Connect With Fans + Reason To Buy; The Contest

from the cool dept

This is really, really cool. Filmmaker Ross Pruden -- who I don't know, other than a few quick email exchanges last month -- has set up The Connect with Fans + Reason to Buy Contest, based on the CwF + RtB business model, we've been discussing. The idea is to try to find cool examples of the business model in practice, and to build a detailed list -- with the best business models being able to win a prize. I have absolutely nothing to do with this, and didn't even know about it until I saw a Twitter message from Ross telling me that I was excluded from the contest.

Of course, under the "traditional" way of thinking about things, some might think I should be upset that Ross is taking this concept that I created and doing something else with it. But, that (of course) is ridiculous. I'm blown away that someone liked the concept so much that they've gone forward and set this up, and I really can't wait to see what comes out of it. In the meantime, if you know of such a business model, and want to take part in the contest, you just need to send a Twitter message with the details, along with the hashtag #CwFcontest.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    rosspruden (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Thanks!

    The only thing I'd add is that this contest is sponsored by The Infinite Distribution Panel on Twitter, which can be found by searching for #infdist.

    Details on the Panel can be found here: http://www.rosspruden.com/infdist

    And guidelines for the CwF Contest can be found here: http://www.rosspruden.com/infdist/cwfcontest

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:26pm

    You didn't patent cwf + rtb? You fool!

     

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  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Thanks!

    I had this idea months ago. You'll be hearing from my lawyer.

    Now, THAT is how you RtB in the USA.

     

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  4.  
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    interval, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    Re:

    Gilbert Godfried has a patent on that interjection;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozEIsWWngJo

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:45pm

    Without the lawsuits then what will the lawyers do?

    WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE LAWYERS!?!

     

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  6.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    I am suspecting that most of the business models will start with "we give something digtial away, preferably someone else's thing we didn't have to pay for.... ".

    It's the business equivalent of "it was a dark and stormy night" ;)

     

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  7.  
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    scarr (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 4:02pm

    A business model in 140 characters?

    That's a very small window to explain a decent plan.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    :), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 4:08pm

    Software category.

    - Blender 3D software. Very successful the creator even got a honorary engineering diploma and won a lot of awards for the open source software that begun as proprietary and was bough out with the help of the community that gather more then a hundred thousand dollars in donations also with donations and merch selling they were able to get enouth to produce 2 short films, 1 game and have a physical headquarters and are starting to employ people full time.

     

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  9.  
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    Andrew F (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Re: A business model in 140 characters?

    A URL to a longer plan would suffice

     

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  10.  
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    Captain Swagger (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 4:49pm

    "Of course, under the "traditional" way of thinking about things, some might think I should be upset that Ross is taking this concept that I created and doing something else with it."

    Lol, so you created the concept of creating a fan base and then selling them crap? Or did you create the concept of creative commons? Seriously, I really like this blog, but the whole CwF + RtB thing is a bit ridiculous. I'm not sure in what parallel universe the idea of offering free content and then using the popularity and fan base in order to sell fan merchandise is a new concept, but I am new to this site so perhaps I am missing an extremely vital part of the puzzle.

    Either way, I do enjoy the non-CfB+RtB spouting aspects of this site.

     

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  11.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 6:54pm

    Re:

    the whole CwF + RtB thing is a bit ridiculous. I'm not sure in what parallel universe the idea of offering free content and then using the popularity and fan base in order to sell fan merchandise is a new concept

    Since sales and marketing are all about "reasons to buy," it seems like the subject has been covered in depth for a good 100 years or so.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 7:09pm

    Re:

    Culture is free.

     

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  13.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Re:

    which wouldn't stop most modern corporations trying to patient, trademark, or copyright it, in whole or in part, if they could get away with it.

    which i think is at least part of the point.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 7:47pm

    Re:

    Seriously, I really like this blog, but the whole CwF + RtB thing is a bit ridiculous. I'm not sure in what parallel universe the idea of offering free content and then using the popularity and fan base in order to sell fan merchandise is a new concept, but I am new to this site so perhaps I am missing an extremely vital part of the puzzle.

    No, I've never said that the idea of offering free content to build a fan base and then sell them stuff (not just merchandise, by the way) is a new concept at all. In fact, I've said just the opposite. It's an incredibly old concept.

    The thing that's new is using that "formula" to explain it. I used it on a whim last year in a presentation and it caught on. People really like it and it has done a good job in the minds of many encapsulating the basics of this idea -- where previously it confused them. Thus, as a model, it's useful, even if it is just a modern update on an old concept.

    And I agree -- in a perfect world, people would obviously just understand this. But many, many, many people do not. Hell, even in this blog, many folks post comments that do not understand the basic economics and marketing behind such a concept.

    I certainly wasn't suggesting that the idea of using free stuff to build and audience and then selling stuff to them is new. But I did coin that description of it -- which many people have found useful. You do not. Fair enough, but does it really make sense to mock us because so many other people do find the concept easier to understand when presented that way?

     

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  15.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re:

    Since sales and marketing are all about "reasons to buy," it seems like the subject has been covered in depth for a good 100 years or so.

    Suzanne, I really don't understand why you always seem to come here to mock ideas. You claim that you want to help artists, and then I present examples of concepts that are helping artists and you sneer and mock.

    I don't see how that's helpful.

     

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  16.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 7:50pm

    Re:

    I bet it ends with "we charge for something and make money". Business plans are so predictable!

     

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  17.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not mocking. There's a wealth of information already available to people. If direct-to-fan is how people want to go, they can do some research into all the work that has been done over the years in direct marketing.

    Just about everything that is currently being advocated as a solution to generate income for artists has already been done in other industries. So rather than start from scratch, it might be more efficient to go there for advice.

    If you are going to sell t-shirts, for example, learn about the business from people who specialize in t-shirt sales. They are already experts in the field.

    If you want to expand your merch business at shows, talk to artists who have been doing craft fairs successfully for years. They know a lot of setting up booths, hauling merchandise, ordering merchandise, dealing with credit cards.

    If you want to develop a loyalty program for fans, talk to experts in those fields. People have made their careers studying this. That's what I am trying to say.

    Because marketing and sales aren't new, let's point people to the classics on the subject. There's so much info available.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 8:21pm

    Please never type anything again; after all, everything you say has already been covered in the past. Maybe you can spend your time contemplating your silliness.

     

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  19.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Here some good placed to start and I'll add more links as I find them.

    Top 10 Media and Marketing Books of All Time - Advertising Age .
    http://adage.com/bookstore/post?article_id=134945

    http://businesscoaching.typepad.com/business _books/2008/10/marketing-books-which-are-best.html

    Top 5 Marketing Books on Branding
    http://marketing.about.com/od/brandstrategy/tp/top5branding.htm

     

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  20.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 8:43pm

    Re:

    Please never type anything again; after all, everything you say has already been covered in the past. Maybe you can spend your time contemplating your silliness.

    I do quite a bit of research and writing. I try to find out everything I can on a topic and quote others, give credit, and provide links to what they have said. So it's my general approach to track down the history of an idea, document it well, and, if possible, use that to spur further discussions.

    It's fun to trace the history of a topic. If people first started talking about it hundreds of years ago, that's useful info.

    If we are going to have some meaningful discussions on music marketing, then let's discuss marketing in real depth. Let's probe the psychology of fans and what motivates them to buy. And let's discuss today's economic conditions and the fact that people aren't spending as much as they were before and how that will impact artists.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Further discussion is useless. You said so yourself a comment ago. Why should we discuss anything when it has already been discussed? Why are you still typing?

     

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  22.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Here's an interesting and perhaps useful list.

    http://www.gmarketing.com/articles/read/4/Why_People_Buy.html

    And some articles to further the discussion.

    "Understanding Why People Buy"
    http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/aug2005/id20050809_077337.htm

    "Do You Know Why People Buy From You?"
    http://www.smallfuel.com/blog/entry/do-you-know-why-people-buy-from-you/

    "What Makes People Buy"
    http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/06/25/what-makes-people-buy/

     

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  23.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Re:

    Suzanne, no matter what you say, Mike will not agree with you.

    Mike admits here (but doesn't often) that CwF and RtB are just "expose the public to your product" and "make a value proposition" or "market your distinctiveness". There is much humor in realize that all we are doing is giving a Y2K fancy name to the stuff that they teach even in very basic marketing classes.

    It's sort of like the old punk "Here's three chords. Now form a band.". The result is much sound and fury, and not much else. People here hold out the suggestion of a promise of "garage band makes it big on the internet", forgetting that massive influx of unknown and unsigned bands to the net is just creating a level of noise that isn't giving many of them a change to CwF, because nobody is noticing them in a sea of other garage bands.

    What's old is new again, history repeats. Those who appear to be gurus are the ones that noticed a nuance in the cycle (there is always one) and are riding it to the bank (or a series of music conferences this month).

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Music is subjective. Perhaps the people enjoy the noise.

     

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  25.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), Jan 12th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Re: Constructive Comments

    Suzanne,

    Thanks for those interesting links on marketing and engaging consumers... I think the comments around here sometimes get a little testy, but there are gems of info every now and then.

    We're always looking to have meaningful discussions around here!

    Mike Ho

     

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  26.  
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    Doctor Strange, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 1:01am

    Note that there is a fairly comprehensive list of (all?) possible "CwF+RtB" business models (e.g., ways to monetize what are commonly called public goods, but are called "infinite goods" here) located here under "The Free Rider Problem -> Possible Solutions."

    I believe that most or all business models proposed here are variations on the themes presented.

    Note also the caveats on some of the models. For example, on the selling of T-shirts and the like:

    "It can be shown that the provision of the public good increases when tied to the private good, as long as the private good is provided by a monopoly (otherwise the private good would be provided by competitors without the link to the public good)."

    That is, as long as you have a monopoly on your band's T-shirts, you can charge extra for them to cover the cost of the music you're giving away for free, because you have a monopoly and competitors can't come in and undercut you.

    Otherwise, you have to depend on inefficiencies like first-mover advantage and consumers that will pay for nonexistent goods like the "good feeling" that goes along with buying an "official" or "endorsed" T-shirt (this is the "CwF" idea?)

    Some of these models can be profitable in practice, since, for example, ignorant people will still buy name-brand drugs when chemically identical generics are available right next to them for fractions of the price.

     

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  27.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 7:10am

    Re:

    The only difference in the end is that the CwF thing is suppose to create a "moral copyright" on the t-shirts and things. They are only as scarce as you make them. Bands selling $50 t-shirts are really just selling $5 t-shirts with a huge moral upsell.

    People will pay more for official because they think they are getting something better or getting on the inside. At some point, they will realize that they are getting nothing more than the guy who bought his band shirt for $5 at a flea market, and that official t-shirt business pretty much goes to crap.

    What happens then? The people selling the official t-shirts launch lawsuits against the people who are duplicating them without a license, claiming copyright... you can almost smell it in the air already.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re:

    And with zero evidence of such things happening . . . .

     

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  29.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And with zero evidence of such things happening . . . .

    It happens all the time. Luxury brands block counterfeit goods. Companies that sell exclusive licenses take to court those who print up apparel without having paid the licensing fees.

    But then, you probably already know this. :-)

     

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  30.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Most people here forget that when you turn copyright off to make "X" possible, it also has the same effect on "Y" and "Z". Much of the RtB stuff in the end is defeated when the band or artist's brand cannot be properly defended from misuse.

    Can you imagine the business selling bootleg CDs in the third world when it is no longer bootleg? All the T-shirt sellers outside of concerts LEGALLY selling knock off shirts? What happens when the venues themselves catch on, and ban the sales of t-shirts in the venue by the band's sellers, and do it themselves instead? No license fees, just print them up and off you go.

    Wait! What is that I hear? The sounds of people trying to clamber back onto the copyright bandwagon? It can't be!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So, to recap:

    TAM can now read people's minds and predict the future, thinks shutting down the internet is a good idea, has no idea what the CDA says, has no idea what the DMCA says, and wants people to go fuck off and die.

    Oops, I forgot, recapping stuff is useless. Suzanne told me so.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright will be rendered obsolete in the near future. Good luck.

     

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  33.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oops, I forgot, recapping stuff is useless. Suzanne told me so.

    No, what I said is that if it has been already covered, point us to the original sources and give credit where credit is due.

    I'll continue to post relevant links as I can. If we are going to use "free" as a model, it's important to at least give proper credit so that those people who did the original writing benefit from the publicity. If we want to get into the nuts and bolts of marketing, I'd love it. I think it's a fascinating subject and hope all of you share your favorite resources.

     

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  34.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 13th, 2010 @ 8:09pm

    Here's another interesting article

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can't tell if you're trying to make some veiled point, or if you're completely serious and actually spend your life praising the original creators of anything and everything you have ever touched in your life.

    Hopefully you will decide to clarify your stance, because I fail to see the point in starting every discussion by "saying grace" to an entire history's worth of people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hopefully you will decide to clarify your stance, because I fail to see the point in starting every discussion by "saying grace" to an entire history's worth of people.

    I'm a writer. I believe in citing my sources.

    If Techdirt is really serious about helping artists create "reasons to buy," then this is a great forum to post some information on the subject.

    Mike says he gets all sorts of emails from musicians who are having success, and some of us have suggested he share more of them, but for the most part what Techdirt shares are the same stories that appear elsewhere. We know about Amanda Palmer, Trent Reznor, etc. These stories get wide coverage, get picked up by Techdirt readers, and are sent here.

    I thought I would broaden the discussion by sharing info that doesn't get exposure here. I really, really, really want to see some in-depth discussions about "reasons to buy." So I am taking the opportunity to toss out some of what I come across.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 4:46pm

    Another article

    This isn't going to help many artists, but it might further the overall discussion.

    Top 10: Reasons to Buy in a Recession

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2010 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You forgot to thank the creators of the English language that you used to type that post, the inventors of the keyboard, computer, internet, and blogging platform that enabled you to leave that comment, the electric company for providing the electricity required.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jan 18th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You forgot to thank the creators of the English language that you used to type that post, the inventors of the keyboard, computer, internet, and blogging platform that enabled you to leave that comment, the electric company for providing the electricity required.

    You know, something tells me you aren't really interested in actually discussing marketing.

    That's fine. Others are interested and I am hoping to point them toward some useful resources.

    Here's something that might be of interest to artists:

    101 Reasons to Buy Handmade

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're right. I'm interested in discussing your ignorance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, and you forgot to thank the creator of the hyperlink, every single person who has ever contributed to the common knowledge surrounding marketing, whoever originally came up with the name "Suzanne," your parents for raising you, and your schools for educating you (albeit not very well).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), Jan 18th, 2010 @ 3:42pm

    Re: don't listen to the ACs...

    Thank you, Suzanne, for the interesting links..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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