Sicker Thann Others LLC was one of the companies I founded in 2007. Its main focus was to create websites and merchandise for the recovery community. At the time and still today this market is not targeted well and is riddled with poorly designed content and none functioning sites.
This was not only a brilliant marketing strategy but more a labor of love as I have personally been an active member since 1995. In my opinion no other community is in need of a centralized web presence as the recovery community.
Substance abuse is a billion dollar industry with very little value being offered. There still is no effective way to communicate on the web with others in recovery. There is no way to find accurate reviews of treatment possibilities and many companies in the industry are so riddled with competition and ego that there is very little unity for a problem that takes 100,000’s of lives a year.
I decided on the Sicker Thann Others name because of the saying “some are sicker thann others” often used to reference others with which we have issues with. I felt that this was a great way to bring the focus back to where it belongs… On us.
The design was to be in contrast to what we generally associate with recovery. Visions of rainbows and unicorns although pleasant have caused new members to find this whole thing rather silly. I was determined to challenge the rules and push the boundaries in an effort to reach the new comer. Although some people with time and industry leaders were not to pleased with my political incorrectness and edge designs I knew that the new people coming in to our community could more readily relate to this type of mentality.
The business card design needed to convey the attitude of the company as well as provide branding for what it is we do.
Recovery Directory Project was a site dedicated to allowing people to list and review websites and treatment centers. The site had some initial success and my attitude of “censor no one” was eventually appreciated. I believed that only through a fair and complete representation of the online community would allow people to feel respected enough to listen. The site even offered links to articles and resources that spoke negatively about 12 step fellowships and the generally accepted recovery model.
The only reason this site was shut down was due to the evils of spammers. The site just did not have enough protection against people who would like nothing better then to cover the site with links to Viagra and Google adwords spam campaigns.
Another wonderful resource that fell to the greed of a few individuals, this and many other issues with spammers interfering with people trying to create something good and helpful on the internet has lead me to have a severe distaste for this form of marketing.
12 Step Space:
A social networking site for members of the recovery community that offered blogs, profiles, chat, IM and much more. This site had 16,000 members in its prime and was a key part of the entire network of sites we developed.
For more information please visit the article on 12ss.
This site was an image sharing community that the bulk of our traffic was funneled through. It was hands down the most successful site we launched with a total of over 20 million page views during its life span. In the end it was receiving between 100,000 and 250,000 views a day.
For information about Anonymous Space click here.
For information about Anonymous Space Marketing and traffic click here.
This was our t-shirt shop that sold many different designs to countries all over the world. The design concepts and graphics where all done by me.
For more information about my shirts click here.
Well what happened:
Three of the sites where purchased by a company called Hythiam based in LA. They used the sites to market their treatment protocol but after their CEO tanked on 60 minutes the companies stock plummeted and the effectiveness of their marketing director was limited. He pushed forward for another year and the sites potential was never truly capitalized on. Finally in 2009 the marketing director was replaced and the sites shut down due to financial concerns that the company was going bankrupt. Today Hythiam still limps along with its stock price being well under 50 cents a share. It is highly unlikely that it will ever recover.
The t-shirt shop was sold to two of my business partners when they refused to market the shirts until me and the developer sold our ownership over the designs and websites. Left with no real options and with little money being better then none I sold my shares to them as did the developer that helped create the sites. Fortunately their business sense is as bad as their scruples and the site finally crumbled into nothing and the shirts went unsold.
All in all I loved working on this project. I learned a lot about web design and marketing. I sold shirts with my designs on them all over the world and met lots of interesting people. The greatest benefit of the sites was for me discover that money is not the only payoff that has value. Even today I receive correspondents letting me know that my efforts helped to save someone’s life.