Fine posts of 2015? There were none!

There’s a reason the list of most popular posts for 2015 was so disappointing. Take out the posts related to podcasts and crowdfunding, or were audio or video grabs from my media appearances, or were a Weekly Wrap, are you’re left with just two.

  1. It’s time to turn around the Revenue Ship, and fast, 5 April. This was a reflection on the need to get some revenue happening. I probably should have paid more attention.
  2. Algorithms and the Filter Bubble references for 2015, 11 September. These were the notes for my lecture at University of Technology Sydney.

Obviously all my interesting writing is now elsewhere, at the mastheads that pay for it. But this fact has gotten me thinking. More on these thoughts soon.

Algorithms and the Filter Bubble references for 2015

UTS logoThis morning I delivered version six of my now-regular guest lecture to media students at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), “Algorithms and the Filter Bubble”. Here are the references and further reading.

The links over the fold start off with some background material that sets out my worldview, and then things are in roughly the same order as presented in the lecture — with the order becoming less coherent further down the page. There’s more material linked here than I mentioned in the lecture itself. Enjoy.

A recording of the lecture will be made available in roughly one week on Wednesday 23 September on Friday 25 September, as the change in Prime Minister has triggered the demand for some of my commentary. This page may be updated with further links at that time.

Continue reading “Algorithms and the Filter Bubble references for 2015”

Weekly Wrap 252: Rain, debates, squid and thinking

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.]

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.

Most popular posts of 2014

Since we’re approaching the end of 2014, here’s my usual list of the most-read posts on this website.

This represents only the material published right here, not things I write for money elsewhere and which have a far higher readership. It doesn’t include traffic to the home page, the about page, or anything else on the site that isn’t an actual blog post.

  1. Updated: Christopher Pyne clearly says the C-word? Nope. Did Christopher Pyne drop the c-bomb in Parliament or not? I first thought yes, then changed my mind. But I’m wondering now whether I want to change it back.
  2. May Reza Berati be the last, Mr Abbott. I was in a mood that night, but I think the writing stands up.
  3. Operation Sovereign Borders, sinister and banal. My reaction to Mick Kinley, acting chief executive officer of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) shrugging off concerns that Australia removes safety equipment from the lifeboats we put asylum seekers on before telling them to go home.
  4. Adventures in Identity: Still struggling with Google+, from January.
  5. Guilty of being a teenager in a public place, in which I kick off about the actions of the police in Mosman.
  6. Algorithms and the Filter Bubble, Take 3, being the recording of my guest lecture at UTS in April. This reminds me that I haven’t posted the updated version from the second half of the year. Oops.
  7. Tone-Deaf Abbott no statesman, never will be, my comment on the Prime Minister’s message on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
  8. Announcing 5at5, my new daily email letter, which explains itself.
  9. The 9pm Shire, one of my favourite episodes of The 9pm Edict podcast.
  10. A loving profile of Tony Abbott, which simply embeds the video of American TV host John Oliver’s roasting of Abbott.

Continue reading “Most popular posts of 2014”

Weekly Wrap 216: The return, the throat, the stress

The Tower at Dusk: click to embiggenMy week of Monday 21 to Sunday 27 July 2014 is just about to end, after a month of virtual silence on this website. I’ve been active elsewhere, just not here. So what’s the story?

I’ve been exhausted. A few weeks ago I made the mistake of spending a Friday evening in a Sydney mass-market bar with ordinary people, and I seem to have picked up some sort of disease. An infection. A lurgy. Whatever. As far as I can tell, it’s something that’s currently doing the rounds in Sydney. A sore throat with fatigue that’s difficult to shake. So I’m not too worried, just annoyed.

I also went for nearly a week without a computer, when my MacBook Pro had to go in for repairs. That was more disruptive to my work patterns than I’d hoped. Maybe I’ll write about that soon. Maybe not. The short version is that an iPad is just not the same.

And as a third disruption, there was a technical crisis that affected the clients of my other little business, and which took over my attention for two long days. I don’t think I’ll write about that at all, because it’s annoying.

The combined result, however, is that I’ve only had energy to focus on those things, plus the things that I’d committed to do and which generated immediate revenue. Well, some of them anyway. And everything else has been burned.

I plan to back-fill the missing posts of media appearances and the like, but they’ll have to wait for about a week. Meanwhile, this Weekly Wrap contains the links to the stuff that is available now, and a plan for the week ahead. And a photo.

Oh, and I should also mention that on Thursday and Friday I had the distinct pleasure of presenting a two-day “Writing for the Web” course at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). It made a lovely change from my usual solitary work.

Articles

Here’s everything I’ve written since Weekly Wrap 211.

Media Appearances

Quite a few since the last Weekly Wrap, but none this week. Watch out for blog posts as I publish the backlog.

5at5

Is listing them here pointless? Just head over to the 5at5 site, and either subscribe or browse back through the recent editions.

Corporate Largesse

None this week. I’ll report the rest in the next Weekly Wrap.

The Week Ahead

Monday is about finishing a column for ZDNet Australia and producing an episode of The 9pm Edict, as well as wrapping up some geekery for a client.

Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll be in Sydney covering the ADMA Global Forum for Crikey and Technology Spectator. I’m particularly looking forward to meeting Bob Garfield, co-presenter of WNYC’s On the Media.

Also on Tuesday evening I’m heading to the OpenAustralia Foundation pub night.

On Thursday there’s a media briefing on various information security matters by Cisco and, in the evening, drinks with executives from Oracle.

Friday will see me wrapping up whatever media objects need completing, and then the weekend is unplanned.

And at various points through the week I’ll be trialling a Microsoft Nokia Lumia 930 smartphone, their latest flagship model, with particular attention being given to the camera.

[Photo: The Tower at Dusk, being a shot of a mobile phone tower at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains earlier this evening.]