What Well Over 10 Years Of Blogging & Consulting Have Taught Me

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you lived and lived well.”  That provides strong principles and values, a useful framework, to live by but is it a useful definition of purpose?  I offer a simpler take:

The purpose of life is to find your true purpose.

This article will explore my journey, not for the sake of mere self-indulgence but for the purpose of helping you on your own journey and perhaps getting to know each other better.  I hope that, by the end, you’ll realize just how valuable and accomplished you are.  If you’re at a crossroads in life, this may be the article for you.  If you have any thoughts to share, please don’t be shy.  This one will be quite the journey!

This epic collection of stories and scattered thoughts will cover a lot of things, including, but not limited to:

  • How writing can be a tool of self-discovery and self-improvement
  • What I’ve learned through running Y3B as a vehicle for consulting
  • Going beyond establishing expertise and credibility
  • Toxicity and the dangerous brand of knowledge (i.e. bad advice)
  • Why culture/personality fit trumps technical knowledge and experience

Tomorrow, on April 6th 2017, Y3B turns 11 years old and it will mark an over 20-year journey.  While I’ve dabbled in just about everything and worn many hats, writing and technology have always been passions.  The challenge is translating those passions that into what Mark Schaefer calls sustainable interests, a concept that I have long taught and believed in before the book “Known” was published.  That said, you really should read “Known” and check out the discussion groups on it.


I believe blogging is still one of the most powerful tools for those wishing to be known.  On a greater scale, if you wish to establish credibility and visibility, the written word is still one of the most compelling ways to do so.  Writing forces you to really think through your ideas in a way you may not do on a podcast and certainly not video, where you may be more preoccupied with production quality instead of the relevant, uniqueness, and importance of your message/stories.  Writing is easily the most powerful form of communication and it is something everyone should strive to improve upon, if for no other reason than to structure your ideas and self-identity better.


I’m Not A Blogger, This Is Not A Blog

When folks have asked me over the last few years what it is that I do, I never answer with blogging.  It’s not my focus or core competency.  I believe that calling yourself a blogger diminishes the value of what you do; furthermore, your blog should be a catalyst for bigger things.  The term “blogger” has become synonymous with hobby or passion, not profession or purpose.  That’s fine if your blog is truly a labor of love but, if it can be so much more, why wouldn’t you develop it as such?

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On Being a Nielsen Family

Ever wondered what being a Nielsen household is like? In this 2008 article, Linda the red-headed blogger shares her experience. From what we’ve gathered about the Nielsen experience, many participants felt that TV viewing became a chore, even with the People Meter device installed. After all, many of us watch our shows days, if not, weeks later or in binge sessions once they’re available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, etc.  If you get to the People Meter stage, you’ll be surveyed and contacted often, which you’ll either find really intrusive or just thorough.

So what *IS* Nielsen Research?

They’re the company that collects data on viewing habits to inform networks and advertisers about their opportunities. They spend millions, if not billions, collecting this data but we’re sure they make that back tenfold, as marketers desperately seek the elusive insights that will help them reach more consumers.

With that in mind, some say that Nielsen is becoming less and less relevant. In 2014, the otherwise quiet company (at least as far as consumers are concerned) made a major announcement. They plan to triple, if not quadruple, the install base of People Meter devices. Currently, they sample the data of around 40,000 households, each representing their local markets. The sample data may not seem significant but, when you consider that they target specific markets and demographics, it makes sense that they’d use smaller segments to represent the wholes.

If you got something from Nielsen Research, don’t ignore it..  You’re part of an exclusive club of awesome people!

The process starts with your household receiving a basic questionnaire. They’ll ask you about your work schedule, typical viewing week, working television sets (including monitors), and household size. Larger households who collectively view over 20 hours a week of TV usually have an advantage, with TV show viewings being particularly important for data collection purposes.

My issue with the viewing diaries and other early steps is that the questions seem silly, intrusive, and redundant at times. Is my TV on or off? Why does it really matter? For these early stages, they should just capture the basic information to encourage folks to participate more. Also, let’s be honest: who is actively keeping a diary while watching TV, outside of the folks actively writing, podcasting, or covering TV in some way? It’s a bit much to ask of people without some real value for value exchange beyond the lofty “you could save your favorite TV show!”

As folks move more towards the commercial-free on-demand platforms, it seems Nielsen has no place but the reality is that they could shape how TV is viewed. It is my firm belief that, if they up the perks of being a Nielsen family, participating households will be more inclined to watch TV in the “old school” manner: as TV shows and movies are premiered. That said, it may be prudent for Nielsen to expand their scope to a week or two as they still rely heavily on DVR+1 numbers (the day shows premier plus DVR viewings the day after), which does not align with how most folks are consuming TV content these days. I reckon many people getting the few crisp dollar bills in the mail don’t even bother with the diaries or barely fill them out because it’s a huge pain in the butt. Why isn’t there an online submission form? The diaries should be worksheets to help easily jot down and structure the info.

Many of us in the Geeky Antics Network Global (GANG) community are involved in content creation, marketing, and the many facets of entertainment so we see Nielsen as a very important player in media as whole. As much as we say we don’t need cable, satellite, or maybe even TV as a whole, imagine a world without these content providers. It is my personal hope that Nielsen can help create a more competitive and balanced landscape for content consumers and providers alike.

Imagine if there were scaling incentives based upon the diversity and amount of TV you view as a Nielsen household. Perhaps folks would start scheduling their lives around the TV sets again like we saw before the Internet became huge in the late 90s and beyond. Of course, this could be a slipper slope for consumers. There’s a lot of quality television, with fantastic shows airing at the same time. On network television alone, there are usually four awesome shows airing at the same time on prime time.

20+ hours of weekly TV viewing.  Who has that sort of free time??  It’s no wonder a majority of TV viewing happens in binge/marathon sessions these days!

Let’s look briefly at the Fall 2016 TV schedule and the shows coming up: The Walking Dead, Lucifer, Van Helsing, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow, Frequency, Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD, Designated Survivor, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Lethal Weapon, Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, Timeless, The Voice, Jane The Virgin, Son Of Zorn, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, Once Upon A Time, NCIS, Quantico, Bull, NCIS: New Orleans, Modern Family, Black-Ish, Empire, Law & Order: SVU, Blindspot, MacGyver, The Exorcist, Blue Bloods, The Vampire Diaries, Hawaii Five-O… Then you got the midseason shows like Grimm, Prison Break, Bones, 24: Legacy, The 100… HOLY HANNAH! That’s a lot of TV and, right there, you’re talking about a weekly commitment of over 20 hours. YIKES! There’s a lot of quality there, too, so I can see why former Nielsen families can find it to be daunting. Once you’ve been selected, you feel like you HAVE to watch more TV… because you kind of do.

BTW, The Exorcist is probably the biggest surprise this Fall TV season.  It’s a shame it’s a Fox show, which means it’ll probably be canceled.  This show is really, REALLY good..  So long as the gore and religious themes do not turn you off.

I’m a marketer and content creator myself (in case you haven’t noticed) so I’ve always found Nielsen Research to be a fascinating company. Now that I’ve met folks that have been involved in the process or have been long-time participants, it’s got me thinking about it all even more. I wonder about the future of media and entertainment. As much as I love digital, I think we are a bit spoiled and perhaps there is urgency here for us to change our viewing habits and watch TV responsibly. Gosh, that does sound like work but, really, TV is still a great way to disconnect and unwind. For many of us, it’s one of the few opportunities we get during our busy work schedules to connect with friends and family. To that end, I feel that Nielsen serves a vital role in re-uniting families and bringing them back to the living room.

Now, I know that a lot of personal development says you shouldn’t watch much TV, if at all, because it’s a time sink. It’s true. For a few years, my TV was down to under five hours a week. Now, I’ve been sucked in. What I’ve lost in productivity I’ve regained in friendships and conversation starters. There’s value in that. Heck, there is inherent value in the relaxation and creative prompts that TV content provides us. I get some of my best ideas while watching TV shows and, unlike reading a book (which is very important BTW), I can multitask a bit and still enjoy the content.

TV is not the problem.  It’s time management and knowing how to balance it all out.  If you don’t watch TV ever, my guess is that you’re not a very creative person..  And you’re probably a bore at social gatherings..  Sorry.

Perhaps I’m over-thinking it all and, somehow, this behind-the-scenes article on Nielsen Research has turned into an advocacy piece for prolific TV viewing? *shrug* All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t feel dirty for watching TV. We all need an outlet, after all. If you have been contacted by Nielsen, congrats – you are one of the maybe 10% of households that has been considered. The process is involved but it is well worth it. Dare I say: you are doing a great service for your country. Okay, that may be a bit much but it is important. Good luck and happy TV viewing – don’t forget to come up for air!

If you’re interested in some more specifics about the direction of Nielsen Media Research and the sample size of their data, check out this post – http://tvline.com/2014/05/29/tv-ratings-nielsen-to-increase-sample-size/

Crone and Bear It

Today is the day. The nice folks from the Nielsen company are coming out to disconnect all their equipment. Now that our commitment is over I can tell you that we have been a Nielsen family for the last two years. This is the second time we have been a part of the Nielsel Ratings system and it’s kind of a hoot knowing that what you watch on tv influences the ratings at least somewhat. One of our technicians told us we represented 60,000 households. Wow, that’s alot of folks channel surfing.

The last time we were randomly chosen to do this, the way Nielsen monitored your tv watching was a bit different. We had to keep a manual paper log of everything we were watching. That was a real pain, especially since at that time we watched alot of tv. Every time I turned around I was marking something…

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ReElise: A retro, Hip Hop, Christian RPG

Stan Faryna speaks about ReElise (the indiegame not the film festival) and the message of hope that’s delivered in both the game’s story and the journey Justin Fox has embarked upon.

We at the GeekyAntics Network have helped take many #funding intiatives from zero to hero. The challenge with crowdfunding on Kickstarter is that you have to identify the audience and need that exists today before you can build up a new movement or push for high-concept projects.

There are many things we’ve learned in our support for this project and others like it. Specifically, the #Christianvideogame space is quite barren. If you do a search, most of the results are unrelated, negative, or unremarkable.

What this tells us is that this is truly a ground level opportunity. That’s exciting! We have an underdog story in the making but that also means this is the phase where things will be the hardest. One thing I urge content creators, small business owners, and entrepreneurs about is this: don’t let negativity stop you.

The more pushback you get, the more people doubt what you’re doing, the more audiences don’t click with your idea.. That’s all good because, if it’s plain to see, the opportunity isn’t really there. The “trick” to marketing is bridging that gap between your vision and the actual need; that is, adjusting your messaging so that it clicks with people without compromising what makes it unique.

Being at the ground level and on the cusp of something bigger than ourselves is scary. It’s easy to jump on an existing trend or pop culture. Innovation is scary, which may explain why there is so much metoo-ism in the world.

I commend Justin Fox and folks like him for paving the way for the few, the brave, the truly inspired! Here’s a black game developer who is breaking barriers on so many levels. You rarely hear about Christian video games that aren’t hack jobs or edutainment titles. Heck, you rarely see any minority representation in the gaming industry PERIOD.. And that’s got to change.

Who will join us in taking small steps towards big things (i.e. the tipping point)?

Who will join us in creating a legacy?

Who will join us in this movement that will bring more love and courage to the underdogs: small businesses, growing brands, and solopreneurs?

Please comment with your thoughts and be blessed!

The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna

ReElise: A retro, Hip Hop, Christian RPG Game

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

12 hours and counting.

The clock is ticking for Justin Fox’s Kickstarter campaign. The backing is no where near the funding goal for this game. For more than a week, Yomar Lopez has been working hard to rustle up some love across the internets for Justin’s campaign. But Yomar’s not getting the feels – especially from the Christian crowd. Yomar asks with not a little frustration and confusion: “What’s up with that?!!”

Justin’s Kickstarter campaign is more than a dream. It’s a prophetic vision. He even quit his day job – not to mention he’s been working on ReElise for more than a few years. The hand-illustration work has been (and is) challenging to say the least. With 12 hours left on the Kickstarter campaign and many tens of thousands of dollars short of the…

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@_ReElise #IndieGame @Kickstarter Project Blends #Anime, #HipHop, #Christianity & Hope – SUPER DOPE!

Most Kickstarter and video game projects suffer from metoo-ism so, when someone decides to make something ground-breaking, unique, and absolutely breathtaking, we really should pay attention.

Even if you’re not a gamer, what do you think about leading with religion or passion in projects? Is it worth the risk or should you play it safe?

Please discuss in the comments. Also, be sure to check out the ReElise Kickstarter project. It’s pretty darn amazing.. And innovated – TRULY!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Pass ONLINE (An NoF Portal)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have caught some of the buzz about one of the most ambitious Kickstarter indie game projects this year: ReElise (pronounced “release”).  This game is nothing short of SUPER DOPE.  But don’t take our word for it..  Peep our gameplay video and YouTube exclusive SNEAK PEEK:

This game is high-concept yet super fun to play.  It combines…

  • Moving hip-hop beats and original OST
  • Old-school/retro turn-based JRPG game mechanics
  • Deep combat system and phat loot
  • Emotional story with tons of feels
  • Dynamic characters that aren’t made out of cardboard
  • Christian themes and practical life advice, hope, and inspiration

On the latter note, some folks may be turned off by the Christian aspect.  The knee-jerk reaction may be that it’s going to be preachy or that a hidden agenda will take priority over good gameplay.  None of those things are true.

If you worry…

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Doctor Who fans vs Florida HOA. Geronimo!

Something for my #Whovians and a reminder why HOA communities are often worst than just renting. When buying a house, choose wisely.

Killer Kitsch

UPDATE 01/08/2015: Story covered by WPTV West Palm Beach includes video feature from ABC Action news.


MAIN STORY: LeAnn Moder, and her family, have hit a slight snag after Doctor Who parked the TARDIS slap bang in-front of their house over Christmas 2014.

The TARDIS was built by LeAnn’s father in 2012 and used in lieu of a traditional ‘altar’ at her and her husband David’s Doctor Who / Torchwood themed wedding, held at a British style pub in a local mall. It has since been loaned to a church, libraries and a fair few Sci-Fi & Comic Book conventions in the area.

The problems started when the couple received this rather poorly constructed letter from the Lexington Home Owners Association of Tampa Florida just before Christmas.

Basically somebody grassed them up for being different. Yes, they live in an area that has all kinds of rules and regulations (especially regarding weeds) so perhaps they shouldn’t have…

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Doctor Who- Dark Journey

Dig this interview between TIMD and the producer/director of the Doctor Who radio drama series, Dark Journey. We will be working with MA Tamburro soon over at GeekyAntics.net to discuss the new season, favorite classic Doctor Who moments, creative influences/inspirations, and what we’d love to see in New-WHO (amongst other things)!

What would you say is the purest Doctor Who experience, the heart of the narrative and “recipe”? Mystery, adventure, fantasy, science, or something else? Leave us VM at 206-415-4987 or e-mail us at twtt(at)geekyantics(dot)net to join the conversation!


Troughton Is My Doctor

Emotionally shattered after a tragedy, the Doctor arrives in London and becomes companion to Sherlock Holmes in an effort to stop Jack the Ripper’s murderous trail of terror. But is there an even greater evil at work in Victorian England?

Welcome to the fan produced Doctor Who audio Dark Journey. It’s a multi-episode series written, performed and produced in Toronto, Canada with a Canadian and international cast and crew featuring the music of Doctor Who fan favourite Traffic Experiment.

I had the chance to sit down and have a chat with Director/Producer M.A. Tamburro about the project.

Troughton Is My Doctor: What made you want to get into fan produced Doctor Who audio?

M.A. Tamburro: My good friend Andrew Chalmers is a writer and fellow Doctor Who fan. We’ve done a few small comedies and things together before and this just seemed like an obvious thing that would be fun…

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I Am A Dumbass. Here’s Why.

Robert is a great dude so come on over and give him some encouragement. Lord knows we have all hit ruts like this before.. I certainly have! Let’s get a big raid and some encouragement going!

You've Been Hooked!

Where to begin?

It is a question, no, it is the question that has plagued everyone who has ever tried to communicate, from the most brilliant writer to the first caveman who scratched up a perfectly good cave wall with messages that appeared to be insane ramblings to the rest of the tribe.

Speaking of that original set of markings, can you imagine all the information the first writer/artist wanted to convey?

  • “Females are soft and warm. After you bang them over the head with a club? Not so much.”
  • “Fire… good for making dead animal taste better.”
  • “Fire… HOT!”
  • “Beware the Kardashian tribe. Me get bad vibe from them.”

But enough about the distant past, let’s talk about recent events and how they have impacted my present… and the damage they’re going to do to my future.

First of all, I am still currently employed as a bellman. My…

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Meet The GANG: Gaming Death Podcast & EP 100 Party On June 12th 2014! #E32014 #E3Live #E3

Breaking News!

We have live coverage on the @GeekyAntics Twitter and GeekyAntics.net site.  Tonight, June 10th 2014, at around 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific) we’ll be doing a special E3 show with the Gaming Death Podcast.

E3 - Electronic Entertainment Expo - E3 2014 #E3Live

Big things going on.  Come join the GANG for #E3Live fun.  So far, I’m most enjoying the small studio and indie releases.  I dig what Microsoft is doing with the ID@XBox program.  Any time us little guys have a chance to level the playing field, that is exciting news to me!

Project Spark is particularly intriguing.  This is a sandbox game that actually allows you to create your own games.  Will this be like RPG Maker Ace VX or will it be more akin to Sony’s Little Big Planet?  Competition is heating up and it’s GREAT!

More E3 Coverage Here

Special thanks to the Gaming Death Podcast and GamingDeath.com for keeping us updated on all the latest video game news.  Even if you’re not into gaming, this technology and the game mechanics of it all are worth checking out.  E3 is, after all, a marketer’s wet dream, no?

So, what have you enjoyed of the #E32014 reveals so far?

Meet The GANG: Gaming Death Podcast & EP 100 Party On June 12th 2014! #E32014.