(originally published here)
I follow Neil Gaiman on Twitter. He’s an interesting man. I was reading my Twitter timeline yesterday morning and I saw Neil had tweeted, so I had a look, and I browsed around his tweets and pictures. I found this – it interested me a lot:

The bit about the dandelion seed strategy got me thinking. I did some more research, this time I looked up Cory Doctorow, and his Dandelion Thinking. I came across this article, originally published in Locus Magazine, in May 2008.  Go away and read it, and come back here.ARE YOU BACK?

Dandelion Thinking. It’s an old article, but it’s still relevant today.  Neil touches on it in the above interview, by saying that you have to put stuff out there, let some take root, let others fail. Cory adds to it by saying:

Take the dandelion: a single dandelion may produce 2,000 seeds per year, indiscriminately firing them off into the sky at the slightest breeze, without any care for where the seeds are heading and whether they’ll get an hospitable reception when they touch down. And indeed, most of those thousands of seeds will likely fall on hard, unyielding pavement, there to lie fallow and unconsummated, a failure in the genetic race to survive and copy.

But the disposition of each — or even most — of the seeds aren’t the important thing, from a dandelion’s point of view. The important thing is that every spring, every crack in every pavement is filled with dandelions. The dandelion doesn’t want to nurse a single precious copy of itself in the hopes that it will leave the nest and carefully navigate its way to the optimum growing environment, there to perpetuate the line. The dandelion just wants to be sure that every single opportunity for reproduction is exploited!

Cory applies the theory to authors, and getting their published work out there. He says not to worry so much about selling the NEXT book, but rather, concentrate on your previously published work, put your next book out there, but let it sell itself. Or words to that effect.

I think this is a brilliant idea, and can be applied to many different situations, but what I’m thinking of on this site is of course, how does it apply to Jedward? Are the Twins already taking the dandelion approach, by getting their name out there in social media? Is there anything we as fans should do differently?

What do you think?


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