About Angela Durden

Writer. Designer. Problem solver.

Getting Up the Down Slide

Standing at the top of the slide on the playground, I was contemplating how I could go down it. Should I sit on a piece of wax paper or will a sheet of foil allow me to go faster on the metal? This slide was very tall and steep, and if you levered your body just right, you could fly off the end of the slide and land in the dirt far away from the end. What if we could boost the output and get further in the dirt? Kids behind me were hollering for me to hurry up. I pulled out the wax paper, sat on it, and proceeded to go. With the heat, the wax melted, the paper stuck, and I had to clean it off. Everybody was soooo mad at me. But, foil was next and it was a smooth and fast ride. Next thing you know, everybody was bringing Continue reading Getting Up the Down Slide

“Learn him to communicate” said the P.C. Dominatrix

Seems a boy had started a service where for a mere 25¢ he would haul your trashcan to the curb on trash day. Neighbors were eating it up and they gladly paid. The boy’s father shared this picture on Linkedin of his 11-year-old son working his business. He was proud. The boy was proud. The neighbors were proud. And the folks on that bastion of business were proud for the boy, too, sending many praises his way. If that was the end of the story, it would be a good one. But it isn’t. Almost immediately a P.C. Dominatrix was cracking that whip of hers. Face and name blocked to protect the idiot, here is a screen snip of her comment: Notice she first implies the dad and boy are greedy because she chides them when she says “life is not about money” as if the boy and his father thought it was. Then she Continue reading “Learn him to communicate” said the P.C. Dominatrix

Politically Correct Circular Logic

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” From the first time I heard that saying, I hated it. It’s a truckload of bull crap. Look, the logic is circular. How can we learn if we cannot be around those smarter than ourselves while those who are smarter than us are being encouraged not to be in the room with those who know less than them? This saying is typical P.C. claptrap as it shuts out and shuts down the free flow of information and the challenge of assumptions. There are those who say, “Oh, no. This saying simply shows how humble these smart people are. Don’t you see they want to be around those with bigger brains than them because they acknowledge they don’t know everything?” Again, claptrap. First of all, how does anyone know they are the smartest in the room? Did everybody Continue reading Politically Correct Circular Logic

Starting a New Country, or Finding Investors

So, you’ve found a way to help those who have been cheated repeatedly by a certain industry, have you? First Moment of Duh: Having and executing a great idea will not guarantee success of a new product or service. But, now what? Unless you have deep pockets yourself, you need runway money, right? So you go on The Great Investor Hunt. They say investors are everywhere. They say investors are looking for projects started by those who care about some disenfranchised group or socially conscious issue. They are wrong. You see, investors really don’t care about all that until after they see the Validation of the Big Problem and the Market Viability of a Big Solution and Proof of Return and Expected IPO Schedule and the Kick-Ass Management Team with a Proven Record of Success. All that is well and good, and I am not unsympathetic to the general investor needing, wanting, craving the payoff in short order Continue reading Starting a New Country, or Finding Investors

Old Laurels? Bad Advice?

WANTED: Someone who has no clue what our company does, but can figure out problems, is willing to challenge the “we’ve always done it this way” thinking, and is able to more quickly identify and discard what doesn’t work so we can get to what does. If a job application read like that, would you apply? I would, but I bet most would not. Why? Because the clearly defined objectives above wouldn’t come with a handbook of do’s and don’ts. Even though no job exists in a vacuum, job applications treat them as if they do. They are more fond of saying they only want to hire someone with a proven record of doing whatever clearly but narrowly delineated job title it is they are hiring for. Those with the proven record often are viewed as experts able to quickly deploy their skill set with the same previous results; you know, hit Continue reading Old Laurels? Bad Advice?

My job is to sell WHAT?

It was 1994. I was knocking on doors offering my services to small businesses and stopped at a house with an ad agency sign in front of it. The man invited me in. We chatted briefly, but in reply to my question as to what he did, he said, “My job is to sell me.” I did not understand that at all. I was not selling me; I was selling services. I thought he was weird. Years later I came to understand that he was trying to tell me something important and I flat out missed it. Large, enterprise level companies may be able to sell a faceless product or service. When we hear their names we do not see a human, we see a corporate logo. But those companies came to be by an individual who had an idea. That individual went out and sold the public on his ability to Continue reading My job is to sell WHAT?

Covers, Websites, Cooks, and Angela’s Horror

Why will you see all sorts of projects in my portfolio, but will rarely see a website listed? Because unlike a physical product, such as a graphic, book design/edit, newsletter, video, or other project that remains constant once it is done, websites get changed all the time. Not realizing that, years ago I learned my lesson the hard way when, after viewing what I thought was a stable project in my portfolio, a potential customer called me back and said, “You call yourself a writer? Are you kidding me?” Not understanding what they meant, I was beyond horrified when I saw how my customer — relax, I won’t be calling any names — decided they knew better about the text on their site. Misspellings. Incomplete sentences. Badly written paragraphs. Wrong words! I stammered, “But…but…but…this is not what I wrote.” Their reply? “Yeah, sure.” Dial tone followed. I lost that opportunity Continue reading Covers, Websites, Cooks, and Angela’s Horror

Not everything can be on the clock: Five Minutes and Knowing Where to Tap.

An international brand hired a songwriter to come up with a theme song. After signing the contract, the man went back to his lonely writer’s garret, and came up with the song. Took him all of five minutes. The company was not happy and did not want to pay him their agreed upon price. It wasn’t that they didn’t like the song. Oh, no. You see, the songwriter was dealing with those with an employee mindset. These employees could not understand how it was he could come up with a song in five minutes. They thought it had to be a retread or old or anything but brand new and written just for them. Did the song work? The employees agreed that it did. So the songwriter explained that they only saw the five minutes but clearly and thoroughly missed the thirty years that came before wherein he learned and came to an understanding and Continue reading Not everything can be on the clock: Five Minutes and Knowing Where to Tap.

The Period has not gone out of style

Contrary to current popular opinion, the period (that is, the full stop at the end of a sentence that looks like . ) is not going out of style for the majority of the world. Yes, indeed, hungry headline hunters have everyone from professors to social commentators opining about the declining use of said period. Of course, when one read the entire article, what does one see? Why, one sees periods, again such as dot at the end of this sentence. So, this highly functional and strong punctuation mark that manages to accomplish so much, where is its use declining? Why it is going out of style for those children who have unlimited texting plans and believe the world revolves around them and assume the rest of the world must follow their infantile trends. You may now carry on with using the full set of punctuation marks in the full and confident knowledge that Continue reading The Period has not gone out of style

Social Media Content Publishing: Holy cow, what I have been wishing for.

Listen up, all you authors, artists, columnists, and business owners. If you have not tried CoSchedule to manage your content marketing, tweeted reminders, and other sharing for your books, songs, articles, and/or products and services, then you are missing out on a huge and efficient time saver. Producing content is not a problem for me. The joke my friends make is that I can sneeze and out pops 2000 words. But what has been a thorn in my side for years is how to efficiently get the word out about that content so that people can access it. Tweeting and posting onesy-twosy was killing my efficiency, killing my joy, and slowing me down. I’ve used other service providers that say they will help you schedule content in advance, but these were merely stopgap measures; once posted, I could not see what I had done in the past, had no reliable tracking, and Continue reading Social Media Content Publishing: Holy cow, what I have been wishing for.

Stop talking. Start doing with intention.

This is the dying music business. Funeral to be held soon.  This is what is growing as we speak.  This is what we want the business to be.   I’m famous for my “Coffee and a Chat” one-on-one meetings. I also talk with people on the phone or through Google Hangout if they are too far away to meet at a coffee shop. Why do I do this instead of carrying on a conversation via email or social media snippets? Because when I hear someone’s voice or see their face within the context of a conversation, I can learn even more about them. Are they honest, go-getters, or helpful? Or are they trying to pull a fast one, lazy, or hurtful? In the music business, when it comes to choosing with whom I do business, I am very particular. The reason is this: I’m servicing a disenfranchised group that is not defined by color, gender, Continue reading Stop talking. Start doing with intention.

FRAPPé Free and Friendly: Or, how to easily LOL when you want to

New York, NY • June 18, 2016 byline: Marie D. Kell Often Angela K. Durden wants to LOL in reply to brilliant and hilarious sub-comments made in response to her or others’ posts on Facebook. But she cannot as there is only one option for those, and that is to LIKE it. Many times her lips begin to curl upward, but since there is no LOL emoticon on the sub-reply option, she would have no visual clue to finish the process of the smile/laugh continuum. Frankly, she was getting frustrated at not being able to let out her inner emoticons. She was sure there were millions and millions of people feeling her same pain. Therefore… Given her nature of identifying a problem and finding a solution, she developed a standalone LOL Facebook reply app called FRAPPé, for Facebook Reply APP éééééé! FRAPPé Free comes with ads that companies will pay to rotate through on Continue reading FRAPPé Free and Friendly: Or, how to easily LOL when you want to

Silos of Talent and Solutions: We better get to talking to each other now

    Read Part 1 entitled Silos of Troubles: Every Man for Himself. Here is Part 2: Angela. Bram. Chris. Phil. Corey. Imogen. And maybe, possibly, Drew — if he doesn’t get distracted. These are the names of folks just like you who have decided to build a New Music Business because the old one sucks. Each of us have designed and built technological solutions to the problems around intellectual property ownership and monetization. In other words, keeping more of the money for what we created. We’ve done this because we’ve each either been cheated, lied to, had songs stolen, or were shut out and down in getting out our creative output. We each are working on a different piece of the puzzle pie. In other words, this is business, therefore: One: Ownership proof must be documented and kept safe so that Two: Creators can diligently but easily protect and defend the rights to their Continue reading Silos of Talent and Solutions: We better get to talking to each other now

Now, nobody can bring candy.

To avoid arguments in his children’s school, a man told me that his children cannot bring candy there because other kids want it. “Boom!” he said, “Argument over. Problem solved.” As if somehow the Orlando shooter could have been stopped by nobody having a gun. Yeah, this was his gun control logic. What this man fails to understand about his children’s school is that only that argument was over because kids are going to fight about everything. It’s the nature of children everywhere. As infants and toddlers, they grab, claw, scream, pinch, hit, bite, and more — just to get that toy from the other kid. My sister used to bite me all the time. She broke skin. I never stopped her because I felt sorry for her. You see, I cared about her. I was wrong to let my caring allow her to continue in her biting ways, though. Here’s how I know. I Continue reading Now, nobody can bring candy.

Silos of Troubles: Every man for himself

Transparency does not exist. Nobody plays nice. Sleeping with the enemy is the norm. And conflict resolution is brokered by the devil you know. Sounds like the old USSR, but this is actually the normal state of affairs for the international players in the music business. Yes, the labels, publishers, aggregators, and streamers will cut their own throats if it means someone else will bleed, too.  It is within these silos that the music industry as we know it today was built. And it is within those silos that the performing rights organizations keep pushing us to get, knowing all the while that we will be just one little dried niblet lost in the crush of corn.  These silos keep putting out glossy pictures and fawning press releases about how everything is just hunky-dory, and they are so caring about and kind to the little people who make them the money. The media Continue reading Silos of Troubles: Every man for himself

And this is what is wrong with book publishing these days

  I’ve written quite a few query letters in my twenty-plus years of being in the book business. When I say letters, I mean real letters, on paper, sent in envelope with a stamp. I’ve received some very nice replies, well written, polite, some canned, some specific to me. I received two nasty and aggressive replies during that time that were totally uncalled for. But in the last few years I’ve been getting a version of this that I got today and I thought I would just break it down for you. Except for the salutation and closing, this is the reply in total:   “Thank you for including me in your agent queries.  I have reviewed it, and am afraid I must step aside on this proposed book.  I am frequently overwhelmed with commitments to my current clients, so in any given year I must be selective taking on any new author.  I am Continue reading And this is what is wrong with book publishing these days

The Death of True Salesmanship

Talk about weird. That’s when I knew something was changing and it wasn’t for the better. Time has proved me right. Here’s the story. Fifteen years ago my phone rang. It was a man. He said he had received my business card from someone who suggested he call because I could help him. I thought the conversation was going quite well. He gave me information. I asked questions to clarify. We got all the way to the setting the appointment stage when he said in a quite derisive tone, “Well, I can tell you’ve taken XYZ Selling Course.” I said no I had not; which I had not taken such a course. I was simply taking the logical path in such conversation as this, namely set up an appointment after finding out needs and wants and goals. Duh, right? Not so duh anymore, obviously. He was furious and hung up Continue reading The Death of True Salesmanship

Hey, Linkedin. Here’s why you could be so very powerful as new media.

Hey, Linkedin, Ever hear of 60 Minutes? 20/20? Network news shows? Newspapers? News magazines? Sure you have. What do all these have in common? Low reader and viewer counts, that’s what.  Why have these been losing readers and viewers? Because they think all folks are stupid and gullible, and they continue to feed packs of lies in support of their politically correct agendas by doing what Katie Couric just did in her, chuckle-chuckle, search for understanding of another’s viewpoint. Here’s the latest spin-kerfuffle Couric has gotten into: Click this link to see and read more about it. When called on it — with evidence showing the manipulation– Couric quickly delivered her non-apology and told us how she herself questioned the editing, but that she allowed her producer to talk her into it — poetic license and all that. Yes, yes! Couric’s producer fell on her sword and took full responsibility for those eight long seconds of silence — Continue reading Hey, Linkedin. Here’s why you could be so very powerful as new media.

Hey, Linkedin. Let me tell you why I started writing articles here and why you should care that I’m not happy.

First: Except for some instances, most everybody on Linkedin is about the business of business. Therefore, articles about business don’t get lost in the herd of pictures of awesome lunches, humorous memes, and updates on vacations one usually sees on Facebook or other social media platforms. Seeing as how Linkedin is trying to attract more users, and to keep those eyeballs coming back they want high-quality content, one assumes they will not be playing fast and loose with those who provide that content.  Two:  I’ve been keeping an eye on it: The viewer and response analytics seemed accurate and were matching up nicely. I appreciated the real-time analytics because these allowed me to keep an eye on what was getting a response, and allowed me to tweak my presentation in order to get more eyes on what I deemed to be important material about subjects effecting business. However, as per what these two pictures below illustrate, your Continue reading Hey, Linkedin. Let me tell you why I started writing articles here and why you should care that I’m not happy.

Can Team BieberSkrillex comply with terms of service?

Digital Music News and NBCNews.com, among other news outlets around the world, have reported on the latest dust-up in copyright infringement. According to Casey Dienel, performing under the name of White Hinterland, Bieber and his producer Skrillex, could easily have licensed her song for use in “Sorry”, but he chose not to contact the songwriter and artist of the 2014 release of “Ring the Bell.” Both Bieber and Skrillex have hit back with tweets that look like ads for the song, and have included what one can only assume is a recreated video of the creation of the bits in question. I say “recreation” because if they already documented this section’s creation, then doesn’t that make you think they had their alibi all ready to go in case it was needed? Whether or not this particular lawsuit has any merit will not be debated by me. However, that samples are used without permission is a Continue reading Can Team BieberSkrillex comply with terms of service?

Did I not just write about this? Yes. I. Did.

Those chasing fame must like pain because they are keeping silent when they get cheated. This isn’t going away, y’all. And if you are still looking at The Majors, The Bigs, and the Performing Rights Organizations to make you some money, well…read on. This just in from Breitbart. “It would be hard to calculate the outrage that would result if Bernie Madoff were caught running another Ponzi scheme from prison and then launched a high profile lobbying case to get the DOJ to set him free. “That is precisely what the big music publishing corporations and performing rights organizations (PRO) are doing and rather than being outraged both the Obama Administration and Congress are considering setting them free to run their next scheme.” This from me the other day. “The first is monopoly, or the exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service. “By anybody’s standards Continue reading Did I not just write about this? Yes. I. Did.

Variables, Middlemen, and the Starving Artists

Linkedin member Bobby Owsinski wrote an article about streaming royalty rates and what effects those. He said a million is not what it used to be and gave a great explanation about the nature of subscription pricing variables around the world. Where I shall now call Bobby to task is that he seemed to be upselling the digital aggregators role as valued middlemen when, in fact, there is much evidence pointing to the loosey-goosey nature of how they handle their client’s data. One instance of this loosey-goosey is this: In my research on how ISRC is used, I called the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). According to their website“The Recording Industry Association of America has been appointed by the International ISRC Agency to oversee the ISRC system within the United States and its territories.” In my research for my articles and my book, I always attempt to first talk to people where possible. To learn about purpose and Continue reading Variables, Middlemen, and the Starving Artists

Who’s the perp? The usual suspects.

My raison d’être has always been to question. Early baby pictures showed wide eyes taking it all in. I’m certain my brain was seeking more information. I’d be a rich gal if I had a penny for every time I uttered “Why?”  and “Yes, but…” The questioning has never been to cause trouble. It’s always been a quest for truth, efficiency, betterment, and finding a clear path. Not understanding a thing was anathema to me. Busy work was to be avoided at all costs. Life is only so long, right? So when Music chose me, of course I questioned if Music was telling me the truth about itself. Oh, yes, Music told the truth. Music never lies. The music business, though, is a whole other story. In order to make money in the music business — I’ve written about this and won’t cover it here — one is forced into a certain Continue reading Who’s the perp? The usual suspects.

Marriage of talent and smarts took Alice everywhere

A Sunday-morning relaxing read with a lesson for creatives; excerpted from People Magazine’s archives: How [Audrey Meadows, arms crossed in picture above] landed the role of Alice in 1952 has become one of those Schwab’s-drugstore myths: Gleason needed to replace Pert Kelton, the original Alice, who had been unfairly blacklisted. He rejected Meadows on first sight as “too young and pretty,” but an undaunted Audrey supposedly had pictures taken of her as a frumpy hausfrau and had them presented to the star. Supposedly, Gleason then hired her on the spot. Whatever the precise reality, the next five years were, the 1954 Emmy winner once said, “the best time I ever had, the best job I ever had.” But her sentimental side ended at the bargaining table. Helped by her attorney brother Edward, Meadows was the only one in the cast who negotiated a unique contract that would pay residuals if the Continue reading Marriage of talent and smarts took Alice everywhere