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David Ryan

David Ryan is a boat builder and USCG licensed master captain. He is the owner of Sailing Montauk and skipper of Montauk''s charter sailing catamaran MON TIKI You can follow him on Twitter @CaptDavidRyan

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    Reading a bit about what other outlets pay for their content has made me rather pleased with the rates we offer at Cato Unbound. Let’s just say it’s way better than writing for the Atlantic.

    Indeed, we’ve only once been turned down because the pay was too low. He was a multiple New York Times bestselling author, and he informed me that he had set a minimum of $3 per word on everything he wrote.

    We pay a rate that no freelancer would mind accepting. But it’s not that generous.

    Anyway, yes. I’m aware that our business model isn’t sustainable. We’re journalism-as-philanthropy, not journalism-as-business. Shrug. What can ya do?Report

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    I just want to note that I hate SxSW. Granted, I’ve spent the last two evenings going to shows, free ones, but man, I hate SxSW. It’s become so large, and so absurdly corporate sponsored, that it seems inevitable that it will collapse in on itself, except people are making so much money on it that they have no incentive not to keep building it into something too big to be interesting, much less fun.

    Also, if you want to see how SxSW treats musicians (and their fans, really), check out the Flight of the Conchords documentary, “A Texas Odyssey,” on YouTube. Would you like to play in a tiny little venue with a sound system from the 1920s that probably never actually worked? Does your band like playing in a tent with another band playing in another tent 10 feet away so that they drown each other out? Then SxSW is the festival for you!Report

    • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Chris says:

      In fairness, a lot of the “sponsorships” are pretty empty in terms of actual resources being given. And interactive is a lot more interesting than the actual music festival these days. EDU is supposed to be making some interesting things, too.

      …on the whole, though, too much of it depends on free labor.Report

      • Avatar David Ryan in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

        The phenomenon of sponsorship logo placement that is really nothing more than a way to make the event appear more legitimate is an interesting facet of the whole scene, and what comes to mind is “cargo culting”.

        From 2004-2007, as our efforts grew more and more fruitful, I kept thinking at some point a door would open and I’d see the “real” indie film scene, the one where people were actually making more money that we were already making with our own (totally independent) efforts. As the films grew more and more successful, we got “distribution offers” from companies that were more and more legitimate, but not one of them actually would have paid us more money than we were already making ourselves. (And not by a little, by a lot)

        Finally in 2009,when the big winner at Sundance, audience award and judges award was offered a “distibution deal” of $55,000 against production costs of $125,000 I realize there was no there there. The indie thing was a house of card, and the cards were made out of people’s ego-fever dreams.Report

    • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Chris says:


      Turns out SXSW is the high crime tide in Austin.

      Of course since it’s mostly white, 30somethings, it doesn’t get headlines in the same way Texas Relays does.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

        Before I was able to see that full comment, I was just going to say, the crime may reach its peak during SxSW, but the panic, to the point of closing clubs and even a whole mall, is oddly delayed until the Relays come a few weeks later. I guess it takes a little while for the true horror of SxSW to sink in, eh?

        The way the city and its businesses have handled Relays in the past has been a true disgrace. Meanwhile, the city has its lips firmly planted on SxSW’s ass nonstop for 10 days.Report

        • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

          Also, Ryan et al. should note that you can’t post about SxSW, particularly during SxSW, while Austinites are in the area and not have them (us) start complaining relfexively.

          And I have a music wristband (the SxSW equivalent of a ticket in steerage).Report

          • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Chris says:

            So much of SXSW is a status issue these days, with the 50 different varieties of badges and wristbands. You need this color to get into this event, but you can’t get into that one, etc. etc.

            The stuff that grows up around SXSW is more tolerable, but even then…meh.

            It’s also the time of year where you can get free sweet tea vodka, but god help you if you want something nonalcoholic.Report

  3. Avatar Jim Heffman says:

    But all that business stuff is such a *drag*, man! Can’t I just, like, make movies and stuff? How come I gotta be an accountant too?Report

  4. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    SxSW. It’s a dessert topping. It’s a floor wax. It’s a festival. It’s a trade show. About the time the Corporate Sponsors arrive, the proverbial shark hath verily been jumped and coolness hath fled away, her skirts hiked up around her.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to BlaiseP says:

      Remember COMDEX? Good times. Until they weren’t any more.

      Technology conferences over time are the long tail in action. Once everybody is going, the people that you really want to see are outweighed by people who don’t need to be there.

      GENCON is still fun, I’m given to understand. SXSW is still fun for the right crowd, but the marginal utility is decreasing every year.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to BlaiseP says:

      It’s the keys you type with your left ring finger.Report

  5. Avatar Jennifer says:

    “Does helping SXSW (or any other business for that matter) get ahead help my business get ahead?” I need to write this down in a prominent place – like on my wrist or my forehead or something.

    A chum recently reminded me that once you give something away for free, it’s nearly impossible to then turn around and expect to be paid for that same presentation/service a year later.

    P.S. That Dire Straits video – they were ahead of their time. The video looks like a MineCraft game!Report

  6. Avatar zic says:

    I want my
    I want my
    I want my
    stuff for free
    I want my
    I want my
    I want my
    Stuff for free

  7. Avatar Damon says:

    I was reading this and all I could think of was what you finally got to in the end..

    ““Does helping SXSW (or any other business for that matter) get ahead help my business get ahead?””

    That’s the question that needs to be asked by each and everyone. Folks will answer that different ways, but YOU gotta get something for it someway. I’m curious to ask the group, though, this is a new thought? I’d had though an artist would be keenly aware of this issue and would have already given it some thought–like when they first started out….Report