Podcasting: Then and Now

Image courtesy of The New York Film School

Podcasting has been around for as long as I have been officially blogging, which means 2007 (or possibly even 2001, when I coded my own home page in Geocities). Today it is big business and far more popular with the general public than it was back then. The model has been monetized and advancements in internet and mobile device technology and associated apps has made it easier than ever to create a podcast on the go.

Back in the last 2000s, I got into podcasting via the technology I already had in my home recording studio. I came up with the concept of The Sunday Soundtrack, a podcast that I created to be a substitute for the extremely popular smooth jazz podcast format, a podcast to introduce the genres of chill out, smooth electronica, ambient, two step (aka UK Garage) to a specific audience that, by my travels, weren’t getting introduced to said genres.

I started out by posting episodes every Sunday afternoon or evening, which required me to research tracks from somafm, some of the electronica and chill out stations from what was Apples Radio stations in iTunes, YouTube, and SiriusXM. I used Logic Pro as my recording medium, uploaded the final podcast to my blog server and starred it with the masses. It was quite an enjoyable experience.

At that same time, via Twitter, I began to see that there were others like me doing music podcasts…people like (just to name a few):

  • Jason Smith- BSOTS (Both Sides Of The Surface)
  • DarrenKeith – My Love For Music
  • Anjibee – The Chillcast
  • DJ Diva – The Mixtress of R&B
  • T. Grundy – Cupid’s Hunt
  • Todd Kelley – The Flowhop, Prototype Of NuSoul
  • EJ Flavors(RIH) – Old School Wednesdays
  • Fave (RIH) – The Friday Favecast

We ended up forming an unofficial podcast consortium and provided “podcast ID drops” to use in each others podcasts. This, again, was all before the days of heavy podcast commercialism, before the days of it being monetized on social media platforms and large business entities like NPR, NASA, and the like. It was, as with other things of days gone by, almost sort of a “pure” approach of audio media publishing and broadcasting, shared with the masses as a labor of love.

As the years went by, with “life” happening, The Sunday Soundtrack went from weekly episodes to monthly to occasionally. Some of the other podcasts above (with the exception of one, which I’ll get back to later), also fell by the ‘regularly posting” wayside for various reasons. Yet and still, all great podcasts which I enjoyed listening to throughly and participating in as I could.

Today, I try to repost the years of Sunday Soundtrack episodes, as I can, to share with seasoned listeners who were there from the beginning, to new listeners. I’ve said numerous times that I’d like to revive the podcast and post new episodes, but like everything else, that only requires “making the time/schedule” to do so. On an aside, my home recording studio has been down for months due to basement renovation that is about to finally start. I’ve been out of sorts, in a way, since the entire basement has been out of sorts but once I get back to normal, I’ll serious consider it.

Since then, I’ve created another podcast, Tech Times. It’s a 5 -7 minute “bite-sized” podcast where I just give my view on emerging consumer technologies that I fancy. I’m no expert, it’s just a fun way of publishing my thoughts. It started out as a purely mobile podcast back in 2014 or so and was posted to the then ADN (App Developers Network), now known as Pnut. Last November I participated in National Podcast Post Month #NaPodPoMo by publishing episodes of this podcast and still post occasionally now. I’ll post the links to both the Sunday Soundtrack and Tech Times below.

Back to the still ongoing podcast I mentioned above. Jason Smith of BSOTS was broadcasting alongside of the rest of this back in 2007 and has continued to provide us with quality episodes of great music. I felt it was fitting to give him a shout out and salute.

Today, technical podcasts and similar help my commute to work go very nicely and it allows me to keep abreast of the tech advancements I have interest in. I’m glad the tech has advanced to the point of making it quite easy to listen just about any place or any time.

Here’s a few links to my podcasts and BSOTS

Tech Tmes (available on all major podcast streaming platforms)

The Sunday Soundtrack

Both Sides Of The Surface (Jason Smith)

Thanks much for the read….

Fresh!

Pet Peeves of text (and similar) messaging communications 

“Did you get my text?”

Greetings all – hope all is well with you this week.

Text messaging nee SMS aka short messaging system. Frankly, this ubiquitous form of communication is still revolutionary and extremely convenient. It’s so helpful in so many situations and is a largely used time saver when there’s a need to communicate. I, like you, use it daily and I’m glad such technology was created.

That said, I personally feel there are definite downsides to using text messaging as a primary form of communications. When I say primary, I’m not assuming this includes in emergency cases, but moreso as a substitute for picking up the phone to actually talk to someone. I was talking with Darrenkeith sometime ago about texting vs talking on the phone. He prefers the former, vs the latter, for his desired way to communicate – which is totally fine – it’s a personality thing anyway you slice it.

For me, I’ve found that that many DO use texting as a substitute method for engaging in conversations longer than what I think SMS was created for (especially by virtue of its name! LOL). I think there are those (not all) who prefer to use it as a primary form communication expect others do also and think that the receiver’s phone is their possession 24/7. When someone asks me “did you get my text”, it implies to me they their message had some level of urgency above a casual “Hi” or similar. I, on the other hand (after being asked), say that it had zero urgency, if you couldn’t pick up the phone and call 🙂 . I think texting can also be like other non-face-to-face communication and can serve as a point of avoidance, whether that is true or not, can only be confirmed by the messenger. Oh, and don’t get me started on group text messages – while they can and do have utility under certain circumstances, most fo the ones I get are long and annoying – no offense to those that get wrapped up in them 🙂

Today I thought of a few friends I haven’t been in touch with for over a year, I started to text then to see what’s new, but decided to take the effort to make a phone call, the extra effort is old fashioned but I believe far more valuable. While you generally won’t save an audio conversation for later review (as you can with a text), the rest of the aspects of that audio conversation can leave a longer impression than any text message your can save in the cloud, IMHO.

Namaste,

Fresh!

The Effect of Motivational Books/Quotes 

If you’ve been on social media for even a short amount of time (let alone reading books regularly for that same amount of time or even far longer), you’ve come across motivational quotes. I’d say the immediacy of platforms like Twitter and especially Instagram make seeing them unavoidable, let alone searching the web to find them. Add to that those who care social media influencers in this space, and there you have it (be right back, need more chocolate chip cookies…)

Ok, back. Considering the myriad of motivational quotes, speakers, influencers, etc, the question is – how do motivational quotes effect you? For me, I guess the effect depends on how they align with my daily life, although I’ve seen/heard many that are profoundly motivational that don’t necessarily align with my day-to-day and/or the paths I strive to follow for me. The “effect”, either way, becomes more significant if I tend to act on said quote, or strive to, as time goes by.

The action being taken (and the associated consistency/repetition of said action) leads me to how I look at the meaning of the word “motivate”. A common definition reads as such:

mo·ti·va·tion /ˌmōdəˈvāSH(ə)n/

noun

  1. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

I extend that definition to always include the cause for the reason, or the catalyst for it, and to me, that invariably comes from an emotional state. More often than not, one is motivated to do something based on their emotional state. For one that regularly exercises and works out, I often see people looking for others or things to motivate them to exercise and I often ask the question, “What if these people never received the motivation from a person, place, or thing to exercise..would they?”

Therein lies the difference between “motivation” and “discipline”. Being motivated to do something is always based on one’s emotional state, even as well as the best intentions, BUT, discipline is driven from within and always occurs without motivation. This is not to say that motivation doesn’t strengthen discipline, however, “discipline trumps motivation” each and every time.

I think, as alluded to above, motivational quotes and statements can be indeed useful and helpful. I have a folder full of screen shots I’ve collected from Instagram that I keep in a folder called “Daily Road”. They are inspirational as well, and most have to do with strengthening productivity but all pretty much drive “doing your best for you”. I oftentimes take time to just read them, but the true value comes from consistently acting upon them. The frequency of such, even after reading them repeatedly, often lets me know if it’s just a “feel good” (cue the cheerleader shouts), of am I really past any type of motivational feeling and letting discipline drive for the best.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

Oceans of rhythm…

Fresh

Digital Minimalism (The Newport Way): 30 Day Results

Greetings,

From 27 August through 30 September, I set out to do a modified version of what Cal Newport discusses in his best-selling book “Digital Minimalism”. Essentially, the detox calls to get rid of using, not just social media sites, but all other types of tech that appears to have a grip on oneself (i.e. gaming, etc). The end result is to use technology to enhance the value of your everyday life, as opposed to technology using you. for it’s gain, in the midst of the digital and social media economy.

As said above, I took a modified approach. As suggested in the book, I removed the remaining apps from my phone: Twitter, Beta, Instagram, and Reddit. In doing so, I found that Instagram is (outside of posting photos and videos) essentially useless, the user experience leaves much to be desired. This is definitely understandable, so much to the point of me having little desire to check my IG account, let along engaging there on any regular basis. This result was discussed in the book – the inconvenience of logging into social media sites via the web vs the designed convenience of doing so with a mobile app. I didn’t think I would miss using Instagram, especially being an early adapter to the platform.

With removing mobile apps and causing the inconvenience of logging in via the web, the other part of the process was to avoid just that – logging into the sites via the web. Being a huge fan of Twitter, this is where I fell short. My modified plan was to just check Twitter for ten minutes every morning, primarily via the Twitter lists I have built in the beginning of the detox. The same was to take place for Instagram and Facebook as I could log into post content for music production. That process started well for the first week or so, but waned quickly after that.

There is this context of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I spoke about this topic on a recent episode of my podcast, Tech Times. FOMO takes on many forms – for some it has to do with keeping up with friends and family posts, for others it’s breaking news, etc. For me, Twitter has always provided me with topic knowledge in the areas of technology developments, coding culture, and space news. It’s been an invaluable resource for those areas for the past 16 years, so going cold turkey on it has been difficult, even via the use of lists, and not having my feed littered with unwanted topic matter. Accessing it via mobile is barely different (unlike IG) then access via the web, so that didn’t help matters, but in the past month, one thing became very clear: the issue is not really the access per se, it’s ……………

…keeping the phone out of my hands.

I won’t wax phisophically on that issue, however, it’s the one and only thing that will cause me to use my time wiser and eventually get to the result that Cal ultimately states in his book. Last week, my screen time averaged 5 hours a day, which is way too much for the activities that caused that. That said, today is October 1, the first day of the last quarter of 2022. Yesterday, in my podcast episode “What’s The Password”, I mentioned that I plan to take actionable steps to finish 2022 on a high note. What I discuss, in terms of reducing my “digital footprint” (as a long time friend said to me years ago) is the primary strive I’ll be strengthening. With that strengthening, I hope to do more things to also strengthen the true and valuable things of my daily life for this point forward – things that don’t require the use of being online.

Thanks for the read.

Doug

Oversharing – Is there such a thing in social media?

Greetings all…

This particular post is twofold, maybe threefold, in that it piggybacks on my previous post about the Twitter doomsday posts/articles regarding Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. What I mean by threefold is the genesis of this post comes from the aforementioned, something I heard on a recent podcast called “Off The Hook” by the well known hacking culture organization, 2600 and, lastly, what I consider to be a very well written blog post by my friend Darrenkeith Wyatt. The post, I’ll let you read at your leisure, you can find it here: Social Media + Holidays = Superficial.

What I found interesting in this podcast is commentary that aligned with me for years. The commentary begs the question that is the subject of this post – does the advent and ease of using and engaging in social media cause users to share too much? What is “sharing too much”? Of course, the definition will always be open to interpretation, but is there really a definition answer to what oversharing is?

Being not born a digital native but watching the internet be born and then social media to follow, I remember the strides one had to go through to share their lives. For the everyday person, it generally involved things like the following:

  • Wriing letters and sending physical photographs
  • Pulling out a wallet with an accordion-type plastic photo holder to show photos of family to another
  • Sending email and attaching digital photos
  • Phone calls
  • Livestreaming video (FaceTime, etc)

These examples, and similar, took more effort and extended time in comparison to the shooting of photos and video that can be instantly uploaded to your social media site of choice.

I’ve come across people I follow and don’t follow on social media that appear to share at a very high frequency. The content is varied from user to user, some post content constrained to a certain topic, others anything and everything, but again, does that constitute oversharing?

I think everyone shares whatever they do for a specific reason or reasons. The use of social media is so varied these days that I won’t get into the many reasons why. I will say that some of Darrenkeith’s blog post centers around one of the many discussions we’ve had on the topic of social media evolution, especially in terms of sharing content and consuming of such versus creating.

I remember driving home some years ago listening to a podcast (I think it was via NPR but I can’t recall the name right now) that broadcasted an episode centered around the term “oversharenting” – how parents continually “share” pictures of their children (sometimes from birth) into their teen years and how in those early years, the child doesn’t have any say about whether they want to be all over social media, day in and day out. The episode went on to cite a few teens who ended up disliking the fact that so many photos of them sequencing their growth, have been put on public display without their agreement.

In any event, give Darrenkeith’s blog post a read, I found it to be very interested and agreeable to a few thoughts I’ve had for quite some time.

Thanks for the read…

Best,

Fresh

Organize, organize: A music production project micro post.

It’s been a few months since I posted a weblog, since late May to be exact. Yesterday I counted the number of music projects I have started and in the works. These involve personal projects (actual and concept only), plus collaborations with other artist or backing tracks for livestream feeds. The total number came to sixteen. Twelve of them I hope will be completed by 15 Dec 2020, the other four have TBDs before they are only in concept, with track names in the least.

My day job, actually my entire professional career work has been driven by schedule – milestones, due dates, Gantt and Microsoft Project charts, so it’s natural that I tend to go about treating all music production projects (at least my own personal ones) the same way. That said, the process is no different than that of the day job. The same issues come along with it – missed deadlines, unknown forces that disrupt the schedule, etc. The key, even with such disruptions, is to get in the habit of doing something daily to reach the goal. This applies, obviously, to any goal desired (coding is a good related personal example). I think, again, the biggest thing is get into good regular habits, for habits (good or bad) always move you closer to a specific point.

Musicians/artists/producers, who strive to put out regular content, how do you organize yourself to reach your goals?

Thanks for the read,

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Doug

…and the beat goes on.

There’s tea in that cup (as I don’t drink coffee). I’ve learned to deal with a non-coffee lifestyle, which is unusual I know, but it has seemed to work out for me. Not going to say it’s easy to get a jumpstart without it, but I prefer not to rely on it.

Was chatting (well, tweeting) with one of my followers (and vice versa) about this morning’s weather outlook. He was sitting on his porch, viewing a light rain, and working on writing his latest book. Me, I got out of bed at 5:30, prayed, showered, had my Bible devotional and prayed. Followed by a bagel with cream cheese, a quick check of the socials, some bill pay, and a notice that my first meeting of the morning is being pushed back thirty minutes. No complaints there.

it’s overcast here, as we had some rain overnight. I really like overcast mornings – there’s a certain type of tranquility that lends itself nicely to them. To the right of me is a double window that overlooks my backyard and my neighbors as well. It’s been a constant view for ten weeks now, working from home.

Today will be another quiet day. Outside of work tasks, there are somethings I’ve timeblocked on today’s calendar. I hope to accomplish them.

That said, I’ll hop off here for now. I hope your day is prosperous, safe, and in the midst of all that’s continually going on in this world, a lot that’s seems so heavy, I also hope you day is enjouyable.

Peace.

Episode 28 – Tech Times Podcast: Interview with the CEO of BLR Rocket Technologies and Binary Inc,

Greetings all. Glad to have you back for this special edition of the Tech Times Podcast. This episode is a departure from my quick thoughts on the evolution of consumer internet technologies and a detour to a longer podcast. I had the pleasure of interviewing the CEO and founder of BLR Rocket Technologies AND Binary Inc., Lemon.

I first came across Lemon on Twitter in September 2019 when he was posting updates on the development of his company, BLR Rocket Technologies. BLR is an up and coming thrust vector controlled (TVC) model rocket technology company who aims to provide TVC-based model rocket technology demos as well as custom flight computers to such enthusiasts. He’s also the founder of Binary Inc, a software company focused on developing software for businesses via coding in-house software for hobbyists and makers that we open-source for anyone to use. 

During this episode, we discuss the ever-increasing popularity of TVC model rocket technology, his background in it, its wide ranging presence on Twiiter, its effect in the STEM community and other topics. We also discuss his new startup, Binary, its goals, and the future of the company.

You can find BLR Rocket Technologies and Binary Inc, on the web at the following locations:

BLR Rocket Technologies on Twitter: http://twitter.com/inc_blr

BLR Rocket Technologies: http://blrrockettechinc.wixsite.com/blr-inc

Binary Inc. on Twitter: http://twitter.com/inc_binary

Binary, Inc: http://blrrockettechinc.wixsite.com/binaryinc

You can listen to Episode 28 starting tomorrow 17 March 20, at 8am EST: http://anchor.com/mrfresh

Thanks so much for listening!

POTD – 33/365

Seems to be a trend, especially in music production social media circles, that you see plants among tech. Interesting. I think it an attempt to bring the starkness of tech to the organics of life… maybe to add an atmosphere of serenity.

Peace.

Fresh.

POTD – 32/365

Keeping a diary, or journaling (as it is now called) is age-old. I decided to try and start two years ago, January, right before my dad passed. There are many merits to journaling (so many references on the net that I won’t post here) and for those I’ve read, they all seem it hit on the positive aspects.

There are plenty of journaling apps available but, again, I’ve decided to keep it old school for the tactile aspects of actually writing in a book, etc (everything doesn’t have to be in the cloud).

I’m trying again, but this time by focusing on this one tenet:

“Discipline begats discipline. Like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes.”

Have a great day.

Fresh.