How 'Free' is Priceless

I was asked to write a quick “Year in Review” journal article yesterday. The article was challenging on two levels: a) I didn’t want to force humor, but I damn well wanted to be funny, b) and more importantly, I had to reveal myself.

I typically work behind the scenes at RedBubble – tweaking ad copy, marketing programs, rudimentary logistics models, search engine love, etc. Peter finally caught me hiding and asked that I metaphorically remove my glasses and quite literally put down the calculator.

I often have dreams of leaving the house without critical bits of clothing. I think the apparel represents my thoughts and opinions, and as we all know, opinions are quite revealing… and sometimes controversial. However, without opinions – without a voice – we are, well, boring. And without a community or an audience we are alone.

This leads me to discuss how RedBubble, this free service, is priceless; how “free” is actually quite valuable.

Art school students strip themselves bare, thrusting their work forward in hopes of admiration… undoubtedly subject to criticism. This either leathers one’s skin, or forces them further into their shell. And so it takes a special place to foster a community of artists, because many of us are quite sensitive as well as temperamental. I suspect that we’ve all deleted a work, smashed a canvas, or took up drugs or exercise to dull the pain of frustration. This isn’t a criticism, it’s reality.

So, back to what I was saying about RedBubble and community. It takes a special group of people to “play nice,” collaborate, spar softly, offer encouragement, conversation, a virtual hug, and sometimes, real tears. And so when I’m asked what RedBubble is about, I say, “the art,” and quickly follow up with “the community.” And then I go on to talk about the artists – you – the people that make this place special and give it value; that make it priceless.

There are few spaces nor places outside of nature and prayer that bring like-minded people together to think, share and coexist. RedBubble is one of those places and it costs nothing to be here… except maybe, having a voice.

I’ve been annoying Martin with a tag-line that does nothing for search engine optimization nor sales, but it nevertheless makes me feel good inside… RedBubble – Powered by people. Inspired by life.

Thanks for the inspiration.

- Jason

Journal Comments

  • Jules Campbell
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  • Cathie Tranent
  • mmargot
  • SusanSanford
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  • Tania Rose
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