One A Day
As I went through the process of building several mixtapes over the past day leading up to the post I just did, I came to realize that putting something together on the fly is not always the way to create the best result. A measured but routine approach can often produce something special.
At dinner last night my brother in law Jerry told me about a cinematographer friend of his named Jamie who passed away almost ten years ago. Jamie was an artist who worked in many mediums; fim, music, photography, etc. One of Jamie’s hobbies was that he took one polaroid a day, every day. Jerry said he’d be hanging out at Jamie’s apartment in the west village late in the evening and Jamie would say "shit, I forgot to take a photo" and he’d rush out of the apartment and shoot something. Apparently Jamie did this for something like ten years and his collection was recently shown somewhere. I can’t recall where but I’ll find out and add a link to this post.
When Fotolog first launched, it was a photo sharing service just like Flickr. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, Fotolog quickly gained traction in Brazil whereas Flickr took off in the US. In Brazil, the users went nuts, posting huge numbers of photos. But given the less developed nature of the marketplace it had taken hold in, Fotolog was worried about the monetization options and was facing huge infrastructure and bandwidth costs. So they did something about it. They limited the users to one photo per day. And that transformed the service. The users embraced it and the quality of the service improved.
When Tumblr offered music uploading, they did the same thing. You can only post one audio file (max of 10mb) to tumblr each day. It’s funny. I can post as many mp3s to this blog as I want. I can only post one mp3 per day to tumblr. And yet, I post one mp3 every day to tumblr and don’t post many mp3s here anymore.
If you take the aggregated set of music posts, you get this (check the autioplay button)
There’s just something about limiting yourself to one a day that creates something special. You don’t want to waste the opportunity on something average, so you carefully select the one thing you are gong to showcase or possibly create. And when viewed over time, it’s way more than that. It’s a timeline to your life. Jerry told me that Jamie went out with one woman for a while and during that period, you’d see her in many of his daily polaroids. Then one day, she just stopped showing up. That’s life and that’s the power of one a day.