43 Folders

Back to Work

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

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

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

Merlin's blog

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:]

read more »

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:

read more »

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.

Kutiman, Big Media, and the Future of Creative Entrepreneurship

So amazing, so illegal. What are we going to do with you, future?

That's my pal, Jonathan Coulton, remarking on the disruptively talented Kutiman, who has made an astounding series of YouTube video remixes that's lighting up the web and (one imagines) generating a lot of wood amongst our nation's libidinous entertainment litigators.

Here's Kutiman's "The Mother of All Funk Chords" (link includes credits for each video):

read more »

43f Podcast: Gangs, Constraints, and Courageous Blocks

iTunes: "Gangs, Constraints, and Courageous Blocks"

Learn how ganging and constraints can help you create the blocks of time you need to devote 100% of your attention to making your best work. (10:32)

read more »

Celtx: Powerful Free App for Script Writing, Pre-Production, and Collaboration

celtx - Integrated Media Pre-Production

QPR - CryingStore - "Cold Tulips" by merlinmann (Celtx - Project Central)

I've recently returned to using the Open Source (MPL-based CePL license) Celtx app for all the script-ish stuff I write. But it does a lot more than just collect and format drafts (which, unlike a text file or MS Word, Celtx does in a way that lets you focus solely on writing, rather than fiddly formatting). It's also an amazingly flexible and robust app for managing all the pre-production materials for screenplays, comics, audio plays, or what have you. And, again: it's totally free.

read more »



An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


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. »