Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shameless self-promotion

I'm seriously thinking about re-starting Aimless with a new objective. My objective has always been to let word-of-mouth generate a small buzz that could spread like a virus, but that never happened and it's never going to happen. So now I'm thinking maybe I should try the shameless self-promotion route, first to prove that it works, and second to rip it apart.

I already know it works. The proof is in the "cause walkers" like George Throop and Mark Klodzinski, who successfully attract tens of thousands of fans even though their stories aren't remotely interesting. It also works for Morgan Spurlock, who has lost essentially all my respect. And it would have worked for me, too, had I ever been willing to sacrifice substance for attention.

Well, maybe now I am willing to sacrifice substance for attention... sorta. Y'see, I have nothing to lose by trying the shameless self-promotion route. In fact, I have everything to gain. To begin, it would almost certainly lead to a TV show (which I would turn down if producers tried to force me to remain a sellout). But even if it doesn't lead to a show, this would give me yet another topic for a book.

Prospective methods of shameless self-promotion: 1) Always wearing shirts that say 2) Making extra effort to blog on a very regular basis, usually without actually saying anything other than 'look at me.' 3) Always being ridiculously and unrealistically positive in blog posts. 4) [Please share some of your ideas.]

If I do this, it's gonna make me miserable for a while because I do not crave unearned attention. Still I think it's a damn good idea because it could give me a chance to make a point that would be essentially impossible to counter, seeing how I'd probably be the only living person who's actually lived both sides of the argument.

Who else does that? No one.

You may have thought Aimless is dead, but it's just getting started.

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Aimless Video Evidence


ER said...

Ryan, what makes you think the people you mentioned are "unrealistically positive"? How do you know they don't truly feel that way?

Attracting a following is a lot harder than wearing a promotional tee-shirt, being positive, and blogging often. You have to do all that AND have compelling content. You might think those people have nothing interesting to say, but all of their followers would disagree with you. Successful internet promotion has always been about the content, not the pretty website or cheerful message. People won't stick around long if they're not truly interested in what you're saying. Ryan, I think you absolutely could attract a fan base if you blogged more often and told some of the stories I know you have.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with promoting yourself. It's not shameless at all if you are giving people some degree of entertainment or pleasure. It's a win for you, and it's a win for them. What's shameless about that? You don't get points in life for keeping all your experiences bottled up inside your mind, tucked away safe for only you to know. There's no honor in that. In fact, it's foolish. If you shared some of those experiences with people who find them interesting, maybe you would understand what makes the people you mentioned so positive. You've got it backward, Ryan. It's not the positivity that attracts a fan base, it's the fan base that makes them so happy and positive. They get pleasure from knowing people like what they are saying, and that creates a positivity-loop.

You're a very negative person right now Ryan, and that's a shame for someone who is so smart, well spoken, and who has experienced what you have. Coming from that negative place, maybe it's hard for you to understand how others are so positive and happy.

Anyway, attracting a fan base isn't easy. I know I could never do it, but I think you can. It won't happen over night, but with time, you could build a buzz. Forget about a TV show. If you built a Youtube following, you could pitch an Aimless show to one of the Internet show providers like TWiT or Revision3. Rev3 picked up Dan Brown's pointless "Dan 3.0" show just because he has 100,000 pre-teen girls who watch every video he puts out. I don't know how much they're paying him, but it's enough for him to live off of in San Francisco, and all he does is put out a five minute video three time a week. Rev3 attracts real sponsors like Ford, Netflix, Microsoft, HP, GoDaddy, Reebok, etc. so they have the bucks to pay content providers if they can bring in viewers. Check out if you've never seen their shows. Scam School and Diggnation are two AWESOME Rev3 shows.

Anyway, yeah, give it a go Ryan. You have nothing to lose, and trust me, there's no shame in it at all.

Are you on Twitter?

MissForlorn said...

Aimless, sounds like me. Well I'm a bit negative with my previous blog... But now I'm trying to change it....