I have been participating, developing, engaging, and managing online communities ever since 4chan. Communities are what made businesses, brands, influencers, authors and entrepreneurs be able to succeed as these are fans that align with your message, what you have to say, consume your content, product and services and provide instant feedback.
Individuals such as Michael Hyatt, Paul Jarvis, Seth Godin, Chris Brogan and Jeff Goins have talk about this in many occasions. They have used social media to create exposure and grow. With the arrival of Blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Cryptocurrencies, many of these projects gain popularity thanks to word-of-mouth and the fact that communities were available.
Across the globe many people could join the project’s slack or telegram group and start talking with the staff, other followers or token holders, and create discussions that could help the project grow and further their goals.
But these apps and social media have had many issues that result in problems for both the community and the staff. Whether it’s been hacking, impersonating, cybersecurity issues, or terms and conditions where you are censored from discussing the topic of your niche market because the social media platform doesn’t like it and now you are not able to continue with your content.
These platforms and applications have proven that they are good for simple communication but not for the Community Building or Group interactions needed now a days.
Flickapp to the rescue
With a very simple, intuitive and elegant UI, Flickapp lets you quickly sign up with either your email, Google account, or with phone
With a very simple, intuitive and elegant UI, Flickapp lets you quickly sign up with either your email, Google account, or with phone
The main screen is pretty forward. Your profile picture, envelope for Private Messages. Tap on the group you want to participate. The topics of the group and Add People to copy the URL or invite your contact.
Simple and straightforward process to invite people to the group.
Creating a group is extremely easy. Name, Purpose and Group Avatar. Simple!
I love the fact that you can set group notifications within each topic in a group. If there is a subject that you have no interest on being up to date as others in the group, you can turn off the notifications.
Flickapp has become my new favorite app for group and community discussions with friends, and people of many different interests. Right now I created three groups that I am building to grow communities organically and we can learn and grow together.
I would like for you to join and grow them along with me so we can create our own tribe of thoughtful leaders:
Back in 2008 with the Bitcoin Whitepaper released, a light in the midst of the darkness, with the market crash that happened, came to be. Cryptocurrency quickly became the next thing while Social Media and smartphone adoption, as well as cellular networks, were being upgraded from 2G to 3G and quickly moving to LTE. Mostly everyone was just trying to get onto facebook, understand twitter, blogging, youtube, create and develop apps whilst the blockchain was being develop.
It took time until people realized it was not a scam, at least no the Bitcoin and Ethereum or other blockchains. Then came the ICOs, Initical Coin Offerings for Bitcoin Blockchain or TGE, Token Generation Event for the Ethereum Blockchain as these were programmable to have functionalities thanks to the smart contracts.
With so many projects coming and going, the volatility of the markets, prices going up and down, the growth of the companies so quickly affected created problems in developments. Sometimes having too many cooks in the kitchen can crease issues. Clear establishment of who’s who, who’s responsible, who has the final call, how are things to be work, and some governance and structure is heavily needed in order to actually make things occur such as develop, code, market, implement, test, debug, while providing progress reports.
Almost every blockchain company didn’t have a normal corporate or regular company structure because this was the new world so it could be shaped in a new way. It didn’t have to be so rigid and instead of having bosses, leaders, and such, everyone was to work together. Problem here was there was no clear path, structure, or who’s who other than the guy who hired you, who signs the paycheck or CEOs or president of the company.
Fall of a Dream
When the fall and winter of 2018 set in, the prices of Ethereum and almost every other token or coin in crypto went down heavily. If you had had a TGE or ICO in 2016, two years later with 50+ employees in staff, more than likely your payroll was taking quite a hit.
Some CEOs and Presidents of the companies had to reevaluated their efforts and the allocation of resources. Here are two of those examples:
While I don’t know the specific reasons, the money allocation of these two companies or the other blockchain projects that had to do this, one thing I can say one thing for sure: Project Management would’ve help…a lot.
Project Management for Decentralization
When people hear about project management some thing it is mainly about excel spreadsheets, pressure, deadlines, productivity, budgets, quality, and many other things. But mainly, a heavy pressure to deliver the meeting targets and deadlines, sometimes unrealistic, from the Project Manager who may or may not have the knowledge of the industry, the actual skills to communicate properly and inspire personnel, or simply: has been assigned the role but doesn’t know anything about PMI or the first thing about project management using all the incorrect tools and mainly mindset along the way.
Blockchain is mainly for the people by the people to provide the people a richer, cleared and more transparent way of services and assets using technology. It can be also used to create a real democratic governance and take us to the final frontier before reaching singularity, or at the very least, hold each person accountable to the commitment they made.
Many times over resources were not done appropriately on some of the blockchain projects, and in many cases big corporations, because they didn’t go through processes that would help them start their project correctly.
If you take a class of Project Management in order to later on request the certification exam, you’ll be taught that there are Knowledge Areas, a total of 10, and Process Groups, five in this case.
Process Groups are the following:
Initiating – Is the process of understanding why are we creating this in the first place. Why are we being given the resources, asking for money, and going on about this. During this process, there is also the initial meeting where the individuals involved in the project are to meet and understand that there is a Project Manager and that this PM will be in charge and held accountable and will hold accountable those involved in the project.
Planning – The most important part of the process. This is where every expert involved in the project will come up with the ground rules.
Software to use for tracking and communication. Slack or Whatsapp (please use Slack.)
Forms to use
Processes to comply with regulations
Processes from Marketing
Processes from HR
Define the requirements for each department
Define deliverables to close the project and confirm we have achieved this.
Executing – With the Planning done we know what we need to do and execute. The plan is set and the cards being dealt to the players. We have
Monitoring & Controlling – This is where we will be confirming is we are on target, ahead or below in time and resources allocation to confirm time, money and quality are up to par.
Closing – When deliverables are completed we are able to complete the project.
This is but a very simple summary in theory of Project Management. I have seen people go from Idea to Executing then Planning then Monitor & Control, then back to Planning, Executing, Trying to Close and seeing that the rules were not set so there was big problem in communication and the quality that was expected in the deliverable. Hence why the process, while it ma seem tedious to some, it simply works because it provides focus to each individual part and you’re setting your project for success from the beginning.
What many people have seen is that there are many people jumping onto the ship of decentralization with the mentality of revolution, anarchy and “let’s show them.” In many occasions without proper counsel from legal, marketing and or senior advisors to make sure that there are clear milestones in the path ahead by creating a roadmap for success that everyone within the organization can work towards to helping build the Ethos rather than just using the word without proper sense. It is one thing to have character and another to be “quite a character” when it comes to running a company or what type of identity the company or project goes with.
Knowing the destination, understanding the Why, thanks to Simon Sinek for Star with Why, will help any organization, team, project, task force, move towards the real goal you all decide and agree upon.
Project Management is not a template mindset. It’s a leadership mindset that is meant to be exercised every moment by guiding the teams, making sure it is a well running machine, no redundancy or double efforts are being done that could caseloss of time, revenue, and even morale.
Until the next time, see you all in the Blockchain
I grew up watching Rocky films on TV in Telemundo. I would always get mesmerized and excited with the training sequences, the jabbing, the fights, and overcoming the opponents.
Rocky IV was the most watched in my household. I loved this movie because, to me, it has the best soundtrack, even thought it doesn’t haven Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” But it does have “No Easy Way Out.” Which in my opinion has a deeper meaning and hits home every time I hear it.
Entrepreneurs need to deal with many things throughout their plans, projects, tasks, habits and such. Accounting, legal, human behavior, marketing, sales, technology, public speaking, time management, relationship building, public relations, customer relations, interpersonal skills, fitness, diets, etc. But the one thing that we all need to continuously work and fight with is thyself.
The Shadow of Doubt
Many entrepreneurs battle with depression, impostor syndrome or struggle with other things. I am not an expert of those subjects and I have had my share of struggles with some of them. I have learned to recognized and pivot from the train of thought that they can lead or take you on. I have decided to stay healthy as much as possible and part of that start with mindsets and habits. But, it is not easy for everyone and it does take effort and commitment.
The main thing is whether we decided to stay in the shadow of doubt, which is the coined term I have given for comfort zone, or we move towards the light, the discomfort zone.
Moving towards the goals, the light at the end of the tunnel is exciting and more than often challenging. Takes a toll on us and it certainly does drains energies if we surely don’t have the proper training or the right mentality.
Rocky always had a way of just being the optimistic and charming guy who wanted to stay with his wife, family and fight. His life was led by his passion and his passion was the physical representation of what entrepreneurs endure.
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
While the quote above may sound harsh, it is quite real. Life is hard, only if we decided to allow things to get out of control and not face the things, challenges, opportunities, and possibilities that present ourselves to make us better, to help us.
New projects, goals, habits, business ventures create tension, friction and definitely a pressure upon ourselves that no matter how hard we try, we have to face it. It is only by facing this hard discomfort, these fears, that we are able to learn and grow. They serve as catalysts, helping us go up the ladder to a new level so we can grow as individuals, professionals and as that role we are executing whether it is as a business owner, team leader, parent, brother, minister, community manager, project manager, entrepreneur, marketer.
“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can. That’s what makes all the difference in your life.”
There are 12 rounds in boxing. There are 12 weeks in a quarter. There are 12 grades from elementary, junior high, and high school. Each Round, week, and grade get tougher but every round prepares you for the next.
You have your winter, summer, and perhaps depending on where you live, other types of breaks to enjoy life somehow. But, when you go out to the world where you are building your career, facing the bosses, the clients, the pressure sometimes it can definitely feel like you are taking the biggest beating and can only catch a break when the bell rings. But that round took everything out of you.
Sometimes we are about to throw the towel, and just admit we can’t pull it off. We are not made for this. We decide to just stay put and not do anything else. In all seriousness, sometimes we get ourselves into fights/projects that are tough, complicated, and will take strong wills, commitment and most importantly, the correct mindset and the most solid self-esteem. These are the key elements into making sure an entrepreneur can carry on with their mission, their vision, task, project, and make it happen.
Ali was a fierce fighter. Both physically but even deadlier when it came to psychology. He would disrupt his opponent’s focus by shaking his very core, beliefs, and mindset. Anyone can fight. But being able to maintain the calm, control the emotions, and still be able to focus on delivering while being in the heat of the moment – Cue Asia’s song – facing your opponent and as cliché, as it may sound, seeing the eye of the tiger, if you’re able to control yourself you can go round after round and finish the fight.
I’ve learn that winning is all about mentality. You can either let other things define your success, or you can just define yours. When you read Seth Godin’s amazing blog, you stumble on gold-nuggets such as Don’t Steal Metrics where he expresses:
It’s worth finding your metrics.
In the end what we do and how we do it, is up to us. Listen to advice. Learn from the best. Face your opponents and challenges head on. But mainly, look in the mirror and tell yourself you are out to get it. Motivate the motivator. Turn the engine on and keep that passion alive.
As you are aware I am a Full Sail Grad from the Recording Arts Program from 2006 – 2007. I was fortunate enough to have parents that wanted to give their all to send me to college and family that invested themselves in seeing me succeed. Some of them are no longer with me and I am dedicating this blog post to them – Thank you Uncle Ralph.
I quickly fell in love with Podcast as it was a quick way to mix many passions of mine. Music, audio, radio, production, and my own creativity. I also fell in love with microphones and my mother noticed this, so she gifted me one of the best and most used microphones in the industry: the Shure SM57.
Little by little I learned of the many different microphones, dynamic, condensers, ribbon and their patterns: omni-directional, bi-directional, cardioid, hyper-cardioid.
Later I learned that just like every single person has their own unique voice, timbre, there is an ideal application or microphone in this case for the purpose which will be used. See if I will be singing in a live environment, a club, I will be playing guitar as well, and the genre of music is Rock, please give me a Shure SM58 or a Shure Super 55, mainly because my voice is rough and raw. But if I am singing a ballad I will ask for the Beta SM58A Supercardioid. Each microphone has a different use for a different purpose and voice.
In the case of podcast and recording audio in digital format or mainly computers, a lot of people tend to use and recommend microphones that connect directly to USB ports. In my very own personal AND PROFESSIONAL opinion I am against USB microphones. The reason is simple: the converters are not good and the decay in quality is too much, losing the audio dynamics that is precious when editing audio or that makes the sound quality rich.
Here is a list of the best microphones that I recommend and the uses for.
I have used Zoom devices since 2002. From Guitar Distortion pedals, microphones, tuners, multi effects, and so on. Zoom is a great company when it comes to quality and has always delivered mainly in microphones. I owned a Zoom H4 in 2006 while in Full Sail and loved it.
My mentor bought this H1n and it is a great compact and amazing portable recorder that can help a podcaster that wants to record anywhere and simply dump that into the computer and send it to the audio editor or to their own digital audio workstation (DAW) so they can work on the file and make make their own episode.
Journalist, podcaster, author, you are interviewing another person, or just yourself, this little recorder works wonders and records in stereo because of the two microphones in it. This bundle brings everything you need. I recommend using the headphones as reference and mainly those type of headphones and not the ones from like a cellphone as you need to lear to reduce the sound from outside and listen to what is being captured from the microphone itself so you know what will the listener hear in your final product as you can reduce but you can not remove from audio, that only works in sci-fi and spy movies…or with Jack Bauer.
Something important here, this is not designed to be used used WITH your computer. This is a field recorded. If you are an on the go, always on the move person starting out or don’t want to have a lot of hassle, this is a good solution. If you will be interviewing people across the internet, read along, many more suggestions your way.
Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
This microphone is taking the podcasting, music, and radio world by storm. It is one of the best microphones I have experience and seen so far. Friends who are recording their records have used it for vocals, acoustic guitars, percussion, some plena drums, and choir vocals, and the results have been amazing. By the way, a shout out to great talented friends from Baba Gris, mainly Carlos Dimas who referred me to this microphone and blew me away!
The beautiful thing about this microphone is that it’s already made for consumer, prosumer or profesional applications. You want to use this for a hobby. Good! You want to make this podcast and take it to another level. You are set. So you will be doing the podcast and will be recording a record or was asked to record at another podcast, radio show, interview? Bring your microphone and shine bright!
One of the simple but big things it has that comes with which to me is important is the windscreen. In most cases, people don’t think too much of the windscreen, but it is a big deal for individuals such as myself that over pronounce the “s” or the “p” because being bilingual. Accents and enunciations, dictations and slurs can be reduced thanks to pop-up stoppers and windscreens as well as the breathings. So that in itself is a big one.
This microphone picks up 50 – 20khz. We listen from 20 – 20kHz the more range the better the microphone. Of course, the voice pitch doesn’t cover that but it is good that it covers a wide range because it picks up details in our timbre that makes us sound nice, rich, full. Could you imagine Barry White sounding like Alvin & The Chipmunks? If he was only given a microphone that was 8k – 20khz, that would’ve been the result. These ranges are the same thing we do when we get in the car and we go to the settings of the radio and we turn up the bass and the treble. Hence why this microphone is really great and an amazing deal for this price. 10 years ago, a microphone like this, would’ve been over $1,200 and still not have all the feature it has.
Audio Technica is one of my favorite companies when it comes to making solid products at affordable prices while respecting the customer’s pocket, needs and wants. Their microphones and headphones are great and can be used for a variety of things. Guitar, voice, piano, bass, backing vocals, live performance, and yes, podcast!
This bundle brings you everything you need if you have your own little desk and corner. As I mentioned, I always recommend while recording you get used to using the headphones, not earphones, and certainly do not use Bluetooth, creates latency, Beats headphones or any noise cancelling headphones as these tend to alter what you hear.
This microphone states 20-20kHz, it’s cardioid, and it is a condenser microphone. Dynamic microphones are great for live environment, i.e. performances just like my first example, but for recording such as podcasting or radio, condensers are the best. At this price, it is an excellent starting point.
Rodes Procaster Dynamic
I know I just said Condensers are better than Dynamic, and for the most part, it is true, but there is always that one microphone that comes along to surprise everyone and sets a standard. That is the case for Rodes Procaster.
The radio industry used Rodes microphones and you can actually see in many movies the RE20 as the usual microphone for Disc Jockeys. But in this iteration, the Procraster Dynamic is a solid Dynamic microphone that will give you a full, rich sound, and as it says: “tailored-for-voice frequency response.” What these last means is that it is for voice and not for every application. So if you are set that this is the only thing you will be using for, and you are the next Don Lafontaine, you can feel confident this is a great microphone.
Mini Home Studio
“But Mikel, how do I plug in my microphone to the computer? Is there an adapter? You said USB microphones are no good. I saw an XLR to USB cable and the reviews were…okay =/. “
First thing is first: Those cables are no bueno. Now here is the piece of equipment that I personally recommend as I have used it in many occasions for simple and professionals things whether it’s been recording vocals, transmitting a radio show from Caimito San Juan, Puerto Rico across the internet to the broadcast it to the radio in Puerto Rico and the state of Florida, record a 12 string guitar, record a synthesizer, or even my own podcast show Rock ‘n’ Block.
This USB audio interface comes with a lot of free software such as a free version of ProTools, the world leading DAW, even though its a simple version you are able to scale up at any point in time if you want. If you are in a PC or a MAC you are able to download this software and record, edit and Bounce, which is the term for Publish, Save, Export in the Audio Recording world, and use the audio file for your podcast.
You have two inputs. You are able to use line inputs, such as guitar line, or XLR which are the balanced inputs, and these are the best kind. They also have the 48V phantom power, which is mainly used for condenser microphones. You have the option to plug in a pair of headphones, which in this bundle it comes with a pair of headphones, not the best but some, and you can monitor them independently from the computer right from the interface, which is the best option.
Back in 2007 I paid $249.99 for the Mbox Mini 2. In all honesty, looking back now, it was not worth it. This is much better as the pre-amps in this audio interface, another subject for another blog post, are pretty decent and provide a nice warm sound for your recordings, mainly when it comes to vocals.
How do I get the thing on iTunes? On Spotify? On the Google Podcast? On that platform that nobody cares but helps SEO…I think?
Random guys in some SEO Facebook Group
In the past, you almost needed rocket science to start a Podcast. A website, know about RSS/XML. Have a hosting. Then the domain. Then submitting manually to iTunes and creating the feeds and such. Add the fact that you needed, artwork, music, and the whole nine yards.
In today’s world, I recommend one place that enables you to do it the most simple and straight-forward way possible. Anchor.fm. All you need is your email, the idea, and that’s it. You can record right from the app, or upload the audio from your computer to the webpage, or using your mobile device. You can also use the application to interview other people. Your listeners can use the app to leave voice messages and participate in your podcast.
They have the option to submit your podcast to iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast, and many other platforms. This is great because without doing so much you can be in the major ones and now since the Google Home Hub is taking the household by storm, people can tune in to your podcast as part as their routines as I do with some of my favorite shows while enjoying my morning coffee.
They have royalty-free music, images for those who just want to get started with their content and build things as they go along and you can even schedule the episodes for later times so they are released as you understand they are better. All these, free.
Heck, I would value this at $9.99/month for some extra services and still think it’s a great service.
Usually once you publish the episode it will take a couple of days for the episodes and podcasts to be submitted to the other platforms. Be patient. In the meantime, continue creating content, and sharing it to social media and other places.
I hope this How to Guide is helpful. If you have any question, leave a comment or you can go on twitter and reach out to me. I’ll help the best I can. If you’d like a mentoring session, feel free to book some time.
Recently I decided to take the plunge and take a certification I had been putting off for 6 years. Today was my first day of class. Throughout the day many terms and lessons from many books were mentioned and it felt great to know that I had read the books and was familiar with the terms, concepts, and practices of thought leaders and experts in the industries of marketing, business, copywriting, and other areas.
Here are my top 10 choices and what I believe are books that would make a great gift for this holiday season for a loved one.
Improvement and quitting old habits is difficult. But making changes even when they are just a 1% increment each day are great. This book has made me realize things that are so simple but crucial and I’ve been missing them for years. It’s time I get good rest and eat healthily.
Company of One
Paul Jarvis is a great source of knowledge and I have mentioned him on a previous blog post on 3 Reasons to Build Community. His upcoming book, Company of One is about business success and if that means growth of efficiency. Check out his website for more details about his giveaway ofone.co
Start with Why
Before you start doing anything, ask yourself: why are you doing it. Why would you do it? Why would it matter? Why? Start with Why by Simon Sinek is such a powerful book. It not only takes you from point a to z on how to find the reason to make things happen in your company, teams, divisions, but it also puts in perspective that everything in the world has to have a reason that connects and resonates with people emotionally so it succeeds. From Martin Luther King Jr., The Dwight Brothers, Apple, and even Project Management. We need to have a clear why we are doing the things we are.
If we do not, more than likely, we are setting ourselves, to stumble, lose time, energy, resources, and perhaps, fail. This is an excellent book for leaders and entrepreneurs alike.
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
How many times you would like to shoot straight and give feedback to people? Tell someone that they are not doing things the right way and need to pull their weight. Radical Candor is the term used when you want to be honest, straightforward but with that professional TLC that enables development and provide actionable plan to make people become accountable to their own growth as well as yourself because you are leading them.
Disrupters: Success Strategies from Women Who Break the Mold
Women in the workforce have marked the difference in so many ways. But still, there is a vast difference in how we treat, promote, support, train, invest, lead, pay and most of all, respect them.
Dr. Fletcher goes very in-depth into this and many other subjects that I had never thought of. I caught myself with what I call “toxic thoughts” that would not add value to the workforce and mainly are not the ones I would like to bestow upon my daughter.
I personally recommend this book so we all start creating awareness in ourselves and in our workplaces and communities that we need to have equal treatment, respect and pay to all workers, no matter their gender.
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
Becoming a Navy Seal is the hardest and most difficult thing any human being in this plant can do. It’s not about physical training. Although that will help. It’s not about survival but that will help. It’s not about combat skills, shooting, strength, or recommendations. None of that.
It’s about owning the task, the moment, the unit, the project, the mission, the wins, the losses, victories, mistakes. Extreme Ownership taught me that in order to be a good leader, you must own the tools, teams, and resources you have been given and deal with them. No matter what. Do you have the losing team? Turn them to a winning team? Do you have the winning team? Turn them to the champion team. Do you have the champion team? Turn them into the two-time back to back winning champions.
Did you make a mistake that cost dearly to the company, the team, the unit? Did it cost a life? Own it. Does it hurt? Yes, it does. But it is the right thing to do and shows one of the greatest strength most people will not do but true leaders show and their followers will respect: courage.
This book inspired me and it is one of the best reads for any leader and entrepreneur or project manager out there.
The Art of Work
Author Jeff Goins portrays in a very eloquent and simple manner that we need to bridge our current state and work towards the goal of where we want to be and develop our true self. Our work should be our craft and not just a job that we do to get a paycheck but something that is as meaningful as that song that when it plays makes us feel like we are 17 years old all over again.
Taking leaps of faith, jumping or quitting your job and running into the arms of destiny because it feels right, while irresponsible, is also not the right way. If a bridge is not built, you’re gonna fall. Bridging the gap is the correct way. Finding your calling is the one most important thing that we can do. Hence, the art of work.
Hope this blog post inspires you to pick up one of this books, or re-read them if you have any of them. Gift one to a family member or someone in your community that is starting a business and you would like to invest in them.