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What’s Up with The Help Machine? June 2016 in Retrospect

What’s Up with The Help Machine?

TL;DR – This month was all about finishing up the Sitcom Writing Sprint and getting a Thigment prototype finished! Welcome to the team, F.A. Flannagan 1.5!

The first half of this month was super productive, although, I went ahead and took a week off after the 4(!) pilots got finished and sent off to the various contests that I entered. Getting those works finished was a great feeling. So was (FINALLY!) getting a new Thigment prototype finished!

  • What’s gotten done?
    • Writing Writing Writing – Sitcom PILOT SCRIPTS
      • Israel and The Big Turk
      • The Rube
      • Space Pilot Torro
      • The Ten Thousand Shadows
      • Writer’s Curriculum Vitae (CV)
      • Final Thoughts on Writing Writing Writing
    • Thigment Building
  • What’s in progress?
    • The Rings of Mikado
    • Thigment Building
  • Website Updates!
    • What’s coming up?
    • “Save it For Later” video and Indiegogo Rewards!
    • Return to YouTube!
    • Time Management – aiming for 30 hours a week
  • Anything Notable or Special Happen?
  • Important Stuff About Me That Is Important!

(more…)

03 Jul 2016
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What’s Up with The Help Machine? May 2016 in Retrospect

What’s Up with The Help Machine?

TL;DR – May was about realizing I’d spent some money the wrong way, and doing a quick pivot to some writing opportunities

This month, I shifted focus to a major writing effort (including a paid opportunity with Listen magazine) and some sitcom scripts (which are not paid, YET, but could lead to some cool things should they win a few contests). Also, I figured out what was going wrong with my workshop, and why I had made a terrible mistake in leasing space before I needed it, without addressing the core problem that made me think I needed to lease space in the first place.

I think this is a good to read for anyone interested in start-ups (and thinking about how to spot your own blindspots when planning), in addition to some thoughts on developing creative material for scripted series (i.e., TV writing).

  • What’s gotten done?
    • Thigment Building – Office Upgrade
    • Writing Writing Writing – An upcoming article for Listen magazine!
    • Writing Writing Writing – Sitcom Series Ideas and the New York TV Festival!
  • What’s in progress?
    • Writing Writing Writing – Sitcom PILOT SCRIPTS
    • Thigment Building
    • The Rings of Mikado
  • What’s coming up?
    • “Save it For Later” video and Indiegogo Rewards!
    • Return to YouTube!
    • Website Updates!

(more…)

05 Jun 2016
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If you’re calling it ‘Agile’, you don’t understand …

… and aren’t well equipped to decide if the ideas behind that simple word are right for you or your organization.

TL;DR – Principles of the Agile Software Development Manifesto and Scrum are great for people who believe collaboration is the key to success.  You may find these ideas aren’t for you, or your organization, however, once you understand what these principles really mean. Organizations and individuals who lump these concepts together as, “Agile,” probably don’t understand themselves or the principles. By educating yourself, you can decide if these ideas really are for you.

I won’t pretend that my professional experiences are universal. I believe there are universal principles found in well-articulated explanations of personal experience. Based on my work experiences, as an employee, entrepreneur and artist, I’ve come to strong conclusions about the Agile Software Development Manifesto, Scrum, and the applicability of both beyond Software.

Namely, I think that a lot of people truly don’t understand what those ideas mean, or the purpose of them, and thus end up missing some critical points about themselves and their best selves because of it. To put it simply, as an expert in organizational development and training, if you tell me, “We work Agile,” it tells me, “We don’t know what we’re talking about.

Given how ubiquitous the terminology is, and how many organizations (and people) truly believe, “We’re working Agile,” I think it’s important to understand. Without real understanding, you may be creating misery for yourself, or for the people who work for your organization, without realizing it.

It boils down to a question, which is distilled from the Agile Software Development Manifesto.

“How do we work together better to make good stuff?”

If your values don’t align with that question, if you don’t value collaboration, then these ideas aren’t for you. After you read this, hopefully, you’ll have enough of a grounding to ask the right questions of yourself and your organization to help lead you to success.

  • The Fundamental Question: Does collaboration matter to you and your organization?
  • If you call it ‘Agile’ then that tells me that you and your organization are probably smart, but don’t understand some critical points …
  • Let’s get on the same page: What IS Agile?
  • Let’s get on the same page II: What IS Scrum?
  • What you said about Agile isn’t what my company is doing: AKA, our organization may be failing at working together to make good stuff …
  • You can understand everything about the Agile Software Development Manifesto, Scrum, and still decide it’s not right for you or your organization …
  • Ya On Point about Agile?

(more…)

15 May 2016
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Ya On Point About The Help Machine’s Plan for a Better World

TL;DR – In this post, I explain why The Help Machine is making Thigment videos, the big ideas behind it, and how successful media could mean funding for other non-profits into the 22nd century.

Sometimes, people ask me to explain the approach I’m taking with The Help Machine. Essentially, a kind of product roadmap. If I was to sum it up, this the overall approach.

  • Make loveable characters that Help people
  • Build a big YouTube audience
  • Give as much money as possible with the money the company earns to causes that matter
  • If the media is successful, then the Help Machine can help people until the 22nd century with the stuff that’s created

Everything that follows is a summarized elaboration of how I came up with that approach. It’s an elaboration, because it lays out how I came to the above. It’s a summary, because each elaboration is a summary of lots of spreadsheets, documents, research, business plans, marketing plans, and more.

Read on if you want to know more!

  • Please Steal This Idea: Altruistic Media
  • Observations about Media, Non-Profits and More …
    • Non-Profits in the United States need to derive 33% of their income from donations
    • Media Franchises are some of the most profitable ventures on Earth.
    • Author Copyrights last for 70 years after the death of the author …
    • Individuals are bound by their conscience, companies are bound by their corporate charters …
    • Benefits companies build altruism into their business models
  • The Strategy …
  • Production Conditions
    • Media is a tough, strange business
    • I know how to make media, but not yet how to achieve big success …
    • YouTube is competitive, but is forgiving of iterative content. In fact, it requires it.
  • The Tactics …
  • The Market …
  • Putting it all together
  • What Did I Learn to make sure the Help Machine Stays On Point?

(more…)

02 May 2016
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What’s Up with The Help Machine? April 2016 in Retrospect

What’s Up with The Help Machine?

TL;DR – April was about getting organized, and focusing on what’s important

It’s important to let people know what you’re doing, what you can do, and what you plan to do. One of the great things about self-publishing is that the only thing stopping you from publishing is yourself. I want people to know what’s going on, what we’re doing, and if they think there’s something we can help with, to ask!

The only way to make that happen is to make it happen, and you do that by letting people know what you’re doing. Hence, this new feature!

This month the focus was on getting new designs for the puppets put together. And they’re finished! The reason this is important is because it’s the blocker to shooting the video for ‘Save it for Later’ and getting the Indiegogo rewards finished! And also for getting videos on YouTube!

  • What’s gotten done?
    • The Rings of Mikado Conceptualization
    • New Thigment Designs and Prototype Process
    • Consulting Work
  • What’s in progress?
    • Thigment Building
    • Indiegogo Rewards
    • The Rings of Mikado
    • Writing Writing Writing!
  • Anything Notable or Special Happen?

(more…)

01 May 2016
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In my dreams last night, Prince sang a duet with Karen Carpenter …

I have these weird dreams, about a parallel Earth from time to time. Things in that place are basically the same, except that for some reason, musicians always live out their natural lifespans. They die of old age there, never of drugs, or by murder, or by suicide. Whenever I see famous people on Earth-2, they look slightly different.

(more…)

22 Apr 2016
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Ya On Point About Black Girls CODE

TL;DR – When we help people, we make the world a little better. That’s an easy thing to forget, but something important to remember. I got a reminder about this a few weekends ago, thanks to Black Girls CODE and my friend Onyi.

Developer Team Trio Calling on Audience Members

One of the developer teams, doing a demo of their trivia game

Ya On Point are blog posts from The Help Machine about different business topics, related to start-up culture, learnings, and our areas of excellence and expertise.

This one is about an awesome lesson I learned watching kids learn software at a Black Girls CODE event organized by a friend.

  • What is Black Girls CODE?
  • How Did I Get Involved?
  • What Did I Learn to make sure the Help Machine Stays On Point?
  • How Can You Help?

(more…)

18 Apr 2016
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Meeting Batman and his Dad! Smacked in the face! | The AFT Show Thingy Ep P102

In this episode of the The Amazeballs Funtime Show Thingy, Kwiddle …
* Says Hello!
* Meets Batman and his Dad!
* Gets smacked in the face and talks about Regulating your Feelings
* Says Bye!

Watch it! Subscribe! Yay!

CREDITS

Featuring: Kwiddle!

Watch Live on Periscope: https://www.periscope.tv/TheHelpMachine/

Music:
Amazeballs Fun Time Show Thingy theme by Kwiddle and Bobidoo

Jookit Jookit by Walter Roland | http://funfunfunmedia.com/walter-roland-jookit-jookit-mp3/

HELP BOBIDOO AND KWIDDLE MAKE MUSIC!
Bobidoo and Kwiddle are running an Indiegogo campaign to record a cover of a really fun song, learn more about it here! http://igg.me/at/Bobidoo

More from The Help Machine!

Watch Shortles! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL80LO4CI-lhE3DYxZZkEhSWeONmAUYtYR

Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thehlpmchn?sub_confirmation=1
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22 Dec 2015
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BOBIDOO TALKS ABOUT FEAR! | Shortles Ep 113

Bobidoo talks about Fear, what it is, and why imaginary bears are nothing to be afraid of at all, ever! There’s also some light dancing, and a shout out to some of our followers!

HELP BOBIDOO AND KWIDDLE MAKE MUSIC!
Bobidoo and Kwiddle are running an Indiegogo campaign to record a cover of a really fun song, learn more about it here! http://igg.me/at/Bobidoo

CREDITS
Featuring: BOBIDOO!
Music: Ambler by Kevin MacLeod | http://www.incompetech.com

Watch more Shortles! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL80LO4CI-lhE3DYxZZkEhSWeONmAUYtYR

More from The Help Machine!
Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thehlpmchn?sub_confirmation=1
Periscope: https://www.periscope.tv/TheHelpMachine
Website: http://www.thehelpmachine.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thehelpmachine
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheHelpMac
Instagram: https://instagram.com/thehelpmachine/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/107979819976500677220/107979819976500677220/posts

19 Dec 2015
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Help us record a cover of Save It For Later!

Bobidoo wants to record a music single and make a music video, so we can learn, “Do people like to hear us sing and play music and watch us sing and play music?” So, we’re making a cover song we really like, “Save it for Later” originally recorded by The Beat in the 1980s! Our friends Effdot, Ernio and Michael are helping us, but we also need your help! Check out our Indiegogo Campaign here – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-us-record-a-cover-of-save-it-for-later/

OUR MINIMUM BUDGET!
We need to raise a minimum of $650 to cover these costs ….
* Save it for Later Mechanical Rights – this is the right to record the song, so that people can download and listen to it!
* Soundmix – this is to cover getting the song professionally mixed
* Crafts, Meals and Transportation for the Music Video – this is so we can feed the people helping us make the video
* Fees back to Indiegogo and Paypal

Effdot, Ernio and Michael agreed to help us if we can make that minimum amount. But it would be amazing if we could also pay for the time of the artists who are helping us. Artists deserve to make a living, too!

CREDITS
Featuring: Bobidoo, Kwiddle, Ernio, Aquino and Effdot!
Watch more Shortles! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL80LO4CI-lhE3DYxZZkEhSWeONmAUYtYR

More from The Help Machine!
Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thehlpmchn?sub_confirmation=1
Website: http://www.thehelpmachine.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thehelpmachine
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheHelpMac
Instagram: https://instagram.com/thehelpmachine/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/107979819976500677220/107979819976500677220/posts

14 Dec 2015
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