Tag Archives: Blogging

The Return (Maybe)

This is absurdly hard to write.

In short, I have the nagging suspicion that I’m doing myself a disservice by not maintaining this blog. It hasn’t been my main focus for a couple of years (as the distinct lack of posting shows) But the fact that I’ve had more success with it than I would have dreamed possible makes me think I’m in danger of throwing away something valuable. My motivation to even do something as simple as post my videos here has been very low and every time I make a start at re-vivifying this blog I lose steam and give up.

I’ve considered starting from scratch with Tumblr but what would be the point of that? While Tumblr is the trendy thing now, it’s nothing more than a delivery method. There’s very little that Tumblr can do that I can’t do here on this blog (correct me if I’m wrong – I really don’t get Tumblr).

I post a lot of content to Twitter (and Facebook to a lesser extent) so maybe I should start by posting that same content here. I guess one of the things that holds me back is fear of not having the time to dedicate to a proper blog post. I could obviously post rapid fire Tumblr-style brain farts and pictures (and I may well end up doing that) but I’ve always put quite a bit of effort into blog posts and I can’t shake the feeling that I’d be somehow failing if I didn’t spend the time I thought was required on a good blog post. Obviously there’s nothing stopping me from doing both – short and possibly multitudinous posts with the occasional longer more thought out offering.

Most of my focus for the last five years has been on YouTube and with this blog, I think I’m in danger of falling into the trap I often warn people against on YouTube. Obsessing for too long on *what* you should do tends to stop you from doing anything. Spending too much time worrying whether or not what you’re planning is good enough becomes the excuse for doing nothing. Perfect becomes the enemy of good.

Besides, as I’ve written here before, I thoroughly believe writing is a craft that you improve the more you practice it. Someone who writes regularly is far more likely to end up a good writer than someone who is holding off producing anything unless it’s their magnum opus.

More than once I’ve considered going back to my original theme – Angry 365 Day a Year. My original challenge was to write *something* – at least one post – every day for a year. I surprised myself by actually accomplishing this. And in so many ways (not least, more widespread internet connectivity) it’s easier to do now than ever. So maybe I will choose an arbitrary date and see if I can do it again. Make at least one post every day. Not necessarily angry but something to keep the blog turning over.

But while I’m on the topic, my original shtick was that I would be angry to a scale that perhaps wasn’t appropriate to the subject at hand. You know, the little things that piss us all off from time to time. Really cut loose with some outrage over something that arguably isn’t very important. Because sometime the big things are more depressing than anything else. So a little cathartic anger can be the release that stops you being crushed by the worry over big things.

In that vein, I want to rant about Tumblr. Not the content on the various Tumblogs – that is what it is. Everything across the spectrum from the truly pointless and rubbishy through to the truly sublime. No, I have a problem with the name “Tumblr”.

Where the fuck is the “e” Tumblr? Back when Flickr first became popular it spawned a whole slew of truly pointless websites that used the same spelling affectation. As if the sum total of their thinking was “Hey, look, our website is spelled like Flickr so we must be as cool as them!” Shut the fuck up! You fucking idiots.

One of the things I really liked about Twitter when it started was that they DIDN’T do that. I may have even done a little happy dance over the fact they included the “e”. Or not. Don’t judge me. Now that Tumblr has become so popular this stupid crap is probably going to happen again. Hell, it’s probably already happening, I don’t pay as much attention to tech start-ups as I used to. So we’ll get to have the dot-com bubble (and bust) all over again. Hoo-fucking-ray.

Thanks Tumblr. No really, thanks. Fucking morons.

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Filed under Blogging

The blog is dead – long live the blog

I know there are more abandoned blogs than active blogs out there but I’ve been feeling a bit guilty about neglecting my little corner of the blogosphere.  Not too guilty.  It isn’t as if I’ve been drowning kittens.  More like maybe I kicked a puppy. The kick may have even been accidental. Like I slipped and before I regained my balance my foot made contact with a puppy.  So not that bad.

Okay, so maybe the puppy was startled and yelped in fear. Maybe it even ran off. Into traffic. And was disembowelled by a tram. But that’s hardly my fault. What was the stupid fucking puppy doing getting in my way anyhow?

So anyway, I’ve been neglecting this blog which is not particularly nice because this blog has been good to me.  So I’m thinking it’s time for a resurrection of sorts.  My grand plan is to start using the blog more often again but in different ways.  The whole “being angry all the time” shtick has gotten a bit boring for me.  At least writing about it has gotten old.  I tried to avoid being half-arsed with blog posts so as a result posting took a lot of time and effort which had stopped seeming like it was worth it.

YouTube was my downfall.  It’s so easy.  For me, anyway.  It isn’t that I don’t put a lot of work into my videos and responding to comments, I do.  But I do find it very easy to spend the time and execute on YouTube and less so here on the blog.  So YouTube has thrived while the blog has withered.  That’s life.  The fact that I’ve been getting into Twitter lately hasn’t helped the blog either (follow me if you aren’t already).  Facebook still doesn’t appeal to me (nor do MySpace or any of the others) but YouTube still has me hooked. But I’m not ready to give up on the blog completely.

I have a bit of a re-invention in mind.  The plan is mostly formed but it will likely evolve.  The posts will be more regular but shorter. And probably much more visual.  I’m getting into the idea of doing more humorous graphs and charts.  And maybe Despair.com-style demotivators. And the surveys WordPress lets you do (probably tied to my YouTube videos). Maybe even a webcomic.

Shallow crowd pleasing stuff in other words. You’ll love it.

Oh, and I’m revisiting my blogroll too because I know there’s some dead blogs there.  And I’ll be trying to visit those who are still active more often.  So if you consider yourself an old faithful and you’re not on the blogroll maybe you should drop me a line ;)

Be seeing you soon! Probably.

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Filed under Blogging

My brain won’t behave

I’m having a lot of trouble settiling on things to write for this blog.  It isn’t for a lack of ideas, rather the opposite.  There is an overwhelming mountain of things consuming my focus at the moment.  Some of them are:

The RIAA seems to be getting desperate.  They are going after radio stations exactly the same way they go after file sharers on the internet.  And the radio stations are using exactly the same defence that file sharers on the internet use.  It’s kinda funny and kinda weird and kinda interesting and, I strongly suspect, kinda important.

Why are so many white people so freaked out by Michelle Obama?  Why do they not see the positivity of her “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country”  statement?  And how can they possibly delude themselves into thinking black people shouldn’t be angry at whitey?

What role will the US media play in debunking/reinforcing the lies being spread about Barack Obama?  Fox News have shown their hand clearly, sinking lower even than I thought possible by calling the fist pound between the Obamas a terrorist fist jab.  Will any mainstream media actually spend time saying this Muslim stuff is all bullshit?

Speaking of Fox News, exactly what do you have to do to be able to face the world when you’ve become that sort of scum?  I’m thinking something like massive doses of heroin injected straight into the eye so they never have to see their reflection clearly during the day.

Will anyone ultimately be swayed by the “elitist” bullshit being spread about Obama?  How do rich white people get away with saying that shit?  They’re pushing a doubly nonsenical line of bullshit.  The first bit of stupidity is suggesting an even richer white guy from a long line of rich white guys is somehow less elitist.  The second is the implication that you should want some dumb motherfucker running the country.  Do you want the smartest, most insightful, most thoughtful person running the country or do you want your preferred drinking buddy running things?  Wait, don’t answer that.  The response might depress me.

Who will Obama and McCain choose as vice-presidental running mates?  This is more important than in any other election because neither of them will survive a term in office.  Obama will get whacked by some crazy if he gets elected and McCain is too old and unwell – the stresses of office would definitely kill him.  So whoever gets VP is a lock to sit in the big chair at some point.

You may notice a slight obsession with the US Presidential elections in my points above.  This is because beyond the usual no other political process has such a huge effect on the whole world thing, I find this race fascinating for what it represents.  The choice could hardly be starker.  I would have been far less interested if Clinton had won the nomination, that would have just been the Republican machine versus the Democratic machine.  But Obama represents the possibility of something truly different.

I understand why change frightens some people.  The astonishing thing is the level of change represented by Obama would have been literally unthinkable, say, five years ago (as brilliantly illustrated by this cartoon).  Everyone always thinks the moment they are living in is the most important moment in history.  But, damn this seems like a tipping point.

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Filed under General Angriness, Politics

Happy Blog Birthday to me

Well, I’ve officially been a blogger for more than two years.  The fact that I didn’t do anything big to mark the actual day (which was about a week ago) is unfortunately a reminder that I have not been particularly focused on this blog of late.

The name of the blog, Angry 365 Days a Year, was a description of a challenge I set myself when I first started: write something angry at least once a day, every day, for a year.  I actually achieved this, partly by driving myself crazy a few times in my desperation to maintain my quota.  Once the first year was over I relaxed a little, promising myself that I wouldn’t get to worked up if I missed the occasional day.

Even so, for quite a while I was still averaging 25-30 posts a month.  The turning point was when I took time off work to organise the YouTube gathering in Melbourne last year.  I never realised how much I relied on the rhythm of a workday – 90% of my blog posts were written in my lunch hour. Without that pattern, I found it very hard to make the time to sit down and type a post.

Also, YouTube has been taking up more and more of my time.  For some reason I find it easier to make videos than it is to write blog posts, even though making the videos takes longer.  Thinking of the idea, shooting it, editing and rendering the video, then uploading it takes at least 2 or 3 hours.  And that’s not even factoring in the time I use up answering comments.

It took me almost 18 months to reach 1,000 subscribers on YouTube and in the last 6 months I’ve gone up to almost 4,000.  Along with this, the number of comments on each video has gone up gradually from a handful to at least 100 for each video, often more than 200.  So given my obsessive need to answer comments, most days I’m answering well over 100 comments (as I still get a lot of comments on old videos.)

One of the reasons YouTube has become more appealing for me than the blog is there is much more instant gratification on YouTube.  It is much easier to find an audience on YouTube than it is on an individual blog as YouTube aggregates the videos in a way blog hosts don’t.    On the other hand, achieving success with a blog post feels more satisfying as you have to do it yourself.

And while there are more people watching YouTube than there are reading blogs, I shouldn’t underestimate the power of a popular blog post.  After all the closest I’ve come to a “big break” has come via this blog.  My infamous “alli diet pills make you shit oil” post was noticed by someone from one of the American broadcast networks and I was almost interviewed for one of their feature programs.  I’m still kind of bitter that didn’t go through but that’s the way things go sometimes in this big, tough world.

Well, I’m about to start a new contract.  The last one was pretty stressful and I never regained the rhythm of writing in my lunch break – I essentially had to get the fuck out of the building for an hour each day.  Maybe this one will be a bit more balanced and I’ll get back to writing regularly.

Anyway, to round off, I want to thank everyone for their support (for however long you’ve been with me).  Particular thanks to the die-hards who’ve been reading almost from the start, like Sandra with whom I pretty much share a blog birthday.  It’s been quite an adventure and I’m not about to stop now!

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Filed under Blogging

700 posts and 500 videos – time to get busy

So in my relatively idle time of the last couple of months I’ve managed to hit a few milestones.  I’ve just posted my 500th video to YouTube and I’ve passed 700 posts on this blog.  Then there was organising the first major physical gathering of YouTube users in Australia, getting featured a few times on the Australian YouTube page, meeting one of my favourite online people Cory Williams (AKA Mr Safety AKA SMP Films) and making some videos together.

So  when I say idle, that’s a relative term.  What I really mean is I haven’t worked full time since October.  By which I mean I haven’t worked full time for someone who was paying me.  But I’ve been pretty fucking busy.

This blog has suffered in terms of regular posting.  It turns out full time work gives me a rhythm that is conducive to writing blog posts.  Most of what I wrote was produced in my lunch hours.  I know, normal people get away from their desks at lunchtime.  I never claimed to be normal.  But I start a new contract on Monday so it’s quite likely that regular posts will resume as well.

In the meantime, here’s my 500th video for YouTube.  For those who aren’t familiar with my milestone videos, every 100 videos I make a compilation of the previous 100.  Short grabs from each video that provide a concentrated dose of angry.  And hopefully entertainment too.

But be warned: make yourself comfortable before starting if you plan to watch this video.  Even five or ten second grabs add up over 100 videos.  This is a bit over 16 minutes long so make sure you have the free time!

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Filed under Blogging, Video Blogging

Why do I blog?

So, the inimitable Funky Brown Chick has asked me “why do I blog?” This is a multi-answer question for me. The most obvious answer is in the “Why am I doing this” section of this blog. I describe the blog as therapy – if I vent my anger here I theorised I would be less angry in day to day life.

While that’s obviously tongue in cheek, there’s an element of truth to it. My girlfriend for one will vouch for the fact my moods generally have been better since I started blogging. I’m a big believer in the benefits of catharsis. Venting anger in a way that doesn’t physically harm someone is a lot healthier than letting it build up until you burst a blood vessel in your brain or go on a shooting rampage.

It’s more accurate to say that I wanted a creative outlet. I’ve always been a pretty good writer and I’m a firm believer that writing is a skill like any other – the more you do it, the better you’ll get. So I was actually quite methodical when setting up the blog. I had been working on some material for doing some standup comedy and decided I might get more feedback on what’s actually funny by writing a blog. I could test out material here and use the most popular bits in a routine.

Standup is hard. And it doesn’t provide a very rapid feedback loop. You get the instant feedback (or lack thereof) from a live audience but if some material doesn’t go over all that well you can’t really come back the next day and try some new material. With a blog I could try whatever I wanted, see the audience response and try some more the next day.

I made a couple of choices before I even started. First, I was going to do it anonymously. I’m a contractor and the IT community in Melbourne is too small, too conservative and too gossipy to take a huge risk career-wise. So I decided to invent a persona. Honestly, Mr Angry isn’t me. He’s a mouthpiece for a few things I want to say but more often he’s a character who says things I never would myself.

The other decision was to be disciplined and regular with the writing. The name “Angry 365 Days a Year” is not a coincidence. I decided up front to set myself the target of writing at least one post every day for a year. Which I actually managed (just). There were a few close calls but some new content went up every day for the first year.

Since reaching that milestone I’ve relaxed a little. Now occasionally a day or two will pass without me posting and I won’t freak out. Oh and I abandoned the idea of doing standup as well. Too hard. Too 20th century. YouTube killed that idea for me. Only the biggest name standup comedians in the world get a bigger audience than even a fringe player like me can get on YouTube.

Which brings me to the last big reason why I blog. I want to make a career of this. I’ve been a bit vague on exactly which direction this will take as I enjoy both the writing and the performance side of what I’ve been doing. But there have been a few positive developments in the last year. I’ve made a few thousand dollars doing videos for The Fizz on DirecTV (which has paid for camera upgrades and my broadband).

And then there was the New York possibility I mentioned a month or so ago. A journalist with one of the US broadcast networks had approached me about being interviewed for a segment on an upcoming show. For what felt like the longest time it continued to dangle as a possibility with no definite answer one way or the other. Now I finally have an answer. Sadly, I won’t be going to New York.

I’m going to LA! Yes, Mr Angry is going to Hollywood. In two weeks. I fly in on the 14th of November (unless something changes). So if you’re from the LA area, let me know. I definitely want to catch up with as many people as possible while I’m there. As you can see in this video, I was quite excited by the news:

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Filed under Blogging, Video Blogging

May you live in interesting times

There is a proverb that goes “May you live in interesting times”.  Many people say this is actually more of a curse than a proverb.  The idea is that “interesting” means trouble.  Well, the blogging bot from the future has an opinion on that.

So these interesting times will definitely be challenging.  But I side with the blogging bot from the future.  This is an adventure.  Maybe even a revolution.  And I’m all for creating the future – right here, right now.

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Filed under Video Blogging