Astute readers will have noticed that the site's updates, and myself, have been quite odd lately. There was some serious consistency to my posts for years, so a lot of people have mentioned the differences. Despite these changes, I hope that I have been maintaining a reasonable level of quality in the posts.
I care about discchord, I care about this community, and I love that I somehow accidently became a journalist.
August will be discchord's 10th anniversary! For the first 3 years the only time anyone would call me a journalist was when they were angry at me. I mean it. In the beginning I was ranting at so many things that I was hitting a lot of nerves. The only time anyone would call me a journalist was when they wanted me to tone myself down, or play some softball bullshit.
I remember early on testing my boundaries. I'd take a measurement of all my social media followers, and then I'd do something that was socially-risky. It was never "Shockjock" levels of immature outrage, but real social experimenting. I could measure how my behavior affected my social network followers! The results were conclusive. While there were some behaviors that would lose followers, I could get away with anything I actually wanted to do. So I stopped testing those boundaries and grew up.
I was a blogger when I started discchord 10 years ago, in my early 30's. I grew to respect my own work, and in doing so, I became able to respect similar works of others. From an understanding of respect, came an understanding of responsibility. With self-respect, an a sense of responsibility, I have been proud to do all of the things that you see here at discchord.
But I just wanted to have a platform to make people listen to my music!
That's really all this ever was. You guys know how it is. As a bedroom producer, trying to be heard, when there are hundreds of thousands of other bedroom producers out there trying to be heard over you. So I started doing YouTube content related to music making. The word discchord, was originally disc-chord, from when I was self-aware enough as a DJ to know I really wanted to be a producer; with chords instead of discs.
So somehow that became this. Now I've got all of you guys here! The whole time though it has felt too crass to exploit you guys to make you listen to my nonsense. Because I'm also self-aware enough to know that most people would rightfully regard my Hard Psy style as nonsense. While discchord might be my musical moniker, you aren't coming to discchord to hear my music, and I have always tried to respect that.
I focused instead on journalism, and you guys rewarded me for this choice. As similar sites covering mobile apps began to fade, I've been proudly on here as the last man standing. Though privately I've known this is a farce. Just like the apps I report on, the economy of discchord is not sustainable. No one would or could survive on reporting for the small music app community. This is a niche of a niche. Synthtopia gets my total monthly traffic in a single day. Generous sponsors and patrons have been what has really kept discchord afloat all of these years, but it was also me being in a unique position.
You know how some Middle class housewives will take up a small business as a hobby? Like selling some crafty shit, or walking dogs. Not because they necessarily need the money, but it is nice to be doing things and a little extra cash is always welcome. That's been me for most of my adult life. I have a great work ethic, so my many silly little side hustles have kept me busy over the years. I ran a dog walking business for almost 10 years, and retired that to focus on discchord. But none of these enterprises have been sustainable, and were entirely subsidized by my husband. I've been a 21st century Househusband. discchord makes less than $1,000 a month now, after Apple ended the App Store affiliate program. Previously I was making around $30,000 a year. Now, I feel like I'm having a good year if I make half that. That unfortunately represents my entire personal income, because my other recent projects have both flopped. My work on Gnubesoft and AppKaiju over the last 5 years has failed to find any additional income for me. I would have to move to Thailand to live on what I'm making now. Then I wouldn't be able to afford an iPad, so discchord would still be screwed!
None of this would have been possible if it weren't for my best friend, Allen Crosby, who has been keeping a roof over our heads for many years. Monday was our 15th, and final, wedding anniversary. Allen is still my best friend, but I can't rely on him to keep me in a position to explore my bullshit businesses.
This is likely to become a big problem for me in the not-too-distant future. I'm nearly 42, and have been self-employed since I was 26. There are going to be a lot of changes in my life, and a lot of stress as I navigate economic reality on my own. I don't know what this means for discchord in the long-run. I know in the short-run I'm a mess of stress. I'm trying to destress in a motel room, while I began to consider my options.
I know that my drama, like my music, is something you don't come to discchord for. I'll try to keep the drama here to a minimum. If something needs to be said, then I'll try to say it in interesting and contemplative essays. In case it is unclear by the tone of this post, this is not a solicitation for donations or even new Patrons, because that is not going to cover it this time.
Update (Friday, 2nd of July): That site's SSL certificate broke, so I had to fix it. Usually SSL cert stuff is a simple automated process, and the hardest thing you need to do is type "certbot renew" into a command line prompt. This was not a simple problem, and it occurred when I was already half-asleep. I couldn't fix it before passing out last night, so the site was offline for 925 minutes. I think I should post something to indicate that I am still alive and well. I'm not taking the site down or anything else. I'm still just trying to figure my shit out.
Thank you so much to everyone for all of the comments and support. There is now a problem here where there are just so many people to thank that I'm worried if I try thank anyone I will offend everyone. I promise you I do read every single one of them, in their entirety. It is difficult to read them though. I'm taking them at a leisurely pace throughout the days and nights.
I feel like any effort to express my thanks would be a blasphemy, because I could never express it fully and accurately. There's no way for me to convey to you all individually how much you have impacted me on an individual basis.