Jack White going electronic

Almost everything else about the song is baffling in a way that may alienate some fans, but potentially exciting to those of us who think the old shtick is a little tired. Most importantly, after his occasionally torpid second solo album Lazaretto, on “Respect Commander,” White sounds like he’s having fun again.

Source: Review: Jack White – “Connected By Love” & “Respect Commander” | SPIN

Weird – but I like.

Kodak Launches Cryptocurrency Called ‘Kodakcoin’

“Shares in Eastman Kodak Co. jumped as much as 77 percent after the former camera and film heavyweight said it would launch the Kodakcoin, “a photocentric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.”

Source: Kodak Surges After Announcing Plans to Launch Cryptocurrency Called ‘Kodakcoin’

Interesting… I’ll be watching this to see how successful Kodak is with implementation and how widely adopted Kodakcoin is adopted by the photography community.

I can imagine a whole range of niche cryptocurrencies being developed by companies or groups aimed at very targeted usage as crypto and blockchain technology becomes more democratized.

I would not want to be a regional or national bank or financial institution that hadn’t started at least research into these tech platforms.

Finding your column ain’t easy

“Symeon selected a three-metre-high column in the Syrian desert near Antioch, and there he stood day in, day out, eventually attracting such a crowd that the noise caused him to build his column higher, bringing him closer to God and 16 metres off the ground. Symeon managed to live like this for 30 years, and many other monks began to follow his example so that a whole stylite movement developed which was still going strong in the 11th century CE.”

via Byzantine Monasticism – Ancient.eu

Grain counting technologies

“The truth, Scott proposes, may be the opposite. What if early civilization was not a boon to humankind but a disaster: for health and safety, for freedom, and for the natural world? What if the first cities were, above all, vast technologies of exploitation by a small and rapacious elite? If that is where we come from, who are we now? What possibilities might we discover by tracing our origins to a different kind of ancestor?”

via “What made prehistoric hunter-gatherers give up freedom for civilization?” by Jedediah Purdy in New Republic

Good advice

I recommend this whole post for people starting out in a creative venture or pursuing a lifelong passion as a vocation or for profit:

Be humble, but always try to exceed expectations. When you accept an invitation to do a talk, or do a work for a commission, do something that’s a stretch, and then do it so well that it looks like it was easy. This can mean doing way more work in a small amount of time than people think should be possible, or learning a whole new technology to do a crazy idea.

via Too much advice – Zach Gage – Medium

Bringing It All Back Home 2018 Edition

Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950

I’ve made a series of “Bringing It All Back Home” posts here over the last decade charting my attempts to reign in some of the content I so freely pour out all over the social web. Some of those attempts have been successful and some less so (looking at you, Twitter). However, I enter 2018 with a renewed sense of purpose and direction for how I see this space and site changing with me as I continue to evolve.

Similarly, the web continues to evolve. There is now less of a need for flashy graphics or fonts or layouts and more of a need for real and authentic dialogue and expression. I recognize my place of privilege saying that, but I do think the sooner we unmoor ourselves from our socially constructed social media profiles and find spaces of genuine room for translation and interpolation, the better we’ll be.

Plus, I have years of Analytics data to show that no one is looking at my “Services” page and I get much more interaction, engagement, and yes… clients from my actual posts here than some elaborately designed page touting my consultation pedigree and skills. Those are here if you seek them out, but I doubt you will.

Having a web space in 2018 means much more about discovery and freedom of expression outside the walled gardens of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Those places still serve their purpose, but the type of expression and sharing and learning I’m looking to do more of in 2018 both personally and professionally will be the theme of this space as we move forward. The marketing and consulting clients will come if I do a good job of that exploration and communication of what I find out about the world, tech, religion, strategic planning, and …well… myself.

For the first time in three years, I’ve fired up a brand new dedicated server and put this site there (previously it was on WordPress.com as I worked up the courage to make this leap). Everything from email to my calendar to to-do apps and items etc will be located on the server as I want to be more intentional about the services I use and recommend but also find more of that self-reliance and independence I’ve always aspired towards (both personally and with my clients). I’ve even been able to bring in my old Tumblr posts from 2007-2009 as a part of scooping up all of my old posts going back to 2006.  In the hours I’ve spent setting up the server as well as this site and learning to love PHP and curl commands again, I already feel that the attempt has paid dividends. I can’t wait to see what else I learn (or re-learn) as I move along.

So forgive me if I do a lot more sharing here than before… some of it will make it over to Twitter and perhaps Facebook. However, I’ll try to keep the stream manageable as more of my content originates here as the hub and flows out to those spaces. Those spaces are great for sharing and hearing echoes of your own views and feelings and expectations. A space like this in 2018 holds a promise of the type of exploration that encourages me to learn more and therefore be a more creative and talented person as well as a better consultant for my clients.

Here’s to 2018.

Practice resurrection.

WordPress Plugin Supply Chain Attacks

These are pretty popular plugins in the SEO world… I imagine lots more of these “supply chain attacks” exist due to older but still popular plugins being sold or leased:

If you have any of these plugins running on your site, we recommend that you remove them immediately and that you make sure that SEO spam hasn’t been injected into your site. Even though one of them, WP No External Links, has been updated to remove the backdoor, it has been closed, so it will never be updated again in the future.

via Three Plugins Backdoored in Supply Chain Attack

Churches and nonprofits must explore income alternatives in 2018 and beyond.

American churches and nonprofits are in for an even louder wake-up call in 2018 and beyond. It’s definitely time to start planning for the near future to keep your church or nonprofit solvent, especially if you are smaller in size and rely on donors who make less than $75,000 yearly.

Churches must begin to explore income alternatives with an expected decline in individual giving in 2018 from the pending tax reform plan, along with year-over-year declining church attendance in all mainline Protestant denominations and increasing numbers of individuals with no reported religious affiliation.

via Tax reform plan reinforces the need for churches to seek alternative income methods | Religion News Service

The source of concern is how the tax bill is expected to sharply reduce the number of taxpayers who qualify for the charitable tax deduction — a big driver of gifts to nonprofits. One study predicts that donations will fall by at least $13 billion, about 4.5 percent, next year. That decline is expected to be concentrated among gifts from the middle of the income scale. The richest Americans will mostly keep their ability to take the tax break.

via Charities fear tax bill could turn philanthropy into a pursuit only for the rich | Washington Post

The tax reform legislation that was just passed by Congress and signed into law by the President will present an unprecedented challenge to churches and nonprofits in light of charitable tax exemptions. In short, because of changes to the standard deductions, far fewer taxpayers and households (particularly those making less than $75,000) will itemize. That’s now the only way to take advantage of the charitable contributions deduction.

So unless your church or nonprofit relies heavily on donors in the top tax brackets, you need to diversify income sources.

If you rely on a large number of smaller donations from members or patrons who are in “the middle class,” you need to diversify income sources.

From CNBC:

“To use your charitable contributions against your taxes, you must itemize your deductions. This means for it to make financial sense, the combined value of all your deductions would need to exceed the standard deductions for 2017: $12,700 for married couples, $9,350 for heads of households and $6,350 for single filers and married couples filing separately.”

We work with churches and nonprofits to help identify and engage with alternative income sources. Get in touch if you need help.