Jody Gnant, Singer, Songwriter, Social Media Mavin –

Jody Gnant, Singer, Songwriter, Social Media Mavin

In this podcast Lon Safko speaks with Jody Gnant about what it was like to participate in her 9 month long continuous livecast, her participation in the One Red Paper Clip, and about her extraordinary music.
In this 42 minute interview Jody explains that in spite of the difficulty of broadcasting her life 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 3/4 of a year, how her livecast touched and change people’s lives, and how it change hers forever.  Jody also explains how she was part of an incredible journey of cyber-trading from one single red paper clip up to house.  Jody also shares her passion for her music.

These interviews and other content have been released in anew book “The Sparks That Ignited The World” available on Amazon (  For a CD containing all 50 audio interviews totaling more than 24 hours of historic conversations, go to

“The Sparks That Ignited The World” Series

This blog is part of the series “Sparks”, which contains transcripts and links to the audio podcasts from the more than 50 historic interviews I did with the founders, pioneers, inventors, authors, and visionaries who who set the world on fire by creating something that change the lives of everyone on the planet.  We now call innovation “Social Media”.  They were the “The Sparks That Ignited The World”.

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An Interview with Jody Gnant, Singer, Songwriter, Social Media Mavin –

LS: Hello, my name is Lon Safko, co-author of The Social Media Bible, published by John Wiley & Sons, the most comprehensive book ever written on the subject of Social Media. Today we are here with Jody Knat and we are going to be talking about lifecasting, community marketing and a little bit of a Social Network- surprise at the end of the conversation.

So Jody, it is really great to have you here today.
JG: Thank you. Thanks for having me, Lon!

LS: Well, it is my pleasure. I love your stories. I mean I can interview you on so many different subjects because when it comes to Social Media you are like “out there”. I love it!

JG: (Laughter) I am out there!
LS: You are out there! (Laughter) You are doing it! So can you just tell our listeners a

little bit about your background, who you are, what you do?

JG: Well, first and foremost I consider myself to be a singer/songwriter. That’s what
I’ve wanted to do since I was 11-years-old; and I kind of always knew I was going to
have to do it independently if I did not want to compromise who I wanted to be as an artist. Luckily, I was born and raised in a time when the internet was being born and raised right around me, and so I kind of grew up with the internet and the development of it.

I was chatting online at, you know, 13-years-old with the nickname of “Scooter” even before the internet transitioned over to being more of a corporate arena for companies to put up these flashy websites and “wow” the rest of us with their technical attributes. Now it is actually coming full-circle, the internet has been brought “back to the people”, so to speak, with Social Media, and it is really an exciting time to be an independent artist and to be able to promote what I do independently. So that is what I do.

I sing, I write songs and I put them out there for the world to see on the internet. LS: And you do a lot more, too. You blog, you lifecast….
JG: Yeah (Laughter)

LS: Again, you are “out there”. One of the things that I just heard you say, too ,(and it is a common theme that keep coming up in these interviews) is the democratization of the internet; and yes, at one time it was only for the “big guys” and now it is like, “power to the people”. All of us have the same abilities and the playing field is level; do you think?

JG: Yeah totally, and like I said it seemed as if, when I was a little kid sitting on my dad’s lap with the modem, with the rotary phone…it would just sit….I don’t know the technical term for what modem that was, but it was actually at that point about the people too. We would sit there and we would chat and we had th

screens; you really could not do anything else. You could play Zork, which was like a great game. Love that game. However, other than Zork and chatting online the internet did not do much yet.

Then the companies took it over and I now feel like it is…it is being handed back to the people. That is kind of, what I am all about as a musician; the entire reason I have decided to be a songwriter and a singer in the first place was to affect positive change. And I think that is why I like the internet so much and why I like these tools; (like blogging, like livecasting) is because it allows us to continue to make that positive change in our own special way.

Each of us has our own voice and the internet gives us the distribution channel for it.
LS: I love that!
JG: Kind of exciting to me.
LS: I love that, each of us has our own voice, and you have a particularly good one. I love your music! JG: Thank you!

LS: We’ll talk about that here in a second. The first time that I met you I wasn’t really completely…didn’t completely understand the term “lifecasting” or “livecasting” and I saw you walking down the street (we were going to meet at a coffeehouse) and here you had your laptop open, walking down the street, facing your typing…and I thought, “Oh my gosh, here’s a bigger nerd/geek than me!”

JG: (Laughter) what you mean is “bohemian/geek/soul”.

LS: (Laugher) is that what you call it!

JG: It was true; actually when I started livecasting people would say, “God, Bohemian Geek Soul; I see the bohemian, I hear the soul in your voice, but the geek I don’t see! So as soon as I started lifecasting, though nobody ever challenged that title, or again.

LS: Yeah!

JG: Lifecasting is…I think it is awesome! I initially started lifecasting…Wikipedia explains it as a continual broadcast of a person’s life through the general media. And basically a lot of lifecasters actually wear a camera and give the “first person” perspective of what they see on a day-to-day basis; and so it’s their lifecast.

But I wanted it to be viewed as a promotional tool to launch the release of “Pivot” which was the album that I had recorded and released as part of my “One Red Paperclip” trade. And so we decided that we would just start broadcasting. And we broadcast the recording of the record, the mixing of the record, the mastering, the printing, the rehearsing of the band for the CD release party; and then we would broadcast the CD release party…”Live…On the Internet!” with all these multi-cam systems and then…actually I was only going to do it for the six-week feed after the CD release party. But it dawned on me once I had had the CD release party, that really this was becoming the world’s longest documentary; “The Life and Times of an Independent Singer/Songwriter“ (and the struggles that they go through).

So it actually became more of a journalistic process for me; and capturing for posterity what I was trying to accomplish as an artist. And it actually at some point became less of a promotional tool and more of something that was a personal mission for me to capture. And the fact that there were other people along for the ride was just so cool, because people could actually choose to get involved in the process in real time. You know if they wanted to affect how my music career was going there was a chat right there, and they could do something about the fact that I was lost in LA. And they would get on and Google and they would figure out where I was and they would say, “Go left down Wilshire!” So here I am having my own personal GPS through the internet; or they could just sit back and watch the show.

And what else dawned on me was that, even though I started using it as a promotional tool, without even knowing it in just in the way that we were handling the situation we had started to create a community. And so all of a sudden there were 100’s of people that would just come by on a daily basis to get a smile. People have told me that they were in the hospital coming out of a coma and they genuinely didn’t know how they were going to survive the next seven weeks of a car accident; and then stumbled upon my lifecast. And the community is what helps them get through that time; and then they show me their scars and, you know, it is really humbling to know that what started out as a promotional tool ended up being a home and a community that still exists even without me.

Right now I am not lifecasting on the internet, but there are 36 people on the chat befriending each other and talking about what they are going to be doing in their life. And it is very humbling and it is not just broadcasting if you do it right. If you do it right it is actually community-building, and probably the most enriching experience I’ve ever done for myself.

LS: And that gets back to the community marketing. It seems that you actually not only just engage your customers and clients, but you really touch people’s lives by reaching out and communicating with them.

JG: Well, that’s just me. (Laughter) You can use community marketing toward “whatever” people see fit. But in my particular sense, it was interesting. Anonymous, Yvonne’s World raided the chat room on the second day that I was lifecasting and they actually raided Ustream, and it was a huge problem. You know the internet was raiding Ustream and there were not all the moderation options that are available in the chat now, but it really took over. And at that time I just laughed it off, because of course we all encounter trouble and it is the “big, bad internet”, and it’s scary out there, you know.

And so they are saying, “There’s a van parked out at your house.” And, “Do you have curtains?” And, “Do you have a dog?” (Laughter) And these are things, in general, that were not so nice. You know, critiquing physical features and making sure to find out the flaws; and I just laughed it off when they asked me to do a barrel roll, and so I did a barrel roll! And the next day, you know, the barrel roll is up on YouTube.

But what actually ended up happening in that instance was they raided the chatroom, they came on and instead of being threatened by them, I embraced the silliness, I embraced the role. And what ended up happening is it gave me my initial audience. And that went on for, gosh, probably a month. You know they knew I had 40, 50 people on my channel as of, like the second day; and it continually grew. And they held on long enough for an actual audience to grow and develop and I think that that was a huge part of that. It was from the get-go the channel had an audience and so there was something to pick up momentum from the beginning. And anybody that wants to utilize community marketing, granted, you go through life inch-by-inch. You know, “Inch-by- inch, life’s a cinch; mile-by-mile, life’s a trial”

If when you are doing a community marketing project, if there’s something to start with, in terms of a community or you are focusing on which community you are trying to build. I think you obviously build and it is integral to know which community you are going after and how you want to affect them at the end of the day. What is interesting to me is that these lives are being affected. No longer am I just selling a product. You know when I was lifecasting, my response to every single thing that came across my plate was being broadcast and analyzed and, perhaps remixed and copied, or inspiring somebody else. And so as somebody who has, kind of, planned on being in the music business the concept of living your life in the public eye was not completely foreign to me, but living it in such a way that every single thing you were doing could have an impact (whether it be negative or positive) on somebody’s actual life all of a sudden became a huge responsibility….even above and beyond the content that I was putting our musically.

LS: Wow! That’s a lot of power; to be able to influence people like that on a moment-by-moment basis.

JG: Well, sure. Even if you thing about trying a new product, you know (laughter) and I was trying a new product live on the air, and somebody would see it either being really great or really bad. And I guarantee (and what’s really interesting…and I’m not trying jump around here) that what is really interesting is that…in trying new coffeemakers say was in the lobby of my apartment complex and we would go out every morning and we would get this coffee. And because the lifecast also had a chatroom attached to it, it was real-time feedback from people that were participating in the chat. And so you can actually count and monitor how many times a specific brand name is mentioned in the chat. And you can then monitor what types of questions are being asked about your brand. You can monitor every time somebody says, “Hey, I bought this specific product because you tried it in your lifecast and you said it was good.”

And so you become a brand ambassador of sorts, every single brand that you pick up in your life. And the lifecasting, in that sense, is a really powerful model and I think brand-integration (in that sense) you will see a lot more of in the coming years in terms of what’s being put out there on the internet.

And community marketing, in general, where the community is actually (I don’t want to say “celebrities”) the community, the spokespeople, the brand ambassadors. And it becomes less about celebrities and more about trusted community members giving their “thumbs-up” too. We already see it now, but I think even more so as lifecasting and as “citizen journalism” become more of the valid form for the rest of the media world to pick up on and embrace, we will see a lot more of that kind of integration in the marketing in general. It’s very powerful!

I think if your friend told you to go see a movie because it was the best movie he had ever seen, you would go see that movie over and above and beyond Tom Cruise getting on the television and then saying, “It’s the best movie I’ve ever seen!” Because you have got a bond with your friend…

LS: Yes, you trust them.

JG: …and they are 10 times more likely not to make that statistic up, but you are far more likely to go see that movie because your best friend told you to see it, as opposed to a “celebrity”. And I think in that sense the marketing is going to be exponentially more powerful.

LS: The wonderful stuff that I just heard you summarize almost the entire definition of this broad object that we call Social Media, about trusted networks, about user-generated content, about wisdom of the crowds, about influencing your customers; I mean all of that works right into your entire lifecast.

And, just to summarize for some of the people who do not really understand what “lifecasting” is; it is like The Truman Show with Jim Carey, right…like that movie?

JG: Yeah, except I actually did know I was being watched! But yes, I mean every aspect of my life we broadcasted on the internet, even when it came down to sleeping. For the first six months I had a laptop on the pillow next to me, and I literally broadcast myself sleeping. And, yeah, that is strange (Laughter) by a lot, but again, I was really trying to document the journalistic process of what I was doing as an independent artist. And so because I was only getting four hours of sleep a night, I felt that it was integral to the show.

LS: Four hours of sleep! I mean, all the rest of that work that you have to put in; that’s what it takes to be successful.

JG: Right and I thought that by people understanding that like, “Okay, she’s not sleeping at all!” that that was an integral part of the excitement of the story, you know.

LS: Yeah. And the interaction, I though, was really interesting because the first time we met, we were sitting at the coffee table and you had your laptop open-faced; and I really did not know what was going on; it was pretty strange. And then I heard, “tippy-tippy” on the keyboard and then I asked you, I said, “What is that?” And you said, “Oh, well I’m lifecasting and somebody somewhere in the world asked how to spell your name; who were you. And I just typed in “Lon.”

And I thought that that was amazing that you had this real-time world-wide connection with people that really cared about what you were doing.

JG: Yeah! And not only do they care, but something that was so heartwarming for me was that there were people in remote areas of the world that were, maybe, never going get to visit places like Phoenix or places like New York City; are never going to get to go to a podcamp or a media expo. And they were getting to go through me! And if they had a question for somebody there, they could actually get is asked, because I was essentially being their voice for them. We would say, “We are a legion!” None of us are as powerful as all of us; and I really feel that slogans like that, that we are embraced as part of a community that made us feel like none of us were as powerful as all of us. And we do have a mission and we do have a purpose; and if the internet is responsible for bringing power and purpose and community back to our planet, how cool is that! Technology and Community!

You know what else is interesting, too, is that you mentioned that they asked you, “How do you spell your name?” And you said, “L-O-N.” Well, what we would always do is…we were never a channel where we felt that other channels were competition and I feel like that’s a very important…’s very important to embrace; that the blogger next door is not your competition or the vlogger next door is not your competition. And so you would come in and say, “Hi, my name is Lon” and then we would create a command for you, an IRC, and you know, you would type “@ lon” and your website would come up. And we would promote 100’s and 100’s of commands and what was cool about that is people could say, if they were new to the chat, “Who is this girl?” and you would type in @ who, and Jody Gnat is a singer/songwriter who lives in Phoenix, Arizona.” Or, you know, “Who is this guy Jody is talking to?” And they would say, “@ Lon” and say Lon is the most “baddest” man in Social Media and is writing The Social Media Bible and it is going to be a huge best-seller; and he’s going to take everybody out to dinner when he’s a zillionaire.”

LS: Hey, wait a minute! This is on tape now, this is being recorded! (Laughter)
JG: Yeah! And that’s why I said it! (Laughter) I want you to take me out when you are a bajillionaire!

(Laughter) We all want drinks! Everybody that’s given an interview, we want a party! LS: You’ve got a deal!
JG: When you are #1 on the New York Best-seller List, I’m negotiating your party for us! LS: (Laughter) See, I love they way you do business!

JG: (Laughter; A Delightful Jody Gnat-belly-laugh!) Well you know being a lifecaster you do realize that the power of actually broadcasting while you are negotiating is huge! (ADJGBL)

LS: I love that!

JG: We actually got several sponsorships that way, you know; and walked into offices and said, “Aha, the [18:42.4] will you sponsor us?” And you know, every single time they said, “Yes.” I never had anyone say, “No.” So… (ADJGBL) thank you for continuing to keep my batting average at 1,000.

So it was cool because, you know, these commands all of a sudden were created so that even when I was not around (and I actually got to the point where) I would say, “Yes, this is my channel but I’ll tell you what, I’m just the host.” This is our channel and I actually am just the host. The people could promote brands for me while I wasn’t even there. You know, “What does Jody use to lifecast?” And they would say, “@ how”, and they would, “Jody uses a Veritech PC and a Sprint PCN CIA card for her broadcasting. And so these questions could be answered about the brands that I was using and I didn’t even have to be there. So then you had 100’s of people answering questions about brands that I was able to type and freeze the wording for, so that the wording was proper and the message that I wanted to convey was proper; but somebody else was doing the marketing for me.

LS: Wow. It was kind of, as if you were the host of a party and all these conversations were taking place because it was a common meeting place, it was a reason to get together.

JG: Totally. And it is all track able and you are able to tell, like I said, how many times the brand name was mentioned in a 24-hour period and how many times the link was clicked through. You could do polls where you can actually quiz viewers on what they want to see next, or how they’d like things to…how they would like to see a new product being developed. Even in terms of my songwriting, it was like, “Hey, do you like this one? Do you like this one?” But then you put these polls up and they have, like, up to four choices; and you end the poll and the results are emailed to you and you have a real-time circumspect of people that are actually your customers. Blows me away! Totally blows my mind, the potential of lifecasting, and I would say that live web videos, end game. That’s it.

LS: And the user-generated content. When we first started doing The Social Media Bible, we went out to a 1,000 people and we said, “What would you like to see?” And what we heard was something that no publisher has ever published, three business books in one. A tactical book that explains all the different kinds of Social Media. A guide in the center that lists all of the major players and then a strategic book at the end; “This is how you apply it to your company to make money.”

Nobody has ever thought of putting three business books together, but it gets back to this user-generated content. Ask you customers what they want, give it to them, and you cannot fail.

JG: Right. It sound like you’ve got all the Testaments wrapped up in one Bible!

LS: Yeah. (Laughter) I’ve got my fingers crossed!

JG: (ADJGBL) I’m crossing mine for you.

LS: You did this 24-hours a day, seven days a week. How long were you able to pull this off? It sounds like a monumental task.

JG: Yeah, ahh…24/7 and I was able to do it for nine months. And after about nine months (I wanted to make it a year), but after nine months I wanted to take a few days off. Honestly it was very, very hard. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It was not the smartest thing for me to do physically. It was really taxing and it was a full-time job in and of itself. I think that people that are creating content on the internet and actually trying to make a living off of it, that that’s a full-time job in and of itself, and a full-time art form. I was also trying to actually be a music artist at the same time, and so it was kind of like three full- time jobs; and there is some speculation of people thinking that they know everything and me actually trying to maintain some semblance of privacy for the people that I care about in my life. So I took a lot of hits: where people would think that, you know, something was one way but it actually wasn’t, when I was protecting the privacy of a loved-one.

And, yeah, you know I got some good advice from Loby this year, and he said, “Don’t take yourself seriously, but take your music seriously.” And I think that that could be said about any craft, including blogging and marketing. You know, if you don’t take yourself seriously, but you take your craft seriously, you cannot lose. I just tried to keep that in mind at the end of the day when people were speculating on how long it had probably been since I had had a boyfriend! (ADJGBL)

LS: Well, that of course is the next question. How do you “smooch” without everybody staring at you?

JG: Well, as I said I was sleeping live on the internet, so, yeah! And I had my monitor at full brightness because I’m like, “No, no, they’ve got to be able to see.” I didn’t go as far as the night-vison cam. I thought that that always looked very strange, but yeah, it was an experience!

LS: That’s a lot of responsibility. When this recording is over, I hit stop and hang up the phone and I can go do whatever I want; nobody is really paying any attention. But…

JG: …and if you screwed up, you could edit it!

LS: That is…you cannot edit live life!

JG: No, and that’s what I would always say. This is not a dress rehearsal, kids, this is life; and I think that that’s also what people loved about it, was that it was the constant pressure to actually do well every moment, because you knew that it was having an impact and you also knew that even if I wasn’t recording it somebody else might be. (ADJGBL) Uhh Oh! You know it was hard and you wake up and your hair is all over the place and you haven’t had your coffee yet and there’s 45 people there wishing you “Good Morning”. And it is very humbling, but you know what! It was, honestly, like the most enriching thing I’ve ever done. I met people through lifecasting that I will know for the rest of my life and it has created some of the richest relationships for me, which I didn’t even expect. Like I said I thought it was a promotional tool and it ended up being a community circle that I don’t think is going to be going anywhere anytime soon. We are still building on it and…

LS: It sound like it changed you life.
JG: It totally did! It totally did.
LS: Nine months! Now, is that some kind of record? Are there other people out there that are doing this?

JG: You know I don’t think it is a record. I think it’s a really long time. You know [25:33.0] says that one month of lifecasting is like six months of real life. And I totally agree with her. I mean, I had a camera on me 24/7. So I don’t think it is a record and I still like lifecasting and just not doing it 24/7. I am looking for more technology sponsors because I actually want to set up a multi-cam system. And I loved it but I do want to have more control over it, and honestly, it wasn’t actually the lifecasting that was hard for me; being online all the time wasn’t as hard as having to keep the technology up and running, all the time.

LS: Let me ask you about that. I mean, you think about lifecasting and it seemed like you had it pretty well under control. You had your laptop, had an extra battery packed, had your webcam; and then you had some software. If somebody wanted to go out and do some lifecasting is it really technically difficult. Is it really?

JG: No! God, no. No, I mean you could be good if you just go get a Nokia and 95 and get some service at A T & T and you’d be done. You could get on to sites like Kyle just be done. Laptops now, most of them have webcams. But I’ll tell you what, when I started by testing I would using a really old PC and an external webcam and my Sprint PC NCIA card and that was it. I eventually ended up downloading tools on the internet that were free, like SuperWebCam and integrated them into the phone so that I could use that technology to add things like sponsor logos and slide shows, or to bring in external video clips if I wanted to showcase something. So, but I mean honestly other than my bill every month for my phone or for my internet, that was it! It was not hard at all.

But it was hard to keep the technology up and running, and so that means that if you go to a restaurant and you immediately look for the outlet. And I know we have all been there in the skybox and but if you have to live your life like that…so okay you are going out with friends to a bar and all of a sudden you are holding a camera like a waitress and you need to sit in a specific location. Your friends are like, “Hey, we just going up here at the bar.” And you have to say, “I think these things are going to die if I don’t plug them in.”

And they are like, “What!” (Laughter) So it is a challenge 24/7 both technologically and personally. It was quite the challenge. Actually being broadcasted was not the hard part for me. I always maintain that if somebody wanted to follow me around with a webcam, well I’d be damned to do it 24/7 any day of the week. But as long as I am responsible for keeping the technology up all the time, it does become a little bit draining, and a little bit interfering in actually having a life.

That was one of the reasons I also had to quit; it was that it was all consuming for so long that at some point I was like, “I should call my credit card companies. (Laughter) They are probably wondering where I am?” (Laughter)

LS: Well, it’s not hard to find you, because one time I was wondering where you were, whether you were in New York of Phoenix, because I wanted to invite you to do the Enterprise Network Presentation. And I thought, “Wait a minute, I do not have to call her, let me just go check where you are.”

JG: That is actually funny because I did not have any issues with people in Portugal watching me and knowing where I was at every moment, but when people in my real life would use it as a surveillance tool, it king of always freaked me out. And not necessarily the example you just sited, but, you know at my old apartment complex when the security guard at the front desk realized that I was now lifecasting from the stuff that I would bring out to the coffee machine every morning, then the concept…the security guard being able to watch me from 40 feet away in my apartment…that got weird for me. (Laugher)

It wasn’t having 1,000’s of strangers know my every move; it was the guy 40 feet away that kind of freaked me out a little bit. And you cannot lie. You know (and I’m not saying that people should lie or that I would lie) everybody ignores a phone call from time to time.

LS: Of course.

JG: And you are sitting there at your desk and your phone rings; you cannot “not” answer your phone because chances are good somebody watching you ignore their phone call. And so it would get to the point where, like you actually did not have the ability to say, “You know what, I love Lon, you can bring me nice stuff, but I am really in the middle of something. I’ll call him back.” And that is because I was concerned for those people and their feelings and I didn’t want them to feel like they were being ignored and, you know… it add a whole new element of accountability and (what’s the word I’m looking for) and availability to anybody at any time.

LS: I never thought about that, wow.
JG: Oh my God, it was awful. I mean it was just mind-blowing for me to have all of these new revelations in a

short nine-month span.

LS: Wow, wow. I really hate to change the subject, but there was something else that kind of happened to you that I actually, before your music and before your lifecasting I learned about you as being part of this very bizarre process where a young guy from Canada had one red paperclip, and he set up a website, a blog, where he wanted to trade up. “I’ll trade you my paperclip for something that’s worth a little bit more money, a little more value and that through only 14 trades he actually traded that paperclip for a house and you were in the middle of this.

JG: Yeah, Kyle! He’s so cool.

LS: Yeah.

JG: Yeah, well you know Kyle McDonald is actually the reason I embraced Social Media when I did. I don’t even think I had my MySpace, I think I was still resisting MySpace at the time and I was reading the internet. I loved the internet but I wasn’t actually engaged in the internet yet. They were still on the tail end of the only people who had websites were the people that had the money to build them. You know, thousands and thousands of dollars and the widgets and the user tools were not necessarily coming out of the woodwork just yet. But there were a few cool things like you blogger and Flickr and MySpace was there, and FaceBook was there but I think it was still, you know, it certainly was not all the rage like it is now. I mean, Twitter was not up yet. Do you remember life before Twitter? I don’t!

LS: I don’t.

JG: So I was reading the newspaper online one night and I read about this guy who…actually I read an article about cyber begging, and how people were setting up accounts because their credit cards were behind and they wanted donations for their credit cards to be paid. At the end of the article there was a story about this guy who was not cyber begging but he was actually trading…trading up from one red paper clip to a house. And so that sounded interesting and I clicked on the link and at that time I think he had the Cintas box truck and so he had already traded a paper clip for a fish pen; a fish pen for a door know; a door knob for (I think) a Coleman camping stove. From a camping stove to a generator; a generator for a Budweiser sign and a keg of beer, an empty keg of beer and an IOU for a snowmobile for a trip for two to Yacht, British Columbia, for this Cintas box truck. And he was blogging about the entire journey from the very first trade all across North America as he was making these trades and meeting there people.

So it was a kind of website that you wanted to go back to and then the next thing that he had was one recording contract.

LS: Cha-ching.

JG: I like died! I want to record another album and I don’t have the money to do it. So I started thinking, what do I have. And at the time, I owned a duplex and I was living in one side and I was renting out the other side; and I thought, “You know what? I’ll move out of the side I’m living in and I’ll go live in my studio and I’ll offer up this side to Kyle. I offer him a years’ free rent for this recording contract in Phoenix, Arizona. And he took it!

LS: Wow!

JG: And so I got recording time at one of the coolest recording studios, Metalworks, in Toronto, Canada, and that was the start of the record that is now called, Pivot. And that’s why there’s a little red paperclip for the “I” when you see it on the album cover.

And so he went on and actually, the girl that I was renting to next door looked at me and said, “Why am I paying you rent, Jody, if you are giving this to Kyle?” So she asked her boss and said, “Hey, would you trade with this guy so that I can have a year of free rent, and would you spend the day with this guy.” And he said, “Sure!”

So her boss, she actually works in Cooperstown Restaurant in Phoenix, the next thing he traded for was a day with Alice Cooper, and then he made three more trades and he ended up getting a house! Free and clear, one year to the day that he put up the first paper clip on Craig’s List.

LS: Is that the most amazing thing and you were part of it!

JG: Totally awesome! Totally awesome! What else is cool is that about the time the Kyle made his trade with me, he realized that in addition to getting his own goal; (and Kyle actually always wanted to be a writer, you know) that this blog is now signed to a book deal and this book in now out for sale with Random House, and I think DreamWorks Options bit as a movie deal.

So in addition to getting a house free and clear, Kyle’s dream of becoming a writer/published author has come true. And about the time that he made his trade with me he realized that in addition to his own dream’s coming true, now he was starting to expect change for other people, like myself who were now getting to complete their album; or for Leslie who was now getting to live for a year, rent free. And what could she do with her life with no rent for an entire year. Then she traded…you know he traded that day with Alice Cooper for a kids snow globe, not because it was a good trade but because they guy that wanted to make the trade has always wanted to be a concert photographer. He knew that being able to go out for a day with Alice Cooper and photograph him at a concert could potentially change his life. And he traded the kid’s snow globe with Corbin Bernsen, who offered one movie role, paid movie roll. A lead role in a movie that Corbin Bernsen was producing and directing and so then, all of a sudden now somebody had the opportunity to fulfill their dream of becoming an actor. And that town of Kipling in Saskatchewan said, “That’s a really great opportunity for one of our residents.”

So they traded the house, which actually was a win for them, too, the Town of Kipling has gotten great publicity from the deal. And so, therefore, changing the lives of the residents of that community, but also the life of one very special resident of the community who got his opportunity. He had wanted to be an actor his entire life and he didn’t know how he was going to get out of Kipling…”How am I going to get out of Saskatchewan to get to Hollywood to be an actor?” Well, guess what?

LS: It happened?

JG: Nope. And that, I think, also was a really, really big message for me in terms of the power of the internet and the power of these crazy themes that we are all coming up with is that, “Well, yeah, we’ve got the ability to market ourselves and we’ve got the ability to make our dreams come true for ourselves; but we also have the ability to make other peoples dreams come true..

And like I said, that’s all I ever wanted to do as a musician in the first place. So it fit really well together. Yeah! One Red Paper

LS: I love it. Yeah, to find out more information. I hate to wrap this up. I love talking with you. Can you tell our listeners where they can find out more information about you and Wild Eye Entertainment and your…..

JG: Just

LS: Okay!

JG: And actually, you can buy the record on Itunes if you like Itunes. You can buy the album from me, I will sign it, and my Mom will ship it. You can always download my tracks for free from my website. And they are RM free and their pod safe and to me piracy is not nearly as threatening as obscurity, so I actually hope that people come on and listen to the music, because we put our heart and soul into it. And if you like it, tell a friend, because it is free and we are just trying to share the happiness and spread the love.

LS: Share the love! There is one other thing that I just thought was hysterical this morning when we had met. You said that you had put an ad up to rent your house and somebody came over and they had a lease in their hand that they were going to give you. And then you turned it over and you found out….who was it?

JG: Yeah! I rented out to Obama last week. (DJGBL)

LS: You crack me up!

JG: Yep! But now I am going to use it for campaign headquarters for Phoenix. But again, like how cool is that! You know and like I said at breakfast was I cannot wait to blog about it; is that what’s so cool about that is we live in a country, at least you and I do, where my party affiliation was not an issue and they didn’t ask me if I was a Democrat or a Republican and they didn’t ask me who I intended on voting for.

It was as if it was Democracy or something! And we just had this freedom to rent our house to whom we wanted. And that really struck me! You know, I personally do not think that it should matter, but in some countries, it might. And it just made me feel so lucky and so I know that’s probably not the message that you are trying to get from me as your guest, but I rented my house to Obama; isn’t that crazy!

But it just goes to show you that life is not any less strange when you stop lifecasting. LS: I love it! This was awesome. Thank you so much!

JG: Lon, you’re the best! I would do it any time and I really look forward to you taking us all out for drinks when you are on that best seller list.

LS: (Laughter) And again, this has been recorded so I am kink of stuck doing that! I love your style. (Laughter(

JG: (Laughter) Well, awesome and hey, if I can do anything for you or anybody listening please feel free to shoot me an email at

LS: Totally awesome. I would really like to thank Jody Gnant for being here today and talking about that incredible stuff. It’s too numerous….thank you, truly. Thank you.

JG: Yeah, anytime. Thank you for having me. 12

Well, this has been Lon Safko, co-author of The Social Media Bible. Be sure to check out our other valuable Social Media tactics, tools and strategies that can be found in The Social Media Bible book or its companion website For more information about me, Lon Safko, please go to my website at

And again, Jody, thank you so much for being here today. JG: Anytime. Anything for you, Lon.

Lon Safko

Bestselling Author & International Keynote Speaker

Tags: Lon Safko, Bestselling Author, International Keynote Speaker, Innovative thinking, innovation, creative thinking, The Social Media Bible, The Fusion Marketing Bible, founders, Matt Mullenweg, Gary V

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