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July 29, 2009


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Derek Showerman

There is one catch. You need to have celebrity status to make most of this happen. People have to want to buy the items she is willing to sell from her house. Celebrity is everything. However this case study has zero business value. I posted a few blogs recently on Social Media and ROI and case study-without having a celebrity status. :)


David Meerman Scott

@ Derek "zero business value"? Please.

I write about marketing ideas for all kinds of people. Many of my readers are musicians, artists, authors, and others who can get tremendous value from this post.


Arturo Preciado

I don't completyly agree with Derek either. Yes it is true that having a celebrity status might help but in my opinion is not a must. For example the site www.quekura.com wich is the site of a guy who enjoys doing voice over and does it from home in some lost town in the middle of mexican desert. He now built a huge fan base all over latin america.

Now about "zero business value" well I think the point of this post is not about making money but about the power of social media. Plus lets think about the context Amanda is an artist and I sincerly doubt that she makes music for money. Yes it's nice she can make a living of it but I bet she gets a lot of personal satisfaction too. Finally it also shows that social media gives her the chance to show her fans this dinamic personality and where all the music comes from. Wich makes me think all organizations should have a bit of that, show you what moves them and gives them a reason to exist.

Francis Miller


You mentioned on the Permission TV show that you hadn't yet learnt to edit video.

It's much easier to learn the simple stuff - like deleting bits of video you don't want - than you might imagine.

Have a look at Sony Vegas Movie Studio, which pretty easy-to-use editing software.

And Dave Kaminski has a great course - http://www.webvideouniversity.com - which teaches the foundations and beyond.



So all I need to do is become a famous musician, then get a Twitter account, create a T-shirt and sell it?

I guess the Internet is a great get rich quick scheme.


I think the business value of this is very much where Amanda Palmer said it was: i.e., not inherent in social networking in and of itself, but rather in allowing someone who already has something of business value (good music, good movies, whatever) find new ways to connect to and expand their fanbase. If you're just a social networking savant holding a clump of dirt, you get nowhere. But if you've got more worthwhile than a clump of dirt to show, you can use social networking sites to find new fans and energize your existing ones.

This was a very interesting (and entertaining!) interview; good work!

Omar Halabieh

Social Networking is a new medium which allows sellers/talents/preachers reach niche markets at very low cost. By cost here its not only the dollar figure but also the effort etc. As other readers pointed out, your idea/content/product has to be viable to begin with but it is these new mediums that David has been discussing that allows these to catch on and reach the "tipping point". These mediums are meant to complement the existing mediums of which being a celebrity is one of them. Its not an either or, it an either and.


David Meerman Scott

Good discussions here. Thanks you all for jumping in.

Something that I think about a lot is this -- you can learn a lot more about social media by looking at other industries instead of your own. If the Barack Obama campaign had simply copied other politicians (instead of pioneering social media for presidential politics like he did) then he would NOT be president.

I know I learned from Amanda. And I'd like to think that Amanda has learned a few things from me too.

Don't you think that we are better off learning from the best than copying the competition in the same industry? I certainly hope so because that's what I've built my career on!!



Interesting discussion.

I absolutely agree about learning from the best in other industries; I might not be able to use all of it, but every tidbit helps. Even this - I'm not a celebrity (ha!) but I recognize the "create fun and followers" aspect.

My field (kitchen and bath design) is behind on the whole marketing and social media aspect. They're getting there, but I prefer to look at all successful models and create something on my own.

Cory huff

I wrote about this last week as part of an article on artists & twitter. David, your comments about us learning from other industries is spot on. Business & art can learn a lot from each other - mainly teach each other about creativity & discipline.

brandon h

Arturo, Amanda does make a living making music. The Dresden Dolls are a pretty famous group. While I agree that celebrity status is not a prerequisite to making money on the web, it's far easier to start off with celebrity status than having to create it online, from scratch.


This post is great because it demonstrates the best attributes of Twitter, and of social media as a powerful tool:

1) Real time activity and results
2) If you have passion, people will follow you
3) If your activity online is devoted to other people (unselfish), you will be respected
4) Access to millions...if you have something of quality to share

David, you continue to demonstrate innovative thinking and we all know that innovative thinkers are often misunderstood at first :) And you are not afraid of that...keep up to the good work!

Mark Drapeau

So someone that people listen to ran a temporary online t-shirt store, and sold some stuff. Where's the story?


Sometimes, the more SIMPLE the idea is, the more successful the concept becomes and very doable for the everyday person (albeit) selling a kewl t-shirt by a music artist isn't so uncommon.


All celebrities plss contact me,i will be your twitter consultant and personal secretary for your twitter account? So that we both could make some real money on twitter and help my status to get improveed???

My application i am submitting to all hollywood,bollywood and mollywood stars?

Damn! I am Serious Lol!

t-shirt printing

I am aware of Amanda Palmer's success as an artist. However, it doesn't mean that I like all the things she do. I don't think the idea of promoting shirts with statement "DON’T STAND UP FOR WHAT'S RIGHT, STAY IN FOR WHAT’S WRONG" isn't a good one. It encourages people to shun good instead of evil.

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