Warren Ellis (mistersleepless) wrote,
Warren Ellis

DIY Mind Gangsterism (part three)

This could run and run:

Mind Gangsterism, more than anything, is the art of colonising other people's brains. Grabbing their attention so that you can stab your art into their heads. Once you've established your hosting, you want to spend as little money as possible, but this is going to cost you some time. Maybe an hour a day.

You need to set up ways to talk to people, to tell them what you're doing as well as what you're thinking. Most people get nothing but crap in their email. Everyone likes getting interesting mail. You should think about setting up a mailing list. BUT -- you want to set it up so it's announcement-only. So people on the list only receive mail from you. That is crucial. As a Mind Gangster, you interact with the peasants and livestock at your convenience. And, as a Mind Gangster, you want people to listen to YOU, not all the jabberings of the aggregations of genetic rectal sweat populating your subscribers list. (By which I mean, of course, your Beloved Audience. Yes.)

Doug Rushkoff, as I recall, operates two mailing lists -- one for his announcement-style mailings, the other a regular community-style list where people can talk between themselves about his letters. So, if you just want Rushkoff, you just subscribe to the former. That's an option.

If you know someone who has a server and does listserv stuff, see if you can screw a favour out of them. Otherwise, use Smartgroups or Yahoo. I think Smartgroups is probably better, but take a look. If you have good hosting and know arcane things like PHP and, you know, things that make computers go, you can check out PHPlist or Mailman.

I've been running a mailing list forever. Since around, what 1997, 1998? Around then? It began as something called FROM THE DESK OF. I got a Visor handheld with a Visorphone module for wireless internet work around the time I shifted the list to a new server, and changed the name of it to BAD SIGNAL, whree it became more of a rambling email journal. It was, essentially, email moblogging. Today, BAD SIGNAL has 6500 subscribers. Being email, the simplest fucking thing on the web, it goes into desktops, laptops, handhelds and phones. It gets everywhere. This is Good.

Email lists tend to favour the people who use words, I know -- but blogs are obviously good ways to display and deliver art and sound, and mailing lists can reach people who won't hit your blog or LJ every day and aren't using RSS.

Something more specifically art-oriented is the Webcard system at webcards.sourceforge.net. You'll likely need someone who understands PHP -- I haven't downloaded it myself to look. Here's a demo of what Webcard does. Artists can have people make with the sending of their art, basically. Just brand the Art with your copyright mark, watermark or whatever.

Your art is your calling card. There's nothing stopping you making Webcards of your art and sending them to people yourself. I mean, don't spam great hordes. But you can get someone's attention like that.

Got bandwidth and want to go nuts? Videoblogging is getting simpler every day. In fact -- does your phone shoot video? Current versions of Quicktime now support cameraphone video formats. Here's a bit of code I found the other week. Remove the line breaks so the whole thing is a statement on one line, and it should work like a charm:

Won't work on LJ, but if you put it on a regular webpage, then anyone with a current version of Quicktime will see your video embedded on the page. Change the "autoplay" clause from TRUE to FALSE and they can start it at their convenience -- leave it as it is and it'll start the second it loads. And, if you experiment a bit, I have a feeling you could change ".3gp" (the futurephone file type) to whatever you've got, .avi or .mov or whatever, and alter the playback size accordingly, for the same effect...

Vlogging, videologging, will probably push off into a different area than regular blogs, as watching vlogs is unlikely to be something you can do undetected at work, which is still where something like half of all blogreading happens. But it's something you can do with a phone, a webcam or a digital camera. Sites like OnFuego are starting to crop up, offering limited hosting of vlogs. And my moblog system of choice, the fine moblog UK (okay, okay, I consulted to them) hosts camphone images and video.

A point about video art. If you are your subject, note this carefully. Mystique creates a devoted audience. Warts-and-all frankness creates an army of ferociously masturbating nutbags who think they know you and want to rescue and/or kill you.

When in doubt, pose and lie.

For free hosting of images, I would recommend Flickr, which is flexible, clever, and expanding its range of tools all the time. Check them out. Also, take a look at the Flickr Zeitgeist, a Flash device for websites. Being Flash, LJ won't like it. I have one on diepunyhumans, at the bottom of the left-hand menu bar. I put one on Tris' site as a kind of sliding modelling-portfolio viewer.

* * * * *

I still have to get through fPDF, blogtours, BitPass, CafePress, Mperia, Technorati, AIM, and the Creative Commons. Getting there.

-- W
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