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Fans, Friends And Followers: Building An Audience And A Creative Career In The Digital Age Paperback – March 18, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Kirsner knows DIY culture as well as anyone, and he is well-positioned to document what is happening in a variety of digital media, to provide that crucial snapshot of digital DIY practices. He is also aware that what he is providing is just that, a snapshot, pointing out that these practices are far from static and subject to alteration as new artists find new techniques for having their voices heard (and hopefully making a living from it). The book also provides at least some statistics about what opportunities are actually available financially to even the most successful digital artists, making the book a useful guide to all of us interested in the ongoing practices of indie filmmakers, musicians, and artists alike.
In the first part, Scott lays out the "new rules" of building an audience such as "Be remarkable and make remarkable stuff", "Understand the power of the link" and "Help people learn to do what you do". While artists new to social media may find this section insightful, this section is just a reminder of what the rest of us should already know. After reading Seth Godin and other online thought leaders for the past few years I found myself alternating between a state of "oh yeah, I forgot about that" and nodding along impatiently waiting to get to some new secret formula.
But a secret formula to get a large following quickly isn't the point of the book, and thankfully so. The real value of this book is in part two, where Scott interviews 30 creators from diverse fields such as singing, film production and comedy who have succeeded in building an online following (and in most cases, a monetary living) for their work. I found myself getting more ideas from creators that had nothing to do with comedy than I did from the comedians, and I feel this sort of "cross-pollination of ideas" will hold true no matter your medium.
While the interviews were very insightful, I would have liked to read interviews from the following creators who have built a huge online following: Tucker Max, Hugh McLeod, Aaron Karo and Dane Cook. (Whether you love or hate Dane, he has always been way ahead of every other comic on technology and interacting with his fans.)
In the third and final part, Scott provides a quick reference guide for getting started on using social media and the internet to one's advantage.Read more ›
Cons: Not a whole lot of analysis going on as a vast majority of the book is interview / anecdote. The responsibility is on the reader to draw conclusions and see how the lessons learned could impact their lives. I don't view this as a bad aspect, but I could see how some readers (that are looking for concrete answers) would.
Assessment: Definitely worth buying and adding to the library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is less of a "how to" book and more of a "how other people did it" book with the bulk of the content focusing on interviews. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tiffany
Extremely helpful. Lots of info that might be hard to find elsewhere. A little dated. I expect an updated version soon.Published 18 months ago by Marideth Sisco
If you are looking into becoming an artist of some form, earn a living while exposing your work to the world and building an audience around it, THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU!!! Read morePublished on August 2, 2012 by Cineman
I am a guy interested in many art forms: painting, guitar, and writing. I have experience in selling paintings to friends and family, but I've never made anything of my skills... Read morePublished on November 10, 2010 by Keegan Laycock
Just finished reading this and because of all my notes, the paperback looks more like a battered journal than a book. Read morePublished on August 18, 2010 by Bill at Torg Stories
I've been reading a slew of books on building up a following for business using social networking tools. Read morePublished on July 17, 2010 by Gina Kamentsky
I bought this book after hearing Scott Kirsner talk at D.I.Y. Days in Philadelphia last year. Intrigued by the whole concept of audience building, I couldn't wait to read it. Read morePublished on June 6, 2010 by MK Writer
This is a great book. It is packed with wonderful nuggets of "thinking outside the box" suggestions. I would recommend this to anyone who is trying to make a go on your own.Published on January 26, 2010 by C. Ballard
In the first 35 pages Kirsner gives to the reader an overview of the "New Rules" of the distribution in a very schematic way. Read morePublished on December 13, 2009 by Carlo Rinaldi