Posts Tagged ‘twitter’
March 19, 2013 (3 weeks ago)
Yesterday’s newsletter was all about the transient nature of the universe, here’s more proof.
This is a little doodle I made back in the day, popular “Web 2.0″ names, businesses and buzzwords from around late 2005 or so.
How many of them are still front of mind, collectively? Not many.
No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Foursquare. Imagine.
Stuff like reminds us of JUST how quickly the world is changing.
Become Antifragile. And stay that way.
December 14, 2012
The big Web story last week was about how Instagram just removed its API from Twitter. My old friend, Dave Winer (he is also one of the great web pioneers of the last decade or so) wrote a great post about it. I drew the cartoon above in response to Dave (“Commons” refers to the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, in this case, the Internet. It’s also where people grazed their sheep in the old days).
Then yesterday, another blogging buddy from the old days, Anil Dash wrote this great blog post, “The Web We Lost”, about how much the web has changed in the last 5 – 10 years, along similar lines.
In the early days of the social web, there was a broad expectation that regular people might own their own identities by having their own websites, instead of being dependent on a few big sites to host their online identity. In this vision, you would own your own domain name and have complete control over its contents, rather than having a handle tacked on to the end of a huge company’s site. This was a sensible reaction to the realization that big sites rise and fall in popularity, but that regular people need an identity that persists longer than those sites do.
When I think about the era Anil speaks of, I feel like an old hippy talking about how great the ‘sixties were, but he does have a point. The early-blogging seemed a much more fun, edgy, interesting, giving and independent place back then. And then the big boys came along and took over, sucking in all OUR content like a big ol’ industrial turbine. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
I’m not saying everything was better back then, a lot of things we far harder and slower. But I do miss that indie, “We’re on the verge of something important and wonderful” feeling that permeated the air. It’s not nearly as palpable as it once was. I hope we can one day get that feeling back.
December 8, 2011
Now this is a happy coincidence: The cartoon above went out in the newsletter today (I originally drew it a few years ago, during Twitter’s “Fail Whale” phase). A couple of hours after pushing the newsletter “send” button, I learn that today is also the five-year anniversary of me starting on Twitter.
I had no idea. But it certainly made me smile…
August 21, 2011
Well, it looks like my last post, where I announced I was giving up Twitter and Facebook, caused all sorts of brouhaha. Over 150 comments, and Lord knows how many hundreds of retweets and whatnot on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ yada, yada, yada.
I’m not sure why all the fuss, to be honest.
More than a few people were concerned that by not doing the Twitter-Facebook thing, I wouldn’t drive so many people to my blog.
To which I replied in the comments:
“I’m sick to death of hearing the phrase, ‘Driving traffic to your site’.
People should come to your blog, not because somebody drove them there, but because it was important for them to come there.
Otherwise you’re just wasting your time, otherwise you’re just acting like everyone else.
And the trick to Web 2.0, as in business, is to be UNLIKE everyone else.”
Granted, that might be a wee bit too purist for most people, still, Kathy Sierra left a great comment:
From John Mayer’s address to grads of Berklee College of Music:
And possibly more alarming, Mayer realized that pouring creativity into smaller, less important, promotional outlets like twitter not only distracted him from focusing on more critical endeavors like his career, it also narrowed his mental capacity for music and writing intelligent songs.
“The tweets are getting shorter, but the songs are still 4 minutes long. You’re coming up with 140-character zingers, and the song is still 4 minutes long…I realized about a year ago that I couldn’t have a complete thought anymore. And I was a tweetaholic. I had four million twitter followers, and I was always writing on it. And I stopped using twitter as an outlet and I started using twitter as the instrument to riff on, and it started to make my mind smaller and smaller and smaller. And I couldn’t write a song.”
You see where I’m going with this?
Whatever. The issue really isn’t Twitter or Facebook, the issue is, if you’re spending more time promoting your stuff and chit-chatting to people about your stuff than your are ACTUALLY MAKING stuff, you’re doing something wrong, VERY wrong [Believe me, I’m as guiity of this as anyone. I have BEEN there, more than once.].
Quit your yakkin’ and get busy. Quit wasting time obsessing about pimping your ass and checking your stats. Instead, MAKE stuff. Make AMAZING stuff. Make stuff that is so good that people have no choice but to find out about it. Otherwise, you REALLY are just wasting your time. This game is already TOO hard and TOO BIG a time suck to fritter away on what is, for the most part, a big ol’ distraction.
There. I’ve said my piece. This is hopefully my last blog post on the subject. I’m getting back to what I do best: Writing books, drawing cartoons, selling art and helping my clients kick ass. Amen.
[PS. I’m not completely stupid and out out of touch; I do realize that A LOT of my friends still use Twitter at the expense of everything else (including RSS) and may need some time to adjust, so for now, we’ll still using my Twitter account to retweet links to my blog, just like Seth Godin does with his. But I won’t be spending any personal time over there, either. In fact, I’ve given my log-ins to Laura (she runs my gallery operations) and asked her to handle it instead. My personal online presence will just be here on my blog, and of course the newsletter. But I’m pretty much done with everything else…]
December 20, 2010
[A different angle on the Angel Gabriel etc. You can get the print here etc.]
This is why I love the internet…
In the old, pre-internet days, if you were a cartoonist like me and wanted to be successful, you pretty much had to be famous.
Not hugely famous necessarily, but somebody with a pretty major publishing gig. Like Peanuts, Doonesbury, Dilbert, Garfield or Bloom County, or some of The New Yorker heavyweights like Steinberg or Ronald Searle.
And those gigs were hard to come by. You needed a big time publication syndicate or media company to back you. And then the newspapers, the advertisers and the media landscape in general had to be on board as well.
And of course, all this required a VERY large audience. Millions of people, literally. Just so you could make an OK living.
As we all know, the more people you need to keep happy, the less likely that’s going to happen, or at least, the less you can control. Mass audiences are a fickle, unpredictable bunch. And they have a nasty habit of ignoring people like you completely, and going for people like Justin Bieber or Paris Hilton instead.
Which is why I never took this route. Too many variables I couldn’t control. And my work was never mainstream enough, anyway.
Thank God the internet came along and changed everything. Suddenly I found myself making a damn good living, without having all those mainstream hoops to jump through first. Just by doodling wee, non-mainstream cartoons all day, to what by old mainstream standards would be a TINY audience that I reach via this blog, Twitter and my newsletter.
This is made possible because the web, as we all know, is a SUPERB way to sell relatively high-end products. In my case, private, client-based commissions are worth THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of times more than the advertising eyeballs that ultimately pay for the newspaper cartoonist’s mortgage. Of course they are. Not to mention, the commissions are fun and intellectually interesting to work on.
Which is why my advice for anyone trying to succeed on the web is, make the highest-end product you can, and then target the tiny handful of people– the microaudience- who are likely to buy it. Forget the masses. Targeting the latter is too much like trying to win the lottery– though great when it happens (however unlikely), there are just too many damn variables outside your control.
November 27, 2010
[“It’s Complicated”. You can buy the print here etc.]
So somehow or other you found yourself online in a big way.
Somehow or other you decided, like millions of other people, that if the future is online, it would be silly not to join in. So you decide to get with the program.
And so you get yourself hooked up with the usual stuff… a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, and whatever Robert Scoble is using that week. And then wait for that aforementioned future thing to start happening.
While you’re waiting for that future thing to begin, you can’t help noticing that certain people in the same field as you– people far more successful and well-known than you, people who you aspire to be like one day– have fifty times the amount of Twitter followers as you do. Or whatever.
So you spend the next two years of your life trying to get as many Twitter followers as those people. Not only do you fail, meanwhile, your wife leaves you, your car is repossessed, and you have to move back in with your parents.
The futility of “Keeping up with the e-Joneses”. You’re better off spending that time and energy trying to have a “smarter conversation”. Of course you are.
[Bonus link:] Seth has a few thoughts on the subject, as well. Well worth a look.
July 12, 2010
1. I’ve been working my ass off, all hours, seven days a week, for the last year and a half. And I was working pretty hard before that, as well.…
2. I recently sent off the FINAL edit of my second book, EVIL PLANS to the publisher. Besides checking the proofs, my part is done. It comes out in April.
3. With the book finished, I’m thinking I need (and deserve) a break. I’m taking some time off.
4. The “Daily Cartoons” Newsletter will still be going out every weekday, as usual. No change there.
5. The Daily Bizcard will go on hiatus for a few weeks, while I rest and regroup.
6. You’ll still be able to find me on Twitter.
7. Besides the newsletter, my only other interest for the next while will be working on developing the Cube Grenade idea. That’s going to be my main focus of my blog and my business for the next while. If you see me post anything here in the next few weeks, it’ll most likely be about that.
8. Thanks for your support. See you on the other side. Cheers.
January 2, 2010
I’m in the final stages of writing EVIL PLANS. Got a thousand words or two left to write, then I send it off to my publisher.
Earlier today on Twitter I wrote:
Man… writing books is exhausting. The pressure to “Not be Shit” overtakes your life. *SIGH*
Kinda says it all. And I don’t think it just applies to books, either. Heh.
[About Hugh. Cartoon Archive. Commission Hugh. Sign up for Hugh’s “Daily Cartoon” Newsletter.]
October 1, 2009
In a rather random moment of clarity, I wrote this line on Twitter a couple of weeks ago:
“A good customer base is the best marketing department there is.”
One thing I remember fondly about my college buddies, back in the day: Not only did they all spend a lot of time and energy listening to Grateful Dead records and attending Grateful Dead concerts, they also spent a lot of time and energy trying to get me to do the same.
Though I never became much of a Dead fan in the end, it sure wasn’t for my friends’ lack of trying. Their mojo may not have worked on me, but hey, it worked on plenty other impressionable young people, so it’s all good.
My college buddies were self-appointed team members of one of the greatest marketing departments in history: The Deadheads.
So who are your customers? Are they your marketing department? If they’re not, they should be, yes?
[This reminds me: Seth Godin cited The Deadheads in his wonderful book, “Tribes”. I interviewed him here about the book etc.]
[Backstory: About Hugh. E-mail Hugh. Work with Hugh. Twitter. Cartoon Archive. Newsletter. Book. Interview One. Interview Two. EVIL PLANS. Limited Edition Prints. Essential Reading: “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About ‘Cube Grenades’ But Were Afraid To Ask.”]
March 24, 2009
“The web has made kicking ass easier to achieve, and mediocrity harder to sustain. Mediocrity now howls in protest. http://tinyurl.com/czm2sk”
February 10, 2009
Recently on Twitter, inspired by the great 1982 bestseller, “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”, I’ve been making a small, random list re. “The Behavior of Real Men in the Web 2.0 Generation”.
@rajtilak from Calcutta kindly compiled the entire list and put it on his blog. Thanks, Rajtilak!
Real Men 2.0
1. Real Men don’t get defensive when they learn that not everybody shares their enthusiasm for Apple products.
2. Real Men don’t give a flying fuck what the business model is.
3. Real Men don’t spend 8 hours a day on Friendfeed, “because that’s where all the interesting conversations are…”.
4. Real Men don’t throw a hissy fit when some A-Lister fails to reply to their unsolicited, 6,000-word email.
5. Real Men don’t fantasize about traffic spikes while they’re beating off.
6. Real Men have sex more often than they get onto Techmeme.
7. Real Men don’t blame their business failures on bloggers with more traffic than them.
8. Real Men don’t “Open Source” the lint in their navels.
9. Real Men don’t sigh like teenagers while watching other men trying to make an honest living.
10. Real Men don’t “Follow all the interesting conversations on Friendfeed” when they should be schtuppin’ their wives.
11. Real Men don’t have to wipe off their keyboard with a Kleenex after every time they read a news story about Apple.
12. Real Men never pretend that their personal blog “belongs to my community”.
13. Real Men don’t Twitter while their girlfriends are giving them head.
14. Real Men never use use the phrase, “Interesting Conversations” to justify their lame-ass online addiction.
15. Real Men don’t blog about blogging.
16. Real Men like blowjobs and beer, more than they like Facebook and Friendfeed.
17. Real Men don’t worry about whether Real Men use Twitter or not.
18. Real Men don’t give a rat’s ass if you prefer Linux over Windows.
19. Real Men actually spend time AWAY from their computers.
20. Real Men don’t play “Armchair Quarterback”.
21. Real Men don’t cry like schoolgirls every time another blogger starts making real money.
22. Real Men don’t confuse Cluetrain with Religion.
23. Real Men don’t linkbait.
24. Real Men don’t confuse “Getting mentioned on Techcrunch” with “Having a real business model”.
25. Real Men don’t care if their story fails to make it onto Techmeme.
26. Real Men don’t ask for sympathy fucks online.
27. Real Men don’t have to ask for clarification on every detail, no matter how trivial.
28. Real Men don’t care if it’s a Walled Garden.
29. Real Men don’t tweet REALLY OBVIOUS jokes that have already been tweeted 6 – 8 times by other people in the last 2 minutes.
30. Real Men never say, “If it doesn’t have comments, it isn’t a real blog”.
31. Real Men don’t leave comments.
32. Real Men don’t wait overnight in line to get into the Apple Store.
33. Real Men don’t even know who Jerry Yang is.
34. Real Men don’t make it to the top of Techmeme.
35. Real Men don’t use the phrase, “Quality Content”.
36. Real Men don’t care if your blog doesn’t have as much “Quality Content” as it used to.
37. Real Men don’t have “Personal Brands”.
38. Real Men do not confuse “A New Paradigm” with “Please give me your money”.
39. Real Men don’t “Open-Source” the name of their firstborn.
40. Real Men don’t measure their self-worth in terms of whuffie.
41. Real Men don’t confuse phrases like, “Real Men don’t have to worry about whether they’re being Real Men”, with actual, original thought.
November 23, 2008
August 6, 2008
Funny how Dell is so heavily tied into the GAMING industry, yet as a company it could use a much greater sense of “PLAY”. “Playfulness” etc.
Just had this thought over on Twitter. Thought I’d share it over here as well…
[UPDATE:] Frank Pendergrast made the following comment:
If Iron Man had used an Apple, I bet you’d have known, it would have been all over the blogosphere… but the fact that IronMan used Dell servers just seemed to produce a minor level of outrage that he’d use something so uncool — and as for the fact he seemed to be using an XPS M2010? Nobody even noticed.
A symptom of the brand image Dell have?
I dunno, Frank. What’s the ROI on coolness?
May 29, 2008
[From my Twitter feed. There I go, channeling Seth Godin again…]
May 28, 2008
May 27, 2008
May 23, 2008
“Word of mouth is not created, it is co-created. People will only spread your virus if there’s something in it for them.” — Hugh MacLeod.
Something I said on Twitter recently. Thanks to John Moore of Brand Autopsy fame for picking it up. Rock on.
May 21, 2008
[Click on image to enlarge/download etc. Feel free to use badge for your own needs etc.]
Two years ago, Stormhoek sponsored geek dinners. They were a huge success.
We’re ready to get back at it.
This time, however, we’re going to sponsor Tweetups. If you’re one of the people following me on Twitter, are based in the USA and are planning on having a Tweetup in the next wee while, drop me an e-mail, and let’s see if we can’t get some wine sent there for the evening. Rock on.
[For those of you outside the loop, a “Tweetup” is a spontaneous, self-organizing social gathering of fellow Twitter users, usually organized on Twitter itself. Usually food and drink are part of the equation etc.]
April 26, 2008
[Tablet PC sketch of what I have in mind. Click on image to enlarge etc.]
One of the things I like about Twitter is that it allows you to have instant feedback from lots of people while you’re thinking out-loud.
Case in point: If you have been following my Twitter feed recently you’ll have noticed me bandying this idea around, about doing large pieces. Namely, large, abstract paintings on canvas.
Basically, the idea is to create six-by-six foot canvas, covered with a field of my obsessive “squiggly” style. The image above, which I made digitally on a Tablet PC, should give you a pretty good idea what I mean.
So far the feedback has been tremendous. I’ve got dozens of comments, both public and private. Thanks for that.
I think being out here in Alpine, Texas, covered under a blanket of desert air and “Big Sky” brought about a wee change in me, at least in what I find interesting artistically. The “cartoons on the back of business cards” format came about in New York City, when living conditions, shall we say, were far more intense, crowded and cramped. Not to mention, I was ten years younger. Things change.
Acquiring blank business cards and a few pens is a LOT simpler and easier than making big paintings. With the latter, suddenly you have to start thinking about renting studio space and buying materials, which are not cheap. Then you have to find a buyer for the pieces, to offset the cost of making them. Then you have you have to figure out how to ship them to their new owners without them getting damaged. Plus a myriad of other pain-in-the-ass factors to consider.
Whatever. It’s all exciting stuff. I’m looking forward to finding studio space in the very near future. Though to be honest, I have no intention of ever becoming a permanent, full-time artist. Too much else going on. Too much else out there worth getting interested in. I like to juggle things around. Keeps things new and interesting. We shall see what happens.
April 10, 2008
[A cartoon from 2007 etc.]
It’s no big deal. I liked Twitter. But I found it too easy.
I think my time would be better spent drawing cartoons and writing books.
That’s just how I feel.
[UPDATE:] This story seems to have made it onto the front page of Techmeme. Lots of people talking about it. Wow.
[UPDATE:] An archive of my Tweets can be found here.
[UPDATE:] A couple of hundred e-mails later, I restored the Twitter account. You can read again it here.
February 29, 2008
[In case you haven’t figured this out already:] Besides my blog and my e-mail account, the other main tool I use to communicate with the online world is Twitter [I don’t really use Facebook anymore, but that’s a story for another day].
The general M.O. these days is, I use gapingvoid for publishing my cartoons and my more permanent, “archival” written stuff. Twitter I use for the ephemeral, day-to-day stuff. Like the restaurants I’m eating in, the people I’m hanging out with, the bars I’m drinking in, or the blog articles I’m reading at the moment. And I’d much rather get a Twitter message from you than an e-mail, and I’d much rather send you a message on Twitter than send you an e-mail.
Yesterday, I joked on Twitter, “Note to World: If you’re not on Twitter, I don’t want to make friends with you.” Like all humor, there is some truth to it. I find people who use Twitter much easier to communicate with, than with people who don’t. As a result, Twitter has become the main engine I use these days for cultivating my social network. I’m not saying it’s the best thing out there, I’m not saying it’s the only thing out there, I’m just saying that it’s currently working rather well for me.
[In Conclusion:] Twitter is now the best way of [a] keeping up with what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis and [b] getting my attention. So I hope you’ll follow me on Twitter, and start using it yourself as well, if you’re not doing so already. Thanks.
[PS. If you wish to borrow that wee “birdie” icon for your own Twitter needs or whatever, go right ahead. Rock on.]