Friday, November 24, 2017

5 Things on a Friday: Black Friday

Happy Black Friday, folks!  I assume you’ve got the day off, and I do, too.
Are we shopping yet?
[U]ntil now, investors were propping up the industry by subsidizing money-losing operations in hopes that some would hit it big. With even the most promising bets looking less lustrous, those investors are beginning to realize their mistake. What we’re seeing now, Marshall contends, is “a full-blown crash” in digital media. The internet made it possible for pretty much anyone to become a publisher, but that was no guarantee they’d make money doing it. Take out the venture capital, Marshall argues, and there are simply too many online media outlets to survive on the share of the advertising pie that’s left after Google and Facebook devour the lion’s share…
Online advertising is looking more and more like a contest that publishers can’t win—not on a large scale, at least. Advertising can help to cover some of their costs, but online ads alone won’t pay for big, serious, high-quality journalistic enterprises the way that print ads once did.
Friends ask me every once in a while if this blog is making money “yet”.  The answer is yeah, we’ve made a little money.  But it’s not enough even to be considered “beer money”, and despite steady readership growth over the past few years, it’s hard to see how this little project, or writing in general, is ever going to be anything beyond a simple, albeit high-end hobby.  The good news is that I’ve been able to keep my costs non-existent.  As the article suggests, however, a better way forward has yet to present itself.
The problem is that publishing on a larger scale starts incurring costs, and as the article notes, it’s next to impossible to recoup those costs regardless of your business model.  Even in print publishing, i.e. book publishing, legitimate success is limited mostly to a few superstars.  Most authors, even relatively “successful” authors that you may have heard of, are a bit like high-end garage bands dreaming of someday playing arenas.  Consider the careers of everyone in the history of American Idol who isn’t Kelly Clarkson, Carry Underwood, or Chris Daughtry.  I mean, yeah, Kelly Pickler sold a few albums and got to go on tour, but I’m not sure that I’d want to emulate her career path or professional stability with my own family’s financial future at stake.  Print publishing is, if anything, even worse than that.
So yeah.  I would love to monetize my work in ways that go beyond simple advertising support, especially since the work itself keeps growing in popularity.  Like a legitimate media company, however, I’m not at all sure what more would make sense.  Once you factor in the value of my time as a part of the overall investment equation, most concepts become seriously problematic.  
If you’re wondering, the best way to support this blog right now is to go and buy the two Sneax books via Amazon and the Kindle app, read them, and if you like them, leave reviews for other would-be readers via Amazon’s reader feedback mechanics.  If, by chance, you hate the Sneax books, I would actually still really like to hear why, but that is feedback you probably ought to send me privately.  
2.  Stratford Turkey Trot 5K AAR
Pre-race selfie.
I wound up with an 8:03/mile average, and that’s not bad, but I didn’t run smartly at all.  A 5K is similar overall effort to an open water mile, and for whatever reason, the open water mile is probably my best thing right now.  However, running is not particularly similar to swimming, and I am personally much better with my mid-tempo race pace in the water than I am out on the road.  Add in the fact that it was cold yesterday, and that I don’t run particularly well in the morning, and we wound up with a situation where I wanted to warm up a lot before the race started and then get off quickly in the early going.
I did maybe 35 minutes of yoga and then jogged easy down to the start, about ¾ of a mile away from my house.  I stretched a bit more, did some quick pick-us, and then I was ready.  So far, so good.  I felt really good off the line, putting in my first half-mile at a blistering 6:38/mile pace according to my watch.  That was much too fast, alas, and what’s worse is that it got me all excited, so that instead of leaning back and finding a pace that was sustainable, I leaned in and went hard after it.
I just don’t have the base aerobic fitness for that kind of thing right now, unfortunately.  Maybe I could have pulled it off in the water, who knows, but I definitely could not make it work on yesterday’s race course.  I started tiring even before we hit the first mile marker, and by the time we hit the second, I didn’t have enough left to keep pushing at all.  I finally had no choice but fade back to a very non-race aerobic pace and just kind of cruise through that last mile.  Save for a little pick-up as we headed into the final turn, I was toast.  
Overall I went 7:45, 8:07, 8:22 by mile, for a total of 25:28.  But really, my race was even lumpier than that, given the fast start and the pace I managed in the last quarter-mile.  Anyway, it wasn’t particularly impressive.  I was looking to get under 25:00 at last, but that just did not happen.
3. Pimps of Joytime: “Everywhere I Go”
Saw these guys for the second time over the summer at Two Roads’ Road Jam.  Bought one of their albums but only just put it on my iPhone.  It’s good aerobic-paced running music, and this song in particular is on-point for Thanksgiving weekend.
In the final post-credits scene of the film, Lex Luthor has escaped prison and asked Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, to join him on his massive yacht. Once there, Luthor suggests maybe they should create a league of their own—an obvious allusion to the Legion of Doom, the society of supervillains that first appeared in the Super Friends cartoon, but has gone on to become a regular feature of the DC comics. Obviously, this suggests that future DC films will focus on a group of supervillains that join forces to combat the Justice League’s rise.
The articles also mentions Darkseid and the “New Gods,” The Green Lantern Corps, Shazam, and Batman’s potential retirement and replacement via a would-be Nightwing movie.  There are some notes as well about the storyarcs for the individual members of the League, but we already know there’s an Aquaman movie coming, and the Flash is apparently getting Flashpoint.  
Of most interest to me is the unexpected introduction of Deathstroke.  Am I the only one who thinks the DCEU is mining the goodwill built by the CW’s Arrowverse on purpose?
5.  It’s Almost Army Lax Season

The Rutgers game might be important, but it is also going to be colder than Hell.  Also, the April 14th Army-Navy game is a definite must-see.
FYI: Army Lax games are generally broadcast on PatriotLeague.TV free of charge.
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That’s all I’ve got.  Enjoy the weekend.

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