So hey, it’s been a week since I unveiled my own little Manhattan Project, the Big Damn Frakkin’ T-Shirt. This was my ticket to riches in a train made out of shame, hypocrisy, and mostly cotton! Big things were predicted…big things! So now that the initial week is over and the hype has died down a little, let’s see how much I netted!
So my royalty amount is $4, multiply that by zero, the number of shirts sold, and remember to adjust for taxes and…hang on, ZERO?
Zero. Zero sold.
I suppose I should be grateful. In a way, this should be a life-affirming moment, where I realize things aren’t as bad as I thought. Like that scene in The Dark Knight, where the citizens of Gotham won’t blow up the barge of convicts, this is a great moment for humanity even if it’s lousy for the Joker (me).
Also, it’s not like I sunk any money into this venture. I posted the thing on Spreadshirt, linked to it in various places, and just waited for the money to (not) roll in. So there was no cost to me whatsoever.
Except…wasn’t there? Because I also put it on my Tumblr, and tagged it with multiple nerdy tags to get attention. Sure enough, it got picked up some (108 notes, which isn’t great, but isn’t bad) and I looked at some of the Tumblrs that reblogged it. I looked at them. Oh god I looked at them.
Folks, people really like that Cumberbatch fellow.
I saw a lot of “WANT!” and “I CAN HAZ?” but apparently no one WANTed enough to actually HAZ, even though there was a link to the shop right there. I realized that posting to Tumblr was a double-edged sword: it provided some traction to the image, but it was traction to a community that is solely defined by its willingness to post images to each other. Tumblr fans don’t need a shirt. How would anyone see it; they’d have to leave the house! But a picture of a shirt? That’s like a million times better. For Tumblr’s purposes, reblogging the picture and adding “WANT” at the bottom is exactly equivalent to buying it and wearing it around your friends. Similarly with Twitter: retweet the image, say how awesomejelly it is, and you’re done.
I’m kind of curious now to know how well Two Things and Oh God Don’t Sue shirt sites actually do. I’m not saying my experience means it’s impossible to sell shirts on the web (after all, someone bought this from me) but I wonder if Tumblr and Twitter really do eat into the market.
Still, it’s not like I didn’t get anything out of it. I got this great thread on BoardGameGeek! Look at the reply that includes an “Um”, a “you forgot”, and “fail”! I was overcome by that one and had to lie down for a bit afterwards. There’s also this:
1) Videogames are totally mainstream. Geeks play them, but so does everyone else – this should be replaced by boardgames.
2) Zombies are passe
3) Buffy is Meh
I like this because I was wondering why I hear so little about zombies these days. Turns out they’re passe!
Don’t think I’ve been daunted, though, because I am undaunted. My plans for version 2.0 of the Big Damn Frakkin’ T-Shirt continue undiminished. And I’ll keep you updated on future sales, provided there are any.
UPDATE: There’s now a Bigger Damn Frakkin’ T-Shirt.