Book Sample

I wanted to give you guys a sneak preview of the book I’m working on. This is half of the introduction chapter and it lays the groundwork for the ideas that I’m going to present in the book.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I have here, drop me a line at machinecompatibel@gmail.com or leave a comment at the bottom. Thanks.

Why Producers?

Producer: noun prə-ˈdü-sər, prō-, -ˈdyü-
: someone or something that grows or makes particular goods or products

There are a lot of words floating around in the world that attempt to describe what we do:
Creator. Maker. Blogger. Podcaster. Artist. Author.
All of these apply, but fail to encompass the scope of what independent new media professionals do in our day to day work. It’s for that reason that we turn to the world of old media for a kind of catch-all term.

It’s a term that refers to those who manage and supervise the creation of content from start to finish. It’s a term that’s often modified to capture the specifics of a position (i.e. TV Producer, Film or Movie Producer, Record Producer). But because the word doesn’t carry specific meaning in the old media paradigm, it allows us to capture the full range of our day to day efforts with a single term.

For our purposes let’s add a new definition for the word “producer”:

Producer: noun prə-ˈdü-sər, prō-, -ˈdyü-
: someone who is responsible for carrying the creation of a digital work from inception to completion

This is not to say that every person creating content (whether painting or writing or speaking or singing) is doing the same work. It is, instead, an attempt to cope with the fact that those doing work online share certain responsibilities.

Because the responsibilities are so similar, our workflows tend to look similar. I use the term “Producer” as an acknowledgement that we are, in fact, running a business concern from top-to-bottom and end-to-end.

What is New Media?

New media: noun ’nü ˈmē-dē-ə
:means of mass communication using digital technologies such as the Internet.

While new media is often created by long-established, large companies, we will limit our definition to that media created by independent producers for direct distribution to their audience. This includes digital painting and other static visual art, music, talk and other audio programming, written content (books and blogs), and video.

The specific medium is not of great import to our discussion. We’ll concentrate on the tools and processes that we use and put in place to produce a finished product. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll borrow another term and refer to these tools and processes as the backline.

The Backline

A backline is a stage term referring to the amplifiers, instruments, and other equipment that musicians use in live concerts (the equipment that’s lined up behind the band). The new media producer’s backline will include any software, scripts, equipment or even other people that our media is processed through in order to turn it into the finished product that is presented to our audience.

We’ll focus on these tools in broad terms. I want to describe the types of tools that you’ll need to be successful rather than risk becoming obsolete by detailing the specifics of a particular application that will change with the next update. So rather than describing Omnifocus or Asana in the first book, we’ll concentrate on what I call The Hub: your calendar and task manager.

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