A Return to Blogging

The last 12 months have seen quite a few changes in the way in which I communicate and action the visibility and style of communication for my various projects*. I’m speaking primarily of my online projects. When I reflect on that realisation it seems to me that more and more of what we do is digital in both creation and consumption. Feels perhaps like we’re getting ever closer to the non tangible world of dreams but in our waking lives. I like it. And there are countless folks developing tech to make the transition seamless. WordPress are one of them. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years and you reside outside this so called western world, then you’ll realise its becoming more and more difficult to separate the two. Visibility and commerce. Our kids want ‘likes’ and they’ll all soon discover that likes can be bought.** A few of them will go on to discover that the only reason likes, hits, hearts and up-votes were ever invented was a means to a commercial end. Baby chino anyone? Having tried to keep clear of business related matters on my personal blog with good reason, there is a justifiable segue from the former regarding syndication and subsequent proliferation to a hopefully less than dull piece of modern prose that is not a cynical rant. Hang in there.

I started blogging because it felt like a natural growth and transition from diary writing which I’ve done and continued to do to even post Back Page, since I was at least 14 or maybe younger. I started a novel when I was 16 which I tore up and threw away. Probably a good thing. I talked about clouds in the first paragraph… What’s most precious about this memory was that it was typed on an old suitcase typewriter my mother gave me on B4 sized paper my father gave me. The machine was later sold at one of her infamous garage sales. I now call them diaries and they are mainly arguments in a higher voice of reason. Dissatisfaction I find is a wonderful motivator and once I took control of my disdain I was able to channel it into action in my early twenties. Music, art, business and children (in no particular order). I’m now 35 and I’m from a generation that may have been the last to have first typed on a typewriter. That is fucking cool. Of course being a designer and having a passion for the retartedly cliché, I have a couple of old typewriters around so my kids do at least know what these wonderful machines are. I also have a feeling that machines like this will make a comeback. Cassettes too. I digress…

The first round of blogging coincided with big changes in my online world and a bunch of new web sites going up.*** WordPress played a very big hand. Work and business (which funds everything I do), music (which more or less keeps me sane), and the various grey areas between the two which I won’t go into now but include a band, a label and a recording studio all had a part to play. It was honest, gratifying and no one read any of it. I did however push my understanding of blogging and how to get a blog to trend which awakened the capitalist beast within. So how do you get it to work? Send me your email address so I can spam you about SEO. I’m kidding. Please don’t email me! Again, so how do you get it to work? Once I was able to answer that the algorithm quickly shifted as I realised you only get out what you put in and why put in for a blog that reviews the best 3 Korean films I saw this year or has an odd unfinished poem about a backside? The Believer will not publish me and I think I only have one follower on the blog. The obvious answer for me was to direct traffic to the source that will indeed reap the most financial reward. And that is what I have done for the last 2 years. I’ve done it for myself and I now do it for clients as well and I’m very good at it. Mind you the adage still applies. You Only Get Out What You Put In. YOGOWYPI. Sounds Aboriginal. Might put it on a t-shirt.

As soon as every post and every link is only about one thing, the motivation behind the work changes entirely. There are even systems designed to automate the process. At a price of course. Wading this murk for 12 months before I even realised it was murk was very interesting. I’m shrewd enough and I know how to delegate but I’m also a fierce creator so it wasn’t long before I picked up the old A4 Windsor & Newtown visual diaries and started writing with a Bic again. There is a certain freedom that I realised was missing from the blogging only after I returned to the A4 + Bic format. I unconsciously censor my online work while no such boundary exists in my diaries. These books, no one has ever read and probably won’t until after I’m dead. There are about 3000 pages in total with at least a couple of hundred words on each. I recently split them into topics and categories based on my current projects which suits me very well. It feels like less is being written and I walk around with six diaries under my arm but I like the new format. The tone and motivation is the same.

a return to blogging

And so here I was again. Written diaries in one hand and useless online material served up for one purpose only on the other. The things is, there’s some pretty good stuff in some of these diaries. Some might even be worth sharing. I hit a wall and realised the intent behind the action was no longer pure but it would take me another year to come to the conclusion that I had to either stop or balance it out in some other booze fueled way. Balance is a tricky word and it has many connotations but its real and we feel it in every facet of our lives. The balance I was trying to strike was a commercial one with some very creative implications. Or was it a creative one with commercial loss and gain at stake? I couldn’t tell anymore and if you bullshit yourself for long enough you do actually start to believe it. We have safeguards but I’ll leave that controversy for another time. I’m healthy now and have been for ages.

So anyway, I’m blogging again and the simple answer lies in a revelation regarding what I have in the past called the complete artwork. I know a few people that are completely convinced that anyone who’s made it has lied, cheated and possibly fucked their way to the top. Funny but maybe the truth really does get you further.

*If you really want to know they are If You Build It, Monday Records (and her bands), Happy Music Festival, Enmore Audio , helping Tammy Moir with her site and then of course the Happy Blog.

**If you didn’t know this don’t worry. But let the lesson be not to get too caught up in how many likes or followers any one has.

***See point *

dpm creative group graphic design

More Clicks – Less Sound

A story about Radi that goes back about two years. Worth mentioning now for various reasons.

Seems to me that everything is about clicks lately and you are most definitely speaking to the converted.  I admit to being hyperactive compared to most people at the slowest of times but in some areas I seem to display a sloth like aptitude. Not sure why. Fear? Doubt? Uncertainty? All leading to an egotistical denial that sliced bread even exists. Despite not being sure what to call my source of living for many years, if I look closely, it is of course graphic design. Our industry is a funny one. Not ha ha funny. There aren’t any set standards, rules or regulatory bodies; only hundreds and hundreds of kids with $25K degrees and a bunch a studios that try to employ them. Graphic design is very closely linked to web design and web design is even more closely linked to folk that are somewhat IT savvy. I was never a web designer and I was never IT savvy. Just a passionate artist who wanted to make a living designing business cards. So while I was toiling away on my 48th business card for the week, other agencies of a similar age were cottoning on to the click click click factor. And fuck me dead is it an important factor. I started shopping online years ago but never once thought about people who might be looking for us online. Why?* No matter. The penny, which was now at a horizons distance sped forward like speed racer** and dropped right in front of my face. not only did I have years of catching up to do, but month’s worth of training and research as I uncovered the mystical secrets and powers of SEO. Of course being the hyperactive so and so that I am, I immediately launched a company that would allow an outlet for these new found skills. This is a personal side project which will only be available to a limited number of clients a year and while Google themselves say do not trust an SEO who guarantees results, I have most certainly proven to myself that I can get results. But it is early days and for that very reason this blog entry is in my personal site as opposed to the company site.

Leonard Woolf*** once wrote of the sad decline of clicks and clops of horses hooves on the London cobble stone roads as more and more motorcars were introduced. The same can be said of the click clack of the analog typewriter. We have one in our office. Not quite as cool is this Hammond but the nostalgic and meditative rhythms it produces are the same. The definition of clicks has changed completely**** and while the world is making a billion more clicks everyday there’s a romantic in me that would gladly change that for Morse code, ribbon and hoofs.

* Sloth like aptitude.

**You may like to sing the speed racer theme song here

***Yes, Virginia’s husband

****When I told my mechanic that my van was clicking he thought I meant it was accessing the internet without my permission.