Samples of the newsletters I produce

Currently, all these newsletters are monthly and free. 

Streams & Loops

Creative Houston Sparks

  • People, places and projects which show the relentless inventive spirit of Houston
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  • Free for now, donations appreciated.

Health Guide USA Tips & Trusted Links

  • Links and recommendations for reliable sources of health information
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Building a career versus finding another job

This one of the most insightful articles about building a career that I've EVER read.

Major points: (Quoted verbatim)

  • It's not what you did, it's what happened when you did it.
    • Let people know:

      • Who worked on the project
      • What you built
      • Why you built it
      • When it was built
      • Where it was marketed / showcased
      • How you had impact
  • You have to be known in the community, or you have no credibility.
  • Don't be attached to your ideas... serve the project.
  • And this...

Medium: Reflections on my 10th year as a designer, 2021-Jun by Luis Ouriach

...it’s alarming how much privilege has an impact on recruiting in our industry.

It took me many many years before I realized that a lot of high flying people are in that position because of an inherited network, or because they went to a specific university, or because maybe they are just white and male with a loud voice.

The industry needs to work hard to anonymize our hiring, so that we’re on a level playing field regardless of whether we work at a super shiny company or a small agency, or whether we have a certain look, or name, or follow a particular sports team.

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Houston lags among Texas cities in arts funding

I did not realize this!

Houston Chronicle Opinion: Stand with Houston artists seeking pandemic aid, 2021-Apr-30 by Liyen Chong,Shayna Schlosberg and Jaison Oliver

It’s unfortunate that despite our world-renowned reputation for performing and visual arts and diverse cultural offerings, Houston is not anywhere near the top of the list when it comes to public funding for the arts for major metropolitan cities nationwide. We are still severely underfunded, and Houston continues to trail its peer cities in this area. As of 2017 the City of Houston spent $6.70 per resident on arts and culture compared to Dallas’ $16.70 and Austin’s $22.90. ...

Artists and cultural workers in Houston have come together to organize under the new collective, Arts Accountability Houston (AAH). AAH is building a movement to hold our local government accountable to provide short-term relief and long-term change. We have a unique window of opportunity to fundamentally change our city, and we need your help to make this a reality. Join us in making sure local artists get an equitable share of the stimulus funds coming on May 10 so that Houston’s arts and culture ecosystem doesn’t just survive the final stretch of this pandemic, but emerges stronger and more resilient.

Chong is a visual artist in Houston. Oliver is an organizer. Schlosberg is a Houston-based arts administrator. They are members of Arts Accountability Houston.

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Planning a new role

I recently stumbled across the Reflected Best Self exercise. I particularly like the fact it recommends asking for feedback via email. I hope I can try it after Tony and I move to the next stage of our life.

Harvard Business Review: How to Play to Your Strengths, 2005-January by Laura Morgan Roberts, Gretchen Spreitzer, Jane E. Dutton, Robert E. Quinn, Emily D. Heaphy, and Brianna Barker 

Used correctly, the RBS exercise can help you tap into unrecognized and unexplored areas of potential. Armed with a constructive, systematic process for gathering and analyzing data about your best self, you can burnish your performance at work.

Step 1: Identify Respondents and Ask for Feedback

Step 2: Recognize Patterns

Step 3: Compose Your Self-Portrait

The portrait itself should not be a set of bullet points but rather a prose composition beginning with the phrase, “When I am at my best, I…” The process of writing out a two- to four-paragraph narrative cements the image of your best self in your consciousness. The narrative form also helps you draw connections between the themes in your life that may previously have seemed disjointed or unrelated.

...Organizational researchers have shown that when we develop a sense of our best possible self, we are better able make positive changes in our lives.

Step 4: Redesign Your Job

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How to make the Internet a better marketplace

Over at Customer Commons, Doc Searls summarizes it beautifully...

Customer Commons blog: The Dawn of i-Commerce, 2021-May-24 by Doc Searls

  • Advertising is all guesswork, which involves massive waste. But what if customers could safely and securely advertise to the market they want? This is called intentcasting, and to some degree it already exists. (Here is a list of intentcasting providers on the ProjectVRM Development Work list.)
  • Shopping. Why can’t you have your own shopping cart—that you can take from store to store? Because we haven’t invented one yet. But we can. And when we do, all sellers are likely to enjoy more sales than they get with the current system of all-silo’d carts.

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