I am a Fivable Web Nerd

I excite easily. And when that excitement lasts for an extended amount of time, it turns into a burning passion to do good things. A few years ago some friends and I began to put together a consortium of talent and resources that focused on the web in a way that made sense to us. Sometimes that’s looking through the lens of our shared philosophy about God or by making sure that web content tells a very good story. Three years later, we get to spend our days producing videos, designing logos, writing copy, and developing sites and applications for organizations that matter.

We are Fivable, and we are Web Nerds.

Frustrated

All of a sudden, my custom theme (and seemingly most of my plugins) caused the front page of WordPress to no longer load.

I’m very frustrated by this.

I think that I might be frustrated to leave the resources I have here behind, but to no longer maintain the site.

If you feel strongly about this, comment.

Free Idea for Those With Unlimited Shelf Space

This is extrapolated the chapter I’m reading (“The Short Head”) in The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, so the idea isn’t really even 100% mine. But feel free to go for it.

You know how Amazon pairs items together? “Buy The White Album together with Abbey Road for $21.95″ or something similar? Amazon isn’t giving me any news by mentioning that Abbey Road is also a Beatles album, and there’s a good chance that I’ll like it if I want the other.

When someone goes to purchase something well-known, feed them an opportunity (with an awesome deal) to get something from the long-tail paired with it. iTunes shows the “Listeners Also Bought” section, but this is mostly meaningless in the long tail.  For instance, iTunes shows that listeners who bought Uncle Widget’s Bedtime on Mars (children’s music) also purchased Gnarles Barkley (one-off pop) and John Mayer (adult contemporary pop). The closer you get to the head, the more meaningful (until you’re well into the head, then it often resorts back to pairing John Mayer and Gnarles Barkley).

It would make sense to ask (in a slightly limiting fashion) media buyers or music submitters to assist with these pairings so that it doesn’t become a resource drain. Go ahead and let me know when you’re done. I’m on board.

Time to Upgrade, But…

From age 14 to 26, I was the computer geek. Until about 22, I was an Apple hater. Adamant. Unyielding. I’m still not even sure why though. I was probably jealous that I didn’t get it. I happily went and built my new PC every 18 months or so when the previous system became impossible to use. 18 Months. And I always bought the top PC product, maxed out.
Twenty-nine months after the purchase of my iBook, I’m starting to think “eh, it might be time to upgrade.” iBook. At the time of purchase, iBook was the lowest end, cheapest portable computer from Apple. And it has lasted me about a year longer than any top-of-the-line PC I’d bought before, looks and feels a lot better, and it’s white.

Of course, there’s $0 in the computer budget right now, but I think iMac is next. For now, I can live with a computer starting to slow down though because it still works. That’s what Jonathan always says about Apple: “It just works.”

And one more thing…

Creative Funding

We indie musicians sometimes have to come up with creative ways to fund our projects.  Taking a production to the next level is one of these times.

The first Uncle Widget CD, Bedtime On Mars was put together at home, with primitive tools.  It was a proof of concept.  The next CD will be for playtime entertainment, and I’ve decided that it will be spectacular.

In order to boost the success of the next CD, I’m selling stakes of the profit to investors.  It’s much more important for me to get my music out than it is for me to make a bunch of money.   One share of the CD is worth 25 cents for every disc sold and costs $125 up front.

The goal is to sell 1000 CDs.  An investor will double their money, no matter how many shares they own.  If it sells more, the profits keep going.

Details of this are on fund.unclewidget.com.

The Rentals + Ozma

Wow.  It’s going to be hard to come up with the proper words.  Words that will do these guys justice, words that will properly describe the emotion, passion, and energy of these two bands are not easily formed.

I was a teenager when I first heard The Rentals, shortly after their first album, Return of the Rentals.  Stacks of vintage synths, Orange Amplifiers, and 5, 6, or 7 musicians colliding in danceable and incredible sonic goodness.  Eventually, you can pull your nose out of liner notes and go to a show.

For me, it was around 10 years before this dream could come to fruition.  If the Rentals were ever around the Southeast (it was really rare) it just didn’t work out for me.  When the news surfaced that Matt Sharp had put together a group to do some Rentals songs, I was stoked, but cautious with my expectations.

This group blew me away.  Matt’s stage presence (you may remember seeing him in the early days of Weezer) is terrific.  There’s a world he enters when he steps on the stage that really renews my hope in show business.  Not just Matt; Laura Chipman, Ben Pringle, Sara Radle, Dan Joeright, and Rachel Haden can’t be matched for stage presence, talent, and the ability to follow carefully choreographed mid-song instrument switches.  Rachel played all 7 keyboards at one time or another.  She picked up the Bass several times, acoustic guitar, the small mic’ed set of bells on occasion; sang beautifully. Laura played the Violin, 3 or 4 of the keyboards, and sang in perfect harmony with Matt and Rachel.  Sara too: all over the keys, singing beautifully.  Dan, the drummer, appropriately stayed in royal command of the rhythm.  As a drummer, I can appreciate the feat of being in the rhythm section with three different bassists in one evening.  Ben: WOW.  Ben blew us all the way.  He started in the ‘synth cave’ played bass, guitar, trombone, lap steel, and didn’t miss a beat on any of those.  He had energy that, like Matt’s, makes me want to present a video of this show to other people who grace stages all over the world.

They played old Rentals songs, an old Weezer B-Side, and even Lou Reed’s Take a Walk on the Wild Side.  The news (from the end of the show) is that Matt reported a forthcoming album.  Sweet.

Ozma was terrific too.  After a two year hiatus, they decided to come back and give it another shot. They’re really on top of their game. Their set was tight, and they played a lot of good ol’ songs.  Since I’ve seen Ozma twice before, I won’t be able to ramble like an idiot (see above) about them.  That shouldn’t diminish their show though – it was unbelievable.  They weren’t too clear about their plans for after this tour is over.  I tried to pry but didn’t get any solid answer about forthcoming albums, but I suspect that we’ll see more of Ozma.

Great time.  Great show.  I’m easy to excite, but these guys didn’t leave anything to chance.

technology where little exists… hacking the simple life