Posts Tagged zazzle
I bought one of the skate decks that I put in the Outdoor Galore Store zazzle site (click on the OGS logo over on the left if you want to know about that) and I was going to keep it all nice and neat for display at conventions and stuff next year.
But I couldn’t stand it. So I took off the plain silver trucks with the plain, clean white wheels.
And I went to Midtown Skate Shop and asked them for the most garish good gear I could afford on there.
And now I have a new toy. Here’s some photos before I learn enough tricks to tear it up. I can only roll in, do some fairly pretty kick turns, and whatever combinations you can make from that. When I can drop in, and do some grinds or something, I imagine the board will look the worse for wear. At the moment, aside from the very ends of the tails and some chipping here and there from wipeouts, it still looks sharp. Good job, zazzle.
Cartooning- specifically comic strips- has taken an odd turn over the past couple of decades. The decline of the newspapers as the #1 source of information for most Americans has a lot to do with it. Way back (not THAT far back) when every major city in America had at least two newspapers, the value of any single comic strip or writer’s column could be measured in dollars gained or lost when a newspaper quit publishing it or started publishing it. If one paper quit publishing Doonesbury, for instance, and it’s sales and subscriptions declined while the other local paper picked up Doonesbury and its sales increased, then you could say that Doonesbury had a particular instantly provable value to a newspaper.
These days, not so much.
A writer I work with is also an auditor of newspaper circulation. Circulation (sales of newspapers, eyes available to advertisers in that newspaper) is how the newspapers set their advertising rates. Subscriptions and sales don’t generate a newspaper’s main income stream- it sets the scale for the newspaper to generate it’s main income stream… advertising. The newspapers are really good at inflating their circulation numbers in lots of ways, so they can charge more for the ads they run and therefore stay in business.
But I mentioned the decline of the papers, right? There’s that whole supply-and-demand thing. If advertisers are now running off to other venues, then the newspapers have to either drop their ad rates no matter what their circulation numbers are, or create a new value to advertising within their pages.
I hear from a lot of people (editorial cartoonists, newspaper illustrators, random newspaper employees, and circulation auditors) that the average newspaper’s decision makers are unwilling to make their jobs any more complicated by doing things that might attract readers. In other words, they’ve already given up. Sometimes, it’s even a matter of not backing up to a pre-automated method of doing things that’s the hang-up. Specifically, the idea that newspapers might draw in just the sort of interested reader they want to/need to by using webcomics on their comics page- hip, attention-grabbing, high-traffic comics used cheaply because it’s just another revenue stream to THOSE cartoonists- not the be-all, end-all of their income like for syndicated cartoons. The editor of the comics page of the paper I’m talking about said that it wouldn’t work because they now use a computer program that automatically drops in the daily comic strips and no one has to do any work. If the newspaper used webcomics, then the page would have to be worked on by someone every day, and then they couldn’t continue to leave at 2:00.
Of course, the other side of this is that it used to be that the only way to make a comic strip earn you a living was to be syndicated. You could draw a comic strip for your local paper, but one paper doesn’t make a wage out of one comic strip. The new thing is webcomics, where you have to be your own syndicate and sell anything and everything you can- T-shirts, hats, books, comics, sketches, originals, and of course, advertising- in order to make a fraction of what the syndicates used to be able to do for you. Stinky, for most would-be cartoonists, but it is an option. It’s a whole new business to be in.
There you have it. If you’re an old-guard syndicated cartoonist, it’s the beginning of the end. If you’re a young cartoonist who has time and energy to float a webcomic and work it like a business, it’s the beginning of the beginning.
And that brings me, in a hugely roundabout fashion, to my point:
Hubris has another ad on the site. There are some Google ads which pay a tiny bit every so often, and a Foxy Bingo ad which will stay up for at least a year per agreement, and now I have a Project Wonderful ad. It’s over there on the right hand side just below the Hubris Book Ad. Right now, the bidding is young and tiny, but if you see anything keen on there you’d like to read, by all means, click that thang and check it out. The more click-throughs there are from Hubris, the better reputation I get for being a good adspace to run in, and the revenue goes up by tiny bits.
And there you go. The business of Hubris.
Also, I’m about to add stuff onto the Outdoor Galore Store Zazzle page, just in time for your Christmas shoppin’.
Ugh. I’m a money-grubbin’ hack now. Gotta go skate.
Okay, one last picture and I’ll shut up about it for a while. I opened up the Outdoor Galore Store Zazzle site, right? (the button is over there on the left) and I’ve finally put some fun designs in there for shirts and pillows and water bottles and this here skate deck. I had to order one once I got it all set up, and I’m pretty happy with it. The bearings don’t seem to be all that I could want, but as this one is going to be my display model for conventions and stuff, I haven’t tried to break ’em in or anything. It’d make the nice white wheels all dirty.
So- here’s what it looks like- the color’s all done up in classic Sunday Funnies dot patterns. The design is produced in some kind of slick finish that makes the whole thing shine pretty nice. Good grip tape on the important side, too. And it arrived about two weeks faster than I expected it. I can’t say that happens every time, I’ve only ordered this one, but I had Zazzle go ahead an put on the pads, trucks, bearings and wheels too- and it was, like I say, here awfully quickly. Nice.
So, the decks themselves are $64 bucks. The rest costs more than the board, but you can put your own hardware on it to save that money.
And, if anyone is asking- the gobbledygook that Paste is shouting? That’s “Phooey!” and if you were thinking something ELSE, well, that was just YOU, wasn’t it?
You know if I had all the money in the world, I’d have blown it all by now trying to build the outdoor galore store in brick and mortar. And in gunnite, wood, fiberglass, and whatever else it took to make a circulating whitewater course, a tremendous skate/bike park, climbing wall, paintball arena, and anything else that I, in my dripping-wtih-moneyness, thought I would like to sell tickets to and indulge in myself.
Oddly enough, I don’t have all the money in the world. And those that do aren’t interested in building such a money pit and letting me spend my days there. The rich people spend a lot of time working with and worrying over finance… there may be something to that.
Anyhow, this is the digital age… so I can build a virtual store. The easiest way to do it at first is, of course, to ride in on some rich folks’ web-system that allows penniless schlubs like me to put up designs and make the rich folks another paycheck while leaving me still pretty much penniless. Wow. What a grand world we live in! Opportunities abound.
Anyhow, the plan is to eventually do business with you guys more directly, but for right now, there’s a nice skate deck with Paste on it available on Zazzle. If you order it, there’s even a little button you can click to have trucks and wheels put on it before it ships to you. For a less expensive option, you might order the deck, and put your own gear on it. Or buy gear from your local skate shop, thus keeping some kind of trade local, and that’s good.
All that’s a long winded way of saying “Hey, I got a zazzle site for Hubris.”
If you want free stickers instead of buying something, you still have to write me a Sidebar Subject article. Which means they’re not free, they cost you time and effort. Darn this world where things COST!