Thursday, February 25, 2010
I’m at the Design Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, which is one of the biggest design/art/culture conferences in the world. Martha Stewart is even putting in an appearance.
At the conference, there’s a twitterfall, a small physical wall devoted to tweets about the Design Indaba. Every tweet tagged with either #desginindaba or #diexpo will appear on that wall for everyone to see.
We’re going to read poetry on it.
We’re going to be reading a poem I wrote based on the conference and the people here. It’s called Howl 2.0 and it’s based on the original Howl poem written by Allen Ginsberg.
The poem is modular. That means, it doesn’t matter in what order it is read.
You will decide the order in which it is read. You will remix it and create it live.
Participation in this guarantees twitter membership of the ESAN (Elite Secret Army Of Ninjas).
I will be filming of it what I can.
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Go through the poem below and find a verse you like. Copy and paste it (WITH THE HASHTAGS) and tweet it.
A minute later (or 5 minutes if you’re worried about spamming) find another one and tweet it again.
Continue to do this as long as this post on this blog remains visible or I signal on twitter (twitter.com/pleasefindthis) to stop.
I saw the best minds of a generation speak for free to an audience that paid to hear them.
Who paid another 40 bucks for parking.
Who felt it was worth it.
Who fell asleep.
Who woke up.
Who wanted to make silver clouds.
Who went back to work to make brochures.
Who waited for briefs to do something amazing.
Who never knew they didn’t need permission to change the world.
Who needed 50 bucks to get online for half-an-hour.
Who got word out about what was happening.
Who knew everything about wanting.
Who knew nothing about having.
Who wore violent clothing.
Who made boring work.
Who paid 2 bucks to ask a question.
Who needed an answer.
Who filled foreign templates
Who used original content.
Who spent their lives getting in.
Who spend their lives getting out.
Who found more substance in a child’s poetry.
Who found nothing in their best headlines.
Who scribbled frantically.
Who used beer flavoured pens.
Who forgot to tell the tourists not to walk down dark alleys.
Who swore to never teach their children to draw.
Who thought they’d be famous, just like everyone else.
Who call people who comment on their articles “bloggers.”
Who read magazines about trends that put the word “computer” in quotes.
Who walked out of science lecturers because they thought there was no art in life.
Who sponsored your colours and then became their client on Monday.
Who ran screaming from art when they heard they might starve.
Who sacrificed their sleep.
Who wore sandals to work and used it as a license to harass the girls.
Who smoked their cigarettes to the bone in the hope of finding an idea.
Who mistook a photoshop filter for art.
Who thought finding ideas in their inbox was work.
Who were friends when they studied but hated each other when they worked.
Who filmed every talk but has never shared them.
Who knew that they people who should’ve been there, couldn’t afford it.
Who were told they’d become rich and still worry about the rent.
Who politely said hello and then “Where are you now?”
Who only ate well when the boss was paying.
Who draws just for fun.
Who called talking to your friends “social media.”
Who were lucky to wear suits by choice.
Who knew what should’ve won, whenever they didn’t.
Who spoke about being free from behind their firewalls.
Who “once tweeted something.”
Who turned a studio into a family.
Who thought being nervous was chewing gum.
Who shot themselves in the head with their own cameras.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I’m feeling a lot better this week than I was last week.
I’ve taken someone up on their offer of helping out with the caption contest, I won’t start the next one until I’ve finished judging this one (please stop entering for now).
There are a few hundred blogs out there that are inspired by the I Wrote This For You project, I know because I track the words “I Wrote This For You” and “pleasefindthis” and other key words based off entries to see where the project goes and what people say about it, which leads me to them.
Some of these projects go on with my complete blessing because they asked me first or they told me what they were doing, or quite simply they had the good sense and common decency to state somewhere on the page
“This is what we’re doing and we were inspired to do it by these guys.”
These are some of the ones I’ve particularly enjoyed.
We’re going to be start linking to and promoting these projects soon to thank them for acknowledging us, considering how many people don’t bother or think it doesn’t mater.
Here’s an example of what we really don’t like:
(This is the only link like this I’ll share as a) they’ve since stopped and b) the rest of the rip-off artists can rot in obscurity for all I care. But trust me that there are, literally, hundreds of them.)
They stole our entire identity without our consent. And the only reason they could have for mimicking us without acknowledging us, is egotism. They know that a lot of people like the I Wrote This For You project, so they figure a lot of people will like them too.
This flies in the very face of what we do, which I imagine is why people who try and do that lack any real substance behind their words and they feel flat and lifeless on the page, like some kind of twisted Hallmark version of us.
Which is why we appreciate the people who do link back to us so much.
In the greater scheme of things, we’re not that big. We’re a moderately successful garage band of a blog which is run off time and money that we put in ourselves.
If we ever end up making a living off it, you are more than welcome to take everything. But as things stand, we don’t.
Of course, the easiest way to make money off the blog would be to advertise on it but we don’t do that. The blog itself is an experience. The fact that there’s virtually nothing there but the posts is what makes it special to me.
You’ll notice I’ve even taken off the links to the facebook group and to the twitter streams because I feel like we’ve got enough people in both right now. That might change but that’s how I feel at this point in time.
So as many of you who follow me on twitter know or if you’ve visited the blog in the last week, we’ve added a donations link on the top right of the page.
We honestly and humbly thank those who’ve donated so far.
I write for you.
Your appreciation sincerely helps justify our devotion to the project and allows us to spend more time on it, making it better.
Support the artists who inspire you. Not just us, but the painters, photographers, musicians, writers and other creative people around you, who sing because they have to but share with the world because they want to.
And if you are an artist, never be afraid of making money off your art.
As I tweeted yesterday, anyone who tells you that creativity should be free, does not make a living being creative.
Enjoy the weekend and enjoy being who you are. You deserve it.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We've made $25 over two days which represents the grand total of the fortune we've made doing this for four years.
(We won't ever advertise on the blog. We tried it once and I didn't sleep for a week.)
It's not a lot but it's $25 more than we had when we started.
Thank you for valuing us and what we do.
If you can spare something for us, to show your gratitude, we'll sincerely appreciate it.
If you have nothing to give, you have love. Give it to a stranger and that'll be payment enough for us.
Considering the donation tin seems to work, I'm also considering offering my services over it as a writer.
In other words, contact me at pleasefindthis at gmail dot com if you want the best love letter ever written, your wedding speech, the inscription on your tomb or the most beautiful post-it note ever conceived and I'll write it with you.
I've also put two new stories up on TextNovel.com just because I feel like writing more and I want to get an idea of what people like (I know what I like, people on the other hand are fickle creatures who often confound me. That's probably why I write about them).
Besides I Wrote This For You being represented there (the entries are a kind of "best of"), the new stories are (some of you might be familiar with these)
Rat In A Mess: Stories About Animals
Everything Is Disgusting.
I'll continue to write whatever gets the most views and abandon what doesn't cut the mustard.
You may have also noticed that there was no Valentines Day post, after all the hype. I'm not going to go into the details of why it didn't happen but let's just say that it was due to a lack of planning on my part. There's always next year.
I love you,
Monday, February 8, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Some of you might remember the caption contest we ran here a while ago. It was pretty successful but unfortunately, time-consuming for me to go through all the captions, some of which were more than a page long. That took me a day or two. I don’t often have a spare day or two.
So, because I'd love to get you more involved, we’re trying it out on twitter and facebook.
Here’s how it works.
The picture we’ll be using is today’s, which you can see at the top of I Wrote This For You, here www.pleasefindthis.blogspot.com
If you’d like to enter a caption, tweet it with the hashtag #pleasefindthis
You don’t need to be following me or tweet it at me, just use the hashtag.
Using twitter means it’s easier for me to go through the entries (because all the entries are short and let’s be honest, a lot of the time the short ones are the best ones) and my mailbox doesn’t explode.
On Sunday, I’ll go through the entries on twitter, choose the best one, put it with the picture on www.someonefoundthis.blogspot.com and everyone who wants to see what else was entered can easily just click on the hashtag and see for themselves.
If it works today, we’ll try it out again tomorrow.
Best of luck and all my love,
PS. If you’re not on twitter, you can still enter on facebook using your status update, just keep it short and type “@I Wrote This For You” at the end of it, which will make it easier to manage because it’ll appear in the facebook group here
PPS. Just make sure you type "@I Wrote This For You" with capitals like that and no full stop, apparently I've inspired a band or something.
PPPS. I really hope your holidays went well, mine were amazing but, I did miss you and it's good to be back <3>
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
There aren’t any legal issues with I Wrote This For You. Neither Jon nor I mind if you copy our content across to your own blog, tumblr, twitter feed, whatever. That’s fine.
What upsets me is identity theft and intellectual property theft. Here’s the fine line.
You find the blog, you enjoy it, you want to share it with your friends. You post the line, or the picture and the line and a link back.
Perfect. More people are exposed to our work, you’re the one that discovered it, everyone involved is happy.
You find the blog, you enjoy it, you want to share it with your friends. You start a blog with the same name as mine, pretend to be me and then repost my content as your own.
The only person who’s happy in this situation, is you.
Why, I have no idea as I’ve never felt any sense of accomplishment for something I didn’t do.
You’re more than welcome to start a blog based on mine. You’re more than welcome to put my content anywhere you want. But please acknowledge the source.
There’s a story about Pablo Picasso that I really enjoy. It goes something like this.
As the woman grabbed for the napkin, Mr. Picasso said "Madame, that will be 10000 USD". The women reacted in a shock "but that took you only a few minutes!". "No Madame" replied Pablo Picasso "It took me 50 years".
It’s taken me 29 years to write this for you. Please respect that.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
You can read more here.
If you can help, text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10.
100% of your donation passes through to the Red Cross, which you can follow on twitter at @RedCross for Haiti relief. Your cell carrier keeps nothing.
You can also donate to the International Response Fund at http://www.redcross.org
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Merry Thursday. Posting will recommence on the 11th of January. Which is also the date this letter will disappear from the front page of www.pleasefindthis.blogspot.com
There’s something incredibly familiar and comforting about seeing words appearing one after the other on my screen after so long.
First, here are some gifts.
Leah threw this together, which you can use as a banner on the side of your page (just copy and paste the code). And, of course, if you use it and send me your blog address either here or on twitter @pleasefindthis, I’ll link to you from the news website for I Wrote This For You, astrangelinkonthesideofthepage.blogspot.com in the Friends Of pleasefindthis section.
I decide to do this now in January because there are already enough presents in December.
Which is also the month that the winner of the Open Web Awards was announced.
It wasn’t me.
I know I bugged the hell out of you to vote for me and I got really hung up on how important it all was which lead to what I can now only describe as a rush of blood to the head and my previous two long winded letters to you.
That’s the problem with making something important. You stop having fun with it. You stop enjoying it.
And yet, today, now, in this moment, I am happy.
I’m happy because I got something so much more than an award. You honestly wouldn’t believe how many heart warming messages I received from people all over the world, about how I’d touched their lives or stories about a particular entry or simply reassuring me that what I did, mattered.
It was this amazing awakening for me. I’d started taking I Wrote This For You very seriously and in essence, started to treat it like work.
That’s not to say that it shouldn’t be taken seriously as a project, quite obviously many people, including myself, do.
But it should be love, not work, that drives it.
Hopefully 2010 will be a return to that principle. I know for a fact that it'll be a year filled with exciting things. I don't think of it as another chance. Because every moment is another chance.
See you on the 11th,
PS. I missed you <3>