Say you're a couple of guys who pride themselves on phrases in their bio's like "He cut his teeth at Web 0.1 companies like HotWired and Electric Minds, but didn’t learn" ( Derek Powazek, Official Title: Chief Idea Guy and “Wouldn't it be cool if…” Officer), or a coder who clearly had too much time on his hands, and when some genius missing a genetic pair said "hey, let's give away fun prizes for photo assignments", Mr. Dan Hodos, earned the title "Chief Code Guy and “Yeah, we can do that” Officer.
Who gave these guys VC money? The same thoughtful folks who gave David "that model was interesting, but didn't pan out" Norris (7/12/07, OnRequest - Realizing the Obvious)? Oh, I see, it appears that among them is Kim Garretson, Founder of Realist Venture Capital & Advisory Services, who lists in his profile that he's the "Embarrassed owner of LivingHome.com."
Who are these people? They're beginning to sound like castaways on the island of misfit toys!
Garretson, seemingly too lazy to dump more money in what he writes "As the site owner I've gotten lazy and too focused on helping other Web consumer media sites/companies...I think I want to go all-visual for the new LH and just invite communities like Pixish to contribute what they want." Wow. Way to go "all-visual!" What, pray tell, do I earn, if you choose my images? You get: "Once a month we will award a vintage rock photo from the about to launch BackstageGallery.com."
Wow, let's see, a round-about site promotion - languishing LivingHome.com (which now just points to an empty blog) posts from Realist VC needs on Pixish, which, in turn, gives away photos from an as-yet-un-launched "vintage" rock-and-roll backstage gallery. Is this what happens when people get their hands on URLs with complete words (or hip-sounding, a la Pixish) in them? Crazy though, when you Google "Realist Venture Capital", the only entry that comes up is Garretson's entry on Pixish! Drilling down, you see Garretson's entry on LinkedIn, where we learn that his specialty is "Positioning early stage companies for raising money and getting customers and distribution agreements." Yet, the sites his lists on his profile are all no-entry blogs, or single splash pages. He highlights " Founder of a a micro-venture capital fund looking at consumer lifestyle media, marketing and e-commerce deals."
Wait, is is April 1st? Come on, my calendar program must be off about 45 days, it must be. Is this a joke?
These round-robin sites must be the dot-bombs of Web 2.0, ripe to fail and wipe VC funds, right? Powazek outlines how Pixish came to be here, on his blog. We have the guy that gave Pixish.com to Powazek to fault for this silly flight of fancy.
Here are a sampling of the requests:
- Fray's Geek Issue - Derek Powazek - Winners will be published in Fray issue 2. Winners will get a few copies of the book, credit and promotion on the website, and our eternal thanks.
- A Leaf in the River Tattoo - Derek Powazek - The Details - I want your work on my body - I will paypal the winner $100 and email them a photo of their work on my arm upon completion.
- Visual identity for a film weblog - James McNally - It's a Wordpress blog with a custom header that's ok but I'm hoping to have someone develop a better visual identity for the site. Winner: I'm willing to pay but am not sure what's fair. I could also provide some DVDs of films that I've reviewed and no longer need. Wow, used DVD's! Nice!
- Design my blog header! - Heather Powazek Champ (that looks like a relation to Derek!) - winner gets 1 35mm Vivitar Utra Wide & Slim camera + 3 rolls of film..
- Hmmm, sounds like someone couldn't get a taker on eBay and decided to give away their (used?) camera and some film!
8 - "The winner will get a hearty pat on the back"; 9 - "The prize is priceless: My love and admiration. ... as soon as I have them printed up, I'll send you an Ant's Eye View t-shirt. They'll be way cool. But really, do prizes and goodies drive your craft? Are you in this game because you love to see a grown man smile?"; 11 - "You'll bring serenity, hope and joy to people who really need it. Isn't it great?"
Ok, where's Aston Kutcher?!? I must be getting Punk'd here.
I don't know that I'd even have seen this, if it hadn't been for fellow blogger Photopreneur's entry on them.
Next up? Pixish OnRequest, or Pixish CustomStock! Quick! Someone squat on those URL's! Yesterday Powazek was busy in NYC giving a talk, in part, about "Too many people see crowdsourcing as shorthand for “cheap, plentiful content.” It’s not—managing a community can be expensive and time-consuming." So, let's see, we'll pay them with our smiles-from-grown-men; love-and-admiration;t-shirts; used DVD's; and antiquated film consumer film cameras! It'll be like throwing peanuts to the zoo monkeys!
Somebody, stop the insanity!
Yes, Forrest, stupid is, as stupid does.
Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.