So this happened. (Wired UK, July 2010)

So this happened. Here's how:


We met up with Wired writer Neal Pollack in Austin during SXSW who trailed team foursquare for a few days. Neal wrote a pretty great piece which is in the July 2010 issue of Wired UK. (this cover / story won't be in the US version of Wired). You can read the whole story here:


When we got back to NYC, we ended up doing a photo shoot w/ Brett Humphreys at Larry Lawrence in Williamsburg. They insisted on Larry Lawrence because of a similar shoot they had done w/ Josh Williams and crew in Austin and wanted to pair the photos up side by side (both bars have similar looking decor). They asked us to round up 20 of our friends and head out to Brooklyn on a random weekday afternoon, so we got on the Twitter and tried our best to create a mini flashmob. The photo came out great and side-by-side they're even better. Take a look:


About a week after the shoot, the editor of Wired UK called and asked if we wanted to be on the cover. So I went over to a studio in the West Village, met up with Jill Greenberg (the photographer. she was great... and also shot Soraya's awesome Fast Company cover) and this is the end result. There was a stylist (that's not my shirt!) and a make-up person (I got a free haircut!)... and a bunch of crowns. 95% of the shots were no crown ("no way am I wearing that thing") though we did a few with in on... and I guess crown won. So be it. To be honest, I thought the crown was more of a prop for the foursquare "mayor" thing... I didn't really think it was a "King of Social Media" thing (does anyone really believe that... come'on, people!)


Anyway, not to nerd out, but this is the stuff that Little Denny College dreamed big about back in 1997 (for real)... so I'm pretty happy with it :)




Oh, some words of wisdom to anyone that finds themselves thrown into the Land of Photoshoots:


#1. I can totally see how photographers get people to do crazy things in photoshoots. Um, remember all the startups that we're featured in NYMag swinging from ropes (Lessin!), doing cartwheels (MSG!), wheeling themselves across the floor (Karp!). You're taking a bunch of photos and it's like "do this, and this, and this, and try this..." and you just go with it. Sometimes it's "okay, stand this way... now this way... hands in pocket... hood up... hood down... hood up! chin up... oh yes" and you get something like this (gangster!) Anyway, just saying that I can see how it happens.


#2. I spoke at a conference in Munich called DLD. At the end of the conference they did photoshoots with the speakers and asked us to do all sorts of weird stuff. They didn't tell us what the photos were for so we just went along with it... me and @MSG jumping in the air and flexing and just doing stupid stuff. Anyway, don't ever do that. Especially if you don't know what they're for. Turns out DLD sells those pics... and one of me mock-flexing (stoopid, stoopid Dennis) showed up in Billboard magazine in some story about foursquare. Don't take pics and sign the rights away unless you know what they're going to be used for. This is really lame of DLD too.


#3. When I told my friends about the crown they were like "oh no - you need a publicist!". I think that's overkill, but bring a friend with you that can tell you whether you are taking it a little too far. Having a friend / PR rep / etc that was like "dude, don't put the crown on" may have been helpful in retrospect :) I guess the lesson is that you don't have to do whatever the crew tells you to do. This sounds so super obvious, but like the "hood up, hood down" example, it doesn't really seem obvious at the time.


Anyway, if this saves one person from wearing a [crown, life jacket, feather boa, fake moustache] on the cover of [Wired, TV Guide, Ranger Rick, Highlights] then my work is done!




ps2: Yes, I am wearing some makeup (they made me!) but I think my luscious lips and forearms are photoshopped. @ChrisFaile thinks I have the complexion of a Ken Doll (thx) and, no @msquinn, I am not wearing lipstick. I think they may have photshopped my Disco Stu haircut to look nicer too. Thanks! :)

  • Moth 5y

    long may he reign. Congrats Dennis!
  • Cate Colgan 5y

    Cute and congrats Dennis! - so your honor you probably don't care anymore about those #4sqday "Crazy Kids from Tampa" signing your shirt now do you? :) ....Let us know.....your Honor! :)

    Hugs, best
    Cate - Cate.TV
  • lisaeeeee 5y

    Notorious D.E.N.S.

  • JodiWarren 5y

    Re: the photoshopping

    That is just What Jill Greenberg Does.

    Her website isn't by accident.
  • dennis crowley 5y

    @lisa - OMG. if it's good enough for Biggie, it's good enough for me.
  • Michael Litman 5y

    Props man, the UK is rooting for you!
  • kflip 5y

    @lisa, hilarious. dens, please get the cover framed and hang in your apt. And biggie smalls too.
  • lia bulaong 5y

    framing is for losers! dennis, what you should really do is get these mexicans to paint you and biggie wearing your crowns together on MOTHERFUCKING VELVET, like so:
  • doug jaeger 5y

    Congrats dp. The crown is not that bad, nor the expression, it's really the shirt. You should have been wearing a tshirt. Looking forward to seeing what is next.
  • jasonshellen 5y

    Do you get to collect some sort of tax as social media king or what? Let me know.

    Nice work.
  • Sean Savage 5y

    Bloody brill!
  • Limor Hader 5y

    wow! Congrats Dennis. Don't listen to anyone. Crown, forearm and lipstick all look great... ;-)
  • Rupert Schäfer 5y

    Dennis, sad to hear about the pics from DLD. I used to produce DLD for the past 6 years and just wanted to point out that the people who took the pictures were not from DLD.

    DLD never sold pictures of speakers and we always were very aware of privacy.

    Unfortunately our conference partners "Getty Images" offered to take speaker pictures this year and did neither brief the speakers on their rights nor inform them on the future use of the pictures. You are not the first case... I will forward your issue and hope they will rethink in future. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  • Daniel Hirschmann 5y

    dude, so getting this when i get back to London.
  • Evan Raskob 5y

    +1 for Lia's idea of black velvet
  • laura m 5y

    they should make people on covers look more natural, it is kind of neat - surreal Dexterish though!!
  • kittiegeiss 5y

    whatever dude. WIRED cover is Holy Grail of nerd press. i would totally do handstands / wear mustaches / roll around in sprinkles / you name it for a wired cover. i think it looks great. here's to livin' the dream.
  • Michael Litman 5y

    You know you've made it when you are on the front of Wired. Too awesome.
  • annie_heckenberger 5y

    I stand by my comment that you need a PR person to attend interviews and shoots with you and keep shizz in check. However, in this case - not so bad, boy genius.
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