“Detroit Publications:” David Walks Episode 14 with Cultural Icon Natalie P. Funk

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Disclaimer: All assertions in this episode are just opinions for the sake of entertainment. This is just two people shooting the shit. 

David Smooke :        Welcome to David Smooke Walks with ********.

Natalie P. Funk:        Hello.

David Smooke :        Ad sales woman. We’re broadcasting … Where are we?

Natalie P. Funk:        Live from the jeep.

David Smooke :        Live from the jeep.

Natalie P. Funk:        With Tim Horton.

David Smooke :        Yeah. We’re going to get some used books at John King …

Natalie P. Funk:        Bookstore.

David Smooke :        John King Bookstore. This is the largest used bookstore. The second largest in the nation?

Natalie P. Funk:        According to [Nick 00:00:33] it might be the second largest in the world.

David Smooke :        Wow.

Natalie P. Funk:        We’ll have to find out when we get there.

David Smooke :        Some things that you taught me recently. One, stop signs are optional in Detroit.

Natalie P. Funk:        Depending on who you are.

David Smooke :        Okay. And how does …

Natalie P. Funk:        Willingness is part of it.

David Smooke :        Willingness?

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah.

David Smooke :        Yeah, if you just don’t want to use them, no one will arrest you.

Natalie P. Funk:        Right. It’s your right to exercise if you want to. It’s just not that everyone is willing to take advantage of …

David Smooke :        Uh-huh, they still like the back route that they’re used to, like …

Natalie P. Funk:        They see a …

David Smooke :        … if they see a stop sign ..

Natalie P. Funk:        They see a point to stop signs beyond avoiding getting a ticket.

David Smooke :        Yeah. Oh, you’re beeping. Your seatbelt’s not on.

Natalie P. Funk:        Oh, well.

David Smooke :        [Crosstalk 00:01:20] very cool.

Natalie P. Funk:        I know. No, no, no. I’m …

David Smooke :        You’re a risk taker.

Natalie P. Funk:        I’m getting it. I just have to be in the car for at least five minutes. For some reason I’m very [inaudible 00:01:26].

David Smooke :        Uh-huh. Okay. That, kind of, makes … Does that make sense? No?

Natalie P. Funk:        It’s just not the first thing I do when I get in the car.

David Smooke :        What else should we talk about?

Natalie P. Funk:        Have you ever had Tubby’s?

David Smooke :        No.

Natalie P. Funk:        You had Jet’s Pizza, Tim Horton’s …

David Smooke :        Jet’s Pizza was good cheesy bread.

Natalie P. Funk:        Jet’s Pizza was good cheesy bread. We went to Gusoline Alley, which is a cash only bar in Royal Oak.

David Smooke :        That place was great.

Natalie P. Funk:        The only enjoyable bar in Royal Oak. [Crosstalk 00:02:00].

David Smooke :        I went twice. I sat in the same booth both times and just drank and talked. Yeah, it was a good bar.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, I think …

David Smooke :        The light switch in the bathroom said, “Poop.”

Natalie P. Funk:        Did you document that?

David Smooke :        Yes, I did document that.

Natalie P. Funk:        Good.

David Smooke :        I can provide a link to this posted podcast to my picture of the light switch poop. Really. I’m going to try and publish it everywhere, just like you should with your … the rocks image. The RR energy drink.

Natalie P. Funk:        The urine …

David Smooke :        The urine.

Natalie P. Funk:        … bubbling over the edge?

David Smooke :        Yeah.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. Well, now that I have a …

David Smooke :        That was like a …

Natalie P. Funk:        … camera …

David Smooke :        … cycled life …

Natalie P. Funk:        [Crosstalk 00:02:44].

David Smooke :        … moment.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. I told that kid at the [inaudible 00:02:47].

David Smooke :        Oh, the jerky store?

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. I told him this was a spiritual experience for me. I was buying fake tattoos and Rock Star drinks. There was no way I was going to …

David Smooke :        The other great thing about that store is we kept coming back, like buy one thing, come back to the counter. Buy them again. Buy another thing. I think I went to the counter two or three times.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. We were high maintenance customers.

David Smooke :        We were the greatest customers. Like, once we buy something, we immediately turn around and buy more things.

Natalie P. Funk:        Instant addiction.

David Smooke :        You’re trying to get a publication off the ground?

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, I would like to. I think it would be fun. I don’t know if I’m actually going to do it. It’s …

David Smooke :        Well …

Natalie P. Funk:        … on my list of things that …

David Smooke :        … I mean, we talked about it this morning.

Natalie P. Funk:        … are fun to …

David Smooke :        Like …

Natalie P. Funk:        … daydream about while I’m at work in meetings.

David Smooke :        No, you were pumped about it. You know? It’s like you should do the things that you want to exist.

Natalie P. Funk:        I know. It’s just I have other things started. You know? [Crosstalk 00:03:54].

David Smooke :        Let’s talk about what you need to do it.

Natalie P. Funk:        Well, trotter or I find …

David Smooke :        Globetrotter. That’s an area I know how to build more. I find apps. You know? My app failed.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, that’s true.

David Smooke :        I want something that did a little better. Like a publication. I did that. I can talk that.

Natalie P. Funk:        Well, what would I need?

David Smooke :        Well, at the newspaper we’re using a paginating program, so page layout, however you want to solve page layout. What is actually the content? Either you learn that …

Natalie P. Funk:        I basically wanted to just completely [inaudible 00:04:38] that [Glamcall 00:04:40] publication from Amsterdam.

David Smooke :        That’s a good start.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. I spent a lot of time on their website. I mean, [crosstalk 00:04:45]. You know what? Nobody would ever know, and I’m just a huge … If you already like it, just …

David Smooke :        What’s the site?

Natalie P. Funk:        It’s the Glamcall Amsterdam. I only have that one publication, their 117th copy that I picked up at like Tom’s shoe store or something there. I just loved it. I carried it around with me for a month after I got home. With no interest in actually subscribing, but every interest in copying their idea and bringing it to Detroit.

David Smooke :        It’s easy to copy a site, or come close, so you can start there. I also think the categories you were telling me earlier, like writing out like what actually … like you already know. I think there’s ideas that you say that you don’t have written out yet. When you involve other people it’s good that you know, like, here’s the editorial line. They see their categories.

Natalie P. Funk:        Right.

David Smooke :        You know what I mean?

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah.

David Smooke :        What can you control? You know? You can control that you can write out more of what the idea is.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah.

David Smooke :        That’s …

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. I mean, I wrote a list of topics that I would be interested in, sources that I trust. I would just want something really visually stimulating, not that serious, not really … Because I’m definitely not an expert in any of these topics that I would want to have in the paper.

David Smooke :        Oh, you should probably … Because we had talked about this before we were recording. What is globetrotter?

Natalie P. Funk:        I want it to be a monthly print publication in Detroit that streamlines information from around the nation and the world on topics that I’m interested in, like architecture, interior design, candy from around the world, because candy’s different everywhere.

David Smooke :        That’s sort of my favorite.

Natalie P. Funk:        I really like the packages, just pictures of packages, so that we can just, kind of, understand what it’s like to be somewhere else.

David Smooke :        That’s [crosstalk 00:06:51].

Natalie P. Funk:        [Crosstalk 00:06:51].

David Smooke :        The candy is such a good that really blurs the line between native ads and a real content ad, so if you just put a big picture of a Hershey bar and you make it look like Hershey bought an ad, but then if you cover some smaller candy from Amsterdam, it’s like, they’re going to like the exposure.

Natalie P. Funk:        Right.

David Smooke :        That one’s a good one where it’s like, I always like when the content effectively blurs the line between the ad and … with the content itself.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, I agree.

David Smooke :        This is the other. This was actually one idea. I may try and put it into something else. It was the idea that all the content is black and white and all the ads are color.

Natalie P. Funk:        I don’t really think that the audience I’m trying to target would feel betrayed by that fact if they even noticed, eventually, because the kind of ads … I think the full page ads … The publication would probably be about 50 pages, pretty …

David Smooke :        That’s a pretty long first issue.

Natalie P. Funk:        Well, do they start out smaller and get larger?

David Smooke :        It’s way easier to do.

Natalie P. Funk:        Easier to do.

David Smooke :        Think about like …

Natalie P. Funk:        I can’t legally publish fake ads to sell other …

David Smooke :        I mean, you totally can in the beginning. You know? Like we were talking earlier, if you get a cease and desist for a brand for using their logo improperly, it’s like, you’re big enough to be noticed, and then you deal with that problem then.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, I was curious how these girls in Amsterdam … They had American Apparel, Diesel, like those … I’m like, “Okay, these are the kind of advertisers I would want, and … “

David Smooke :        That was just two chicks that made that?

Natalie P. Funk:        I think it’s two to four, if my memory is not failing me, but it’s like, I don’t know. I’m not undermining how much work would definitely go into it, but I highly doubt that Diesel is paying top dollar for that ad, but they still got Diesel, somehow, someway.

David Smooke :        And if they didn’t, it appears they did.

Natalie P. Funk:        Exactly. Then that’s how it occurs to me, I guess I am, kind of … I’m like, “How did they do that?” Like, “What did they say?” I doubt their distribution is that high, but somehow they’ve had 117 plus issues coming out, so …

David Smooke :        That’s a lot.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. Why can’t I do that? Like I said, we had our [Crosstalk] that I really was not a fan of …

David Smooke :        Do you want to …

Natalie P. Funk:        … just went out of business, and …

David Smooke :        When we get back from the bookstore we could start writing out the pages, so it’s just like, we take out paper and pen and we say, “Page one, page two, page three” and go as high as we go.

Natalie P. Funk:        Well, and I’m thinking locally, people that I want to work with. I think that there are a handful of people that would just simply find the project fun and on top of it photographers, things like that, that would be willing to let me use their work just to have it out there. You know? Just to give it a go, then take it from there. I definitely think that the audience is here. I know that we’re just a little different. I mean, we still have two daily statewide papers. The print is still strong. In Detroit, of course, it’s not like it was anywhere the way … You know? It’s not what it used to be, but it’s still … I don’t think there’s anything like it. We have our weekly entertainment guides that are popular. They’re strong.

This, obviously, should be different. I just want something cool to look at. I want to communicate with people from everywhere, and I want to hold it in my hand.

David Smooke :        I want to hold it in my hand.

Natalie P. Funk:        I want to hold it in my hand. I want people to be able to pick it up and walk with it, and put it in their bag.

David Smooke :        I want to see a stranger reading that. That’s a nice moment.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah.

David Smooke :        That’s a moment like … That’s like you put in hours and time, and you do all of this work. I remember I saw Mark Zuckerberg do a video. He was like, shortly after Facebook, like when they were early, he went to … He was in Europe, but he went to a coffee shop and he used their computer, and the last page visited was Facebook. He was like, “This is a moment where I was just like, you know, this is, like, big.”

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, definitely. Another complaint …

David Smooke :        I think you should …

Natalie P. Funk:        … I hear …

David Smooke :        … quit your job tomorrow and dedicate your whole time to this.

Natalie P. Funk:        That’s the thing. If this …

David Smooke :        There’s …

Natalie P. Funk:        … comes out, we have to …

David Smooke :        There’s no time for small potatoes. You know?

Natalie P. Funk:        We have to conceal my identity, because …

David Smooke :        Why? Do we …

Natalie P. Funk:        I couldn’t …

David Smooke :        … need an alter ego?

Natalie P. Funk:        Well, no, but I can’t be a competitor to my business.

David Smooke :        You’re not a competitor.

Natalie P. Funk:        A print publication with advertising inside would most definitely get me fired.

David Smooke :        Really?

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. Yeah. I actually even had the … I already told my boss and a couple other people about …

David Smooke :        I mean, they don’t own you.

Natalie P. Funk:        … about [crosstalk 00:11:56].

David Smooke :        They buy 40 hours a week from you.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, but there’s non-competition stipulations to handling … having the contacts that I have. Not that I actually even want to target any of our advertisers, but …

David Smooke :        I think you have to look at media more like the Wild West. Look at like the upward upvote site, that’s like, they’re not making any content, they’re just pulling the cool stuff from around the Web. Then they have a good system to get a lot of traffic. You know? I don’t know. Just more and more I’ve been thinking like, you’re your own business and you have … you set up relationships with employers, and … Yeah, I mean, if you sign something that says I can’t do a print publication … But if you haven’t signed that, I mean, they really have to fire you for a different reason.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. Well, I did do some research. I asked my boss to produce some paperwork for me. It was very vague. She said mostly just to keep her posted in terms of Eye-Fi, which is a image sharing app game idea, and for that to be brought into question, I would think that a print publication certainly would get some attention.

David Smooke :        I mean, if I’m … say I’m your boss. I’m like, “Wow.” Like, “This person’s already doing it? Maybe we have to look at how to fit them into the company differently.” Like if you make a publication and it creates waves, they should totally be looking at you as an asset, and it’s like …

Natalie P. Funk:        Right.

David Smooke :        … the work that she’s doing for us, it could actually be much better. I mean, look at ways to move up. It’s like, would you rather go get some degree or would you rather say, “I have this entity.” You know? This is 5000. I know how to make a 5000 print publication. Like I just [crosstalk 00:13:47].

Natalie P. Funk:        Well, yeah. I would much rather that. Of course, I would want to use my internal resources on smoke breaks to continue to learn and gather information.

David Smooke :        Do you think we’re committing espionage? Corporate espionage right now? Are we documenting a crime?

Natalie P. Funk:        Hopefully so, right? I mean …

David Smooke :        Yeah.

Natalie P. Funk:        … if I … You said 5000?

David Smooke :        I think 5000’s a good number. I mean, really, 1000 … Just getting the first issue, like even seeing it on the screen, as you start to build out the content, that’s a huge milestone. Then deciding how many to print, you know, the first one you can really … I mean, these zine people that I’ve met, it’s like they just … You know, they put this investment, print 100, and get it out there. You can always print more.

Natalie P. Funk:        Right. Well, and like I said, I haven’t talked to this person personally, but [Chelsea 00:14:39] does know somebody in Grosse Pointe who happens to be in the business of printing. She mentioned it to him, and all he said was we’d have to work really closely on something like that, kind of indicating to us that we don’t quite understand how much work it would be, but he’s willing to let us try.

David Smooke :        I mean, you’re a new client for him.

Natalie P. Funk:        Mm-hmm (affirmative).

David Smooke :        He’ll help you.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, I think I …

David Smooke :        What would the first article be? Like, I open up the … What’s the cover, actually? Do you see a cover in your head?

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. Well, the cover would be similar to the cover of the … Like one or two objects, or one person, something just really simple. One thing I liked about the Glamcall publication when I opened it was they had pictures, tiny pictures, labeled one through 10. Then underneath that they had just one tiny paragraph labeled one through 10 to match the image, completely random. One was an album. One was a piece of art. One was something to do with Fuji Water. Pretty plain lists. I mean, I was just, this whole, pick it up, put it down thing. I don’t know. We get told a lot at the newspaper that people are sick of bad news. This wouldn’t really be … I wouldn’t really want to share information that’s necessarily time sensitive or newsworthy. It would just be …

David Smooke :        Evergreen.

Natalie P. Funk:        … enlightening. Yeah. It would just be, “Oh, that’s cool. I’ve never heard of that.” I might forget three seconds later that I read it, but …

David Smooke :        Maybe it’s like it’s bringing the coolest shit to Detroit.

Natalie P. Funk:        That’s all I want to do.

David Smooke :        Bringing the coolest shit. You meet with people …

Natalie P. Funk:        No bad news, visually stimulating.

David Smooke :        You meet with people. You’re just like, “I want to bring the coolest shit to Detroit.” Then people that like Detroit are like, “Yeah, she’s going to bring cool shit here.” You can get people pumped about it.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. Yeah, and if it encourages anyone to travel or to go see something or just inspires them or wastes 20 minutes of their life, you know, whatever. You know? Accomplish any of those things, I think it would be fun.

David Smooke :        Are we almost there?

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. We went completely the wrong way.

David Smooke :        I’m fine with that. We’re going to get there.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, but we are … We’re getting there.

David Smooke :        Okay.

Natalie P. Funk:        We’re experiencing some Jefferson traffic in Detroit right now. I was supposed to get on the Lodge, but I didn’t.

David Smooke :        Now we’re by the COBO again? Is that how you say it? Cabo? Cobo?

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. Yep. COBO.

David Smooke :        COBO?

Natalie P. Funk:        Yep. Canada’s here, too. Look there’s the Detroit Princess.

David Smooke :        What a view.

Natalie P. Funk:        It’s amazing.

David Smooke :        Everything’s always a little grey here, though.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, it’s very like London weather since you’ve gotten here. It’s been nice, though.

David Smooke :        Maybe you should have people in London calling it Detroit weather.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah. They get more rain than we do.

David Smooke :        It snowed this morning.

Natalie P. Funk:        Yeah, it did.

David Smooke :        It was cool.

Natalie P. Funk:        It did. The news. Look, there’s Channel 4. They must be doing something.

David Smooke :        Oh, some breaking news.

Natalie P. Funk:        It can’t be the auto show because this has been going on for like a week now.

David Smooke :        The NAIAS?

Natalie P. Funk:        The North American International Auto Show.

David Smooke :        What was the other one? Never Annoy Indians After Sundown. That one’s my favorite.

Natalie P. Funk:        No aliens inside America …

David Smooke :        There’s still an S.

Natalie P. Funk:        No aliens … No aliens … Just no aliens.

David Smooke :        Nothing …

Natalie P. Funk:        About …

David Smooke :        Internal …

Natalie P. Funk:        Affairs …

David Smooke :        Show. I kept that one. We’re media powerhouse right now. Everything I do I just want to keep producing.

Natalie P. Funk:        I haven’t seen that. I’ve got to get a picture of that.

David Smooke :        What?

Natalie P. Funk:        The man’s hair.

David Smooke :        Oh, that’s good.

Natalie P. Funk:        Hold on.

David Smooke :        Well, we’ll provide a link to the man’s hair here, in the … It’s a walking sign, and the man has a newspaper and red hair, spray painted on. Yeah.

Natalie P. Funk:        Kind of like a fro.

David Smooke :        Kind of like a fro. Okay, I think that about does it for today. We’re getting there. I’ll talk to you soon, because, you know, I love you.