Chapter 5: January 2009 Professional & Business Lullaby

I started off the year by canceling my Facebook account.  It was a decision based around the fact that a lot of people I was “friends” with had no clue about who I was.  It was a political decision, in that it was based around politics.  Politics is an easily confrontational subject, much like religion.  The issue of gay rights had come up on Facebook, which is a mash-up of both politics AND religion, and when you talk about both at once it’s like mixing bleach and ammonia.  I’m not gay.  But having been married, I think everyone has a right to take that step.  Certain people on Facebook wanted to argue the religious aspect of marriage, which I feel is separate.

If I think I’m right about something and it’s a topic I have strong feelings about, I’m like a dog in a tug-of-war.  I won’t back down until we reach a point when I’ll refuse to back down.  It’s at this point in the “conversation” that I become an asshole.

I was assholing myself all over Facebook.

So, after a few non-stop frustrating days, I canceled the account.  It was freeing.  At the time, I hadn’t really looked at the marketing aspects of the site, and when I did at a later point I created a new account.  My Facebook account is like the PG-13 version of my Twitter page.  I’m less likely to use the word “penis” on Facebook.  Feel free to look me up and friend request me.

I also introduced the girlfriend to Twitter, who took to it quickly.  Her approach to Twitter was more social than business; she was there to meet people.  There’s some irony there; you’ll get it later in the book.

Desktopping Your Twitter (Yes, Another Lesson)

Also, this month I started tweeting from a desktop application instead of from the Twitter website.  Once you’ve become accustomed to Twitter’s interface and have the basics down, it might be a good time to look at third-party applications for using the site.  There are plenty to choose from and each one has intricacies that the others don’t; it comes down to a matter of preference and what works best for managing your account(s) on Twitter.  Most of the applications offer multiple account management, so you can tweet and monitor more than one Twitter account at a time.  If you’re a filmmaker, for instance, you might have separate accounts for each project you’re promoting (if you’re @alliecine, you’re managing like 12 Twitter accounts for each project she’s spearheading.  You think I’m exaggerating.  I’m not), and using a third party application can be advantageous and time-saving.  I use TweetDeck.  Not only does TweetDeck integrate with Twitter, it also lets you update your Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace profiles, and you can see all of them in your stream.  You can create custom searches and save them to columns (there’s no limit), and there’s a convenient scroll-bar at the bottom to move from side-to-side.  Each of your accounts can have separate columns as well, so that you can track your followers more accurately. One unique feature that TweetDeck has is the option to crosspost your tweets to multiple accounts all at once.  The application keeps you signed in to all your accounts simultaneously, and keeps track of them at the top of the screen.  You can click on more than one (in the screenshot below, you can see two different accounts highlighted) at a time, and send one tweet from both accounts, which is a huge timesaver.

TweetDeck is free, and works on both Windows and Mac (there’s also an iPhone app).

Back to January.

I was starting, very slowly, to accumulate Twitter followers.  I had long conversations with @dr0id, whose love for all things PC made me want to be his BFF, and @kevinrieplmusic, who never shuts up.  But I wasn’t finding any work yet, which was frustrating.  It had been three months of tweeting, and nothing had come out of it in terms of business.  But I was enjoying it, so I decided to stick with it.

At the end of the month I went on a location scout for “11:11.”  The locations had already been set, but the director and cinematographer needed to see how the shots were going to be set up at each of them, and I got to tag along.

Unfortunately, I had to wear pants.

We took two vans; I tweeted away, and got  responses from some of my followers, which made me feel like I was doing the right thing by sticking with it.

We hit up around seven or eight locations; I tried to draw a little inspiration for the score from the Huntington Beach locale.  It worked in a few places, the beach being one of them.  I love being inspired musically by things around me.  As a film composer, I really need to see the footage from the film before I can get a hard grip on the score.  But sometimes, with the right location or moment, I can get snippets of music that will later work in the score.

And that excites me more than sex.

NOTE: This is not actually true.

But overall, January was a slow month, in that I really didn’t have a whole lot going on.  Also, I noticed that there was a slight difference in my relationship with the girlfriend, in that she was a little withdrawn, and no amount of talking or asking helped me figure out what was “off.”  That’s the appropriate word for what was going on, things were “off.”  We were still hanging out, talking and getting along, but deep, deep inside my brain I knew something wasn’t right.

And I was right.

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