I started reading Because Internet, by Gretchen McCulloch, this morning. I first became familiar with her work when I listened to her on an episode of the Fansplaining podcast. I’m not quite sure what pointed me to her Weird Internet Careers series of blog posts, but I have read and re-read these posts, working toward building a roadmap for myself to have a Weird Internet Career. Because it seems like of all the people in the world who could have a Weird Internet Career, I’m one of them.
In her bio for the book, McCulloch says she “lives in Montreal and on the Internet.” Me too, Gretchen. I mean, I live in Durham rather than Montreal, but also on the Internet. We are of a kind, Gretchen McCulloch and myself.
So. Go read those posts. If you’d rather read them all smooshed together in one Google Doc, you’ll get a link sent to you after you sign up for Gretchen McCulloch’s newsletter.
Do you know of any people with Weird Internet Careers? Here are my favorites, besides Gretchen McCulloch.
Kim Werker - Kim Werker started the online crochet magazine Crochet Me back in the early 2000s, which led to an offer to be editor of Interweave Crochet. She did that for a few years, and moved on to other work. She is a freelance editor who probably gets most of her clients from Internet interactions. She is a speaker and instructor. You can sign up for her latest class, Crochet for Challenging Times and get access to an ever-growing library of instructional videos and patterns, as well as access to a class-specific forum on her Community for Creative Adventurers, which she crowdfunds through both Patreon and the community software. Use code STUDENTLOVE40 to get 40% off the cost of Crochet for Challenging Times through the end of July. Now’s a great time to buy, since the cost of the course is going to increase in the future. Kim has a lot of other classes you can find on her website. too. And if you join her online community, you can jump in on video calls, which are a great source of delight and help to stave off loneliness in these super isolated times. Kim has also edited and written books; all of this has been fueled by stuff she does on the Internet.
Austin Kleon - Austin Kleon’s first book, Newspaper Blackout, was the result of him posting a newspaper blackout poem on his blog every day starting in 2005. He is one of the most generous people online and has four other books you can check out, videos of him that you can watch, and is currently experimenting with doing more online speaking.
Leonie Dawson - Leonie Dawson is a freaking rainbow hippie goddess, artist, writer, and multimillionaire. Her career started because she was a blogger; she created custom artwork for clients she met online, hosted women’s retreats for Internet friends to meet in person, and for many years offered a subscription community that included access to everything she made, including ecourses, ebooks, and meditations. Now she offers several ecourses and, like both Kim and Austin, is immensely generous.
So these are my favorite people with Weird Internet Careers and the thing is - NONE of them monetize their blogs through ads. While they might do some affiliate marketing, it’s unobtrusive and not their main source of income. I’m thinking if I want to have a Weird Internet Career, too, these are the models I should look to.
Who are your favorite Weird Internet Careerists?