Doing it for a living

Imagine a web publishing platform that costs $10 per month.

$5 of that $10 goes to the platform company for the boring stuff.

The other $5 gets split evenly between the writers, photographers, videographers, designers, and other creative people you follow who also pay to use the platform, up to a maximum of — say — 20 followers, hand-picked by you.

Now imagine if that platform was tumblr, and the $10 service was called ‘tumblr PRO’. Suddenly, you don’t need advertising, feed sponsorship, affiliate products, ebook spin-offs, or a lucky break to earn a respectable side income if you wish. You just need to keep publishing the things you love and watch your (paid) follower count climb.

4,000 paid followers would give you a side income of $1,000 a month. 8,000 paid followers would give you at least $2,000. (If people picked fewer than 20 tumblogs to ‘support’, you’d get a bigger share of their $5.)

And now you have a way to choose 20 people whose content you enjoy and thank them in a way that counts — with cash.

The gift of free and easy publishing is a wonderful one. But the gift of earning a living doing something you love? The gift of never having to hear the phrase ‘monetisation strategy’ again? That’s pretty hard to beat. We need a better way to support indie publishers. Isn’t it time someone built a platform to help?

Date 18 Jan 2011 Notes 150 notes Permalink Permalink Tags publishing

Everything you need to know about email

Reading about email kind of sucks. Here, then, is enough advice for a lifetime, distilled into the only three things you need to know about email:

  1. Email is not work.
  2. There is no right way, only your way.
  3. The winner is the one who spends the least time in their inbox.

Do link to this page to bring a halt to any rambling blog comments, forum debates, twitter updates, or emails about email. Pixels are precious. Every heartbeat counts.

Date 13 Jan 2011 Notes 30 notes Permalink Permalink Tags email

The Spiffing Blog

I’ve just launched my second tumblr blog: The Spiffing Blog brings quips, tips, and interesting bits on iOS development, musings on the Mac, and other miscellany. Do grab the RSS feed and/or follow me over there if you use tumblr:

Date 10 Jan 2011 Notes 13 notes Permalink Permalink Tags launch

What Browsing the Web Feels Like

A blind man turns to his friend. ‘You know, I’ve always wondered. As a sighted person, what does browsing the Web feel like?’

'That's a tough one,' says his friend. He shrugs. 'It doesn't really feel like anything. What does eating an apple feel like, for example?'

The blind man thinks. He brings an empty hand to his face, opens his mouth, and takes an imaginary bite. He chews. He swallows.

'It feels like falling through ice,' he begins. 'It feels like cutting your tongue and swallowing sunlight. Eating an apple feels like running through Eden. Eating an apple feels like tearing chunks out of heaven,' he says. 'Your turn.'

The friend pauses. He breathes in, raises his arms, and starts to type in the air. One hand moves to guide an imaginary mouse, an index finger tapping out the beat of the Web.

'Browsing the Web feels like being lost in a hotel,' he says. 'It feels like waiting for someone to greet you, to hit the lights and offer directions. But no-one comes. So you start to wander. You start to open doors. You hope to find meaning; a reason you're there. Browsing the Web feels a lot like life. Browsing the Web feels like slowly growing old.'

The blind man smiles. ‘That’s funny,’ he says. ‘It feels exactly the same for me.’

Date 16 Dec 2010 Notes 58 notes Permalink Permalink Tags stories

Best Web Books of 2010

The post I’ve written over at Goburo titled, "Top Web Books of 2010" is proving pretty popular among web folks.

This year has seen oodles of great web, graphic design, and iOS books. It’s been expensive, but I’ve learnt loads, and I recommend the four books on the list heartily; there’s very little overlap in subject matter, so it’s safe to add them all to your Christmas wishlist.

If you’d like to read more from me and Hayley about design and web stuff, do subscribe to the feed over on the Goburo blog. We plan to start posting more there.

Oh — and if you need graphic design, web development, custom Tumblr design, or WordPress help, get in touch with us. We should have some free slots in the New Year, and we’d love to hear from you.

Date 10 Dec 2010 Notes 4 notes Permalink Permalink