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Guerilla Ultimate Blogging by Zoe

March 20, 2006 07:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)


Zoe Bat Mitzvah.jpg

Take a look at these Awesomely Bad Outfits! I made a video.

From the UB Team's Challenge 6: "In The Den, each contestant will simply list where they posted the flier, who they emailed it to, which message boards they put it on, and anything else they did to get the word out." Here's my list, guys!

How I promoted my Urbanhonking.com/Zoe page:

THE FLIER: New York is a horrible place for fliers. A place where we see so many images flashing by our eyes millisecond by millisecond, that all meaning gets lost in a sea of stimulation. Also? Most places don't accept them. Here are my flier stories.

1. I wanted to post at internet cafes--the most likely place to get a response. However, Village Copier is the only Internet Cafe that let me post a flier there! Mini Me had a great location, though, right at the entrance.

2. My next AWESOME place to post a flier was going to be the NYU dorm down the block from my apartment. Students! They love computers! I charmed a young man with a keycard, who promised me he'd post the flier on the bulletin board inside the dorm. Not even my sweetest smile, however, could get me past security to take a picture.

3. I spent the next 2 hours walking from street to street in Manhattan. Which, by the way? Seems ALLERGIC to fliers. But then? I met Jimmy. A professional sign poster! After another heavy dose of charm, he let me snag a wee corner of a construction site, where people actually PAY for ad space. I think a certain Gospel Choir might have been my patron. God bless them, hallelujah.

Post this bill.jpg

You can see a close up here. Or, at the corner of 13th and 2nd.

4. I asked the professional sign poster where else I should flier, and he said "Let's put it on a pole." So, I'm on the pole.

5. Manhattan? Just wasn't working out for me. It was time to visit the land of my youth: Park Slope, Brooklyn. I put my flier up at Ozzie's Coffee House, down the block from where I went to high school. A lot of the teachers (all patrons) still remember me, and I was recently featured in the school magazine for my novel, so perhaps students will recognize the name and face as well. A few hours later? The flier was still happily flying away.

6. My mother, a graduate school professor, took a flier to post at the college. And my dad, a social worker/psychotherapist, took a flyer to post at his clinic. So the craziest answers? Might actually be from genuine crazy people.

7. I emailed my flier to 29 different people in 10 different cities (including London) and asked them to post or hand out the flier when appropriate. I'm thinking no one I know will ever answer another email from me again.

8. Here's the doozy. A friend-helper and I emailed the flier to about 20 people and gave them these instructions: Print out the flier and scan it. Then email tips@gawker.com with an interesting and hilarious story. You found this flier in the pages of the New York Post, where some guerilla marketer must be stuffing these fliers in a crazy (crazy!) effort to promote herself. We figured if enough people tipped gawker to this outrageousness, perhaps they'd run an item about it. They...didn't. But we tried!!

Non-Flier Promotion
1. I created a Worn Out: Awesomely Bad Outfits Flickr group--because who doesn't love seeing pictures of people in horrible clothing? With this fun, interactive compliment to my UH/Zoe page, I hoped people would feel more like participants and be more likely to help spread the word.

2. Mass emails: From my personal accounts, I emailed 90 people and urged them to both enter creative content and help spread the word. I then individually emailed certain close family & friends and told them to actually respond to the mass email.

3. I called about 10 people who I know don't check email so regularly and told them to check their emails quick to help a girl out. Several of my voicemail messages could be called "begging," but I prefer "charming cajoling."

4. From my Real Girl Beauty email account, I sent personal emails to women who've asked me beauty questions in the past 2-3 months, asking for their help. (Around 15 people.)

5. And on the pretty pink page of Real Girl Beauty, I flat out groveled. Also? I promised to list any blogs that featured my link--a great promotional opportunity for them!

6. Other places I groveled like a strung out crack ho ("Just give me a hit!"): The G-Rad UB2 forum; here on The Den, in the comments of Amalah.com (who gets something crazy like 15,000 hits per day--I also emailed her asking for her to mention it on her blog, but to no avail); the Craigslist beauty forum; the Style.com forum (official forum of Vogue and W Magazine).

7. I emailed some former contestants who graciously participated in the challenge for me. Mike D? Went above and beyond.

8. Other blogs that I know have advertised my ass: Liz is Working, The New Jan Brady, Sweet Lucy, Rantings in Red, Pomme Granite, waste of tape.

9. Forgot to mention!! When we get comments in the den, it shows up in our email inboxes. So I emailed back everyone who left me nice comments during this competition whose email address I still had in my inbox. (About 14 people.)

10. I told people at my office about this competition. And about this challenge. This was truly dangerous, since no one knew the gnomes, etc., had made their own UB2 appearance. However? Out of my department of 6 peole, 2 submitted entries! (Also? I learned my favorite co-worker was Bar Mitzvahed in a suit the same color as my dress...THAT is priceless.)

11. Finally, just a few words about why I chose the content that I did, because that, too, was strategic. Most people I know are just very, very busy. In order to get people to participate, I couldn’t ask for a vague, “Write something creative guys!” I had to touch people deep inside. I had to touch their hearts. And what better way to do that then with nostalgia. Let’s add to that fact that my blog readers, message boards, and email lists are about 95% female, and I knew my audience would be primarily les fabulous ladies. Nostalgia + Clothing = Motivating My People To Participate.

Plus, I think that clothes are inherently creative—a way to express yourself at a certain time, stage, and viewpoint in your life. So I asked everyone to relate their most AWESOMELY BAD OUTFIT. And for the creative types? The ones who would give me a wee bit more time out of their busy lives? A short, fun, 4-part questionnaire. It was something I would have taken time out of my fast-paced life to do. And that was my guideline.

I hope this isn't the end for me, but if it is--know that I worked my ass off for you. I truly, truly did. And I've really enjoyed sharing a part of my life (way more than most people know about me!) with you these past three weeks.

(Keeping it Ultimate Blogger real since February, 2006)

By: Zoe | Challenge 06 | March 20, 2006 | Comments (10)

Alex's Sixth Challenge: Posters Round The World by Alex M.

March 20, 2006 12:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (45)




Global Postering

My favorite part of this challenge was brainstorming my poster strategy. I wanted to get them up in as many different parts of the world as possible, because I thought it would be cool to see them in Tokyo, London, and Vancouver, for example. Seems like it worked:


I am in awe of my generous friends. I would like to thank them/give them props here:

My friend Azure managed to score major brownie points with her hit on Mikey's workplace and various other Portland hipster hangouts.

Charles in Montreal doesn't have a digital camera, but he does have a webcam, so he shot this video out of his bedroom window: View on Vimeo, View on YouTube.

My brother Luke also got some good spots in P-Town. He also posted some Day-Glo posters on Flickr, which look really nice, in my opinion.

Marisse, Jeremy, and Jocelyn in Vancouver boggled my mind with their creative and awesome postering. Katie and Thomas in England fought the time zone difference and still came out on top. Phil and Genevieve got crazy in Tokyo. Shannon hit up Nagano. Pete got Halifax, Kirsten pasted up in Victoria, Tim printed in Kennewick, and my good friend Flint used a pole in San Francisco. I took pictures in Langley, BC and Anacortes, WA.

Promotion on the Web
I wanted to be a little more nuanced with my "web marketing." It's a fine line between self-promotion and spam, and unsolicited attempts at selling your "product" or "pitch" may often backfire, causing feelings of bitterness and annoyance toward the well-intentioned but hapless salesperson. I decided to rely more on email than message boards or forums, because I know most of the people on my email lists to be somewhat receptive to weird sales pitches like this.

Mass email to the Department of Safety email list, 825 subscribers as of last count.
Flint dropped a news item about my page into his email update list, which contains over 100 subscribers, I think.
I also sent emails to family and friends around the world, probably around 100 in total.

Forums and Websites:
The Department of Safety
Digital Hearth, my blog
K Records Forum (ooo, a bit of backlash!)
Urban Honking Forums (nobody cares, everyone here is already reading UB2)
G-Rad Forums(same deal as urban honking forums)
Mt. Eerie Forums

About My Content Solicitation
I chose my content question carefully. I didn't want it to be so broad that nobody wrote, but I also tried to avoid a narrow approach to the content, because a specific web is often a boring web. I wanted contributions to be diverse, personal, and open-ended. Content that can be used as a potential building block for future interactions between individuals and communities but also content that can stand alone as evidence of the heterogeneous, creative, decentralized nature of web users. Fashion nostalgia can be interesting and funny for a while, but from all the people I've talked to, it only appeals to a relatively small cross-section of users at one time.

Although many of the submissions I received were "entertaining," entertainment wasn't my sole goal in asking this question. I wanted responses to be a part of a broad approach to content creation on the web through conversation. A bunch of people around the world asking questions and posing answers about themselves, about technology, about music, about their creative projects, about art, about politics, about the future of humanity...those are the sorts of discussions and narratives that I wished to spark with this challenge.

And something must have worked, because I'm really pleased with all of the contributions that I received in response to my call for questions. When all of this is said and done, I'm interested in continuing this project of creative questioning in some manner or another. Hopefully some of you would like to join me. It's been fun whether I win or whether I disappear from the Internet tomorrow. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US!


By: Alex M. | Challenge 06 | March 20, 2006 | Comments (45)


March 19, 2006 08:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

We totally got in trouble with security for posting these flyers everywhere. They where like "take them down" and we just went home.


So heres what weve done!!!!

1. Instant Messaged our entire buddy list, like everyone.
2. Emailed friends and family
3. Gave out flyers all day. We made 250 copies.
4. Got In trouble with the po-po
5. Called EVERYONE we knew. People got kind of mad.

Check it out dudes!


Recruit your friends! I know we kind of have an internet following now which is amazing! If you guys all get one friend to do this, and have them get one friend who knows! We could totally win this thing with your help.

A video will be up on the site soon.

-Tum and Morgun

By: Tim and Morgan | Challenge 06 | March 19, 2006 | Comments (3)