För någon vecka sedan råkade jag snubbla över @GregBurney som just då var en twittersnackis. Med bara några enstaka följare på Twitter gjorde han ett löfte att rita ett porträtt av alla som följde honom de kommande två veckorna. Saken spreds snabbt, blev viral och efter bara några dagar hade Greg Burney över 3 000 följare.
Jag tyckte det var en fascinerande grej. Och framförallt ambitiöst. Så jag mejlade Greg Burney och frågade om han ville berätta mer om saken. Det ville han, men först i dag fick jag svaren. Väldigt länge sedan, så klart. I dag har han redan hunnit rita över 400 av porträtten. Men hans berättelse och engagemang är kul, så jag klistrar in intervjun som han svarade den:
Why did you do this? How did it start?
– I did this because I enjoy projects that connect people. The #drawmyfollowers project evolved from a smaller project in which I drew sketches of people on Chat Roulette. The people I drew almost always smiled and it often ended with both of us giggling and waving goodbye to each other. From this I learnt that people like to be drawn. I realised I could draw many more people on Twitter than Chat Roulette.
It started with one tweet to legendary typeface designer Erik Spiekermann:
@espiekermann I will be hand-drawing the profile picture of every new follower I get in the next two weeks. Please retweet.
He retweeted it to 180,000 people and it took off from there!
Could you give a recap of how your project turned out, how did it grow and why?
– When I started, I had 80 followers. Two weeks later I had 5 800 followers, a 7,000% increase. I was amazed. I originally stated that I would draw every single new follower I got within two weeks. On the third day of the project, when I had 2,800 followers I realised that if the project continued to snowball at that rate, I could end up with tens of thousands of followers by two week cut-off point. It would take so long to complete these drawings that people would no longer be interested in the project, and it would have fizzled out. So I stated that I would draw the first 3,000 instead. I was worried that people would be disappointed and annoyed but everyone understood and were supportive.
The original tweet to Erik Spiekermann was retweeted by over 100 people and I was interviewed and mentioned on a number of blogs which helped to raise awareness for the project. I think it grew so rapidly because of the way the project connected with everyone involved on a personal level.
What do you think about the reactions? Was it as expected?
– I was completely overwhelmed at how huge the project got. I did not expect that sort of reaction. I was receiving hundreds of messages a day of support from people, and I was being mentioned on many blogs, websites and even a podcast. I was even offered a TV appearance.
So now you have 3,000 drawings to do, you asked for it but does it feel like a burden now?
– I have thousands of followers expecting drawings, and I owe them that for following me. I’m happy to do them. The project has been defined and I won’t be satisfied until I’ve finished.
Do you think companies will contact you with job offers by doing this? Was that an expectation?
– I did not expect that at all, but I would be delighted for that to happen as I would love a career in social media.
What is the next step and what will you do with all your new followers?
– I hope they stay with me and want to be part of the next projects. I have a few more ideas up my sleeve…
Thanks a lot!
Projektet påminner lite om logotyp-projektet @seoism gjorde för många år sedan. Då ritade han, gratis och på beställning, en logotyp om dagen och la upp videos på det. Jag sammanfattade det på min blogg då och du kan läsa mer om det projektet här.
Uppdaterat: Och bara några timmar senare har Sverige fått ett eget initiativ i miniformat!