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Stunted By Reality Just another know-it-all talking about life, business, technology, sports and music.

12Jan/12Off

Musicians need to be like bloggers and stop whingeing

I've often thought that literature and music share a lot and by that I don't mean the historical links of cheap arty neighbourhoods populated by musicians, artists, poets, actors and writers all scrounging around trying to find themselves.

Just like music, writing has now evolved so much that some old timers would rather terms like literature and chord were not applied to blogging and grime music respectively. And just like it would be churlish to deny that instant noodles are not noodles, it is improper to deny those two their place in their respective cultures.

And so it is that like music, writing is an art form. However apart from a deluded minority you don't get us bloggers thinking that we MUST live off the pen keyboard.

Musicians need to get over that aspect of their art and realise that there are thousands of them out there and that just because they have spent some money on their craft, doesn't mean that the world owes them a living. In the music and bloggers analogy writers who can string two sentences together would try to go professional; and as soon as they try to live off of writing they would start to complain about every aspect of the industry. Spouting on about anything from the 'dinosaurs' who don't get the change that's happening right down to the new school digital gatekeepers who are screwing them on behalf of the dinosaurs (who want to hold onto inflated profits from times gone by).

"To save money we will be replacing our reporters with bloggers, who will work for free."

You only have to look at the blogging world to realise that we too spend money on our craft hoping that one day we'll make it. However making it for most of us just means getting a back-link and getting 100 hits in a day. There are millions of websites out there competing for eyeballs and whilst it would be great for me to be paid to write, I seriously don't lose any sleep over it. I will continue to fork out money to Godaddy (and their girls), theme designers, app makers and anyone else who promises to make my blog look cool or easy to put together. I am prepared to do all this in order to fool a few readers a day into clicking the subscribe button. One day my kids may be mad at me because they missed out on playing time whilst I wrote about my sadness at the death of a dictator but you know what? I don't mind. I blog for the love of it and though my time is worth a lot to me and my family, the fact that I'm doing it for me means that I'm content with not charging you to read it. Link away dear friend. Unless I suddenly become popular and am the subject of a mega-bucks Rupert Murdoch takeover, this website will always be freely available. Though lets face it, everyone has their price so you never know what could tempt me to put up a paywall.

Nevertheless, I am truly content with knowing that the millions of rubbish websites and blogs out there make it much less likely that mine will be found by any significant number of people. Not through a lack of presence of course, but apathy from readers who are tired of being trapped into reading ugly blogs full of unoriginal content churned out by machines. And that's just if you're lucky, because on a bad day surfing the web can result in your computer catching a virus or you visiting a site for paid local (same) sex services which would be impossible to explain if your boss or wife looked at your browser history.

In the end it's clear to me that the internet is full of junk. Millions of rubbish websites with trash-type content strung together by biased writers who stopped learning grammar soon as they finished learning their ABCs and all available through one of the greatest ever innovations in history. The weird thing is that some of that junk is actually really popular and a huge number of other well written and presented content will never be exposed to much more than the writer who wrote it and their long lost ex who is trying to track them down. I'm conceited enough to think that my blog is one of the better ones, but I'm not up-myself enough to think that internet surfers owe me a living.

Despite all this I'm not deterred in my quest to write compelling posts and it's probable that my anti-Apple zeal could have been cured if Steve Jobs had ever said that the Macbook was so magical it could make me write like a latter-day Thomas Hardy. The Macbook is one of the few things that separates me from my very musical younger brother. The fact that he has invested much more in his equipment than I in blogging aids. This could quite easily have been the reverse had I been born in the days of the type-writer, however in terms of time spent I believe I would have no problem matching him or any other arty type. Nonetheless I won't single him out because he has never expressed a sense of entitlement about his standing in the music business. My ire is directed at his up-and-coming peers in general who complain about the state of an industry which they have chosen in all consciousness to be a part of.

As the proprietor of a music related business, I'm not anti-musician nor do I foresee doom and gloom on either side of the music business artist or establishment. I simply believe that people have choices. To work in the industry or not. To view it as a hobby or not. To use certain services or not. To always complain about the state of things and the problems they encounter or to try and effect change and solutions. But most pertinently musicians also have the choice to live in the real world and look around...... or not. Either way I wish they'd stop whingeing about the business!

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16May/09Off

neither facebook status nor twitter was enough

So I've been using Twitter for the last year or so and have found it OK. For those that don’t know it’s a micro-blogging platform. Basically, on Twitter you say what you want to your “followers” in 140 characters or less. Your message is open for all to see on the net, but your followers get a constant stream of what you and their chosen personalities have to say. In my opinion, it's a bit of a glorified group-text messaging service, but one that can be useful. In my case that usefulness was in trying to evangelise for my business, GigPay.

Personally I always try to say something engaging in my tweets. For example, instead of saying “there was a lot of traffic on the way to London”; I'd prefer to talk about my thoughts with regard to traffic. Bare with me, it's just an example, and yes, people do tweet mundane stuff like that. Instead my tweet would be something along the lines of the government’s traffic policy or my perception of people’s traffic habits. Like I said, something engaging. Short, but enough to get whoever is reading it, thinking or even responding.

Now, there are two issues with this. Firstly Twitter is not really brimming with that sort of user. Second, sometimes their 140 character limit is not enough to put across my sentiments. Therefore, I've lately been feeling the urge to express myself more than I could on Twitter. Yes, I have a partner (in the traditional sense of the word!) but that's just not enough, especially as she doesn't agree with most of my thoughts. So today I thought, well maybe I should start a blog. However, as far back as two months ago I didn’t think I had anything to blog about. I do like reading and writing, but I was convinced that the world doesn’t need to hear my opinion. There are quite a lot of loud-mouths, smart-ass*s and armchair critics already out there, and if I look around it’d be easy enough to find someone who actually says the things I want to say much better than I do!

Needless to say none of those issues stopped me slowly coming round to the idea that I might just be that guy who says things that someone else out there wants to say. Talk about having an ego! To top it all off, despite not being a celebrity, I went and named the blog after my surname. Whew!

So who am I? My name is Joe and I’m a budding entrepreneur living in the UK. I love business and I love culture.

Anyway, here we are and I want to say stuff in a little more than 140 characters. Stuff about the music business (I know, I know), business, politics, life, and whatever other BS I wanna spout. I hope to write short articles, but I’ll certainly try to make them all entertaining. Even the business ones! I’m only assured of one reader, my sister Charmaine, but that won’t stop me. I hope to post at least once a week and I promise not to abandon this blog. Otherwise I might as well have stuck to Twitter!