A few weeks ago I was contacted by Lyssa and asked to guest post on a new project someone had started.
I get this kind of crap all the time
“Hey Neville, would you like to guest post on our crappy debt-consolidation-in-the-South-Phoenix-area blog??”
So I was less than excited to hear another request that required ME to do work, while THEY get the benefit of MY content on THEIR site.
Luckily Lyssa’s email clearly indicated she had actually read my blog beforehand, that this was an Austin-based project with backing from Trilogy and this new site she was a part of would like to have some posts from my freshly completed homeless experiment. She explained this whole project was an experiment to see if they can find a new iteration of traditional print news sources…and you know I love experiments.
People left encouraging comments on the posts and in general seemed to enjoy the whole thing.
So just today there was an “Austin Post Writers Meetup” that was held at my favorite swank sushi joint in Austin called Imperia. The event was better than I expected…I really thought it would feel like one of those meetups where everyone is on Twitter and no one is interesting. Thank god it wasn’t (no offense to the Twitter people….well actually, some offense).
A little trick I played:
Right before the meetup…just to be kind of an ass….I “manipulated” the points system of the Austin Post to make me appear to be the #1 rated blogger they have :-)
During the meetup they gave out awards in the form of $100 gift certificates to Imperia and t-shirts, and I won the “Best Series” award for the Homeless Experiment posts! (Or maybe they gave me the prize because they thought I was still homeless and actually needed the food and clothes….?)
It was really cool that nearly everyone there knew about this experiment and LOVED it! It feels good when someone like the president of Trilogy thinks what you did was fantastic and keeps asking questions about it. A lot of my friends even started regularly reading my blog after they heard about the homeless experiment.
People in general find the experiment FASCINATING for some reason….and I kind of expected it because of the harsh reactions I got BEFORE I performed it. No matter what someone may think of me pretending to be homeless, it’s definitely interesting to see what happens.
It reminds me of that famous (and probably butchered) Walt Disney quote:
“I ask ten people their opinion about an idea before starting. If they all say it’s not worthwhile, I begin immediately.”
Almost every person I spoke with thought it was a horrible idea in the beginning….many thinking I would most certainly get either killed, mugged or diseased in the process. However I knew this was one of those things I’d regret for a long time if I didn’t do it soon. Even if someone disagreed with me doing this, they almost always said, “…but I’m curious to find out what happens!”
So the moral of the story is:
Do dumb stuff and people will like you (or something like that).