Yet another goddamn "1000 True Fans" post

So, I'm blogging. I'm part of the "blogosphere" (in a literal sense... I'm not 'down' with the Silicon Valley set, the celebrity blogging set, the tech blogging set, the political blogging set... So actually, insofar as the "blogosphere" as a society is concerned, I don't actually exist - but I blog, so I guess I can claim credit if I want it).

So, being a blogger, I guess I have a duty to write about this 1000 True Fans concept. It's a fine concept. It's actually quite valid. And everyone's into it, talking about it like they talked about The Long Tail and Crowdsourcing and Mashups and Dramatic Gopher and whatever else. And here I am, reading this thing, and my first reaction is:


Not that I'm super brilliant or even barely smart. But the truth is, it's REALLY old news to me. My entire career over the past, what, 5 years has been based on this. And I did NOT come up with it. Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki... Hell, even Courtney Love wrote about this in 2000!!!! And she's a coke-adled dipshit!

Anyone with the common horse sense to just look at the closest wall with writing on it has figured this out. It's just that now it has a clever title that's easily quotable. Get 1000 folks who will spend $100 dollars a year on you, your shirts, your mugs, your books, your records, your performances, and whammo, you can live on what you sell them.

Um... Yeah. There's a term for this theory. It's called "elementary school math". It's a really simple formula:

(1000 people) x (100 dollars a year) = 100,000 dollars a year.

You can live on that. Fucking GENIUS, really.

But what if I want to be RICH!!!!!!!!!! What should I do then?

Well, maybe it's time for the 10,000 True Fan theory. The 10,000 True Fan theory is the idea that if you can get 10,000 people to spend $100 on you each year, you can make a million dollars a year.

SEE! That's all you have to do!

Come on.

I mean, I really hate to be snarky (okay, Liz called me out - this is a lie. I love being snarky. But I hate being a dick, and I'm kinda sorta probably being one here) - there are a tremendous number of bloggers out there (including guys I read, like Wil Wheaton) who are embracing this idea whole-hog and going crazy conceptualizing a way to pull off 1000 True Fans as I type this. And maybe it's just because I already did this three years ago with my first book, but I really see this as DIRECTLY comparable to the song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFarin.

I mean, it's a world-changing theory! If you want to be happy, all you have to do is don't worry! It's going to sweep the world and everyone's going to be happy and war's going to end and HOLY POO! Brilliant! I'm gonna get started not worrying RIGHT FUCKING NOW!


Perhaps I'm just being an asshole here. I dunno. It just frustrates me to see these theories sweeping collected societies not unlike super trendy diets (Hey, YOU! Read my book about how you can quit eating sugar and you can be unfat! Here, here's a box of bread mix for $22.00 that will help you!) or fashion accessories that seem so brilliant and hip but are actually just retreads of old, basic crap (Crocs, anyone? It's a fucking SLIPPER and you look like a tool in them. There are no exceptions). You can feel free to chalk this up to my being a snob just like my post about the movie 300.

But the truth is, saying something like "all you have to do is bench press 400 lbs, and then you'll be strong!" is useless without actually showing someone how to work up to that. So maybe, in my self-publishing book idea thing that I'm still pondering but probably going to do, I should focus on that. It's something I do know a little about, and perhaps I can actually help those writers and musicians and artists who have just become riled about 1000 True Fans come up with a way to actually GET THEM.