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John T. Unger

The Man Behind Typepadhacks.org

John T. Unger March 4, 2006

John_1 My name is John T Unger. Here's a wee bit about who am I and why I started typepadhacks.org.

I depend pretty heavily on Typepad for a big part of my world. I'm a big believer in Hugh MacLeod's concept of the global microbrand because it's worked pretty well for me… Much of my work and income is channeled through my blogs. My social life currently takes place largely online. Blogging has enabled me to get a lot of press for projects I'm involved in. I live in a beautiful, remote river valley, have clients all over the country and conversations all over the globe. I kind of miss city life, but then, it's easy enough to go visit when I want to. It's very quiet here and I get a lot of work done. That usually makes me pretty happy.

I believe that blogs have the power to change lives, and sometimes the world. I believe this because it happened to me and I know I'm not remotely the only person who can say that. So I started this blog to try to make TypePad an even more powerful tool for change. I figure with enough help from other bloggers, it's possible. It's certainly worth a shot.

On my tax forms, it says I'm an artist, probably because that's how I make my cash. Before that, I was a designer. Before that, I was a poet. I didn't have to write that on tax forms because I didn't make any money at all, although I had amazing fun. I want to tell a little story about that:

When I was a poet, about once a week somebody would tell me that one of my poems had "changed their life."  Seriously, people really said that. So, I'd suggest they buy one of my books and they'd kind of mumble and sidle away. Apparently I hadn't changed their life enough. For a long while I thought I must have wasted all those years that I worked as a poet. Then, when blogging became a staple of my business, I realized that the time I put in on writing was definitely valuable. My mistake was in sharing that work with people who didn't feel it was valuable. Listen, if something that "changed your life" isn't worth the price of a book (approximately equal to one fast food meal), someone is definitely getting shortchanged…

I don't intend to make any money for myself with this blog. This is my way of attempting to give something back to a community that has made it much easier for me to support myself in the way I choose. Eventually that's probably going to mean raising some funds. I'll kick in the first cash, and I hope that some of you will follow. Because it should be worth about the cost of one good dinner to make the world a little easier and better.

Enough ranting, eh? The best way to get a real sense of who I am is probably to look at what I've done with my time. You can do that by visiting the following blogs and websites.

My Other Sites:
John T. Unger Studio: This is my personal blog. Posts about art, design and creativity, studio news, business and marketing strategies, etc. Some of everything.

ArtBuzz: Art for Sale: A blog where I post all the work that is currently available for purchase or commission. Artbuzz began as an experiment in using blogs to build online storefronts. Artbuzz only updates when I have new work for sale.

Commission Portfolio: Want to see more of my work? This is where I keep photos and descriptions of most of my major projects. There's a lot to see. I've been busy.

I Got No Zen: I spent about 15 years working as a poet and writer before I switched to art and design. Most of the work from that period is archived here. I'm still updating as time permits.

More Like This: Info


Phil Gerbyshak says:

Very cool stuff here John. Thanks for putting this site together. Looks like a winner! Perhaps with all the VC money SixApart is getting, some of these changes will actually happen?

Best wishes for future success!

john t unger says:

Hi Phil,

Glad you like it. Stay tuned for more… there's a lot to come.

I'm quite sure that SixApart doesn't <1>need us to raise money to make this happen, but I do think that doing so is the best way to show them that people really want this.

I have a feeling they may be overworked on the projects they already have going on, but if enough of us band together to help them set a direction that they know users are invested in (literally, in this case) then it will help them feel that it might be the right direction.

Ivan Pope says:

Excellent. 100% agreed as a two year pro TypePad user who struggles. I blogged you here http://blog.snipperoo.com/2006/03/typepad_hacks.html

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