I am refining the focus of my lifestream a bit more, to begin thinking about what this site and me will do together after graduation this May.
Usually Kelly and I have this conversation together, and it's about the podcast. What is the point of our podcast? What do we want people to get out of it? Who is our audience? Why do we do it? We love doing it, so how can we make money from it?
But the podcast is running smoothly at this moment, with a shiny new focus itself (lifefucking the wellness revolution!). We have a plan for future episodes (copy Penelope! tinker like Gever!), and still like how our premium subscription service is working out.
A personal lifestream is a different beast from a team podcast, but still needs to be asked the same critical questions. What is the point of this lifestream? What do I want people to get out of it? Who is my audience? Why do I do it? I love it, so how can I make money from it?
I wanted to write this post to answer those questions, to share some perspective on why this site exists and will continue to exist, even after graduation.
I went to graduate school to get my MFA so I could teach design as a tenure-track faculty member at a university. Specifically, University of Illinois. I couldn't hack a day job, or even graphic design freelancing anymore, so I decided to follow my idol and mentor, Jennifer Gunji, and become a professor.
I didn't realize I was just buying time to think. After the past two years in my design program at UT, I've found what I want to do with my life–podcast and lifestream! And of course I hope to one day support myself doing it. Onto the questions:
What is the point of this lifestream? I want to constantly inspire myself to be a better person than I was yesterday. Documenting my life makes me slow down and think about every choice I make.
What do I want people to get out of it? I realized very recently that the only way to be happy is to help other people. So how can I help people? I want to teach, sure, but what that really means is that I want to inspire people to passionately create. The definition of "inspiration" is "the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative." I want to show that by lifestreaming, every decision can be inspiration.
All that means is that by documenting the details of daily existence, we give importance to them. We make them meaningful. And when we make our breakfast meaningful, we can't help but make incrementally better decisions about our breakfast. For me, lifestreaming provides the inspiration to incrementally improve my life one decision at a time.
So that's what I want people to get out of this site–inspiration in every decision.
Who is my audience? Honestly, it's the ladies just like me. Girls who thirst for a constant stream of inspiration, positivity, and new perspective.
Why do I do it? to be accountable for my actions and to have conversations with people. I post all this shit online all day every day because it keeps me honest. I used to be a big fat liar, and I was unhappy with myself. And by putting it all out there on the web, I can have ongoing discussions about the exact things I care about with people all over the world.
I love it, so how can I make money from it? That is the part I'm still working on. I realized that the only time I spend money for digital content is when I need inspiration. I've paid for Amanda Palmer's records, downloaded Gala Darling's podcast, and bought tshirts from Dawn and Drew, all my prime sources of inspiration. So I thought a fair trade would be to provide inspiration, and hopefully get some money in return. My budget's not that big, and I only need enough to survive (and save 20% of course). The question is now: How will I provide inspiration? That is now the focus of my lifestream.