If you haven’t been following the world of adult coloring books, you might think they’re just a bunch of floral designs and hypnotic patterns. If you’re a skeptic, you may even think the whole trend is a bit twisted.
And you’re right–in a good way. Some of the adult coloring books that have hit best-seller lists (and not just niche lists) are edgy, cheeky, and downright naughty. They’ve got everything from goth, pagan, and tattoo art to decorated swear words and paeans to unicorn poop. When creative minds get going, you can expect the unexpected–and it’s no different with adult coloring books.
Unless they live in a restrictive country, book creators don’t need to worry about censorship; many adult coloring books are self-published (of course, there are SOME off-limits topics, but not many). And publishers pick up on edgy books if they think they have commercial value.
Edgy coloring books aren’t new; you can find examples of social commentary going back decades. For instance, Andy Warhol did a coloring book in 1953. And in 1961, The Executive Coloring Book was a satirical, Mad Magazine-like look at the business world. The Gay Coloring Book followed in the early 1960s. (See this brief, fascinating adult coloring book history to for more info on interesting works of the past.)
Today’s books are genre-bending, spanning graphic novels, journals, and adult fiction. Even novelist Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, which spawned the movie, has penned a book of short fiction for adults complete with coloring pages.
While flowers, fairies, and mandalas still prevail, many grownups aren’t so much embracing their inner child as their inner imp, with parody, satire, and rebellion. And there’s nothing wrong with that. You can color both pansies AND swear words. In these often stressful, angry times, we need both kinds to release tension.
Whatever catches your fancy, coloring books are a place not just to bask in visual pleasure, but to discover a world of ideas.
We’ve been listening to your feedback. One thing, which was obvious all along, but came into focus only recently, was that quality should be the main aspect of QUOTE.fm. This means quality regarding the whole site, but particularly in terms of the shared texts. Because QUOTE.fm is not about quotes (yes, even though the name indicates otherwise) but about texts. Texts worth reading. Hence we’ll have to make sure that shared texts are worth being read.
This is not easy – in fact, it’s a pain in the ass – and the only fair and flawless solution would be to have some kind of jury, appointed to vote whether a quote will be displayed or not. It would be amazingly democratic, but also just as amazingly slow and… to be fair: stupid. There simply is no flawless and practically applicable way to ensure high quality content in a product like QUOTE.fm.
So what’s our solution? A mix of different experiments, and we’ll have to see how they turn out. First of all, the public timeline will be gone. We don’t want to be just another incredibly fast-paced network. A timeline filled by several hundred contributors at once grows pretty fast. Too fast. Nobody needs 200 reading recommendations every three minutes. In the end, you’d be left with a feeling of missing out on something, because you see all the articles, knowing that you’re never going to read them all. So, instead of the public timeline, we’ll introduce “Discover”.
Discover will let you – have a guess – discover texts worth reading, which probably were not in your personal timeline before. So if you’ve read everything your friends recommended to you, or just want to see something else for a change, Discover is going to be the place to be.
Everyone using QUOTE.fm is responsible for the quality of its recommendations, so if you post something, it better be great. Discover will show the greatest text, organized by topics. In case you want to read something about education, you choose education, if you want to read something about technology, you choose technology. If you want to read about technology, education and music, you choose all three and we’ll show you the latest and most liked quotes there are in those fields.
There’s going to be an option to change the language of the texts you’d like to read and, besides the ten to twelve topics we choose, you’ll be able to type in your own topic of choice and we’ll show you the best texts for that one.
That’s all nice, but not nice enough. We want the people using QUOTE.fm to feel like they have a responsibility for its quality. This is why we’re going to introduce curators, people who are curating content for topics. If you think you’re well acquainted with music, you can activate curatorship for “music” in your settings and people will be able to go to your profile and vote for you on this topic. If you’re the one with the most votes at the end of the month, you’re going to be a curator for the following month. Anytime you consider a text to be worth reading and quote it, it has a better chance to show up under Discover -> Music. If you like a quote regarding music, chances are higher for it to show up in Discover. In a nutshell, recommendations of curators are worth a bit more than others. We’ll show who is a curator for each topic during the current month and there will be something like a list showing all topics and the people which have one or more votes for the respective curatorships.
This is our version of a democratic approach. You suggest the curators, who in turn vote for content. Nevertheless, Discover isn’t going to be filled up by curator-votes only, no, all other likes will leave their marks on the results as well. By that, it will be a mix of all kinds of quotes, plus the suggestions of someone who’s well into the topic and has been chosen by other users.
As I said, that’s not a perfect solution, but it’s near perfect, and we’ll try to ensure quality in the future even more. We’re excited and hope you’re with us. This can be so awesome.
Well, what’s there to write in the first entry of a blog that’s part of a project you have been working on for about a year and that embeds so many ideas, opinions and topics that you don’t know where to start? QUOTE.fm is currently in its closed beta phase. Contrary to many opinions, this is not (exclusively) a way of creating a cheap marketing gag and artificial shortage, but about us wanting to do possibly everything right. We don’t want to start anything that looks like crap, works like crap or hits the wall as soon as more than 1000 people are visiting it. We try to make it right, or at least as we imagine it being “right”. In fact, we’re neither a big, evil company that wants to steal and sell your data, nor do we want to make easy money by selling the whole business as quickly as possible.
We are three boys, all in their early twenties, who would like to offer a product that provides an added value. Not the 5000th network that lets you show pretty pictures to your friends, but something that, in our opinion, has been missing before: A network in which you can discover and recommend texts worth reading.
The start of the closed beta has been… let’s say… surprisingly successful. A lot of feedback has been contributed, most of which was positive – and it took a load off our minds. Thank you. Thanks to everyone who isn’t immediately turning a deaf ear as soon as they hear about a new site on the internet. Thanks to everyone who admires good texts and is happy about being able to discover more of them.
Okay, so much for our first entry. Hello. We are here now. And we can’t wait to get to know you.