Friday, April 04, 2008

T-Shirtus Interruptus

I did this image in response to a comment suggesting I make this saying of mine into a t-shirt.

Well, of course I did, and I want to brag about it, because it's a damn fine shirt, if I do say so myself. More to the point, it' s really to the point, and it's a great graphic for me - and maybe even other people - to use this month.

Or it would be, if you could link to it at all without being logged in as me. You see, it's not been published yet. It took an unusually long time for this design to be approved, but not as long as might be implied by this belated update. So please take all the bitching below with a grain of salt. The reason why this post has not been completely rewritten is that in doing so that I might lose the point - that zazzle is still the best t-shirt site for bloggers as the graphic is immediately available, whether or not the design is ultimately approved. Yes, you may have to use a screen-shot utility. Even so, it's still faster than photoshop.

Now, I use both approaches. But the fact is, if I need to create a design for a post that I'm half-way through writing, this is still the fastest way to do it.

One of my biggest reasons for using Zazzle is because I can quickly combine text and stored graphic to create a design that I can then quickly use in a blog post. And usually it works that way. The fact that it's also available as a T-Shirt is not beside the point - but it's at least one click below that point. I've sold very few shirts that were specifically created as blog-post illustrators. But in terms of graphics storage and creating interesting, human illustrations in just a few minutes, nothing could be better. Or, at least, not until yesterday. I had to generate a screenshot of the product and then upload it. This means I could have just done it in photoshop, with better tools, or via flikr, or Picassa or what-have you.

Yes, I am bitching. Zazzle has been particularly slow in approving designs of late; I dunno why, but of course, it's always possible that politics is rearing it's ugly head. Or possibly they are trying to screen out hate speech - though it reportedly took 72 hours to publish an abstract graphic done by Seachild001, another Zazzler, so I don't know. I don't know what could have been the holdup there.

I often recommend Zazzle as a simple way of getting graphics that are specifically relevant to a post on unshakable grounds of fair use. All you have to do is paste the code in, then leave the linked graphic where you want it and move the link text to the bottom of the post as an attribution. It's fair use, and you might even make a 7% referral fee if someone likes the product and it saves a lot of time. You get an appropriate, topical graphic for a blog post, the creator is properly cited, Zazzle gets linkage, and nobody has any reason to feel grumpy or misused.

None of that is affected by this current apparent glitch, but I really much prefer creating my own graphics. It's selfish pride, really; I admit it. But also, it's not all that likely I'm going to find a relevant graphic for one of my posts.

Yes. I know. I'm that strange.

But it means I cannot rely on being able to do a graphic on the fly, and that really annoys me.

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