April 12, 2001 11:43 PM   Subscribe

Lance wants you to be great. Are you going to be great?
posted by christian (13 comments total)
After five years of giving us all the most amusing, witty, thought-provoking, and insightful commentary, Lance puts a flame under our collective asses to get out there and make something great.

Maybe it's the unusual timing (I'm on a creative high as of late), but his words ring true. With all the dotcoms going down, there's still no barrier to creating or elevating your personal site. There's no profit model in net-based art or prose, and there doesn't have to be.

Digital cameras are everywhere. Digital video and music are magnitudes easier and cheaper to produce today than even a couple years ago. Everyone and their brother has a copy of photoshop lying around :).

Once the recent media attention dies down, I'm going to finally finish the ticketstubs site, and continue working with others on getting similar community sites off the ground.

Thanks Lance for all you've given us in five years, and especially for this inspirational screed.

Someone had to say it, and I'm glad Lance did.

Stop reading this site and go do something amazing today.
posted by mathowie at 12:00 AM on April 13, 2001

I just got done reading Lance's message in my inbox when I saw this here. And, of course, he's right. But to all of us, especially those like me who are not sure in which direction greatness lies, remember: greatness can be quiet. Greatness can be small.

There are some innocuous, discreet, subtle Great Things within all of our reach. I hope I find mine soon.
posted by anildash at 12:21 AM on April 13, 2001

Yeah, this was great to read today. I just had a dotcom kick me in the ass within the past week, and I've truly had a back to basics thing happening. I've gone back to writing, not just for my site but a truly great thing I've been hemming and hawing about "getting around" to doing.

I went to the library, lugged my laptop along, sat down and f*cking wrote. It was awesome.
posted by owillis at 12:21 AM on April 13, 2001

...With no grand schemes, no dreams, no plans and no real goals, was a precursor to the next five years of pointless, stupid, annoying wastes of time...

Maybe it's just me, but Lance's latest rant reads as if he doesn't think he's great. And he doesn't think the majority of what's gone down the last five years has been great. And he thinks he's partly to blame for that cuz he hasn't been great. He's almost apologizing for wasting five years not being great with The Dog, and he's telling other people dammit go out there and be great what are you waiting for? Lance? Haven't you figured it out yet dude? Glassdog IS great. It's been great. It's gonna keep being great whether you like it or not, at least until you quit. And there's a lot of us out here who know it has an "honest to goodness purpose for existing." All we ask is that ya keep breathing and every once in awhile ya write something and post it. Anildash is right. Greatness can be quiet and small; subtle. And sometimes it can be loud and boisterous. Glassdog's been a lot of things to a lot of people, but who would say it's not great?

And all that other stuff that other people been doing is great too. It's been a great five years and regardless of what the ISDEX may or may not say, cyberspace is just getting started. But am I gonna go out there and be great after reading Lance's words? No. That's silly. You can't try to be great. You either are or you're not. Greatness is something that other people pin on your lapel. It's a medal of honor. It's an afterthought. It's not a goal.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:15 AM on April 13, 2001

This reminded me a lot of something I read at a while back. I found that very inspirational, as I find Lance's words to be today.

I'm very happy with the things I'm creating online (and off) these days. As Anil alluded to, some are small, and some are a bit less small, but I consider them, at the very least, approaching great. But inspirational words never go unappreciated.
posted by toddshot at 1:23 AM on April 13, 2001

Lance is an adrenaline shot to the heart.

And he makes a bloody good gin and tonic.
posted by holgate at 5:16 AM on April 13, 2001

This is a great kick in the butt. We all have many fun side projects, but how often do they actually make it out of the *playing with it* stage. This is a great kick to get it all moving, or at least one moving to the amazing stage.

Thanks Lance.
posted by vanderwal at 5:34 AM on April 13, 2001

That's really beautiful. Kind of like Fight Club's Project Mayhem concept, on a positive note.
posted by Cavatica at 6:47 AM on April 13, 2001

I think Lance knows he puts out high-quality stuff. He just doesn't know how to deal with all the accolades he receives. So he hides behind self-effacing commentary. Personally, I find the humility much nicer than self-serving promotional propoganda, which is available from many otherwise excellent designers.

I've probably drawn more inspiration from Lance than any other single source. Really, really amazing work.
posted by goto11 at 6:56 AM on April 13, 2001

This really is inspirational. I've just spent the last hour working on a translation project that had been sitting abandoned for two weeks. Not "great" on a large scale, but I know half a dozen people who appreciate it--and I don't have the bandwidth for "great" anyway. (And isn't that the point of the web? That everyone has something to contribute that's interesting to someone, even though not everyone?)
posted by Jeanne at 7:09 AM on April 13, 2001

I've been doing self-effacing commentary for years. I've looked back at what I've done. It's suck.

Lance rocks. The guy needs to accept it. No grandstanding. No being self-effacing. Janeane Garofalo's cornered the market there. No one's better at it than she is. Lance just needs to accept the accolades, say thank you with equal amounts of humility and confidence, and then most importantly he needs to just keep on typing.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:16 AM on April 19, 2001

So, you're saying that he sucks at sucking? He sucks at saying he sucks? What if he aspires to self-effacement greatness? I mean, what if his whole "do something great" speech really stems from the fact that he doesn't feel he has achieved his self-effacing potential? HOW DARE YOU QUESTION HIS SELF DOUBT!
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:08 AM on April 19, 2001

Janeane Garofalo is the epitome of self-effacement. How dare he try to topple the goddess!
posted by ZachsMind at 5:49 AM on April 21, 2001

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