My thoughts on #trump

[blockquote source=”Vanilla Sky”]Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around[/blockquote]

Ok, this is an interesting one to write. Over the last 3 months I have seen some pretty poor human behaviour in the name of politics. At a local level as well as on the world stage, then the results started coming in yesterday…

I do not think Trump is a good human being, but he may be the leader America needs right now. Steve Jobs wasn’t a great human either, but he achieved some pretty amazing things. I have read trump books in the past (ghost written obviously) and whilst I wouldn’t do business in his way, he has become a success, there is no denying that. I am not sure if he planned long ago for this to be his end game, or whether he saw an opportunity and went for it….

While pondering these things, it suddenly dawned on me that I was going against my own philosophy in regards to my place in the world. I had been dragged in to the politics as a planet is drawn in to a black hole. If you get to close, you will never escape the gravitational force.

Locally I got close because of my role in the Village Voice newspaper and our desire to cover important local issues. However, as far as the American election goes, I got close because I fell into the conversation flooding my newsfeed on may social media platforms, coverage in the media and the general topic of discussion at almost every place I have been…

My philosophy with these things is – It doesn’t matter who is currently in power in any government anywhere on the planet – what happens to me is up to me. The government may shape the environment, but I am responsible for my choices and actions within whatever environment I exist.

It dawned on me yesterday, that the market crash probably allowed a greta deal of very sophisticated investors to make a bunch of cash. Even a beginner like me could have traded yesterday and cashed in.

Great entrepreneurs are always able to find a way. Great investors will make money in any market conditions… and it is investors and entrepreneurs who can do the most to change the world. That is why they have a lot at stake and get involved in politics. They want the best environment for them to operate in. As individuals, we don’t get to influence votes, only cast our own.

The democracy that we celebrate in the free world demands that we respect the office – but hold it accountable to the promises made on the way there. It demands that just because our candidate didn’t win, we don’t cry foul – I am still wondering what President Elect Trump would have done if he didn’t win… guess we will never know – and that we as a people continue to strive and do the best we can in the environment in which we find ourselves.

It’s time to focus now on the real issues, locally in our own backyards, and globally. DO our own little bit to make our patch a bit better, and if everyone does that then maybe we will just all be OK.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All


Have you gotten into the Pokemon craze? People have been laughing at me all week as I have chased digital creatures around the streets, catching them everywhere from my hotel room in Penrith to the park at Lake Wallace.

I guess, if you only look at the first layer of the ‘game’ you would think it a little strange that a 42 year old man might be participating in this ‘kid’s’ craze.

However, as someone who sees themselves as an early adopter of new tech, there is a much bigger story here. I have suggested for nearly 10 years that there would come a day when we could lay a digital layer over the real world to improve our experience in our daily life, and this is the very beginning of that change.

I see the introduction of this game as the beginningof a new era in the digital universe. Facebook and other computer games are able to be consumed from the comfort of our own homes, and many a game loving teen now has ivory white skin because they get a minimum amount of outdoor time.

The Pokemon Go craze is pushing these people out the door, making them explore the ‘real’ world to find their ‘cyber’ creatures.

The benefits in terms of exercise have already been immediately apparent with many people covering kilometres a day in search of the wily little digital creatures.

From a business point of view, the app has been downloaded an incredible 15 million times in just 2 weeks. It has added over US$12 billion to the value of the Nintendo company and is generating over $1.5 million per day in revenue.

Add to that the fact that it currently has more daily active users than Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat and you start to get a picture of just how big this phenomenon is.
But there is more to it; what if instead of finding digital creature you were hunting for daily deals, or perhaps finding historical facts about a town? What about a trail app for all the amazing bush walks around our region highlighting when you are in the vicinity of amazing Indigenous artworks or sacred sites.

[blockquote]This technology is perhaps the most exciting thing I have seen in 5 years. It is as big a game changer as Facebook, perhaps more so. Once we get used to a digital layer over our physical existence, we can add so much value.[/blockquote]

So if you see me running down the street trying to catch a Golbat or Pidgeotto, don’t think I’m strange, remember I am on a research mission to understand a game changing technology.

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Editors Letter – Issue 93

We’re Back!! I trust you all had a relaxing Christmas and New Year. We certainly did, taking a holiday with the whole family for the first time in 5 years was a very welcome break.
We went to South West Rocks and enjoyed lazy days by the pool, soaked up the sun on the beach, tried our hand at fishing (nothing to report sadly) and generally had a great time.
Whilst away, I did my very best to stay technology free and not working – except for the single rainy day we had – and I feel very refreshed thanks to the break.
We’re now ready to take on 2016 and seeing what we can achieve as a business and as a region.
One of the big agenda items for the Village Voice this year is growth. As I alluded to in my final editor’s letter last year and with the full page Village Voice Promise, we have big goals.
We believe that the Village Voice model works well, and is a now ready to be rolled out into other regions. We will be delivering our second paper in February, which will share a lot with our Lithgow paper but also be uniquely its own. Our third paper will be rolled out in April and then a further four papers by next Christmas, totalling 7 publications.
What does this mean for Lithgow’s Village Voice? It means it will only get better. We are very excited about some of the ideas that have been developed and seeing how other communities embrace their own version of the Village Voice.
Ultimately, we believe that we can build a business in the Central West region that keeps the local newspaper and associated websites exciting and engaging for many years to come.
If it were left to traditional media companies, the Central West could very easily be without a single newspaper in the next 5 years. We don’t believe that is the way. We believe more papers is the way to go, relevant local content and advertisers that you actually want to do business with.
There is obviously a great deal of risk in growing a business to this sort of size in a down cycle in the economy, but we have invested heavily in both technology and systems over the last 18 months, so we think this is the time to make the move.
This will necessitate some changes to the format of the paper, and we will, over the next 6 weeks, be introducing some of those changes to you. Your feedback, as always, is highly regarded, so please feel free to let us know what you think.
Some of the first changes will be to our news cycle and the formats we deliver. All stories will be placed on our website as soon as they are received, and shared to our Facebook page.
We will then determine each week, the most engaging stories and they will be the ones that make the paper.
This was our original concept, however we found we had to grow to a point where we had the trust of the community before we could get that level of engagement. We believe we have now reached that point.
We will also be launching a series of Central West focussed websites that together form a portal to everything you wish to find and read in the region. It will take some time for these new websites to gain traction, but over the coming months if you are looking for a job, a property, tradesman, a place to eat – then we will be able to point you in the right direction.
Our web based services will be supported by our growing print network and with both of those platforms working together, we feel we can deliver a strong service to the entire Central West region.
Time will tell if I am right or wrong, but I can tell you one thing. We are a small, locally owned family business. We are not sitting in a board room in Sydney looking over the Harbour deciding what happens to your newspaper. We are living and working in this region.
Advertising in the Village Voice is the only way we make money, so if you are in business and feel that this all sounds like a fantastic idea, we would humbly ask you to consider advertising your business with us so we can all grow together.
Best Regards for a profitable 2016,
Rich Evans