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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

TWiT 133 with Jonathan Coulton and "Rock Bad"

TWiT 133: Jonathan Coulton - Functional And Elegant

Hosts: Leo Laporte, Jonathan Coulton, Merlin Mann, Veronica Belmont, Ryan Block, and Tom Merritt

Jonathan Coulton and niche broadcasting, HD DVD finally kaput, YouTube goes down, frozen RAM and more.

Here's a free, direct MP3 download of TWiT 133.

Man, I really loved this episode. Jonathan Coulton's music and performances are inspiring in themselves, but as a fellow (albeit, much more modestly successful) "microbrand," I have huge respect for how he runs the business of his career. (more after the jump, including why we were all on this episode together in the first place)

Jonathan engages his audience actively (on- and off- stage) and he's crafted an approach to making a career out of entertainment that is nothing short of disruptive. As I said in this episode, it's my belief that in about 5 years, Jonathan (along with folks like Jane Siberry/Issa) will be seen as Patient Zero in the unravelling of a 90-year-old, sheet music-based business model that's based on false scarcity and lawsuits rather than engagement and service.

That said, Jonathan is also a terrifically talented writer and performer who knows how to scratch his audience's itch. I'll admit that one of the entertainment highlights of my year-to-date involved joining a roomful of ecstatic zombie nerds on Friday night for the singalong of "All we want to do is eat your brains!"

Also, of passing note in this episode, at least to me: since our last visit, it appears JoCo is now not only a Mac nerd (12" PowerBook), but a sometime Inbox Zero practitioner, and a Kinkless fan. (gulp: we need to get him a license for OmniFocus). Welcome to the Mac family, Jonathan!

So. If you haven't yet had the "pleasure" of seeing why we all happened to be together on TWiT a couple days after it happened: here's video of our group -- which I've dubbed "Rock Bad" -- failing at the soon-to-be-released Rock Band version of "Still Alive" (despite the yeoman's work of Veronica Belmont):

Jonathan Coulton performs "Still Alive" in Rock Band from Joy Stiq on Vimeo.

But, you should hear me sing "Don't Fear the Reaper" in Rock Band: I kill. Drums? Not so much.

Jonathan's music can be purchased for digital download from a variety of sources including Amazon.com (in DRM-free MP3s) and iTunes (DRM'd AACs).

About Merlin

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Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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