Can’t Stop Learning

Just because I finished college and went back and got my Master’s doesn’t mean I’m done learning.  Honestly, the thing I learned MOST at Vanderbilt was learning HOW to learn.  I  acknowledge that my college experience was surrounded more by humanities than by mathematics and engineering (a potential mistake, but nothing I regret!).  That means that I’m familiar with Montaigne and Shakespeare, but that I also know how to research anything and everything.

Case in point, I taught high school english when I graduated.  I loved it and I loved coaching as well.  But I met my wife and I quickly realized that my wife was going to cost me more than I could make on a teacher’s salary.  (Although that is true, I freely admit that the life I wanted with her was going to cost more because of MY desire, not just her needs…)

So, with a little help, I took an 8 week course in IT and this English/Education major (with an accidental minor in classical languages) teacher became an IT worker.  Just like that I had learned a new career.  The internet has increased that opportunity a million fold.  Everything I learned in those 8 weeks are now easily found on Youtube (and deal with technologies that are well beyond what I learned).  For a person with access to the internet, and some free time and passion, it’s possible to grow outside of your comfort zones.

www.khanacademy.org is a perfect example.  For a person like me, who didn’t focus on math or economics, there are free academies that allow me to learn those subjects.  Couple that with local libraries and mentors and there is very little holding us back, except ourselves.

I’m taking this journey into podcasting and blogging because I need to keep learning.  I’m researching how to effectively use Audacity right now.  There are several videos about how to utilize it, and as I watch them I go deeper into the youtube rabbit hole of learning the product.  Will I become an audio producer?  Highly doubtful.  But I’ll make certain that the podcast sounds more professional than it would have before my focused learning.

All in all, I now know that I can’t stop learning, I’d get too bored.  I know that playing video games has gotten me very good at… video games.  Now I need to focus on growing myself in different directions.  This podcast and blogging journey (that my wife calls a ‘hobby’) has opened up a new world to learn.  Oddly, it’s a world that I’m pushing into my work world as well (you didn’t think that I could learn something not related to work and not improve how I work AT WORK, did you?).  That’s another blog post though…

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Beginning Podcast Equipment

My goal is to monetize a podcast and a blog.  In order to achieve I’m going to have to invest in some equipment.  I’m also going to have to invest in some domain names and blog hosting other than this free wordpress, but that’s another post.  This wordpress blog will remain as a testament to what I’m trying to create, an opportunity for others to build upon, and potentially an e-book about my journey into podcasting…

First things first, a computer…  Done.  I’m using my existing laptop, although I could use almost anything to record, even tablets or phones.  I plan on editing the podcast audio with Audacity, a free audio editing program that I’ll be researching on how to use effectively.  You can find that here.  I’m using Pamela for Skype to record and will add a link to that soon (once I get my affiliate link…).  In the meantime, google or bing “pamela for skype.”

I plan to use notepadd ++ or some other basic electronic notepad, coupled with a mini legal pad and pen, to take show notes.  Notepad ++ will be for copying and pasting URLs and typing down the notes I’d like to share, while the legal pad will handle the time and recording notes that are temporary and I’ll only use for post editing.  Notes like the time stamp of when I went into a coughing fit, so I can cut it later with Audacity…

For audio, I have some good headsets with microphones that have pretty good audio quality.  My wife would potentially leave me if I bought any more of them, actually…  Apparently, I collect them with some unknown compulsive hoarder mentaility.  Some of these headsets would do well for podcasts, especially with types I’m planning to record.

Spoiler: these podcasts will not involve my singing voice…

However, those headset microphones, although they exhibit good sound, can still be outdone by an actual condenser microphone.  You can pay an unnecessarily large amount for these studio quality microphones. There are several, however, that are sub $50 and will elevate your audio quality from laptop microphone to high end podcast.  I chose this one for $25.99:

It’s pictured at the top of the page and I bought it for two reasons.

  1. The audio quality, that I mentioned.
  2. The professional look of the microphone itself.

I plan on having a video podcast as well as an audio podcast. Having an actual microphone with a boom arm will be much more professional than a headset and mic when it comes to the video.  Having good audio quality is much better for any potential future listeners regardless of the podcast format.  Here is the link to the boom arm:

Podcasts have become much more professional in the recent years with radio and TV personalities joining the ranks.  Even the government and PBS are trying their hands in the podcast pond.  I’m hopeful to compete with them eventually, but if I can be more professional on the cheap… all the better for me.

 

As an aside, if you are looking for a Father’s Day gift or a gift for any holiday/person (depending on when you are reading this), you can’t go wrong with an Amazon gift card:Shop Amazon Gift Cards. Any Occasion. No Expiration.

How can we monetize?

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I’m struggling with several things in my life.

From government programs taking away my son’s liberty, to how I’m going to spend my weekend (spoiler: I’m going to be working around the house).  What’s at the top of my struggles right now?  How to monetize an online presence…  I am hopeful that this blog will help me to advance in that direction for instance.  But hope, is not substantial…  My Grandmother had a phrase, “Want in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills up faster.”  Same thing applies to hope.

So, what should I do outside of just hoping to monetize the blog and other online initiatives?  Currently, I’m looking into affiliate sales, podcasting (still working on how best to monetize that), utilizing this blog, andonline dropshipping sites.  There is nothing more liberating for a citizen than to become economically independent.  Capitalism is the golden bar for liberty.  Anybody who tells you otherwise is inexperienced or power hungry.

I’ll use this blog to document them and my successes and failures.  In the long run, even the documentation of them might serve to help with monetizing.  I’m going to improve my writing as I continue (feedback welcome) and the successes AND failures can find their way into a book.  Even a What NOT to do book would be helpful (actually that would be helpful to me right now).  I’m shooting for at least three posts a week on what I’ve been working on/researching.

I would appreciate your help with this as well…  Tell me what I’m doing wrong.  Sign up to follow this blog, comment, share.  I absolutely need to gather people who are interested in adding supplemental income and are also willing to follow and share their journeys with me.  When I am going down the wrong path, I would LOVE to hear WHY.

Share your stories with me…

You can also follow me on twitter @IamGreeneye

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They Don’t Understand Technology

Let me first share a link to a story about Donna Brazile and how she suggested that emails that she sent were altered (here).  I absolutely love this, not because she is a democrat.  I would love it if she was a republican just as much.  I love this because it is representative of a group of people who were “brought online” well after they had already reached adulthood.  They absolutely do not understand technology…

Obviously that is not entirely true, there are people who grew up before the technology explosion that can and do understand that world, or at least get along within it.  More and more, however, these aging career politicians are finding themselves caught (in Donna Brazile’s case, caught in a lie) because of their lack of understanding of how technology works. That lack of knowledge will eventually lead to them being seen as antiquated relics of the past.

I’m not suggesting that every millennial knows what DKIM is all about, or that the “hacks” into the democratic emails were anything but the most basic of phishing operations and didn’t need to be perpetrated by any nation state (let alone Russia).  But this generation and generation Z following it absolutely know that there are people who are savvy enough to determine whether an email was tampered with.  None of them would make the mistake of declaring BOLDLY that they never wrote that email with the notable exception of pathological liars.  (I’m not suggesting that the career politicians AREN’T pathological liars and I know that undermines my thesis).

So we have a generation who believes in technology to a degree that borders on magic/fantasy.  Watch the “zoom” and “focus” action on a street camera’s footage in a CSI episode and compare it with the reality of the grainy images you see in the “have you seen this man” shots…  This generation has a firm belief and an underlying faith in technology that the older career politicians can’t grasp.  The more those politicians use that technology to do their business, the more they will get caught in the work that they actually do.  That work is not always nefarious, but corruption is a part of the state, ANY state.

This is expressing itself in Hillary’s email server, WikiLeaks having access to emails gained through a standard phishing attack (I know that’s not been proven, but it’s the easiest and most reliable weapon in the arsenal of modern hackers) and a meme that Trump is trying to start, the election is rigged.  You can watch videos of voting machines changing votes (here and here for two examples).  The concept of hacking into these voting machines that are connected to the internet is not farfetched to the younger generations either.  These things allow Trump’s “rigged election” to have more meaning to the young generation than to the older ones.  Add to that the firing of Debbie the DNC chairwoman for “rigging” the primaries against Bernie and an accusation of “rigged election” has legs.

It won’t stop here either.  Actual journalists (not the ones paid by pharmaceutical companies) will be uncovering more and more electronic “dirt” on these politicians who believe that the technological curtains they hide behind are safe.  They aren’t.  The younger generations know this.  We should be grateful for this gap so that we can watch a new generation expose the politicians and statists for what they really are.  I for one am grabbing my popcorn and am going to enjoy (and report) on the show as it unfolds.  Here’s to more denials that can be proven false by having an understanding of how technology actually works.