A Rapidly Changing World: The freedom of new media is making all the difference

I had a few unique thoughts as I watched at 3 AM in the morning President Trump greet the three prisoners recently released from North Korea. My ol’ friend Gery Deer published his last article titled “Deer in the Headlines” in the Jamestown Comet, a newspaper he has written for over the last ten years largely due to it had become a negative influence in his life. He did a spot-on Channel 2 in Dayton featuring his reasons which I thought were interesting, and very reflective—and actually indicative of the kind of world we were becoming as North Korea came to the table and decided to play nice for a change. The reasons that caused that change were not the ones that created them in the first place and in lots of ways traditional media had been to blame. It took a president and a whole lot of new thinking people to break down the barriers created by the old ways of doing things—like the local newspapers that controlled the sentiment of each community. People involved in that old way are having a hard time figuring out what kind of world we are living in. To them everything is upside down—which I think is a wonderful thing. But it is not lost to me how people are feeling pain in the transition.

About ten years ago I knew all the media in my town of Cincinnati. I regularly corresponded with newspaper reporters and reporters from the main television news networks. Back then community comment sections were the hottest part of a newspaper that people read, and I was a frequent contributor. I also wrote for other publications as my work was published in Forbes and American Thinker. I had written a few books and done what authors did, learned to autograph them and attend conventions and film festivals promoting my work the way everything was traditionally done. As many know I have a lot of experience with talk radio and have even hosted a few shows from time to time appearing on big national shows and some local powerhouse stations in Cincinnati, and even doing work for one of my favorites WAAM in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I also did some work out in Hollywood and had several projects bouncing around Wilshire Blvd during the 1990s working with agents to get things done—so I had some point of reference when I started my blog Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom in 2010 to essentially drive elements of the growing Tea Party movement in a positive direction, because I could see that traditional media wasn’t enough. Newspaper editors didn’t give enough words per page to flush out complete thoughts, and television only provided 3 to 4-minute segments. Talk radio wasn’t much better, they only gave you about 12 minutes per segment, and many of the things that were coming on the horizon politically, and philosophically required much deeper thinking. Not even the publishing industry was fast enough to deal with all the changes. By the time someone wrote a book on a subject, the information was outdated, so what was needed was something that was vast, articulate, and could string a storyline of ideas over years in a very dynamic fashion. That was the reasoning for my decision to pretty much give up on all that traditional media and put my extra efforts into what has become Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom.

Of course, nobody in traditional media wants to acknowledge that a blog has any real power. They refer to them as personal rant pages as if they were just the opinions of some loser Facebook poster. I don’t see them that way at all, rather I see a blog as a replacement for the opinion pages of newspapers, which is precisely what has happened. My blog is very popular, it gets many thousands of impressions each week and it has had great staying power. People from all over the world are still reading things I have written over five to eight years ago, where most newspapers scrap their content after a few years or charge subscriptions that people would be crazy to pay for information they can get free elsewhere. A major advantage that a blog has over other forms of media are that there really isn’t any advertising. I do a little on my site for issues that I care about, but not like a newspaper that has pages of ads that nobody wants to see just to get a little bit of news.

A blog also doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy. Editors are notoriously liberal, so even if you tend to be a conservative columnist, there is a bunch of rules that typically must be followed to get your work through the editor. I found that even in the most conservative publications that I had worked with in the past, that most of my best ideas would be scrutinized beyond recognition by the time it made it through the editing process—and I decided I didn’t want that kind of thing in my life. The trade-off is one of quality control, its good to have good clean editing to clean up written articles, but on the other hand, its likely better to get raw opinions from the writer to truly flush out opinions. I have decided that the raw expansive thoughts were better for my readers than a tightly controlled publication that was overly concerned with the structural aspects of writing. The rules weren’t as important as the content if you had to pick, and these days you do with the speed for which things happen. The news is happening so fast that all that extra scrutiny was getting in the way of an audience that wanted information and opinions faster than traditional media could produce that content.

Each day I write about 5000 to 6000 words, about 1500 on my blog site in articulate articles about a variety of topics and the remainder in a professional capacity, meaning I get paid. The blog to me is an even exchange, I flush out thoughts that people want to know more about. I’m not interested in squeezing out money from every little thing I do because I am more interested in helping to shape the world of tomorrow in a way that I can live with, so the words I produce I have no reason to get a monetary value for. And from experience I can say that my word content is very unusual—there are few people anywhere in the world who can produce that much material every day, seven days a week, yet I do and my readers have learned to trust that little light in the darkness. Working with traditional media, I often was frustrated that I could not get everything out that I wanted to say about something due to the limits provided. The thought process by traditional media was that if you couldn’t say what you needed to in five to ten minutes or in under 500 words, that you were rambling. But as I have learned over time, that was part of the problem, that approach, because many topics are very complicated, and they require extensive explanations to flush out the root causes of whatever we were talking about. As a writer I enjoy the freedom of not having slow minded editors and publication owners putting caps on my thoughts, so the blog is a much more powerful way to get a message out. And when you have a readership like I do, where some of the top minds in the country are reading everyday instead of reading the traditional newspapers, the effectiveness of communicating an opinion is much more powerful. My goal has always been to get people thinking—they don’t have to think just like I do, I just want people to think. I also don’t care about appeasing the masses in a popular way, I am more interested in the smart people who shape the world—truly. I really don’t care what some pot smoking lottery ticket buying loser thinks about what I say. But I do care about the billionaire, or the top-level politician and executive who makes decisions and needs to have context to think with.

And that brings us to North Korea and Donald Trump. If it were up to traditional media, those prisoners would have never been released and North Korea would still be acting like a country of tyrants. Donald Trump probably wouldn’t have been president either. A lot of the reason that traditional media hates Donald Trump is that he has proven them irrelevant, which hurts, but it’s the way of life these days. They have resisted the changes that were happening and stuck with what they knew rather than doing as I did, and that was to adapt. If you really enjoy writing, then write. If you want to get paid, then work for someone. I have a very successful career and I am personally very well sustained. I don’t need to sell my writing to validate my existence and there is a freedom in that. Yet it is within that freedom of new media that a passion for Donald Trump was able to take hold and elect someone out of the box, and it is because of his presidency that those North Korean prisoners were released. If we were still living in the days of printed media and half hour nighttime news broadcasts, the world would still be a much more dangerous place. Thankfully we aren’t, and I am very proud of the part that I play in all this. It has been certainly worth it and has been a very positive experience. Thinking is good, and anyway that we can get people to think is worth a lot more than a place card in traditional media. The respect obtained from media personalities is nothing compared to what comes from a job well done when people who need to hear important things at just the right time can take those words and save the world from itself.

Rich Hoffman

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overmanwarrior

I write, and write, and write. And when I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing. I have too many hobbies. I read too many books and I don't sleep. There's just too much life to be lived to waste it for even a second.

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