Part One - We need your stories
Things are hard for people who make their living creating. Especially now. I write this on Thursday, April 29, 2020. The entire world is being affected by COVID-19. It doesn’t care where you’re from, what you look like, or what you do for a living. Here in America it’s showing us the disparity of those who have empathy for others, and those who do not. Hopefully some good social and health care changes can come from this.
Those who work creating and performing are impacted pretty hard with many public spaces closing to “Flatten the Curve”. It’s hard to express yourself without the space to do so.
The internet does provide a space for self expression, but the technical and cost barriers to entry are still pretty high for most people. There are many great user-friendly and relatively affordable products and services that allow anyone to get online. Understanding how to use them is the second problem, however. The first problem is finding them.
Now, more than ever we need human connectivity. Through art, performance, and conversation. Humans evolved from tribal connectivity and we still need that, so very much. We need your stories, in your voice.
I’m not a programmer, or designer. I’ve worked with, for, and inbetween some very good ones, and I love to tinker with art, design, and technology. I’ve been doing this for twenty years. My strengths are:
Empathy … I can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations
Developer … I recognize and cultivate the potential in others. I can spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.
Individualization … I am intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. I have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively.
Relator … I enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
Futuristic … inspired by the future and what could be. I can inspire others with my visions of the future.
Those are from the Strengths Finder book and survey and they really resonated with me personally. More than any other self assessment that thing out there (I’ve tried many).
Professionally my makeup leads me to positions of project, and personal management, and coaching of creative people. I’ve worked in the Animation, Video Games, Design, and Software development fields. This isn’t my resume so I wont bore you with the details.
So those are my qualifications for bringing you this info. I just like all this stuff. I’ve spent hours tinkering, and I want to share. I recognize that I’ve been afforded opportunities to have this time and tech to tinker. Maybe I can pay that forward a bit with what I’m writing.
I’m an aspiring minimalist. I enjoy figuring out what is the simplest way to a solutuion or process. I’m exploring mindfulness, stoicism and improvised performance as the overlap of these concepts really speaks to me.
I believe in the indieweb. I believe in privacy. I don’t like using products or systems that track my or others peoples moves.
When I talk about setting up websites, and blogs, etc, I believe in POSSE. Posting on your Own Site, Syndicating Eslewhere. This is a main mantra of the Indieweb community. You own your content, and can put it anywhere. Even move it from place to place. Things like Twitter, Instagram, and FaceBook own your content and make it very difficult to take your creations elsewhere. The more people they have, and longer they stay the more revenue they can generate. You are the product, and your data is sold for a company’s profit.
I have a twitter account, and FaceBook as well. It’s hard just leaving that all behind. That’s where everyone is, after all.
My recommendations will skew towards POSSE and Indieweb but I recognize that not everyone will care as much about this stuff as I and others do. To each their own. The point of all this remains to help people get online and speaking in their voice.
Building an audience
There’s a ton of info, courses, advice and what-not about how to build an online audience. Some of it is better than others, just like anything. Some of it focuses on techniques that are shady at best. SEO is an area I do not know much about at all. That’s Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s techniques to arrange and broadcast your content so that it rises to the top of search results. Most people just look at the top three results in a google search, after all.
There are good people doing honest work in SEO. It’s an interesting mix of writing and preparing content so that it helps humans discover it. That’s a noble cause. I’m concerned about the content farming and other nastier aspects of it. But again, I’m not a go-to resource on this at all.
I write the above to get us to this point, which is what I believe in. Building an audience takes time. Frequent posting things of value, so that you make connections is how to build an audience. Simple, but not easy.
Seth Godin is a marketer, author and blogger. He posts on his blog every single day. He’s been doing this for years and years. He just recently updated the technology that ran his blog, after many years. He made a technical choice, stuck with it, and wrote every day.
A while ago, I asked myself “How does he write every single day” and the answer I provided to myself seemed obvious, even silly. That answer was just that “_he writes every single day_”. Not every post will resonate with every one of his readers. Consisentcy is his key.
A thousand true fans is the way to build an audience. I like to re-read that on occasion :)
Thanks for reading along so far. I’m opinionated and if you disagree with me, or have further questions please email me.
Tomorrow, I’ll send an email about design. Design of the way you want to represent yourself and/or your products and services as well as specifics on visual design.
Thanks for reading. Stay safe.
Continue to Part two …