Steem is my hobby, my job, my passion, my obsession, my addiction, my life – tick as applicable

I spend quite a bit of time on steem.

I spend a lot of time on steem.

I spend too much time on steem?

It is worth it. I am sure.

Every day I connect. I read. I write. I connect. I talk. I learn. I improve.

I improve me. I improve my place on earth. I improve the earth just a tiny little bit. I hope.

That is all that matters. Surely.

If we leave the earth in a slightly better state than how it was when we entered is that job done? Mission accomplished?

Is that the quest for everyone?  Some succeed. Some fail.

Or do some just not care?

I am not sure I can accept that. Deep down I do believe everyone wants to do good, really.  At least at the start?

Maybe my life is too sheltered. Too cozy and cosseted. Too innocent and naive.

But I want to do good. I am sure everyone prefers to do good than to do bad if they can.

It must be better to make someone smile than to make someone cry.

Even at 5am I would like to make someone happy if I can.

So after posting this I will go send some donations from A Dollar A Day.

Then I must go back to trying to stop the floodwater that has already reached 4 inches in the kitchen.

Good night, and have a smile on me.

 

Pennsif’s Progress – Can Steem save the world?

As I mentioned in a recent post I am a utilitarian.

I have to find a use in everything I do.

Steem is no exception.

I have never been a social media person so that potential use of steem doesn’t really cut the mustard for me.

When I arrived on steem I thought I would just be writing about prepping and homesteading. And I did. And it worked. But the audience was small.

As a platform to disseminate ideas and spread the word it is very limited. The audience is just too small.

There had to be another use for steem to keep me steeming on.

Was it as a means to earn money, a secondary income steam?  Well maybe, but even after 16 months, and now earning moderately good post rewards, for the hours I put in I am earning less than a third of the national minimum wage in Britain.

So there had to be something more…

For me I have found that something with A Dollar A Day.

This has given me my purpose on steem. Through running this project and so far raising over $3000 I can help make the world in some modest way a better place.

Students are learning, children are being fed, women are learning skills, trees are being planted.

It is only small, but it is a million times bigger than nothing.

Now I want to go further. The power of steem is becoming clearer.

We have in our hands a tool that has never existed before in the history of humankind – the ability to send money anywhere, anytime, instantly and for free.

Steem is an equaliser, an amplifier, and potentially a powerful agent for change.

What more can we do with it?

How can we use it to make the world a better place?

We can provide good jobs at good rates of pay around the world like @oracle-d, we can fund projects that make lives better like @fundition, we can disseminate real news and spread the truth like @informationwar, we can clear rubbish and pollution like @cleanplanet.

I am pretty sure that most people on steem will agree. The world is far from perfect and it is a world that needs saving.

How can steem play a part in that?

 

Pennsif’s Progress – I’m one in a million & you might be too

Today I was chatting with @leotrap from Uruguay.

The subject came up of how many active steemians there are in Uruguay.

He reckoned there are about 10 – but only 4 of them really active.

Uruguay has a population of about 3.5 million.

That makes around 1 active steemian for every million population.

Uruguay is just one country. But the reason that caught my eye is that I live in Wales. The numbers are very similar.

The population of Wales is 3.1 million. And I am struggling to think of more than 2 or 3 very active steemians in Wales.

And if we jump up a notch or two, let’s take Nigeria with a population 197 million. It is only second hand info but a leading steemian in Nigeria thought there is only 100 or so active steemians there.

It depends of course on how you define ‘active steemian’, but I am guessing whatever way you cut it the figures are going to be roughly the same any time, any place, any which way.

So if you are an active steemian you are pretty special. You are part of an elite force, an advance guard, a pioneering pioneer.

This might seem scary, or worrying, or lonely, or overwhelming.

Or it might just be exciting, a privilege, a badge to wear with honour. To be out in front, breaking new ground, discovering new worlds.

That’s where I sit on this flight of fancy.

I’m still working up to my full pilot’s licence but I’ve already found some amazing things, and met some fantastic new peoples. In this wondrous new world of steem.

And the best thing…

We’ve only just stepped ashore. There are whole continents still to explore.

Buckle up, put on your Sunday best and lets go discover what comes next.

Pennsif’s Progress – It is good to be on the other side of the mic sometimes…

I love making radio shows. I love interviewing guests.

I had done neither before I came to steem.

Since I joined MSP Waves Radio, and since I started broadcasting in January I have hosted around 70 shows and interviewed well over 300 steemians.

Interviewing guests on shows has been a most excellent way to get to know people from all around the world and all around steem. I learn so much from this.

This week I was delighted to be invited to be a guest on two other shows.

On Thursday immediately after my show I hopped over to join @fracasgrimm on his Chronic and Coffee show on GreenHouseRadioOnline on the Canna-Curate Discord server. I very much enjoyed that. You can hear the interview here…

*  https://steemit.com/chronicandcoffee/@fracasgrimm/chronic-and-coffee-on-ghro-10-4-18

Then on Saturday @gregorypatrick invited me on to The Decentralized News Hour run on the Information War Discord server. Along with @nochains1 and Greg we had a great discussion ranging across many subjects including homeschooling, multilingual education and the mainstream media. Greg’s post for the show is here…

* https://steemit.com/informationwar/@gregorypatrick/the-decentralized-news-hour-ep-19-pennsif-drops-by

Or you can watch directly on YouTube…


As well doing these two interviews my Thursday show was a special one.

It was my first go at an open forum style show. Fifteen people involved in radio shows, podcasting and social broadcasting across the steem ecosystem came together to talk, exchange ideas and discuss ways to grow what we all do.

You can listen to the recording of the show here…

It was great to hear from all these people. I was inspired by the show.

This encouraged me to make this post in case I can help anyone…

I think there is a great future for social broadcasting on the steem ecosystem. With new technologies, new content creators, new show formats, and loads of new ideas coming through I am really looking forward to what comes next…

 

 

Pennsif’s Progress – One word that describes me best – Utilitarian

As a little mental exercise I was trying to think of what one word best describes me, myself and I.

A few years back I would probably have chosen the word Perfectionist.

But as time advances, and there is less of it to go round, I am going for Utilitarian.

I am not a great one for doing things that I don’t regard as having utility or purpose.

While that makes me really quite time effective in all I do, it almost certainly does shave off large slices of what many people might regard as essential elements of a fullsome life.

For example I really don’t have any particular need in my life for music. I have no ability to sing or to play any musical instrument. And I never put on any music to listen to. The only time I listen to music is when it is part of a radio show I am making.

The same for TV and films. I haven’t had a TV for years. And I haven’t been to the cinema for a long time. I watched a lot of films when I ran a community cinema for a year – but that was more community service than pleasure.

I don’t go to pubs or bars to chat and drink. I don’t hang out in Discords just to make small talk.

Before steem I never set foot in any social media unless I was doing it for a client.

I don’t buy ornaments, or art, or music, or jewellery, or makeup or fancy clothes.

Everything has to have a purpose for me.

Socialising just for the heck of it has never been my thing.

That is why I have always had a great penchant for organising events – be it festivals or feasts, committees or cinemas.

That has always been my defence for being awkward in social situations. If you are the organiser of an event you don’t have to worry about whether anyone will want to talk to you, or what to say if they do. If you are the organiser people come to you and ask you questions. Sorted!

Although this is a 4am rambling freewrite you might see where this is heading in respect to my place on steem.

I put together radio shows and interview lots of people because I find it easier than hanging out in Discords. And you have to do one or the other to get along on steem.

And it is one of the main reasons I decided against going to SteemFest. I got as far as booking the hotel.

But then I thought about it some more and role played the social scenarios in my mind.

I was going to take MSP Waves to SteemFest and broadcast my radio shows from there but no one was interested. That would have given me a little job to do there. Without that I wouldn’t have had a role to play and would inevitably find it socially very difficult.

I weighed that up with the $1500 the whole trip would cost me and i couldn’t justify it.

Inevitably, and perhaps (or perhaps not) unfortunately doing A Dollar A Day every day I see the opportunity cost of money in a very different light to what I did a year ago.

Should I spend $1500 on just a few days of travelling, eating, drinking, talking, socialising and all that stuff. Or would that be better spent on feeding people in Venezuela, or educating youngsters in the Philippines, or training impoverished women in Bangladesh or saving forests in Cameroon…

I cannot now with true conscious tip that scale in favour of five cold, expensive, wild partying days in Poland.

But I do not begrudge others the experience. I am sure most will find much greater utility than I possibly could in being there.

I am sure it will be awesome, because everything always is on steem. 

Pennsif’s Progress – What comes next? Six decisions made

With big life changes come big life decisions.

The departure of our two eldest children off to start university today made us stop and think.

Although we still have one younger ray of sunshine here with us for another couple of years, we know our autumn has now begun.

Driving 500 miles over the weekend to deliver our two offspring to their new destinations gave us time to think a lot, to talk a lot and to plan a lot.

That interview classic is quite pertinent … “Where do you want to be in 5 years time?”

Alive would be a good start, alive and in at least moderate good health would be even better.

In five years our youngest will have just passed through university, and the elder two will be graduated and making their way in the world.

I will be 63 and my wife a bit younger.

Running our own business we live with uncertainty. And we have done so now for almost 25 years.

And my Second Life in steem is no more certain. In reality even more so.

So from our 500 miles of driving and thinking we reached some conclusions.

  • We must look ahead.
  • We must forms plans.
  • We must make changes.
  • We must take decisions.

Reduce and become mobile

Currently we are tied.

Tied to animals. Tied to the homestead. Tied to a business. Tied to steem.

All this gets us into knots of liability and immobility.

So decisions are being made…

Decision No. 1 – Animals

All the animals have to go.

Being over six years old the cockerel exited stage left today. The others will follow shortly.

No eggs makes the vegan easier.

Decision No.2 – Minimalising & Optimising

We are getting rid of lots of things, and optimising what remains.

We may sell some of it. But giving away is more fun. If you want anything just let me know.

Decision No.3 – Car out, Car in

The old petrol car is going. An electric car is coming.

We want to turn over a new Leaf with greener and cheaper mobility.

Desicion No. 4 – Business … cut & trust

Business changes. A story for another place.

Decision No. 5 – Homestead for sale

We are selling the homestead. That makes me sad. I had thought I would die here. Hopefully now I won’t.

Decision No.6 – Steem…

Steem. That comes next.

Pennsif’s Progress – As Steve said, “Do one thing well”

Do not try to do everything. Do one thing well. - Steve Jobs

We have spent the last couple of days moving two of our daughters to start at their new universities.

These are big days. These are important life points. These are times that are a-changing.

Long drivings mean long thinkings.

Right now I am sure I have so many pies, in so many ovens, with so many fingers in them, that none of them are tasting quite as good as they might.

And I am in danger of falling asleep at the wheel.

I cannot do everything that I would like to on steem. I need to focus. I need to do one thing well.

Or at least cut down a bit.

I know what makes the most difference – that is my work with A Dollar A Day.

I know what makes the least.

So I will no longer be broadcasting The Alternative Lifestyle Show on Fridays.

I will pick up the best bits of that and merge them into my longer and stronger Thursday show that currently runs with the moniker of Here Comes The News. But that might change.

With all the guests I have on my radio shows they take many, many hours to organise and put together.

So dropping one will free me a good chunk of time to concentrate more on A Dollar A Day. That can only be for the better.

Thank you everyone that has been part of The Alternative Lifestyle Show – both listeners and guests.

Since the show started in January I have had well over a hundred great guests on the show, who have given some extremely interesting interviews. I will miss you all. But not too far. Just move back one day and you can be on the Thursday show.

Thank you and good night.

[ Steve Jobs image and quote from https://www.azquotes.com/quote/1398468 ]

Pennsif’s Progress – Selling Up and Moving On (it’s not quite what you think)

The next couple of years are going to see major changes for my wife and I and our family.

I will turn 60, my business will have been going for over 25 years, and all three of our children will be passing through university and on their way to the big wide world.

We will be left be with 17 acres of homestead, 11,000 trees of all shapes and sizes, half a dozen chickens and one naughty little dog.

I love our land and I love our trees. And I have for the longest time assumed this would be my final resting place.

But what we have is a liability. It is difficult to get away when you have animals and land. And there is always something to fix.

And with the health of both of us deteriorating the physical endeavours of managing the homestead will become ever more challenging.

So we are beginning to consider alternatives.

I would love to keep this homestead for ever. But the realities are becoming different.

The costs of running the place, with local property tax, insurance, oil, electricity, maintenance etc etc are fast approaching $1000 a month. It is unlikely any of our children will want to live here. And the limitations it places on us are growing.

For the past 20+ years my focus has been on family, business and house. Holidays and travel have been very, very sparse.

Which has been sad. In my younger years I was a keen traveller spending many months hopping around the world.

But there is still much of it to see. Now time and health are running out.

Maybe it will soon be time to weigh anchor, don a pair of wings and fly.

I would like to think we could have our cake and eat it, but the likelihood is that we would have to sell the homestead to fund the travels and free up future financial liabilities from inheritance tax or asset seizure to pay care bills.

Maybe we sell, divide off a suitable chunk to put in to trust for our children and then stuff our pockets with the leftovers and take to the road, or the seas.

My daydreams are currently mulling over two story lines.

In one we buy an RV, sell most of our possessions, give away the rest and hit the road to nowhere and everywhere.

I have never driven an RV but if I can still manage it I would love to have a go. Maybe it could become a tour of all the steemians in Britain (and maybe even Europe). That could be fun and a half.

On the other side of my daydream record we take to the seas and just go cruising.

I really, really want to try a cruise. The prospect of living in a posh ship, with all meals provided and no washing up, and visiting new places every day or so really grabs me big time.

And I read a story recently about an elderly woman who lives on the sea, just hopping from one cruise to the next. By looking for  deals and being a regular cruise goer she found it cheaper than living than living on dry land.

The financial equation does look tempting. If you find the best deals on long term cruises (3 months+) the daily cost for a couple would down around the $100 mark – and that includes all meals and utilities. And not a scrap of housework to do.

Tempting, tempting, tempting.

Oh I wonder. If steem went up a few notches on the money stick could we earn that $100 a day from steem?

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Might this be a Mary Poppins moment? Could the steem cruising dream be real…

Pennsif’s Progress – Finding my creed – Truth, Justice, Equality

Today I was looking at the website of one of our web hosting suppliers.

They offered up a page saying what their ‘Creed’ is.

I thought this to be an interesting use of the word in a business context. I would have generally only thought of using that word in a personal or religious context.

But it made me think – what is my creed?

Before I try to define my creed I think best to take a quick rain-check to ensure I am not about to use creed in the wrong context.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary gives this :

Definition of creed

1 : a brief authoritative formula of religious belief

2 : a set of fundamental beliefs; also : a guiding principle

The second of these works perfectly.


So what is my creed ?

I have most certainly evolved during my 14 months on steem.

Steem presents at my fingertips the means to do good things. By doing good things I hope I can become better.

I do not think I was a bad person before steem. But I was contained in a micro world with only short distance vision and no panoramas of the world to inspire and drive me.

Now I have steem-powered vision and the whole world is coming in to view.

You might have come across a most ingenious new location system called ‘What 3 Words‘. With just 3 random words any 3m x 3m square on the planet can be defined precisely.

Taking that as a lead can I use just three words to identify my creed, my mission, my place on earth.

Here is my first stab at this but I am going for…   Truth – Justice – Equality.

Truth

I am always a seeker. I don’t believe what they tell me. I won’t to check for myself.

I want to turn over rocks, dig deep, and find the nuggets of truth that sometimes people want to bury away.

I love researching. I love getting the facts straight. I love making the point that needs to be made.

Now this is manifesting itself with my news show – Here Comes The News.

I want to find the news that others aren’t telling. I want to hear first hand from those involved and those affected.

The steem blockchain is a great place to start.

Justice

I’ve always been a supporter of the underdog.

For many years I was an environmental campaigner, doing battles to right the wrongs being done to the planet.

More often than not I would find myself on the weaker side, the underside, the downtrodden and kicked in the teeth side.

That usually meant I was on the right side.

There is still some good fight left in me. I’m just looking for what battles to pitch in with.

Equality

This is the one of the three that is perhaps hardest for me to stake my claim on.

I certainly always have equality in my sights when I am seeking the truth or fighting for justice. But I am not always sure I hit the mark.

This is my work in progress.

I must learn how to make sure I get the equality right every time.

All people. All equal. All of the time.


So that’s me. That’s my creed. In just three words.

What’s yours?

Pennsif’s Progress #563 – Don’t blame the media, become the media

In 1995 I set up one of the first online community networks in Britain.

The network grew quickly. 

To begin with it had what’s on listings, articles about local history, lists of local facilities like doctors and pharmacies and the like. I added a guestbook. And then I added the first service in Britain for finding old schoolfriends. The network grew even faster and started to attract an audience of ex-pats from around the world as well.

Results from local football games, and other sports reports were added. We started dabbling in match reports from main football team in the city.

The network grew even more.

By 1996/97 there was a growing number of these local community networks around the country. A meeting was called at Sheffield University for organisers, coordinators and editors of these networks.

I went. One lecture changed everything.The topic of local news was discussed. Real news had seemed too difficult for my network – you needed real journalists and all that jazz. That was best left to the professionals – the newspapers, the radio, the TV. They had real journalists who knew the law and wouldn’t get sued. They must be doing it right. Trust them, they are journalists

But the speaker at the conference had other ideas. He talked about ‘citizen journalists‘. That sounded interesting. I fancied being one of them.

“Don’t the media. Become the media.” he said. 

He knew what the community networks had at hand. With the web, with the internet, with our local online networks we had something very powerful.

We could make the news. We could become citizen journalists. We could become media. All by ourselves.

And so it came to pass. I became a chief editor. We got lucky and got European money. We contracted a real newspaper editor to train us. We employed real journalists as well. We built up a team. We went to courts and councils. We wrote the news. Lots of it. We became the primary online media for a whole chunk of the Midlands.

The traditional media didn’t like it. One little bit. They banned their journalists from reporting on us or even mentioning us.

We tricked them and got round the ban. Then we employed their journalists. They got more annoyed. They tried to buy us.

I declined.

Then social media came along. People started to look in other places. I moved to another place 200 miles away.

My little network grew to have a third of a million visitors at its peak. By then my focus was shifting elsewhere.

Wasn’t that just fun while it lasted. We were pioneers. We met Prince Charles. We arranged marriages. We got on page 3 of the Sun. That was fun too.

I learnt a lot. I learnt to be a journalist. I learnt to write news. I learnt to make news.

I learnt not to take no for an answer. I learnt to make our own stories. To set our own agenda.

I learnt to be the media.

And now I am back here again. In the same place, but in a different space. The crypto space.

The ‘real news’ is fake news. It is dumb news. It is daft news. And for the most part it is absolutely irrelevant news.

With the blockchain we can make the news ourselves. We can be the media again.

Here Comes The News. Tune in to my new news show on Thursdays, 8pm – 11pm UTC, MSP Waves Radio.

 

 

 

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