Archive for the “geek” Category

Green building in Toronto

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

My little bro’s first piece for Worldchanging Canada. I’m so proud. While I’m shepping naches : here’s my sister’s think tank Open City Projects, also focussed on Toronto building.

with the geek table at Maryville College

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Cafeteria flashback at Maryville College where I performed Cookie and spoke to 2 classes.

I had a great realization at this audience that while I’ve spent years thinking I’ve been performing/ connecting with many different audiences (Internet, Jewish, queer, theatre goers, craft 30-something chicks) they’re all geeks of a sort.

The Heather Gold Show: DIY

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

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Click to Play

Buy tix for next show The instructables folks add a lot to the DIY conversation, whipping out their lasercut laptops, delighting MAKE founder Dale Dougherty and the rest of us. Featuring ikea hacks.

She’s Geeky: featuring baked goods + globalization.

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

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I had fun at the first chick tech unconference. Watch and learn how women are really just so different.

Extra Extra: Silicon Valley women make news by existing

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

The San Jose Mercury News sent a reporter to cover the She’s Geeky Conference. He quoted my observation that women are taught from the age of 2 to take care of everyone else so that we can feel secure, thus creating a potential lifetime search for external validation, resentment and confusion. (Why doesn’t everyone ie. my boss, my sweetie just recognize what a good job I’m doing?)

It is worth noting that the reporter was from the metro/gender beat and did not feel it was worth mentioning that neither the biz nor tech sections covered the conferece which was, inded, about technology and business.

DIY (audio podcast )

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Heather conversates with MAKE founder Dale Daugherty, indie rapper Juba Kalamka, Carolyn Coquillette, the founder of American’s first hybrid garage and the whole room as we explore the sublime activity of Doing it Yourself.

Audio for the entire show (90 minutes)

Tell me more about your DIY projects – what have you done recently, and what did you learn?

I made the gossip pages

Friday, October 12th, 2007

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Leah Garchick mentioned me today. Well, she actually mentioned filmmaker Tiffany Shlain giving a nod to my APPL=JEWS/MSFT=XIANS piece which is one of the pieces I’m proudest of and, ironically enough, for sale on iTunes.

It’s also my first piece to get me called Anti-Semitic and racits (though apparently not the last if you read my recent post on Jews and East Indians).

your proud Jewish pal,

Men with beards are so nice.

Friday, September 28th, 2007

I had salted caramel ice cream with Derek Powazek yesterday + coffee with Jonathan Coulton this morning. They know as much practically about online community and being a self-sustaining independent artist online as anyone. I feel lucky to have their support and access to their insights. The best thing is that there’s nothing “special” or guru-like about either of them or the point of any of this. It’s not about distance and glossing everything up to imply that you’re great. It’s about putting the digital content out and accepting yourself and work as you are (this is my synthesis, not their direct words) and listening to and responding to your audience and your self.

This is a relief.

Both of them were so helpful and encouraging about my work and had some good insights and ideas about the web site design challenges my team and I face. (It’s amazing to say “my team.” I am stunned and thrilled that talented people are working with me on the talk show and my Internet infrastructure)

Of course it’s not just web design. It’s how to make a living as an independent artist. As Derek summarized + identified with my challenge “want to be a star, a community manager and an entrepreneur.” While I quibble with the word star (because my desire is to shine yes, but not to be distant or focussed on getting attention or fame for no reason), he’s right. It’s good thing I like to do all these different things. He does too and so does JoCo. It’s a good thing because they’re all necessary to be a successful independent artist apres Net. It will be true for any online business, but that’s a topic for another day and another post.

Being open, just putting stuff out there is at the heart of it. So in that spirit, here are my notes.

• put everything out (right now I have a constipated catalogue)

• Don’t sit on the egg too long. (DP) Put out stuff you think sucks. (JC)

•You don’t know what will hit.

• Tip jars don’t work. Sell your work.

•digital content doesn’t cost to store, and you can sell only one copy of one piece and make that one person really happy while another piece sells, travels a lot. Don’t focus on making something “viral,” just on making stuff.

• user content is the greatest fun. Invite it. Make room to show it.

• have a store, JoCo intelligently links to his with the word music in the nav. His store page is an explanation of how to get his music and his goals ie making a living. I like how JoCo’s store with all his digital content works. I want to do the same. I know most of mine is video and that heretofore people haven’t paid for this. But we will try and see as my mission will be clearer to people as I share it more.

>JoCo recommends e-junkie for shopping cart

• a place to capture email addresses easily near each piece of video content posted

• each show has it’s own little node as each of JoCo’s songs does, seen here, which includes a place to see fan/audience response + to solicit it. I find his simple way of doing it easy to understand and follow.

• within the HG Show each conversation should have the same.

• may not need subvert + hg as separate sites. just have subvert redirect to hg for now. Simplicity yes!

• the corporate / biz stuff has it’s own small site/page in another place

• all shows are under the heathergold umbrella

• Jane Siberry (now Issa) is having sucess with her “pay what youlike now or later ” system. JoCo is trying to get the code. He has learned that when a big wave of people come the pricesdrop. but this greater volumn / lower price makes sense to me.

• the feedback is the critical piece for the audience/ community (and the artist too :-), everyone wants to know that what they do say, create has an impact and is acknowledged.

• paying the artist directly for their work is the future, get with the program folks.

•integrate my manifesto, the why I’m doing things along with my work. Don’t worry about separaing everything.

• don’t worry about “branding” / calculating a single essence before putting things out. As Cory Doctorow told me, people are learning to filter. Don’t let self-definition paralyze you. Just put the stuff out.

•It’s really great to put out work you don’t like (JoCo). Get’s you over the perfectionist thing. That last 2% only matters to you.

• continue to play with the multiple levels of ticketing pries but make it clearer what they are. Eg. Keep the names of the pricing on the front page but have a “what the hell is this?” link that will go elsewhere to my FAQplace where I can explain this stuff along with my manifesto.

• pre-ordering. Use the fund this project / participate/gimmesomecandy approach to putting together a DVD and book of the last season (and same for Cookie) see: |

• calendaring. JoCo uses eventful . He was so so about their coding. They say they push all their events out to other calendars if you check that preference inc upcoming, but he hasn’t checked to see if, in fact, this is working. He said promoting the eventuful a lot is key. We can have in the show area a link so people can go there if they want to bring the show to their town/place.

• having lots of guides helps people find what relates to them. JoCo does a nice start here guide that lays out some of this (that link is in the margin, the little box at the top) and also lays out how and why he’s doing it and the approach to singing/giving the music.

•involving people in the process, blogging openly about it is great. I’ve been toying with putting all the numbers out so people can see how much each show costs etc. Although once the thing is done, like the stage is built for the hydraulic lift, how does one generate the $1000 to pay for it. Involving everyone in helping us solve the problem and costs is great. In fact, I will probably blog this :-)

Bicoastal reality

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Just got into LI from SF. I took the red eye. While wheeling my luggage, video camera and backpack through the Stonybrook parking lot, I got the feeling that the luggage will soon begin to feel like a natural appendage. I always fantasize about these things when travelling: a crumpler backpack so I don’t ned a video camera bag + backpack, really comfortable running shoes and my fleece toque. Dopplr‘s facebook widget is out just in time to make it easier for my friends to know where the hell I am (leave a comment if you want an invite).

I sound like a walking cliche. But there’s a reason for the look, the gear interest and my excitement over the power outlet at my Virgin America seat: life is very geograpically fluid and mostly about comfort allowing the fluidity of physical and mental movement.

I had culture shock for the first couple of days back in SF. I’m not sure if I’m awake enough to know if it’s harder to settle into the east coast. I do tend to walk around with empty bottles and pizza crusts looking for the recycling and compost bins that never appear.

Ticket prices and bootstrapping a show in the Net era

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

My grandparents owned a corner store when I was a kid.

I went to law school, took classes at Kellogg and worked at New Line and Apple in strategic new business positions, not to mention with plenty ‘o start ups, but I learned more about business from the corner store than anywhere else.

Retail businesses scaled into Macy’s and Walmart. Along the way most of them lost the humaity and sense of service that makes a small business truly successful.

Now that the Net is capable of video and some basic infrastructure pieces are in place –video hosters like blip, blog software like WordPress (just to name a couple that I use)–it is possible to build a little corner store of a show and grow it.

And that’s exactly what I plan to do. The second season of my interactive talk show begins September 21st (Theme: Does art change anything?). Unlike most videoblogs and online shows before it, it is based on a live experience with an audience (who are truly participants). The experience of the show comes, in large part, of the mix of guests and audience members and inclusive vibe. We have few public commons where people can meet each other and even fewer where we can openly discuss the most important issues of our lives without political posturing creating an experience as whitewashed and removed from real life experience as mainstream television. There is a cost to capturing this and bringing quality conversation and interesting people to a bigger audience than the ones who can fit inside the garage where we tape. It’s much, much less expesive than making a television show, but quite a bit more than vlogging alone at home, talking into your webcam.

So this season I’ve taken a page from different conference models I’ve seen and suggestions from Shannon Clark, Gimme Some Candy, and conversation on Jerry Michalski‘s list to create a pricing model with multiple tiers.

I’ve always kept the show open to anyone who bakes for it and anyone who needs it to be. I don’t want a lack of money to keep people out who want to be part of the community and conversation.

Regular tickets are $15 (lube tech) and now a sponsor level ticket $30 (greasemonkey) is available if you want to help back those people who can’t afford tickets. If you’d like to support the show as a patron and back the podcast with a producing credit of your choice of 5 words, and access to green room fun there are a few $100 tickets available. And if you really love the show and want to be a regular, I’ve begun a season pass (warranty) $125 as well. The intention of this pricing is to keep the show open to those who need it to be free, while making a dent in the podcasting/vlogging costs for the show.

I’ve been speaking with different online networks as possible distributors. Will I be able to bootstrap all the way or will I need to take some investment partners ?

I’ll keep you posted as the adventure continues. I look forward to hearing your ideas and your feedback.

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