June 25, 2022

I am adrift in the national sea of nothingness as  we approach the maelstrom. Everything is falling to pieces everywhere and Americans sit blandly doing nothing while 11,494,000 jobs go unfilled.

   I doubt this curve goes up any higher. Despite all the jobs supposedly available, I haven’t been able to find any gigs.

     Nearly two months have gone by since the last time there was a job listed in CraigsList’s “Web/Info Design” help-wanted section. Santa Barbara companies are not looking for web help these days. In the other categories I look at, there are few ads and most of the ones that show up are either come-ons or out-of-towners.

     Yeah, same with the results when I google “Santa Barbara Web Design”–companies from Florida to Seattle are listed. Heck, it doesn’t cost them a cent to add “93101” to their areas served in their metadata. And many shops deliberately hide their location. We can do it all for anybody anywhere, so you don’t need to know where we are!

     I have no idea how to find the pool of local tech companies who have something new they want to present to the public. The Startup Circle seems to have petered out and I never came up with any useful leads from it anyway.

     Well, at least I was out there meeting people, and then the pandemic shut everything down. Now the pandemic is over, or at least people are inured to the idea that COVID is lurking and we have to get on with our lives.

     It’s easy to search around and find local tech companies–but they are overwhelmingly long-established companies with comfortable cash-cow products that don’t need any new marketing. If things are slow, the companies will double down on what they already are running on their websites.

     And if they are considering changing their site, they won’t be interested in some old guy bicycling on the beach. They’ll want a fully staffed front-line web shop from Los Angeles.

     What kind of clients am I looking for.

     Somebody who has a great idea and wants to spread it to the world.

     A company with a breakthrough new product that needs to be explained.

     Most of the new companies I see are peddling software. A new app that can do everything! I don’t seem to have a grasp of the app biz. They’re all smartphone apps, not stodgy old application software for dinosaur computers.


     Biked 8 miles. 70°, 6mph. Avocado, bananas, coffee, eggs, burger.

     I sure don’t know how to operate in this new post-pandemic universe where nothing can be forecast with any certainty and businesses are pulling in their horns and minimizing risk.

     All I can do is try to be the guy who can supply good text in support of innovative products. I gave the supplements guy 6,000 words of text. I looked him up the other day but he still does not have a website running. He’s running banner ads on his Facebook page but they’re standard opinion/blab. The best supplement ever! It’s not clear if he’s selling product yet. I guess that means I didn’t press forward to find out.

     I saw an article last week about the plunge in the supplement market–people aren’t buying supplements these days, and maybe it’s because of a big long-term comprehensive study that showed zero positive effects for virtually every supplement on the market.   

     Maybe it’s the wrong time to launch a new supplement.

     Market conditions are on a jet-powered rollercoaster ride.

     I don’t know if I have anything that the universe wants. Freelancers are not accepted unless they are part of some middleman outfit. Upwork and Textbroker are two ass-end outfits but I assume there are other, more upscale outfits that big companies turn to for freelance help. “We only need a writer for a couple weeks to whip into shape all the stuff our in-house staff has prepared.”

     Well, I could do that pretty well. I don’t know if companies do that any more. I don’t know how things run these days.

     My pal Rosie worked on a big web refresh for a large bank, can’t remember which bank. She was all excited about working on such a big-name project. Then it took 18 months to get it done and it turned out to look entirely generic.

     How long have I been a freelance copywriter. I wrote retail copy for Sears when I was 22 but then bounced around in home-remodeling-industry jobs until I was 29 and found work as a magazine writer, and also wrote ads for the magazine’s advertisers. I’ve worked only as a freelancer/contractor since then.

     That was 46 years ago.

     I wasn’t a freelancer for BBDO, I was a regular employee. But that was only two years and I wasn’t a good fit inside the Detroit ad biz. When BDDO lost the Dodge account they fired everybody but me, but it wasn’t because I was the guy they liked best, it was because as junior writer on staff I had the lowest salary of the writers, and the agency was contractually obligated to keep a writer on the account for 90 days until the new agency could get their new ad campaigns launched.

     I had job offers from other ad agencies but I went back to Santa Barbara to be a freelancer. Plus there was a girl there who I wanted to bang again.

     One of the reasons I didn’t stick around in Detroit was that every ad violated every tenet of strong copywriting. Nobody expected anybody to read the goddam text, it was just there as filler. When I complained about changes they made in my text without telling me, they said, “This ain’t the Bible, kid.”

     I have a long history of writing for tech companies.