Referral Friday: Put this on!

Referral Friday is an ongoing series inspired by John Jantsch's Make-a-Referral Week. For more about that, and loads more referrals for everything from cobblers to coaches to gee-tar teachers, start here. Pass it on, baby!


Back on traveling holiday, with the cable TV access* that entails, I'm reminded again of what a vast wasteland the world of commercially-produced "entertainment" truly is.

In stark contrast to this lies the brave, new world of consumer-generated entertainment: all of the wonderful things people make on their own, fueled by love or passion or some combination thereof. The stuff you see on YouTube and Vimeo, Flickr and Twitter, blogs and podcasts and pretty much any other digital outlet available these days.**

What's especially wonderful is watching the ancillary services and ideas popping up to support this space (you'll pardon the hackneyed bizspeak) as it matures. YouTube has added revenue sharing as one way to encourage budding content producers, of course, but what is really thrilling to me is stuff like Kickstarter, a site helping people raise funds for their projects via crowdsourcing.

Put This On!, a delightful new show devoted to the idea that it's time for men to get down with "dressing like grownups," is one of those projects. Created by (full disclosure) my friend, Adam Lisagor (of You Look Nice Today fame) and Jesse Thorn (America's Radio Sweetheartâ„¢ and star of PRI's The Sound of Young America), the show and companion blog detail the details of men's style that make it worth paying attention to. It's charming and interesting and informative, which is pretty much the ding-ding-ding trifecta of my own personal entertainment criteria.

The writer-producer-sartorialists successfully raised the money for their pilot episode through Kickstarter by offering various treats for differing levels of commitment. Now they're boldly moving forward and plotting their next six episodes, offering more goodies for the people who help them put this good stuff on the internets.

You can chip in anything from $3 to $1000 (and up, most certainly!), receiving anything from their hearty thanks to full producer credit for the entire season, plus an embroidered jumpsuit. I kicked in $200, enough to make myself realize I mean it, but just shy of a jumpsuit (that decluttering thing, or I'd be on it like white on rice).

Putting aside that they are both of them lovely and talented young gents, I'm supporting them in what is for me a financially significant way because I see it as my emphatic vote for the way I'd like things to be: excellent and fine, made with quality, attention and care by anyone who chooses to make them, not just folks with a golden ticket that gets them past the gates of Willy Wonka's Magic Network. And no, I'm not saying that everything you'll see via a major outlet is crap (although much of it is) and that there's no value in a vetting process by smart people. There is; this is just another flavor of that, and equally viable.

At least, as someone with a number of creative projects I'd eventually like to bring to a broader audience, I'd like to think so.

Folks! We're at the beginning of a bold and exciting, Wild-West kinda time. We can all help to make something beautiful together. Take a gander at the pilot Adam and Jesse made. If you like it, consider kicking in a few bucks. Or just enjoy the wonderful blog for now and pass along the word to a friend.

As Jesse said recently, the title is more appropriate than they perhaps knew when they came up with it: we really can put this on...


Photo © Dustin Roe of: (l to r) Jesse Thorn, Huell Howser (who LOVED the pilot!) and Adam Lisagor.

*Not to be confused with cable access TV, which is almost always entertaining in its own way.

**In no way do I mean to diminish the marvelousness that is actual, live creating, I single out digital because it can be enjoyed outside of one locus,