New Look, New Direction

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been blogging, though. I’ve been blogging tons over at my current obsession, Exploration: Hawaii. It’s just that I haven’t been blogging much here, my namesake blog.

I’ve missed it.

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FAIL Shirt

I love writing for this blog and I love discovering new and awesome T-Shirts every damn day. What can I say, T-Shirt art inspires me. However, one of the side effects of being a prolific (yes, prolific) T-Shirt blogger is that in my never ending quest for the world’s most awesome T-Shirt, I occasionally stumble upon its worst.

Enter FAIL Shirt.

FAIL Shirt is my newest blogging venture and to say it started on a whim is a gross understatement. A few weeks ago I registered at Posterous just so I could snag my URL of choice: cotygonzales. And that was that, I didn’t think I’d make much use of this new platform since I am already a WordPress power user (yes, power user) and have grown adept to using the very simple Tumblr (check out Tumblr Trends) on a regular basis.

This all changed last Friday night. You see, for the longest time I’ve been wanting to incorporate a section on this blog that showed off some of the Internet’s worst tees and ones that I encounter in the offline world. The problem was that I didn’t know how to incorporate it into this blog. I didn’t want to clump the awesome stuff with the not-so-awesome stuff. Enter FAIL Shirt (again). That got me thinking about Posterous and how it’s so easy to use with email being the only requirement to use it. In less than 5 minutes, I had the FAIL Shirt blog up and running on Posterous. A few minutes later I snagged matching Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook accounts. And a few minutes later I purchased the domain name.

Now, whenever I see a tee that I consider to be a FAIL Shirt, I simply email the photo as an attachment to the designated email address with a brief description and BAM – it’s on the FAIL Shirt blog, Twitter, Flickr, and anywhere else I want it to post to. Posterous is so easy a caveman could use is it.

So, if you’re a Posterous user I recommend that you check out the new FAIL Shirt Blog over at FAILShirt.org (yes, the .org is in homage to the original and still awesome FAILBlog.org). If you’re not a registered Posterous user that’s OK because you can still view the blog and leave comments by using either your Twitter or Facebook account.

FAIL Shirt is not just about featuring OMG BAD T-Shirts but it’s also about suggesting T-Shirts that are less tacky than the FAIL Shirt as an alternative. OK, sometimes the alternative might be just as tacky but the execution will be much better.

I’ve also set up a FAIL Shop store! At the FAIL Shop you’ll be able to find excellent alternatives to the FAIL Shirts and in some case, exact replicas of the best FAIL Shirts. Feel free to browse the FAIL Shop. I’m using Skreened for the printing service so you can have the designs printed on your choice of T-Shirt and T-Shirt color (they use American Apparel).

And finally, if you’ve come across shirt that you think is worthy of being a FAIL Shirt or spot one in real life (snap a pic!) then please send it to FAILShirt at gmail dot com.

Thanks a million for reading and for supporting this blog! I hope to see some of you over at FAILShirt.org some time soon!

Mother Fucker

I’m not sure what the worst part about this T-Shirt is, the god awful slogan or the fact that you can see the incredibly tacky iron-on. FAILShirt!

Hello and Welcome To Apple Week!

I’m quite sure that many of the regular readers here know that I am a diehard member of the Cult of Mac and I am damn proud of it. Many have speculated that this week Apple will be releasing the long awaited Apple Tablet. Whether it’ll be called the iTablet, iSlate, iPad, or the Jesus Tablet, I have high hopes that it’s going to be AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME. And to celebrate I am officially making it Apple Week here at CotyGonzales.com! That’s right, you’ll notice an unusual influx of Apple posting this week – don’t worry, though, you’ll still get your T-Shirt fix – it’ll just be geared towards the Mac side of things!

I’ve got some fun posts planned this week so be on the look out for them! Apple users rejoice because it is looking to be an amazing week. I’m so excited!

1 Infinite Loop

Happy New Year and Hello 2010!

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! I started 2009 off on this blog with a Happy New Year post much like this one. Some of you might remember that in that post I listed 5 goals that I had for my namesake blog. Let’s review my list of 5 goals from 2009 and see if I was able to accomplish them:

1. Increase Unique Readership. The goal was to reach 5,000 unique visitors per month. I reached this goal at around April 2009. Since then, I’ve been averaging 17,000 regular users a month, with a peak of 75,000 in the month of August. Goal accomplished!

2. Increase RSS Subscriptions. I started 2009 off with 50 RSS subscribers. The goal was to reach 300 subscribers by 2010. I currently fluctuate between 500-600 RSS subscribers. Goal accomplished!

3. Keep Up With Content. The goal here was to average 28-30 posts per month. In 2009 I averaged 58 posts per month with a high of 77 posts in June and July and a low of 45 in October and December. Goal accomplished!

4. Network and Build Strong Relationships. The goal here was to connect with different people and brands and stir up some interesting promotions and contests. In 2009 I’ve exchanged countless emails with a ton of indie brands and have held a bunch of contests and giveaways sponsored by some amazing people (you know who you are). Goal accomplished!

5. Guest Blog. So my wishlist of places to guest blog included: Tcritic, Taddict, Hide Your Arms, Cottonable and Troundup. The goal was to guest blog on at least 3 of those 5 blogs. From those 5, I only guest blogged on just one, and that was Cottonable. But the guest blog plan wasn’t entirely a failure! I was able to regularly blog at Tee-Junction and T-Shirt Magazine! Goal semi-accomplished!

So all-in-all, 2009 was a very productive year. I accomplished nearly every goal I set for this blog, which is very, very exciting. But how about 2010? What goals do I have for this blog in the very futuristic sounding Twenty-Ten?

1. Continue to build on goals 1-5 from 2009. I’d like to see unique readership improve from 17,000 to 25,000-30,000 unique visitors. RSS might be going out of fashion but I think that a goal of 750 subscribers is a respectable goal to reach for. As far as content goes, I’d like to not so much focus on amount of posts but more on quality of posts. Having said that, I’d be happy with an average of about 45-50 posts a month. And of course, this blog would be nothing without the great indie clothing brands with which I network with. I’d love to hold a minimum of 12 contests this year. Since the guest blog goal was not fully accomplished, I’d still like to reach this goal. I know that a guest post at HYA might be out of the question (I’ve already spoke to Andy about this and I respect his decision to keep the content on HYA solely his own), but I will still aspire to guest blog at 5 other blogs (none specifically).

2. Continue the tradition of the epic post. So I am not sure how many of you have noticed, but I have been doing a 101 T-Shirt list each month since August. I’d love to continue this tradition and do 12 of these epic posts in 2010 at a rate of one per month. These posts typically take me days to complete, however, the payoff is well worth the sweat.

3. Get cited by a major news source in print and on the web. In 2009 I felt the power of reputable link backs. My list of 101 Science T-Shirts was featured on a tweet by Apple Evangelist and Alltop founder, Guy Kawasaki. This led to a tremendoous flow of traffic to my blog. My Mustache Gift List was cited on the USA Today blog Pop Candy and that drove in a crazy amount of traffic. In 2010, I want to be cited in at least one major news source such as CNN, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, BBC News or NPR in print and on the web.

4. Make at least 5 items go viral. Now by definition, for me, viral means at least 100,000 page views for a given item. That’s a lot of eyeballs for a small niche blog like my own. In 2009, I accomplished this twice with my 101 Science T-Shirts list and with my Sketchy Santa video. The goal here is to more than double the two from 2009 to five in 2010.

5. Have fun. So one thing that I’ve noticed is that since this site has grown to have it’s own online presence, one that involves more than myself and a few friends, I’ve focused a lot of time maintaining the site and keeping up with content. What started as a hobby has sort of turned into a part-time job. Going a day without a post is like missing a day of work. The goal here is to make sure that I continue to have fun maintaining this blog, interacting with my community and writing content. Have fun, Coty. Have fun in 2010.

Oregon Jump

Want Your Product Reviewed?

I recently received an email from a regular reader here, who has decided to take the plunge and enter into the apparel business. He sent me a a nice email asking me how he might go about having his product reviewed, talked about and posted on my site. I decided that I would do a general post based on his question for others that might be interested in doing the same. 

I basically break my blog posts about apparel brands into three different categories: brand news/sales, brand reviews and brand interview. The best way to let me know about any of these things is through the contact form in the above menu. Many of my posts originate from tidbits that I find myself through other blogs, forums or social networks. However, a lot of the time, bands will contact me directly.

If you decided to contact me directly then these are some things to remember:

General Brand News/Sales. Any changes to your brand? Big sale? 

1. Be as specific as you can about the news about your brand/company. Provide a link to the news if you made a post about it on your site.
2. Be as specific about the sale as possible. How much is the discount? How long does the sale last? Are there specific products on sale? 

Brand Reviews. Most of the emails I receive are from different indie brands wanting me to check out their online store/site or to review a product. Here is some insight as to how I decide what to review. 

1. If you send me a physical product to review (i.e you mailed me something) I will almost always do a post about your product (I’m 100% so far). I have been more inclined as of late to do video reviews in conjunction with a text review of the product you shipped to me. Needless to say, products that are shipped to me typically receive the most attention – since you took the time to send it, it’s the least I could do. You can find my shipping information in the contact menu above.
2. If there is a particular product you want me to check out and possibly review then please provide a specific link to that product. Or include an image of it as an attachment. 
3. If your brand or a specific tee design jumps out at me (i.e. I really like it) then I will be more inclined to post about it.
4. If your story and/or background excites me then I will be more inclined to post about you.

Brand Interviews. These are a lot of work and I try as hard as I can to pump out at least one Interview a week. Interviews on this site come in two flavors: the Indie Tee Spotlight series and one-off interviews. 

1. Most of the time, the interview will be a part of my Indie Tee Spotlight series. The Indie Tee Spotlight is always reserved for brands from which I have been sent a product for review and have really enjoyed or that I have purchased from and have really liked. These are usually my biggest posts, in terms of word length, and I try my best to promote these as best as I can. 
2. Other times, I will do one-off interviews, for instance, if a brand has big news then I might interview them about it or if I really dig a particular brand I might send the them a few questions. 

That’s it! I look forward to all of your wonderful emails and products. Keep up the great work!

Attack of the Coupon Codes!

I’m glad to announce that I have partnered with some of the best indie tee brands around to bring you some of the best deals that you’ll find in InternetLAND. That’s right, I’ve added a new “Goodies” section to the site where you can find: banners to place on your blog or wherever, wallpaper for your desktop and iPhone (coming soon) and of course a new Coupon section filled with great deals. I even pick out my favorite tee from each of these brands so be sure to check out the individual pages.

I have to thank all 15 of the initial brands that have partnered with my site thus far. I also invite other interested indie tee brands to contact me if they would like to add a coupon code as well! 

Enjoy these great coupon codes and other goodies with tea and a comfy tee!

T-Shirt Coupons

Happy New Year!

I’d like to wish all of the readers of my blog a very happy and prosperous 2009! This blog popped up early last year and only this past fall did I begin to focus on the t-shirt industry. I’d like to think that I have been able to mix my interests in tees, tech and social media in a way that has been fun and informative!

Now I typically don’t do new years resolutions so instead I thought I’d post up a few goals that I have for the site. I’ll check back on the eve of 2010 (how crazy is it that 2010 looms before us all!) and see how many of these goals I’ve accomplished. 

1. Increase Unique Readership. At the moment I am averaging about 2,000 unique visitors a month after just 4 months of consistent tee blogging. I’d like to think that it would be reasonable to increase this number to an average of 5,000 unique visitors per month. For the month of November 2008 my favorite tee blogs experienced the following readership numbers: Tcritic=19,000, hideyourarms=12,000, Cottonable=5,000, Taddict=3,000. Statistics were obtained using siteanalytics.compete.com.

2. Increase RSS Subscriptions. My RSS subscriptions numbers are paltry at just about 50 subscribers. Considering I’ve gained 50 subscribers since I first started blogging about tees in September, I am hopeful that I can reach at least 300 RSS subscribers by 2010. Help me out by adding my feed to your RSS reader!

3. Keep Up With Content. I’d like to think that the quality of my posts keep users coming back for more. Consistency is the key and I would like to average at minimum 28-30 posts per month. More content would be better, but, if I am able to post at least once a day then I’ll be happy!

4. Network and Build Strong Relationships. Within the last 4 months I have had the opportunity to work with some great indie brands. In 2009 I’d like to take things further and come up with some interesting promotions, contests, etc. to not only promote interactivity with my visitors but also highlight the awesome work of the indie community. If you are an indie brand and would like to work with me please feel free to contact me!

5. Guest Blog. I’d love to guest blog at some of my favorite tee blogs in InternetLAND! I’ll check off this goal if I can guest post on at least 3 out of these 5 tee sites: Tcritic, Taddict, hideyourarms, Cottonable, T-Roundup. To be considered among the best, you need to work with the best – and these guys, in my opinion, are the best in this niche. 

That’s it guys, we’ll see how well I did with these goals on the eve of 2009. Until then, enjoy the fireworks tonight and have an excellent and awesome new year!

Win a Glorious Nonsensities T-Shirt!

Mr. Elephant on a brain needs a new home and your torso could be it! Interested in getting a brand spanking new Glorious Nonsensities tee? Cool. All you need to do is subscribe to this blog by clicking on the “subscribe to feed via email” link here or on the side bar. 

By subscribing to the feed by email you’ll not only get site updates but will also be entered to win a new t-shirt! Don’t worry, you’re email won’t be sold or made public. Once you subscribe using that link you’ll be asked to confirm your subscription, so be sure to check your email for the confirmation link. 

That’s it! I’ll be running this freebie offer until this Friday (September 26, 2008) and then I’ll randomly select the winner from the subscriber list. The t-shirt in question is a men’s large, and even if you don’t fit a men’s large, enter anyway that way you can give it away to a lucky buddy who does wear a men’s large!

PS: I’m also looking for a name for Mr. Elephant. He say’s that the “Mr.” reminds him of his father. So, if you have an idea for a cool name for Mr., I mean our elephant buddy then post it in the comments!

iOptimized

im.CotyGonzales has now been optimized for the iPhone/Touch. If you own one of these delectable devices, you will now be taken to a version of this site optimized for your phone. Of course, you can always revert back to the normal looking site by selecting normal view at the bottom of the page.