Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mann About Internet

I've mentioned Merlin Mann here before. I first bumped into him on Twitter, where everyone seems to follow his feed. He's written some of the funniest stuff imaginable in 140 characters or fewer, ever. He also maintains a creative productivity blog (43 Folders) that claims a vast readership, a much-laughed-at weekly podcast (You Look Nice Today: A Journal of Emotional Hygiene) with two other humorists, a video interview series (The Merlin Show) also on iTunes--AND a hilarious site called 5ives, which is simply lists of five things--some literary, some techie, and some just pop-topical, viz.:

Five ways Angelina Jolie can quickly acquire more children
1. gestate auxiliary sets of twins in climate-controlled Fendi bags
2. make Brad build a big-ass gingerbread house
3. explore viability of controversial “dorsal carriage” (a/k/a “butt fetus”)
4. surreptitiously cruise Gymboree with mallet and a sack
5. lay excess eggs in what’s left of Sean Young

A goofball. But a serious one. His basic premise about doing business on the web is, if people would just try harder to express a passionate point of view about what they're interested in, other people would get interested in it, too. 25,000+ Twitter followers and millions of hits annually on 43 Folders pretty well confirm that idea.

Merlin's personal blog is called Kung Fu Grippe. He posts a lot of video, promotes other sites and stuff he finds, reveals a little of his family life (married, doting on an infant daughter), and ruminates. He recently took a Twitter break, saying people could find him blogging instead. The last time I did, I found an amazing post, entitled "Better" -- a call to a higher quality of content creation. It's partly a renunciation of Twitter, suggesting that he'd become addicted to it and too distracted by it to create work he could be proud of. I miss the laughs, but I really respect the POV, which he's amplified over at 43 Folders as well. A big following of amused daily readers isn't enough. You have to feel that your creative life is truly creative and truly alive.

Update: Merlin's back on Twitter, but only tweeting one or two times a day. Still funny, still inimitable, and still getting archived in more people's Favorites than just about anybody.

There's a cluster of Merlin Mann links in my sidebar. It's hard to keep up with him, but trying has its rewards.


Kellybelle said...

You're alive!

Jasph said...

Yeah, I'd suspended my blog until the previous financial crisis was resolved. Once they funded Montana's Bear DNA Study earmark, I came back.

I'll have to visit epthaphtththahahah sometime soon...I spelled it right, didn't I?