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4 posts from May 2015

Fighting every instinct, trying to communicate vision for a group

Part of being a leader is making sure the vision is communicated. As an innovator, I find that extremely difficult because I don't like repeating myself. I want to find a NEW thing to say.  

I work hard at being a good leader, but I may be missing the very first step. 

So onto my check list goes: Did you repeat yourself today??? IStock_000023187335XSmall

First Round Review: 42 Rules to Lead by from the Man Who Defined Google's Product Strategy, 2010-Apr-2 by Jonathan Rosenberg

#1 Be a broken record.

“When you think you’ve communicated something too much, you’re probably just beginning to get through,” says Rosenberg, stressing the importance of all-hands meetings, regular emails, office hours and team off-sites. Even if you’re truly surrounded by the smartest people you’ve ever met, assume all of them are busy with a hundred other things on their mind. “There is no such thing as too much communication.”

Emailing responsibly (with purpose)

I'm torn by the necessity of sending regular contact to customers and the desire to wait until I have something important to say. IStock_000020000438XSmallIt's a natural tension, and one I just have to confront on a monthly basis. If I haven't found something to email about at the end of the month, then I have to give up and email something anyway. 

"I still care about you" is the message I'm trying to convey.

Code School blog: Forget About Clicks, Design Emails With Purpose, 2015-May-15 by Corey Rabazinski

Here at Code School, we spend a lot of time thinking about, designing, and analyzing our emails. They’re not only a great way for us to communicate with the Code School community, but they’re also some of the most viewed “pages” under the Code School brand. In April alone, 4 of our emails were opened by over 200,000 people. Over that same time, only 2 of the pages on our site were seen by that many unique users.

But with great power comes great responsibility — we understand and respect that the inbox is not something to be abused. 

How the new Whitney Museum helps us figure out what a museum means

I've always loved being in museums. Back in college, I thought I'd like to work in them. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to intern in a few before I left graduate school. For the advertising business. Also a mistake, but I've never regretted leaving the museum world behind. 

Museums are inextricably linked with commerce in art. Curators compete to acquire major works from private collectors who may donate or share the works they've acquired. The job performance of curators is often judged not by the quality of the shows but by their ability to cultivate a strong relationship with independent collectors. 

Tq150510wmArt critic Jerry Saltz is concerned about the relationship between museums, art dealers and artists. He sees museums dabbling not only in the art market, but also in the marketing of art, in the creation of a demand for an artist's work. I agree with him that museums cross the line when they help an artist and dealer increase the value of the artwork or performance. In effect, they are driving up their own expenses. 

He sees the new Whitney sidestepping the temptation by focusing on how art evolves instead of trying to capture highly valued pieces of the art world. Our museums don't have to own major masterpieces to show us what art means. 

Vulture / New York: The New New Museum, 2015-Apr-19 by Jerry Saltz

De Salvo said, “The Whitney is not a building. It’s an idea.” The idea is actually a question, and the question is “What is American art?”

Resuscitating the Email Newsletter

I've been worried about the email newsletter. Although it's one of the most reliable ways to provide steady customer relationship management, they are so difficult to write well. But maybe it's not the writing but the content. In the article below, Blaise Lucey makes a great comparison of the spontaneity and sense of discovery we experience in social media, in contrast to the predictability of most email newsletters. I'm inspired to follow his advice.  IStock_000019856909XSmall

Moveable Ink blog: Why Live Social Media Feeds Are the Future of Email + Social, 2015-Apr-27 by Blaise Lucey

We don’t expect much from brand emails. If we get a great sale, we’re happy.

Social media, on the other hand, is something we expect to be entertaining and unpredictable. Aside from keeping up with friends (or at least stalking them), there’s an endless amount of multimedia that people can watch, listen to, and share.

That’s why people spend a lot more time on social media channels than checking their inboxes: the content changes and it’s dynamic.

With live social media feeds, you can bring that experience to the inbox. This offers a way to connect your social and email channels like never before.