Friday the 13th of May
It's Friday the 13th at 3:31 in the morning. The three or four of you are asleep. When you wake up, I'll have said goodbye and ridden my bike to work.
I want to talk about Now. Not right now... because you can't talk about right now in that as soon as you say "Now," now is gone. You can't really 1. write about Now. 2. take a picture of Now. 3. record a video of Now. or 4. do a radio show Now. You can try to live in the Now, but in the end it's a losing proposition. By the nature of time passing and the next moment of Now toppling over the one that just past, you're toast.
Which brings me to my relationship with Now. As the sleeping three or four of you know, I traded in the pits of the Chicago Board of Trade for 18 years. It's how Alexis and I originally bought heritage radio station WJOB in Hammond, Indiana. As a little aside, if I had left trading a couple years before I did, we would have wound up with a lot more cash to put kids through college with. I extended the Now too long and left with just enough to pluck down for the radio station where I worked right out of college.
Anyways, I would stand in the pits from about 7:20am to around 2pm and I'd trade my balls off. In the beginning, it was one and two-lots in the MidAmerica Exchange... and by the end it was 100-lots and more in the 5-year treasury pit. The amount doesn't really matter. It's all the same when it comes to Now. You're in the game. You're trading. You're making or losing 5-10% of your net worth. The world moves fast and while you're trading, you're as close to the Now as you can get.
Fast forward to doing a radio show weekday mornings for four hours. You start talking, you read some news, do some weather, traffic, sports... you make a few jokes, you take a few callers. And then you do it again. And the whole time you're talking, as with the whole time you're trading, you're as close to the Now as you can get.
There is a similarity to my Now of trading and my Now of radio. A lotta similarities. As a trader, I'd wake up worried in the middle of the night and write in my journals or tiptoe around the house... just waiting for 5am to leave for Chicago and the Board of Trade.
As a radio person, I wake up worried in the middle of the night. I write a "meaningless little blog" to the three or four of you, and I wait to ride my bike or drive to WJOB.
In both cases, I ply my trade in the Now. And after all of these years - 18 as a trader, and 12 now as a radio person - I finally figured out that I can best do what I need to do in the Now.
But ask me to plan something out like a trading strategy or a radio show, then it all goes to hell. I used to try to "prepare" like the other traders standing around me. I would buy the Richard Asplund newsletter and read it that so I would look like a BTCT (big time commodities trader). And I'd try to do point-and-figure charts of the market's movement like so many traders around me. Overnight, I'd even try to review 60-day moving averages and candlestick reversals. Once, I even flew to Orlando to take in a conference by Linda Raschke about range trading.
None of it worked. The only thing I could do with any consistency was to stand there in the pit and, as soon as the bell rang, start flailing my arms and yelling. The charting, the conferences, the data review - the three or four of you might think it would help decide which trades to do and not do... but you would be wrong. The "prep" and analysis actually hindered my ability to react in the Now. No kidding.
And the same thing goes with my radio show. I'm up in the middle of the night right now while you're sleeping, and I could easily write an outline for today's show. I could read a whole bunch of crap around the Internet and send myself bookmarks to certain websites and I could even write out a newscast or a sports report.
But I'd come in and do that show and both of your feet would fall asleep. You'd turn the channel in a flash.
So be it. I'm stuck in the Now. Each moment topples over the next in a chaotic fashion. My life resembles wooden building blocks left on the living room floor after an infant is done playing with them. I'm trapped in the Now.
Even this meaningless little blog (as Verlie calls it)... is an example of the trap of the Now. I write this to you in a stream of consciousness fashion. What comes to my mind next, I write. There is no plan, no outline, no direction. I write this in the Now and then click "Post" and next thing you know, when you finally freaking wake up I'm here for you to read.
I write in the Now. I do radio in the Now. Even the photos that I take for this blog and website, I do in the Now. I just grab my camera and, "Look, take a picture of that." That's all that happens. There is no plan, not even as to when to pick up the camera.
These I do in the Now. But what about video? Do I do that in the Now?
We video stream my radio show live on the Internet at JED.tv. Yep, we do that. And sometimes I record little videos that we post on youtube. And when I run or walk JEDgolf, I record it on a GoPro and then add vinyl music from the radio as the background and voila.. you got a JEDvinyl video. All of this video happens in the present... but you get the feeling it's not burning with the spirit of the Now. Not like radio or this blog or even my photos.
So I've been hunting for a way to bring video into the Now also. And I'm getting the sense that I may have stumbled on it at the Streaming Media East conference in New York City this week.
As the three or four of you may know, in the last couple of months Twitter and Facebook have been doing this big push to make it really easy for you and me and the other two to do live video. Essentially, you pick up your phone, hit the Facebook app, and start streaming live to your Facebook page. It's a similar thing with Twitter. You log into Periscope and hit live and next thing you know you're streaming live on your twitter feed.
Yesterday, I did my first Facebook live broadcast. I sat down in the production room after the morning show and talked live for a few minutes. I talked to producers Ryan and Sam and to Ben Wood, who had just showed up for an interview to be an intern over the summer. I summarized the morning show, made a few jokes, even told people that this was my first Facebook live post and how do you like it?
While I was doing the Facebook live broadcast, I could see that maybe five or eight people had logged on at any one point. The total by the end of the video was 20 people who had watched me live. No big deal, right?
But when I woke up just now in the middle of the night, I checked Facebook and that first Facebook live video that I did had 511 views. I also did a second Facebook live video later in the day, and that one had about five or 10 people watch it live... but as of this morning it's had more than 200 views.
What the hell does that mean? I have no freaking clue. I do know this. I watched both of the videos and I can make this judgement about myself - I look comfortable in the videos. Typically, when I record a video for later posting on youtube or our website, it looks staged. I can never really get over the fact that we're playing make believe with recording the video so that people could later watch us when we were playing make believe. It's not real. Streaming live on Facebook and Twitter might be real because it's closer to the spirit of the Now. That's all I got to say to the three or four of you in the middle of the night.
Check out the videos we're talking about at Jim Dedelow on Facebook.