Acclaimed journalist, author and political activist Barbara Ehrenreich explores the darker side of positive thinking, delusion, amorality, war and optimism as a form of social control. “How could [class and inequality] be a problem if anyone can be rich just by thinking about it?” Her words and concepts are illustrated by RSA Animate.
Here’s a little bit into Pekar’s view on his
As a kid, Pekar was almost as obsessive about comic books as he’d been about jazz. (And literature. And boxing.) All the same, he considered them a “second-rate art form.” Then realized something. “They’re words and pictures, and you can do anything with words and pictures. There’s no limit on what order you put ‘em in, or what kind of illustration you use. It’s not the fault of comics. I have access to the same choice of words as Shakespeare.”
Relevant discussion on Metafilter.
Veteran business blogger Rich Brooks unravels the ZOMFG BLOGS ARE MAGICAL fruit punch:
A blog won’t help your business. Just like that StairMaster gathering dust in your basement won’t make you thin. Or a hammer won’t help you build those shelves if you don’t pick it up. … When you start blogging it can be difficult, but you need to keep with it, and strengthen those “blogging muscles.” After a while, knocking out another keyword-rich blog post will be second nature, something you can do while watching the ball game, or after the kids are asleep, or taken care of during the work day. To start blogging effectively, you need to blog to answer the questions your customers have, and address the pain points of your prospects.
Much more on what to actually blog about and other key strategies: Why A Blog Won’t Help Your Business
Pixar is one of the few places I’d kill to work at. Their attention to creativity and extremely high product quality always blows my mind. I recently watched the opening of Up again and it is absolute perfection.
Pixar’s leadership knows that they have to put the creative process at the heart of their company – but also have to ensure it will survive long-after the original founders and staff have gone:
Pixar’s approach to creativity is striking for two reasons. The first is that the company puts people before projects. … Pixar starts by bringing in creative people and then encourages them to generate ideas. The second is that the company devotes a lot of effort to getting people to work together. In most companies, people collaborate on specific projects, but pay little attention to what’s going on elsewhere in the business. Pixar, however, tries to foster a sense of collective responsibility among its 1,200 staff. Employees show unfinished work to one another in daily meetings, so get used to giving and receiving constructive criticism. And a small “brain trust” of top executives reviews films in the works. … This system of constant feedback is designed to bring problems to the surface before they mutate into crises, and to provide creative teams with a source of inspiration. … Pixar also obliges its teams to conduct formal post mortems once their films are complete.
via The Economist
I always love hearing stories of dedication to virtuosity: that you do the best possible job and push you skills to the limit simply because it feels good to get better at what you do. Here’s an essay Jerry Seinfeld wrote eulogizing George Carlin’s after his death a couple years ago:
I called him to compliment him on his most recent special on HBO. Seventy years old and he cranks out another hour of great new stuff. He was in a hotel room in Las Vegas getting ready for his show. He was a monster.You could certainly say that George downright invented modern American stand-up comedy in many ways. Every comedian does a little George. I couldn’t even count the number of times I’ve been standing around with some comedians and someone talks about some idea for a joke and another comedian would say, “Carlin does it.” I’ve heard it my whole career: “Carlin does it,” “Carlin already did it,” “Carlin did it eight years ago.”And he didn’t just “do” it. He worked over an idea like a diamond cutter with facets and angles and refractions of light. He made you sorry you ever thought you wanted to be a comedian.
The 3i blog looks at the classic What’s in it for me? stance and marketing via social media channels:
With the new age of social media, any type of outreach efforts must answer two questions to be relevant and impactful: “What’s in it for me?” & “How will it provide value to my network?”. … You must recognize that any type of outreach effort using these tools, or to people who use them, means you are asking that individual to SPEND their social capital by participating with you and spreading your message to their network of friends. That’s a lot to ask if what you are offering is only of value to the person you are asking. … There will come a time when the pure promotional use of social media will lead to a backlash against both the brands and the people participating if there is no REAL value for the network = information, customer service, input, etc. If you aren’t answering the second question you may end up being burnt when the tipping point comes.
The ultimate personal brand lives on long after the person is gone. Great 60 Minutes segment on agents who represent deceased celebrities, artists, authors and athletes.
From Toby Bloomberg:
Here are 5 questions that might help you find the secrets to make your next social media magic act “real.”
1. What is real for our customers? Books. An eBook, an iPad or Kindle book or a hard copy ‘dead tree’ book?
2. What is real for our customers? Relationships. Relationships begun in childhood, at work, on a commuter train or from a tweet or blog post?
Grab questions 3, 4 and 5 at 5 Ways The Digital World & Social Media Are Changing What Is “Real”.
Downtime, data centers and gross incompetence:
I love love love Google Analytics because it is powerful and free and provides endless amounts of data for me to tease out and analyze. Getting started with Google Analytics can be overwhelming because there’s so many things to track. Here’s a cheatsheet mindmap to show you where everything ‘sits’ in the Google Analytics interface.