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MISCmedia MAIL for 8/23/16: A DIP IN THE MONEY POOL
Aug 22nd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Global speculators, having been made less than welcome in Vancouver, are already driving Seattle real estate even higher. In other Tuesday topix: wildfires are back; airlines (and Sea-Tac) boom while Boeing struggles; Councilmember Herbold wants a replacement for the despised old business “head tax”; and Town Hall’s selling off its parking lots for two towers.

MISCmedia MAIL for 8/22/16: OF MEDALS AND MUDDLES
Aug 22nd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Your Monday MISCmedia missive considers media flubs about female Olympians; an attempt to “help” needy families that’s bound to backfire; the extent of inhumanity behind the homeless sweeps; a union for techie temps; and a $37 million fine for illegal use of lawn mowers.

MISCmedia MAIL for 8/19/16: A TRANS MISSION
Aug 18th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Seattle’s “queer friendly” auto repair shop aims to treat all clients (and vehicles) with their due respect. Our additional topics include an anti-squatter crusade; a Japanese-American internment survivor; a lake that makes people sick; and a piece of “political” art seen here and in many other places.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 8/5/16: A WORD FROM OUR SPONSONS
Aug 4th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

The biggest weekend of the year is here for both art lovers and Seattle old-timers. We’ve got a link to a guy who explains just why the hydroplane races are still important. We’ve also got a guy who quit running for office but made it to the top-two general election anyway; the need for affordable housing in the ‘burbs; the threat of technological thought-reading; a nascent “co-op” nightclub; and dozens of event listings, art-related and otherwise.

MISCmedia MAIL @1!
Jun 7th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

We’ve been doing these weekday e-missives for a whole year! If you’re in town, come join us at a low-key fete tonight. (Details at the link.) In non-self-centered topics: Bellevue High football gets the proverbial book thrown at it; Ride the Ducks might escape some crash-victim lawsuits; Capitol Hill Pride might celebrate beyond what it’s been officially permitted; progress at last in a four-year-old rape case; and testing corn-based jet fuel on a regular passenger flight.

MISCmedia MAIL for 5/6/16
May 5th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Sheila E. won’t let personal tragedy interfere with work for Seattle’s young musicians. Also noteworthy today: Big tech fails in SR520 tolling; coal and oil export-terminal plans proceed despite industry upheavals; tacky, potentially racist Cinco de Mayo apparel; Seattle (er, Kent) is posed for a hockey championship; and Paul Allen’s new twist on “cross-marketing synergy.”

MISCmedia MAIL for 4/22/16
Apr 21st, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

You know we’re talking about yet another music/art/performance legend gone far, far too soon. Back in local stuff, there’s some funny and sobering Earth Day thoughts; an attempt to legalize sub-minimum wages; the new owners of I Can Has Cheezburger; a local nightlife mogul’s role in today’s hottest musical act; a century-old “City Beautiful” plan that didn’t make it; and the usual plethora of weekend things-2-do.

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/10/15
Sep 10th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

We’ve got some handy activity hints for school-struck kids in our Thursday newsletter. Also: China’s upcoming Seattle tech confab; a long-life drug for dogs; and “beeronomics.”

MISCmedia MAIL for 9/4/15
Sep 3rd, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

In Friday’s pre-holiday MISCmedia MAIL: Teachers prepare to strike; one of the doomed 2nd Ave. buildings might get protected; remembering the days of DIY glam rock.

POST SCRIPTS
Sep 3rd, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

postcard 11a

Here, at long last, is my draft design for a postcard/flyer promoting our MISCmedia MAIL morning newsletter. Lemme know what you think of it.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 8/31/15
Aug 31st, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

We’ve been doing weekday morning e-mail newsletters for almost 13 weeks now.

And apparently, some of you still haven’t signed up for them.

Here’s what you’re missing.

In today’s letter, you can read about the wind-blown trees and power lines, the fires, a major attempt to enhance wild salmon runs, and a kink-oriented sex shop that’s closing after its landlord applied some “discipline.”

Read it now.

Then come back to this home page and subscribe at the box in the left-hand column.

It’s that simple.

SOME HOUSEKEEPING UPDATES
Aug 20th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

Still don’t have the comment functions repaired.

Still don’t have an online menu of past newsletters.

Still don’t have printed flyers to help you spread the word about our scrumptious morning email newsletter.

But I DO now have a lovely icon for our site.

It’s the same logo you’ve loved for almost six years now, in handy self-contained form.

On a phone or tablet, you can use the “Add to Home Screen” function to instantly come here. (Handy, no?)

Or, if you’re on a regular ol’ computer, you can just include this in any social-media links back here.

new logo 512px

 

MISCmedia @ 20!
Jun 8th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

BargeIcon

One of the site’s first logos, from some time in the mid 1990s.

Twenty years ago this week, it was an age of dial-up modems, Windows 95, Internet cafés, and the media hype over an alleged “Seattle Sound.”

I hate to use the old cliché “it was a simpler time.”

But in some respects it was.

The ol’ World Wide Web was a child just learning to walk. It seemed so full of possibilities. It hadn’t yet been tamed, corporatized, or commodified.

The “free”/”sharing” ideology of Grateful Dead bootleggers hadn’t yet taken completely over. There was still hope that journalists, musicians, and other “content” people might one day make a buck from this medium. (I know, crazy, right?)

I was in what turned out to be the middle of a seven-year writing stint with the Stranger. The paper itself had little interest in going online at the time, but allowed me to put my own material up on my own site.

I’d already been a regular at the Speakeasy Café in Belltown, essentially Seattle’s first Internet café. I’d been customer #23 on its then-novel home broadband service (which outlived the café, eventually becoming a business-to-business operation owned by something called MegaPath).

The Speakeasy people helped me learn rudimentary HTML and get a site up. I created some simple .JPG graphics, and reformatted (and, in some cases, retyped) columns and zine pieces I’d written over the previous nine years.

I didn’t call it a “web log” or “blog” at the time, but rather an online version of a classic “three-dot” newspaper column format. It originally wasn’t dependent on links to other websites, and it was only updated once or twice a week.

But it was one of the first sites anywhere to have a little bit of this and a little bit of that, curated and compiled from assorted info sources local and worldwide, based on an individual sensibility.

It allowed me to keep writing MISC after the Stranger fired me the first time.

For a while, it got me enough freelance work to live off of, at least until the first dot-com crash in ’01.

And I’ve kept at it ever since, more or less.

There have been times (such as most of last year) when I haven’t really felt like adding to it.

Times when I didn’t even want anyone to think of me as “a writer,” especially if that meant I was expected to gladly work for for-profit companies for free.

(I am not, nor have I ever been, independently wealthy, despite occasional rumors to the contrary.)

Even more than in the past, I’ve been obsessed with finding something, anything, that I could do specifically for money. Not for coolness, and certainly not for that dreaded term “exposure.”

And having the public image of “a writer” meant many people thought I couldn’t do, or wouldn’t want to do, anything else.

But the Seattle corporate world isn’t a fully welcoming place these days for someone who’s neither young nor a programmer.

And reinventing myself at my age (yes, it’s my own birthday today) would be possible, but perhaps more trouble than it would be worth. Especially if that reinvention involved student loan debt.

So I looked into what I could do that would exploit what I’m already known for doing.

Blog ads don’t earn a lot any more, unless you’ve got a really high readership in a national “market niche.”

And asking people to contribute money to a personal, occasional blog wasn’t much of a proposition.

But, perhaps, an information service that would contribute to people’s lives might be something people would want to support.

In 2007-8, I was involved with a group trying to start a local news site.

The project fell through for several reasons.

But the initial notion, of a single handy source for the day’s Seattle-area headlines, stayed with me.

There have been several attempts, but nothing that came close to the type of service I’d like to see.

So I’ve made my own.

It’s MISCmedia MAIL, and it starts today.

Each weekday morning, your email box will be filled with a brief, breezy summary of what’s going on around here.

It’s everything you’ve learned to love about this site, only in a much more useful form.

You can sign up for it at the handy box in the upper-left corner of this page.

Over the next few weeks and months I’ll be looking into ways to monetize it.

But for now, I’m working on building its audience.

Won’t you join us?

 

WHERE THE HECK HAVE I BEEN (AGAIN)?
May 19th, 2015 by Clark Humphrey

For months now, I’ve hinted about my new ventures on social media sites, while this site has again become dormant.

Now, I am at last ready to reveal all, or at least most of it:

MISCMEDIA.com relaunches in early June (the blog’s 20th birthday) with a new format. It will be a daily email newsletter, combining my skeptical-yet-sincere takes on the passing scene with headlines gathered from some three dozen local and regional news sources (all picked by hand, no RSS algorithms involved). I’ll be experimenting with ways to “monetize” it over the first few months.

The 20th anniversary of the book LOSER is coming in the autumn. It will be republished, in a third edition, with new and vastly improved scans of the original edition’s pages, plus a “whatever happened to…” addendum. I’m still working out the business side of it, which may include a crowdfunding campaign. Stay tuned.

AN APOLOGY, A PROMISE, AND A REQUEST
Dec 24th, 2014 by Clark Humphrey

frederick & nelson christmas display, via 'patricksmercy' on flickr and sandra bolton on pinterest

I’ve not been in the mood to make blog posts for the longest time.

The mood I’ve been in has been something other than the positive, assertive persona I’ve maintained in the blog and its print precursors over the years.

Besides, the ultra luxury-obsessed, alpha-techie ruled city that is much of modern-day Seattle is, in many aspects, so different from the funky, spunky, and, yes, grungy city I had known and loved. To truly cover the “pulse” of such a place, one would need to care about hedge-fund-financed dotcoms and hundred-dollar-a-plate bistros a helluva lot more than I ever will.

And then there’s the matter of trying to convince people, even long standing acquaintances, that I need a job.

NOT an idea for something to write about, but a job.

NOT an unpaid writing “opportunity” for a commercial website, but a job.

It doesn’t have to be “writing” work, just paying work.

I’ve told this to everyone, sometimes repeatedly.

But some people I’d known for years didn’t get it.

They seemed to believe that, since they had identified me as “a writer,” all I needed was to “write” all the time.

(“Don’t worry about the money,” one dude sincerely exhorted me one evening, after I’d almost lost my second apartment in one year.)

The only way I thought I could convince these folks that I needed actual monetary income, not sub-minimum-wage (or, worse, “for the exposure”) freelance crap, was by ceasing to “be a writer.”

It didn’t really work. Either at convincing these well-meaning but ignorant folk, or at getting me a real for-the-money job. (I have gotten a long-term-temp, part-time dishwashing gig, but that’s it.)

So I’m quitting the quitting.

Actually, I have been posting on so-called “social media” sites all this time. I like the knowledge that someone’s at least reading my stuff when I post it there.

But the MISCmedia site, I promise for real this time, will be back in full force in Two Ought One Five.

I’ve got a major publishing project in the works (still), and a plan to revamp the site into a daily local news “aggregation” and commentary source (still).

But we’ll start the year, as we always have, with the mellifluous MISCmedia In/Out List, always the most accurate list of its type seen anywhere at any time.

And, as always, we need YOUR input to make it happen.

In the comments box below, please recommend what will become hotter and less-hot in the twelve months to come, in the fields of music, fashion, food/drink, the arts, architecture, socio-political trends, etc. etc.

The list’s simple rules, as always:

  1. For every OUT there has to be a corresponding IN. These two can be related directly, or simply by clever wordplay.
  2. Remember, the future isn’t always linear. What’s hot today might not keep getting hotter tomorrow.

Good luck, and good predicting.

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© Copyright 2015 Clark Humphrey (clark (at) miscmedia (dotcom)).