Archive for August, 2008


Sorkin Facebook

Aaron Sorkin really has the right idea. He is able to break down the wall between the audience and the author is a paragraph. He is a genius.

Welcome. I’m Aaron Sorkin. I understand there are a few other people using Facebook pages under my name–which I find more flattering than creepy–but this is me. I don’t know how I can prove that but feel free to test me.

I’ve just agreed to write a movie for Sony and producer Scott Rudin about how Facebook was invented. I figured a good first step in my preparation would be finding out what Facebook is, so I’ve started this page. (Actually it was started by my researcher, Ian Reichbach, because my grandmother has more Internet savvy than I do and she’s been dead for 33 years.)

Some of you might be familiar with some things I’ve written. I’m the author of two Broadway plays–A Few Good Men and The Farnsworth Invention, five feature films–A Few Good Men, The American President, Malice, Charlie Wilson’s War and The Trial of the Chicago 7 which is in pre-production, and three television series–Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and the first four seasons of The West Wing.

I honestly don’t know how this works, which is why I’m here. If anyone has any questions I’d be happy to answer them as best I can. If anyone has any comments I’m glad to listen. And if anyone has any Facebook stories I think they might be helpful.

That’s all. I’ll try to get better at this as I get more practice.


* I feel about this introduction the way I felt about Sophie’s Choice–It could have been funnier.

Dan Dubelman wrote
at 10:53am
You possess an innate understanding of how to use this medium. You have already created an alternate reality with a trusted voice. This is not surprising at all. Good job!


Hiram Bullock

I just heard Hiram passed away. I’ve seen him live in many jazz clubs in NYC jamming with Jaco and Kenwood Dennard. Jerry Jemmott, my good friend and legendary bass player, also played me tapes of jams he did with Hiram and Kenwood which were like nothing I’ve ever heard. Beautiful playing, combining jazz, rock and funk in the most natural way that really touched me in a way that fusion or Zappa music fails for me.

Hiram on Night Music featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan on Sailing Shoes

Hiram Solo back in the day

Hiram with Dizzy Gillespie

Hiram Bullock with Pharoah Sanders

More Hiram and Stevie Ray Vaughan

08 in Inc Magazine

Nitasha Tiku wrote a great piece for Inc Magazine regarding the fact that a slower economy means your invoices will get paid more slowly. Anyway, the article goes on to mention, a site this not so humble blogger produced(!), as an industry resource:

Money Matters

Getting paid on time in a tough economy

By: Nitasha Tiku
Published September 2008

If you have been losing sleep over cash-flow issues lately, you are in good company. The economy has slowed, and so have the checks from customers. But although the money may not be coming in as quickly as before, the bills definitely are. You don’t have to sit and wait, however, while all your cash drains away. These five companies have found creative ways to get customers to pay on time — and weed out the ones who won’t.

Choose your customers more carefully

Pauline and Thomas Nakios, the husband-and-wife owners of New York City — based women’s apparel company Lilla P, used to be rather trusting. Once, they accepted a $2,000 check written on an account that turned out to be closed. Sometimes, they allowed first-time customers to pay on delivery, without even doing a credit check.

Three years ago, the company decided to get serious about due diligence. Lilla P hired Bernard Sands, a credit-rating agency that has deep data on the retail industry. Bernard Sands charges Lilla P $2,000 a year for about 200 credit checks, a small price to pay for avoiding deadbeat customers. And Pauline and Thomas have started doing their own research. They reach out to other designers, and they check the insider website, where clothing designers go to complain about their customers. If a boutique has a few negative comments on the site, and Bernard Sands is wary, Lilla P demands payment in advance. And if the customer balks, Pauline and Thomas don’t hesitate to reject the order. In the past four years, says Thomas, business has grown sevenfold, to $6 million in sales. But the number of accounts it sends to collections has remained the same — fewer than a dozen a year.


Music 2.0

Through social networking I was lucky enough to connect with the very talented Albert Cohen. Check him out at Anyway, we began to compare ideas in regard to creative issues but it lead us into the business issues associated with producing your own projects. Albert wrote:

Being that I am funding everything and could not possibly afford to bring back all my guys this is surely the best I could do for now. But my goal is to put together the best production I can and if it sells and if they want me to rerecord I will….on their dime ;-). I have spent every free cent I have working on this album.

This got me thinking:

The most important questions to ask yourself about any project BEFORE you start is:

What is the definition of success for me?
What is the definition of failure?

You said your goal is, “to put together the best production I can and if it sells it does and if they want me to rerecord I will….on their dime.”

Your goal is needs to be something measurable such as X number of units, Y dollars, Q amount of radio play, Z amount of touring and merch business. Also, you need to cap the possible losses. Such as if I spend X dollars in Y amount of time, I need to cut off the funds and move on. You also need a success plan, of course, where you outline what course of action you will take if sales exceed expectations (that’s the fun part).

The idea that folks who just met can share ideas with good intentions is something I believe is inherent in internet culture. In the next 18- 24 months I predict we will see the dramatic influence social media has just begun to have on mainstream culture. These days people meet there spouses everyday online. A few years ago that was a joke. I remember laughing at a couple that met online. Now they laugh at me, and I happily wear the fool’s hat on that one.

Maybe we’ll start to see virtual communities with more personality, like areas of a utopian city. This impulse to spent time online is fueled by escapism, where you can get so immersed in alternate reality games that you feel more alive there than in your “real life.” However, the final joke of the ARG game within the ARG is that, War Games-like, it’s not a game. Alternate realities are valid realities, in fact.

I predict neighborhoods will pop up online. People will communicate, collaborate, and culture will thrive. Wouldn’t it be cool if music 2.0 meant there were “mom and pop” websites you could visit to hear the best new talent? Then you could watch slideshows of underground fine artists while the banner ads were for local theater and music events in your area for that night.


Twitter Hitler

Try saying Hitler Twitter ten times fast.

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more about "Twitter Hitler", posted with vodpod



This is a song about letting go. This is for my father and all the girls I loved before.


Jerry Garcia Alt Country 1970

Jerry Garcia was too busy helping create alt country to give it a name.


Janis, Danko and Jerry

They are on the train for sure!

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August 2008