A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...

Posts tagged "marketing"

Jul 29, 2014
Anything you promote, there’s a game that you either play or you don’t play. I decided very early on that I was very ambitious and I wanted to play.

Mar 23, 2014

Sound Opinions interview with Mike Watt

With his classic album Double Nickels on the Dime about to turn 30, bassist Mike Watt of Minutemen speaks with hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot.

This is not only a fantastic interview, it’s also an excellent introduction to The Minutemen.

Since I’m on tour right now, I loved the bit paraphrased here in Our Band Could Be Your Life:

Where we had the most control was at the gigs. So the idea was to get people to the gig. We had divided the whole world into two categories: there was flyers and there was the gig. You’re either doing the gig, which is like one hour or your life, or everything else to get people to the gig. Interviews were flyers, videos were flyers, even records were flyers. We didn’t tour to promote records, we made records to promote the tours, because the gig was where you could make the money.”

Flyers and gigs. Flyers and gigs.

Oct 03, 2013
I made every mistake in the book. You should never do two things. You should hammer one nail all your life, and I didn’t do that; I hammered on a lot of nails like a xylophone.
Brion Gysin, lamenting his unmarketability and career

Jun 12, 2013
If you don’t make Christmas presents…don’t talk to me.

May 05, 2013

Mar 03, 2013


» Frank Ocean Can Fly - NYTimes.com

Artists don’t usually give satisfying answers to the question of how or why they do what they do, and maybe that’s for the best. Sometimes songs mean more to us when we don’t totally grasp the lyrics. Ocean is acutely aware of this. He knows that, as much as anything, he is selling an idea. “That’s why image is so important,” he said. “That’s why you’ve got to practice brevity when you do interviews like this. I could try to make myself likable to you so you could write a piece that keeps my image in good standing, because I’m still selling this, or I could just say, ‘My art speaks for itself.’ ” He practices brevity in most things. He curates and updates his image on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr deftly and consistently, but he never overshares. “As a writer, as a creator, I’m giving you my experiences,” he said in the GQ interview. “But just take what I give you. You ain’t got to pry beyond that.” To me, he said, “I don’t know if it’s a shield or whatever, but I want to deflect as much as I can onto my work.”

Ocean’s Tumblr is interesting — I love how he’ll post screenshots of his writing instead of actually posting the writing. (As I’ve said before, pictures of writing often spread around the internet faster than writing itself.)

I like this idea of using Tumblr as something more cryptic than outright confession or revelation. Michael Stipe on his:

It’s not confessional at all. I just like to tunnel. Initially the idea was to present a version of myself that might not be the person that people think they know. So it’s a little bit of a play on my being a public figure for as long as I have been…. It might be a bit of an introduction to the way I visually interpret the world. I work visually, and this is essentially an electronic scrapbook, that’s what tumblr’s good for. You know, it’s like a stamp collection, but everyone’s allowed to cull from each other’s collection.

It reminds me of the old Radiohead websites — they were really great at just giving you these little pieces, and you felt like a detective, trying to piece together some picture of what they were working on…

Maybe Robin Sloan said it best: “Work in public. Reveal nothing.”

Jan 25, 2013

How To Write A Bestselling Book

Occasionally I’ll get an email that reads something like, “Congrats on your bestseller! How did you do it?”

As if I really have any fuckin’ clue!

I usually just send them over to this John Scalzi post, which seems about as clear-headed as you can get: “How to Build a New York Times Bestseller (or Maybe Not).”

If they want to know about the publishing business, I send them to Ted Weinstein’s workshops.

If they’re really interested in trying to manufacture non-fiction, I send them to Tim Ferriss:

I keep any “secrets” I’ve collected in the following tags:

But mostly, I just want to send them this:

Jan 09, 2013

“The light is green, the trap is clean.”

My wife talked me into buying one of those capsule espresso machines, and every time I use the fucking thing I feel like I’m down in the Ghostbusters’ basement learning how to use the containment system. Before we bought it, I could just imagine my coffee snob friends ridiculing me, but since I’m not really patient or interested enough to figure out how to make a “proper” espresso, I figured I’d give this a shot.

Funny thing is, I actually really like the coffee.

Come to find out, more than 100 Michelin restaurants in France use a Nespresso machine to make their coffee. Here Julian Baggini writes about what it means when machines can do things better than people, using coffee capsule systems as an example.

The conclusion he comes to is that it really does, or should, matter to us humans, how our stuff was made: “We are knowing as well as sensing creatures, and knowing where things come from, and how their makers are treated, does and should affect how we feel about them.”

The only way truly to defend the artisans against all that technology might put up against them is to give up the entire premise of my blind tasting, that is, the idea that it does not matter how the coffee came to be, all that counts is its final taste.

Surely we appreciate the handmade in part because it is handmade. An object or a meal has different meaning and significance if we know it to be the product of a human being working skilfully with tools rather than a machine stamping out another clone. Even if in some ways a mass-produced object is superior in its physical properties, we have good reasons for preferring a less perfect, handcrafted one.

Of course, marketing departments already know this, and so do some savvy artists.

And this isn’t to say that machine-made things can’t be given meaning: the moves I make to produce my wife’s lattes are pretty mechanical: press a button on the espresso and milk frothing machines, pour in the milk to the top of the cup, stir with a spoon. But when I hand it to her while she’s feeding our kiddo, there’s still that, “Here you go, baby” that makes it human…

(Thx @mattthomas)

Dec 14, 2012
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