When I was in high school, the internet was something only the dorks really understood. I was dorky enough, being bitter and sarcastic and a musical theater major, so that means that it was the real outcasts. It’s amazing what a difference a decade makes. So what am I thankful for this year? The internet and social media of course!
It’s interesting to sit back and think about all the changes in my life in the past year. On January 4, 2012, I was fired from my job at WGMD, a local Delaware radio station. I went public with all the details of my firing, and it made international headlines. You see, I was fired through a Facebook message. I realized at that time that, using technology and the internet, I could continue my show myself online. I could, basically, cut out the middle man. I wasn’t really given too much of an option; it was either do it on my own or get one of those regular jobs.
I had already found the best online broadcasting site, Spreaker, because I had started podcasting on my own in August. I spoke to Ian Freeman, host of the popular liberty-oriented talk radio show Free talk Live, about what had happened and he encouraged me to continue doing the job that I love, broadcasting, and see what happens. I started doing The Angel Clark Show on my own, from my own studio. At first the show was Monday through Friday starting at 7 p.m. EST, competing with Free Talk Live. On February 1, 2012, we changed the show time, starting at 5 p.m. EST and ending at 7 p.m. EST as we were invited to be a part of the Liberty Radio Network. We started selling advertising and with the help of a few good friends, The Angel Clark Show was making as much as I had made when I worked for someone else. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.
I have another job as well. I write for Examiner.com. The online news site is one that I have written for since 2010. They pay their writers based on the number of hits the writer gets. That’s where social media comes in.
I started growing my online social networking in 2010, realizing that this was the way to reach people. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and almost any other social networking site you can find. I started doing whatever I could to extend my reach. I learned about how Facebook reaches people. I leaned some Twitter tricks, and before long I had a social networking reach of hundreds of thousands of people. Because I am able to reach so many people online, and Examiner.com pays based on the number of hits each article gets, I have been able to live from the income from my show ads and my writing.
My parents don’t really grasp what I do; all they know is that I make money from the internet. When their friends ask what I do, they tell them I’m a writer. I understand that they don’t get it; the internet was more of a concept then a reality when they were born. When I was born, chances are you only knew about the internet if you worked for the government or in the tech field.
I can work whatever hours I want. I could never really function in the mornings. That’s fine, because now I no longer have to function any time before 3 p.m. I can do my work from anywhere, all I need is my cell phone and my laptop and I’m golden.
I would not have been able to make a living the way I do 20 years ago, probably even a decade ago. In fact, a decade ago when I graduated high school, I started college to be a lawyer, or something that started with a political science major. I changed my college major more often then I got my hair cut. One semester I wanted to be in radiology, the next a history teacher. I never really figured out what I wanted to be when I “grow up”. I’m just a few classes away, less than one semester, from three different degrees, but I’ve decided I’m good. No college can teach me what I have already taught myself using the technology and means available.
If it weren’t for the internet and social media, I would probably be out there somewhere right now, with a “day job”, working for someone else and hating getting up every morning when the alarm clock rings. I would most likely be miserable and doing the whole “white picket fence American dream” thing. Thanks to the free market of the internet, capitalism, and social media, I am able to be me, and profit from it. It is truly something that makes me thankful.
Angel Clark is a liberty-oriented lady, and blogs at SussexCountyAngel.Com. Angel focuses on economics and civil liberties, but you will hear her opinions on plenty of other topics. The Angel Clark Show airs live weekdays on LRN.FM, from 5-7 p.m. Eastern. Angel also has podcasting of her show listed on RadioFreedomUS.Wix.Com/Radio-Freedom.