P002: A Really Big Shoe

Objects in Motion

The practice of free writing is one where the author sits and writes continuously, heedless of spelling and grammar, on the subject at front of mind. By focusing on the quantity of words rather than the quality of the prose, the author can break free from stasis and build momentum.

If the stated goal of a publication is to examine the value of repetition and schedule, inertia must be given due consideration. Its two components, starting and sustaining, should be familiar to anyone who has read a self-help manual. But while seemingly the entire tech industry worships at the alter of the start, precious little is made of the maintenance. Turns out there are few page views to be had extolling the virtues of dogged enthusiasm for repetitive tasks.

But in 2014 you still have major publications writing about the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Few would disagree that Beatles are icons, but why is this performance so fondly remembered? My theory: by 1964, the Ed Sullivan Show had been on the air every Sunday night for sixteen years. He had a devoted audience that trusted his enthusiasm for this band. And when seventy three million Americans laid eyes on the four lads from Liverpool that night in February, what was already a pop phenomenon became a full-scale invasion. The Beatles didn’t need anyone’s help by 1964, but Ed Sullivan didn’t become a cultural institution just by getting his show on the air. He got it by grinding it out every Sunday for more than two decades.

Fresh Starts and Modest Changes

The Back to Work podcast will be recording its 156th episode today (3 years!), but the one you need to know is #47: Utter Failure and Hotel Steak. Unless of course you have stuck with your New Years resolutions? For the rest of us, this gem of an episode can help you set reasonable goals and realistic expectations.

Just Ignore the Paragraph About How David Carr Was Ahead of His Time in 2001

Ezra Klein has left The Washington Post and will be running a new site at Vox Media. Carr eulogizes Old Media while writing for the New York Times and I kept waiting for him to break into Dogespeak to establish cred. Very Masthead. Such CMS. Wow. Anyway: I liked this move better the first time, when it was done by Nate Silver.

Two In The Can

Thanks for your time as I figure out this thing, and thanks to everyone who filled out the survey. If you didn’t get a chance, you can always reply to his email if you have feedback. Make sure to stay tuned as I incorporate (co-opt) some of your great ideas.

Periodically yours,
Bob Sherron