Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

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With all these celebrity deaths of late, it wasn’t a question of if, but rather when the exploitation would occur. Usually though, I limit my exploitation of tragedy to a few off-color jokes in close company. But when snowboard company Neff put out a Michael Jackson tribute tee, well, it was the first time I sort of cared about Michael Jackson’s death. Frankly it seemed absurd and needed to be mocked, especially since I run a site with the tag line “making fun of snowboarding.”

Then when Awesome Auger spokeman Billy Mays passed away Sunday, the opportunity was clear. Rip off Neff’s design and make a Billy Mays tribute shirt. Jared and I laughed the whole time at how ridiculous it was, but when the design was finished, I strangely wanted one. Though we toyed with the idea of not actually making them available for purchase, we also agreed that no one would actually buy them, so we might as well make it legit. A few clicks and for just $19.95, anyone can now purchase a YoBeat Billy Mays Tribute Shirt from the YoBeat store. I posted the release and figured maybe we’d get linked around a few a laughs.

Then something happened. Someone bought a shirt. And then a few other people did too. So now, not only do we have to make the shirts, but I feel totally hypocritical. I tried to make myself feel a little better by commiting to donate some of the proceeds to the American Heart Association, but man, who would have thought anyone actually wanted one of these? Oh, the irony.

I have been trying to write this post for awhile now. Originally my angle was going to be if I thought I was a better writer or an editor, because it’s very rare that someone is good at both. However, I decided that there was no way to write that honestly without sounding cocky while simultaneously writing an appropriate blog for my professional site that would not dissuade people from hiring me. So I’ve instead decided to instead to just talk about doing both and which I like more.

Although I have been “the editor” of YoBeat since it started, the first 10-12 years included very little actual editing. But these days I find myself acting a real editor for that site, as well as Alliance Wakeskate. That means I not only write a lot, and edit the stuff that comes in, but I am directly responsible for the editorial direction of the sites. I am the one who says, “that sucks I’m not using it,” or, “that is good I am using it.” I am also the one who figures out what we can pay and pay for, and deals with breaking the bad news to contributors. I think for the latter reason, I have sort of been missing my carefree lifestyle as a “writer.”

I am not sure when it happened, but I haven’t been working as a “writer” for awhile now. In fact, I just got my first exclusive writing assignment in too many months yesterday and now I am confused. So let me get this straight– I don’t have to decide what I am writing about or how long it should be? All I have to do is put 1000 words together and email it to you by Friday? Man, you writer types have it easy! I kid, I kid. Both jobs have their perks and drawbacks, and I think this video sums up perfectly the plight of a creative professional.

The Vendor Client relationship – in real world situations

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Check out my full gallery of photos of this kid here.

Today is culminating one of those weeks I feel like I’ve really outdone myself. In large part it is probably because I was out of town all last week so there was a good deal of catching up to be done.  It seems like I’ve been churning out an especially large amount of content, and what better way to create more content with it than to reblog it all!

But when I actually sat down to find the stuff I’ve done this week, it turns out I’d only written two stories on YoBeat (the Art of the Board Hold and Hump day with Dirksen,) and some little blogs on AWS. I shot the photos for today’s On Deck, but most of what I posted was created by others. So I decided it’s time to let everyone in on a little secret. Just because I didn’t write or shoot it, doesn’t mean it didn’t give me a headache.

This week’s behind the scenes tasks included ad sales, accounting, re-writing submissions, answering random questions and explaining mundane tasks to others, posting stuff daily, delegating resulting in hours of loading stuff on FTP, and even helping make physical banners for YoBeat. And of course, I am always thinking about the future and what the hell I am going to post next week. That said, I love my job and could think of a lot worse things to be spending my time on. But this weekend, I am pretty excited to take out some pent up aggression on one of the white pines in my backyard.

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Yesterday I was informed that writing was a dying art and I’d better learn Final Cut if I wanted to still have a job. That statement was followed up by, “Seriously, in 2010 they are going to stop teaching kids to read in school!” The latter may be a bit of an overstatement (considering that’s 8 months away,) but there is definitely some truth to the fact that video is more powerful than writing on the Internet.

I spent the day messing with Final Cut and ended up with enough knowledge to make a video look at least as good as I can with iMovie. Mostly though, I have twitter to thank for that, since I used it as tech support when I had questions and was able to get answers within seconds. Amazing really.

But  this is all just a long winded intro to the new video series we’ve started doing on YoBeat. Jared named it “Conversations,” which admittedly makes little sense since it’s totally one-sided, but what can you do. I asked the questions while Jared filmed and edited it, and today we launched the first installment with David Benedek, snowboarder and filmmaker extraordinaire. The response so far has been great and if you are remotely interested in snowboarding, filmmaking or the current state of media, you’ll probably find it somewhat entertaining. So click on over to YoBeat and check it out.

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One of my main professional projects is YoBeat.com. Just saying that sounds weird, given that I’ve been “doing” YoBeat since I was 15 years old, but these days, it is actually a large part of my day-to-day exsitence. I can’t complain. It’s amazing to have a project that I have full creative control over, people seem to like, and even makes me a (very) little bit of money. But the strangest part about concentrating on YoBeat is that students and aspiring extreme journalists have taken notice. I’ve done a few online interviews about it. There was the one on (apparently now defunct) Diablo Snow, before the actual relaunch. And then of course I got my big break on Shayboarder.com last October. The most recently though, was for a senior at Ohio University. She was working on a project for her “business practices for photographers” class and was assigned to interview someone running a business she admired. I was honored she chose YoBeat as that business and I answered her many questions. I’m not going to lie, partially I am proud of my answers, and partially I want to get more mileage out of my hard work. So follow the jump and check out how exactly we make YoBeat magic happen. (more…)

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I love digital photography. Preston Strout recently told me I was the first person he ever saw with a digital camera, so it’s not like this is a new thing for me, but now I can’t even imagine shooting any other way. My four or so film cameras haven’t so much as been picked up in years. But there’s one thing that I still haven’t really mastered with digital, and that’s filing them in a way that I can easily find old photos when I need to. Ok, I have a lot more things to master than that, but I really suck at organiziation. Which brings me to the title of this here post. I now have a folder on my desktop called “Chickens and Boardin.” Inside are pictures from snowboarding this weekend, and of chickens from the frat party I accidentally ended up at. It makes sense now, but down the line I somehow don’t think I am going to be able to locate the pictures I shot for an upcoming YoBeat story when I need to. There is really no point to this story so I will stop now. Here are pictures of chickens and boardin. (more…)

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I have some days where I just can’t put together a punchline. Today is not one of those days. I am doing a really amazing job at making fun of stuff and stealing funny jokes from others for my own benefit. Here’s a quick run down.

I received a Grenade Games press release this morning. Now I am not just going to post an ad for Monster and Grenade without some subtle shit talk. I killed it.

A little bird forwarded me what may or may not be an inter office joke at Burton. It was funny, so I ran with it. I mean, my sense of humor doesn’t lie, they obviously wanted this on Yobeat.

But I do not just limit my humor to YoBeat. Today I think I pulled off a post that might even make wakeskaters laugh! It helps that they actually wrote it unknowingly, but I think the pictures are really what sets it apart. Check out all 99 uses for your old handle.

If none of this succeeds in making you LOL, I feel we might need to reevluate our friendship. That is all.

I am officially home from a week on the East Coast, and I have returned on east coast time with whooping cough, but I am not mad. It was one of those trips where I actually appreciated the east coast, in spite of the cold and having to scrape my car, etc. Mostly it was due to three incredible snowboard events (one of which was not the US Open.)

Most people seemed confused that I turned up at the World Quarters after not being at the Open the day before, but it seemed perfectly logical to me. First of all, watching the US Open on go211, complete with chatroom was the most fun I have had at that event in years. Not only did it bring me back to my youth as a chat room instigator, but I was warm and comfortable. Let’s face it, the US Open might as well be a Dew Tour stop or the X Games these days, and unless someone is paying me well, I see no personal benefit in attending anymore.


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After a year of digital elph filmmaking, I have finally upgraded to a real video camera. I invested in a Canon Vixia for the explicit purpose of shooting the Nikita 2010 Outerwear shoot in Utah. I was enlisted to make daily videos for the social media so this may have been overkill, but it seemed like a good excuse. Of course, it may have been wise to buy it more than a few days in advance and actually figure out how to use it and transfer the footage before showing up to do my job, but you know…

I did get to Utah a few days early to meet up with my family and give my dad the “best birthday ever.” Our day at Powder Mountain was my first time breaking out the new camera, and I was excited that it was tiny, light, and relatively easy to use.


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Spring!

Posted by admin in General | Snow - (0 Comments)

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It’s awesome that this is my front yard right now but I am off to Salt Lake on Friday for the Nikita photoshoot (subscribe to my Youtube videos and don’t miss a minute of it!) and then Vermont for the last week in March. I was informed today that not only will I get to enjoy the World Quarters, but Pat Moore’s Back to the Boneyard at Waterville and Last Call at Loon if I am so inclined! Snowboarding has gone well this year (other than the fact I have gotten a lot worse at it) so I am exciting to finish the season with some fun east coast events.

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