You get what you pay for?

Let me start out with a slap-on-the-wrist disclaimer of "I should know better" and "low cost ≠ good". I'm not a Wal-Mart shopper for exactly this reason. But, somewhere in my head (where will power fails) I keep thinking it's good karma to give the new guy work, to try out the new widget, to fund that oh-so-improbably-impractical-Kickstarter campaign. P.T. Barnum was right, I am the sucker he spoke about. Anywhoo...

I love the web and all the crazy ideas it brings. I'm a fan of just about any new way of doing business via my keyboard or tablet. I like the shaking up of the old method. But, as you know, the promise almost never equals the reality. For example, Fiverr.

I just starting to put together this new site and thought it might be fun to have someone design a logo and another to write my bio.

The promise of Fiverr is "I'll do ______ for $5". But, as many have figured out, that's just the entry price to starting the discussion. For an extra $10 the person will also do _______. I know, I know, it sounds like a madlib for the sex industry but it's simply a way of gaming the system.

The Logo

I found a guy who, for $5, will create a "retro vintage logo". His stuff was interesting and, hey, it's just $5.

Well, I'm in sort-of a hurry and for an additional $10 you'll get it in 1 day (average is 7) and for another $10 you can get the Illustrator file (otherwise it's just a PNG). So, I'm in for $25.

To set the whole thing up I sent the designer this text:

I’m looking for a logo for the name of my company: digital hooligans

I want something that feels more handmade (but not distressed) and flat that could rest on any photo, video or presentation I make. The logo should be equally represented in color/gradient or black & white. Simple is good and I’m not afraid of trying out the initials DH in addition to a text/graphic type for the name.

I’ve attached a few examples of things I like. If you have any questions, just let me know.

He also asked for some samples of things I liked so, I gave him these great designs I found on Dribbble:

With those examples he was off and free to create his great vision.

About 8 hours later I got a notification that my temp logo was done. Wow! Only 8 hours...this guy must be really good! And, after a little back and forth, here's what I got:

Hrmph. Not bad with the sword flourish but it just feels like someone who has a large font collection.


The Bio

At the same time I was having a logo made, I thought it would be nice to have someone write a bio. Of the dozens of writers available on Fiverr I found a person who had this very simple mantra: "words neatly arranged". Okay, I'm in for another $25 (that got me 250 words vs a sentence for $5).

As not to impart any creative direction and leave the outcome to the writer's genius, I gave him the following information:

I’m very much interested in a “take” on my career seen through the eyes of someone else. Your Fiverr profile intrigued me, so, let’s give this a shot.

I haven’t written a physical resume in years but I recently updated my LinkedIn profile with a slew of tidbits: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jccurtis

Some extra pieces of note - I’m a photographer, videographer and editor with an eye toward travel scenics and documentary versus traditional narratives.
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jcurtis/
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/blatherskyte

Drop a note if there’s more you need.

About 2 days later I got my bio. Then, about 9 minutes later, I got a second revision. Trust me when I say the final revision didn't add much:

With a wondrously creative career that includes the likes of product development, marketing & management, mobile devices, consumer electronics and work as a photographer, videographer and editor, Nashville-based J. Curtis has worked in multiple senior and developmental roles with Griffin Technology since 2005.

Since 2011, he has served as Griffin’s Director of B2B Product Development, charged with commandeering a team of specialists to create new devices for point of sale, healthcare, education and OEM customers. Previous roles there include heading its Motion Media (Marketing) efforts, where Curtis developed a new market for the company via scripting, shooting & editing products “in motion.” During this time he helped Griffin launch its Survivor series of cases. He also held the role of Project Manager and worked as a member of its Technical Support team.

Curtis also founded and helmed his own Digital Hooligans from 2000 to 2005, which offered clientele the creation of “massive production values on short turnaround and even smaller budgets.” He delivered content for the likes of museums, conferences and numerous live events.

Previous gigs include “Media Impresario” with Dove Communications—working in crew management, scheduling, live events, graphics and video post production for comedians, speakers and musical acts—and as a Shooter & Editor with Kohatsu Video Productions in Phoenix.

Curtis possesses a U.S. Patent, granted in 2012, for an accessory used with portable electronic devices that receives audio signals and broadcasts them to a set of wireless speakers.

He studied Video Production at Glendale Community College.

*Sigh* Kinda just reads like a LinkedIn profile regurgitated, doesn't it? Well, it is.

Is there a moral to this story? Perhaps not. I'm still going to try and find new and interesting ways to spend money. I really do think there's some diamonds in the rough out there...somewhere.

Interested in giving it a go? Contact me.

Book binding

I spent yesterday at The Skillery taking a class on book binding. I know, it doesn't sound like a marquee way to spend a Saturday but ask yourself "when was the last time you made something with your hands?".

So, for a few dollars and an afternoon, a group of us decided to risk a papercut (or a slash from an errant X-Acto knife) to learn a simplified version of what Katie Gonzalez from Linen Laid & Felt could teach us.

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the finished book

the finished book