43 Folders

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

Makebelieve Help, Old Butchers, and Figuring Out Who You Are (For Now)

Here's a video I made about a video I made. Consequently, it's also about writing a book, fake self-help, the long road to developing expertise, and the ups and downs of repeatedly asking the world to tell you who you are.

The video is long. As usual. This is how it works.

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Fake Rocks, Salami Commanders, and Just Enough to Start

MaxFunCon: Merlin Mann on Doing Creative Work (via TSoYA)

Here’s the audio from a short talk I presented a few weeks ago at Jesse Thorn’s awesome1 MaxFunCon in Lake Arrowhead, CA. The talk is subtitled, “With All Due Respect to the Seduction Community2, and it contains my typically NSFW use of, well, words, I guess.

It’s about how to get started—just started—with any project that really matters to you.

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Mud Rooms, Red Letters, and Real Priorities

Thanks to my funny, literary pal, Jason B. Jones, today, I'm visiting lovely, warm Connecticut to do some talks and whatnot at CCSU. I mention it because I'd started typing this little post mid-way through the long eastbound flight that delivered me here from three fun (but very long) days doing a comedy thing with You Look Nice Today and Jordan, Jesse, Go! over on that other, top-left, edge of our nation.

So, I was tired. Really tired. The kind of tired where your wallet hurts your butt, and coffee tastes weird, and you try super-hard to sleep, but -- well -- you're just too tired to sleep. And, I was fine with all that. Who can complain about being sleepy from hanging out with Adam and Scott? Exactly.

Except. The lady in the seat directly behind me was having grave problems with her "mud room." Big mud room problems. I know this because she talked about it for several hours in excruciating detail.

I'll spare you the nuts and bolts of the numerous and surprising ways that the room in which wealthy persons remove their shoes might contribute to causing a carefully-coiffed, 60-year-old woman to come unglued over "priorities." Suffice to say, fixing this problem was a "high priority" for her. So, she said, repeatedly, as I shifted my wallet, let my coffee go cold, and balled the little blue pillow under my neck.

"Priority! Mud room!" I audibly mumbled, just loud enough to be heard exactly one row back.

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Free as in "Me"

This unbelievably long article is related to (but not necessarily about) a discussion that I and several other people have been participating in online over the past few days. It's about (and not about) the increasingly popular practice of re-publishing someone's online work on another site without the attribution, formatting, and linking that many bloggers regard as standard, ethical, and fair.

It's admittedly a polemic (which is what people who think they're clever call, "a rambling rant"), but what may seem to many to be a childish and ungrateful pout about trivial status and self-esteem beefs turns out to be a kitchen table issue for me. Because, how people decide to reuse and attribute my work directly affects my career, my livelihood, and my ability to thrive based mostly on giving things away for free. I know. Paradoxical, right? Believe me, I know.

Anyhow. To get up to speed, please read these in order: Matt said something, Josh said something, I said something, Andy wrote this awesome post, Jason responded, then, Anil responded. For extra credit, and to get you in the mood, go back and re-listen to Gruber's and my talk from this year's SxSW.

I will wait here. Please read them all. This will take a while, and you should only continue if you're okay with that. As ever, it's kind of the whole point.

[Time passes, and then:]

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43f Podcast: John Gruber & Merlin Mann's Blogging Panel at SxSW

SxSW ’09 - Gruber & Mann - HOWTO: 149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog With Credibility! (audio mp3, free on iTunes)

My pal, John Gruber (from daringfireball.net), and I presented a talk at South by Southwest Interactive on Saturday, March 14th. We talked about building a blog you can be proud of, trying to improve the quality of your work, reaching the people you admire, and maybe even making a buck (in a way that doesn’t blow your deal). Here’s what we had to say:

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Matt Jones: "Get Excited and Make Things"

Get Excited and Make Things

Don't keep calm and carry on. by moleitau

Apart from noting that I adore Matt and want to acknowledge his inspiration for this, I have nothing to add.

This, my friends, is the thing.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »