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Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Blog, Politics, Talking Points, Video 1 | 12 comments

The Debut of “Talking Points with Nolan Dalla” — Episode 1 on Writing, Media, Sheldon Adelson, Politics, and Campaign Finance



Today, I’m trying out a new idea.  I’d really like your feedback.


Several people suggested that I try creating a video edition of my daily rants and writings.  In other words, instead of writing an essay, instead just step in front of a camera and start talking.

Well, I decided to give this a try.

No script.  No plan.  No agenda.  Just talk.

What follows is an unrehearsed and unedited clip that runs a ridiculously long 32 minutes.  I decided to call it “Talking Points,” although from my rambling I often don’t seem to have one.  A point, I mean.

In this debut clip, I discuss the following topics — writing, the media, Sheldon Adelson, politics, and campaign finance.  There’s nothing fancy here — no special effects, nor graphics, nor notes.  I just sat down in front of the camera last night with a glass of wine and launched.  Some might call it a misfire.

I have no idea if anyone is interested in this new concept.  It does seem long to listen to someone talk non-stop for a half hour.  But if there’s any support for the new idea, I might start doing a video like this once per week.  Ideally, I suppose I’d like to talk about current events or other hot topics.  Whatever comes to mind.

Please let me know what you think.  Please understand — I’m not fishing for compliments.  I just want some honest feedback and find out if regular readers want to see more videos like this posted here at the site.

Here’s the very first “Talking Points.”




  1. Nolan: If you want to offer a video format as a supplement to a transcribed article I would be happy with that. A video without an accompanying transcription? Not so great.

    I prefer to read your articles because I have trouble hearing.
    I break down your blog entries into three categories:

    1) Totally interesting topic – I’ll read it from beginning to end. Every single word.
    2) Semi-interesting topic – I’ll skim through the page, reading select paragraphs that contain intriguing keywords that interest me.
    3) Irrelevant topic to me – I’ll usually ignore the entry unless I’m really wanting to learn something totally new.

    The weakness of the video format lies with people hearing your viewpoints on topics which might only hold a lukewarm interest to an audience member (see #2 above). Maybe they will want to skip forward to interesting parts of what you have to say, but how would they know where to find these particularly engaging parts of your narrative without having a bird’s eye view of the entire video to begin with?

    ~Perhaps write and post an article like you normally do and THEN just read the article verbatim through video as a supplement with a few bonus commentaries for the eager listener?~

    • Bob,
      there is actually a transcript generated by Google on the youtube page. It’s next to the “About” and “Share” tabs. It’s not great, but it’s there. It also has some entertainment value if you want to count how often and in which ways it will butcher “Nolan Dalla”:

      Nolan Dallas at no love ballad dot com

      • E.Dieter Martin:

        Thanks for showing me that auto-generated transcript. You’re right that the quality is poor, yet it would suffice in an emergency. I also noticed it missed the cues as to when Nolan sips on the wine, but that’s manageable.

        Overall, I’m in firm agreement with E. Schneller’s comment below. A reasonably tight 10-15 minute video of a single topic released with a standard written article as backup. Video would of course have extra commentary not found in the article if Nolan so chooses (it is his show and his call in the end).

        Just my two cents. Thanks for considering my feedback.

  2. Nolan,

    I enjoy your writing and look forward to your “essay’s”. This will take some work. It didn’t feel like you could even see the edge, let alone go near it or over it.

    I would think this may be the first time in your adult life you went 32 minutes with out saying fuck.

  3. Nolan, I liked it, but do prefer your writing. If you could keep this to 10 minutes and one subject, I’m thinking it would be tighter and better. I love your writing, and know I’ll love this vlog too (and listen to it weekly, no matter how long it is), just my suggestion to keep it to one subject and about 10 minutes. And it wouldn’t matter to me if you do more than one per week either, if the subject matter was of interest to me and I knew I was getting “true Dalla”, I’d listen.

  4. I’d be much more likely to listen to a podcast by you on a weekly basis than to watch a long Youtube video.

  5. Love the video format. It provides more depth and opportunity to expand on topics. Also, you seem to be channeling Foster Brooks. Cheers!

  6. I actually like it because all I have to do is listen instead of reading which I don’t do much of nowadays. And besides, I find it more interesting when you are communicating through a video blog.

  7. i think a video blog/podcast is a worthwhile concept. I first saw this at work and dont have time for viewing a 32 minute video in its entirety at one sitting. I generally use your written blog as a intentional diversion from the daily stress of my job and it allows me to think of topics that perhaps I might not consider thus I have always found it entertaining, thought provoking, and sometimes very educational. That being said I think any video broadcast whether it be on a blog, podcast or You Tube needs to have certain elements to grab the viewer immediately and not let them go. A video takes more time to digest and view than reading a written blog thus you need to smash out of the starting gate immediately and hold attention. The following elements are just some thoughts i have used in public speaking to friendly trade groups in friendly settings 1)what are you trying to convey and why should the audience care?addressing and why should the audience care? 2)what is the value–are you the one benefitting from the chat or is the listener viewer benefitting? If you do not convey benefit to the viewer, they will be gone quickly. 3) Although related to benefit, what is the purpose? I would not do a podcast that conveys many ideas that could be construed as being all over the map..stick to one topic and hit it head on..for instance one video on Sheldon and money in politics; another on media influence, etc 4)what assumptions are you making…do you want your blog to expand beyond your current written blog base that probably consists of people who know you and your background. You cannot assume in a video that has more of an opportunity to viral (what ever that means in volume)that people know your political or sociological leanings. 5) Metaphorical short sentences to convey an overall idea and expand on that in your presentation. Sort of how legal memorandums of law are supposed to be written..state your conclusion at the beginning and explain why..

    In the future, you could always get a you tube station and sell advertising or promos for upcoming poker events etc. Use your national or even international exposure to at least cover the expense of producing the videos.

    Hope this helps.. I really enjoy any conversation in which you are involved. Now if I can find the time to listen to the other 25 minutes of the video…

  8. It is a valiant effort and do enjoy a total user experience. One of my favorite sites to visit is Grantland, particularly the articles, mailbags, podcasts and videos including their editor Bill Simmons. I think what works best on the videos is interaction with a guest. This is also true of the Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee (Jerry Seinfeld’s. Your “Facing the Firing Squad” pieces would work great as a video, along with poker stories, while some of your “rants” may work best as articles.

    Find your sweet spot in each medium. We’ll stay tuned.

  9. Interesting. A good essayist, no matter the medium, needs to have ego, ideas and presentation. All three are here. Now we see how it evolves. Two things hit me watching:
    You got Newt Gingrich wrong. He is not smart, certainly not the manner in which I am familiar with. His a bloviator who tosses around empty phrases and tries to win people over with his overarching ego and wholly misplaced opinion of himself.
    His doctoral dissertation was a feeble piece of derivative writing, quite thoroughly critiqued by one of the (very) few to have read it.
    He took a job in the early ’70s as Assistant Prof at West Georgia College. Three things marked his stay there: (a) in his first year he applied to become college President, (b) in the next year he applied to be Chair of his department, (c) five years later he was denied tenure.
    All of his subsequent writings are either ghosted or recycled junk and have been vigorously critiqued. In Paul Krugman’s immortal phrase, “Gingrich sounds like what stupid people think smart people sound like.”
    On Adelson: If Keith Olberman were still doing politics, Adelson would make him have to retire the “worst person in the world” award. The thing that struck me was the staggering gap between what this scumbag has done (and, as you note, continues to do) with his money compared with people like Carnegie, Mellon, the Rockefellers and, more recntly, Bill Gates, the MacArthur family, Elon Musk.

  10. Outstanding, Nolan. Would you consider taking the audio and letting us run it as a weekly podcast on HoldemRadio?

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