Snappy Dresser
April 23, 2001 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Snappy Dresser is now to return Tuesday. Before I went to bed last night it said Monday. I haven't been there for a while and don't know what's up. They used to be The Daily Instigator, (now a porn site) but went down because:

"First of all, the word 'Daily' in your title is a death sentence for your ego when you skip a day. Or in our case, a few weeks. Second, it's hard to arrange legitimate interviews with a word like 'Instigator' in your title. The most important moral: don't think of possible magazine titles while on your sixth beer of the evening."

I was also going to link My Boot for his "She hates my futon" story, but it appears down or gone. This was going to be a happy post with me saying things like: "No time in history have so many people done so much for so little." But now I wonder is all this altruism fleeting? Is your URL doomed for porn? The rationale for ftrain is why I am on the web myself. How long can good people with good ideas continue to give?
posted by john (14 comments total)

My Boot is up & running... but "She hates my futon" has been on the shelf for the last two years. Does Craig Mitchell have a Salinger clause on it or something?
posted by greensweater at 12:43 PM on April 23, 2001

Serendipity, perhaps, that "instigate" derives from Latin "instigare" prick?
posted by RichLyon at 12:50 PM on April 23, 2001

Hey, I adore Michael Genrich; he's funny and sexy and also pays me mounds of cash to spread the word about his funniness and sexiness. But he's also a tease. Snappy Dresser has been "returning on..." various dates since at least February and was never all that regular to begin with. Methinks there's just a bit too much going on in his real life to commit to a regular web feature.

Believe me, I know how he feels.
posted by bradlands at 12:58 PM on April 23, 2001

Good mood is slowly returning. Thanks.
posted by john at 1:04 PM on April 23, 2001

Incidentally, I too am funny and sexy -- moreso even than Genrich. I'm just sayin'.
posted by bradlands at 1:07 PM on April 23, 2001

dreamy. brad is dreamy!
posted by rebeccablood at 1:23 PM on April 23, 2001

My Boot got me through so many long, boring hours in my first tech support job. I was elated when, last May, a new chapter went up. I can only hope that this coming May we'll have another :\
posted by pnevares at 1:39 PM on April 23, 2001

pnevares: I feel your pain. Night shift sucked.
posted by Jairus at 1:44 PM on April 23, 2001

"Tease" is such an inexact word, far too malleable for strict interpreation. Now if you'd said "lazy, shiftless hack," well then I'd concur immediately. Now -- SD really is back online tomorrow, and explanations will abound. And someone should ask Brad why he demands to be paid in Estonian kroons.
posted by mikeg at 3:40 PM on April 23, 2001

Altruism isn't fleeting, but it's easy to get bored with anything, especially something that takes a lot of time, doesn't pay, and is embarrassing to explain at parties. "So, she tells me you have a, uh, web site."

"Yeah, um, that's right."

"What's on it?"

"Stories, essays, some images." BLANG, BLANG, giant bells go off throughout the room and a sign descends from the ceiling, reading "INTERNET GEEK AND WANNABE NOVELIST" in luminous neon letters. Who wants to talk to that guy? Not me, I tell you.

Plus, if you're the altruistic Web content type, and you get good at it, and maybe get some press attention and lots of inlinks, everyone who notices your success tells you to write a real book and stop giving it away, because grown-ups don't use HTML. I've been constantly told to drop this Web nonsense on and do something real. These conversations usually go like this:

I: "But I love the Web!"

They: "$$$"

I: "But digital media is so much more expressive. I can explore entirely new emotional and expressive spaces."

They: "$$$"

I: "My audience is so loyal, and they send me their own fiction and buy me coffee."

They: "$$$"

Ultimately, it's up to the audience. And while it's great to send people email that says "your site is so great and you are totally smart and I check every day," after about the 1500th such email it's not exactly reason to get up in the morning, even though it's still nice. Same with links. Links to a site are great and friendly, but it's not love.

Here's the point: those who take pleasure in reading the works of creative altruists might seek to protect that pleasure by creatively rewarding the altruistic act. Or, easier, go on a mission of global Web love! Prove you care: find work for the site developer, make suggestions that will allow him or her to further integrate their life with the work. Criticize their thinking in constructive, involved ways that make them smarter; publish your findings. Send money and gifts. Send ideas, send resources, links, books they should read. Offer to bring them dinner so they have time to work on the site instead of cooking. Anything!

Importantly, don't ask for too much of their time in return, because what you really, really want is for them to put their time back into the work, not for them to be your best-ever super-close friend or maybe even someone who lies down in a bed with you and does stuff. Because you're an altruist, too, right? Right! Because you rock. No question about it. We wouldn't do it if you didn't rock! Web readers are smart, open-minded, and creative. It's a content developer's dream! Who wouldn't love you?

So, my basic message is that altruism works best when people reward it. I guess that makes Altruists selfish bastards underneath it all, but such harsh truths are the stuff of life. Reward the altruist and he or she will continue to give stuff away, no problem, because they will feel the love and it's worth it.

"But that's too much effort!" Fine! You're not obligated to do anything at all, and it really is good of you to read - but then, neither are the content developers obligated to develop. They'll go where the rewards are, instead: writing for money, working, hanging out with real-life people.

Everyone who develops on the Web for free (and I've met lots of 'em) wishes they could update every day with gobs of top-notch content, without ever taking a break, and it's only circumstances, like having a job, or bandwidth costing too much to put up lots of MP3s, and so forth, that keep them from doing what they want.

I sound cranky, but I'm actually speaking from experience. People have shown all the above kinds of love to me via, and it keeps me motivated to keep going, keep working, and even when I'm not posting, I'm thinking, "how can I make things more fun for everyone FOREVER?" Because, as I said, Web readers are the best readers, and they rock, and they reward me.

And it's important that the developers help each other! I hereby promise to keep trying to reward other Web developers with my own Global Web Love Mission, and I will continue to give out more software and coding time and writing assistance and ideas and hosting help and bandwidth and money to projects that need it, whenever I can. How will you help?
posted by ftrain at 3:46 AM on April 24, 2001

Tell me more about free Coffee!

BTW I like mine with sugar and cream.
posted by john at 1:24 PM on April 24, 2001

Do they send you free coffee as well? Is that some special Kozmo service?

My readers only sent me reminders of my inactivity. I want your readers and their wonderful generosity.
posted by mikeg at 1:34 PM on April 24, 2001

Paul -- your post is just about the best thing I've read all week. Thank you. And amen!
posted by fraying at 12:30 AM on April 25, 2001

Kozmo bought the farm. Come to Brooklyn, I'll take you to the badly named La Petit on Court St., and buy you some coffee.

I think it takes a long time for real altruistic give-and-take to bloom. Some people have been with my site for 3-4 years; they've come to trust that I'll be return even when I take a few months off, and that I'll keep working hard to make my prose better. And then they decide to give something back, because they want to, not out of guilt. These Web-based altruistic relationships are relatively new (print zines were like this, too, though), so it's good to think about how we want them to work and build them with each other, setting the standard.
posted by ftrain at 4:21 AM on April 25, 2001

« Older Turn on your animations   |   The 'truth' about letterboxing!?! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments