I’m doing it again—taking a social media break. That’s right. You heard me (or rather, read me) right. I’m taking a break from the social media scene. This time though it’s a lot more structured and purposeful. It’s just for the month of August. (FYI, I’m celebrating my 9th wedding anniversary this week, so the timing couldn’t be better). The last time I ventured into these waters, it had more to do with letting go of something that I was placing too much value and self-worth in. This time it’s more about keeping life balanced and in perspective. It’s kind of like a fast (which is apropos as I’ve just come off a 7-day liquid food fast.) Here are the top 3 reasons I am taking a month off the social media scene.
- Perspective. As I mentioned before, I want to keep this all in perspective. When I re-energized my social media mayhem last November after a 4-month hiatus, I came back strong. Ever since January, I’ve blogged nearly every week day and my traffic has been the highest it’s ever been. I even got to the point where if you Googled FCPX, my blog was the #3 main link. I want to remind myself that my self-worth and value is not all tied up in how many Twitter followers, Facebook friends, or blog views I have. The best way to do that is to leave it alone and learn not to fret.
- Redirection. One of the reasons I was committed to having a blog post every weekday was to build up my writing habits. I want to redirect the time and energy I put into blogging into my script writing, as well as the writing I actually get paid to do. I am a contributing writer to Professional Photographer Magazine and EventDV and there many blogs posts I’ve written for free I could have been paid decent money for. It’s all for you. 🙂
- Inspiration. I hope that many of you who read my blog will be inspired to take your own social media break. Cut off Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other type of social media for a set period of time. If you can’t handle a month, try a week or two. See what happens. (If you can’t disconnect yourself from social media for even a week, then you have a real problem you need to investigate).
If you haven’t already heard it, be sure to download the latest episode of Crossing the 180. This is the big four-oh episode, starring the DSLR Three Amigos, Patrick Moreau, Kevin Shahinian and Joe Simon. The only way get it is by subscribing in iTunes. You don’t want to miss it. Part 2 will air when my break is over, September 1.
While you’re looking at the iTunes page, download some of the other earlier episodes with amazing filmmaking guests like Book of Eli co-director Albert Hughes, Alcon Entertainment head of production Yolanda Cochran, 24 DP Rodney Charters, Terminator Salvation DP Shane Hurlbut, HD DSLR guru Philip Bloom, Zacuto co-founder Steve Weiss, and many more. Check out the list below with links to a select number great episodes from 2011.
We also have a slate of other amazing guests already lined up and interviewed including social media videogs/photogs The Bui Brothers, YouTube Next Up winner and The Fuplers creator Matt Koval, and Da Mayor and first lady of wedding filmmaking, Steve & Laura Moses.
Ron’s “Best of the Best” Blog Posts
If you’re new to my blog and are now bummed to find that I’m on break, no worries. I’ll be back before you know it. In the meantime, below is a great Blade Ronner primer. Some of my favorite posts from the past year. For those of you who have come to enjoy reading my blog every day, I encourage you to go back and catch some posts you missed. Or maybe re-read some of the favorites that generated a lot of discussion. Until I return next month, here is a list of a “few” of my favorite blog posts over the past year.
- My Work (some of my fave projects over the past year)
- A family friendly commercial about the sexual exploitation of children
- “For the Man Who Hated Christmas”
- Mixed in America documentary on race relations and identity (trailer)
- You can cure cancer with your craft
- The power of story to sell your services (concert pianist promo)
- Our 48 Hour Film Project – a sci-fi drama
- On Business
- How to spin off a “Target” brand when you’re a “Tiffany” studio
- Never say never – 7 valuable lessons from Justin Bieber’s story
- Business Networking – 7 valuable lessons from the movie “Swingers”
- The power of story to sell your services
- The evolution of an About page
- A promo video is about YOU, not your gear
- How to find and keep good help
- The reason for retainers
- Justification for the non-refundable retainer
- Don’t be the “other guy”
- Don’t start til the check clears the bank
- A danger in selling yourself cheap
- No-brainer customer service
- Do you have systems in place to close the deal?
- If you’re not moving forward, you’ll be left behind
- What do you do when clients hate what THEY asked for?
- Should you mix religion and business?
- There are many more impressions than just the first
- Gear lust – does it ever make sense to buy?
- Three reasons a rest day is good for your business and how to make it happen
- How often should you raise your rates?
- The importance of policies and procedures
- Five ways I use Google docs in my business
- On Film & Video
- You MIGHT be watching a DSLR film if…
- The Future is Bleak for Small Business Photographers & Filmmakers
- The Future is Bright for Small Business Photographers & Filmmakers
- The future is bright or bleak, what’s your perspective?
- FCPX and the problem with creatives
- FCPX and the death of FCP7 is all Vincent Laforet’s fault
- Should today’s young filmmakers know and study the masters?
- Are you paralyzed by perfection?
- The two 180s of filmmaking and the most commonly broken rule
- Getting it WRONG in camera – color grading
- Lighting, audio and directing on a high-key set
- Epson ad disses wedding videographers
- Has wedding filmmaking gone too Hollywood?
- When art and the Catholic church collide
- The power of satire in filmmaking
- Five tips for creating emotionally powerful interviews
- My personal “road to Damascus”
- Set design part 1: narrative filmmaking
- Set design part 2: documentary filmmaking
- Nikon D7000 video review
- The anti-wedding film. An example of standing out
- My tapeless workflow and backup strategy
- Five tips to make your video more “cinematic”
- Five more cinematic tips
- What does “cinematic” mean anyway?
- Developing a signature style part 1 and part 2
- How to legally use music in your films (bit.ly/musicinfilm)
- The prime directive-shooting with prime lenses
- Effective use of photographs in video
- Film editing tips – there’s a reason they call it “cutting”
- Four tips for better b-roll
- Why every pro filmmaker or photographer should start out with weddings
- A quick primer on using Zeiss CP.2 cinema lenses for DSLRs
- On Photography
- Jesh de Rox’s “Twitter tempest”
- The follow up to the Jesh de Rox “Twitter tempest”
- Getting RAW. What frustrates you about the photog business?
- Jim Collins on the state of the photo industry
- Lessons learned when a newbie
- I’m starting a boudoir photog business for teen girls (satire)
- Menuez on Manhattan (film series about celebrated commercial photog Doug Menuez) – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
- The challenge of protecting your copyrights online
- Photography is headed for an industry storm
- I’m sure clients loved it, but…
- Joe Buissink – an intimate portrait
- What is your digital strategy?
- On Inspiration
- Dear Muse…where the hell are you?
- Dear Ron (the muse responds)
- How to be a success
- Perhaps my most important film to date
- 9 real tips for story inspiration
- Taking the path to purpose
- Haters are gonna hate, a sure-fire strategy for dealing with trolls
- Personal and pro bono projects can be profitable
- Look outside the box for inspiration
- The comparison game never end. Why, oh why!
- On Social Media & Productivity
- The secret to attaining work-life balance
- A Follow Friday strategy that gets results
- The definitive guide for choosing between YouTube and Vimeo
- Five blogging tips for photographers and filmmakers
- The anatomy of a blog design
- Choosing a blogging platform – WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
- Feedly is your online “morning paper”
- CloudApp – an easy way to quickly share files
- Evernote vs. Bookmarking and some Evernote tips
- Podcasts (a few of my almost 40 episodes that really stand out)
- Patrick Moreau, Kevin Shahinian and Joe Simon (the DSLR Three Amigos). Part 1 of 2
- Sean Dunne
- Brandon McCormick
- Jesse Rosten
- Drea Cooper
- Kristen Souders of Bliss
- Terrie Samundra
- Nino Leitner
- Den Lennie
- Tom Antos
Dan Rollins says
I commend you Ron, you are a great example. Best of luck getting recharged. My church just had a conference this weekend which was amazing, encouraging and convicting all bundled together. Topic was “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things”. The whole idea about how God looks for the weak, unskilled, untalented, ordinary people to become great in His eyes. One of the sessions was on priorities and making yourself undistracted enough to hear from God. Man.. we need to unplug on a regular basis, for the health of our family and ourselves. I will be taking an intensive 4 day get-away to a place that has prayer cabins in the middle of the woods.. no electricity, wifi, cell coverage or anything! Just me and God. After I fight the awkward silence it will be incredible. I always come back strong. My wife reminds me that sometimes I need to get away to get strength and bring it back for the family. I am excited for you Ron, thanks for all your contributions to the creative community.
Steve Moses says
Give up social media????!!! You got me hooked & now you walk away??!! 😉 Ha, I will try, but giving up FB would be like not answering my phone or responding to emails. It truly has become an integral part of our marketing & has really kept our name out there. Forums? that’s a whole another animal. I hope you spend some of your off time finding more sponsors for this wonderful Blog, you have a lot of eyes on this page…good luck and see you in a month. Thanks Ron 🙂
What you do is appreciated
Ron Dawson says
You make a great point about how social media plays into business. But I have all my FB notifications come to email, so I won’t miss any business inquiries that way. I just won’t be posting any FB or Twitter updates.
Thanks for your kind words about the blog. I have some exciting things I want to do with it when I return. 🙂
And for the record, I’m replying to this comment via email. 🙂
See you when you get back, Ron!
meg simone says
I agree with Steve, that what you do and provide this community is much appreciated. It’s free education, and you can’t put a price tag on what you have taught us all, it’s priceless. Schools out for the summer. This final blog post before your hiatus is the best “summer reading” list! You have me hooked for the Part 2 on 9/1! I have my social media hiatus planned, but it doesn’t occur until the snow flies. Happy Anniversary Ron & Tasra 🙂
Alana Munro says
Hi there…I’m hearing you Ron. I am forever trying to take ‘breaks’ from social media too. It just all gets a bit much sometimes. I’m all for new technology but perhaps we will need to be more mindful of our usage of all this new media? http://the-lady-lounge.com/