Hear I Go Google!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The New Media: The Printed Blog

As has been recently reported, the old print media has taken a beating. The Detroit Free Press, Christian Science Monitor, and several others have seen their business model of generating ad revenue from various sources dwindle (in part due to the current financial crisis) and from competition from the new media, the internet. While they suffer, close down home delivery services, and try to salvage their business through patchwork and quickie makeovers, a new business is cropping up: the blog-to-your-street, internet-savvy The Printed Blog.

This 1st generation of on-line publication to the local masses come from the mind of Joshua Karp, founder and publisher. Recently profiled in Wired, Joshua Karp asks the logical question: “Why hasn’t anyone tried to take the best content and bring it offline?”

Within that idea and framework, The Printed Blog hopes to take blogger-wanna-be-journalist types and utilize their content in local publications in a quick read format (a typical paper will be 11x17-inch on three pages, six sides in full color.) Their hope is to gather unique articles from people with expertise in various fields, writing ability, and a friendly voice to the man on the street while crossing the avenue to the social networking arena of Flickr, Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook.

One can see potential in a twice daily print of content gathered from online "beat" reporters. But one can also see the downsides as people can utilize searches and pick and choose content they prefer. But that should not stop The Printed Blog as it tests the business waters with their 'reverse print media' model.

People in a 24-hour world are looking for new, innovative and solid companions while they travel to work, school or actually vacation somewhere else. The Printed Blog hopes to gain traction in New York, Chicago (where they will debut January 27, 2009) and San Francisco. One can foresee 50, 100, or 1,000 various editions across the globe, with the only constraints being financing and the personnel to make it happen.

This blogger/author hopes to see The Printed Blog become 'The New' New York Times. But as with anything in business, the market will determine whether it succeeds, or fails.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Haitus: One Month of vacation (I get no sleep) and Batman/Spiderman Obama

I will be on a long-term hiatus from blogging for one month.
Please check out Anythingwritten, home to thing everything written in various mediums over the past 15 years. (While not quite everything, but it's a sample of stuff.)

2009 has started out rough but I guess it can only get better...Murphy please go catch the flu and don't come around here no more.

Barack Obama new plan calls for 3.5 million jobs to be added. Every month of 500,000+ jobs lost means Obama has to add $100 Billion or so to the price tag of the stimulus just to keep up with the deterioration of the US Economy. Talk about being a man behind an eight ball.

Israel/Gaza war. Pakistan/India. Darfur. Iraq. Afghanistan. Russia's little nat gas game. And oh, China's passing up Japan as the 2nd largest world economy. And China isn't even a mature economy. Growing, wide disparities and no civil rights or social safety net. And yes, still communist. Boy, did we make some strange bed fellows during the Conservative Revolution (1978-2007.)
I also need one of those jobs. Can you save me, President Obama?

Meanwhile, back in Gotham, USA, Batman Obama, the world's smartest crime-fighting, economic-genius, foreign policy master President (we hope) has to fight The Joker, Two-Face, Dr. Freeze and The Penguin without Robin or Batgirl since they haven't been introduced into President Obama's cabinet yet. (Maybe in the next movie installment.)

Obama is also a fan of Spiderman. See him in a collectors' issue.

Well, I need some sleep. (Not really.) But only to close out this blog for a month, I'll send you out to Faithless' Insomnia. (Live)

We, Americans, need to have faith. Else it is going to be a very tough road ahead. Don't Sleep.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009: Is it 2008 Redux?

Two days into a new year, and I think, isn't this just going to be another bad year?

It is of course the hopeful sort that would mockingly say, " Boy, you are quite the pessismist. You might want to get that checked out." But really, the flip of a calendar has never suddenly said, "This is the year!!!" (Ask the Chicago Cubs. They've been flipping calendars since Auld Lang Syne was only 120 years old. (Now it is 221 years old.)

So what is a depressed sort suppose to work on to become the cheery, everything is going to be better, lunatic fringe happy camper? What Resolutions made will make 2009 seem like a point in time where my life surely changed?

1. Get rid of people you don't need. I've been living with 2 people that for some reason have no financial sense. Beyond that, they have 23 cats, no phone, no cable, hot water is by stove and the cars need a fixin'. (3 broke vehicles sit outside my house.) They managed to pick up $2,300 in tips on their delivery route, yet haven't fixed any of these concerns. I made only $450 in tips(approximately) and had most of that go to a car that still ain't right. But my meager pay keeps the home equity paid and the lights on. So I am lost on what to do or say or pretend does not bother. SO--by April 1st, when gas is likely going to rise to around $3.00-$3.50 (no thanks to Israel, Russia, OPEC and George W. Bush), I am taking whatever bus I can to a warm place, Florida, Louisana or Arizona, to start over. It is more than their finances. Over the past 4 years, I have discovered what my role is to them and what I truly mean to them. Not much. Not much at all if you've read my prior blog posts.

2. Try to lose 'da attitude' with others. It's hard to overlook what you hate in yourself. That is what attitude is essentially. We project on to others what the hate about themselves. Often, I am not consciously looking to come across as overly sarcastic and witty. (At least by my failed reckoning.) But it is easy to see the worst in people for me. (See #1.) For the reason of being in a small town I never ever liked, around people that never ever accepted me from day one (and the chip that grew because of that) and the desire to escape this at all costs, I grew to be a person less likely to see the goodness in people. Because nothing, not friendship or an intimacy, ever evolved in my entire time in Northwest Indiana. There in lies my attitude problem: no real family or friends that are worth more than the gum on your shoe.

3. See opportunity and take it. Too often, I haven't made the best of the lifelines offered. (Not that they have been some fabulous place, or exotic journey missed, but I do regret the opportunities foregone to play it safe. Like working for GM (yeah, I know, they are heading for bankruptcy) about 11 years ago. What would have been? Would living in Michigan introduced me to the right woman or career contact that I would have alter the course of my life forever? (I decided against it to stay close to my mother - alas, a poor choice.)

Opportunities have to be seen and taken. Risk is the only way to reward. I have nothing to lose. I lost freedom, integrity, a career and rarely see a day that I don't regret for doing little to proceed. (Even blogging has become a chore. It's so 2000-2001-2002-2003-2004-2005.)

I put off editing and finishing correctly a baseball book because I feel it would be rejected. And that the time, money (needed to send it off in a proper format) and energy (that goes into a 700-900 page project) will not produce any significant result. (Like generate an income or establish a new identity.) So, I get lazy instead. And use the other reasons as an excuse to quit working.

Self-doubt will always kill opportunity. In my life, people have doubted me enough that I also just used their doubts as my doubts too. It's a cycle, like every year is.

4. Make a plan and stick to it. The hardest plan to follow is the one without wiggle room. But the plan should be focused on process, not results. Work out, but don't expect weight losss. Stop drinking soda, or eating cake, or other fattening stuff, but don't get worried about the pounds. Eat better, but don't look for the results to be evident in 2-3 months. It's a process.

Not focusing on results seems to contradict the prior stance on seeking opportunity. But if the journey is suppose to be fun, why are we so worried about the destination? Why are we into the constant struggle for self-improvement yet making it into so terribly like a job? Because we feel the need for penance? We owe ourselves a good life, but not at the expense of trying to please some sadistic need to flog ourselves for not being a size 2 or unable to run 5 miles or speak fluent Chinese (a task I have yet to take up) or going to Church every Sunday.

The plan should be fairly open, but with tenants to follow as close as possible. Working on one particular thing at a time is likely the best. Benjamin Franklin, probably the smartest man of his century (not without flaws though) had these grand ideas on self-improvement (from mysimplerlife.com):
1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Humility was the one thing Franklin often said he lacked. (Who can blame a man that was so involved in numerous adventures, projects and essential outcomes in the 18th century as to be known the world over for things like a stove, or library lending or electricity.)

His results though came over a period of two years. Two years. A man as creative and talented as he took two years and still was not happy with everything. Imagine how long we need to take to become half as involved.

To avoid another 2008, 2007 or a past year of wasted opportunity, it would be best to actually accomplish one thing in this new year. Or at least focus on a process to fixing one part of my life.

Here's to you doing that for all the times you did not.