(Note: Ultimately, this blog post is for me, and is a way of reflecting on things. It sounds worse than it is.) Online friends and folks I meet at conferences know that I’m pretty harried and busy. Some of this is due to the many hats I wear (community guy at Video on the Net, cofounder of PodCamp, coworker with Jeff Pulver, speaker and new media maker guy). But a good part of it deals with how poorly I’ve been managing my life, my time, and my brand (in this case, what I choose to do). Let me dig into this a bit, if only to help you understand where I am, and where I intend to go.
Basically, this is a little shake down of stuff I’m doing, and how it impacts my life, my friends, and everything else. Not looking for sympathy. I want you to think about how your own life is arranged.
How I’m Paid
I’m paid by a professional events and media company, pulvermedia, to run the Video on the Net conference. This involves looking everywhere for qualified attendees (meaning people who will benefit from hearing from media industry professionals, independent producers, and technologists), being on sales calls with exhibitors, and working on the little details that make up a big show.
On top of this, I work with the senior team on all kinds of other things, like determining other strategies, recommending future directions, and attending competitive events for an understanding of how we stack up.
This work has taught me a lot, and I enjoy the people I work with, for the most part. I feel like I’m learning about the events business from people who know how to run large professional events.
My Other Job
I work with Jeff Pulver on all kinds of things, including his various startups, his ideas on social communication, and a ton of other things. Jeff is a fast-paced individual, with lots on his mind, and with a need to get a lot done in a brief amount of time. When I work with Jeff, it’s equal parts of frenzied pace and exciting fun. Jeff knows how to have fun, and I enjoy the mix and challenges around working with him a lot. Oh, and we work on conferences together.
My Other Other Job
I’m not paid to put on PodCamps, but I am supported by my CEO and Chairman in my pursuit of keeping PodCamp alive and well. Why? Because Jeff’s a community-focused guy who grew his own community from the ground up, and who feels that PodCamp is an exciting part of the Internet video story (at least the video parts).
I work on PodCamp with Christopher S. Penn, and with our friends and organizers (most notably lately Whitney Hoffman). We’re responsible for PodCamp Boston, and we’re also running the PodCamp Foundation, which tries to look out for the larger brand, and help the other PodCamps around the world.
My Other Other Other Job
My life has been a social media experiment (one after another) since last spring. After attending Podcast Academy 2, I had it in my mind to start a podcast. Thereafter, I started a virtual company. That went pretty well, and I even somehow convinced people to join me in the endeavor. Then, when I fell out of it due to the pressures of my day job, things there fell apart. But I still love everyone involved, and some of them are still making really exciting media of their own still.
After launching PodCamp, I found myself trying new things all the time, joining all these social networks, and trying out the various ways to make social media. I’m not necessarily as prolific in exploring and plumbing the depths as some of my friends, like Steve Garfield is with video services, and I haven’t delved into some areas like Second Life like C.C. Chapman and others, but boy, I’ve been around there a lot.
I keep active in exploring the business implications of Twitter, and Facebook and LinkedIN, and looking into how this stuff might all change what we’re doing. I started with just the notion that making audio and video was the key, but instead, I think it’s how we use ALL the tools, or the combination of the tools that matter to us, that will make the difference.
This all ties to speaking and conferences and other opportunities, where I share with people what I’ve learned through these experiences. And I’m never done experimenting. Today, I signed up for TubeMogul, an app that lets you publish video across lots of platforms, and that’s seeking actively to sign up even more platforms. I think it’s a really cool way to explore distribution.
The Social in Social Networking
To be a strong community voice and developer, I spend a lot of time with people, at events, online, and in all kinds of ways. What I do with all this time is find ways to be helpful. This is often rewarding, but of course, it also takes up some amount of time in one’s day as well. It’s also some of my favorite time spent out of every day, so I’m not bitching and moaning. Never.
Where This Gets Tricky
I’m learning that I’m not doing well at managing all my juggling. My friends, real life friends, people that matter to me, are feeling a bit of a pinch. Some are expressing frustration with my lack of time. Others feel I’ve abandoned them for my online world. And I can see that. I can see what they’re saying. Though I don’t feel it’s true, I can see how my current crush of responsibilities is translating into making decisions that sometimes neglect the real world people who matter to me.
My Thoughts On What To Do Next
First and foremost, I’m working hard on learning how to say no. I have to. I have to turn down some things, so that I have room to better service the things I’ve decided are important to me. Second, I’m working on my people skills and my planning skills, so that at big events (like the upcoming PodCamp Boston and Video on the Net), I will find the proper way to perform my duties, but also meet and spend time with friends and new friends alike.
Third, I’m working on better day-to-day working models. I’m trying to kick the email habit (checking incessantly), and instead am focusing on doing what is most important in a given day, and answering mail at set times. So far, I’m failing on this, by the way.
Finally, I’m seeking advice from friends, as I often do. Because I figure there are people who are way more busy than me who’ve found a way to manage it all.
I’m thinking of working my 7 Habits and my GTD even harder still, but at this point, I just figure I’ve gotta find better ways to carve out the part that matters, to find the David inside the marble, to free up some breathing room. Because I know that this isn’t working well the way it is now. And I know that greatness doesn’t come when someone’s feeling bogged down.
So that’s where I am.