Archive for the 'startup' Category

Where have I been?

September 25, 2007

As some of you know, we here at Tropist Media are not only a blog but also a startup company. We’ve been working tirelessly for the last couple of months and are getting close to launching our new product. Unfortunately, my time to work on the Tropist Weblog has been lost in the crossfire.

But, I’m back. I won’t be as consistent as before, but hopefully I’ll be more poignant. This means I’m still on the lookout for interesting stuff. If you come across something you think I’d like, feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll probably feature it. Look for new posts starting tomorrow!

In other news, we are looking for a killer web designer! If you do unbelievably easy and gorgeous UI design, shoot me an email, I’d love to talk.

Thanks for the support everyone!

csavage [ AT ] Tropist [ DOT ] com


Wanna know more, Just text my shirt!

June 4, 2007


Reactee is new company that prints custom slogans onto shirts, which when texted to a predetermined number reply with custom messages created for each individual shirt. It looks like Reactee would be a phenomenal way to promote yourself at film festivals, conventions or even out-on-the-town.


The shirts are $20, but 25% codes are flying around for the month of June. If there ever was a time to get a custom t-shirt printed with your own special slogan, nows the time. I’m not sure what my slogan is going to be, but I’ll use it to promote all sorts of wild stuff once I come up with it. Don’t worry, I’ll plaster it all over the weblog once I’ve decided on it.

– chris

(via the design nuts at NOTCOT)

Meet Justin.TV: The Real “Truman Show”

March 19, 2007


Justin.TV is an outrageous new company featuring a 24/7 live broadcast of Justin Kan’s life. Think the Truman Show, without the production value. They launched the ‘show’ last night and hope to keep it up indefinitely. The video and sound quality is quite poor, but the live broadcast is really impressive.

Justin.TV is truly reality TV. It’s a little boring, as would be expected, but it’s surprisingly addictive. You can text, call and chat with Justin (the show is in his POV). They’re hoping that the interactivity pays off, and from the looks of things, it just might. I expect to see girls throwing themselves at Justin as the show gains more popularity.

Reality TV is popular because the boring parts are edited out and story-lines are constructed out of nothing. Justin.TV won’t be able to benefit from editing, so let’s hope he does some damn interesting stuff.

Head to Justin TV to watch it live.

– chris

Arbitrary Milestone: Our 100th Blog Post

March 15, 2007

Party Hat

Party Hat by code poet

Shockingly, we just realized that we posted our 100th blog entry without fanfare. We’ve been working so hard, no one took the time to crunch the numbers. So wish us a Happy Hundredth the next time you see us!

We’re also pleased to report that we’ll be making some major upgrades to Tropist based on all of your great feedback. Get ready for networking, a blinging video player, an edgier look, and tons of other amazing features.

So if you’ve been filing away your feedback, break it out and fax it our way. We’ll do our best to squeeze in everything we can. Look for the big upgrade in the next couple of weeks.

– chris

A Shark in the Oscar Pool!

February 26, 2007

Scorsese‘Ariel’ has proven victorious in the first annual Tropist Oscar pool with a total of 16 correct picks. Congratulations Ariel! As the lucky winner, she receives a free dinner and exclusive interview with the creators of Tropist. I hope she likes extremely expensive steak and fine wine — cause that’s pretty much all we can stomach over here. That and ramen.

Some big highlights for those of you who missed the show: Gore made a huge announcement, Ellen was hilarious, Jack is now bald, and Scorsese has finally won (way to go buddy).

Here are the final standings for the pool:

  • Ariel – 16
  • Coachella – 15
  • Jie – 15
  • Juliana – 15
  • V-Money – 14
  • Alexandra – 13
  • Brendan – 13
  • MA to the double T – 11
  • Andrew, the… – 11
  • Elizabeth – 11
  • Emily – 11
  • Chris – 10
  • Dave – 10
  • Ezra – 9
  • R_W_ – 8
  • Drob – 4

Want to see the intimate details? Head here.

– chris

Tada: Vanity URLs

February 19, 2007

You can now create a custom URL for your portfolio on Tropist. I just hooked myself up with

We’ve taken a minimalistic approach to Tropist in order to make artists’ work stand out. And though this is a relatively small change, it’s an important step in allowing artists to brand themselves.

You can set your personalized URL by going to your Account Settings at


Vanity – Brendan Schwartz

Protecting Your Art Online

February 13, 2007


Laurence Vannicelli – Milwaukee (Now Protected)

Since we’ve launched, a number of people have voiced concern about protecting the work in their portfolio from theft. Yesterday we implemented a solution that blocks people from easily downloading your work. While it’s impossible to completely stop people from stealing work online, we think this is a good deterrent. So why didn’t we incorporate this protection when we launched Tropist?

Over the last several months, Brendan and I have become deeply entrenched in the world of online distribution. All the success stories have one thing in common: they gave their work away for free (or at least a portion of it). It seems counter-intuitive but hear me out.

Every day there are millions of people vying for attention on the internet. How do you separate yourself? To get attention in an over-crowed world, you have to make it as easy as possible for others to find you. a daily dose of imagery is a great example we’ve already covered. Sam Javanrouh puts up a beautiful high quality photo everyday. He’s branded himself as a great photographer who’s willing to give his work away for free. Why would he do this? Well, Sam sells prints of every photo he posts on his site, but to build and retain his audience he has to give his photos away for free everyday. The same goes for ExplodingDog which we covered here.

In the end, we decided that the best place to build one’s brand is on one’s own site. We don’t want to force others to show their work the way we would show ours. Let us know what you want from your portfolio. How do you want to share your work with the world?

Update: There have been some requests for a watermark tutorial so here’s a good one.

– chris

Weekend Update

February 5, 2007

Tropist Screen Shot

We were really happy to see that we had over 1,200 page views on Friday. This isn’t a monumental number, but considering we had only 20 views the day before, it’s quite an achievement. So far everything has been going smoothly, and the feedback has been really great. We’ve made a few small tweaks over the last few days, the most notable being the invite feature. If you’re a registered user, you can send invitations to your friends (just head to

We’ve been trying to talk to everyone who has registered to make sure everything is fast and easy. We’ll be implementing a number of suggestions over the next several days to improve usability and we’ll also be keeping a close eye on performance so the site stays fast for everyone. As soon as things are looking pretty stable, we’re going to run through our master list of features and see what makes sense to do next. We’ll be posting updates here, and of course, everything is up for discussion. We work for you after all.


We’ve Launched Tropist: A Creative Portfolio and Job Site

February 2, 2007

I’m excited to say that we launched last night! We couldn’t help ourselves.


What and Why is Tropist?
We hate it when artists get screwed, so we built Tropist to maximize focus on artists and their portfolios. We think it should be easy to show off your work, and the best solution we could think of was to make a place where anyone could put their portfolio. Why make a portfolio on Tropist? It’s fine and dandy to have your own branded portfolio, hell, we encourage it, it’s smart marketing. But how do you get people to see it? Add your name to a list? Send out spam? It’s not easy. Why not put a smaller version of your portfolio in a place where other people are looking? Upload your work. Find collaborators. Get noticed. And don’t settle for a directory that forces you to pick your skills from a drop down menu. On Tropist, you define yourself in a way that makes sense to you.

We’re really passionate about what we do and are extremely excited that things are really starting up, but this is just the beginning. The website is still in highly active development. We’ve got a huge list of ideas and we’re sure you’ll have even more. We want to build what you want. We want to build tools that help artists, not take advantage of them.

If you’re interested in being among the first to get your portfolio on Tropist, head over to the site and apply for an invite! We’ll be in invite only mode for a while to make sure we can keep the experience as fast as possible for everyone. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of invites to go around, so tell your friends!

– chris and brendan

On Blogging

January 22, 2007

As some of you may have noticed, we’ve started to blog much more often. We’re constantly coming across interesting topics and thought we’d share. We are going to continue to write about design, photography, filmmaking, writing and other creative disciplines. If you know of anything you think we’d like to write about, feel free to post a comment or send us an email at

Chris and Brendan