Blogging from my Mobile

Maybe this isn't new to some people but I came to the whole Internet on your mobile phone thing quite late, thanks to my old phone company.

Now I'm playing 'ketchup' (that's 'catch up' in plain speak). This post has been written entirely on my mobile phone - including taking the photo on my phone's camera. Just a snap shot of some items on my fridge.

I'm contemplating using my phone more to blog when I'm out and about. To fill in unpreductive gaps - like when you're standing in a slow moving queue. Not that I do a lot of standing in queues but you get the idea.

My phone has a full keyboard but it's still only two thumb typing at best. Probably won't be writing any essays this way any time soon.

For the moment I'm just hoping this post works. If you're reading this then thankfully it did. I may just be blogging from my phone again some time soon.

TET Now on your Mobile Phone

Ever since I got one of those flash new phones with internet access I've been thinking I should make a 'mobile friendly' version of my own site i.e. one that's a little less graphics heavy and taxing on your mobile download limit.

Thanks to Mippin, a free service that can convert your RSS Feed into a mobile site, you can now get my Master RSS feed as web site for your mobile phone.

By simply bookmarking my mobile site at http://mippin.com/etourist on your mobile phone you can view all my latest content wherever you are including; my latest ebay auctions, blog posts, animation blog posts, flickr images, videos and more.

You can see a sample of my site and how it looks on a mobile phone in the image above.

If you have a blog and want to make your site even easier to access by your visitors wherever they are then give Mippin a try. It's almost as simple as supplying Mippin with your RSS or Atom Feed URL and then getting your new mobile site URL.

There are a few other steps but nothing that requires real technical knowledge. If you set up your blog yourself then Mippin is easier than that. It's a free service and you can even monetize it with ads that you receive 100% revenue from if you choose.

The Time Traveler's Wife - Movie Opinion

When I first saw the preview for The Time Traveler's Wife I thought 'chick flick' however, the movie has a time travel component (one of my favorite sci-fi subjects) so I was interested to know more.

If you're a time travel fan too then this film will not only not disappoint but it also breaks all the 'rules' of time travel. However, having said that, it's also a great chick flick too (especially for Eric Bana fans).

As with all my movie opinions, this isn't a review as such, it's more of a commentary on what I found interesting. I'm assuming you've seen the film but if not I'll try not to write anything that will spoil it for you. If you don't know what the film is about then you may like to click the link in the first paragraph which will take you to the movies page on the Internet Movie Data Base.

Quickly, on the plot, Eric Bana plays Henry DeTamble, a man born with a genetic condition that causes him to involuntarily travel both forwards and backwards through time. He has some subconscious control over where he travels to (usually places he knows or at least within range of places he knows) but it not an exact science.

In one of his time travels he meets his future wife, Claire, as a very young girl and develops a friendship over time that eventually leads up to her, as a grown woman, meeting him before he has traveled back in time to meet her. Confused yet?

People who enjoy the pseudo-science of time travel will have a field day analyzing the time travel aspects of this movie to death. The rest of you - be well advised not to try and rationalize the logic of time travel in this film and take it at face value for what it is. All you need to keep track of is which Henry are you currently watching, Henry from the past, present or future?

I liked that Henry's ability to time travel is a genetic condition. It's not a new idea but as something he can't control it does present some interesting challenges for him and those who know of his ability to overcome.

It's also interesting that he appears to be the only known person in the world with this condition. I did like that the film did not spend too much time explaining what caused his condition (initially) nor did they go into too much detail when Henry finally seeks outside help to try and control what he has. The research of his condition seems plausible but doesn't actually explain anything.

What makes this film a real discussion point for time travel enthusiasts is that it breaks the one common rule amongst many time travel films and TV shows - meeting your future or past self. It's often thought that this could be a catastrophic event (think Doc Emmett Brown in the Back to the Future films explaining what could happen if Marty's Girl Friend met her future self). In The Time Traveler's Wife this is something of a casual event, happening multiple times.

Further to that, as in the Back to the Future films, meeting your past self could be catastrophic because you could change your future to the point where the future as you know it ceases to exist in a major way for your life.

What's problematic in The Time Traveler's Wife is that Henry claims that he is unable to change the future for major events (such as the death of his mother at the beginning of the film) yet he spends much of the film influencing the future and even using it to change his present financial circumstances.

There are also a number of paradoxes in the film such as when Henry and Claire are looking for a house to buy. The house they choose is based on a house that Henry has already seen in the future. If his experience of the house they choose is based on his visit to the house in the future then how did they come to be living in that house before Henry had seen it in his time travels?

The film makes no apologies for these paradoxes and, in fact, embraces them by pointing them out on occasion and simply accepting them without question.

As I said, if you're not a time travel buff, analyzing the technicalities of time travel in this film will only tear open major inconsistencies using a science that isn't real, only speculative.

For fans of time travel then, if you can get over all the so called 'rule breaking' and try to make sense of the time line, there's a lot of interesting discussion to be had. You may even find yourself buying the best selling novel this is based upon to find out more.

How to Market and Sell Your Art Online

The Unconventional Guide to Art + Money ebook
by Chris Guillebeau and Zoë Westhof

E-Book Review by TET

Less than two percent of Bachelor of Arts Graduates in Australia will actually go on to become established artists. At least that's the figure according to an article I recently read in The Adelaide Review by Peter Drew titled, Poor Odds for Arts.

That article is very relevant to this review as it highlights the emergence of Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs). Particularly the idea of young artists not waiting for their big break with a major mainstream gallery but instead, actually getting out there, finding their own audience and making their own success.

Many artists are turning to new media, such as the Internet, to promote and sell their work directly to collectors. Unfortunately this process can be trial and error to find what works.

This is where The Unconventional Guide to Art + Money ebook by Chris Guillebeau and Zoë Westhof steps in by delving into the real world experience of several successful artists, marketing their work online. Showing you what is working for them and giving you some practical advice for how you can get started marketing and selling your own work in similar fashion.

It is NOT a get rich quick by selling your art online product. This ebook is clearly targeted at serious artists who understand that success takes a lot of hard work plus time.

When I bought this product I found the ebook clearly set out and easy to read. With 55 pages and 54 headings (on the contents page) it attempts to cover a lot of ground - some more successfully than others. The whole book is broken into four parts.

The Introduction sets the frame work for why you might take the new media approach with a compelling story about the Twin Myths of Art i.e. the starving artist and the discovered artist who is instantly shot to fame and fortune overnight.

It then goes on to make the case for marketing your art online using the experiences of real artists who were interviewed as part of the research for this book. All of the artists are very credible sources of information who are succeeding with their online endeavors including; Hazel Dooney (Australia), Michael Nobbs (Wales), Leah Piken Kolidas (USA), Sandra Miller (USA), Joseph Szymanski (USA), Dan Duhrkoop (USA) as well as a few others.

Their experiences are referred back to in all sections of the book through quotes from each artist serving to reinforce the books ideas with real world experience.

The second section of the book talks about Strategy and how to envision your online 'studio'. This covers things such as planning your goals, finding your market (or 'people' as it refers to them), creating an action plan, pricing your art and more.

It also describes an 'anti-marketing' approach that is pretty much Chris' own signature marketing strategy and, interestingly enough, one that many of the interviewed artists use as well (though as something they just naturally gravitated and evolved towards rather than a learned technique).

The third section, Tactics, gets down to the nuts and bolts of actually putting yourself and your work on line. It includes a very useful chart that will let you quickly compare a number of popular art related web sites to see which may be right for you. It then goes on to look at each site in just a little more detail explaining the pros and cons of each and suggesting an action plan for how to get started if that site sounds a good match for you.

There's a more detailed look at pricing your art as well as starting your own web site, blog and the benefits of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Finally in the last section called, Putting it All Together, helps you develop a schedule for your work, looks at approaches to getting your work seen and discusses the importance of maintaining an email list.

It also touches on Product launches, Payment gateways and how you could expand you practice once you start seeing some success.

One of the bonus features of Art + Money is that several of the interviews conducted were recorded and are included as MP3 Downloads. There are two versions of the product with the difference being the number of MP3 downloads.

The Starving Artist version will give you the ebook with three interviews whilst the Picasso Version will give you all the interviews as well as a discussion between Chris and Zoë focusing on the eight most important things they learnt.

Personally I went straight for the Picasso version because hearing real, successful artists talk about the business side of their art practice is not only invaluable but inspiring too.

The Unconventional Guide to Art + Money is like a crash course in online art marketing. The ebook is short enough to read in an afternoon which may leave you feeling a little cheated (considering the price) but if online arts marketing is new to you then you'll probably find yourself re-reading much of it again and again.

If this stuff isn't new to you and you've been attempting to market your work online for a while with limited success then you may find more value in the interviews than the ebook - though there is still plenty in the ebook that you may find of interest.

As a product I'd say it does deliver the information you need to make some informed decisions about marketing your art online. Fast tracking your research so you can get on with the actual business of selling your art.

In some areas I felt it could have been more in depth (such as how to maintain your relationships with your 'people' once you've found them) whilst in others it seemed to be a little repetitive (Action Plans for the various web sites).

Like any product of this kind the real value will ultimately be in whether you make use of the information or you store it on your computer somewhere and forget about it.

Personally I've listened to the interviews several times because that's the main reason I bought the product but, since I'm familiar with just about every site mentioned in the ebook and have a presence on many of them, I'm still deciding on how valuable the ebook has been to me.

One thing I do know is that new media has been relatively successful for me already. I've been selling my work online for longer than new media pioneer, Hazel Dooney (I'm just not as driven as she is or as knowledgeable about the art world). In fact I started selling online accidentally, through message board forums. I'd post my work just to show and people would ask if the work was for sale!

Since then the landscape has changed with sites like Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. It's a whole new way of marketing and The Unconventional Guide to Art + Money shows you how.

Read more information and purchase
The Unconventional Guide to Art + Money


Other Unconventional Guides:

* Disclaimer: Please note that I am an affiliate seller of all the Unconventional Guides. Whilst I have tried to remain objective I did become an affiliate because I was impressed with the Art + Money Guide as a product that doesn't overstate its claims.
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