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June 14, 2010

In Defense of Twittertising

A couple weeks ago, I was approached about adding the occasional advertisement to my Twitter feed. My response: an immediate yes.

Many of you probably read that and think, “I would never sell out like that,” but I thought to myself, “What took you so long?”

Those of you familiar with my television work are probably aware that I sometimes take work doing commercials. The reason I do this is because I enjoy money. Moreover, I need money to maintain my opulent (middle-class) lifestyle. Selling products for cash allows me the freedom to take less well-playing jobs like making soon-to-be-canceled television shows.

The situation with Twitter is no different. I provide a valuable service (a constant stream of dick jokes) to Twitter for free. As of today, I’ve written 2,655 tweets. That’s a lot of free material, all of it contributing to the entertainment of the 1.5 million people who follow me, as well as the multi-billion dollar capitalization of Twitter itself. When presented with an opportunity to get some return on my investment of time and energy, why not take it?

There will always be a group who become upset with their favorite actor/musician/writer/racecar driver/whatever when that person accepts money instead of remaining “pure.” I get that. I was probably like that too when I was sixteen. But the real world has a way of intruding on people’s ideals, and my mortgage doesn’t care that much about my indie cred.

Moreover, I suspect the people who scream the loudest about “selling out” would be very happy to accept the same money themselves. That’s not a knock on them – it’s just reality. People got bills, yo.

So yes, I will be throwing in the occasional advertisement into my Twitter feed. Just like a disc jockey reads ads and a television show airs commercials and blogs accept sponsorship. I’m sorry if it pisses anybody off, but if you are upset, I know what will make you feel better: a delicious Klondike bar washed down with an icy cold Sierra Mist.

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Aaron

Michael, instead of just randomly letting an ad network highjack your twitter once in a while, how about you pick and choose products you believe in/buy/enjoy/whatever and promote those in your twitter feed with a post you actually write? Then it wouldn't feel like spam and make me hate you for that 5 seconds it took me to read your tweet.

elena

i absolutely adore you, and i am now going to retweet the excerpt:

"But the real world has a way of intruding on people’s ideals, and my mortgage doesn’t care that much about my indie cred."

making money isn't evil.. the corporations are evil. if we could survive without sometimes including them in our lives, we would.

CORNx2

You are funny for money, I get it. I just bought your album on eMusic. kaching, brother.

Joe Friedl

Complete bullshit. You make money from Twitter by gaining attention through retweets and mentions. Pretending your dick jokes are inherently worth money or that you need to be compensated for the five seconds you spend farting them out is arrogant and greedy.

m

our hero has fallen

Emily Steele

So what you're telling me Mr. Black, is that it's true? Twitter really does exist? My credibility as a knowledgeable reporter has sunk even further into the depths of embarrassment? Thanks!

jimstoic

Wasn't "Best Week Ever" an infomercial?

Jaime

"instead of just randomly letting an ad network highjack your twitter once in a while"

Why do you think this is what he does? And I just read through about 100 billion tweets over the last twelve days or so, and didn't see anything that overtly looked like advertising. I saw him call a product a laxative, I saw him call clothes pedophilic -- nothing seemed NOT like Michael Ian Black. I realize that's a double negative, so let me rephrase: all 40 character or less jokes sounded authentically Michael.

So, whatever. I bet if he hadn't said anything, no one would have even noticed. So there. On the reals. Poof.

Frank

"You do a commercial, you're off the artistic roll call for ever, end of story. You're another corporate fucking shill, another whore at the capitalist gang-bang, if you do a commercial everything you say is suspect and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink." - Bill Hicks

Jaime

Aw Frank, you used some Bill Hicks magic there didn't ya. I think you should blog about it Mike. Seriously! What the crap, I can't take it anymore! Get your bootie off the tweetsers and blog some meaningful unicorn of the universe shit!

Suggested topics:
*Hurricanes
*Oil Spills
*Water nymphs
*Oil-covered hurricane victim water nymphs (they lost all their sea-shell bras! Or am I thinking mermaids? Then...)
*mermaids
*mutant dolphins
*the irony of skinny chefs
*straight women who go to gay bars because they don't want to get hit on and the straight men who go with them because they like to hit on the other straight women who are there at the gay bars so as not to get hit on: "Easy pickens."
*The inverse relationship of ho ho's (which are shaped like dongs) and ding dongs (which are shaped like ho-parts)
*Mel Gibson is evil (I think you're on top of that one -- go with it!)

The end.

Matthew

Michael, you fucking rock.

janis

Please don't worry. It would be impossible for me to lose respect for you. Impossible. (;

Caron

I hear if you save up enough indie cred you can use it at the indie store to get extra goodies with your next purchase (they ran this promotion before it was cool)

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Vegas Tickets

Nothing wrong with making money from your twitter stream, blog or anything. I drives me crazy people who just think that people should do everything for free. Good luck to you !!

Raymond

Advertising makes you a sell out? I have always thought people who yell "sell out" are ridiculous. Lots of people said the rock band Metallica sold out when they released the black album, and James Hatfeilds response was "sure, we sellout every night". Those guys are now millionaires so call them names if you want, but have some respect for those who have something worth selling. I dont see any harm what so ever on you adding advertising to your work. And also, I had not thought of combining a Klondyke bar with Sierra Mist sounds great!

Allen

I will be throwing in the occasional advertisement into my Twitter feed. Just like a disc jockey reads ads and a television show airs

Jody urquhart

Hmmm how much do you make taking ads on twitter... $10 bucks a year?

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