Most likely because I’m heading to Boston this weekend for PodCamp Boston (5!) – and PodCamp Philly the weekend after – but I’m finding myself caught up in daydreaming memories of old friends. Not old friends as in “I don’t talk to them any longer” but old friends that have stayed in the circle and grown limbs and branches and roots. My life took a hockey stick turn upward in 2004 when I ‘found’ podcasting, and over six years later that community still inspires me even if we have grown and spread out.
Any amount of digging online will show that I’ve been involved in online ‘new media’ communities in full force since 1996 – even farther back if you count crazy dial up modem BBS, IRQ channels, and Lord help me – Prodigy and CompuServe groups. Podcasting – even above blogging – holds a sweet spot in my heart as (even if I don’t normally like to admit it) I was an integral part in its formation. I vividly remember a time where podcasting and new media and ‘radio on the Internet’ was not just unknown, but really rebellious. We felt like pirate radio broadcasters, and when we found another podcaster or ‘podsafe musician’ we brought them into the fold and promoted the hell out of them. It was our secret society. We created our own celebrities. Above all else, we looked out for each other, helped each other and learned from each other. We were our own fans and our own support system. Geeks were just coming into fashion and we relished the idea of becoming bigger and greater than anything that had come before.
We succeeded. Maybe too much. [Read more...]
No surprise I am a compassionate and empathetic person. At least I *hope* it’s no surprise! I also value other people’s time, opinion, experience, and feelings. And with that I want to tell you what I try to do every week. I give back to people that have given me something that makes me happy – or changes my life for the better – but I try to show that thanks in a way they need most. Money. Sometimes I can’t do it every week, but I at least try every week. Sometimes all I have to give is my time, a blog comment, re-Tweet, or a honest to God heartfelt complement or word of thanks. That I *can* do every day.
As strange as it sounds, I’m going on a Rick Springfield cruise this November. I’ve been to 10 concerts of his so far. Not only is the cruise a unapologetic gift to myself (from myself), but it does in a way reward and thank RS for /cough/ 30+ years of his music to me, he gets money from it. Not the most direct way to show my appreciation, but counting myself in a tiny percentage of rabid RS fans that would pony up the money and float around on the ocean for 4 days DOES say thanks better than any other way I could think of.
Secondly, I love love love Matthew Ebel, have for years, and finally realized that maybe I should show a ‘starving musician’ exactly what his music means to me – with money. So I bought a one year VIP subscription to his fan club and music. I already purchased every CD and track he’s released, but this was my above and beyond thank you for years of robots, ninjas, crayons, and piano ballads he’s made. I tell the world about him every chance. I am confident I have turned more than a few people into Ebel fans as well.
Drew Olanoff at Blame Drew’s Cancer is a story that kind of hit me in a weird way. I’ve met Drew at Podcamp Philly, and although I’m certain he doesn’t remember me, his personal story of cancer hits home closer than a lot of people may ever know. I remember very vividly when that Tweet came across when he brought the fact he had cancer public. The fear it struck in me to how it must feel to say it out loud, how it makes it real somehow hit me right in the gut. I bought a tee shirt, I donated to Livestrong. I gave money, but I’m not sure I made a difference. I sure as hell hope *he* does. Sometimes money alone doesn’t make it better.
Tonight I gave a few Starbuck coffee’s worth of money to my favorite author J.C. Hutchins via Podiobooks. I will purchase every book he ever writes. I have downloaded every audio novel he’s ever spoken. I wanted to thank him more, so I gave him some money. I am lucky enough to get to chat with him via Twitter every now and again, and would empty my pockets for him if I could just so he could sit home every day and WRITE. I absolutely love his work. I’m only sorry and sort of ashamed I hadn’t clicked that donate button years ago.
Am I so flush with cash I can click away at any PayPal Donate button I see? No. Am I more passionate about things I enjoy and love more than other people? Maybe. Do I feel that I need to show my appreciation for things I value in a way that *they* place value on? YES.
What do you value and love so much you would open your wallet & say “thanks”?
[tags]blamedrewscancer, jc hutchins, matthew ebel, podcamp, rick springfield[/tags]
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my bucket list, and how I’m now 38 /falls off chair/ and how I am to the point in my life where I can start putting check marks next to things I’ve always wanted to do, or people I’ve always wanted to meet. I have the usual stuff like ‘go to Europe’ on the list, but for me it’s more of connecting and meeting people as well as going to exotic places. I don’t get tongue tied if I meet a celebrity, I don’t scream and carry on at concerts, and I’m not a crazy groupie. With exception. Quite a few of them. Here are some of my more memorable moments… [Read more...]