TIMELESS VALUE

This video is lovely. It was an absolute warmth and joy, and exactly what I needed this morning.

What I love about this video is near the end, Sam Abell meets the grandkids of some of the people I photographed in Japan 40+ years ago.

“By far the most meaningful are the human connections that I’ve been able to make as a photographer.”

Gorgeous video, and one I’m sure I’ll watch again someday soon.

GROWING WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

This is a response to a comment left by Craig Lewis on what of my Substack Notes:

how do you practically make that move to talking to those closer to you/simply putting out quality content if no-one is seeing/interacting with it?

If you never post on socials etc, no-one ever sees what you do. If you have an audience already, it’s cool to get stuff out to them and they will hopefully do you a good turn and shout about it for you.

But if you’re still building an audience… back to shouting into the void?

Craig Lewis

You’ll need to get 100 new followers on social media to reach 10 of them.

Or you can just get 10 people to subscribe to your email list.

New post for Social Media Escape Club coming on Monday or so.

COMPANIONSHIP CONTENT

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a tear lately with the “blogging thing.” Did you notice the new domain name? I’ve had sethw.com on and off since, like, 1999 or so because it went with my weird one-man-band act I did. But lately, as I’m now easing into my later 40s, I wanted something that reflected my new vibes, and sethwxyz really worked. Like, the alphabet goes wxyz, right? Seth W… xyz. Oh my god, I love it.

Anyway, since I’ve been writing or blogging so much, I’ve definitely felt different things pulling themselves together.

Like, I’m not spending multiple hours a day writing, but I do a lot of thinking and walking and taking voice notes on occasion, which I rarely revisit, but just doing them helps my brain put things together.

This brings me to this piece called ‘Companionship Content is King‘ by Anu Atluru.

“Companionship content is long-form content that can be consumed passively — allowing the consumer to be incompletely attentive, and providing a sense of relaxation, comfort, and community.”

After reading that whole piece, it was like, oh my god, no wonder I love those Noah Kalina videos, right? And he even mentioned in today’s video, near the end, how you could just have his video on in the background, you don’t even need to really watch it.

There were a few days where I’d find myself in haze after laying around and just scrolling through Instagram Reel after Instagram Reel. It was like when we were kids, and they used to say we watched 10 hours of TV a week or something, but now it’s like we consume 10 hours of video a day, but in 15 to 30-second increments, and it’s draining, as Anu says here:

“Consuming content requires attention, and everyone has an attention ceiling. This is the basis of my belief that short-form video has an upper limit. It’s not that short-form isn’t as good or as entertaining as long-form, it’s that it’s distracting and ultimately draining.

The mental energy consumed per minute of content consumed must be higher for short-form video than many types of content. I think of this as the “drain ratio” (as in energy drain) for a given piece of content or even a whole genre. (I doubt if anyone’s scientifically measured this, but I’d willingly commission a study on it).”

Maybe that’s why I like watching Craig Reynolds of Stray From The Path when he does his drum streams.

I don’t have to pay full attention, but it’s just fun to be “in the room” when he offers a sarcastic comment or self-deprecating humor.

Maybe I’m just getting old, or maybe it’s the after-effects of living through a pandemic, and things are just off, man. I’m not sure, but I just need the slow chill vibes these days.

HINDZ is another great example. A little softer than watching Craig on drums, but still… I guess it’s all about the person. I know what I’m getting from these folks, and there’s a peacefulness to that.

This is also similar to “body doubling,” or virtual co-working sessions that I’ve seen around. I haven’t really dabbled in those quite so much, but I know some people really like those.

I LOVE NOAH KALINA’S NEW VIDEOS

I am LOVING the videos that Noah Kalina is posting lately. I know, I already wrote about this, but whatever.

If you don’t know, he’s the guy who took a photo of his face everyday guy, and he’s a pretty big photographer. He’s like, a big deal, which makes these new videos so fucking great.

Whenever the subject of “starting a podcast” or “doing videos” comes with friends, the conversation always goes, “yeah but, I’m not a loud talker,” or “I’m just shy and introverted.”

And I always tell these friends that that is the reason they need to start a podcast. They need to upload videos on YouTube because there’s enough videos on YouTube with loud talking big mouths. There are quiet people out there who like to watch and listen to other quiet people!

So that’s why these videos are so great.

These videos are permission to set up a camera and just talk, or do whatever you want, really.

Like, Noah has around 50,000 followers and his videos “only” get around 1,000 views. If you’re doing it for the numbers yes, it’s hard. But I think these videos do a lot of good, and can inspire a bunch of people to set up and start doing their own thing (I know I’ve got ideas).

YOUR CIRCLE MATTERS

I’ve followed Gary Vee from waaay back. He can be a bit much, but hey, that’s all of us.

I don’t know anybody on this episode – and I love how he mentions that some people in the chat (he live streams all day now, I guess) were like, OMG, “I can’t believe you’re in the room with them,” while some people were like “who the heck are they?”

That’s ALL OF US, and being around other people from other worlds is a GOOD THING.

I met someone in 2019 on a Zoom call during a cohort class, and we’ve literally been talking every week since, and they work in a MUCH DIFFERENT world than me. Like, they’re in rooms with pro sport CEOs and shit. That ain’t my world at all, but I’m better for it.

The internet is a big place. Build your circle with intention!

THE GHOST RESORTS

An almost 10 minute video of exploring abandoned ski resorts and breathtaking scenery. Exactly the sort of video that makes me want to sell everything and travel the world.

In 2010 I left my apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with my bike and what I carried in my bag. I rode my single speed bike up the GW Bridge, and made my way to Rutherford, NJ to crash with a friend.

I miss that shit.

(thx, Norah)

DNA LOOP

Haven’t made any of these in a few years, but I’ve got a new laptop now, and some headspace for creative output, so here’s a little boop.

I make the music in Abelton Live. This is a fresh install, so it’s factory setting sounds and effects, but I’m happy with it. I need to bring over my plugins and such from my external HD.

When I went to look for videos on Pexels to use I was surprised to see Google DeepMind on there. They’ve got a bunch of videos and still images, so it looks like I’ve got a bunch of material to work with for future clips.

NOAH KALINA TALKING ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHERS IN COMMERCIALS

You might know Noah Kalina from his “Noah takes a photo of himself everyday” project that started in 2000.

Now, he’s making videos from his studio about… whatever. In the video above, he’s talking about photographers in commercials, which I find very funny.

Noah is making the sort of video I love – calm, quiet, not over produced, just a few funny edits here and there.

See more of his videos here.

BREATH TAKING

Some inspiring videos I’ve watched recently.

Tracksmith is a running brand that’s a little more racing / roadie vibes for me, but I love their photography, branding, and videos. And writing, dear lord:

What can a place really show us? Can we discover a new way of life? Can it open us up to a new part of ourselves? In sports, hardship, strain, and suffering are a given. But can the idyllic nature of training in paradise ease some of that tension and allow an athlete to improve at an accelerated rate?

I love that sorta stuff, and I’m so glad it exists on a website, and YouTube. I’m so tired of “consuming” these amazing things on my phone.

Mind you, I did discover Lachlan Morton doing his Alt Tour a few years back on social media, but again, I’m so glad there’s this 37 minute video to watch. I followed the clips here and there on Instagram stories, but you know how that is – 15 and 30 second blips, all between our friends and the other brands we follow.

I saw some Instagram stories (again) of Lael Wilcox riding to the start of a big race again, so I looked her up on YouTube and found this wonderful video of her riding the Alaska Pipeline – 800 miles in 3 days, 18 hours, and 47 minutes.

Again.. as I ween myself from social media, I feel like watching these sorts of videos is better for my soul, because they’re more like a nourishing meal, rather than some junk from the dollar menu at the food court.