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Microsoft Paint avoids brush with death.

Tutorials—some free—on how to make doll clothes for any size or shape of your doll.

Why the death of malls is about more than shopping.

How to get your Instagram marketing off the ground.

After a century of dispute, the German alphabet just got a new character.

In her first act as a Disney Legend, Whoopi Goldberg tells Disney to stop hiding its history.

Artist Leticia Santos finds geometric inspiration in D.C.’s row houses.

Black Southern Baptist minister renounces church over its Trump support in a scathing open letter.

An open letter to Rev. Franklin Graham from a “small church” pastor.

Download 200+ Belle Époque art posters from 1880-1918 for free.

A new low: “Photo community” asks for (and gets) free commercial license to photos.

Growing paper clothes in rural Japan.

The extraordinary reason exceptional people avoid mediocre friends. (They rewire your brain.)

Colorizing an early 1900s photo of New York brings it to life.

12 tips to being a better photo blogger.

A history of why the U.S. is the only rich country without universal health care.

The best worst reactions to the news that the next Doctor Who will be a woman.

Honda debuts a one-of-a-kind “Minnie Van.”

This untouched 70s home is the grooviest thing you’ll see all year.

An attempt at a world record for the most Frida Kahlo lookalikes in one place.


Tired of the same old cheap paperclip? For $185 you can buy this special Prada paperclip to help make your life organized.

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Why old women have replaced young men as the art world’s darlings.

America newest grocery store chain has an advantage that should terrify Walmart.

Philanthropist Agnes Gund urges collectors to sell their art to fight for justice.

Forgotten art deco marvels of a lost 1920’s Copacabana.

Girl Scouts will soon offer badges in cybersecurity.

Millennials are the most likely generation of Americans to use public libraries.

A woman with a very colorful apartment that could make unicorns envious.

Unseen photos of 1980 Mount St. Helens volcano eruption found in a camera purchased at a local Goodwill.

An opinion piece by Douglas Rushkoff explaining why it’s time to break up Amazon.

Samsung’s classy new TV moonlights as a work of art.

25 ways to market your business for little or no money.

Download and read up to 6,000 vintage children’s book for free.

Jeff Koons radically downsizes his studio, laying off half his painting staff.

Artist Lucy Sparrow opens an entire convenience store full of handmade felt products in Manhattan.

Photographer spent six months traveling to Siberia to take pictures of indigenous people.

I decided to put up a second gig on that’s totally different from the other one that I put online just a few days ago (which deals with converting your favorite photograph into a vector graphic). For this new gig, I will mention your arts and crafts in my blog. That post will be at least 100 words and I will try to cap it at 300 words maximum. I will also post up to five graphics of your work in my blog.

I may even do house calls but only if you live in the Baltimore-Washington, DC metro area and you live no more than 15 miles from my home. Otherwise, all transactions will be done online.

Like I wrote in my previous post, I’m only giving a trial run for about a month to see what happens. I’m also going to limit myself to just these two gigs mainly because I can whip them out relatively quickly and $5 is way too low for me to do time consuming and heavily detailed work. If I don’t get any response at all to either of my gigs after a month, I will shut the whole thing down. So, if you’re toying with the idea of hiring me to promote your work, don’t delay and hire me today.

A few years ago I wrote a post explaining my personal position about Twitter and why it’s among my least favorite social media platforms. In the three years since I wrote that post, I haven’t changed my mind very much.

Late last year I interviewed with a man in my area who was looking for help with a side project that he was working on. He said that he wrote a novel and he showed it to a few people who told him that he’s a very talented writer and urged him to convert it to either a .pub or .pdf format and get it self-published. He had hired his son’s girlfriend who was in the process of converting his novel to .pub so it could be sold on as a self-published novel. The girlfriend had told the guy that, as part of an online marketing effort, she could get him on Twitter and he could get at least 4,000 followers instantly, which would lead to instant big sales on his book.

The big problem came when the man’s son and his girlfriend broke up while the girlfriend was only halfway through with converting his novel to the .pub format. Naturally the woman lost interest in helping the father of her ex-boyfriend with getting his first novel published. The man was looking to hire someone to finish with the conversion and do some marketing via social media. He asked me about the ex-girlfriend’s claims about getting 4,000 followers instantly on Twitter soon after joining. I tried to tell the man that the reality is that he won’t get that big of a Twitter following at first while telling him that the only people who instantly get thousands of followers when they first join Twitter are celebrities, politicians, and other kinds of famous people. The man I interviewed with was definitely not famous at all. I tried to make that point with the guy regarding his unrealistic Twitter expectations the best that I can. The only thing I didn’t tell the man is that I thought that the son’s ex-girlfriend had sold him a bill of goods regarding suddenly getting thousands of Twitter followers because the man had told me that he was interviewing another person for the job and I didn’t want to blow this freelance opportunity by telling him directly about what I thought about his son’s ex-girlfriend’s claims.

Maybe in hindsight I should have told the man that his son’s ex-girlfriend sounded like one of those slick marketing types who’ll promise the sun, moon, and stars to the point of total exaggeration in order to land the job but then fail to deliver. That’s because the man ultimately decided to hire the other person for the job. If that other person had told the man what he wanted to hear instead of the real truth like I did, then I could see why the man hired the other person. That would-be author is going to have to learn the hard way about the reality of marketing on Twitter. (LOL!)

I have a few friends who are avid Twitter users and they swear by Twitter. One of them suggested that I subscribe to the Twitter feed of this social media marketing blog that’s written by a 16-year-old guy named Marc Guberti. If you read the blog, you would think that the guy was at least 25 years old until you see his photo and the description giving his age. My Twitter-loving friend told me that I would benefit from reading that guy’s blog and taking some of his suggestions.

I came across one of the 16-year-old guy’s Twitter tweets that linked to his blog post titled Twitter Case Study: When I Decided To Tweet Every 30 Minutes and how it led to more hits on his blog as a result. I decided to try this experiment on my own Twitter account to see if I would get the same result.

I recently started a new YouTube channel, Sagittarius Dolly, that’s my attempt at making a modest side income from ad revenue. (I am realistic bout the chances of me actually making a living wage off of YouTube are very slim. I just want to earn just enough money so I could treat myself to something nice like a weekend trip somewhere or eating out at an expensive restaurant.) So far I’ve been uploading old animations that I’ve done between 1995-2004 using the technology of the time on a very tight shoestring budget as part of my Throwback Thursday posts. (Eventually I intend to put up original video clips made this year but I’m still trying to decide what I want to do and how I’m going to do this.)

At the time I read the Twitter Case Study: When I Decided To Tweet Every 30 Minutes blog post, I’ve had only five videos on my new YouTube channel. I decided to do a little experiment to see if using Twitter would increase the paltry hits I’ve gotten on my own channel. That blog post suggested using HootSuite to plan scheduled tweets that would go automatically live over a certain period of time without having to be physically there to manually issue new tweets. I looked up HootSuite and it only had Pro and Enterprise accounts and I didn’t want to get too involved with an experiment that may not work for me.

After doing some Google searches, I found free HootSuite alternatives and I ultimately decided to give Twuffer a try. I found Twuffer’s interface to be incredibly user-friendly.

Then I decided on a marketing schedule. At the time I had five videos posted on my channel. I decided to do a five-day Twitter marketing blitz that went like this:

August 13: Promote The Unicorn With An Attitude 1: Channel Surfing from 12 midnight-11:45 p.m.

August 14: Promote The Unicorn With An Attitude 2: The Teddy Bear from 12 midnight-11:45 p.m.

August 15: The Unicorn With An Attitude 3: Speaking Right from 12 midnight-11:45 p.m..

August 16: The Unicorn With An Attitude 4: The Art of Silence.

August 17: The Unicorn With An Attitude 5: The Art Class.

I also decided to issue new tweets once every 15 minutes around the clock between midnight and 11:45 p.m. the following night. It would be one day of marketing one video every 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.

For added measure, I composed four different tweets for each video which would be placed online every 15 minutes. I figured that people would be turned off if I posted the same tweet every 15 minutes and I wanted them to think that a real person wrote and posted them online and not some computerized robot spam program.

I currently have 452 followers (as of this post), which I felt was a good start but I wanted to get the word out to as wide an audience as possible. So I made good use of and created unique hashtags with each differently written tweet so my tweets would pop up on a variety of hashtag conversations.

The biggest snag came the morning of August 13 when I found that, after accepting the first four scheduled tweets from Twuffer, it began to reject the others that were scheduled to go live overnight. I manually attempted to upload one of the four tweets only to get this error message from Twitter saying it was a duplicate. I learned that Twitter tends to reject duplicate tweet postings that are made within a certain time frame. Even though the same tweet I composed only appeared an average once every hour (remember I wrote four differently worded tweets and I fixed the timing so that only one of those four tweets would go live every 15 minutes and I would vary the tweets so no two identical tweets would go live in less than an hour), Twitter still considers subsequent tweeting attempts at different hours to be duplicates and won’t let them through.

After doing a Google search I found a workaround where I had to manually insert the extended special ASCII characters (the ones that resemble pictures like an arrow or a smiley face) in each tweet in order to trick Twitter into thinking that the tweets I’ve scheduled were all original. It did the trick but it was time-consuming because I had planned a five-day Twitter marketing blitz around the clock. It took eight hours for me to manually insert new ASCII characters into my scheduled tweets. But it was worth it because it enabled me with continuing my Twitter marketing experiment.

Once I finished with the ASCII character insertions, I pretty much left Twitter alone for the next few days and went on with my life. The marketing blitz ended with the last scheduled tweet that went live at 11:45 p.m. on August 17. I was diverted by other things on August 18 so I didn’t get to the results of my Twitter campaign until today, August 19.

The day before I started my Twitter marketing experiment (August 12) I wrote down the number of hits that my five YouTube videos had received.  This morning I went back to my YouTube channel and found out the results of my marketing efforts. Here are the results.

Video August 12 Views August 19 Views
Unicorn 1 27 31
Unicorn 2 12 35
Unicorn 3 12 18
Unicorn 4 4 9
Unicorn 5 1 6

While I got the biggest boost regarding the views of the second Unicorn With An Attitude animations, the results were so disappointingly miniscule that I haven’t changed my mind regarding Twitter being my least favorite social media platform. I’ll admit that I was spending time hyping computer animations that I originally did back in the 1990’s (before YouTube even existed) using technology that was available for low prices at the time. I also know that Twitter’s biggest problem is that tweets are issued from so many people that they tend to quickly sink below the screenview so it’s incredibly easy to miss someone’s Twitter message unless you are actually staring at the site for long hours at a time.

But it was still a letdown for me that I had spent so much time trying to hype my animations via Twitter only to get so few new views that I probably would’ve gotten without using Twitter at all. While I’m not saying that you should not use Twitter to market yourself, just keep in mind the reality that you won’t get as much attention via Twitter that other marketing types would lead you to believe. In other words, as Public Enemy once put it so succinctly:

In any case, I’ll end this entry by saying that you can follow me on Twitter at funkyartist.

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