Project 313 – Post No. 003

Many people (no one) have been asking (complete silence; nary a peep) how they might go about doing one of these projects (Don’t! Just . . . don’t!) and whether I have any hints about what makes for a successful project. 

Well, I can tell you my thoughts on the subject. Mind you, these relate more to my experience (current and past) and I don’t hold them as the authority in this matter. Nonetheless, I’m doing it and if others want to follow in my footsteps, what can I do but offer a few hints. 

  1. Let not boredom drive your decision.

Look, I know how it is; you’re sitting there, all this technology a mere breath away. You have access to a better camera than was available to Ansel Adams . . . and it’s in a phone you carry around with you. You see the Interweb flooded — flooded, I tell you — with all sorts of imaginative, clever, interesting, and eye-catching content.  You see all that and you begin to see yourself as a slug for not participating. I mean, sure; you have a family, friends, perhaps even a few co-workers you don’t wish dead. But, they’re in the real world. The real world is no match for the illusion of the Interweb. The real world is hard work, frustrations, drudgery . . . something you have to deal with each and every single day. Bummer. 

“But,” you think, “if I am to suffer a daily task,” you say, “why not,” you naively surmise, “make it something exciting that will gain me attention and make it seem as if I have a life?”

Now you got it! If you are to do this, don’t do it because you’re bored; do it because you want the fame and fortune that comes from doing things at least a billion other people are doing. 

  1. Gimmicks are not new.

See what I did there? I used the number one (1) again when everyone was expecting two (2). It caught your attention, right? Well, you’re unusual. Most people skim and miss that. The point is, you think you have to be unique and super interesting but — and trust me on this — everything has already been done. Not just done, but done many times over. 

Think your private parts are interesting and unique? They’re not. Think your kids are the most amusing ever? Nope! Think your pets are magical beings everyone is dying to see? Nope^2!

How about photographing the most mundane things ever, like paper clips or toothpicks? Done and done. Nature, weather, cars, bikes, people, even dog poop have all enjoyed the attention of the Interweb.

So, what can you do? Well, I suggest not worrying about it and pick something you will enjoy doing every day for however long the project runs. Likely, you’ll get a surge of new viewers for the first few days and then — by the 9th day — you’re lucky if there are two people who still carelessly click on the “like” button. One of them might even read what you post.

So, on the one hand, it doesn’t matter what you do (you could probably stop the project on the 10th day and no one would notice), but on the other hand, it doesn’t matter what you do so you might as well have fun. 

Here’s today’s photo before I continue with the other hints:

Project 313 003

That’s from the counter of a Japanese restaurant here in Kona. Not sure we’ll eat there again. Perhaps if we’re bored. Maybe. 

So, where were we? Ah, yes . . . 

  1. Restrict yourself not and buffer is your friend.

So, you picked something and lowered your expectation of fame and fortune to landing just one extra reader that will stick around for your other stuff. Great.

But, you better have picked something that you know you can deliver on. Say you picked purple El Caminos. Well, you’re in luck if you live in the series Wings but even then, at best, you got one car to work with. 

I just committed to 313 photos (I literally have more than 100K to pick from), 313 cartoons (I have well over 4000 saved cartoons and new ones are written every day), and I can churn up a doodle in just a few minutes if not seconds (plus THIS).

I won’t run out of material. I won’t run out because I also didn’t specify what I was going to show. 

As for what I mean by buffer . . . I have at least a week’s worth of material ready to go. But, I also have a weeks worth of posts in the can (scheduled to go live on the appropriate dates). I do that because there will be days when I won’t feel like doing anything. Perhaps a tragedy struck (ran out of Pecorino Cheese, the malasada shop was closed, or something equally as horrible to consider), or I lost track of time and it’s almost midnight and I only have three minutes to publish a post. Whatever the reason, I’m not worried because I know a post will go out on schedule. 

Side note: How can I say I a week’s worth of posts when I’m right now writing the third post of the project? Easy; by the time you read this, I will. 

Here’s today joke.

Ok, let’s go on . . . 

  1. Don’t compromise quality for expediency.

Look, you started this but it’s now the 10th day and one of your two loyal readers forgot to hit “like” and you’re running late and the cat got its head stuck in the plunger (again! . . . what could possibly be so interesting in there?) and at the same time the timer went off indicating the roast has to come out of the oven. I can see where you might be tempted to just slap something up there. Don’t. You’ll lose that one remaining reader because they’ll recognize your heart is no longer in it. 

I can tell you, readers don’t know nothin’ ’bout your cat or your roast . . . they only care about you validating their existence by posting something  AND showing you’re thinking of them and not just serving them slop. 

I’ve seen many projects that begin with the highest of intentions and premium content only to fall down the “let me throw something up there and see if it sticks” trap. They might have begun with a beautifully composed shot of a butterfly delicately resting on the petal of a rose but later — when pressed for time — offer up a fly resting on an unrecognizable brown mass you hope is not excrement or, if it is excrement, that it’s not human excrement (don’t ask why that’s worse; it just is). 

  1. Finish it. Don’t care what it takes; do a good job and finish it.

OK, it seems like a no-brainer, but here’s the thing. Unless you die (or fake dying) finish the project and ensure it only gets better toward the end. If you don’t, no one will follow your next project. That one extra follower you were hoping to snag? Forget it. They’re now following a project that offers a photo, a cartoon, and a doodle. 

I hear it’s a passable effort. 

And, that’s it. That’s my advice for offering up something that at least one person (besides yourself) might like. I’ll let you know if it works.

Here’s today’s doodle:

And . . . another one is in the can.

Some of these posts will likely be longer (this was one of them) as the mood hits me, but most will short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless (this still manages to be uninteresting and bland despite the longer offering). 

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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