2011 was a good year for the cartoons [full 2011 archive here]. I had just moved to Miami, I had just met and started dating Ana (we got married in 2013). I was starting to figure out, more than ever, that matters of the spirit are far more interesting a subject for cartoons than more worldly subjects (though not all the time, of course, everything in moderation etc).
I hope you’ll check out the archive, thanks.
People ask me all the time, which do I prefer, analogue (ink on paper) or digital (my trusty drawing tablet).
Hard to say. Digital makes the day job A WHOLE LOT easier, ink & paper is more personal and intimate.
Both have their BIG TIME limitations, as all media does.
One thing I have no trouble with whatsoever, is splitting my time in between “client work” and “personal work”.
“Client work” allows me to get get “out there” and into the world of working adults. Too much time spent on “personal work” makes me too self-absorbed and inward looking. I’m one of those guys who needs to get out more.
But then I’m also one of those guys who likes to retreat inward on occasion, and just contemplate the very persoanl, existential, quasi-religious stuff.
It’s a circle…
The longer I keep at it, the more minimalist and pared down the business-card drawings seem to get.
It’s as if the older I get, the less I have to say. The older I get, the easier it is for me to just enjoy the silence, just enjoy the freedom of emptiness.
It’s been a bad week for Web 2.0.
The original queen of mommy bloggers, Dooce is retiring from blogging. And blogging’s original crown prince, Jason Kottke is having similar thoughts. For no other reason than what used to seem like a decent business model (ad-driven independant pro blogging) isn’t so much anymore.
Across town, Twitter just lost billions of dollars in market cap, for pretty similar reasons i.e. Web 2.0 just isn’t as valuable a place to spend time as it used to be. At least, not for people hoping to make money.
According to McKinsey, e-mail is 40 TIMES as effective as social media for acquiring customers as Twitter and Facebook combined.
I just looked at the stats for my course. 22% of the traffic came from my blog. 74% came from email and RSS. 4% came from social media. I think showing up in a trusted way, regularly, is priceless.
And don’t talk to me about the advertising business.
“It’s not the same anymore,” my very smart-but-jaded advertising friend, Jeff recently told me. “We used to want to change the world. Now we just spend our days optimizing industrially-farmed content across different platforms. Nobody actually cares. Nor should they.”
It’s utterly tragic, how so many people (and businesses) hope to get rich just by getting “Internet Famous”. Like there’s some sort of magic ATM machine out there that automatically gives you money every time your stuff gets retweeted over 20 times. This certainly explains why so many so-called social media gurus I know are broke.
I don’t hate social media. I love posting random doodles on Instagram and nattering with my friends on Twitter and Facebook.
But as a business tool? It’s seen better days. The content blizzard gets slushier by the day.
The way to avoid this sad state of affairs, of course, is to have a real product and a real business that real people have a real need for… and then content-market the hell out of it.
In other words, build your online presence around the real world, not the techno-utopian fantasyland the usual suspects would rather have you buy into.
Which is the whole Copyblogger schtick. Not sexy compared to those other sites, maybe…
But who cares?
[This was also cross-posted on Copyblogger.com].