Showing posts with label Content. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Content. Show all posts

June 23, 2016

Bird In The Bush

Thought this was an absolutely amazing and spellbinding photo of a bird peeking out from a bush.

I've never actually seen anything like this captured up close like this. 

The bird seemed to cooperate.

It reminds me of a baby gestating in it's mother's womb, so content, so sheltered. 

Not quite ready to come out into the real world, but snug in place, yet observant.

Too soon to be contemplating next steps in the complex world outside its immediate cozy shelter. 

Perhaps, there is a part of us that craves that simplicity, innocence, and existence sheltered from all the bumps and bruises.

Oh, to have such peace of mind and spirit, absent heart-wrenching day-to-day dilemmas we face.

Like a bird nestled in a bush looking out with that simple wonder and purity of life itself. 

(Source Photo: The Highly Talented, Rebecca Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

April 29, 2015

Beautiful Spring Day

Washington D.C. on a beautiful Spring day. 

Thank you G-d for the changing seasons, the warm sunshine, the soft elegant standing flowers, and the vibrant colors. 

(Source Flowers: G-d)

(I am merely the photographer)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 7, 2014

Live Stress Free, Almost

As we all know, stress is a killer--so you want to minimize it (if you can)!

There is a great little piece from CareerCast on the most and least stressful jobs out there in 2014.

From least stressful--audiologist.

To most stressful--enlisted military.

Anyway, to avoid stress--keep calm like the picture says, but also consider jobs with the following attributes:

- Desk job

- High growth potential

- Fewer strict deadlines

- Less travel

- Greater congeniality 

- Non-hazardous

One question from the list of jobs...why be a taxi driver earning an average of almost $23,000 a year in one of the top 10 most stressful jobs, when you can be a hair stylist earning about the same and have the 2nd least stressful job out there? 

So trade in your driver's license and learn to give a great hairdo! ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 27, 2013

From Happy To Glad

So I heard a new saying: "From Happy To Glad."

I asked some folks "What is that was all about?"

They explained that it applies to when you give someone something to review and they make really minor, nit-picky edits.

For example, they said, when someone "just has to say something" or "they can't let it go."

This was interesting to me, because I find it really helpful to solicit feedback and vet things with a smart, diverse group--and when you do, invariably you get a better product. 

For example, with a document, the best feedback is substantive feedback about content, followed by solid edits to things like style, formatting, and of course spelling and grammar gaffes. 

The goal is to have a clear, concise, and consistent communication that is either informative or action-oriented, and with a good executive summary and enough supporting detail to answer key questions. 

Of course, this is very different than "Happy to glad" feedback--where you're getting someone who possibly is wordsmithing something to death, can't make up their own mind, wants to show how smart they are, or are just trying to drive you nuts.

With happy to glad, sure it'll satisfy the occasional control freaks and the ego-chasers.

But the changes you'll want to actually make are from the really smart and experienced folks whose input makes a genuine difference in the end product and your and the organization's success. 

So ask away for input, make meaningful changes, but don't get snared in change for change sake alone. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Zentolos)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 15, 2011

An Infographics Treasure Trove

There is an amazing web site for creating, sharing, and exploring information visualizations (a.k.a. infographics)--it is called Visual.ly
There are currently more than 2,000 infographics at this site; this is a true online treasure trove for those who like to learn visually.
The infographics are categorized in about 21 areas including technology, science, business, the economy, the environment, entertainment, politics, and more.
I've included an example, from the Social Media category, of an infographic called The Conversation Prism developed by creative agency, JESS3.
As you can see this infographic displays the spectrum of social media from blogs and wikis to Q&A and DIY sites--it is a virtual index of social media today.
What I really love about infographics is that they can convey such a wealth of information in creative and memorable ways.
Moreover, there is such a variety of infographics out there--basically these are limited only by the imagination of the person sharing their point of view and their talents in conveying that information to the reader.
As someone who is very visual in nature, I appreciate when the content is rich (but not jumbled and overwhelming), and when it is logically depicted, so that it is quick and easy to find information.
In the example of The Conversation Prism, I like how it comprehensively captures all the various types of social media by category, color codes it, and visualizes it as part of a overall communications pie (or strategy).
To me, a good infographic is something you can relate to--there is a aha! moment with it.
And like a great work of art--there is the opportunity to get a deeper meaning from the visual and words together then from the words alone.
The shapes and dimensions and connections and distances and colors and sizes--it all adds meaning (lots and lots of context)--I love it!
I could spend hours at a site like visual.ly learning about all the different topics, marveling at the creativity and meaning of the information being conveyed, and never getting bored for a second.

Share/Save/Bookmark

January 19, 2008

The Power of Marketing and Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise architecture is all about planning and governance to enable organizational success. But despite all the astute architectural planning and sound governance, why is it that the better product so frequently loses out to better marketing?

We’ve seen this happen with the more innovative and better functional Apple products losing out to Microsoft. We seen VCRs beat out Betamax, even though at the time Betamax was seen as the superior format. And again, we’ve seen CDMA become the dominant cellular network standard in the USA, despite GSM initially being the superior technology and had 73% worldwide market penetration.

Now once again, the superior product has lost in the market and is no longer being made, the Hydrox chocolate sandwich cookie made by Kellogg Company has lost out to the inferior Oreo cookies made by Kraft Foods Inc.

The Wall Street Journal, 19-20 2008 reports that ”The Hydrox Cookie is Dead, and Fans Won’t Get Over It.”

Hydrox enthusiasts “preferred Hydrox’s tangy, less-sweet filling. Many fans seem to remember that the cookies held together better than Oreos when dipped in a glass if cold milk. Some argue Hydrox cookies were more healthful than Oreos, since Oreos used to contain lard.” In fact, in a 1998 taste test by Advertising Age, 29 tasters voted for Hydrox and only 16 for Oreo. Yet despite these preferences, Hydrox lost out to “the dominant Oreos, one of the country’s best-selling snack foods.”

“For many years, the contest between Oreo and Hydrox was akin to that of Coke versus Pepsi, the Beatles again the Rolling Stones, dog people and cat people.”

In the end, Hydrox lost to Oreo; “Oreo had all the advertising, but those in the know ate Hydrox.” Over the years, Nabisco (now owned by Kraft Foods) had the far larger marketing budget, and Hydrox was discontinued in 2003.

Fans still hope that “Kellog changes its mind, especially since this year is the cookie’s 100th anniversary.”

So is marketing stronger than product, like the pen is mightier than the sword?

This lesson seems pertinent in a presidential election year, where fund raising by candidates and advertising by them is seeing reaching astronomical levels. “After nine months of fundraising, the candidates for president in 2008 have already raised about $420 million. This presidential money chase seems to be on track to collect an unprecedented $1 billion total. By some predictions, the eventual nominees will need to raise $500 million apiece to compete--a record sum.” (http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/index.asp)

So will the best candidate win to be the next president of the United States or simply the candidate with the deepest pockets and best marketers?

From a User-centric EA perspective, I find this contest of product versus marketing to be akin to content versus design in developing EA information products. For example, an EA program can have wonderful and valuable EA information content, but if it does not employ User-centric EA principles of design and communication (such as using profiles, models, and inventories or information visualization and so on), then the EA program will not reach its potential. Every consumer product has both content and design or product and marketing. The high-end luxury companies have learned this lesson well and often capitalize on this by offering products with superior design, flair, packaging, and marketing and are thus able to develop formidable brands and command superior prices. So a word to the wise, do not ignore the power of marketing, communications, and design as part of your EA or other product development endeavors.


Share/Save/Bookmark