- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio (April 26 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591844851
- ISBN-13: 978-1591844853
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.7 x 18.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 204 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #573,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Freedom Is Blogging in Your Underwear Hardcover – Apr 26 2012
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“Hugh Macleod blah blah blah genius blah blah artist blah blah read this now!”
—–Seth Godin, author of WE ARE ALL WEIRD
“This book is a benevolent kick in the pants. Hugh loves you, so he won’t sit idly by while you drown your muse. Freedom is a gift. Open it. Go romp in the creative grass. And then write Hugh a long, tender thank-you note.”
—–Sunni Brown, leader of the Doodle Revolution and author of GAMESTORMING
“Hugh is once again dead-on right—–about blogging, publishing, thinking, and underwear. Nobody figures it all out and says it better with a few wonderfully terrifying pictures than Hugh. And I know: after all, I’ve written and drawn entire books in my PJs! (Shhh, don’t tell my publisher!)”
—–Dan Roam, author of THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN and BLAH BLAH BLAH
“The Web ninja-guru-maven faction has saturated our lives with books purporting to teach us how to succeed online. This irreverent book from Hugh MacLeod, filled with his trademark cartoons, will knock them off the shelf—for good.”
—–A. V. Flox, editor for BlogHer.com
About the Author
Hugh MacLeod is the cartoonist and acclaimed blogger behind gapingvoid.com and the bestselling author of Ignore Everybody and Evil Plans. After a decade working as an advertising copywriter, he started to publish his “cartoons drawn on the back of business cards” online, which eventually he turned into a full-time job. He is known for both his art and for his thoughts on marketing and has become a popular speaker.
Top customer reviews
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But the main reason why I'm giving this 2 stars is because of the actual content. See, Hugh MacLeod's previous books inspired me a great deal. I would write tons of ideas of the back cover, several of which I've used afterwards. In this book, I wrote nothing. I didn't feel inspired. I'm a blogger, so I can related to what Hugh is trying to say here, but the advice he gives is fair at best, and sometimes a bit far-fetched.
Bottom line : read "Ignore Everybody" and "Evil plans" right now if you haven't, but skip this one.
Throughout most of my life thus far, books have been a "magic carpet" that enable me to visit almost anyone, anywhere, throughout human history. Amazon now sells more eBooks than bound volumes and the gap widens rapidly and significantly. Meanwhile, the number and nature of "destinations" for our "journeys" increase, especially for those undertaken electronically.
Of course, MacLeod understands all this and, in fact suggests what he thinks the Internet is REALLY all about: "Finding your freedom. Finding your wings. Using a computer instead of a guitar. This is the appeal of the Internet - the sense of freedom that it gives us, the kind of people it allows us to be. The fact that it happens via computers is secondary." I agree while presuming to suggest that "electronics" is a more accurate term than "computers" as well as more inclusive, given the ever-more-rapid development and proliferation of new devices.
Although MacLeod's core insights within his narrative are underdeveloped, the captions for his drawings as well as their style are first-rate, within the tradition of other artists such as Al Hirshfeld, William Steig, and Shel Silverstein. For example:
"only you can decide what is meaningful. eventually you do it because you have to." (Page 6)
"when you are making art you are stealing time." (16)
"art doesn't belong in a museum it belongs in your head." (53)
"the best way to build a business? build something cool and useful first." (74)
"Free speech isn't" (87)
The titles of Hugh MacLeod's books certainly attract attention, presumably their primary purpose, but I take issue with this one. My own opinion is that freedom is blogging in whatever you wish to wear, including nothing, or blogging about a book such as this one.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The 128-page book is a manifesto for bloggers, not a "how-to" guide. It also features a generous amount of Hugh's artwork. I agree with the other reviewers that the book seems a bit "thin", but that doesn't completely eliminate its value. According to the author:
"This is a book about freedom. Specifically the personal freedom I discovered from the wonderful world of blogging, the freedom I hope everybody will eventually discover for themselves. The freedom that, I believe, will permanently and irrevocably change the world for the better."
Without blogging, without the internet, Hugh MacLeod would most likely be sitting on a bar stool in New York City drawing cartoons on the back of business cards after a long day at a traditional job. But blogging gave him a voice, one that couldn't be silenced by the gatekeepers of traditional media. And for Hugh, it has led to a non-traditional yet successful career.
I started blogging using free Google Blogger in October 2007. My initial goals were modest. I started a blog after reading article suggesting it was a great resume/CV booster. Over time, I learned that I could use my blog as a public Evernote - a space where I could record bits of information that I would want to read again on the next consulting project. I figured if the content was useful for me, it might be useful for others.
In January 2008, after just three months of blogging, I received my first comment - the first visible indication that I had readers. Then just two days later, I received another comment - from Australia. I knew that Google was indexing my blog but didn't know that somebody half way around the world would find it.
Times have changed in the nearly five years since I started blogging. I now pay a web hosting company to host WordPress, not Google Blogger. Looking at Google Analytics is a thrilling but very humbling experience. And Hugh MacLeod is right. Blogging is freedom. And as a traveling consultant, it frequently happens in a hotel room in my underwear. (If it makes you feel better, I'm typing this review in a Marriott Courtyard bar fully clothed).
Over time I discovered my own voice. And the need to write, to express myself, even when Google Analytics told me that nobody read what I thought was a brilliant masterpiece.
So for me, this book was mostly confirmation of what I already knew. But for you, it could be an epiphany.
I even bought the cover print for my office.
Of course I should tell you: I'm a blogger and LOVE the idea of bloggin in my underwear - in my case, in 2012, from my bed, during recovery from a breast cancer.
Things only internet can give us and only Hugh McLeod can inspire.
I was disappointed. This book is filled with Hugh's cartoons from his site with a few short one or two page essays in between them. I was able to finish the book in less than an hour, which is quite a bit shorter than I'd expect a $10 book on the Kindle store to be.
Still a great read, still a great book, just can't agree with the price tag.
My advice: snag this one from the library for a week, read it a couple times, and give it back when you're done with it. Then go buy his other two books.
Each chapter is anywhere from a single-digit number of sentences to a page and a half of waxing poetic about the Internet and blogging. Hugh has stated before that it's his own little love letter to the blog, and that's exactly what this comes across as. This book doesn't tell you how to blog. It doesn't go into any details about voice, consistency, how to set one up. It just tells you that the blog format is amazing you too should be taking advantage of it if you're not already.
But since it's so brief, maybe that's the point. Stop reading about blogging and start *actually* blogging.
I'll give it a 4 for that, but personally I got much more value out of Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination, and to an ever so slightly lesser extent Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity.