How Jonathan Coulton Did It

Jonathan Coulton has a long post relating the case study of how he became an internet buzzworthy artist with an income. He very kindly name checks me in it. I’m pretty sure the timetable is slightly different, in that I played his “Dance Soterios Johnson Dance” in an EGC episode the day after I found it in a Little Gray Book show on the PRX feed. In fact, I played it straight from the episode, reblogging it but in audio. I do believe that was before any Coulton was played on the Daily Source Code. I’m pretty sure my interview with him was his first in a podcast as well. Not trying to pull rank or anything, just make sure people see the flag of EGCistan on the top of that mountain.

I think his post should be required reading for anyone trying to make money from music using the internet as the backbone. I particularly like his conclusions:

I wish I could say it went exactly as planned, but the truth is there was no plan. I just knew that many of the people who heard my music liked it, and I imagined that it must be somehow possible to make a living as an independent artist, letting the internet to take care of a lot of the work for you. It was an optimistic assumption, and one based largely on laziness and wishful thinking, but it turns out to be true.

I’ve been trading emails with him the last few days, where I mentioned a biscuit-headed crazy idea I’ve been kicking around how writers could make extra money while giving away their work. I’ll try to blog that this weekend. For now, check out Coulton lay out the story of His Life On The Intarweb and glory in the joyful weirdness of it all.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.