busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Tuesday, February 19, 2019

    the secret to growing communities that grow 

    i have been so lucky to have been able to work at some of the coolest online ventures around. from LAist to the LA Times to the Oscars. but it all started here on this very blog, the busblog.

    one thing i learned at LAist was – it helps if you love the content as much as you love the audience.

    when you love something you do it with rose colored glasses. so you might miss some of the issues. but thats ok because when you notice that certain things are bad, you will rush to fix it. not out of any weird power trip but because you want everyone else to enjoy the thing you’re making with them.

    so the first thing is love. love it, love them. otherwise it’s just work and you can tell if something is being run by someone who loves it compared to someone who is just doing it for the money and health benefits.

    the next thing is be open to change, be open to creativity, be open to possibilities, be open to things that are scary, be open like youve never been open before.

    if America wasn’t open to expansion we would never have had the Louisiana Purchase and we would have never made it to the Golden State. And now California is as mighty as most foreign countries. it pays to be open. it pays to figure out ways to grow. will there be growing pains? of course. don’t freak out. as the hitchhikers guide wisely advises: dont panic.

    at every group blog ive seen or worked with there were more than a few superstar writers who some thought were irreplaceable. we are all irreplaceable. the yankees have won championships without Babe Ruth. the Lakers have won without Magic. life goes on without tony pierce and all the rest. and thats ok. what is freaky is how quickly life can go on without this star or that one. it’s been over 35 years since SNL lost John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray and that show still trends every Sunday.

    the show will go on. so dont fear change. if you wanna be punk rock, embrace it. and if you wanna be new wave: be the change.

    which brings us the my favorite facebook group Howard Stern for Fans who Actually Like Howard Stern.

    no one asked for this group. i started it last year, wellllllll into the last stages of his career. he only has a show 3x a week, 2x a month. there were already at least 100 howard stern groups, and yet suddenly ours is on pace to being the most popular one on Facebook. how?

    because i have set rules. i enforce the rules. it’s just me plus some superfans who let me know via flagging or instant message when people are being rude. and i allow the group to metaporphisize into whatever it’s gonna be. and i will call bullshit on certain trends. and i am not afraid to boot people or protect others.

    but i really think the secret sauce is i love howard’s show and history, and i know it, and ive been around the block in regards to social, so i can see trouble before it happens.

    what i love about this chart on the tippy top is, anyone can have good numbers in your first 6-7 months cuz youre new and cute. but if you suck people will bail out and stop telling their friends. whats interesting about this group is it started hot, and has continued to be hot for the last 6-7 months too. even though howard has had hella vacation, even though more stern groups have sprouted. even though ive been obsessed with a secret project. the growth is growing at a pace of 61%.

    every week we are getting between 250-350 new members. and theyre staying. lots of posts.

    i had one guy say, how many admins do you have? i said me. he said, im in this group but i admin another one about a cable TV show and we have 4 admins. how do you do it? i say, i let them be. he said, no way would that work with us? i asked why? he said the founder of the group wants everything approved. that takes time. and the quality is better.

    i said how do you know if the quality is better if its always been one way. maybe when people are free they write better or they say things that omg that One guy doesnt like or the other 3 admins. thats a lot of ways to get vetoed. here i only have a few ways to get vetoed: poop, disparaging howard robin or beth, politics and a few others. most people are cool with that and it allows space for people to be free.

    freedom is everything for growth. give a tree a lot of space, a lot of sunshine, and tons of water and that baby will grooooooooooooow.

    now bababooey to you all.

  2. Sunday, February 17, 2019

    tony what is the purpose of anything? 

    dear tony, why should we try? why should we try to push the boundaries, the envelope, whatever you want to call it? why shouldn’t we just march in formation and do whatever the person with the loudest bullhorn says?

    dear sweet reader,

    i don’t know about you. but when i look at the map of the USA my eyes move from right to left. often very quickly.

    when i look at the East Coast i see the past. i see a bunch of smooshed up places all knotted up with each other and really only one or two of the places matter. boston knows it doesnt matter which is why theyve flooded the place with colleges so they could figure it out.

    but ive figured it out. we need progress, which is why the eye moves from right to left on the map. from the past to the wholesomeness to the wild west. the west is the future. somewhat the present but more the near future.

    we need that progress to live. ask Payless and Sears and Circuit City what happens when you are not constantly progressing. you die. you die right there in the rut that you buried yourself in.

    is it exhausting to be ahead of the pack? isn’t easier to just lay back and coast along with the middle? yes. and fewer bugs hit your windscreen. and you’re more likely to hit a pothole or black ice or a swarm of bees.

    but is also provides the best view, the most excitement, and schools aren’t named after followers, they’re named after leaders, explorers, warriors.

    do your job. live up to expectations. make magic when no ones looking.

    and get fucking schools named after your ass

  3. Friday, February 8, 2019

    what if the what ifs are right 

    what if the voices are speaking from the future and they know and theyre there to protect us and especially you then what do you do what do you say what if they know

    which is an excellent question for this weeks ask tony and i know the answer to that perfectly and here it is

    there are two songs on the playlist. neither are good. the one is the mopey sad scared boring panicking drone that says its not gonna happen everyones out to get you the end of the world is nigh

    the other is saying oh but youre the exception to the rules youre the chosen one youre the golden child incapable of failure, try, try, try all will be well, and then vacation a little more you deserve it!

    dont you think basketball players at the free throw line hear the people booing and shouting and trying to distract them

    of course. and they know theres nothing good in listening, so they listen to the other song, you can make this, you can do this, you have done it, youve done it millions of times, just hit it and smile on your jog back down the court

    practice your acceptance speeches, not your defenses

    prepare for success, not death

    seek out the fuck yes

  4. Sunday, July 22, 2018

    zigadenus asks, “who are you”? 

    well, i was born a poor black child

    while in high school i went to iowa to check out a college, i was poisoned by a group of undercover miscreants

    collectively called the xbi

    who convinced me to move to california and join them.

    at first their intentions were good, but as time passed it became obvious to me that they werent who they claimed to be and i left

    but you never truly leave the xbi.

    in order to lure me back into their good graces they have attempted to bribe me with lavish gifts, beautiful women, and delicious tacos

    in a way, this blog is an accounting of the lovely, but immoral things that they have done to and for me so that i would some day return and fly their black helicopter, chopper one. the one thing i really miss. a lot.

    who am i? im the same as you, a temporary visitor to this mortal coil, skateboarding on the tightrope over clever and stupid, dreaming of a time when one doesnt introduce themselves by elegant words that could never fit on a business card, but instead hold up a lotus bloom and esp everything

    on saturdays i drive for lyft

  5. Friday, May 25, 2018

    tony why are you confident about the internet when it changes so much 

    i am confident because i have been doing this for as long as the world wide web

    pretty much

    has been around.

    i was in atwater village in 94 for the northridge quake and then soon after i was transferred to san francisco

    it was there that marc brown turned me on to the web and immediately he and all of my daily nexus friends realized what a beautiful canvas it could be to those of us who had things to say

    by late 1996 i was being paid real money, including a company car, to sell a box called WebTV which put the internet on your TV.

    not only did i sell it as a manufacturers rep, but i taught salespeople at sears, good guys, circuit city, walmart and other places how to sell it. in many cases i was showing mangers and their customers what the internet was

    and why they would want to see it on their television.

    ever since then, i have been paid money to either get people to go to websites and blogs or get people to follow my employers on social media.

    i am good at it for a number of reasons starting with the fact that i love the internet, i love people, and i love researching how people do things and what they like.

    the biggest disadvantage that some of my peers have is they try to apply what THEY like and project that on the audience.

    unfortunately the online audience is extremely disloyal and will run away if their needs are not met.

    this doesnt mean that you have to sell out on your values to maintain a community. but it means that if you do not listen, react and anticipate what your audience wants, then you will not have much of an audience as time goes on.

    the best way to see what your community wants is to click on their names and see what they’re posting, figure out who their “friends” are, and study what those people have done that attracted them to their accounts.

    currently i have worked with a community for 4.5 years. every day except sundays i study the people who like our stuff.

    why wouldn’t i?

    you’re right, tastes change all the time. it does seem daunting to have to adjust all the time. but any athlete can tell you that champions are made by the adjustments they make to their gameplan — sometimes as it happens.

    the only way Peyton Manning can make a smart audible is by studying what the defense has done in the recent and not-so-recent past, and identify what they are probably going to do on that play, and then AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE call a new play that would best work against what he thinks the defense is lined up to do.

    adjustments.

    there are only a handful of social channels that really matter. it isn’t that difficult to study all of them all the time if it is your job and you love your job.

    but if you are extra, like i am, you might even take on a second job, like driving an uber, where you can literally talk to strangers all night about instagram, snapchat, twitter and facebook and ask them how they use it and what they like and what they dont like.

    sure its a tiny sample size but after thousands and thousands of rides all around LA you will start to see patterns.

    it’s in those patterns that you can begin to see trends that you can capitalize on.

    and when you try something along those lines… and it works

    and it works year after year after year

    and when you see your followers rise 100% and 400% and 4,000%, you tend to gain confidence.

    especially if you have been involved in the arena since the game began.

    which i have

    and i am so grateful.

    now go help flint get some clean water.

  6. Saturday, May 12, 2018

    dear tony, how do i get this thing that i want? 

    the vast majority of questions that i have gotten recently are about attaining things. material objects, dreams, jobs, etc

    and the answer is ridiculously simple: persist.

    as we know from video games, nearly all of your opponents will be dumb, slow, and eventually predictable.

    only at the end of the level will you be challenged with a person or a scenario where you might fail a few times (or more than a few times) before you succeed.

    learn from these battles and look for the patterns.

    if the giant slaps you twice with his left hand before going for his crossbow, then stop what you are doing on the second slap and dive at him when he reaches back.

    same with life. note what your reactions are to things and how those become unhelpful to that particular move. maybe you are the one who is tipping off his patterns.

    if you want the attention of a pretty girl, for example, and you find that you keep needing to have your lawyer pay them off so they doesn’t rat you out to the press

    maybe getting a new lawyer isn’t the answer.

    we all want to get as many points in this video game as we can, but we also should do it in as cool a way as possible.

    the first time i actually wanted to be someone else was when i was at the roller rink watching this one dude dominate on Defender while smoking a cigarette while on roller skates. he was probably 14 . he played with ease. he was not reacting to the onslaught he was dancing within the patterns.

    he knew not to shake the machine by yanking the controls because his beer would spill.

    study what it is that you want.

    be cool about it.

    dont quit and dont spill yr beer.

  7. Tuesday, April 24, 2018

    why i dont care if you dont like this blog, by tony pierce 

    once you start caring what John thinks, you’re gonna care about what Paul, George and Ringo think.

    and fuck Ringo.

    once you start caring what Beyonce, Michelle, and Kendrick think, you’re gonna have to care about what Bruno thinks

    and fuck Bruno too.

    i dont mean that in a mean way i mean that in a Bruno shouldnt care what the busblog thinks either.

    people should just do their own things in as close to a vacuum as they can

    because before we know it we are going to be like Kansas: dust in the wind

    and the kids who see what little evidence we have of our existences are going to see what we wrote

    and if what we wrote was bullshit like OMG Trump Rulez or OMG USC helped South Central become what it is today

    well, those kids will laugh and dismiss you forever and your legacy will be tainted.

    however, if what you wrote was true and pure and honest and filled with soul and black girl magic then they will gobble all the rest of it up too.

    and they will see that one page of a great blog is different on each page and each month and each year.

    what you are reading is a 17 year work in progress. and it has progressed and changed and gone through ups and downs

    as it has stretched and risen and flown and grown.

    thats what good things do.

    so if some fool takes a stab at one page and disregards the hundreds others, well

    fuck Ringo and Bruno and Hater 1 and Hater 2

    this aint for you anyways.

    this is for the far-aways.

  8. Tuesday, March 27, 2018

    dear tony would you ever change your style just to fit in? 

    even though im a born again Christian who believes in Heaven

    i think the best way to approach Earth is this is the only time we are going to live here

    and we should accept who it is that we are and of course try to constantly make improvements

    but at the end of the day love who we are.

    for example, if i was born a 1976 Sedan De Ville, i could work on the suspension, upgrade the stereo, paint it, and always use premium gasoline

    but i will never be a pickup truck.

    i would be a cadillac and i should be ok with that.

    i was born a tony pierce from chicago

    there are very few models like me

    and this one doesnt work for everyone and thats fine but in actuality we only come in contact with maybe a few hundred people or so

    and most people are relatively cool, so if i am cool with them — IF they are not cool with me, that’s not really my problem because im not gonna turn into a truck even if what they want is a truck, im a caddy, and a nice one, and you can hate me if you want but one thing you will never be able to say about me is i was full of shit, which to me is one of the worst things you could say

    which brings us to the question at hand

    we are all unique, weird strands of dna wearing pants and running around a planet that is spinning in space

    and in a blink of an eye we are going to die.

    you might appease the anxiety in your head by doing an imitation of a human being for the second that you’re here

    but im gonna be me

    and then peace.

    i sincerely invite you to do the same.

  9. Friday, March 16, 2018

    Dear Tony, What is something about you that we wouldn’t believe? 

    something that you wouldnt probably believe is i am extremely shy

    i know i know i know that in real life you might see me out with this one or that one

    but if you notice carefully i dont go to parties, i am never out dancing, i dont wear fancy clothes, i dont go to bars,

    and the only time i throw parties is when i ran LAist some 10 years ago.

    if i won that $420 million lottery jackpot i would be totally content in a nice warm log cabin in the middle of Oregon instead of a penthouse in NYC

    i love people, but the reason i do Uber and put on this outward persona is because i know i need to work at it. i want to get over it.

    because not-so deep down i know i would be America’s happiest hermit if i could be.

    the other day Amber had two days off in a row and i was all what did you do

    and she said NOTHING! and she seemed like she was saying it like she was a loser or something and i was all, baby no way. not leaving the house is one of my favorite activities.

    im glad i was thrown into door to door sales as a kid via Cubs Scouts and Marching Band, im glad i worked at a record store as a teen, and im glad i got to sell on commission while getting through junior college because all of those experiences helped me quiet the voice in my brain that was constantly saying things like

    omg youre weird, see how different you are from everyone, how are you gonna relate to this person, cant you see this couple hates you, why are you even talking!

    i always did poorly in school so that didnt help the voices. i didn’t have much luck with girls until college which also didn’t help. and in truth i AM different than your average person

    which UCSB namely the College of Creative Studies and the world famous Daily Nexus helped me see was a pro not a con. but the old voice in the head has a way of adapting and thinking up new crud to bombard you with.

    but to me the best way to silence the haters is to jump head first into whatever that fear is.

    feel like you wont be accepted by people: talk to as many people as you can, challenge WHY you need to be accepted so badly, and finally stop making everything about yourself and start helping others on their paths.

    i still play the lotteries every week and if i won i would probably buy a big house in the middle of nowhere and do some traveling, but deep down all i want is a nice water bed, a few cold cokes in the fridge and a giant tv with incredible sound.

  10. Saturday, March 3, 2018

    it’s Oscar Saturday, so let’s Ask Tony 

    Oskar asks: what will you be doing this year during the Oscars?

    If you recall, last year I roamed the red carpet, Dolby Theatre and the adjoining Loews Hotel publishing everything cool that I ran into on Snapchat.

    This year I will be doing pretty much the same thing (except with another year of experience under my belt) but on the Academy’s Instagram. Instagram Story to be specific.

    If you aren’t following us already, follow TheAcademy on Instagram and get ready to see all that my All Access pass can provide. I should start the transmission around noonish and end around midnight. God willing.

    What will you see? You will see all the things that you won’t be seeing on TV. So if you want to see it all, tune in to ABC on your TV and have your buddy Tony on your phone or iPad.

    John Smith asks: is it possible to go down to the LA river where they shot the car chase scenes in repo man and grease?

    Yes. But I wouldn’t recommend going down there right now as it has been raining the last few days and that area (just East of DTLA) is flooded and you might screw up your sweet car.

    Tony Kletch asks: Stones or Beatles? 

    I listen to the Stones at least once a week and if a Beatles tune comes on the radio I change it to Ozzy’s Boneyard. With that said, I listen to mostly the Stone’s 70s and 80s era tunes, so maybe my problem is mostly with the British Invasion era 60s stuff. But still, I prefer rock music as compared to pop.

    Mark Johnson asks: Do you support expropriation of land from white farmers to be claimed by the State of South Africa?

    I have the greatest friends. God bless you Mark. I don’t like the expropriation of any thing from any one. HOWEVER I think this is one of those rare moments where you can split the baby. I think instead of taking all the land from the white farmers, only half of it should be taken, and not by the state, but by the native South Afrikans.

    Dougie Gyro asksWill Ohtani be a better hitter or pitcher?

    Hitting MLB pitchers might be the toughest thing in all of sports. However, the Angels want to do this funky 6-man rotation which tells me they aint so confident about his pitching either. I know he’s young. I know he’s Babe Ruth. But I have a feeling they will use him as a SP and DH his first few years but will probably convert him to a long reliever and pinch hitter in years 3-4 when they realize there was only one Babe Ruth and he drank beers with children and ate hot dogs with strippers.

    Michael Katz asks: Is Joe Flacco a elite qb?

    History says nope. And says Jay Cutler should never have been a starter.

    More to come!