I’ve recently added a new page to my website called Work With Me. The page will evolve over time but I’m going to write a short blog post about the concept and share the initial snapshot of how it looks, for archival purposes.
There’s a lot of stories I could tell here. I’ll tell a few slightly fictional versions before getting to the actual series of events that occurred.
One fictional version is that I was inspired by Derek Sivers’ /now page movement but I wanted something that created more affordances for people to connect with me, including regarding opportunities that I’m not actively pursuing now on my own. This is true in the sense that I was thinking about /now by the time I published the page, and in the sense that I would love to see Work With Me pages show up on others’ sites. You could be the first follower, who starts a movement!
Another fictional version is that I was thinking about my Collaborative Self-Energizing Meta-Team Vision and wondering how to make more surface area for people to get involved. I’m someone who thinks a lot about interfaces, not just between humans and products but also between humans and other humans, and it occurred to me that there wasn’t a good interface for people to find out how to plug in with me to work on self-energizing projects together. So I made this page! This was also on my mind, but it’s still not quite how it happened.
The actual series of events actually involved me getting an email from someone named Ashley who does marketing for a company who sells a chic version of a commodity product I won’t name because I don’t want to attract more marketers like this.
Ashley wrote: “We’d love to find a way to collaborate with you at http://malcolmocean.com/” (bolding hers) and indicated that the company were looking for sponsored blog coverage or giveaways, and could send product samples.
My blog is honestly not that popular, but it’s popular enough that I get emails like this periodically, and they’re frustrating because that’s such a completely different concept of what a “blog” even is than the one that uhh we use around here. On this particular day, I felt like not just archiving the email (because they often send further follow-ups) or replying irritatedly, and instead I played around with seeing if I could initiate a tiny collaboration with her on how to avoid future such offers.
Malcolm: Not interested in offers like this. Can you advise me on what sort of message to display on my site to indicate that I’m not open to such engagements?
And lo! A reply saying:
Ashley: You could put a note at the footer of your website and also in your about page. Something simple “Not open to collaborations” or “Not looking for collaborations”
This illuminates the “completely different concept” situation so much further. I can’t say “Not open to collaborations”, since I am very open to collaborations, it’s just that my concept of what “collaboration” is does not include sponsored blog posts. I wrote back saying as much, and Ashley wrote back:
Ashley: I’d suggest making up a ‘Work With Me” page then. That way you could specify exactly what kind of collaborations you would want to do with brands and what you don’t want.
You’d want it to be easily found on your website so as an option on the footer of the website/in the menu or a simple link in your About Me page (at the end, something simple like ‘Want to work with me? Check here for details (<hyper link that)’.
I was like… … …brilliant! Except of course the collaborations I want to do aren’t with brands.
So I wrote up this page. This real story is, honestly, better than the fictional ones, because it captures the amazing feeling of transmuting my initial frustration into not just a “no” on my website but a big “yes”! Exalt what you want to see more of.
In the month or so that I’ve had this page live, I’ve already been contacted by a couple people about possibilities here, and I think that’ll only get better as the page gets more attention and as I get more clear articulations of who I want to work with.
So yeah, keep reading (or if it’s July 2021 or later, click through) to learn how to Work With Me. And make a WWM page on your own site!
I want to collaborate with people in various ways, because
If any of these sounds like you, maybe get in touch! If many of these sound like you, definitely get in touch!
I’ve written about my collaboration philosophy in A Collaborative Self-Energizing Meta-Team Vision. If you read that and you’re like “omg I want that!” then feel free to get in touch about your ideas even if you’re not sure what specific projects might be a good fit for the two of us. There might be some possibility with me or with someone else I can introduce you to.
British Columbia: I don’t have a specific role/project in mind here, but I moved out to Coastal BC in late 2020 to build ~Game B community, and if you are also in this region and likewise interested, I’d love to be in touch.
The original impetus for making this page was actually to tell marketers not to bother emailing me, but I thought I would make it something beautiful rather than just “go away”. Amplify what you want!
I am not interested in:
If you have something you think will be suitable for me, based on this page (even if not listed here) reach out to me on Twitter. (You can email me if you already have my email but I’m more responsive on Twitter anyway.)
Btw! We’ve got a couple more sessions of our online Goal-Crafting Intensive workshop coming up in mid-July. It’s not an tedious zoom lecture, but rather a Choose Your Own Adventure of life visioning, strategic thinking, & planning. If you want to make a point of setting aside some time to plan the rest of the year, whether that’s how to make it through more lockdown or which new hobbies & clubs to focus on as lockdown ends (depending on where you are in the world) we’re there to help you think about it.
Constantly consciously expanding the boundaries of thoughtspace and actionspace. Creator of Complice, a system for improvisationally & creatively staying in touch with what's most important to you, and taking action towards it.