Goals for 2011

Goals for 2011

I don’t have any resolutions for the new year, but I do have a few goals, and writing them here will mean that I see them again in the future.

  1. Try Harder

    There have been times in the past year when I’ve said “good enough” even though I felt like it wasn’t “good enough” and I was just admitting defeat for one reason or another… I’d run out of time, or get frustrated, and then move on. I think I can try harder, and I plan to.

  2. Do Better

    This sort of goes along with “Try Harder” above. I feel like if I try harder but don’t “Do Better” then I’m not really making any progress. Doing better can be a result of trying harder. It’s safe to say they are linked. Again, there were things I did in 2010 that I know I could have done better… in 2011 I will.

  3. Make Money

    I’m hoping “Make Money” doesn’t sound materialistic or greedy. Maybe I should say “Make More Money” instead. I’ve got a number of debts (medical bills mostly) to pay off, and I’d like to make some progress in doing so this year. Making (more) money will make that possible. I’d also like to see some financial stability in my life, which I haven’t had for about 5 years. I also tend to contribute to charities and projects that I like (many of which are open source software projects) so making more money would help me do those things.

As 2011 progresses, I’ll try to look back on this, my first post of the year, and think about how I’m doing in regards to these goals. If you want to help me with any of these goals (especially number 3) let me know!


Girl Talk (Part II)

If the music doesn’t blow your mind, the contradictions will…

It’s been a while since I asked the question What is Girl Talk? and since the criminal mastermind behind Girl Talk has a new album, I figured I should take a look…

Head on over to and play along if you’d like…

As you may know, Girl Talk is completely reliant on other artists for source material. Artists who actually write and play music. Meaning, Girl Talk’s music would not exist if it were not for the artists which he takes things from. My understanding is that he does not actually pay these artists for their work. That’s OK, because he has this bit that thanks them.

This album is a free download.
Girl Talk thanks all artists sampled.

Please remember to thank me the next time I punch you in the face and take your wallet. Also, remind me to make a nice list of all the people who I punch in the face and steal wallets from.

Now, I’m a fan of Creative Commons, and I’ve been know to call people out when they use a Creative Commons license inappropriately, including re-licensing other’s work when they have no right to.

All Day by Girl Talk is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. The CC license does not interfere with the rights you have under the fair use doctrine, which gives you permission to make certain uses of the work even for commercial purposes. Also, the CC license does not grant rights to non-transformative use of the source material Girl Talk used to make the album.

Consider my mind blown… How does this even work!? As I understand it, Girl Talk uses all of the samples without permission. I’m going to guess that over 95% of the samples he uses are “All Rights Reserved” and do not fall under a Creative Commons license. So… how does one take a bunch of “All Rights Reserved” materials (without permission) and then re-license it under a Creative Commons license? What am I missing here? Am I just not understanding it?

Also, you should note that it’s a Noncommercial license. I mean, Girl Talk doesn’t want you making money from his hard work! (Was that sarcastic enough?) Also, Girl Talk will be in Milwaukee next month, tickets are just $30 (not including the service charges.)

Well, all I know for sure is that this Girl Talk guy is a rebel… He’s all about breaking the rules! He’d never tell you what to do. He’d never tell you how to listen to his album.

All Day is intended to be listened to as a whole.

I’m willing to be schooled on this whole Girl Talk thing… Am I completely backwards in my reading of all of this? Is this guy a champion of artist’s rights? A model citizen of the Creative Commons movement? Let me know…


Developer Perspective


I’ve come to realize that when I think about some tool I want to build, it’s typically driven by that “scratch your own itch” idea, where a developer does something because they want to solve their own problem. You’ll most often hear this idea attributed to open source software. Often my ideas come about when I think about who controls my data, or the software that I use. I tend to work towards maintaining my own freedom.

But there’s a whole other side… There are developers who develop something, and it’s not because a client hired them to, but because they think it’s a great idea, and sometimes they do follow the “scratch your own itch” idea, but they also think there’s a great money making opportunity worth exploring. Some developers within this realm are fine with creating something, and either selling it off, or letting it die if it “doesn’t work” or doesn’t become popular.

I’m not suggesting that one idea is better or worse than the other, it’s just an observation. I’m really interested to hear what others think…


Donations will now be accepted…

Donations will now be accepted...

Due to popular demand (one person asked for it) you can now donate money directly to RasterWeb!

What will this money be used for? To guilt me into posting more.

Yeah… that’s the brutally honest truth. Beyond that, I promise nothing.

Keep in mind, I’ve been doing this since 1997. How many other blogs have been publishing for that long, without giving up, quitting, going away, being deleted, getting “lost” on someone else’s hard drive or domain or whatever.

Also, I originally mistyped the title as “Donations will not be accepted…” which I think would have been a more amusing title.


The Zero Budget Fallacy

Another day, another couple of links to interesting projects…. projects that are interesting not just because they were executed well, and created something worth seeing, but interesting because once again the people behind them claim that they did it for “zero dollars” or “300 dollars” or some other number that is ridiculously low.

As someone who has worked in the creative industry for many (many) years, I know it’s not true, and I’m guessing others in the creative industry also know it’s not true, but does everyone know? Does the general public know? Do potential clients know?

One project was a film that someone worked on for 6 months, and the end result was pretty damn cool, but by claiming the project cost $300 the person is suggesting that their time was worth nothing, and their equipment was worth nothing, and somehow it all just materialized out of thin air.

Another project (again, a film) said it was done with “zero budget” which I guess means the experience of the people involved was worthless, and the $10,000 worth of equipment they used was just sort of magically handed to them, and anyone could have it.

If your band wants to shoot an epic music video for free, and you manage to get your friends with the experience and the equipment to donate their time, and the results are amazing, that’s cool… I’m all for it. Just don’t devalue the efforts of all involved by saying it was done for $0.00

I’m going to assume that the people behind these things know what they are doing, and my guess is that what they are doing is marketing. To that I say well done! It’s clever, I’ll give them that.

But wait, don’t I do the same thing? I mean, I shot like 50 free portraits at BarCampMilwaukee4. I could say it cost me NOTHING but in all honesty, Sam Dodge and I spent a few hours doing the shooting, and I spent many more hours editing and posting the photos, and I had to buy my equipment in order to even take photos (as did Sam) and I had to put in hours to learn how to shoot portraits… Don’t get me wrong, many things can be done for low-costs, but to assume it costs nothing seems silly.

If you look at a project like Help-Portrait, it’s about giving back, from people who are skilled, and have the equipment, and want to help others. It’s only made possible by the fact that people are willing to donate their time (which has some value) and that people have the needed equipment/supplies/etc. (which was probably paid for from some other paying job.)

If it’s a labor of love, and a project you want to do, by all means do it, do it well, do it great, and talk about it. I just have an issue with people telling other people it cost them “nothing” to create something. I’m working on a film and while I’m doing it for very little cost, and even though I’m borrowing a lot of the equipment, there’s still consumables like gasoline, and tapes, and paper, and ink, and things like hard drives and software, and web hosting, and there’s the many, many, many hours I’ve spent (and will spend) shooting, and editing, and eventually promoting it.

There’s an old saying that comes to mind: It’s only free if your time has no value.