Photography: Message (CRT Style)

So, you maybe asking yourself what these images are all about? Well, they’re photo pulls from the television. Yeah, I rock a CRT still to this day. I discovered those monitors produce a fabulous effect.

What am I going to use them for? Well, for a little hint I’ll say this, “Make Your Message the Moment.”

Stay “tuned” for updates on the images and what is to become of them.

Website Redesign Completed

A little bit ago, I posted that I was working on a redesign of my website. Well, I’m happy to say, it’s completed. What has changed from the older site? Well, quite a bit actually.

For starters, the entire message of the site is different from the previous. The new message is about branding and social media; make your message the moment. This change in message is part-in-partial to the change in career path that I have undergone in the last two years. I’m no longer simply a designer, I have evolved to strategy, marketing and branding. The site’s purpose is to help explain just that; what I am all about, what I am capable of, and what qualifications I have. The site also helps explain how I might be able to help you or your business out. The redesign was to help make information about me and what I do more accessible to the public and potential clients.

Secondly, I needed to incorporate linking, personal and professional linking into my site. This is so you don’t always have to rely on what I give you on one site, but so you can research me, find out what I’m about, other places around the Internet. The linking also helps out with SEO, but I’ll get into that later.

Thirdly, the design needed to change. The mark of elegantbreakdown changed over the course of 2 years and needed to be incorporated into the new site as well as the color palette. The color is a bit intense and in your face, but you have to admit, it certainly does pop and you’ll remember it.

Coming soon, is the redesigned portfolio site to be used in conjunction with this site. The portfolio site will have the same design and aesthetic as this site and include design works that help illustrate how I can assist others visually, not just in strategy. The portfolio site will be up soon.

I had a lot of help with copy and critique on this site from friends and family. I have to give a special shout out to someone I will only refer to as “C” for the spectacular copy.

Hope you enjoy the new site. I hope you gain some sort of meaning of what I’m all about. I hope you don’t beat me up about the pink.

Applying a Political Speech to Technology: Agnew Knew

I was listening to a mix by Deadmau5 tonight and he included a speech by Vice President Spiro Agnew while in Houston, Texas on May 22, 1970. It’s a pretty profound speech about the times during the Vietnam War.

The speech has elements that hold true, in most instances, to what is happening today; and by that I mean technology. I figured I would post an edited version of the speech here. The speech really rings a bell for me every time I hear or read it.

Yes, I know it has political connotations to it and by all means I don’t really want to enter into a political discussion. However, if you sit back and read this excerpt and apply it to our contemporary lives with technology, it adds another meaning entirely; and that’s what I’m trying to get at.

“Sometimes it appears that we’re reaching a period when our senses and our minds will no longer respond to moderate stimulation. We seem to be reaching an age of the gross, persuasion through speeches and books is too often discarded for disruptive demonstrations aimed at bludgeoning the unconvinced into action. […] Subtlety is lost, and fine distinctions based on acute reasoning are carelessly ignored in a headlong jump to a predetermined conclusion. Life is visceral rather than intellectual. And the most visceral practitioners of life are those who characterize themselves as intellectuals. Truth is to them revealed rather than logically proved. And the principal infatuations of today revolve around the social sciences, those subjects which can accommodate any opinion, and about which the most reckless conjecture cannot be discredited. […] The student now goes to college to proclaim, rather than to learn. The lessons of the past are ignored and obliterated, and a contemporary antagonism known as “The Generation Gap.” […]”Vice President Spiro Agnew, Houston, Texas – May 22, 1970

#GoogleBuzz Concerns

Everyone is talking about Google Buzz it seems like. I started to use the service myself today more in depth. I have to say, it’s pretty intuitive. It’s a great way to share information and updates with your friends and other users. However, there are a few things that I’m not 100% on board with.

I’m still working out the kinks in the privacy aspect of Buzz. Yes, I am aware that I can limit the privacy of my posts and such, but what if someone, who is public, starts responding to my post, does that come up in search? Probably not, but I’m still concerned about it. Or, conversely, if my friends wish to remain private, yet they respond to my public post, should that be a concern of theirs or mine? Another piece of privacy that I’m concerned about is search. Yes, my profile is set to private, yet it still can be searched for, along with everything I post, if you’re good at searching. Does my email come up in that search, or my other contact information?

Yes, Buzz is a valuable tool for communicating with your friends and other users whom you share common interest with. However, what is the frequency of posting? How fast should you return comments? Do I share my time with Twitter? Of course, these are questions that will be resolved in the coming months by monitoring the use by users. But, what I see happening is people are anxious to use the service and promote them on it. Which, is good, however, it adds another level of social media, on top of the already saturated market.

Google, during the release of the product, did state that two-way integration isn’t here just yet for Buzz and it may not come at all. However, I do believe in order to make this more useful for the social media crowd and basic consumer usage, you will need the app to communicate both ways with other platforms, specifically Facebook and Twitter. Otherwise, you are limiting growth and functionality of the site.

Let me be clear, I am sold on the whole idea of Google Buzz. I like where Google is taking their social network. However, I’m concerned with certain things that are in place right now and the practice of using it. Like I said before, I’m sure these issues will be addressed very soon and more functionality will be added into it. After all, it was just released a few days ago. I’ll keep using it and see what the trends say. Who knows, maybe I’ll only use Buzz instead of Gmail.

Followers, Following, Tweets – It’s Not Always A Numbers Game

When it comes to Twitter, many users are so focused on either how many people they’re following, or how many people are following them or how many tweets they have. We live in a world of numbers and it can be difficult to separate yourself from trying to get the larger number. Perhaps the number isn’t what’s important, it’s how that number is relative to your account.

We have a desire to be popular. We want more people to listen and care about what we are saying. A higher follower count will make it seem that you have a lot of followers, but are they really following what you have to say? Are they robots/spambots? This is not to say that you don’t ideally want a high number of followers. What I am saying is you have to know WHY you want more followers. What do you want out of Twitter? The number isn’t everything to all users when they look at your profile. It may feel like you are popular, but do you actually communicate with all those followers, or are they just a number.

One client of mine wanted a strong follower/following ratio on their Twitter page. They wanted more followers than who they are following. I can see the reasoning, but in the end, who cares. You will want to follow those who provide the best content and the most engaging relationships. If that is more than who are following you, so be it. Social media is about the sharing of information and the formulation of relationships. You’re sharing information with your followers, why not share the information from them as well? This will help your account build relationships.

Yes, some accounts have five digit numbers of tweets, some only have three digit counts. Quantity is important in tweeting, however nowhere near as important as quality of the tweets. Think of it this way, would you enjoy following someone who tweets about every mundane thing in their life, every minute? Usually you don’t. However, those who tweet valuable information and insight are the ones you can’t take your eye off of. Basically, it’s great to have a high number of tweets, but make them count.

In social media, numbers are valuable, but they’re not the whole story. You need to have the content, value and relationships along with those numbers to build a strong social media presence.

The Evolution of Son of Erik: Album in the Works

From the last post, you may have read that in order to apply an audio track to my video, I needed to create it first. It was no big deal at all. However, once I started producing that track, I wanted to produce more!

As a result, I’m going to produce some original, custom Son of Erik tracks for an album. Now, Son of Erik, over the last year, was primarily a DJ/Mixtape sort of adventure. I would produce an hour long mix utilizing existing tracks, try and splice them together creatively and pass them along to my friends. I had no intention to mix live sets or make profit on it, it was merely a hobby. But, I want more.

I believe that Son of Erik can evolve. It can be mixtape production as well as producing tracks that are original to the Son of Erik name. Moreover, I can then utilize those tracks into the mixtapes themselves while making an album. I have to say I’m very excited.

So, what’s next? Well, I’m planning on producing an album in 6 months or less featuring only Son of Erik tracks. I know that’s far away, but I need to get a grasp on some things technical: scales, time-management, and overall flow of the track. My plan is to work on this album as much as I can while producing the mixtapes on the side. And of course, I’ll keep you all updated on the progress. (Maybe give you all a preview of a few tracks too!)

Video: Abstract Ambience

For a long while now I’ve been wanting to try my hand at creating some video works. I have been producing some mixes under the Son of Erik name for the last year or so. But, video has often intrigued me, as a result, I’ve created my first video. (Well, first since High School.)

The video is entitled “Abstract Ambience.” Yes, it’s a pretty basic video with nothing really going on. It’s simply a candle burning with no over or undertones. I’ve always been entranced by flickering flames. They’re so lovely to stare at and get lost in. The video was shot using my Canon SD750 Powershot camera. I used this camera simply because I don’t have another. I edited the whole piece using Apple’s iMovie.

I had originally wanted to use Ulrich Schanuss’ “Gone Forever” track for accompanied audio track, but the upload was denied on YouTube for copyright reasons. Yes, I do know you can’t do that, I simply forgot. As a result, I needed a new track that was free of copyright. I decided to use my skill set in audio production to create a custom track that would reflect the overall feeling that I was trying to convey. So now, Son of Erik also makes background music for videos.

It was a great evening of creativity tonight. Shooting and editing my first video and producing the accompanied audio track for it too. I can’t wait to make more videos, develop new ideas, create new tracks and post them all for you to watch.

So, take a look. Let me know what you think. I can take the criticism, however, please keep in mind, this is my first attempt and I plan on getting a lot better as I delve into this new creative experiment. Enjoy!

Son of Erik Mixtape Release: What the Funk

Hey everyone! The new Son of Erik mix has been finalized and posted. It’s entitled “What the Funk – Why the Funk is it so Funky in here?” Yes, as you can imagine, there is quite a bit of funkadelic drops in this hip-shaking mixtape.

I have provided a link for you (at the bottom of this post) to download the mixtape. (If you would like it split into tracks, let me know, and I’ll provide.)

What’s the tracklisting look like? I’m glad you asked.

Dr. Funk – Sidechains
It’s Too Funky In Here (Vs. James Brown) – James Brown
Disc Odyssey – Crazy P
Make You Mine (Codebreaker remix) – Miami Horror
I Feel Love – Donna Summer
She’s A Lady (Vs. Tom Jones) – Tom Jones
Sweet Disposition (Full Vocal Mix) – Morgan Page
When The Lights Go Down – Armand Van Helden
Set It Off (At The Playboy Mansion Mix) – A Taste Of Sugar
Who Said – Planet Funk
Good Luck (Tim Deluxe Funked Club Mix) – Basement Jaxx
Blinded By The Light (Extended Mix) – Funkstar Deluxe with Manfred Mann

Download What the Funk Here

These mixes are not intended for sale or reproduction. Son of Erik does not and will not receive any proceeds from the production of these mixes. Please respect the copyright of the original artists that have been listed.

Say It Ain’t So Conan.

The New York Times reported this afternoon that Conan will not host the Tonight Show after Leno. Basically that he is tired of NBC’s indecision. I agree with him. However, he will be sorely missed.

Why get rid of the funniest guy you have and replace him with someone who isn’t and frankly, just doesn’t get it?