Vote for The New Denver Egotist
After sifting through more than a dozen essays from people seeking to join The Egotist ranks, we’ve whittled the field down to the three pieces below. Thanks to everyone for busting on it. Now, for the fun part. In the comments below, please vote for your favorite two contributors – the ones you feel will bring the most to what we’ve got going here. (Submission criteria/rules here as a reminder.) We’ve decided to add two people at the end of all this. Voting ends Tuesday, October 28th at midnight. Good luck to all.
POTENTIAL EGOTIST #1
I believe in the power and the responsibility of anonymity.
Many times; when feelings are hurt, when someone crosses the line in the comments section, almost every time Andy Bosselman posts, there is an uproar on the Egotist about hiding behind pseudonyms.
The argument invariably starts with the idea that anonymity breeds an atmosphere where hurtful comments thrive. Then, there is some sort of super street cred that is given to those people who post under their own name. Almost nobody argues for the opposition.
That is, until now.
I believe the strength of this website comes from the lively discussion that is empowered by anonymity.
Advertising, design and interactive are unique businesses where art and commerce meet. Discussion about the art aspect is inextricably tied to the commerce piece.
On a single day, a comment on the site may be “Great work, but did it sell?” and, just below, the comment, “Sure it sold like crazy, but was it as creative as it could have been?”
Where else do both of these ideas live so closely but in our businesses? To push for all people to put their names and their earning potential behind their artistic opinions on work ignores the commerce part of our business. This is how people earn a living.
Pseudonyms give us a chance to talk about the work and make the work better without having to worry about the commerce side of our business. We get better critiques when you can talk directly about the work without thinking about how that critique might affect your job search, freelance business or even just your invitation to agency parties.
If you can post without retribution, what makes you not push for character assassination, ripping into good work or lifting the mediocre? That is where we depend on the power of community. When a person writes something stupid, it is recognized by the community as stupid no matter how it is signed. Attacks are recognized and not tolerated.
And, finally, pseudonyms offer something the Egotist is fond of promoting—creativity. There are times when I want to post using my name and my reputation, but there are other times when I know that a fake identity allows me more creative freedom.
Anonymity creates better critiques, a stronger on-line community and allows for more creativity. As an anonymous blog, The Denver Egotist, helps Denver Suck Less if it can do all of those things.
When discussing work, it’s my opinion not my reputation that matters.
Is this any less true because I sign it with a name I made up or a name my Mom made up?
POTENTIAL EGOTIST #2
Why would I be a great Egotist?
Here are just a few examples of why I would be a great Egotist.
I am handsome. Not in just a cutest-fella-on-the-block kind of way. Nor in a best-looking-in-high-school kind of way. I am so man-beautiful that devoted wives who have invested decades of love and compassion to their husbands will readily drop their undergarments and assume assorted sexual positions when I enter a room. This was especially clear at a recent NARAL meeting held in Capitol Hill, and the AARP Ladies GOP function held at the Denver Press Club.
I am talented. I do not have a trophy room. I have a trophy house, with a few rooms set aside for sleeping, eating and answering nature’s call.
I do not answer nature’s call. Instead, any waste products built up inside me simply vanish at my sheer intensive, glorious appearance, not unlike the way Ben Kenobi disappeared when cleaved in twain by Darth Vader.
I am thoughtful. A few times a week, I deliver food and hugs to homebound seniors and others who are bound to their homes. I can brighten the day of an entire class of schoolchildren by simply saying the word “guppy.” I have talked so many people down from suicide that when you call the suicide hotline, you’ll hear me singing a cover song of “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman Turner Overdrive.
I can sing “Taking Care of Business” better than Bachman Turner Overdrive.
I am generous. In fact, most of the fertility issues in my zip code are handled by me. My Monday mornings are set aside so that women who cannot get pregnant CAN get pregnant, simply from my gaze. My name is the most popular name for girls and boys in all the town.
I am wealthy. Oh, boy am I wealthy. I have my own line of banks. They, like Superman, are impervious to any financial climate. In fact, my banks are the only reason we are not currently in soup lines, shuffling along like so many sad sacks in a Queen video. Also, current legislation is in the works by Congress to rename the word ‘money’ as my Christian name.
I am smart. My college advisor went insane the moment he met me, as he knew any and all work he had done, would do and could ever do was a point made moot by my presence. I do a book of Sudokus before breakfast and I read graduate level medical journals on my frequent vacations. I own Mensa and am the sole member of the group FORFSAM, the Foundation for Really Freaking Smart Americans, Man. I invented the phrases “Don’t have a cow,” “24/7” and “That’s your egg, Michael.”
I am humble. I realize I have been gifted with a gift that even the gifted are not gifted with. I share that gift, at a rate that nearly everyone can afford. And I believe in people.
I like a great father looking down upon his flock, I am proud to…
Oh. A DENVER Egotist. Right. Why would I make a great DENVER Egotist?
I am from Denver. Born and raised. I have worked at just about every Denver agency that exists, or used to exist.
I am a good writer. There may be better writers out there, but that can be said of just about any person or profession on the planet, except of course, that Jamaican sprinter Usaihn Bolt, because damn.
I like information.
More importantly, I like to share information. Not like “Hey, look at this talking baby on the internet!” But like “Hey, Jeremy, I know you’re into modern furniture. Here’s a cool site about it.”
I like to comment on said information and filter it with some funk.
I like it when things get better. Like perfecting a dry rub on a rack of ribs, perfecting the Denver ad community is an ongoing process. Very ongoing, in fact. Since my inception into Denver’s ad world in 1992 (old), I have seen countless CDs come to town to make it “a great ad town,” ad nauseum. But now as things really start to get interesting, it becomes a great time to write about it.
I like the Egotist. I check it first thing in the morning, several times a day and last thing at night. I’m a geek, sure. But hey, I’m also really handsome.
Finally, I follow directions well. This is word #749.
POTENTIAL EGOTIST #3
I would be a great Denver Egotist because your mission is doomed to fail.
So there’s the romance of being part of something noble and conversely the suitably self-immolating inevitability of a huge descent into flames. Who couldn’t resist that?
The reason you’ll ultimately fail is that most of the people who make the hard decisions just don’t get you. You’re saying a lot of good things, but the people who make shite decisions aren’t listening.
To be frank, what you’re doing is a lot of mental masturbation. Which I totally respect. Very fond of that.
But if you really want to change things here, then change things. I think it’s great to feature good work, and it’s nice of you to shine a spotlight on good local work. But I don’t see much discussion about the work that doesn’t live up to your standards. I feel like I saw more of that in the past, but now it’s mostly about good work other agencies are doing. There’s a lot of good intention and great writing on your site. But how much of it is preaching to the choir?
Significant change – not incremental change – comes when a vocal group of people calls bullshit when it sees bullshit. It’s the whole ‘speaking truth to power’ thing. And I don’t see a great deal of that right now on the Egotist.
It’s more than criticizing lame work. Much more. It’s about confronting bullies who make their livings as tyrannical, ignorant CMOs. It’s about refusing to accept the incompetence of so many local agency account executives. It’s about supporting talented creatives who work at ad agencies where the primary mission statement is to say “Yes” to whatever shit the client asks for and then cash their check.
I am not directly employed by an agency but I work with a lot of agencies, mostly out-of-town ones. As a [JOB TITLE] I’m in a position to witness great work and great thinking, and I also see a fair amount of the opposite. I’ve seen great account people stand up to clients and I’ve seen those clients get a new level of respect for their agency partners. I’ve seen young creatives make huge mistakes that turned into brilliant ideas. I’ve worked for well-respected creative agencies that in truth were driven by sheer will and incredible effort – not some secret creative process or proprietary (and completely bullshit) ‘branding process.’
Right now this industry is changing faster than many people realize. There’s insane opportunity out there right now. We have a chance to re-define the relationships we have with clients, with our audiences, and with each other. Speaking truth to power is extremely uncomfortable, but if you make me the next contributor I’d really embrace that conflict. I loves me some conflict real good. Because conflict is often the only way you move beyond the status quo into something wildly better, deeper, and more real.
On a personal note, I’m married with two children, live in Denver, and I enjoy skipping a great deal. I hope this wasn’t too douchey for you. I can be funny. As in: “You’re a douchenozzle!”
VOTE FOR ME.