I love to write. For me, it’s like playing the guitar, which I also enjoy. It’s fun to do, it enables me to learn and flex my feeble mind, which is always important as birthdays fly by more and more quickly. And the more I do it, my enjoyment and skill with it improve simultaneously. It’s both a creative outlet and a professional necessity. It allows me to express my thoughts, feelings, and growing cumulative knowledge about the elements that enter my mind each day through my senses and are processed and organized by my unique set of neurons and blob of grey matter sloshing around in my noggin.
It’s never been a passion of mine, but it is something I’ve been good at for a long time. I attribute that to having both a mother that was an English major and liked to read and her sister who had advanced degrees in English and a brother that was a voracious reader and had a very quick wit from that pastime. All three were very smart, as was my grandfather, who I spent a lot of intense time with all throughout my childhood and formative years. It’s a reflection of the style in which I write and how I speak, actually. It’s what I heard growing up, so it’s what I’ve been conditioned to do, which enables me to cruise through lots of English, literature, poetry, and even logic and philosophy courses with ease. And I took several years of Latin, which helped tremendously with my vocabulary, understanding of languages, and composition. Which, in turn, has enabled me to communicate concisely, coherently, and in ways that may be challenging to others.
It’s a skill that wasn’t all that in-demand when I graduated from college. It directed me toward the fields of law, teaching, and poetry, which all came with either unappealing salaries or industries. Although I’ve spent about 21 years in school, academia is hardly an environment I love. It’s just a necessary commitment to learning increasingly sophisticated topics in the most efficient manner. Ironically, I found myself teaching a marketing class at a University in the mid-2010s as a favor to the Dean of the business school.
But with the increasing importance and adoption of the internet as an essential organism for humans to thrive, I’ve found my writing talents appreciating in tandem. And writing content for marketing purposes, which I have my MBA in, has placed me in demand. This is nice as I’m currently seeking a new job, hopefully utilizing my writing capabilities and powers of marketing persuasion, SEO email, and inbound marketing as well as content marketing.
And as the internet matures, and broadband becomes more powerful and capable of handling faster and far greater demand each and every day, we’re seeing audio becoming the new trend that investors, content creators, marketers and everyone else is falling over themselves to be early adopters. In the internet world, those who hesitate lose, and lose big often. Or may not lose, but a ticket on the bandwagon gets prohibitively expensive and demands premium prices quickly.
Right now there’s a rush to audio and big players are setting up big apps for creators and consumers to use, with the people and companies that create those tools taking their cut, in a smartly, but sometimes hastily, developed marketplace, of course.
For example. I use the service/app Refind a lot to curate news, articles that are relevant to me and to organize the firehose of content that is unleashed on internet users in an aver-increasing and constant way. If you don’t use such a thing it becomes overwhelming nearly instantly and the whole experience is frustrating, unmanageable and ultimately, I think, meaningless. You walk away drenched, wondering “what just happened” and more confused than enlightened and educated and fulfilled, bereft of the reason you approached the internet in the first place. What an awful experience, when the tool is so powerful and such a massively useful resource!
But Refind is already adopting the capability to include audio to the links/stories/articles you bookmark, save and use in your own personal newsletter if you wish, which Refind makes unbelievably easy and even fun. It’s a service that’s baked right onto their software, available for you to use, which was just quietly added. Like for this article, for example. But it shows how fast and vastly this idea happening and being implemented online.
I stay on the crest of new technology because I like to and staying relevant in my field of marketing, specifically, digital but also “printed” marketing channels, online. So I’ve tinkered around with podcasts and live-streaming audio/video and know how it all works. Although podcasts certainly are popular, I wouldn’t call the product fully baked yet. But that’s about to change.
Clubhouse is going to take on a life of its own. And investors and companies that have the existing technology and customer base already in place have taken notice and acting quickly. In some cases, as Mark Cuban’s prone to do, prematurely. But it’s still a sign that money is being thrown around as the mid-nineties saw it with the embryonic interwebs V.1.0 as it began to stand up and grow hair. People like that they can do stuff around the house, at any hour, while enjoying high-level convos in the background – passive audio consumption + interactive podcasts are likely in our future.
Spotify is one such company that has partnered with WordPress (which I publish this blog/website on) to allow writers to publish podcasts easily on Spotify, iTunes, and a growing host of other platforms. Which have a LOT of customers. Billions. That’s huge for even tiny guys like me that put out writing just for the fun of it.
Reason is, most podcasts have largely been just thrown together rather impromptu discussions and interviews produced on home audio equipment in people’s home offices and basements. There are other ways to do it of course, but that’s been the most popular way so far. And the episodes and feeds have had to be manually uploaded by podcasters and content creators.
The reason it hasn’t interested me has been several reasons. One is that I don’t really like hearing myself talk, and I’m not a person that likes to just talk and talk and talk. I’d rather listen and learn. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to say. On the contrary, as evidenced by this website, I jot down a lot of thoughts. Of all kinds and topics. I may be changing that though.
As WordPress has enabled anyone to be a publisher, apps like Spotify are enabling anyone to publish audio. And that includes explicitly people who publish on WordPress, as I do, via Anchor, which is the necessary hosting platform. And it’s seamless. In fact, I’ve already published my first episode, which was a post I published here about how to do anything well and included a great, easy beef vegetable soup recipe as a bonus.
Something that appeals to me, and I hope to others that may be interested in what I have to “say,” is that I don’t have to read my writing, which relieves users from hearing me drone on in my less-than-operatic voice. I’ve used a service Amazon provides called Polly which converts my writing to an audio file for accessibility reasons for those with poor vision or no vision. But the problems with that have been that the voice that reads it sounds like a Robotron 2000 and is obviously computerized and probably as annoying as my own voice would be. It also doesn’t publish and send my content out to the world at large over apps like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, where I now have my own channels. That again is huge.
So, very soon the internet is about to be much more crowded by people like me, people that haven’t been creating content yet, and lots of people that are going to want to compete for ears. My intention has never been to grow a giant audience or become famous. I don’t care about notoriety and celebrity. But I do like to help people and preserve “Life Lessons” for my daughter’s sake. If I croak prematurely, I want there to be a body of work that lets her know what I was all about, how I thought, things I did, feelings and thoughts and ideas I had, and so on. I don’t have the time or real will to concentrate on writing an autobiography, which this website isn’t meant to be anyway. I don’t put a lot of personal things here because A) I don’t think most readers would be that interested; B) an autobiography would necessarily have to have an ending, which isn’t workable in this context, and C) My personal habits aren’t the world’s business. For example, I could go on forever about the past few years of life which have been the most challenging, but it would read like a lot of complaining, blaming, finger-pointing, and whining, which is something I don’t participate in. I aim to set the best example for my daughter that I can, which is why I write my life lessons here and the traits I try to embody, and the rules I live my life by. I would never expect anyone else to abide by something I don’t abide by myself. “Do as I say and not as I do” is for losers.
So I can write here, send it to Spotify, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, PocketCasts, Breaker, Radio Public, and other platforms, and have playlists created for people to subscribe to at their leisure and will. That works for me. And it’s read by a pleasing voice and I can edit it to have sound “effects” to enhance the whole thing, which I also enjoy. I love the world of music as much as I love the world of writing.