury in this busy part of the year. We needed to pick up the car from the service center, so when they called we set out on our mile walk just to get out of the house for a while. Sure, we had an accomplishment to achieve, but the walk itself what just about walking. One foot in front of the other, looking around us, maybe taking a few pictures. I have been carrying a camera everywhere I go for many years now (as you can probably tell by all the photos I posts here). You never know what is going to catch your eye and walking is the only way to capture most of it. It is impractical, not to say, absolutely dangerous to try and shoot photographs from a moving vehicle. You also notice different things when you walk. Time slows down. Vistas approach leisurely. Minute glimmers catch your eye as you pass.

After our car pickup we stopped by our favorite bakery for a small snack and then headed home for more work. We both got much accomplished today and I credit the walk for part of that. Getting out and clearing your head is create for you creativity and productivity. Sometimes,  I get tied up with the need to walk for my health and weight loss, but in truth, walking any amount of time or distance is useful and helpful. I have to remind myself of that sometimes. If I can’t spare the time for my regular 2 mile walk, I can get in a 1 mile walk fairly easily. I walk about 3 miles and hour so we are only talking 20-40 minutes depending no the distance. Carrying my camera helps, as it makes me more observant of what I am passing and seeing on my walk and helps to make it pass more quickly and more enjoyably. 

Rosanne at Briar Summit Open Space Preserve lookout

Rosanne walking in the Briar Summit Open Space Preserve – Read more about it!

While walking in beautiful areas is wonderful, even walking your own neighborhood can be fun, too. Tonight, Joe was going to be a play rehearsal until at least 9pm, so we did something we rarely do these days — we went out at night!?!? Of course, it still had a purpose. By driving to Burbank earlier, we would be in good position to  quickly pick up Joe when he was ready. We headed out to downtown Burbank, near the mall, but spent out time walking the area that used to be the Golden Mall. It has changed so much since the time I worked nearby at Walt Disney Imagineering. It has tons of shops, restaurants and theaters and was quite hopping on a Saturday night. We walked. We looked. We browsed for books. in the end, we clocked another 1.5 miles of walking, although at a much slower pace than our morning walk. Again, though, any walking is good and walking in an area with lots to see is a great way of breaking out of you typical routine. We need to do it more.

You assignment, tomorrow, is to get out and walk somewhere. Walk to the store. Walk to a neighbors. Stroll around your neighborhood and try to find things you have never noticed before. Look at the plants, the animals, the people, the trees, the houses. Take your camera — even just your smartphone — and grab some pictures. You never know what adventures you might have.

 

 Previously on End of the Day:

Categories: End-of-the-Day, Opinion, Writing Tags:

2 great errors of book authors and editors today

January 6th, 2013 Comments off

Books

In the course of my days, weeks and months, I do a lot of reading. I read blogs, I read, web sites, I read Twitter and Facebook and Google+, but I also read a LOT of books. Usually these books focus on some aspect of business, innovation, thinking, gardening or food. I am always looking for new ideas, new ways of thinking and new ways to jumpstart my own thinking.

Over the last few years, though, I have become frustrated with may books — especially those involving business and/or innovation. Whether a factor of the book publishing process, editorial advice or writer insecurity, I am seeing a few fundamental flaws in the books I am reading (or trying to read) today.

1. Excessive attempts to prove the writer’s or the book’s worth to the reader

Several books in the last few months have spent the major it of their length in the writer justifying why the book should be written and why they should write it. Frankly, I don’t care. If I pick up a book, I do so because I know the writer’s past work or the topic of the book interests me in some way. I don’t care about your degrees, your past publications, the status of your co-authors or even how to you came to write the book. I am reading to discover what new thoughts you have developed and, more importantly, how they might help me. You have already earned me as a reader, don’t waste my time trying to prove to me what I am already doing — namely, reading your book.

Keep the justifications to a minimum (along with chapter length acknowledgement sections) and tell me your ideas. If you don’t, you might lose me a reader before I ever hear what important things you have to say.

2. Excessive review of supporting materials

I come to a book to hear what you (the author) have to say, not what everyone else in the past 5 decades has had to say. If I feel I need more supporting information for your ideas or arguments, I can go and find additional material on my own. In fact, if I am interested in the topic of your book, I have probably read much of the supporting material you address or at least have passing knowledge of it. Again, I am reading YOUR book to hear YOUR ideas, not a general review of the topic.

If you feel you must, use footnotes to direct me to additional material I might find interesting or important. Trust me — and other readers — enough to give your book the chance it deserves without trying to bury us in overwhelming supporting material. We can’t be forced to read your book, only encouraged to read it through the power of your ideas.

GET ON WITH IT!

If you truly have an idea worth sharing in a book, then GET ON WITH IT! Enough waffling and hemming and hawing and supporting and proving. Tell me what is so important that you have to say it in a book.

If you were telling me your idea face-to-face, you wouldn’t spend hours giving me all the background first. I would simply walk away. That is exactly what I will do with a book that does the same thing. You can interweave the supporting material if you think it important, but when I read your book I want to hear what you have to say about a topic.

Why do so many books fall victim to these errors?

It is my belief that it all has to do with insecurity. The writer is insecure in their ideas and so tries to include every supporting study and report they can find. The editor is insecure in selling the book unless they provide some sort of overwhelming proof that it deserves your attention. The publishing company is insecure that a book can be written or sold in any way other than the traditional methods.

The truth is, all this insecurity wastes the reader’s time and convinces them of the exact opposite message of the one the writer, the editor and publisher are trying to convey. When faced with these errors, readers simply abandon the book. Sure, we might try to flip ahead to see if we can find the “meat” of the book, bit in most cases I will simply look elsewhere.

Authors, trust in yourself, your message, your writing and your book. If you have something important to say, readers will notice and acknowledge it. If you feel you have to justify your book and the thoughts within to a large degree, you may want to think more deeply about your ideas, instead.

Categories: Books, Education, Opinion, Special Tags:
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