Warren Ellis (mistersleepless) wrote,
Warren Ellis

DIY Mind Gangsterism: Part Four

Tools for taking over people's minds via the internet:

PDF995: haven't tried it myself, but it looks less Star Trek than fPDF. If you understand PHP and codemonkey things, you might want to look at fPDF too. Making PDFs is a useful thing, for making flyers, pamphlets, magazines, anything that you'd want to either emulate print or present print-ready.

Some years ago, I threw out the idea of PDF magazines circulated on the internet and presented as ideological freeware for license-free download and printing (these were the days before Creative Commons). A few people glommed on to that. I also threw out the idea of broadside ballads -- one-sheet pieces circulated the same way, to be printed out and disseminated. No-one went for that. Ah well.

Blogtours: explained here. "In a nutshell, a Virtual Book Tour consists of an author "stopping" at a given number of websites in a given about of time, the same as they would do at bookstores during a real world tour. At these stops, the author may be interviewed, may take over the site for a day and blog themselves, may answer questions from readers, get their book reviewed or do all four." There's a lot of flexibility in the idea. Be creative.

BitPass: written about before, here. It empowers micropayment via PayPal -- you buy a token and dole little bits of it out in micropurchases. It's the engine behind Mperia, which all you music types should take notice of right now. Mperia puts your music up as streaming previews, and then allows the listener to buy the mp3 with BitPass, at a price that you yourself set. Take a look at it. BitPass can be applied to pretty much anything. Say you've written a long short story, or produced a suite of photographs, a comic or an animation. You can stick a BitPass gate on it and charge, literally, twenty-five American cents for entrance. BitPass is like two clicks, if you already have a token, and a two-minute set-up if you don't. You may not get rich, but you may cover your hosting.

Similarly, I don't know anyone who's gotten rich off Cafe Press, but I do know people who've covered their internet charges. Cafe Press, for those who don't know, allow you to generate your own merchandise, from t-shirts and bumper stickers up to and including print-on-demand books, and make a little money off each sale. If you feel like really going for it, and making your own stuff to sell, you can either go the PayPal route or use CCBill to handle credit cards.

I'm going to toss out one quick idea for the artists. You want to create awareness of your work. You also want to protect your work from being usurped by other people, I know. Try this: make AIM icons, or even LJ icons, and watermark them with your brand. AIM icons are crap. People want good ones. Make some, put your name on there in a small way, and release them out into the wild. Sooner or later, people will google the name that's on there.

I really wanted to find some kind of free Flash thing, outside of Photoshow or Powerbullet (which is shit), but I couldn't. I had a copy of Flash at one time, but couldn't wrap my head around it. Flash is an extraordinarily powerful authoring tool the potential of which has barely been scratched. if you've ever seen the film LA JETÉE, you'll understand how a Flash slideshow with music attached can turn a photographer into a filmmaker. Flash can also be used to recreate the magazine in different ways. And that's something you could actually launch from an LJ. LJ won't take Flash files, so you'd have to host the file somewhere else -- use some free hosting, if you've got it -- but make the LJ the magazine's base.

Anyway. That's about all the tools I can think of. And this has run long enough as it is.

The next piece of fiction you see here will be the last piece of fiction you see here.

-- W
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