Archive for November, 2010

E-mail is the new Snail Mail

Take the filters off and it’s mostly junk, not relevant or of interest to us. Even with the filters on much of it is not important. That is probably its biggest downside. It’s a valid form of business communication still, but as a form of personal communication it’s being replaced by instant messaging (especially true for younger people) and social media. At this point it’s almost as irrelevant as regular snail mail. These new conduits have much better filters, are at least as immediate, and in many respects have better UI’s, especially when it comes to mobile devices.

An Opportunity?

Following up on my last post…it’s important to recognize that the tradition can and will die when something better comes along. More of the biz goes on-line each year.

Rather than make people wait in line, why not give them something to do? Heck, maybe you can SELL them stuff while they are waiting? Anyone need a portable heater?

Evidence of Effective Marketing


When it becomes part of the culture.


Shoppers storm the gates after waiting outside on Black Friday

“Real Content”

Bless Their Hearts.

MySpace is trying. For the most part it’s futile, but they are bumbling along. First a facelift to the site (finally), and today I get this in my mailbox. They don’t seem to have a grasp on what they are and what their core benefit to people is.



Everyone has boundaries: areas you can’t or shouldn’t get to. They’re personal. If you do happen to push too far into these areas damage is likely, sometimes irreparable damage. It could just be damage to a relationship. It could be personal damage. Why not be sensitive to the potential, or at least likely, boundaries of others?
When someone makes a gay joke on television how do you think it makes the kid at home with two dads feel? More importantly, what kind of damage does it do? Might that damage show up later, much more dramatically? Maybe he will violate your boundaries. It’s prudent to be a tolerant society (within reason).
It takes a little effort to be careful, but it’s worth it.


I sometimes wonder why so many new neighborhood developments have to have some elaborate construct at the entrance? Is this supposed to make the residents feel like they live in a wealthier community, or is it perhaps something that tells us when we are home. “Oh, there’s the waterfall. Turn left. Good thing they put that there. Otherwise I’d be turning back at the one with the 15’ tall light house.”

Are we so insecure that we need this branding for an identity?

How superficial is that?

Same Thing Every Day

Being a professional at anything requires some repetition.

An Orthopaedic surgeon operates on shoulders, day after day after day after day. Makes a great living – maybe a little more each year, depending on insurance costs etc., but life revolves around one skill and a limited number of variations on a surgery while income is capped at how many patients he can serve. Let’s say you’re something more creative/adventurous like a professional musician. Again, you spend life doing the “same” thing…performing the same songs over and over and over and over on stage and battling to come up with ideas for new songs which you then grind out in the studio.

Marketer — same

Designer — same

Sports Analyst — same

Poet — same

Architect — same

Blog Writer — same

Pilot — same

Animator — same

Film Director — same

Scrapbook Design Consultant (yes, this is considered a real career) — same

Couch Potato — still the same

Once you have become good enough at it to be a pro and make a living the engagement comes from within. Can’t hide from that.

Take Aim

Once you fire that bullet (send that e-mail, launch that campaign, say those words) you can’t get it back.


People tend to only pay attention to the nuances of things in their immediate sphere of awareness. Consider that teenagers see only four general ages: young kids, teens, 20 – 30, and old. There’s lots of nuance in the teen area right around them, but generally everyone over 30 is just…old. And old is not relevant, so you’re pretty much invisible to them.
It’s nearly impossible to communicate with someone who doesn’t want to listen. It can be done, but you have to hit the nail squarely on the head, and unless you are one of the target audience you are speaking to it’s extraordinarily difficult.

Jennifer Love Hewitt is considered old from the perspective of a teenager

Careful Where You Put Your Drama

I’ve been watching geese fly south. They naturally adhere to their arrow formations. Humans require formations too. We gravitate towards order and comfort, but never allow ourselves to hold on to it. Sometimes things get too mundane, and even though we often know we shouldn’t we subconsciously seek to disrupt the order. We manufacture drama for ourselves, presumably in the interest of making something better. We seem to need the drama; the perturbation to the antiseptic order we corner ourselves into. This is how we grow. Sometimes, however, it’s merely limited to how we occupy and entertain ourselves. Consider whether the drama you allow yourself to get sucked into is really benefitting anyone. And also consider whether the comfort you gravitate towards is. Getting these backwards pulls you in circles and you never go anywhere.


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