Somewhere a while back I wrote a post (or maybe it was a comment when someone else was rambling on about ‘content’), that went something like …
“book, novel, short story, article, white paper, promotional piece, advert, painting, sculpture, song, opera, photograph 1 … please … anything … anything but ‘content’
Because as long as ‘we the creators’ fall into the trap of using ‘their’ words to describe our work, our soul, our passion, our beliefs as ‘content’, then our work will continue to be viewed as ’free – to – cheap – to – low – cost’, as ‘homogenized, non differentiated, interchangeable fodder’.
.. and if that is the case, then the resultant payment for your art will continue to race to the bottom. It is not in our interests to allow that , so why allow their interests to define how we think?
Content is a horrible, generic, cheap, anything will do kind of word. Which is why ‘content has no value. It is in the best interests of buyers of our sweat, labour, thought and time to keep price down. But our costs are not kept down. So our earnings suffer. And they are suffering badly.
It isn’t in the interests of buyers to change their behavior and vocabulary. So we should. Starting now.
Bottom line – artists are never content. They are always striving to improve. So why be content with content. Call it like it is …. you do so everywhere else!
I just discovered this snippet and wanted to capture it properly in my newly emerging archive of ‘words wot I writ’ (sic)
I don’t often do this kind of post …. but 2017, well – what a year it was … and sadly 2018 is not going to be much better. (Don’t let the New Year’s Eve’s Blue Moon fool you!)
This is not to regurgitate all of 2017 – plenty of people out there that will do that for you – but rather a time for reflection on the future.
For me it will be one word – FOCUS.
I started that halfway through last year – but the culling continues.
My focus has – and will continue to be – driven by the ‘People, Passion, Platform’ trifecta. What hasn’t happened is the removal of all of the other crud that fills up what little time we all have.
People – will continue to be framed in my volunteer work for Defy and UC Davis – but is actually at the core of People First and the related projects such as Lost Identity – an initiative driven out of Mei Lin Fung’s People Centered Internet. We are also looking at developing an app in conjunction with one of our partners.
Passion – writing, connecting, sharing, talking, presenting … which will emerge in the three blogs below as well as white papers, presentations and books supported by sponsorship, patronage and good old contracts.
Platforms – Merchant23, Ada and RAL are just three of the platform companies I am working with there are others that need to be either embraced or removed.
… and that trifecta will be drawn through three web properties …
And Another Thing is one year old, launched last year in conjunction with my colleague Graham Watson as an experiment to see if we could write a joint blog. After 340 posts, I think we can safely say that yes – we can keep up the flow the challenge for this year is to work out how to broaden the readership.
Beyond Bridges, where you are now and the oldest of these three sites, will be used to offer point/counterpoint argument, observations that surround boundary conditions – such as posts like this which I promised to come back to … though I wasn’t really expecting it to be a full blog transition.
Example topics that have emerged just in the past week include Border Towns, Poverty In California, The Salton Sea and Lake Havisu, Prisons, Beer – these and others like them will roll in the next couple of weeks.
I think as these and similar posts emerge, it will become clear as to what the connections are.
People First which we launched in 2017 will continue in its current format and focus …. after all, we are only just getting started there.
On a final note, what of Social Media?
I pulled out of Facebook over three years ago. Not one regret. No action needed (unless I go back to develop a wider audience for the work described below. All the other social platforms where I have a presence with the exception of Twitter sit there like ghosts in the ocean. No time sink there. But in Twitter land, there is definitely room to cull. So, as of today only the following accounts will be monitored and grown.
Beyond Bridges – @JGPhilpin – www.beyondbridges.net – this site has been up and around for a while. The first post came in September 2010 and since then has taken many different directions – both in topic and appearance. The content focus is changing again. Going forward, for now, the posts will be a celebration or commentary on ‘difference’, ‘commonality’ and ‘connections’ … you will get the drift.
In terms of appearance, nothing different for now, I recognize that some of the CSS is broken in places and as that gets discovered it gets fixed. The big change will likely happen when Matt Mullenweg pushes the button on WordPress 5 and specifically Gutenberg is released. – hopefully in the next 3 months (ever the optimist).
People First – @TheBusEquation (it used to be @All_ElseFollows – but the business equation has emerged as the FOCUS of the initiative, so much so that a couple of books have emerged in my mind, with one already in progress.) – www.people-first.net
Fractals – @Fractals – www.philpin.com Stuff just gets auto-posted into these spaces and curiously the following at @Fractals is 3 to 4 times that of my other twitter accounts!
I am suspending these :
The Taxi Chronicles – the anti-Uber thread – if people don’t understand why Uber is bad for them – why should I care? I just will never use them. Nor should you. But we live in a free society.
Just Good Music – self-explanatory
The 50th … an experiment that was centered on Hawaii … just seems that Hawaii wasn’t interested.
Comments on all three of these topics will occasionally be posted into one of the three core posts ( primarily @AndAn0therTh1ng )
One of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting this past weekend.
I didn’t know him, he looks a nice guy. He was shot while dancing with his son.
So why am I writing about John specifically? Well, because I have now received two emails from people I know checking in with me, apparently confusing Phippen and Philpin. (Easily done … it’s an odd name.) Suffice to say, I am alive and well. Sadly John (who I did not know) is not.
“One minute he was dancing with his son, and the next minute, he was being carried to a car, fatally wounded.”
There is a GoFundMe site to help his children. According to SignalCV, “John Phippen ran a home remodelling and repair company in Valencia called J P Specialities.”
According to The Los Angeles Times, “He was dancing next to his son, Travis, at the country music festival in Las Vegas when he was struck by a bullet in the lower back. Travis, an emergency medical technician, carried his father to a car” that rushed to the hospital, but it was too late.
“Today, we lost an amazing, wonderful, selfless, sweet soul of man to a senseless act of violence in the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting,” it reads.
“My name is Leah Nagyivanyi and I was a Santa Clarita neighbour and a friend of John’s for 17+ years. My husband Paul and John had become very close over the past three years. All of us spending time in the Sand Dunes, Havasu and doing lots of beach camping. We intertwined many of our friends and to say we are devastated by this loss is an understatement. If you didn’t know John you surely missed out. He had a heart that was larger than life and a personality to match. You felt like you knew him for years the first time you met him. He was a simple man who enjoyed the simple things in life and having fun doing them.”
Phippen was remembered as a man who “had your back from the moment he met you and by having your back that could mean, having a cold beer in your hand when yours was empty or if you needed help with your car or in our case, your sandrail, your house or you just needed to chill. Even if you were someone he had never met before but were in need, he was there for you.” SaveSave
I guess what I’m trying to say is, if, as Boas famously claimed, the Eskimos have dozens of words for “snow,” then in an emerging knowledge work society, we should have more than a handful of words to describe the mental efforts on which, more and more, our livelihoods depend.
Needless to say, I agree completely with the sentiments.
I am not an advocate of never changing language – but I do like it to be used correctly. e.g. (or ‘i.e.’ as too many people write), the use of ‘e.g.’
While I appreciate this kind of argument, I do feel that we continue to not be honest with what is going on. If someone’s job can be 50% automated – then they are only needed half time. And … if I was a corporation, where the raison d’être is to maximise shareholder value, I would also know that people costs are the highest costs I have.
I published this to BizCatalyst recently … the essence being that in America it seems to this Englishman that there is a long standing tradition of using facades to so many office and house designs, to make them appear ‘grander’ than they are. Even barns when you look around.
I compared that thinking to business and found some worrying things. So, ask yourself these questions about your business … Continue reading →