Asking, Giving And Blogging

After my failed attempt to run a blog membership I was disillusioned with trying to monetise my creative things. Annoyed that although a few people contributed, it didn’t do anywhere near the level that I expected and really knocked my confidence. Truth is, I have been trying for a while to make writing and blogging…

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Looking Forward

I am not going to lie, 2020 was tough — as it was for loads of people, some more so than me. The pandemic hit at a time I was finally moving towards the goals I have worked for for a long time. Then this happened, that happened, blah blah blah woe is me right.…

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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.

Twitter Muscle Memory

Whenever an idea hits me, or I just want to ‘say’ something to the internet I press the little blue box with the bird on it. That is just what I’ve always done, well for the last 12 years anyway, and that habit is proving almost impossible to break. If thoughts arise, they are flung…

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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 Don’t Get ‘It’

When speaking (over the internet of course) to Jeff Perry yesterday I realised a weird tendency I have to refer to ‘it’ wrong. We were conversing on about, and I replied saying that “I just don’t get it”. The ‘it’ I was referring to is the hype around the app at the moment.…

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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.