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My own personal open rant

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by D'Snowth, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    No, I'm not trying to pull a Drtooth or anything, but this is something that's really irking me right now, because it's rully making my head spin...

    Quite a few of you guys who are close to me, or know me somewhat personally know a lot of what I do with myself as far as creativity goes and everything, but at the same time, I don't go around crowing about what I do, I don't advertise, I don't procelate, because I learned my lesson about that the hard way years ago... any of you remember that trainwreck KGZ that I actually still have open? I probably made more enemies advertising that website than George Bush did when he sent us to war with the middle east... I mean I realized later on that advertising and self-promotion are frowned upon, and are seen as desperately shameless cries for attention, and actually turn people away, rather than garnering interest, so needless to say, when it comes to things I do, I don't go around procelating, or advertising.

    So anyway, as of yesterday, the webcomic miniseries I had done over the holidays just finished its run with very, very poor results, it didn't catch on, and I don't believe anybody outside a couple of personal friends even read it; so on different occasions, where I would ask someone for input and such, I'm met with the exact same question over and over again, "Well, what are you doing to advertise?" Are you kidding me? I'm not trying to turn people away, but I mean at the same time, I am surprised that I hadn't gotten at least maybe a couple of curious readers over these past seventeen weeks... but then again, like I said in another thread, there's really no room for creativity or originality on the internet, and webcomics are no exception: case in point with myself, the site where my comic is hosted seems to have three kinds of popular comics - manga, stolen video game sprite, and gay, while almost all of the more original comics are shunned; likewise, I seem to be the only one who reads any of our own Xerus's webcomics, which I think is kind of sad, because his comics are genuinely funny, and they capture the spirit of classic Saturday Morning in a very excellent manner.

    But I digress, constantly being asked, "What do you do to advertise?" has become just as annoying as the age-old, "You never asked before!" In fact, just recently someone suggested I post links on various forums I belong to and such... that's exactly how I advertised KGZ years ago, and it got me into nothing but trouble along the way, and to this day, it's like even when I don't even try to advertise the site (and I realy haven't had much to do with it in the last few years), I can't go to a Whose Line Is It Anyway? site or forum without people automatically regarding me as the village idiot. I mean as far as I'm concerned, I would rather just sit back and wait for people to discover anything I do, whether by accident, or out of curiosity; in some cases it works, like Steve's earlier days on YouTube (my own mother even recently jumped on the "You Need to Advertise" bandwagon recently when she too saw his following has dwindled to practically nothing in recent months), but in other cases it doesn't, like here.

    I do see the point though, if you don't advertise, people even know these things exist anyway, but when you do advertise, people don't care? It's a frustrating and confusing debocal. At the same time, it seems like it's nowhere near as bad when someone else advertises for you; my best friend actually just recently elected herself to be my communications manager, so I'm really interested in seeing what her plans are in this department.

    So anyway, that's my personal open rant... the evils of advertising, and the lackthereof.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  2. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    There is no shame in shamelessly promoting yourself. Plug away! :super:

    In fact, it's what we have to do in order to get people to know we exist. Some people are gonna like our stuff and others aren't. As an artist I always take the naysayers to heart more than the praise. It's the risk we take. :eek:

    I went to school with many creative people who professed not to care if anyone saw or liked their work. Total garbage. :rolleyes: I believe art predates mathematics or words in being the first, most sublime form of communication. When we communicate we want people to hear us and to understand what we're saying. It's tricky. That is also what brings a lot of people to art. It's the only way some people feel like they can communicate with others.

    The worst thing any creative person can do is to take an unseen sketchbook of their great ideas with them to the grave. :sympathy: I believe that's the selfish bit. Sharing our perspectives and distributing them, even aggressively at times, is what we should do. Of course that should be tempered with humility.

    We all know talented people who hide their light for one reason or another. I don't think it's noble. I think it's a shame. :oops: We don't get a lot of time on this spinning rock. Why waste it with self-doubt? By promoting our work we're honoring our gift and I believe it comes from something bigger than us. /soapbox

    I hope you find success with your next project and please let us know what it is. For what it's worth I admire you puppetry skills. Not everyone has that. Frog knows I'm useless in that department. :o
  3. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    You do bring up a number of points there... that's actually an interesting take on it, believing that it's actually more selfish to not share what you can do with others, as opposed to being shameless in spreading the word about it.

    Ironically, I can't say I know much about how to handle naysayers, there's an old sayings that your friends and family are your toughest critics, and that if you can please them, you can please anybody... I don't buy that, I really don't... to me, that's like a contradiction in terms, because these people know you personally, again, they're your friends and family, of course they're not going to critique what you do, they don't want to hurt your feelings. Of course, I've actually had my share of more professional praise; I once met with Ed May, a lesser-known background Muppeteer, who did a show with a Nashville-based puppet company years ago, I showed him what I could do with Steve, and he had nothing but praise, he said there was nothing to critique, which is nice to know.

    But again, it's not really the puppetry that's the issue (though some feel the well is starting to dry up a little in that department), I think just about everybody, whether they admit it or not, is drawn to puppetry, it's the world of webcomics that's the issue... more specifically, mine are hosted at SmackJeeves (personal preference, I don't care for Drunk Duck's services, and ComicGenesis/formely Keenspace seems to glitch a lot), and it seems like comics that are done as mangas, or comics composed of stolen video game sprites have large numbers of fans, even going into the thousands, even when they're just starting, but conversely, the more original webcomics, some of which that may have been running for a while, get no attention whatsoever. I do admit, I DID try at least a couple of what I thought were clever ad ploys: one week, when the update was to be listed in the directory, I changed the comic's link banner to read a certain stanza from the song it was inspired by, "Is she in Heaven? Is she in ****? Is she a sex-industry professional?" Didn't work. The following week, I tried a more simple approach by having the link banner read: "Do NOT Read This Webcomic!" Didn't work either.

    Still, advertising seems like a two-way street where either way you go, it's like you're headed in the wrong direction.
    jvcarroll likes this.
  4. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Wow! I like that advertising ploy. I might steal it! :coy:

    It's hard to predict what will catch on. I've been so close to success that I could taste it and then it's back at square one again. It's not easy to decipher what voices to listen to, which ones to tune out and how far to follow that inner voice down the creative rabbit hole. It's different for everyone. :p

    Over half the battle starts by showing up and that means advertising. Jim Henson knew how to "Sell! Sell! Sell!" so I take his lead. :jim: I've had many dynamic websites, but more people choose to surf Facebook so I brought my portfolio there and it gets a lot more hits. I know that some folks hate social media and Facebook. However, it can be a brilliant marketing tool. It's kind of like when I quit smoking during artschool many years ago. I still went out on the breaks to network with the other smokers. A little second hand smoke was the cost of business. Being an artist means being fearless and brave and falling on our faces for all to see sometimes. I learned that the hard way and wasted some productive years being too cautious. I now promote several artists of all types (even worked on some colorful fliers for a drag queen) and they promote me back. :concern: That cycle helps us all. The right people find our stuff and success comes. I think that's the most important part - getting the right audience for the work. Casting a wide net is sometimes required.
    Muppet fan 123 and D'Snowth like this.
  5. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    This is the first I've heard of KGZ, and it's also the first I've heard of people not liking self-promotion. Had no idea some thought it was a big deal. You seem to be one of the more-respected members here, so it's hard to believe you'd turn off a big number of people just by advertising on this forum (I don't know what KGZ is so I don't know if it could be a content thing).
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Internet cartooning... actually.. ANY thing you put on the internet is open to luck of the draw. The best thing you can do is wait for a small audience and hope someone finds your stuff on a search engine and then sets up links to your stuff, and hope it catches on.

    Even friends don't look at friends' stuff from time to time. It happens. You can keep linking to something, and everyone will just ignore you. And the more you link stuff, the less likely someone's even going to visit. Stuff like this happens. That's the internet. Too many people were raised to be cartoonists, and this is the only place we can put things. There's a LOT of no-talent out there that does nothing but hurt us, and a lot of rising talent that needs more focus and skill to bring us something great. After a while, everything looks like everything else, and no one gives you the time of day.
    D'Snowth likes this.
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Ahahaha, go right ahead! Admittedly, the latter of which I stole as well from a billboard for a new radio station here a couple of years ago, that said, "Do NOT Listen To" whatever the station was, it's hard to remember, our radio stations are always changing every few months or so. :smirk:

    Yes, over the years, Jim improved in his business skills, and he did eventually become quite the shrude businessman... me on the other hand, I know squat about these kind of things, and it shows, lol. It's kind of like with Sid & Marty Krofft; Sid was clearly the imaginative one who had most of the crazy ideas for all those huge Saturday Morning shows and such, while Marty was the practical one who kept saying Sid's imagination was a source of nightmares trying to produce those shows because they were constantly over budget.
    You do bring up another point, and I have actually been considering giving in and turning to Facebook more as a means of trying some form of advertising, my problem is I couldn't figure out how to use Facebook three years ago, and I've heard since then they've gone through a radical redesign and overhaul, so I doubt I'd be able to figure that out either (and what's scary is the older people in my family are all on Facebook and have figured their way around it, yet I'm really the only computer literate person in the family... scary)!
    Forgive me. KGZ (short for THE KATHY GREENWOOD ZONE) is a fansite I started for Kathy Greenwood back in 2005, and is actually still open today, I just haven't had much to do with it in a few years, because it really hasn't been much of a priority anymore; but yeah, I tried advertising the site shortly after it opened on a bunch of random different sites and forums, and needless to say, I got into a lot of trouble for it. :smirk:
    I'd be satisfied if people other than friends would look at this stuff from time to time, but it seems like friends are the only ones I know I can get to look.
    Exactly! That's exactly what I've dealt with in the past with self-advertising! Again, when it comes to that, people see it as being shameless and desperate for attention, so they don't bother seeing what it is your linking.
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I figured that. I feel most of my family might be biased on my creativity, though there's some relatives who I don't think are biased like that.

    But it makes me wonder how hard it is to work with family and/or friends in a creative business, especially if you are in the hiring/firing position, or if one of them are. If somebody you knew for years worked for you, and you flat-out felt what they were creating wouldn't be very good for business, would you tell them? Would you fire your friends/relatives if they constantly created things that lost money for the company? And I wonder if the same thing applies to people who become friends AFTER they start out in the entertainment/creative business, whether it's before or after they made names for themselves. And especially if one was to hire one of their biggest and well-respected idols, and their work suddenly decreased in quality.
  9. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Maybe that's where the saying, "Never do business with friends" comes from, I don't know... I think in some cases, people like that, who are either friends or family, who work for you, expect to get somewhat better treatment than other employees, I don't know...

    I do know in some of these cases, a lot of entertainment big-wigs are family teams, like siblings like: Glen Charles & Les Charles, Sid & Marty Krofft, the Chiodo Bros; or even husband-wife teams: Stan and Jan Berenstain, Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman, I think I mentioned in another thread long before, but it would be nice if any future wife of mine would be interested in forming the same kind of partnership with me.
  10. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    It can sometimes be difficult to find that line between personal experience and self indulgence. I'll cite Tim Burton as an example. He has an amazing body of work. Few people could contradict that. He has quite a few missteps too. Projects that required looking outside of his own tastes, experiences and dare I say narcissism (all creative people have it) for the greater good of the finished piece. His take on "Willy Wonka" has some shining moments, but it ultimately fell victim to too many Burtonisms that dulled the shine of a far more dazzling tale. Learning and moving forward is the important thing. I don't think he's really learned from his "Planet of the Apes" or "Wonka" in the same way that Frank Oz learned and grew from the disaster that was "Stepford Wives."
    CensoredAlso likes this.
  11. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Self-promotion is ESSENTIAL. Always has been but today, with SUCH a glut of stuff in every possible medium out there, you do really have to push your work. (Says the writer who hasn't finished a marketable novel in years, heh.) But yes...learn social media, or get your new Comm Director to do it for you. Hit up any sites which you feel have some legitimate relation to what you do. I notice your webcomic was about a vampire girl...did you seek out vampire-specific sites or fansites, link to the ones you lied and ask their webmasters for a linkback? Did you keep a page or a profile open on those sites? Do so. You'll get more readers. Always think cross-pollination!

    And if your friends aren't being honest with you about your work...they're not very good friends. Ask them to be brutal. And then take you for ice cream if it hurts.

    jvcarroll and CensoredAlso like this.
  12. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I ain't very good at pushing, nor being aggressive either...

    Past experiences have REALLY ruined me as far as self-promotion goes, I've gotten into so much trouble doing so in the past and such, I just don't want to have to put up with it again, nor do I really need to make anymore enemies in the process either.
  13. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the comment on my webcomics, Snowthy. And thank you for being a loyal reader too. I know what you're going through too. I wish my other MC fans would've read and commented on my works. And I sometimes feel like Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants or Brian from Family Guy, not having their creativity appreciated.
    But I do get a few praises on Facebook though. I've even written a list of names of all the people who read and comment regularly. So far, only 18. I tried different ways to advertise myself. At first on Toonzone, but one guy insulted my artwork and badmouthed me about my age. I don't think he bothered to read the story at all. And some other people took his side too.
    Last year, I had fliers made and tried to hand them out at a local comic con. Some people took interest and took my fliers. But only 2 people commented the next day. And just yesterday, my local library had a video game and sci-fi convention and they agreed to let me display my fliers there. Only one person took a flier and I haven't received any feedback yet today.
    Right now, my producer friend, Heather Ferreira, has taken an extreme interest in Rebusquest and she's found a way to get the animation project for it off the ground. I sure hope it works this time. Anyway, I really dug Snowthy's Vampire Girl series and I was very happy with the ending and I'll keep on being a fan of Steve D'Monster and his friends. Here's to you, Snowthy! :)
  14. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's the problem with ToonZone, the entire community is like this, it's one of those forums out there (and there's plenty of them too) where it's like the community takes pride in putting certain people down for one reason or another; I can't even remember the last time I ever visited ToonZone, but I can pretty much remember everybody treating me like the village idiot there. Then again, I was still pretty much a kid when I was at ToonZone, and I've noticed some forums like to harass kids who are members for not acting more mature and grownup. Another anecdote there was a Chipmunks forum I eventually became moderator of, there was one particular member who was like twelve or thirteen at the time, that one of the admins and one of mods kept picking on to no end for various different reasons, including her age; I kept trying to put a stop to it, but I was ignored, so myself another friend of mine (who was also on the moderating staff) went straight to the webmistress to put a stop to it, and it stopped... I'm pretty sure it's because of that I ended up becoming a big cyber brother to that member, but it really was harshly unfair, she's just a sweet kid who wasn't bothering anybody, yet she was singled out for a number of different reasons, it's happened to me before, but this time I had the power (somewhat) to make sure it didn't happen again to somebody else.

    If you ask me though, there's two different kinds of forums: ones where the members take the time and the effort to turn the place into something of an actual community, and ones where people just simply go to. MC certainly is one of those forums that are very community oriented, but those kind of forums are few and far between, whereas the other forums, where people feel the need to be rude and hateful to certain people for certain reasons seem to dominate the internet. That can make it difficult to advertise on forums as well, and there are actually some forums out there that forbid people from advertising anything at all: no mentioning it in posts, no links in signatures, etc.
  15. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you had to go through all that on Toonzone Too, Snowthy. Whenever I tried to post my own thoughts on there, people would badmouth me and the mods would shut down my posts for all the negative comments. I just never know the right things to post on there. Too many rules. So it's easier not to post on there at all.
  16. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Yeah I remember running into a forum once that pretty much existed just to give people a hard time, very bravely behind their computer screens of course, heh. As one of them proudly put it, "You've entered the lion's den!" Um, yeah more like the pathetic den, lol. :p
    newsmanfan likes this.
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I mean, just based on experiences of mine, here's a story of just how twisted and crooked some of these forums can be:

    I once belonged to a forum where everybody seemed nice and friendly enough at first, even though there were at least a couple or so jerks, but every forum, even MC has its share of a few bad seeds here and there: eventually, several months later, a few members migrated over there because their own usual forum was down temporarily, they started causing trouble and such (including harassing me), and they did end up getting banned for their actions. Then, a month later, every single one of them all created new accounts and were actually welcomed back with open arms. They basically then made it their priority to harass me to no end for various different reasons, then guess what happened? I got banned for being a trouble maker and an instigator. They were the ones who were instigating trouble, and ganging up on me, and I was the one who was banned for being the trouble maker? Then when I tried to register a new account as well, I was immediately banned again. So, to go over it again, the trouble makers made trouble, got banned, came back, was welcomed back, and went back to making trouble with encouragement from the admin and mod; I was cyber-bullied, got banned, came back, was immediately banned again, and the trouble makers actually boasted about it.

    What "hurt" too was that I did have a few people at that forum that I THOUGHT were my friends, and were on my side, but they decided to side with the enemies, one of which said to me, "Well, they're threatening to ban us too if they see we're on your side, and I really don't want to be banned, so I have to go."

    But okay, you know what? This isn't what I came here to rant about, so getting back to the original topic, give me some ideas of what I can do to advertise without coming off as being shameless and desperate for attention? I get your point about vampire forums and such for Vampire Girl Newsie, however, I'm sure most people who are vampire nuts probably are because of Twilight, or those number of vampire shows on HBO, which this isn't anything like those at all, lol. I can see that most of you guys are okay with me plugging things here (thanks for that reassurance Jamie, I appreciate it), but like I said, you guys know me, and I know you, we're all friends and such, I need to branch out to newer groups of people; like back in Steve's early days on YouTube, yes I told some of you guys about it, but much of what became his initial following found him by chance or by accident (a few of which came to MC that way).

    Again, a few people have suggested posting links on forums and such, well I've done that before, and that's how I got in trouble in the past with advertising and procelating, and that's how I learned the hard way that people see this sort of thing as shameless... so what can I do differently?

    BTW Xerus, I did something similar to fliers once before: you know how when you go to office supply stores, the pen, marker, sharpie, etc aisle has like a big sketch book for you to test the different colors on and everything? I once drew a doodle of Steve on a page, and added the URL to my YouTube channel for people to see... I doubt it worked though, lol.
  18. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Wow...someone never left middle school. :concern:

    Of course that's not specifically a forum issue, I encountered the same kind of people in school back in the day. And frankly I'd rather be unpopular than that weak of a person. Because those people have to live with the way they acted for the rest of their lives.

    Well everything I've ever read basically said you first have to make the effort to contribute to a community for an extended period of time first, before you ever try to advertise.

    Another thing is seeking out other people's websites and Blogs and giving them compliments first. Some will be nice enough to return the favor. But it does take time.
  19. Teheheman

    Teheheman Well-Known Member

    I see both sides of the coin. On one hand, you need to promote yourself if you're ever gonna get ANYWHERE! and sometimes, word of mouth is the only thing that gets you noticed. That being said, on the other hand, you don't wanna promote yourself so much that you end up being known as a spammer that just joined to promote your stuff and not a fan that just happens to do that. Personally, I would join a forum, post a while, and wait an appropriate amount of time before saying "Hey, I don't usually do this, but I did some cartoons/stories/etc. a while back, and was wondering what you thought." Or maybe do what I do, and post a link to your stuff at the bottom of your thing so if people are interested, they can see what you wrote. I used to be in the 'internet promotion' of my stories but it never really worked. BUT, if YOU believe that they're good, then that's all you gotta write for. You don't have to create or do anything that doesn't please you.

    CensoredAlso likes this.
  20. Sgt Floyd

    Sgt Floyd Well-Known Member

    Well most forums have rules against making threads about your own websites and stuff. Usually you can advertise in your signature as long as you don't mention it or encourage people to take a look. It kinda deafeats the purposes of advertising I suppose.

    As for bad forum run ins, I recently attempted to join Sonic Retro. Not only do they make you write a post explaining why you joined before they activate you, you have to "prove" to them that you aren't an idiot and they give you 20 posts. Then they basically decide if they like you or not and can then choose to not activate your account after 20 posts. For some reason I was rejected. of course they don't allow you to post or contact a staff member to ask why. I think it was because I disagreed with a staff member about graphics being the most important thing in a video game :p

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