The Midnight Brew

Good conversations at the best virtual diner on the Internet.

The Midnight Brew is a podcast hosted by Cailean Babcock out of Osaka, Japan, at the best virtual diner on the internet. Episodes feature interviews with inspiring individuals from around the world, as well as discussions about creativity, art, movies, current events and culture. Released every other Friday at midnight Japan Standard Time.

Filtering by Category: Business

Biting the Bullet

I decided to bite the bullet and share this. The only reason I haven't shown this to people until now is 1) the "royalty-free" music I used had some serious strings attached, and 2) remastering the audio to eliminate said music required jumping through some hoops.

Still, it's good to let the world see this and appreciate the effort that EJ Bennett and I put into it. It won the first and only movie contest we entered it into (The one and only "Gaijinpot LOL Movie Contest"), and it was enough of a resume for him to go on to become a line producer for NHK New York.

As for me, I got a trip to Tokyo, a free iPod, and a chance to interview for a job with the Gaijinpot guys.

Remember, folks: it's not about the price of the camera or the size of your lens: it's about the story, and your ability to work with other people in order to make it a reality.


In the interests of GTD (Getting Things Done - a term I have been know to bandy about, but have little true grasp of), I managed to check a couple of things off the work list this last weekend. One of them was "sign up for Google AdSense".

It seems like a pretty straightforward notion: place some tasteful ads on your site and hopefully make a little extra something that will help the site pay for itself. It's not that the site is what you might call "widely successful" just yet, hammered by visitors in such numbers that I'm getting panicky phone calls from my web hosting provider begging me to stop being so darned popular. But it doesn't hurt to think ahead.

The thing is, I feel like kinda like this guy:

It’s not a business model. Any time you can talk about “monetization,” you’re probably not talking about a real business because “monetizing” a business is redundant. “Monetizing” is slapping a moneymaker on top of something that doesn’t naturally produce income. The way that 99.99% of people dive into AdSense, they’re simply putting something out there and waiting for the dollars to roll in. There is no real planning, no accounting forecasts, no intention down the road to improve workflow or expand offerings or enlarge the sales funnel, no exploiting the best abilities of yourself and partners to create benefit for others.


I’m just saying that the average person is probably going to have better luck building a real business. Meaning:

  • One that you can stand behind publicly.
  • One that’s based on helping others in exchange for pay.
  • One that benefits from being a real, authentic person.
  • One that matches your best abilities to the needs of others.

I have the sneaking suspicion that I'll do better trying to create interesting, original content that attracts an audience, and then use those numbers to go after sponsors directly.1

  1. Then again, there's a balance to be maintained here. Might as well see how things go and hope for the best, rather than preemptively deny myself a reasonable chance at an income based on my doubts about something I've never tried.

Breaking the Winter Ice

I've broken the "winter ice" - the post-winter vacation holiday slump (that, to be quite honest, I can't afford to indulge in anymore). Two Midnight Brew episodes out and a slew of promises and announcements for the coming year.

The most significant of those is the announcement that i've quit my day job. Since August 2002, I've been moonlighting (sunlighting?) as a teacher in Osaka, Japan, and indulging my creative side as a part-time hobby.

Not good. This leads to stress and irritation caused by the pent-up frustration of not doing what really makes me happy. Granted, that describes a whole bunch of people, but here's the thing: I spent ten years living the dream. This isn't new stuff for me. Instead of a second act, I'm simply going back to what I already know how to do.

The tricky part, of course, is getting paid for it.