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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

If you're doing this for a living, then you're not loving it

If I were to do a presentation at the Blog world and new media expo this would be it.

Hello, I am David "topper" Tobkin, and I have been a blogger since the late 90's for the most part. I have used text to begin with, just text on a page and uploaded to a website.

My earliest foray into the social networking of the so called new media would have been in the early 90's with what was available then, a BBS system called Top City, no relation. That was a message board that got as time went by a chat line. For what it was worth it was a good time. Non commercial on the fly by a guy that had a few computers in a cramped apartment.

But I wanted, in metaphoric terms, windows. I knew there was beginning to be a world on the world wide web. But I didn't have the pc to do it. When I did it was powerful enough for AOL. Not the window to the world wide web I wanted. But it served my online social purpose of getting to know people "out there". Oh yea, you can actually get to know people "out there". And I actually like you today set out to meet few of them in Seattle at a get together. Much smaller than this but fun.

Ok then, enough about me, let us get down to business and start talking about you. Some of you are podcasters. Where this new media really gets it start. And I have been noticing a trend. Commercialism. Even bloggers have ads on their sites. Sure there ads here and there that providers have but you are users why put ads on your own blog or podcast page? It isn't as though your readers and listeners are customers, they are not. They are your audience, say it with me, audience. And these folks can listen to you or read your blog any time they want. Which brings to another point of podcasting. It is considered to be a portable media, therefor people can take you with them where ever they go, on a trip, to the gym, on a drive, anywhere. The only reason that the term podcasting is getting a bad rap is because Apple wants to control it, so the controlling forces of podcasting want you to follow suit with "new media". Oh well sign of the times.

But being that you have an audience are you worth paying for? What I have is a passion for whatever moves me at the moment and it should you too. Everything you have learned about making a buck on this new media I am going to try and get you to forget. What is the motto? "If you are doing this for a living, then you are not loving it". Oh I know as well as the next guy that making a buck is a great thing, but I don't want the chase of the almighty dollar to get in the way of my passion.

Many things are built on passion. Many other things are built on need. You have the passion, Libsyn may supply the need, or whatever service you use. But these services are just that, services. There have been many services that have come and gone and one in particular comes to mind that had it ALL. It was a website that used google chat or gizmo to call in and it streamed audio for you. Also on the site was a chat room and it saved the chat for you. Some of you may recognize it. I liked it too before it became a commercial enterprise with even a target market. Now days it is a thanksgiving turkey, only problem is, they started cooking it in June. It was a great tool, but you all deserve better. Target markets are for magazines.

And about passion. Lets say you have a show, and something you read about fires you up. By the time you get to that day you set aside the passion is gone. Remember it is a portable media, why not do it anytime you want. Quantity is as good as quality as long as the quality is the same. That goes with blogging too.

But lets say you are time constrained. Well there are places to park your passion. Facebook ain't it. What the heck is that about anyway? If you have one reader as an audience you might as well take him or her out for coffee and get the message out that way.

I belong to facebook, and still asking myself why. Other enterprises to park things of interest is google reader. At least there is a place there to share with everyone, and my personal favorite News vine. Very active and sure it has ads but not all the time, and most importantly NOT to a target market. Male's in the 25 to 30 bracket like that place I eluded to earlier.

So to be counter productive to what you have heard from expo's in the past about making a buck doing something you enjoy, forget that chase and just enjoy. It will show in your work, podcast or otherwise that you have the passion and will be in it for the long haul.

My rule is, do it whenever. Most people use a feed anyway. As long as the quality is there, the quantity will not matter.

Take care and good luck.


Citizen Shelly said...

You make great points but I think having a passion for something and wanting to make a few bucks are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Like, I'm an artist too, and I sure don't paint for money, but when I sell a painting I'm thrilled. So I think you can even do art, much less podcasting, and still want to sell it. : ) -- Shelly

Jerry Robbins said...

Does this mean that I do not love producing audio drama, because I sell my shows? As an audio producer for the past 21 years, 14 of which have been as a commercial company, I can assure you that this buck chaser has the ability to both enjoy it with a passion, and see the rewards of the thousands of hours of labor that goes into it. It IS possible to have both. - Jerry Robbins, Colonial Radio Theatre on the Air.

-=Topper=- said...

Jerry I think you are a prime example of what I am talking about. Your passion and production value comes before the money.

The production value of Colonial Radio Theatre is top notch.

There are others that go the route of total capitalism. Mine is just a cautionary tale if you will.

Shelly as well, the passion is in the painting.

My late brother in law painted. He was very good but because he was so involved in the hope of making a buck he hated doing it after a while because he wouldn't get monetary satisfaction. But he did get kudos when he showed his art. He was really very good.

Like I say, enjoy what you do, you get what you out in.

-=Topper=- said...

I have seen a couple of documentaries about Nicola Tesla and George Washington Carver. Interestingly enough they were both offered six figure incomes by Thomas Edison, and both refused.

What they did was more important to them that the money they could have made.