The Simplicity & Fluidity Of Online Interactions.

*Remember that on the 12th next month I’ll be removing any subscribers from my email list (here on my blog) who have not notified me that they consent to receiving blogs containing marketing material*

Written after the passing of the EU Copyright Directive. 

Yesterday I decided to “clean up” my Instagram by removing any photos that didn’t belong to me or feature me. I removed quotes, article screenshots, memes, news pictures, anything non-commander-in-chief, besides pictures that I’ve taken myself of purchased products and books that I’m reading, or quotes properly attributed to a source.

In many ways I felt like it removed a part of me since humans are multi-dimensional.  The move certainly divorced me from anything outside of my own brand such as world events, etc; A quick glance could easily create the impression that I exist in a vacuum…

Communicating online and interacting with others have become so seamless that sharing news articles, memes, etc; is second nature. After the passing of the EU Copyright Directive however, it can potentially put a great deal of pages in jeopardy.

The great majority of my content is original and promotional in nature, so if anything the memes, the humour and political outbursts made my Instagram seem “less-brandish-and-more-humanish,” since it sporadically broke with the self-promotional pattern, emphasising that: this is a person, a human, not just a “product,” or a robot.

The EU Copyright Directive, if implemented as predicted, will dramatically affect how we Millennials and Generation Zers express ourselves online. If you know how to draw you can more easily make the transition by creating your own memes based on original content, but how will that play out if civilians can’t share it without permission?

I’m certainly not interested in any of my accounts getting into “automated-trouble” so I’ve voluntarily started my own purge.

I predict total furore from the general population if The EU Copyright Directive gets enforced over-night as predicted, let’s see how it will be implemented and how things will play out.

IMG_0212*Remember that on the 12th next month I’ll be removing any subscribers from my email list (here on my blog) who have not notified me that they consent to receiving blogs containing marketing material*

 

 

Bringing The World Closer Together – You Have To Engage!

“When I ask about the risks of contractors developing PTSD, a counselor I’ll call Logan tells me about a different psychological phenomenon: “post-traumatic growth,” an effect whereby some trauma victims emerge from the experience feeling stronger than before. The example he gives me is that of Malala Yousafzai, the women’s education activist, who was shot in the head as a teenager by the Taliban.

“That’s an extremely traumatic event that she experienced in her life,” Logan says. “It seems like she came back extremely resilient and strong. She won a Nobel Peace Prize… So there are many examples of people that experience difficult times and come back stronger than before.” – quote from an article about American Facebook moderators by Casey Newton.

Great strength can be found in completely ignoring the news!

Why would I write something like that? Well for the simple reason that the political “engagement” that is constantly being touted as extraordinary, not to forget “the never ending political conversation” that the people of the West are supposed to engage in is nothing but a sham. At least it is in terms of social media. 

“Engaging” is only valid for as long as you “engage right,” which means that you are perfectly fine for as long as you “react right.” The moment that you “react wrong” to an event you will be guilty of “wrong think,” probably without even being aware of it, for after all you were just expressing your opinion. Freedom of speech is allegedly one of the amazing values of The Western world, a value that our fighters are defending and fighting for, in fact dying for (while fighting in…. The Middle East…go figure)…

A value that enshrines liberty: “Look at us we are not like those others! We can say what we want so our societies are superior! This is a model that ought to be replicated all over the world, even if it means bombing other nations into oblivion. Here, have some freedom!” BOOOOOM!

I’ve mentioned it on this blog before but I never tire of pointing it out that voting patterns are surprisingly even. It is nothing but a falsehood to claim that “progressivism” is more than a 50% world-view (roughly speaking,) it is not a massive majority viewpoint, nor is it “common sense,” this is a cultural political illusion in the USA, in the UK, in Norway, and elsewhere. Diversity is very real indeed and this makes it difficult to generalise. “We the people” could be anyone or anything. It will always be too broad a statement.

Not that it is ever a valid argument to say that: “the masses say so and so hence this has to be common sense or this has to be correct.” There are a number of strange things that have historically been considered “common sense” that we now laugh at…

Nothing is more comical to me than to go out there on the public space advocating and shopping for public engagement only to censor people and shut them off your platform (for ever) when people do precisely what you asked for: engage.

I’m not sure what sort of “discussion” tech people expected, but if there is one thing human interactions and history will teach anyone who bothers to read and observe it is that people certainly struggle to get along, and that not-getting-along seems to be more of a default setting than “glorious Utopia.” If I’m wrong in stating this then I wonder why it is so difficult to get communal living to work out, why bands with only 4 members break up, why small businesses suffer with internal backstabbing and why lawyers are being hired left, right and centre to settle the most petty of arguments.

If anything I think that social media has made political division and hostilities even worse, because as I’ve written before, you’ll be reminded of people’s values and opinions not because you are hanging out with them but due to their online activity….

I’m assuming that it is particularly damaging to declare ones “side” in ones short social media bio, as this can easily be perceived as confrontational and aggressive, even provocative from whatever other side. Do you declare your faith and political affiliation whenever you shake someone’s hand for the very first time? No.

I find it interesting that the political left is consistently being accused of identity politics while the political right is consistently being accused of racism due to nationalism and patriotism. Humanity = identity politics, for we would be nothing without our identity markers, and I think most would prefer to be something rather than nothing.

Abolish the nations (which is what the internationalists/globalists) are going on about and you will only get the emergence of new nations. Abolish new, radical, non-religious, political identities and you strip people of their raison d’être. In a best case scenario they’ll find another one in a worse case scenario they might go insane.

Maybe it can be claimed that social media has accelerated societal meltdowns since civil war and genocide was a factor way before we obtained our shiny little gadgets. The truth however is that there are plenty of people out there who you might get along with on a personal level but who you would end up in a shouting match with if your only interaction was based on “values.”

There are no such thing as “universal values.” These will be different from person to person, and roughly speaking from Nation to Nation, or from belief set to belief set, and a belief set by the way could might as well be a secular one, etc;

The geniuses over in Silicon Valley were seemingly surprised to find this out, which is why they’ve cracked down on “wrong think” on their platforms. They cannot claim moral superiority however, after all their very own social media moderators (who are not even official employees) suffer emotional scars after witnessing the true face of unfiltered humanity, in fact many articles have been written about these “invisible hands” keeping our digital landscape tidy. Muslims have complained of not having their prayer time respected and pan-Africans (in Africa) lament all over social media that American tech-companies are draining African soil for minerals without this benefitting the Natives….so what’s up with all of this senseless morality posturing?

Great strength can be found in completely ignoring the news!

At least it will prevent you from engaging, in addition it will shield you from idiocy.

 

 

6 “Awesome” Tips For Entrepreneurs!

The online landscape is filled to the brim with people who promise that they can “help you.” Coaches are lurking around every corner and offer content in exchange for your email.

In the name of curiosity and to be on the lookout for new trends and changes in the world of social media I decided to actually check out some of these services.

What follows are some of my favourite tips so far:

  1. If you hit the wall when starting a business, don’t you worry! You can sort out your problem by hiring other people! Make sure that you look for a personal trainer while you are at it and a personal assistant!
  2. For the charitable sum of $1.497 you can join a hang-out and meet media-establishment people, throw in a $500 tip and you can even join a dinner among other perks!
  3. Hand out all of your income details in addition to your home address and Skype in return for a free assessment of your business! You have no idea who these people are so hey why wouldn’t you?
  4. Assuming that your audience can afford consistent manicures, as one does! I do get the impression that some influencers and coaches simply throw out some sentences like that now and then to make themselves come across as posh. My reason for saying so is that these type of statements are usually very ill placed and come across as attempts at socio-economic battle cries, or dog-whistling. However what I’ve seen of this so far just pops out because it just doesn’t fit in. If anything it looks pretentious.
  5. An online service declaring that “trust has been established” since they’ve shared some free content with you.
  6. Separate influencers sharing links to the exact same coaching service fiercely promoting it since they are both making a commission if you sign up!

 

Mental Mobility vs. Stagnancy.

“Flip-Flopper” is a good card to have on your hand if you want to convince the masses that your opponent is the opposite of trustworthy!

“You can’t trust __________ look at how he/she/it has changed position frequently on this-and-this issue.”

Who would you rather trust though? Someone who changes their mind when presented with new information or someone who doesn’t bulge regardless of the information that they are handed?

The reason as to why I started thinking about this is that the book that I’m currently reading….

IMG_0792

….has really started to pick up.

In it is said that those who gain insights and change the world are often very open when it comes to new information and input while those who also work to solve the same problems but don’t experience the breakthroughs are more solidified in terms of their viewpoints.

It is a display of “pride before the fall” but it is nonetheless interesting when drawing a parallel to politics.

Being ideologically consistent is regularly being portrayed as a virtue, when mental flexibility and fluidity seems to be the most important mindset to posses if one seeks to come up with new ideas.

Whether it is the military, the world of business or the act of governance it is dangerous to grow stagnant. It means the end of innovation. You become a slow-moving Mammoth rather than a quick-moving Cheetah.

When reading the book I automatically draw parallels to the music industry; I’ve found the chapter about big organisations very illuminating since it explains the general fixation on: covers, numbers (regardless of content value), re-makes, prequels and sequels.

Vanity numbers was the first thing that show biz people threw themselves on when it came to social media rather than actual engagements. What I liked so much about my own numbers (which was all broken down to me by my manager), was that the percentage of engagements and interactions were high when compared to other bands and artists.

This is what social-media influencers are going on about and what brands have finally picked up on.

This is why influencers don’t recommend paying for clicks and followers since what you are looking for are interactions and genuine influence.

I’m an influencer since people have always bought the type of instruments that I play, and I’ve received messages lately from people claiming that they’ve made lifestyle changes inspired by how I live my life.

It warms my heart that I can potentially help people! That was not something that I foresaw when I started blogging!

Yet if people focus on my reduced reach on Facebook or don’t notice that comments are now being screened by Facebook (meaning that you cannot automatically see all of the comments people are posting), they might get the false impression that people have lost interest. This is how the social media giants can potentially sabotage your business and create false impressions. Regardless of this I’m still selling records while I’ve unintentionally upped my role as an influencer and artist since I’m now a  potentially life-changing influencer due to my openness about my faith, what I read, my prepping project, etc;

Why have I ended up sharing so much? By observing changes in trends, keeping an eye on demands and requests and changing accordingly.

If you move like a Mammoth this will be hard, which reminds me of Elisabeth (my manager) more than anything who instantly understood the importance of social media while I regarded it as lame and uninteresting.

If there is one thing that I’ve observed when it comes to her it is how mental flexibility pays off. I regard myself as being very open artistically but I’ve been pretty rigid business wise since the old-fashioned model followed by others has been: record labels.

My impression of establishment people though is that they usually pick up on trends as they become untrendy. They appear to be consistently late to the party (we are talking years) yet they are relevant due to two things only: funding and infrastructure.

Innovation and creativity bubbles up into the mainstream from the underground, but this obviously isn’t only valid for the music industry, it goes for business models, fighting, political systems and everything in between.

When taking into consideration how vulnerable our systems are there should be no doubt to anyone contemplating this that we will increase our chances of survival as distinct population groups and tribes by decentralising. By having scattered units throughout a territory it will be difficult for severe climate threats or human threats to wipe out an entire people. Even a plague might not spell the end. This whole obsession with centralisation creates slow-moving Mammoth systems vulnerable to total destruction.

A couple of times I’ve come across localised educational initiatives to teach children about survival. This is an act of genius since it prepares the very young for what to do if the current system collapses. The more prepared a civilian population is the more do they enhance their odds.

Reminder to self: be a Cheetah.

 

 

Self-Care For Entrepreneurs & Indie-Musicians.

One of my absolute favourite entries that I’ve written so far is: The Glorious Hustle.

In fact it might be my number one favourite blog entry.

The funny thing about hitting the wall health-wise is that you easily end up going back into the same patterns of behaviour once you feel better.

This month I’ve had the flu but I’ve still been “hustling” and only stopped once I was forced to physically.

I guess that should turn me into a 21st century icon especially if I die of exhaustion.

When you exit the system and become an entrepreneur your rights are directly linked to whatever portion of the market you are able to reach.

There is no union or government department ensuring that you only work so-and-so many hours or that you have an x amount of paid holiday days or sick days.

Whatever percentage of the market that you manage to reach and expose yourself to decide as a demographic whether or not you deserve a holiday or time off due to their purchasing power.

The best thing that can happened to you as an independent artist is that the entertainment establishment gives you a call and want to hire you to do some work for them, this gives you a proper salary and you’ll know upfront what you are dealing with.

It will also give you a spike in online engagement and sales if a major outlet writes about you. This will be instant and very noticeable.

Most of the time though there will be a direct relation between how much time that is spent online and how much money you make. 

I’ve been very lucky since I don’t work alone but have a manager and representation, however these last few months I’ve had to be very active online myself since there has been lots of health issues within my family. This means that I’ve hardly touched my instruments since I’ve been busy promoting my videos and music online in addition to spending time reading and watching videos updating myself on all sorts of changes in the music world.

Pledge Music for example now find themselves in the middle of a scandal and Spotify has changed some of the services that they offer unsigned artists, which are things that I wouldn’t know about if I hadn’t been reading myself up on certain things.

My sponsored video was also the result of me finding out about an online site connecting brands and YouTubers, a site I didn’t even know existed.

Posting updates and being active online raise awareness of your product and results in tangible sales, this then obviously means that you lose out on potential sales if you turn off your gadgets and don’t engage! You also need to have something to sell and this should be of the best quality possible which means lots of blood, sweat and tears when it comes to creating quality content….

Being accessible and “open” might result in extra opportunities and work coming your way since people who follow you gain insight into your charity work or interests, so cutting yourself off from the online world as an artist is a bad idea especially since fans and followers love to connect directly with you as a creator.

So how on earth do you then manage to have some me-time?

  1. If someone offers you some sort of establishment contract you’ll have some sort of financial predictability. You’ll have access to infrastructure and increased exposure for your brand, in addition to the networking-opportunity that comes with it. Considering how much money the establishment have access to I personally see this as the best option, even though you’ll probably have to deal with difficult attitudes and personalities if signing a record-deal.
  2. If more of your followers sign up to your Patreon and/or PayPal. If 10.000 of my subscribers on YouTube signed up to my Patreon for 1$ each it would change my life, sadly though I’ve seen people with millions of subscribers on YouTube have only a few hundred signed up to their Patreon. Whether you engage in crowdfunding or a sign up model you’ll never get the majority of your followers to sign up, not even half of them. We started my first crowdfunding campaign due to suggestions from Facebook fans, but we got a bit annoyed afterwards when we had to persistently campaign in order to reach our goal (which we did) since the majority of those who had suggested crowdfunding did not sign up for it… What happened to all of those who promoted this as a good idea? Much talk, not much action.
  3. The only immediate solution that I see when it comes to me-time is: AUTOMATION. The other day I decided to try Facebook’s scheduled posts. While I was officially active on my profile I was actually keeping my brother company as he was eating his afternoon supper. I was reading a bedtime story for him, but officially I was posting online. Likewise this morning I woke up to a spike in statistics here on my blog since my latest blog post was scheduled to be published at 01:11AM, which I’ve now set as my “publishing time.” In an ideal digital-world it would be possible to automate across all of your various social media profiles for free. Sadly that isn’t the case yet.

If how much money you make is directly linked to how much energy you spend online (without your reach being restricted on social media) then it goes without saying that you can never disappear.

I’ve now heard it repeatedly said that the old model of artists creating something and then vanishing for a couple of years is over.

Just like your social media activity has to be consistent well so does your artistic output. This works well for those who just put things out there, not so much for perfectionists who believe in quality over quantity.

It might even make it less common with creative “masterpieces.”

The whole aspect of you having to be a “social media” person as well will reward characters that aren’t totally socially retarded which also might reduce the amount of masterpieces produced in our time since it is unreasonable to expect that talent or genius should go hand in hand with “agreeableness,” “openness,”etc;

I also see an increase in individuals online becoming upset if they do not get an instant reply when they contact an artist/business. It is in fact very telling that Teespring (the company that I work with on t-shirts) have a system in place that makes the service as close to instant as it gets.

Because of people’s detachment to the production and delivery of goods they seem to think that no effort is required in the stage of production or delivery. Everything ought to be instant!

I receive lots of videos/music from other musicians all the time and that has always been the case. We as a team have also been approached by people who seem to believe that we have the power to get people endorsement deals, even record deals.

Sometimes people have reacted in anger as if thought they are entitled to priority time-wise when we have so many other things to be concerned about both in business and privately.

Every single revenue stream has to be monetised when you aren’t part of the system and it might even prove to be a good idea to share pictures and updates about your life outside of music. I started a blog because there was a demand for it.

This obviously blurs the line between who you are as a person and who you are as a professional person, I see no way out of this because what people expect from their artists and public people have changed so dramatically. Even sharing your artistic process and recording sessions is now a thing. It is all about being accessible as an individual.

The establishment is not static either and have suffered enormous financial losses these last few years due to the digital revolution. Everyone regardless of stature has a social media presence and I do get the overall impression that you somehow have to be extra-likeable and extra-nice if you are very skilled professionally or famous as if thought people are looking for asshole-signs.

People are weird, yet what people want colours where businesses go.

Once again I see AUTOMATION as the solution to me-time.

It will also satisfy the market’s desire to get instant replies and attention once social media platforms offer more diversity when it comes to automated responses.

AI to the rescue.

 

Finally some sponsored YouTube content! Find out how you can do the same!

So this morning I woke up to the beautiful sight of my account looking like this:

sponsorship notification

This is how it looks like when you have made an approved sponsored video! It will show up in your content section and automatically become part of your “commercial-cv.”

If you want to know more about the site and my experience so far then make sure that you join my LIVE stream on Patreon for only 1$ on the 28th this month! I do minimum two update videos every month and have turned these into live streams in 2019 which means that not only will you get all sorts of tips and advice relevant to being an indie-musician you can also ask me questions and interact with me!

Obviously I’m very excited about my first sponsored content and I hope that I will get hired to make many more videos in the future! I’ve only contacted brands that are related to interests that I’ve expressed on my social media, which is an important detail when it comes to sponsored content! You have to aim for products that genuinely interests you or that you think that your fans/followers will have an interest in!

Whenever you create a video that features sponsored content you are obliged by law to notify the viewer, which means that none of the videos that I’ve made in the past for brands were sponsored! The standard for a video with 100.000 views on YouTube is 10.000$ for a featured product. That’s quite something to find out, especially when you are creating content that is in perpetuity, which obviously is the case whenever an artist makes a music video!

I wish that there was an organisation for independent musicians that could notify creatives of these things! As it is you just have to find out things on your own which means that you’ll miss out on financial opportunities!

The secretive nature of musicians also makes it difficult to “unionise” if you get what I’m trying to say. When I was offered to do my very 1st clinic some years back I tried to shop around and ask musicians who only do clinics what an average rate might be. Nobody wanted to help me with this so I was never able to figure out what a standard industry rate might look like. Likewise; when I was ill and injured I couldn’t find any averages for injuries or an estimated retirement age which meant that I had to resort to online forums which is not representative due to limited sample sizes! 

The music industry is so murky that it leaves a lot of people fumbling in the darkness when it comes to: technique, health & money! 

I think most aspiring musicians will have come across people who play amazing licks and runs only to receive a note with a scale written on it if asking about said lick!

I took lessons with a very difficult (but well-respected) guitar teacher some years back who waited until my hand was hurting so much that I had to take a break before he shared health-related knowledge with me. He literally waited until I could have gotten injured. That is not acceptable tutoring. Nor is it acceptable to shower students in sarcasm which I guess is common with miserable musicians. Envy is apparently rampant in this business which is not a good thing.

The secrecy that guitar players shroud themselves in is ridiculous as well since it only makes it harder for musicians as a demographic. The general atomised culture makes it easier to take advantage of performers or creative artists in show biz!

If you are looking for a mentor or a teacher who doesn’t hold anything back then you should get in touch with me! Not only do I customise my music lessons to fit whatever individual needs, I also share my knowledge. Obviously I don’t do this for free! In order to have a one-hour customised private lesson with me over SKYPE or in person you’ll have to pay 30GBP, I will also expect that I’m mentioned or thanked if I aid you when it comes to your recordings, etc; It is a bit silly to seek out expertise only to pretend that you came up with everything on your own afterwards!

I always give credit to Ramon Ortiz even though I didn’t take that many lessons with him, because he had a great influence on my heavy metal guitar playing. I also mention Steve Smyth even though I only had one masterclass with him. He is a great teacher and if anything, he  boosted my confidence as a player before I recorded my Evolution EP!

And of course I always thank my mother Elisabeth who taught me how to sing opera by using the bel canto technique, not to forget that she is also my manager!

Letting people know that you appreciate their help and support by giving them credit or by officially thanking them should become more commonplace in showbiz!

There is always a generation of musicians coming after you and it is the duty of those who are more experienced to pass their knowledge on, especially if you know how to sing or play classical music.

This is part of our irreplaceable European heritage and it can never be allowed to get lost!