Timely considering that as professional hierarchies and social priorities fracture, it’s harder and harder to put a finger on the role we’re playing.
“A Tale of Two Simpli-Cities” @tomewing @brainjuicer
What JC Penney had done was drive for simplicity without taking into account the emotional nature of discounting strategies. By making decisions easy, they had made them less fun.
It’s the same reductive approach JC Penney took – and for them it failed, because fun, fast and easy in retail means more than just price. Gov’s simplicity is emotionless, but paradoxically it shows a better understanding of emotion than most sites. It knows what a happy experience means for its users, and it works extremely hard to deliver one by doing only what is absolutely necessary.
We love ourselves.
We love the memory we have of how that brand made us feel once. We love that it reminds us of our mom, or growing up, or our first kiss. We support a charity or a soccer team or a perfume because it gives us a chance to love something about ourselves.
We can’t easily explain this, even to ourselves. We can’t easily acknowledge the narcissism and the nostalgia that drives so many of the apparently rational decisions we make every day. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not at work.
Tim Stock “A face in the crowd” Research.
Researchers are in the habit of letting themselves be distracted by the technological platforms that enable human interaction. Yet the tools of our expression will come and go. First we jumped on MySpace. Then we moved to Facebook. We tweet now - but next year? Technologies are merely supportive systems for our expression. Technologies are not culture networks themselves.
Simply put, a culture network is like-minded individuals connecting, thriving and having impact - no matter how small. It’s these networks and their spontaneous expression that we need to be reading, as opposed to the artificial networks generated by brands. Likewise, reading the network needs to be less about quantifying the movement of the masses and its size, more about qualifying its impact
The accompanying stickers sends users to a website where they can access a free trial for English tuition. From founder Patrick Wilson:
Good spelling and grammar is fundamentally important to young people. But teaching it doesn’t have to be old fashioned and stuffy. We wanted to engage parents and young people alike, and make them realise that online tuition is an option that’s available to try.
Tom Bissell NYT “Building a Narrative That’s Explosive”
In 2010 Tom Bissell — author of seven books, contributor to publications like The New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine, darling of book reviewers who compare him to writers like Wells Tower and John Jeremiah Sullivan — announced that he was going to “go game,” in the way that prominent writers “go Hollywood,” in search of bigger paychecks and the challenges of a new form.
“And just the sense that the player gets of how awesome it is to be in that place, surrounded by these monsters, blowing stuff up with incredibly cool weapons. And as a writer your job is to create an atmospheric foundation for all of that stuff to sit on.”
The storytelling possibilities of the shooter are fascinating but they’re also very, very constraining,” he said. “A shooter story, just by virtue of the fact that you the character, you the player, spend 99 percent of the game looking down the barrel of a gun, there’s really only so much stuff you can do.”
What Marie Curie told a family friend who offered to buy her a wedding dress. Respect.
By way of the explore-blog.
Complex on Noah Brier and James Gross of Percolate. #5 in “The 10 Most Important People in The New York Tech Industry”
Noah Brier and James Gross had a genius idea: Build a platform intended to assist CMOs with managing social media content. And as it happens, helping to “humanize the voice” of a brand was very much in demand. The end result: Percolate has over 30 Fortune 500 clients who pay $10,000 a month for Brier’s and Gross’ expertise. Not bad for a startup that’s only a few years old.
It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.” —
This totally justifies every excuse I’ve been giving myself from not doing that thing I’m supposed to do.
So who doesn’t procrastinate, then?
It sometimes freaks me out when GDocs says someone else is looking at my doc … and that other person is me.
E.L. Doctorow once said that “writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice about writing, or life, I have ever heard.
ANNE LAMOTT” —(via kadrey)