Long Tail

1000 True Fans

Kevin Kelly looks at ways for artists to travel up the Long Tail until they’re at the point where they can make a living.

A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.

A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can’t wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.

via Ministry of Information

Post Industrial backgrounds 2

Spinneyhead’s tail grows a little more. The original Post Industrial backgrounds set was popular, so I went out and took some more pictures of decaying Manchester for you to use in the backgrounds of renders. (May require Animotions membership to view.)

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Where's Johnny?

I forgot to mention a couple of things when I wrote about Spinneyhead’s Tail. First up, the “Johnny Ain’t Here” Cafe Press shop. Dedicated to tracking down errant Johnnys wherever they may be. If you see Spinneyhead’s favourite Johnny anywhere please drop me a line. In fact, it might be time to start looking for him again.

Then there’s Frightened to Death by Fairies. Not much in there at the moment, just a remix of Michael Caine’s finest moment and fluttery winged short ladies, but I’m thinking of doing a few more images at some point.

This has been a public disservice announcement. Thank You.

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The Long Tail

I hadn’t realised that The Long Tail hadn’t even been published yet. People have been talking about it for ages, and I read the original article some time last year. As mentioned in an earlier post I’m trying to create my own long tail of Spinneyhead products.

So maybe I should get a copy of this book and get a better idea of how Chris Anderson sees it developing.

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Spinneyhead's short tail

I mentioned my long tail plans for Spinneyhead in an earlier post. If you look in the right hand column you’ll see links to all the places that sell my products, but I think a quick rundown here is in order.

There’s the shop, of course, though it doesn’t list everything.

Small Scale Customs sells products for modellers, particularly of vehicles in 1:72nd/1:76th scale.

Discontinuous Infill is an e-zine I did a couple of years ago.

The Spinneyhead store at Cafe Press stocks the infamous “Must not mention sheep” T-shirt and more. The Home Roasting Cafe Press store makes fun of Starbucks and all the anti piracy hysteria from the record and movie industries.

My Renderosity store stocks stuff I’ve made for 3d and 2d computer art. At present the only product is a set of backgrounds for renders. At 1600×1200 pixels I’m sure some of the pictures would make good desktops. You’ll need to be a member (free) to buy.

The Deviantart store sells prints, mousemats and postcards of some of my art.

And of course, I’m producing new stuff all the time. There’s another set of backgrounds waiting to be zipped up and uploaded to Renderosity and more products planned for Small Scale Customs.

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Spinneyhead is dead. Long live Spinneyhead.

You can’t read this.
As I sit here, thumbing this message into my phone, Jay, the server on which Spinneyhead resides, is comatose. It succumbed to heat stroke on Monday and awaits ministration, and probably a new fan, in a dark corner of a room.
I’m in limbo as well. We’re moving to Crewe next month for Clare’s new job. My job hunting is hampered by this. A month’s temping would be good, but unlikely, and my search for Crewe based jobs has been fruitless so far.
I’m working on growing Spinneyhead’s long tail (currently docked) with small products that sell occasionally. However, the empire’s main income is still from advertising. Thankfully Jay’s affliction hasn’t affected how to save the world for free, but it has hit Scale, the surprise top performer in terms of dollars per thousand visitors. Spinneyhead itself earns me practically nothing, but it remains the heart of the empire.
Which has led me to consider a few changes around here. Funded by my next Adsense payment Scale, as Small Scale Customs, will find itself a new home. It will take its anorak’d sibling Steam Geek with it. Spinneyhead will probably get a higher proportion of original material and fewer posts that are just links, fewer updates but hopefully more content. I’m going to trim my RSS feeds and restrict my news searches to Green and modelling subjects. All of which should hopefully garner me more time to stretch the tail and more money so I can get closer to the dream of working for myself.