Plans for world domination: A look back at 2008….

I like the spirit of  a New Year Resolution, but as everyone knows that has ever made one, they usually don’t last more than a week or two at most. Especially resolutions to do with quitting part of your regular routine.  To stop doing something takes immediate work. Which I’m not good at anyway.   So last year I decided my resolution would be to start doing something, and my timeline would be all of 2008… So every month I started smoking more and more. Just kidding. Last January,  I laid out some works goals for CartoonSmart. Here they were…

Not teach every lesson myself. Kind of a trust issue there. CartoonSmart is my baby, so to let someone else in and teach lessons was a tough decision at first. Fortunately a guy name John Nyquist stepped up and offered to teach Blender, and since I hadn’t even heard of the program at the time, I was fine with someone else teaching that. And John proved he was an excellent teacher, and brought some 3D lessons to the previously-2-dimensional CartoonSmart.  John broke the ice, and since his lessons in March, I’ve hired on many more teachers for a lot more software than just Flash. So, big check mark next to goal #1. 

Start a CartoonSmart forum. I put off starting one since almost the beginning of the site, so I decided 2008 would be the year. It took me till July though to finally sign up for one. Which takes all of about 20 minutes. So you can get a sense for my pacing here. 6 months to do 20 minutes of work. Although it did takes a few days to really figure out the administration end of managing the forum.

Start a “real” blog. I had a CartoonSmart blog before, but I updated it once a month at most, and only when new lessons came out, which was pointless because anyone that knew about the blog would have also been on my newsletter list. So September was the month for getting this current incarnation of the blog rolling. And to my surprise, I’ve not only been updating it regularly, but I also REALLY LIKE updating it. And as regular readers know, I’m a huge advocate for artists keeping a blog. It’ll keep you on task, even if its just your closest friends and family that visit it, at least you’ll know that they know you’re falling behind if you haven’t posted new work recently. Plus a blog is super SEO friendly, and can replace a regular portfolio website if you don’t already have one.  And once you get setup with a blog, you can start broadcasting yourself via RSS or connecting it up with your Twitter account (like this) So there’s all sorts of Web 2.0 shit that manly dock workers would laugh at you for even thinking about doing, but thats why you don’t work on a dock. 

Launch the Affiliate Program. Again, here’s something that took almost no time to put together that I waited months to start on. October to be exact. It didn’t even take any programming because Payloadz.com (our product delivery server) gives me all the code ready-to-go for the affiliates, all I had to do was tell people it existed. Actually I spent 2 or 3 days making fake box art (as seen to the right) for the affiliates to use in a promotional kit (here by the way) 

Switch servers. This took a whole year for no reason. I could have just done this in January, but it felt like a December thing to do. CartoonSmart.com was previously on a dedicated server, now its on a slightly faster dedicated server. This really was a dumb thing not to do earlier though because I’ve had both servers for a year. 

So you see the point here?  I’m slow. Veeeerrry slow. Maybe you are too. But a year is a long time. And thats what I needed to get all this done. And to remind myself 2008’s modest to-do-list still needed to-doing: high tech scraps of paper taped to my monitor. Anyone care to suggest some 2009 stickies to tape up?  

Comments very welcome.

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6 thoughts on “Plans for world domination: A look back at 2008….

  1. tuinman says:

    Boy, and I thought I was slow!

    I am curious as to why you are on a hosted blog? You have your own dedicated server and, as a long time student I know you are comfortable with PHP, although I’m not so sure about your HTML and CSS skills as I’ve only ever seen you use Dreamweaver. WordPress is free and there are resources all over the internet. I’m sure I am not the only one who would love to see what sort of theme you would come up with….. surely something Flash orientated.
    So, that’s my suggestion for 2009, your own blog. How about it?

  2. Hi Jay.I’m Vinci Falconi from Italy.So I had some ideas about your “to do” in 2009.
    So I think you would improve your business if you begin to translate your lessons in others languages.maybe by a collaboration with some one foreigner.

  3. ageekfreak says:

    “BEWARE, this comment is not short!”

    Maybe you could find someone to give lessons on using a Wacom tablet or tips and tricks to the wacom tablet, or just something of that sort.

    Maybe even just post an ups and downs of the Wacom Tablet blog bit, or something for some who are interested in having one.
    I want to get one myself but cannot currently afford it, and honestly Im a little tired of drawing with the mouse, although I’ve gotten very good at it over the years I would like to have a wacom tablet.

    I’m going to get one regardless of the ups and downs and the only thing I have heard from a friend who uses one, “Danny” from http://oycomics.com/

    Is that he would suggest having a tablet that is at the very least equal to the size of a sheet of paper and he would avoid telling anyone to buy anything smaller. Well anyways love your cartoonsmart blog, I check it as often as I can so keep at it!

    you should make a book too, that offers inside tips and tricks of the freelancer, and maybe have some tutorials in there with written explanations of how to do certain things in flash, with some pictures to follow, for the folks out there that are more into reading things. I know that there have been only a few complaints of a couple of people that said in your video they felt like they missed steps and wondered if you could at least have a text help file to go along with you video that listed the actual steps neccesary to do what you were showing. I personally just watch your videos and find them easy to watch and they have been very helpful I have alot of them actually. I started telling people about your site back in err 2005 when I first found it. I was so thankful I found it too. Your definately the best resource on the internet for anyone who has any sort of interest in flash and wants to learn, they can just start with your free videos which i recommend and then go from there, but I have noticed that even in your advanced videos you still try to cover everything you are doing, like which tool you switched to and are using and what it does and wow, Bravo my good man, remembering to tell everyone something like that is exhausting for my mind to even think about ha ha ha.

    Well this has gotten long enough and my writing skills have not gotten better over the years so i think I’m finished.

  4. ageekfreak says:

    I could be wrong by saying this, but I do remember Justin posting a blog of some sort about SEO and he was mentioning all the good things he had to say about wordpress and how for some reason google decides to notice it, within an hour or so, as where with most sites even with an SEO go doing the work for you, it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year or more for your site to be recognised and listed in search engines such as “Google” so perhaps that is why he decided to make a cartoonsmart blog through wordpress for the chance of even more exposure then he has already had. Granite there are benefits to him designing creating his own, as there are benefits to using one that is already here.

    And there is also the simple possibility that it was gonna take more time then he wanted to invest for something he wasn’t yet sure about. eitherway, Great suggestion for 2009 idea and if he does make his own I will just fav the new one when he does and go there.

  5. Tylor says:

    2009 To-do list ideas:
    More Blender Tutorials!
    More iPhone Tutorials!
    More Justin-Taught Flash Tutorials!

    Maybe some specials for us long time and dedicated customers 😛

    Hey, if you can manage those I would be a happy camper.

  6. b1tzmast3r says:

    Hey Justin,

    Maybe you would be willing to provide a resource for us artists to learn the business end of our trade. Something that helps us deal with taxes, time management, networking and any other resources tips or tricks you might have up your sleeve.

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