Kelly Guimont talks a mile a minute and lives at an even more frantic pace. We try to keep up with her and find ourselves awash in geekery.
I'm picking on this woman, because she just happened to state, very clearly, a sentiment I've heard quite a bit lately.
"It is easy to take a good picture and so hard, almost impossible, to take a great picture. It takes years of labor to do this well. Photography is a craft, an art, a point of view. Instagram is not meant to be fine art or a beautiful object; it is social media—a means of communication." - Mary Ellen Mark (via Featureshoot).
Actually, it works in exactly the opposite direction. The most important photos in history were shot from the hip. They were easy.
Photography is not a craft. Printmaking is a craft. Photography is an art. No one gets to say Instagram isn't meant for fine art. Anything is fine art.
I would also hope art is a "means of communication" as well.
It's fun to watch the handwringing among the art crowd. But, what we're really watching is the dying of an idea. The idea that good ideas in photography, ideas worthy of the gallery, are scarce. They're not. Connections in the fine art market are scarce.
Glenn Fleishman joins us to discuss furnaces and stuff. You know, the typical kinds of things guys discuss when no one is recording.
"You guys know your notebooks are already searchable, right? It’s called turning the fucking pages."
Yes, paper forces non-linear review, which is how our brains learn.
"Last century we destroyed newspaper archives so we could 'save' them 'forever' on microfilm."
There's always a new "archival" medium that isn't all that archival. There is no digital archival format; not even the beloved text file.
"The beautiful thing about paper is that the medium is both for recording and playback. No extra gear needed."
Paper is a universal OS that never crashes.
"I'll take this over the cloud any day."
The benefits of holding your work in your hand is a pleasure digital workers are too often deprived of.
"R. Crumb bought his house in France with a trunk full of sketchbooks."
Analogue works are their own byproducts. After selling the work, you can sell the product, and the product is worth more because it's one-of-kind. There's no one-of-a-kind in digital.
"Maybe I should commit career suicide and dedicate my entire SXSW keynote to explaining why paper is a superb, interactive medium."
Consider how much more your senses interact with paper. This is a connection that's been proven to aid in reading comprehension at the very least.
But besides all that, life is short. Working with paper because it feels better or provides more enjoyment is reason enough for me.
Most Seth Godin books could be one sentence long.
In fact, most books could be blog posts. So, if you're going to publish a real paper-based book these days, do me a favor: get to the point, charge a fair price and help me learn something. I'll throw my money at you faster than you can catch it.
There are very few books that can justify their length these days. I picked up this one, Free Will, at the library along with some others of the same size and reaffirmed my love for small books.
If I like them, I pay the $9.95 or $14.95. That's more than fair. I learn something and the author/publisher makes a nice profit. These books are cheap to make, even for small runs. I've priced it myself.
What's not a good deal, for the reader, is the typical publishing model:
- 400-pages of redundant back up for simple argument.
- Paying $29.95 to work for the author, sifting for meaning and editing in head.
- Giving up hours of my time, so the publisher has a product that has more "heft" on a shelf that doesn't exist anymore where I shop for books.
These days, I'm far more likely to pay for a small book and skim a big book. It's a lesson I'm noting for my next publishing adventure.
“It was interesting...because I hadn't given much thought to how networking had impacted my life and success in business. But by the time I was finished writing, I realized that EVERY success I have ever had can be attributed to the people I have met.” – Nick Usborne
Already, it's starting to break heads, as Patrick would say.
I'll sum it up as best I can: it's a newsletter of random thinking and links provoked by an unrecorded conference call, which we call a podcast.
The hosts speak freely through a typical podcasting setup, knowing they won't be recorded. Ideas fly, assumptions are poked in the eye, crazy business ideas abound and usually all of the hosts' sites feature posts or services spurred by the discussion. We've been doing this off and on for a year or two.
What we've done now, though, is create a newsletter based on the "minutes" of those crazy calls.
Starting next week, we will have big name guests, and randomly chosen readers, join us on the calls and see what happens.
This is an experiment. Not everyone is going to understand it or care for it. The calls would happen with or without the newsletter, but putting experiments like this out there is something every "creative" must do. It's the only way we learn.
So far, the numbers of subscribers are climbing much quicker than I thought they would. This means we'll have to start looking at more robust solutions for getting the newsletter out. It's a good problem to have.