J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Category: Metablog (Page 1 of 2)

Why I Started (and Stopped) Running Google AdWords

Now if I could only get paid for running ads like this one …

From December 2016 to February 2017 I ran Google Adwords on this site. At that time jdmoyer.com was getting about 12,000 views per week. I was curious if I could bring in significant ad revenue with a minimal approach, only running ads on a small percentage of the posts on this site.

I didn’t exactly need the money–I had (and still have) plenty of freelance work to pay the bills, and some additional income from music royalties and investments. But passive income is nice. I considered the pros and cons:

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Stunning New Ambient Album from Marshall Watson, Free Track, Personal Update

While I don’t announce every Loöq Records release on this blog, Marshall Watson’s new ambient/analog electronica album is exceptional. Listen to “Attack of the Little Straw” from I’d Rather Be In Space to get a taste. You can download a different track from the album here if you join the Loöq mailing list (about one email per month).

 

From the press release:

“I’d Rather Be In Space” is a stunning collection of instrumental music from accomplished composer Marshall Watson. Falling into the broad categories of electronic and ambient, the album transcends both. The sound palate is rooted in the classic instruments of analogue sound synthesis – Korg, Juno, Moog, Prophet. Piano, guitar and field recordings were also utilized. The result is a transformative album with a timeless feel. Enjoy this future classic.

In the artist’s words: I’d Rather Be In Space is a collection of improvisational and generative music, performed and recorded in San Francisco in 2016. It is my soundtrack for ordinary days as viewed through the windows of buses, and experienced on the city’s sidewalks and alleys. For this work, I relied less on the computer, and attempted to capture the music of the moment without a lengthy editorial process (if any.) I found myself getting lost in the sound as the machines interacted with each other, and often times, I just hit record and let the sequences run, playing along and hoping for the best. The result of this vérité style approach, is an ambient, cyclical, synthesizer- heavy soundscape inspired by works of Eno, Reich, Smith, and the city of San Francisco itself.

Available on: iTunes | Beatport | Junodownload

Personal Update

I’ve been posting less often on this blog lately, mostly because I’ve been writing short stories, including an eleven-thousand-word novelet “The Verdant” which I just finished. Selling my second story gave me a jolt of motivation–I’m trying to level up.

I’ve also been putting in more studio time, both with Mark Musselman (the other half of Momu) and Spesh (my business partner in Loöq Records and the other half of Jondi & Spesh).

But another reason I’ve been blogging less is a feeling of dissatisfaction with my blogging voice. Sometimes when I read older posts, they hold up. Other times they seem impersonal, or too know-it-all, or so abstract as to be useless and/or boring for the reader. It’s frustrating to feel irritated with your past work, especially when it’s up there for all the world to see. But I’m not going to edit anything or take it down. Ultimately that’s part of what a personal blog is–a record of a changing person with evolving ideas (including the awkward bits).

I’ll get my blogging groove back, and I’ll keep writing about pretty much the same things (I’ve got posts planned about the health benefits of berries, a long-term experiment with l-tyrosine, my brief experiment with Google AdSense ads, lessons I’ve learned in my mid-forties, and a bunch of other topics). My plan to get through this “awkward voice” thing that’s happening is just to blast through it.

Day to day, in addition to writing and making beats, I’m rehabbing my foot (it’s great to be bipedal again), looking for a new D&D game, watching The Great British Baking Show with my family, reading short stories in Fantasy & Science Fiction and Asimov’s, training up Leia the puppy, and dealing with the logistics of my kid changing schools (more on that later).

Feeling grateful to be alive, walking around on two feet, having most of my family in good health, and many other fortunate events. Hope the same is true for you.

2017 Blog Preview

Forward into the partially known!

Six years! That’s how long I’ve been writing this blog. For you long-term readers, thanks for taking the journey with me. For new readers who maybe got pulled in by my hair odyssey and decided to stick around to debate immigration and Brexit, welcome!

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How to Think About Your Career

It’s possible to have a career without really thinking about it. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve had at least three-and-a-half accidental careers so far.

  • I started doing computer support and database design right out of college, just a few hours a week, at my dad’s friend’s company, learning as I went. Ten years later I was the Senior Database Administrator for the San Francisco Symphony, and I still do freelance db work to this day as my main source of income. But none of my friends ever remember this, because it’s so boring that I never talk about it.
  • My record label business partner wanted to start a weekly happy hour at an art gallery. I thought it was a terrible idea. The ayahuasca-snorting gentleman he initially partnered with to throw the event got a little squirrelly and they parted ways. I reluctantly stepped in, and under our management we had a decade-plus run as one of the biggest dance music events in San Francisco, lines around the block, written up in international guide books, DJs from around the world eager to play to our crowd.
  • I had no interest in DJing. But we needed to promote our album. So I learned to DJ at my own party, trainwrecking mix after mix. Spesh put me through DJ bootcamp and I got a little better. Soon we were headlining the biggest dance clubs in San Francisco, voted among SF’s Top DJs in the Nitevibe poll, on the cover of The SF Weekly, and touring in Europe. But eventually I quit because I don’t like travelling, or listening to hundreds of promo tracks to find the few good ones.
  • I started a blog in 2009. I can’t remember why. Probably to practice writing, to express myself, to share my ideas. Eventually some of my health posts (about sleep and artificial light, about the paleo diet) got popular. The blog hit a million views. CNN interviewed me. A TV show The Doctors flew me to Hollywood to be a guest. I experimented with advertising. Then I wrote a post about how I regrew some of my hair by intensively massaging my head, and things went crazy. Views through the roof, readers begging me to make instructional videos, asking for personalized advice. Should I take up hair regrowth coaching? I thought about it. Maybe I could help Tim Ferriss regrow his hair, or Prince William. But I’m not patient enough to be a coach, and I didn’t want to be the hair guy. Or another paleo guy. So I made it clear to my readers that though while I would still write the occasional health post, the content of this blog was much broader (systems for living well, self-experimentation, the creative life).

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New Theme, and a Quick Story About How I Searched for a Nonexistent Phrase for More Than a Decade

As regular readers will have noticed, I switched WordPress themes. The new theme is called Lovecraft. It’s big! I like it. Lately, I’ve felt like going big. I threw a big birthday party. I’m writing lots of words. Big big big.

The reason I switched: the font size of Coraline (my previous theme) was too small. I found a way to make it bigger in the theme customization options, but the latest WordPress update got rid of that option, and my font size shrunk again. I know I could have fussed around with css, but screw it — it was time for a change anyway. I got rid of that picture of myself wearing that hat and holding the empty wine glass, and now the banner has some great pictures of our planet, courtesy of NASA. Thanks NASA! (And once again, big!)

Lovecraft. That reminds me of a story. A story about a story.

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2016 Blog Preview

On track for 2016.

On track for 2016.

About once a year I blog about this blog. It’s an opportunity for me to reevaluate why I blog, and an opportunity for you to evaluate why you read it, and what you might expect in the coming year.

Currently, the main reason I blog is to better understand the topics that interest me. Writing about these topics publicly forces me to think more clearly, do the research (even if my findings disrupt my preconceptions), and ultimately commit to a course of action or lifestyle change based on how the writing process changes my beliefs.

What I’m personally interested in doesn’t always correspond with what you, the readers, are most interested in. A disproportionate amount of interest in this blog is dedicated to the health and nutrition posts. That’s fine with me, but I’m not writing as many in-depth posts on these topics as I have in years past. That said, I do plan to write a detailed post on lifestyle and diet changes that may help prevent cancer, and the research behind such recommendations. I’ll look at fasting, ketosis, exercise, and various culinary seasonings (like turmeric and garlic).

There has also been a bit of interest in my scalp massage hair regrowth experiment. I’m still doing the head massage technique, but only for about 5-10 minutes a day. I’m not sure if my hair regrowth has plateaued or if my hairline is continuing to advance. Remember this is a slow technique — I didn’t see any regrowth at all for the first four months. I will do an update post, probably this summer, even if my hairline hasn’t changed much.

So what about this coming year? I plan to keep writing about work habits for creative types, making and reaching goals, sector investing, lifestyle experiments, family life, and the like. I’ll probably weigh in on a few political and environmental topics as well. In terms of post frequency, I’m shooting for once a week, slightly more than my historical average. Currently I have no shortage of ideas. Here’s a short selection of possible posts I’m taking notes on or have drafted to some extent:

  • Calling Your Shots (Why We Like Conor McGregor)
  • How To Invest a Lump Sum
  • The Effectuation Method
  • Quantity = Quality (More On Creative Work Quotas)
  • Visualizing Your Ideal Life While Feeling Gratitude for What You Have
  • Stresstitlement
  • One Month No Car Experiment

I hope that gives you some idea of what to expect from this blog in 2016. Feel free to holler back!

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