No more filters. No more editing.
Why I’m betting on Beme.
I’m launching a new channel, my only channel for video. And I want to tell you why.
When I write on Medium, I have a rule. It’s a 3 strike rule. If I have to go back and edit a post more than 3 times, that means I don’t have enough of a grasp of the subject, I haven’t written well enough, and I’m not writing naturally. I’m trying to force it, and I’m making a bad attempt at filtering my own brain.
That’s bullshit, to me. I have built an audience by giving them my thoughts in a straight forward, down to earth, no filter way. As a result, my work is never perfect. It’s never overly polished, and it tends to be littered with some pretty foul language. That’s just the way I talk, so it’s the way I write.
When I’m on video though, it’s different. Things change. I get obsessive, and that method of communicating — stop editing, stop panicking and hit publish — is hard for me to follow. I become paranoid, I worry that I look like an idiot, that I sound like an idiot, and that I’m coming across as a wanker.
So when I post a video, it’s normally the 9th or 10th version, that I’ve shot and reshot, gone back over, worried about, analysed, questioned, hated and finally given up on, posting it in resignation. That’s just not the way I want to communicate with my audience.
It doesn’t show any respect to them. Because there’s nothing authentic about it. And it’s not fun for me, because I haven’t enjoyed one moment of that process. That sucks, because I want to show more of my life, and my work and the way I think. I want to give my audience more, every day. And without video, the way I talk is too one dimensional.
I fell in love with the energy, the drive, the hustle and the vision behind Beme. It’s a platform where you can share videos that you don’t get to edit. You don’t get to perfect. You don’t get to watch, and change, and skew. It’s a platform where you take videos and selfies through gestures, and you blast them into the world with no filter.
No. Fucking. Filter.
That’s awesome to me. That’s a way to make myself communicate, without trying to control the way I look, or sound. Every time I post on Beme, it’s with total, reckless abandon. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the process of creating and sharing videos.
Right now, I’m just getting started. I might have 30,000 followers on Medium, but I have exactly 2 followers on Beme. That’s barely enough people to drink with. But I’m hoping to meet a lot more of you there.
This is me:
I’m going to be using Beme to offer bite sized insights, comments and ideas around creativity. Around business, startups and making cool shit online. I hope it’s a platform where you can join me, and get to know me a little better. It’s going to get raw, and a lot of it is probably going to suck. But the beauty of it is, I won’t find out until it’s too late.
I love that. I love that I can’t get stuck in my own head.
For me, social media is about communicating. I’ve written before about my own struggle overcoming a speech problem, and how being able to talk and be understood online was hugely important to me, in that communicating without being misunderstand was a massive confidence booster.
If I hadn’t had that, I wouldn’t have had anything. If I hadn’t had social media, I couldn’t stand up in front of hundreds of people and talk as naturally as I would anywhere else.
I love social media. I’d call myself a social media entrepreneur, and an early adopter. I’ve tried every new platform and app since I got online in ’99, the year I turned 10. When I talk about the golden days, I’m probably referring specifically to MySpace, when it was cool to wear eyeliner and fishnet gloves.
Spending time on the platforms I love today — Medium, Twitter and Tumblr — has been more important to me as a way to talk to people, and connect, than anything else.
I’ve got a rule, about social media. This counts for anyone building a brand, anyone building a business, or anyone just trying to keep in touch with the people they care about. The rule is this.
If you don’t like a platform, don’t fucking be on it. If you’re on a platform because you feel you have to be, because everyone else is, because you read an article saying it’s the next big thing, you’re probably going to ruin it for everyone else.
Because you won’t get it. You won’t understand it. And you won’t love it. That’s why I’m not on Snapchat. It’s a great platform, but I don’t love it, and I can’t see a reason why I should force myself to use it, if I don’t actively enjoy that time.
I’m loving Beme right now. It’s simple, it’s beautiful, and it’s easy to use. It’s innovative while also being intuitive. I want to pick up my phone and jump into it. I hope you feel the same way.
I am not an investor in Beme, I am not affiliated, and I have nothing to do with the app beyond being really fucking into it. No money has changed hands, and I’ve never talked to the team there.
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Jon Westenberg has appeared and published in Business Insider, Inc.com, TIME and dozens of other publications, talking about startup entrepreneurship, writing and innovation. Jon has helped hundreds of businesses worldwide grow their audience and take control of their future. Jon is an investor, an entrepreneur and a dreamer.
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