It’s time to turn around the Revenue Ship, and fast

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.

Kicking off a better year for my media work, probably

I’m claiming that January presented clear signs that I’m reversing the decline of revenue that I’d been suffering, thanks to depression and arsehattery — something that I’ve become very aware of in recent months.

If you don’t like these personal reflections that I write from time to time, then stop reading now. Read this instead.

I started this planning process at the end of 2012, because I’d noticed that until then I hadn’t actually been planning my media work, let alone taking the next step of having some kind of strategy.

I’d just plodded along doing much the same thing every week. If an income stream died, I did no real work to replace it. When new work was offered, I generally took it on unless the idea was clearly daft.

You can see what happened in my newly-updated “media objects” chart, which counts how many things I did for each masthead, regardless of complexity or income.

Chart of media objects produced by Stilgherrian since 2011

Continue reading “Kicking off a better year for my media work, probably”

Weekly Wrap 188: Long views to launch another long year

My week of Monday 6 to Sunday 12 January 2014 saw the start of some productivity for 2014, but for various reasons was relatively slow — and as usual when I’m posting late, it’s “just the facts”.


  • 2014, the year that infosec gets political, CSO Online, 6 January 2014. This was actually written at the very end of November 2013 for a print publication handed out through December, which is why it’s missing some of the most recent Snowden revelations.
  • Australian retailers recruiting generals for yesterday’s war, ZDNet Australia, 10 January 2014. I don’t often write about retail, but the decisions by both Myer and David Jones to search for new CEOs without specifically looking for online clue struck me as a particularly daft strategy.

Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

None. It’ll be another week or two before the hospitality starts flowing again.

Weekly Wrap 185: A post-productivity period, primarily

Poster for click to embiggenHere’s the key stuff that happened in my week of Monday 16 to Sunday 22 December 2013. Like last week, it wasn’t nearly as productive as I wanted it to be.


Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

None. I’m guessing that all the corporate types had stopped worrying about the clients and started worrying about their own end-of-year parties.

The Week Ahead

Well Monday has already happened, and it wasn’t very productive. Tuesday is just beginning, and it’s full of errands in and around the Sydney CBD. It’s also Christmas Eve, so once those errands are done I’ll be turning down the productivity dial even further for the rest of the week.

I may write a couple things over the remainder of the week, or I may not. It’ll all depend upon how I feel at the time.

[Photo: Poster for, photographed at Yok Yor Thai Food Factory, 19 December 2013.]

Weekly Wrap 178: Food, fever, bandwidth and boats

Carnival Spirit: click to embiggenMy week Monday 28 October to Sunday 3 November 2013 was another busy one, but I survived.

I did spend one night and one day with a little too much number seven on the Bristol Stool Scale and a fever, but it’d be a really lame joke to say that I caught a virus at the hacker conference, so I’ll skip over that. Just the list tonight.


  • Corrupted Nerds: Conversations 7, being a chat with Senator Scott Ludlam of the Australian Greens about new attorney-general Senator George Brandis’ appointment of a former ASIO director-general as his chief of staff, and my commentary on related matters.


Media Appearances

  • On Thursday I spoke about the NSA and data mining and privacy on ABC NSW Statewide Afternoons, but there’s no recording because there was no digital stream to record from.
  • I spoke about crowdfunding and many other things on this week’s Download This Show on ABC Radio National.

Corporate Largesse

  • On Tuesday I went to NetSuite’s annual media lunch at Aria Restaurant in Sydney, where the food and wine was, as always, superb. Not only did NetSuite pick up the tab, but they gave everyone a gift bag (another excellent RuMe tote bag) containing a NetSuite-branded notebook and pen, an eWAY-branded pen — plus and GoPro HERO3 White Edition wireless video camera and a SanDisk Ultra 8GB micro-SD memory card.
  • On Wednesday I went to the launch of ng Connect Australia and New Zealand, which led to the broadband story listed above. There was food and drink.

The Week Ahead

It’s yet another busy one. On Monday and Tuesday I’ll be wrapping up a Corrupted Nerds podcast, starting work on another, and writing up a 1000-word piece about hardware hacking.

On Wednesday, following a routine medical appointment in Sydney, I’m flying to Canberra for a meeting or three, before covering Eugene Kaspersky’s address to the National Press Club for ZDNet Australia on Thursday. I’ll be in Canberra until Friday afternoon.

The weekend is unplanned, but after the last few weeks I reckon it’ll be a lazy one. Fingers are crossed.

[Photo: Carnival Spirit, photoographed in Sydney Harbour on 29 October 2013 using a Nokia Lumia 1020. I had been sceptical of the whole idea of a 42-megapixel camera in a phone, but it allows you to crop in very, very tightly. Below is such a crop from the same image as at the head of this post. Some of the lack of sharpness will be due to the hazy weather, some to the fact that the photo was hand-held and I didn’t take much care. More about this camera soon.]

Carnival Spirit, tightly cropped

Weekly Wrap 174: Newcastle, new events, new venues

Newcastle City Hall: click to embiggenMy week Monday 30 September to Sunday 6 October 2013 was dominated by my trip to Newcastle for the inaugural DiG Festival and Conference. Both the city and the event were well worth it.

I’ll be writing about the DiG Festival for Crikey today, so watch out for that, but I’m sure I’ll have more to say later.[Update 2000 AEDT: And here it is.] I’ll also be writing about Newcastle, because I have many thoughts.


I also wrote a 1000-word piece that’ll appear in a printed magazine that CSO will be handing out at some events between now and the end of the year.


None, but there’ll be a new Corrupted Nerds in the coming few days.

Media Appearances


Corporate Largesse

The Week Ahead

Monday is a public holiday in NSW, but not in Victoria, so I’ll be writing my story on the DiG Festival and Conference for Crikey and, perhaps, a piece that I’ve kept on the back burner for Technology Spectator.

I’m keeping Tuesday empty for some personal reasons.

On Wednesday I’ll head to Sydney for a lunchtime media briefing by Unisys, and I may stay overnight because on Thursday there’s the annual conference of the Australian Information Security Association (AISA). [Update 8 October 2013: Confirmed, I’ll be attending the AISA Conference and staying in Sydney until Friday.]

Friday and the weekend are currently unplanned.

[Photo: Newcastle City Hall, photographed at around 0730 AEST on 3 October 2013.]