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A New Way of Looking at the Social Web … Through a Cartoon Lens

Rob Cottingham, social media strategist, shares his insights about the social web through his cartoon series "Noise to Signal".  Starting this week, we’re pleased to bring you a sneak-peek of one of his cartoons each week here on One Degree.  Enjoy!


**UPDATE: We asked Rob the following 1.5 Questions: **

One Degree:  Where does cartooning fit into Web 2.0? And how does that mesh with your online community work?"

Rob said:

In a way, you could think of cartoons as the original viral media. Think of all those "Keep On Truckin’" t-shirts, or kids covering school books in doodles of comic strip characters, or even those cartoons that used to be faxed from office to office back in the 80s — the three guys rolling around laughing and saying "You want it WHEN?!"

For me, cartooning is a whole lot like blogging. Many blog posts — most blog posts — are quick little one-offs: an observation, a vignette, a heard-in-passing exchange. They’re basically cartoons. And just like most bloggers, when I cartoon, it’s not for the ages. These are just snapshots about living at the busy intersection of the social web and organizational communications.

That intersection is a funny, often weird place. And remembering that is actually very important to us at Social Signal. When we’re building a strategy for an online community, we need to put goals, participation and people ahead of technology, wizardry and our own awe over whatever bright shiny object last caught our eyes ("ooh, Twitter!" "ooh, mashups!") So maybe a little irony and a little wry detachment can help keep us all honest that way.


  1. Ken Schafer - Tucows
    Ken Schafer - Tucows July 24, 2007

    Brilliant – comics! But now how will read One Degree for the articles? 🙂

  2. Rob Cottingham
    Rob Cottingham July 27, 2007

    Not to worry, Ken: Noise to Signal’s models have all demanded that I include no-nudity clauses in their contracts.
    Thanks for the words of welcome!

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