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Sunrise over Rozelle Bay, Sydney: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 13 to Sunday 19 April 2015 was rather full, but not as productive as the plan intended. Instead, there were unexpected loose ends to tie up, plus hours and hours of introspection.

Introspection about the fact that Q1 of 2015 was, in revenue terms, my second-worst quarter in more than four years. Introspection about just how I’ll increase revenue. And about the isolation of living at Bunjaree Cottages, which isn’t good for me — and the fact that these accommodation arrangements, only ever intended to be for “a few weeks”, have run for more than four years. All my household possessions, apart from two suitcases of personal items and the like, have been in storage all this time.

Introspection about two events coming up next month, a birthday that ends in a “5” and, on 13 May, the twentieth anniversary of moving from Adelaide to Sydney — a move triggered by taking on a new job during the first dotcom boom. With both work and accommodation issues on the agenda again, is it time for another migration?

Introspection about the “need”, as my doctor put it, to get some exercise, change my diet, and lose 10kg of weight. And introspection about just how I’ll change all those things — and more that I haven’t mentioned yet — without going postal.

I don’t have any answers yet. Heck, I don’t even have most of the questions. But I am starting to get a clearer view of the landscape, like the sun rising through dawn clouds.

All that said, I did get a few things done this week…

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Statement of Regret”, being The 9pm Edict episode 40. It contains quite a bit about Australia’s forthcoming celebrations for Anzac Day and the mythic nature of Gallipoli in those celebrations. I’d like to hear your responses. Your deadline for audio comments is Tuesday 21 April at 1700 AEST.

Articles

5at5

There were four editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

  • On Friday, I had coffee with an executive from Dyn, an internet performance optimisation company. That coffee was paid for by their PR people.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be in the Blue Mountains all week, as far as I can tell at this stage.

On Monday and Tuesday, I’m finishing a column for ZDNet Australia, producing another episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, and setting up some sort of subscription drive for same. Those last two tasks are intertwined. On Tuesday night, I’ll be talking tech news with Dom Knight on ABC 702 Sydney at 2030 AEST.

On Wednesday through Friday, I’ll finally get that ebook sorted, write a column for ZDNet Australia, review the scripts for six episodes of a television drama. Yes, that last one is running late. Also left over from last week is producing and posting the recording of my recent lecture at UTS. There’s no way that’ll fit into the coming week.

The weekend is currently unplanned, but given how much I’ll be doing during the week, I suspect I’ll just be a sloth for two days. Apart, that is, from going to a local Anzac Day Dawn Service somewhere. Maybe. I may also try to have some sort of social life. Possibly.

Further Ahead

The following week, on 29-29 April, I’ll be covering the Disruptocon conference in Sydney, trying not to choke on the name.

Then on Saturday 2 May, I’ll be flying to the US for eight days, primarily to cover NetSuite’s SuiteWorld conference once again. I currently plan to return to Australia on Tuesday 12 May. I’ll tell you more about that trip in due course.

[Photo: Sunrise over Roselle Bay, Sydney, photographed on 19 April 2015. Yes, today.]

Screenshot of WKYC storyThe 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsAustralia’s Treasurer Joe Hockey wins new friends in Western Australia. Russell Crowe says something sensible. And Woolworths backs down after having created an Anzac Day promotional campaign that wasn’t sensible at all. On Facebook. Serious.

In this podcast, there’s talk of Anzac Day, budgets, boat races, and cheetahs. But nothing about Florida at all.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733. I’m particularly interested in your thoughts on Anzac Day. The deadline is 1700 AEST on Tuesday 21 April.

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En route to Sydney: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 6 to Sunday 12 April 2015 was a little busier than it should have been, given that the Easter long weekend was in there. Mind you, I did plenty of work-related things in there.

I won’t list them all, because some of them were background things that you’re not allowed to know about yet. And some of them were thoughtful, long-term things that will be discussed soon enough. So it’s just the list for now.

Podcasts

  • “The 9pm Government by Fools”, being The 9pm Edict episode 39. It contains a brief rant about pies, amongst other things.

Articles

5at5

Three editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. To save me having to tell you this, you could just subscribe.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

I’m in Sydney all this week, and have a bunch of things to do, but in no particular order. I’ve got to plan the next month, produce an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast by Tuesday night, plan out a subscription drive for that podcast, review six TV scripts, write a column for ZDNet Australia, produce and post the recording of last week’s UTS lecture, coordinate some medical treatment, and finally assemble that ebook that’s been lurking in the back of the to-do list for far, far too long.

[Photo: En route to Sydney, being the view from a Blue Mountains line train as it travelled down to Sydney in the early morning light on Thursday 9 April 2015. It was a very different mood from last week’s view.]

Mugshot of Taylor DavisThe 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsA disturbing new news genre emerges from Florida. We discover certain frustrations in relation to the Pie People. And we learn the correct way to respond when Australia’s education minister Christopher Pyne speaks.

In this podcast, there’s talk of government, spin, Joe Hockey, Bill Shorten, and selfies. And Florida. Obviously.

You can listen to the podcast below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe automatically in iTunes, or go to SoundCloud.

If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

Read the rest of this entry »

Forest, rain and train: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 30 March to Sunday 5 April 2015 was and action-packed week of extremes. Kinda.

Well, I made it up as I went along. I was in both Sydney and the Blue Mountains. The weather was variable. Does that count as extreme? How about standing right next to David Marr while he was paying attention to other people and I felt ignored and sulky?

Coming soon to a games store near you, Extreme David Marr.

Articles

Podcasts

5at5

Four editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. You should subscribe, you know. If you subscribe, Jesus will love you. Promise.

Media Appearances

Corporate Largesse

None.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, despite it being a public holiday, I’ll be producing the bulk of an episode of The 9pm Edict. On Tuesday, I’ll be doing some errands and shopping in Leura and Katoomba in the morning. In the afternoon, I’ll be planning out some writing for April. And in the evening, I’ll publish the completed podcast.

On Wednesday, I’ll be updating my regular lecture for journalism students at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

On Thursday, I’ll be making the long commute to Sydney to deliver that lecture at UTS at 0900. Then at 1030 I’m going to the Australian launch of VMware’s vCloudAir. And then I’ll be writing for ZDNet Australia probably.

Friday through Sunday are currently unplanned. It will include, however, the turning of the UTS lecture into a podcast, some writing for someone else, and a variety of revenue-generating activities.

Caveat

The squid is none of your business.

[Photo: Forest, rain and train, being the view from a Blue Mountains line train as it travelled between Katoomba and Leura on a rainy day Friday 3 April 2015.]

I knew the first three months of 2015 had been bad for business — or at least my little patch of business — but I hadn’t realised it was this bad. Turns out it was my second-worst quarter in more than four years! Drastic action and ruthless decisions are required.

Yes, this is another of my occasional thinking-aloud reflections on my personal circumstances. If you don’t like this sort of thing, then stop reading now. Read this instead.

Still with me? Lovely.

Yesterday I updated my “media objects” chart, which counts how many things I’ve created for each media outlet, regardless of relative complexity or what income was generated. It serves as a handy proxy for revenue — because certain revenue figures are confidential.

Media objects produced monthly, 2011-2015: click to embiggen

It’s a depressing image. At best, Q1 of 2015 was no worse than Q1 of the previous year, but overall it’s still a picture of decline. Literally depressing, in fact, because I’ve left in a couple of health-related markers that I was using to analyse something else.

Back at the end of 2012, I’d tried to inject a little more strategy into the way I ran the business side of making media. This and other charts were some of the tools I created, last updated in February 2014. It’s fair to say that I haven’t really developed any kind of strategy out of the information in those charts, and this new chart illustrates the results from doing that nothing. Go me.

This chart doesn’t reflect certain positives, however. There’s now crowdsourced funding for The 9pm Edict podcast. I also do some minor work for the University of Technology Sydney, and I consult on some other media projects too. There’s also fragmentary revenue from the legacy clients of my IT business.

But I do need to raise my income levels back to something more like they were a few years ago. The next step is to do something about it. And that has been the nature of my ponderings across this Easter long weekend.

Recording "Announcing 'The 9pm Intermission'": click to embiggen

The 9pm Edict cover art version 2, 150 pixelsAh yeah, hello. Careful listeners will have noticed that there hasn’t been an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast since early March. And it’s now early April. Sorry about that.

I had most of the pre-production done for an episode on 24 March, and then I got a cold, and then five days later much of what I’d written had become… obsolete as time passed.

So fuck time, basically. In fact, fuck most of physics, because physics does nothing but get in the way of doing anything truly interesting in this world. And fuck science generally.

But, thanks to some excellent people who made some generous one-off contributions, there will be two episodes of the Edict in April, plus a late-running one from March, making three in all this month. Full thank-yous in the next real episode, which will be on Tuesday 7 April. Just a few days away. Do try to keep your pants on.

[Photo: Recording “The 9pm Intermission”, photographed somewhere in Parramatta on 2 April 2015.]

The Wire logoOn Monday I recorded an interview on Bitcoin’s secret sauce, the blockchain, with The Wire, the current affairs program for Australia’s community radio network produced by 2SER in Sydney. It went to air that night as past their story Blockchains to the rescue?

It was only a couple of years ago that Bitcoin was taking the world by storm — the price rocketing by hundreds of percent. Since then, however, it has fallen into obscurity, with less and less companies accepting it as payment. But even if Bitcoin does not make it as a full fledged currency, the technology behind it may find a place elsewhere.

Journalist Josh Nicholas also spoke with Professor David Glance, Director of University of Western Australia’s Centre for Software Practice. The narrative contrasts my enthusiasm, for want of a better work, with Glance’s scepticism. That’s probably down to the questions asked and the editing, because I suspect our views are actually much the same.

The audio is ©2015 2SER-FM 107.3. It’s also available at The Wire program website — that’s exactly the same as what you can hear here, it’s just that the audio file here has my branding — and you can also listen to the entire episode.

Please stand behind the yellow line: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 23 to Sunday 29 March 2015 is being documented late. Things did not go to plan, and I was annoyed.

Articles

Podcasts

None. The next episode of The 9pm Edict did not appear on Tuesday 24 March as previously advised, but it will finally arrive on 7 April.

5at5

Only one edition of 5at5 this week, on Monday. You should subscribe, you know.

Media Appearances

None. It’s been a while now.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday I was briefed by Oracle executives on “Cloud, Big Data and platforms” over lunch at the Bentley Restaurant + Bar in Sydney. The food was excellent. I had the pork cheek with garlic and yoghurt purée, raddichio and jamon, and the mulloway with pink turnip and brown butter.

[Photo: Please stand behind the yellow line, being platform markings and adjacent scenery at Leura station in the Blue Mountains, photographed in 28 March 2015.]

VH-VUE touches down in Melbourne: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 16 to Sunday 22 March 2015 didn’t quite go to plan, but the changes were mostly just irritations.

As mentioned last week, I had planned to stay on in Melbourne for a few days, but a closer look at the budget made it clear that wasn’t possible. And then my return flight on Thursday was delayed, for two reasons. One, Melbourne Airport’s air traffic control tower was evacuated for some reason, putting a spanner in the works. Two, just as my plane was finally about to leave, a passenger fell ill, and we had to wait until an ambulance arrived.

Still, I gathered plenty of information in Melbourne, and bits and pieces of it will turn up in various writings on the coming weeks.

Articles

Podcasts

None. The next episode of The 9pm Edict will be on Tuesday 24 March.

5at5

There were only two editions of 5at5 this week, on Monday and Wednesday. The gap in the early part of the week was because I was busy, and in the latter part of the week because I had trouble getting a clean data link to TinyLetter for some reason. You should subscribe, you know.

Media Appearances

None.

Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be another busy one, at least in the first half of the week.

On Monday, I’ll be doing most of the production for an episode of The 9pm Edict podcast, as well as the laundry, as well as administrivia.

On Tuesday, I’ll be taking the train to Sydney for a lunchtime briefing by Oracle on the cloud and big data. I’m wondering if anything has actually changed with them things. I’ll also be preparing my entries for the IT Journalism Awards, also known as The Lizzies, and dealing with a few errands.

On Wednesday, I’m heading in to Sydney again for the Rewind/Fast Forward conference. The program seems interesting, and I think I’ll ge getting plenty of usable material there too.

On Thursday and Friday, I’ll be writing a column for ZDNet Australia, writing something else, and working on the much-delayed ebook — though I haven’t locked those activities into specific timeslots yet.

The weekend is unplanned, but Saturday will of course include the NSW state election.

[Photo: VH-VUE touches down in Melbourne. VH-VUE is a Boeing 737 Next Gen, and on 17 March 2015 it was flying Virgin Australia flight VA834 SYD-MEL. While it was a rainy day, most of the vertical streaks in this image are from the crinkled window treatment.]

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