Strategy and tactics and Powerpoint

Seth wrote

If you’re not trying to cause an action or some other change in attitude or belief, then what’s the purpose of the deck?

I keep trying to instill these thoughts in every person I come across that requests a meeting or creates a deck for one.

What are you trying to achieve? What change do you want to make to attendees actions or mindset? Because if there isn’t a clear message then we are just going to watch slides full of information we could of read on an email.

It’s a business cliche that half the meetings should be emails, yet the meeting and pointless decks keep coming. I follow a few simple rules to clean my diary of guff.

  1. No agenda = no meeting
  2. No possible solutions outlined = no meeting
  3. A way to solve this with a meeting = no meeting.

Adopt The Opposite Position

Chris Wilson in Learn Create Share:

Sometimes we can get so caught in our ways of thinking, we become blind to what is right in front of us. One way around that is to adopt the opposite idea for a while. This could be a big idea (like a world view) or something small (like “wide angle lenses are the best for street photography”).

When you adopt the opposite view, you may confirm your traditional belief or approach. But you may also notice something different, something unexpected. Sometimes it’s a small thing (isolating a subject can lead to great effects in street photography) and sometimes its revolutionary.

Dare I admit this, but I have a habit of, as my Grandad would say, not seeing the wood for the trees. I often get bogged down in minute details that are incorrect but miss the larger meaning or intent of the opposing view.

In my defense some of my closest friends, including my wife, often have opposing view points I enjoy nothing more than trying to see where they are coming from and use this to better my own understanding. However, it’s always good to be reminded of our ability to adopt the other position, because sit quite often leads to great results.

Why Does Every Advert Look The Same?

Josh Gabert-Doyon wrote:

It involves the use of simple, well-bounded scenes of flat cartoon figures in action, often with a slight distortion in proportions (the most common of which being long, bendy arms) to signal that a company is fun and creative. Corporate Memphis is inoffensive and easy to pull off, and while its roots remain in tech marketing and user interface design, the trend has started to consume the visual world at large. It’s also drawing intense criticisms from those within the design world.

I quite enjoy it when opinionated designers loose their cool. It makes them seem more human and not on the pedestal they often put themselves on. But on this occasion I do somewhat understand the annoyance, but they fail to communicate it very well.

Dubbed Corporate Memphis, we’ve see this coming for a long time. Todoist introduced the tiny heads illustrations that seemed to leak into every other app and now the same style is everywhere. Brands are loosing their uniqueness out of laziness more than anything.

There is a high level of pattern matching going on, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn this style to display your brand. As someone that uses this style a little it has made some of our more information dense work more approachable by displaying images that customer are used to seeing, and I am certainly not put off using it because other designers get a bit snooty about it.

Using this style indeed makes the barrier to entry of designing something professional much smaller, and as with photographers, that tends to hurt creatives a little. Yet I can understand the argument at least a little.

Digital Social Distancing

Michael wrote:

some of the people I unfollowed are genuine friends of mine. But I’ve sort-of reached a breaking point. I was becoming more and more miserable with each passing day and my Twitter timeline — a place that used to be filled with links to neat applications, interesting gadgets, and positive ideas — was filled with political stories that just made me unhappy.

I know this feeling well. Some of the people I have unfollowed is simply because of the way some of their posts make me feel. I have moved quite a few people to lists and just checking in on them every so often. I’ve also opted to send the odd email to people instead of replying to their tweet, or move it to somewhere I am more comfortable to reply.

This is a huge problem with social media and its catch all approach, I deeply care for some of the people I used to follow on Social Media but I need to be distanced from the noise.

One thing that has taught me though is the people that reach out to you are the ones that are really worth following.

I Am Not Ready To Go Back

Chaitanya wrote

For most part of the 12 months I was eager to go back, but there has been a change in the last few months. I think it hit me too late that I have been without physical human interactions for so long.
I have now bundled down into myself which does not want to get exposed.

I know this feeling well. I love working from home and I don’t want to go back to a place of work full time but I wonder if this isn’t going to be good for me long term.

I am both perfectly happy and lonely at the same time and it’s only if some checks on me that a state is observed.

Schrödinger’s working from home

Supporting The Feed

CJ Chilvers wrote:

Most writers started writing to please the search engines (later just one search engine). To feed the beast, more “original” content was needed. The sharing moved to social media and got lost with the ephemera. Writers burned out producing longer and longer posts for ad pennies over trust and community.

This has been playing on my mind recently and CJ sparked a thought in my head before it had formulated properly. I too love writing link posts, just taking a paragraph or two and expanding your thoughts on the subject. I’ve promised myself to write more of them, but I think many people view them as a cheap way to turn out content.

However this post prods me to wider thoughts about what to write. About pandering to algorithms and news feeds just to get clicks or views. It comes up time and time again, and if you need the metrics you simply have no choice but to pander to the platforms and make the content that ranks.

But I am joining the ranks of those that refuse to write longer form posts just because, or sign up for courses on how to rank higher in algorithms. I want to write whenever and whatever I want, and so should you.

Pitching Yourself & Loosing Yourself

Jack wrote

I don’t want to be in the audience of someone who’s trying to build an audience

A million times this. I have lost count of the number of people that lose themselves and their personality online.

It’s not just about creatives, although this quote is talking directly to them – “link in bio” – it’s about being yourself. I’m guilty of this recently and it’s a big reason I pulled away from social media. You become a voice of whatever it is your peddling. Be it your content, your workplace or even just yourself.

Losing personality and approachability loses the whole reason for being social in the first place. We’ve spoken about it being hard to not be a fan boy, but being one for yourself is a terrible place to end up.

The Substance Of Things

Rebecca wrote

All my life I have had the habit of liking the idea of things and not the thing itself.

How many of us want to be someone that does x but don’t want to actually do x. It could be writing, running or just being a happy person. It doesn’t matter what it is, the thought of it is often more enjoyable that the thing itself.

I didn’t want to be doing, I wanted to be done, so that when I was done, I could say I did a thing. – Out There: On Not Finishing

The stories we tell of the things we do, the things we enjoy and the memories we have made are at the very core of life. Some TV shows are funnier when talking about them with your friends. Hardships something far more positive when recalling them after the event.

The stories are the very substance and the reason to do things.

Why Membership Matters

Almost a year ago, I wrote:

Memberships are not about a money grab at all, they are about people being rewarded for their efforts, but also to know that people enjoy what they are putting out. Bloggers don’t always get page views; we don’t have subscriber counts or post likes – so these types of things help.

I wanted to try and get something back for the years I have put in. Granted many of them failing and kidding myself, but they are still years — tens of tousands of tweets, photos, podcast episodes and hosting all for free.

I longed to be supported and feel at least a little bit of validation. I am amazingly thanfull for the people that contributed, but my mebership failed. Getting no where near the responce I expected form the people around me. My post reads still come from Google searchs and not from social media.

Does that mean my efforts where in vain? I still got the enjoyment out of it. Typing away, editing away or just talking to people.

Would I do it again? Perhaps not.

Dealing With Email | Chris Hannah

Chris wrote:

All of this is very much making me think about giving Hey a try. Except for the fact that I don’t want an @hey.com email address.

This was a big sticking point for me at the start. However I forward all my email to my hey email address and use the actuall address very rarely. I only give it out to people I know and this helps with the spam coming through. I dont love having to use their email adrdres however, because their are a few times I need to send email as an @gr36.com address – but thankfully these times are few and far between.

So I want to stop some emails getting through to me, but also once I’ve dealt with an email I want it to get out of the way.

I would LOVE Hey to be inbox zero, however eveything hangs around instead. There are really well thought out ways to save emails for later so I have no idea why the others dont go from your inbox but it’s not a game changer for me.

I’ll try to write about anything I try along the way, and hopefully, I can find a solution that fits my needs.

I get too much email, but thankfully using Hey has helped a lot. Its not perfect and I wish I habd looked at sane box before jumping in, but I’m excited to see where Chris gets to.