“My Last Blog Post (A One Minute Video Is Worth 1.8M Words)”

A one-minute video is worth 1.8M written words. The information in a video frame is almost equal to 3600 pages of the blog post. You can relive the colors, emotions, and message immediately.

Between 2017-2020, I published around 250 articles. Some of them were on my personal blog(ergunsimsek.com), later on, I move all my articles from Ghost to Substack.

And others were in an online newspaper(TechCrunch), magazines(F1Racing), and tech companies’(Spotify) blog pages.

I also published my first book recently in Turkish, it call ‘ABD'de Öğrenci Olma Rehberi - Artılar ve Eksiler’ (September 2020). I will always love telling stories. I write speeches for companies’ CEOs and CTOs and local politicians.

I've been producing content for as long as I can remember. Not only in my career but also while I was a student, (I made my first short movie when I was in high school.) everything I did when I look back was about writing and producing content.

Eventually, the writing was not enough for me, so I found other outlets.

I built my career with my own hands, by trial and error.

Now, as befits a journalist, I will tell my new upcoming stories and experiences visually through videos. We are entering 2021 blogging no longer cool on the internet; the new cool is vlogging and the fact is, it was like this since 2015.

The year after, the new CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki took the chair.

I traveled a lot in the past years and in the upcoming years (2021 and beyond), I will spend more time outdoors (I already hiked in Yosemite in California in 2017). I’m planning to go hiking in Patagonia, Stockholm, and the Swiss Alps. On YouTube, mostly I want to show more of my city life, which is where I am currently (Istanbul). I want to share all my city experiences with videos.

I’m very good at writing, but I’m better at making videos, and making videos is my first choice for telling stories because I live for TV broadcasting and digital video platforms.

I want to write my second book (first novel) with the time I have for writing.

In also upcoming years, I want to publish the second edition of my first book ‘ABD'de Öğrenci Olma Rehberi - Artılar ve Eksiler’ with updates. And I want to publish in English. Also, as an e-book and audiobook.

Additional to all this, I want to translate one of my favorite books into Turkish.

I really like to bring pieces for future Turkish readers. This is another way to give back to the community.

I started doing translations on Twitter as Localizator, then I did some work for magazines.

I’m eminently into maps and books.

I’m currently reading a book called On the Map: Why the World Looks the Way it Does by Simon Garfield. I want to use my great Adobe After Effects skills to create effective map videos, like my hiking route and other documenting purposes. Creating amazing videos documenting what I experience is the most amazing gift I can give my older self.

To reiterate I won’t publish any more articles on my personal site. BUT I will send an email out once a month (some cases twice a month) to my subscribers.

Don't forget to subscribe to my email list.

Emails include specific keynotes, recommendations, updates in the tech world, YouTube updates, and some exclusive notes as well.

I do a lot of research and fact check before I send out my list.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6_SvR79g2Xpx6G3naPlcrA

Democracy in America

In aristocracy wealthy people coming to power and running the government but in democracy, poor people coming to power and they are stealing from the government; using their power to build their own dictatorship; -Tocqueville says something close to this in the book. It got my attention and highlighted. After reading vol I and II Democracy in America written by Alexis de Tocqueville I would like to share some notes from the book from my perspective and what I think. Not just every American citizen but also, who want to understand American people and their culture should read this book.

Let me start with -who is Tocqueville and why he traveled to America.

He is a French diplomat, judge, and historian.

He's born into an ancient aristocratic family. One of his relatives fought at the Battle of Hastings under William the Conqueror. His elder relatives suffered during the French Revolution.

His great-grandfather was guillotine he also was forced to watch his daughter guillotine and several other relatives in the family suffered execution during the revolution.

He shows us the predicted inevitable acceleration of American domination of the world in a more diplomatic way than Aldous Huxley.

I wish Tocqueville re-visit to the U.S just to see more as Huxley says to a journalist: to know worse, one needs to know from time to time.

Why did Tocqueville come to America? He has always been interested in prison reform and he knew that in America they were trying out new ideas for the penitentiary. He wants to write a book about it, this will help his career and it will also help him to get out of France. There is no secret his primary interest was to study the Republican example that America was presenting to the world.

When he was in America, he meets with all of the key people such as John Quincy Adams, he also meets with Sam Houston before he was a ‘Sam Houston’ he also meets with Andrew Jackson at the White House.

He did become rich from the sale of the book(that time, selling your own book like almost selling your own brand car) but he was already rich. He was fluent in English, he married an English woman.

I like his second book Vol II more than the first one even he writes 3-4 years later still it was more informed about specific details.

My favorite notes from his book vol I and II

Alexis de Tocqueville quotes about Journalism in America. Vol II Chapters VI:

To suppose that newspapers only serve to protect freedom would be to diminish newspapers' importance: they maintain civilization.

There are neither nobles nor literati in America, they just do not trust the rich. Thus, jurists constitute the upper political class of society and the largest intellectual section of society. The American aristocracy is found in the bar associations of lawyers and in the courses of judges.

Muhammad debases the Quran and in it explains not only religious doctrines, but also political deceptions, civil and criminal laws, and scientific theories. The Bible, on the contrary, only speaks of people's general relationship with God and with each other. It teaches nothing beyond that and doesn't force people to believe anything else.

Chapter XXIV

Any law that, in repressing the turbulent spirit of the army, should tend to diminish the spirit of freedom in the nation and to overshadow the notion of law and right would defeat its object; it would do much more to favor than to defeat the establishment of military tyranny. After all, and in spite of all precautions, a large army in the midst of a democratic people will always be a source of great danger. The most effective means of diminishing that danger would be to reduce the army, but this is a remedy that all nations are not able to apply.

There is so much to learn from this French Judge about his time of life’s America. I’m also recommending this book to all law students and journalists.

I’m very into old rare books, and I’m highly recommending to read this great article from Bloomberg ‘Retail Might Be Struggling, But the Rich Are Buying Rare Books’.

Also to see some of the books I have read and what I’m currently reading, go to my Goodreads page.

Fortnite 3 & Remote Working: 2020 Pandemic Edition

Has your company asked you to work from home during the pandemic? Many of us are now working from home, but are we really working from home, or are we simply bringing our work back home?

People often get the two mixed up. While they might sound like the same thing, there’s a difference. Remote working is not the same as bringing work home, which is what the majority of people are doing during this pandemic.

In the beginning, the idea of working from home sounded exciting—no more long commutes, no more dressing smart, no more boring meetings, etc. I’m sure many of us were jumping for joy at the thought of no more meetings!

Working from home comes with its own set of challenges: kids, pets, anything that can distract you from your work. It’s not easy to stay focused! I’ve noticed on social media that people are missing their old work environments. I’m not sure about you, but since working from home, there are even more meetings to attend (albeit virtually).

Being a digital nomad, I’ve worked in a variety of environments. At home, in the outdoors, at rented office spaces such as Kolektif House and WeWork, plus others. I can say with certainty that working from home doesn’t feel the same as working in an office, and not in a good way. The novelty has worn off for most people, and as odd as it sounds, some of us can’t wait to get back in the office!

Let’s take a look at gaming because people’s appetite for it has increased as we’ve spent more and more time indoors. Gaming is more than just playing games; it’s a platform and even an entire ecosystem that people want to be an active part of. Just look at what happened in April when Travis Scott hosted a Fortnite Live Virtual Concert; over 12.3 million players joined, which is simply nuts!

Gaming isn’t just something to do to pass the time. It’s something that makes people feel good. Did you know that it activates an area of the brain that’s responsible for pleasure (through dopamine and serotonin), called the nucleus accumbens? When we’re feeling stressed or a little down, we turn to gaming for relief. This has been especially true during the lockdown, as our stress levels have increased in isolation.

Don’t take my word for it—the proof is in the numbers. Digital game downloads shot up over 180% globally during the lockdown, and Steam saw a record of 23.8 million players playing simultaneously online. This all links in with mental health, which is an important topic, especially right now. Gaming can provide people with a purpose and connect us together during troubling times.

There’s good news for Fortnite lovers! Season 3 has just arrived, and there’s plenty of new content to discover. There are lots of new legendary items to try out, and similarly to last season, they’re dropped by related boss characters.

There are also some new skin options, such as Masked for the Fade skin, which you’ll earn when you reach level 100. Get to the end of the Battle Pass, and you’ll get the Eternal Knight skin, which comes with a bunch of swords and armor. As you spend more time leveling up, further customizations become available. These are just a couple of things I’ve found so far, but I’m sure players will find even more as they play for themselves!

During these difficult times, gaming is a great way to connect with others and reduce stress, but we must remember to keep creating. Try your best to consume less and create more!

Read differently: Laterally

Most users on the internet spent 4 seconds average on a new web page they visit. So web-creators, have only 4 seconds to catch users/readers to keep on the site. Most users reading webpages like they are reading a book.

We start to read from the top of the page and look at the title and scroll down from there. So we read vertically. Many websites design in this way, skilled designers and developers palpable know that. We should tell our visitors what we want them to know. Giving too many words doesn’t add anything but confusion. Don’t forget, you can explain more with fewer words. Don’t make any mistakes on references and citations, grammatical errors, or typos.

While reading on a website vertical we should add another strategy into our reading, such as look else for additional information for fast-checking. When we read on the internet, we ‘must’ open a new tab to verify that info ourselves, don’t hesitate to open a new tab while reading. I know to sound like a journalist job, but there is a word called ‘volunteer journalist’ so you can bee your own journalist. So keep opened a new page while reading on the internet.

Reading this way call lateral reading. It’s called lateral because, instead of moving up and down, you’re moving from tab to another tab. So the idea is let say you are reading a web page about YouTube's benefits on education and business. When you are reading it you find out there is recent research or pool about it, so click that link or you make your own research on google about Youtube's benefits to just verify this information. So basically the idea of lateral reading gives info of who is behind this news and how true is this. You should know where to go when you open the next tab.

You may wonder where I should go when you open a new tab. First places to go trusted newspapers-websites, organization, or authors. They are not absolutely perfect but good places to start. But don’t forget they mostly have a point of view, so the more you visit is better to understand. Fast-checking websites are good places to visit they are founded by researchers and journalists but the fact is they also created by humans.

Designed perfect websites also help users to trust the news. Website layout, numbers of content on the site, or if it's linked to other sites if sites have secured URL and nice-trusted looking pictures. But don't let all this to stopping for lateral reading.

There is no single source on the internet and there's no secret way to understand the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

My Times at NASA

2012 was my first year in America. In Houston, Texas, where I came for a bachelor’s degree, my home was 15 minutes from NASA. Since Texas is mightily large, if you want to go somewhere with your own car, you have to drive for at least 30 minutes, so compared to that -15 minutes is a very good distance. I was fortunate enough to spend my time at NASA on weekends and on weekdays after class. There was YouTube back then, but there was not such a thing as 'YouTubers or Content Creators' yet. (By the way, I shoot my first YouTube video in 2006). But I’m was not really into becoming a YouTuber for sure I want to make, produce and direct a video for a living. But even after years later when I move to Hollywood my friend always hustling on me to make me become YouTuber. But I want to be a guy who makes people YouTubers. So, my plans were different.

Let’s get back to NASA, towards 2013, I met with Turkish guys which are he is way older than me. He is one of the Turks working at NASA and is at the head of a very important project. I want to pass a footnote here. Only 20% of NASA employees are actual NASA employees. The remaining part is the institutions that outsource NASA, which we call subcontractors. There are many Turks working this way, but this person was one of the 5-6 Turks directly working for NASA as a government employee. It was great moments and I learn a lot there, but there is not much I can share because of NDA. As a journalist I couldn’t document anything, I was there because my friends work there, and he let this to happen and I’m very thankful to him.

Do you remember Vine? Behold, this is a 6 seconds video shared application. When first came out, I joined as a test user. In fact, I took one of my first videos with the zoo owner BigCatDerek, who shared his videos on YouTube with tigers and lions in Dallas. My page went viral, my other videos were getting a lot of attention and there were a lot of comments about I should continue. I did not want to so I stop for the same reason, I want to be creator and producer for others.

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