A piece of coaster art summing up Alan’s feelings.
We’ve all seen lists of “tips” or “hints” on the internet, because they come up every time you search for info.
They are written by arseholes who think that, to be noticed on the Web, you need to be “an expert on something”. They’ve read that the best way to do that is to write a list of handy tips about their topic of interest. So I’ve written a handy list of tips to keep in mind when you’re writing your own list of tips to keep in mind about your topic of interest!
1. Think of a topic about which you can write five to ten really obvious bits of advice (or, “tips”).
2. Make sure the topic is one that people are searching for information about on Google.
The way to figure this out is to go to Google Insights For Search, search for how many people are Googling “porn”, then search all the topics you have a clue about. Pick the one whose level of worldwide interest is closest to “porn”.
3. Write five to ten fairly obvious bits of advice on your chosen topic.
Remember that people are selfish. They want their information boiled down to the very basics so they don’t have to read ACTUAL information, which often spills over from simple sentences into long sentences with big words, and, sometimes, even into paragraphs.
Nobody likes paragraphs, because those often appear in “books”, which are a bit old and smell funny.
4. More important than the content of your list of tips is the catchy title for your list of tips. Try to include one or several of the following: TIPS, TRICKS, HINTS, HANDY, SURVIVAL, HOUSEHOLD, MUST-KNOW, USEFUL, SAVE, HOTTEST, PORN
5. If your list of tips appears a bit drab and lacking in internet search glitz, pop a few highly-searched terms in wherever is convenient. For example:
“When curing your salami, be sure to cover the entire surface area in rock salt. Don’t miss any IPAD KINDLE NOOKS or crannies, even though putting your fingers in them might cause you to FACEBOOK unwelcome thoughts about LADY GAGA‘s vaginal folds.”
6. Even better than short sentences with small words are pictures. Come up with an image to illustrate each of your handy tips. Don’t worry about whether you’re “stealing” that photo of Justin Bieber, because this is the Internet and there’s no such thing as copyright and information wants to be free and Anonymous Wikileaks Billy Idol cyberpunk.
7. Put your list of tips on your blog. Be sure to spread word about your list of tips by talking it up on social media, at your office, around your house and by leaving dozens of iPads on park benches with your blog post already loaded up.
8. Be sure to solicit for blog comments at the end by asking “How have YOU solved this problem?”, or “What do YOU think?”
This is known as a “call to action”, and it makes it look like you give a shit what people think. If nobody posts any comments, post a few yourself under false names:
“Rajesh says: This is great advie, thank for sharing !!!”
Have you written a successful list of handy tips? How did you do it? Share what YOU think!
Lisa Dempster wrote a cool article about achieving your dreams. I just want to provide a short rebuttal.
1. Know what you want
I know what she means. I want lots of things. Often it’s tempting to grab low-hanging fruit because it’s close by (the very reason Sarah and I leave fruit in random places in our house. It goes mouldy).
My solution is to grab that low-hanging fruit and eat it. Usually it tastes great! I am actually talking about goals and tasks now, not fruit.
I fit the low-hanging banana tasks in around the chicken parma that is my goals. Occasionally I make a mistake and barf up a little bit of banana, then apologise.
2. Recognise distractions
Distractions are great. Being distracted by the fruit takes you away from your big stupid parma-goals, and may give you the perspective you need to realise that the parma is less delicious than you thought.
3. Be selfish
This I disagree with:
No one worth knowing will be upset with you for choosing to focus on doing things that will bring you satisfaction and happiness. (Not to mention, successful and motivated people are generally pretty damn awesome to be around, so being selfish about goal-achieving might actually make your relationships better!)
All your good friends and family will think you’re an arsehole if all you do is work and talk about your parma-goal and how focused you are all the time.
If I laser-focused on my parma-goal (or on real parmas) and let nothing stop me, I’d never see my wife and she’d be justifiably angry at me. And I’d be super fat.
You do actually need to allow for time in your life when you are not being successful or motivated. I call this “ridin’ the fruitscape”.
4. Be organised
5. Trust the process
This is absolutely true, and otherwise known as “Don’t be a bitter shit”.
In conclusion, I think I can safely say that Lisa eats far too much parma, and must really have some more fruit.
No doubt you’ve seen the great new marketing tactic known as PARASITIC REBRANDING in action recently!
This is where a consumer product is temporarily rebadged using the name of a much more popular object or concept, hoping that you will associate its wonderful qualities with the product. For example:
THE ENTERPRISORS, an exciting para-media cross-digital platform agency, is pleased to present upcoming examples of “parasitic rebranding” we’re providing to some of your favourite major brands. Look for them on shelves soon!
Happy Australia Day! Feel free to webscuss this blog article on your digipostal cyberforum.
Seeking a valid quantifier by which to judge your personal and artistic progress and likelihood of finding a method by which to support yourself in the arts?
Stupid internet contests may not be it!
I’m conditioned for minimisation and self-deprecation. I don’t like talking big about my work. I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of broadcasting invitations, or bragging, or sales pitches. My impulse is to undercut them with humour, which generally renders them useless except as artistic exercises. Witness:
I am unable to let go of the nagging feeling that my work is CRAP and that pimping it is therefore ANNOYING TO ALL.
I don’t think it is bad to have this feeling. It stops me from being too much of a “networker” or politician. I would hate to be thought of as either.
My stronger belief that my work is GOOD and NEEDS TO BE SEEN. This is valuable because it allows me to get the work done in the first place.
Neither of these feelings will ever go away; I will always believe that what I produce is substandard AND that not enough people are paying attention to it!
I’m full of contradictions like this.
I work too hard.
At the moment, between my weekly comic strip, my full time job and my many small and large animation/video projects, I animate or draw pretty much constantly, including while I eat or watch TV shows. When I’m not doing that, I plot and plan.
I don’t work hard enough.
Look how much there is I could be doing. Look at the projects that remain incomplete. Look at my parents, who reckon I’m lazy.
(nowadays they reckon it’s more that I’m spending time on the wrong things. “Why don’t you have a mortgage yet? Mortgages are delicious”, etc).
In it to win it
I used to avoid getting involved in projects or jobs because I worried I might find myself overcommitted. One day, I realised I had never been overcommitted in my life.
Since then I’ve tried to pile up my plate as much as possible, and it’s worked out pretty well. Keeping busy is fun, but tiring. Especially mentally. You can become obsessed with all the opportunities you might be missing. You’ve got to be IN IT TO WIN IT!
“Social media contests”
Social media is keeping us all hooked to our devices, just in case we might miss an INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT STATUS UPDATE. The one that might change our lives!
(My life has, in fact, been materially changed for the better by a status update. So I’m not just being sarcastic.)
I just wanna be your “friend”
My friend Lisa Dempster runs a writers festival, is genuinely excited and passionate about writing and has a very lovely, bubbly personality. As a result, she can express herself very adeptly via social media. She considers it a leveling force.
She said (and I paraphrase) that Twitter allows us to not only watch well-known writers have a conversation publicly, but also to join in. Thus, we can feel we are close to those we admire, and converse with them on a level playing field. It is inviting, and welcoming.
I am not, by nature, so positive, and I often find Twitter depressing. Conversations I’m not part of. Events I’m not invited to. Fun other people are having. Wasn’t life better when I didn’t know what I was missing?
I hate entering social media-based filmmaking contests, even though I’ve done it several times and not been entirely unsuccessful. They feel cynical. They are promotional exercises. But they do give you opportunities you might not have had otherwise. So I enter worthwhile ones.
But I struggle with the self-promotion thing, which is crucial to getting VOTES or VIEWS or LIKES in contests such as these.
Shilling and begging don’t come naturally to me like they do to the networkers and politicians. When I do it, it sounds strained. Insincere.
Sham fakery, formalised stupidity
I watched an arts festival talk at which musician Dave Graney said the following:
“People are fickle… you’re shamefully in the game of searching for their attention, and you know their attention’s going to wander. And it kinks you, and makes you into a fool…
You have to embrace being a fool, you have to embrace your own shameless mugging for people’s attention, moment by moment, like a… psychotic, you know, like Bert Newton, that kind of large, light entertainment psycho like that…
That’s the sort of scene you’re in. It’s perverse, but it’s recognised, and people are admired for their skills… it’s full of sham fakery and formalised stupidity…”
He was talking about performing on stage, but could easily have been talking about “performing” online. I see people do it (including myself) and I hate it.
If I was going to pay attention to the “rules” of online promotion in the hopes of getting MASS PAGE VIEWZ, this blog post would have to be 300 words long, max, include 7 “useful tips” about something and end with a “call to action” like,
What do you think?
For love or money
I wish I was more like Ben Hutcho, a comic genius who doesn’t seem to care whether or not anyone’s watching him work (though I know he does. Everyone does, other than the insane or autistic). He’s more “pure” in that way.
I am impure.
I will fight with it!