Journal

update

Thanks to all those who wished me well in my next move after RedBubble. I’m still taking some time out and waiting for our baby to arrive (any day now!) but I have made a start on a new business called Latent Future.

Check out www.latentfuture.com for my new website.

The plan is to share some of my thoughts on strategy and marketing, especially with regard to startup ventures. In time, you can also expect case studies and interviews.

It’s early days and I’d love your input. If you’re interested in these topics, please get involved…. after all, you’ve all been part of at least one startup (i.e. RedBubble!).

Cheers,
Xavier

Arrivederci

Well, the time has come for me to leave my role at RedBubble. From Tuesday next week (21st), I will no longer work here.

It’s been an interesting journey, and I’ve learned a lot from the experience. I feel proud (and amazed) at how quickly the site has grown, and what a diverse and talented bunch of creative folk are now part of the community. It’s been a real pleasure getting to know so many of you, and doing my bit to help you share your artwork and writing with the world.

Given the addictive nature of the site, I’ll continue to be part of the community but not in any official capacity. Although with a baby on the way in a few weeks, you may not see much of me around the place for a while…

Ciao,
Xavier

visiting queenscliff

Recently headed down to Queenscliff with Kath, Ed and James. Main reason was to dream up ways to make RedBubble even better, but naturally we took the opportunity to get out and take some photos.

Not having a fancy camera of my own, I snapped a few shots with Ed’s D80, including a few of the guys in action – James with his old-school camera and uncanny sense of light, and Ed with his Holga and no-holds barred attitude to getting the right shot.

Writers selling stuff?

As a little experiment, I uploaded an image version of my Ode to Nothing poem and bought it on white and black greeting cards. Worked quite well.

This might be a way for writers on RedBubble to participate in selling

Simply create a greeting card related to your writing: maybe an image, quote, or (if short enough) the whole written work. Then readers who like your writing can buy the card – you get paid and they get a little momento.

As another example, kseriphyn has a logo for her story The Callings . If this was available as a greeting card, readers could show their appreciation for the story by buying one.

All you need is some way of creating an image file. This is possible even if you don’t have a fancy graphics program (for the poem above, I just used Powerpoint and saved the file

RBNews: First story published

Thanks to Darren Stones for contributing a sensitive and well-written story about Joe Mortelliti

http://www.redbubble.com/people/dgstones/journal/show/71755

This is the first story we’ve selected to publish under our RBNews program. As a thankyou for his efforts, Darren gets $150 to spend on RedBubble.

The story has been added to Digg.com and will also be published on the newswire. If you’d like to help out, please “digg it” (i.e. vote for it) at
http://digg.com/offbeat_news/Photographer_beats_leukaemia_now_bubbling_along

Subtlety vs sales

We like to think of RedBubble as an online art gallery with a non-stop launch party. But how obvious should the price stickers on the artwork be?

Our tendency has been to err on the side of being subtle with pricing and product information, in an effort to enhance the visual experience.

But have we overdone this? Is it clear enough you can actually buy the great artwork on display?

As a specific example, consider the Gallery. At the moment we don’t show prices, but what do you think of these two alternatives?

1. Products and prices shown in small text

2. Tick box (off by default) that when ticked shows the info from option 1

Make your fellow bubblers famous

We’ve been bouncing around an idea to raise the profile of interesting artists and members, help writers get some spending money, and build awareness for RedBubble:…

How about people write articles about other RedBubble members or collaborations? RedBubble could select the very best, and pay the writer in return for letting the articles be published on the PR newswires

So, let’s talk specifics and see if there’s any interest:
1. Write a newspaper-style human interest article of 500 words or less, about a member, collaboration, or activity on RedBubble. Contact the person(s) directly to get their input and make sure they’re OK with it.
2. Post your article in your journal. Add tags relating to the content, and also tag it with rbnews
3. I’ll periodically search for articles tagged with rbnews

*Writing Challenge* - Journey

OK, so let’s kick off a writing challenge, just for fun. Poems, short stories or non-fiction of less than 500 words on the theme “*journey*”.

Add your contribution to this forum topic and as a journal entry. That way people can read them all from the one forum, as well as having the writing show up on your profile.

Writers on RedBubble

We’re thinking about how to make RedBubble a better place for writers

The Unleashed short story competition attracted a lot of talented writers, but to be honest we haven’t done enough since then to support them on RedBubble. That will change.

Initiatives in the pipeline for writers include:
1. A new competition for short stories and poetry
2. Redesign site – ‘gallery’ probably splits into ‘art’, ‘writing’, ‘t-shirts’.
3. Distinguish between ‘written works’ and journal entries/blogs
4. Reaching out to writers already on RedBubble for their input

It will take some time to get all these done, but we’re keen to launch the competition and get lots of input on improvements ASAP.

If you feel strongly about making RedBubble a better place for writers, now’s a great time to speak up!

Let us know wha

Underbelly t-shirt comp closes this Wed

Just a reminder that the Underbelly t-shirt design competition closes this Wednesday 20th June.

As part of RedBubble sponsoring the Underbelly Arts Lab + Festival, you have the chance to design the “official” t-shirt, which will be worn by volunteers and also available for sale during the festival.

Get in quick and tag your design with underbelly07 to be in the running. The winner will get 2 double passes to the Underbelly Festival, held in Sydney on Saturday 14th July. Kudos and t-shirt sales are an added bonus.

Full details here

Wide World of Widgets

We’re working on some RedBubble widgets to help take your artwork and writing beyond the walls of the bubble.…

For those who are unfamiliar with widgets, they are little applications that sit on your website, blog, desktop, etc and provide content or functionality from somewhere else. Common examples include a Flickr Badge, Google Adsense , and GapingVoid .

What makes good widgets stand out from the crowd is that they do something useful for you. This can be as simple as displaying a sample or a slideshow of your artwork, showing the local weather forecast, grabbing a daily cartoon, or helping you make money from your blog by showing advertising.

But until the RedBubble widgets come along, you can easily create your own simple version. Here’s a little tutorial that helps you create a widge

Taking competitions to next level?

Competitions rock. In my humble opinion, anyway. But what do you think about their role on RedBubble and how much we should support and encourage them?

We’ve had a few competitions already, some official, some member-organised. The more high profile ones have helped bring new members to the site, and all of them seem to grab people’s attention and add energy to the community.

Our Unleashed digital image and short story competitions attracted over 1000 entries, with the competition info page being the 4th most popular page for people to enter RedBubble. From a marketing standpoint, this gives me great confidence for investing in future competitions.

There have already been some great initiatives started by members of the community (as well as insightful feedback on the issues with our curr

Agile Marketing

We’ve got a little experiment going here in the RedBubble marketing team.…

As you may have noticed, the software elves are rapidly churning out whiz-bang new features, using their so-called “agile process” for writing code.

So we thought, maybe us marketing folks can learn a thing or two from them about ways of working together. After all, there are some characteristics that are very similar between marketing a startup website, and writing software for an innovative, challenging project.

Both situations have at least a few things in common:

  • Complex, rapidly evolving environments
  • Difficult to specify exactly what should be done ahead of time
  • Lots of overlap and inter-dependencies in the various activities
  • Priorities change as time progresses and the situation evolves
  • Not enough people or time t

The magic number

Is there a magic number of times that people have to hear about something before they take action?…

Maybe the first time you hear something, you think “OK, maybe i’ll look sometime”. Then the next time, you think “that’s odd, i wonder what’s going on”. But the third or fourth time, you sit up, take notice and go check it out.

At times here at RedBubble, the marketing team has been busy doing lots of activities, but not being 100% sure which individual things were working. You think to yourself: “maybe no-one noticed?”

Then (like today) you get an email out of the blue that starts with “Firstly I saw RedBubble in dumbo feather, then I walked past the shop on Smith Street, then I saw a link for it up on the screen at an arts law presentation – 3 hits in one day” …and all of a sudden you feel

Beyond the Bubble

I’m pleased to announce that our very own Anneli is now writing a blog on art + creativity in The Age.

Check out the Creativity Corner in The Age.

Every Friday Anneli will be publishing a theme, and inviting people to write or post an image (via RedBubble). Then on the following Wednesday she’ll discuss the submissions and creative process.

We’re excited about this opportunity to take RedBubble to a broader audience …which hopefully means more talented artists in the community and more potential buyers seeing your work.

So please take the chance to submit your images or writing to this week’s theme “Dreams” …and link back to that image or journal entry on your RedBubble profile.

And let us know what you think about this initiative…

No vegan hamburgers

A guiding principle behind RedBubble is being authentic – we started building this website because it’s something we want ourselves. We don’t hire anyone at RedBubble unless they are passionate about their own creative interests, and are committed to being active community members.…

As Pilgrim put it, “we’re not vegans making hamburgers”.

So, when people ask how we got the community on RedBubble started …well, we started using it ourselves. Then we told our creative friends and before long we had our first 100 members mucking around on an early “sneak preview” version of RedBubble. This was back in December/January.

So the classic “chicken and egg” problem (i.e “who’s going to visit if there’s nothing to see, but who’s going to upload work if there’s no-one visiting?”) was solved by us bei

Our marketing journey

I’m going to start using my journal as a blog on our marketing journey with RedBubble. So expect to see stuff about our philosophy, learnings, observations, activities, questions, failures, and general musings about taking a creative Aussie startup onto the world stage.

For that tiny fraction of you who are interested in my (all too rarely published) creative writing, I may put the odd piece here as well …at least until we sort out a better way to publish finished written work e.g. in the portfolio section.

I’ve got a big list of stuff I’d love to discuss, but let me know if there’s something specific you’re keen to hear or talk about. This won’t be a lecture, more a journey of discovery!

t-shirt as artform?

I have to say I’m very impressed with the t-shirt designs that have popped up in the past 48 hours or so. There’s some very simple yet clever geometric designs, as well as some fantastic graphic art that was just made for t-shirts (e.g. Resisto’s wind up robot of destruction)

So what’s the verdict, all you RedBubblers out there? What do you think of the new designer t-shirts?

Making it real

Two random comments about RedBubble …linked together by a personal story about furniture.…

Firstly, I’ve found that being surrounded by so many creative people on RedBubble has inspired me to lift my game. As a kid, I quite liked drawing, although I haven’t done any for years. In particular, I remember learning about vanishing points and 3-D perspective, and thinking this it was the best thing since sliced bread. I was never much good at drawing people, though.

Anyway, seeing some great life drawings on Redbubble I recently thought, “Why not get out a pencil and paper, and do some sketching again?”. So I did. And although not nearly as professional as most of the stuff here on RedBubble, I enjoyed the process and was happy enough with the outcome – a design for a new corner TV cabinet (…h

Welcome to Portrait Day

Today we’re celebrating the art of the portrait!

Whether expressed via photography, painting, comic book illustration, vector art, or any other artform, the human portrait can be simply captivating.

When I first saw the images featured on today’s homepage, I couldn’t help but recall the famous saying that “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. But whether it’s the eyes, a certain pose, a bold hairdo, or an enigmatic smile, there are so many clues that reveal tantalising glimpses into the subject’s character.

Anyway, that’s enough from me – enjoy the art!

Structure and Chaos

After my initial (public) foray into the land of poetry recently, I thought it wise to educate myself a little more about the poet’s toolkit beyond a bit of basic rhyme and my own personal sense of what sounds OK.
<br><br> The article in Wikipedia was a great place to start, and helped me get up to speed with a bunch of interesting devices (and fancy words like alliteration, assonance, and prosody). It’s an amazingly diverse field, ranging from the minimalist haiku to the epic Greek tragedies through to the authentic Australian imagery of Dorothy Mackellar.
<br><br> One thing that struck me was the role of basic rules or parameters in defining particular forms of poetry. For example, ten syllables per line, with the 2nd and 4th line of each stanza rhyming. But there are countless possibl…

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait