Episode 73 : We Did Some Good – Farewell

by Ian · 5 comments

in Conversation, Ian, Motivation, Podcast

It’s been a great experience but time to move on.

It’s now been 2.5 years since I started Create Your Life Story but really the story goes back to 2006 when  I discovered podcasting and spent the next couple of years learning how to produce my other podcast at Your Story. Very soon I realised I needed to find a business model to continue, so I learnt from the internet & content marketers all about finding a niche and selling to it.

In order to pull that off I had to find something in sync with my passion and ethics, which is where recording my uncle’s Life Story gave me the idea of teaching the same to others with Create Your Life Story. It was a great mix as it satisfies my interests and I know I’m doing good for the community and maybe I can make some income if I produce a quality product.

It’s been a great ride.

Over the course of the last 2.5 years I’ve produced:

  • 200 posts of educational content somewhere in excess of 100,000 words or equalivant to 3 novels
  • 72 podcast episodes – Close to 40 hours of audio
  • 2.5 hours of instructional video
  • 3 self-published E-books

This is still the best content on the internet to help people know how to produce a personal (audio) biography of yourself or someone else. There is nothing that even comes close but that doesn’t mean I’ve been a commercial success.

It’s about community.

Old media feeds the public information and entertainment as incitements to sell You as the product, to the advertisers. There is no need to communicate with the old media producer other than an occasional letter to the editor as really you’re not at all important to them, the advertisers are!

I’m not the old media, and neither are all the hard working new media producers out there on the internet.  I’m someone you know or yourself, working from home, wanting to help and make a difference, but without feedback it’s like working in a vacuum and screaming into the void and only possible for a period of time without some return of energy. Now, I didn’t expect a huge interaction with the greater world and I knew things wouldn’t happen overnight but it’s only possible to keep up the enthusiasm needed to create quality content for so long before it feels like no one is listening.

Above everything else, I’ve desired to build a community here with the feedback being more important than the income. An email, comment here on the site or on any of the social channels motivates more than you can imagine and with enough feedback (even without the income), this episode would never happen.

Income for survival.

I’ve put in thousands of hours to produce all the content you see here while receiving in return all but nothing, except knowing I’ve done well for the community. But this is what I wanted to do! Have a shot at the title, do some good and see what happens. Maybe good things could come of it?

Unfortunately it hasn’t really work out as I hoped. Maybe people don’t really care about this topic, maybe I’m incompetent at sharing the information or as I really suspect, maybe I’m just very bad at self-promotion and marketing.

Marketing & Self-Promotion.

I despise the manipulative marketing practices used today and feel it’s an insult to our intelligence, so it goes against my ethics to use them to convince you to act for my benefit. I’ve always felt that good work is rewarded by intelligent people recognising the effort and when they’re offered an opportunity to reimburse for that effort, will act accordingly. It’s a matter of mutual respect.

I don’t push for the financial return, actually I don’t want to charge for anything, I want to give it all away, which is the reason for having everything under Creative Commons and the depth of content in the posts & podcasts. I don’t believe in copyright and the abuse of the current patent laws. It simply stifles creativity and sharing knowledge, but I’ve followed some of the marketers strategies as they know more than me, in an attempt to encourage you to help me out .

But I think you can see through me… I want to just give it all away. It’s not in my nature to scream from the roof-tops about my efforts. I respect you to have the intelligence to recognise a good product and service and if you think it’s worthwhile I figured you’d act appropriately for yourself and me.

Ian Recording on the Berlin Rooftops for Your Story with Metroccolis

Two reasons for moving on.

I have two reasons for ending production of new content on Create Your Life Story.
Financially I’ve run out of resources and need to find some income before I dig a deeper hole but also I’m not getting responses from the audience and I can’t maintain the effort in a vacuum. There is just not enough demand for what I’m doing here. People only seem to care once their loved ones are gone, which is why genealogy is so popular. It seems people live in denial that their relatives will one day die and would rather dig around in old shoe boxes for information about their ancestors after they’re long gone, so everyone will have to live with regret once their relative’s pass.

Last episode of Create Your Life Story.

So this is the last episode of Create Your Life Story, with no more regularly posted content. All the content will remain here. I’ll maintain Create Your Life Story as a static site with all the resources available for the community at least for several years before eventually archiving it as I’ve shown here with individual’s Life Stories. At the end of the day this all belongs to you anyway, it’s the human story and I’m just the messenger. If you feel it’s of value could you please consider the value you’re receiving.

Value for Value.

If the content here at Create Your Life Story has assisted you and you can see the value in the production and for your benefit, please consider making a Value Payment.

  • What do you feel it’s worth?
  • Do you appreciate the effort?
  • What is the value and return for you?
  • Make a payment for the value you’ve already received.
  • Value for the additional content you’ll consume.
  • The worth of the bonus content you’ll receive.

If you make a Value for Value Payment you can have one of the products as an extra bonus or split your payment across both products.

If you’re interested, go to either of the products and make a payment of your choosing based on on the value you’re getting from the entire site and while considering the value of the Quick Start Guide or the Prompts & Topics book you’ll receive.

Make the Value Payment of your choice for either product and with my thanks have that item as my bonus gift for you.

I trust your decision is based on what you can see and the value you’ve received.

Some new media content producers ask for simply a $1 per episode payment, which coincidently happens to be the combined asking value for both products to date:

  • Quick Start Guide to Your LifeStory currently is $37
  • Prompts & Topics for Your Life Story is $35
  • 72 podcast episode @ $1 = $72
Or maybe you can see the effort of the 8 to 12 hours per episode and come up with a formula based on that.

You decide.

If you feel the products are worth nothing and you pay a minimal amount, well that’s your opinion of the content of the entire site.

If you feel this site is of value, you could consider the amount of quality content, what you’ve got from it, the effort to produce, your personal situation and decide on another amount.

This is Ian’s style.

This financial model is much more in line with my style of life. Give it all away and the rewards will look after themselves. If it’s worth anything to you please consider what you see before you & make a Value Payment.

I’ve produced all this content from what I’ve found around me and from my personal experiences but at the end of the day we all stand on the shoulders of giants and no knowledge is new, just new ways of sharing it. I hope you’ve enjoyed the way I’ve been sharing this content and I hope you’ve gained a great deal from it, if you have please consider helping me and get additional content for yourself.

As always… Please leave your comments at the end of this post or make comment on the social systems. If  you want my personal attention please email me at chat@CreateYourLifeStory.com or via the Contact Page, I’m always up for a chat.

Thanks for a great ride and I hope we meet in person one day 🙂



Interesting Links from this Post

Record Your Life Story


Use some of the ideas in the e-Book Recording Life Stories. Just sign up for it in the side bar form.

To get a kick start, get the Quick Start Guide to Your Life Story by clicking here and be underway in just an hour.

To automatically receive this free podcast, click on the iPhone image to the right or search in iTunes for “Create Your Life Story” or Subscribe in iTunes by Clicking here. If you use another Podcast software Get the feed here.

Support Create Your Life Story by using one of these services from the top navigation bar, commenting on this episode with social network sites below or writing a review on iTunes.

Your Story podcast interesting life stories
← If you want to hear some other great stories about the interesting lives that people have, listen to my other podcast at Your Story or on iTunes.


Ed Sabin

Just learning about your project. Have been thinking about writing my father’s biography and my life story for some time and have taken some steps in that direction. It always seemed like a tragedy that many millions of us disappear like a pebble dropped in a pond and soon the ripples flatten out forever. With today’s amazing computer storage capacity, there’s no technical or economic reason why everyone’s (at least those who want to) life story (once written) couldn’t be stored and be searchable on a giant database. I know the life story project at the University of Southern Maine was (and is) a step in that direction. Do you know of any other efforts in this direction? Seems like an idea waiting to happen. Thanks for caring.


Thanks for your thoughtful comments Ian. These are the sentiments which mean a great deal to me and helped create what is Create Your Life Story.

Ian Davidson

I recently cherry-picked a bunch of podcasts from Thomas MacEntee’s GeneaBloggers radio, including the one from 29th July 2011 where Ian Kath spoke with Thomas about CreateYourLifeStory.com, which I listened to during a long drive in the car today. I was immediately enthused by the topic, something that I’d thought about a number of times in the past but couldn’t get a start on. I was immediately swept up with Ian’s dynamism and passion for the subject and when I sat back down at the computer this was where I came to first. How ironic that the first podcast I heard was Ian’s farewell, and how sad to understand the reasons. I for one agree this is should be a mainstream activity for all genealogists, before it’s too late to capture all those memories in a person’s own voice. I’ll be trawling through the site in great depth over the next few weeks, and yes, I’ll be putting in a contribution too, for sure. You’ve got to be prepared to contribute if you want to partake of the benefits. Maybe this is an unfamiliar ethic to many millions of internet users who are used to getting it all for free, but somewhere along the line you have to put dinner on table, and you have to get satisfaction from what you do – passion just ain’t enough. Thanks heaps Ian, and I hope the future holds more good things for you.


Just found your site today Ian via iTunes and very sorry to read this. I’d been thinking of a way for my brothers and I to record our early memories and your early podcasts have given me some excellent ideas on how to do it. I’ll keep downloading the podcasts and will let you know when I’ve got a blog up and running and start putting into practice what I learn. Hope this is not the end and I’m looking forward to learning more about this rewarding hobby.

Peter Gutenstein

I think that it is a crying shame that Ian has not had enough support to keep his excellent and immensely useful site going. Come on, all of you out there – even if you are only 1000 or 100 or 10 – at least communicate with him so that he knows you are there and appreciate what he has been doing for us. I am sure that I am not the only one; in fact I am sure I am not – there have been others who have given feedback to him, so give him your support.
I shall make a value payment of $72. All of you – please do the same.
“Thanks for a great ride and I hope we meet in person one day 🙂
Cheers, Peter

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