Girl, Stop Saying “I Think.”

girl comma stop saying I think

A friend of mine in her mid 20s told me QVC is launching a clothing line with Rachel Hollis, blogger and author of Girl, Wash Your Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing. She had mentioned it to me because I am, I admit, a big fan of QVC and a long-time customer.

By the way, QVC has a bookmarker page up on its site for the line, apparently the launch is set for sometime later this Spring.

My friend is a big fan of Hollis and was amazed I’d only slightly heard of the blogger and have not read her books. So, I checked them out and, yes, I will be reading both in the next few weeks or months.

But, that conversation morphed into a little broader discussion, and I began to share a few of my Girl, ________ thoughts and admonitions gained from years of experience being a younger woman and now as a Matron/Crone/Hag/Wise Woman. I may share more of my thoughts along the lines here at a later point, but for now here is one: Girl, Stop Saying “I Think.” 

In other words, when you make a statement in a meeting or at work, don’t be tentative. If you think you are making a good point or bringing up something important, then you are. You don’t think you are. You are. Your thoughts are valuable. Your conclusions are valid.

So, don’t preface your contribution by saying, “I think.” Of course you think it–you would not being saying it if you did not think it.

Just say it. Put it out there, proudly and simply. The smart people, the people who value you, will get it. Nobody else matters. Truly.

Girl, Stop Saying “I Think.”

Odin Over Denver

A friend of mine sent me a message this morning telling me I should take a look at a cool Web site, a wind map of the United States: http://hint.fm/wind/.

So,  here’s what I saw (see below). I drew the shape on the map to make it easier for others to see what I see: a face. I see eyes, a nose, a mouth and a beard, among other things. The tip of the nose is right over Denver, and the mouth is the small oval to the bottom right.

odinoverus.jpg

What’s going on, weather-wise, over Colorado and other states out west is something the weather folks call a bomb cyclone. I snapped the image below from CNN’s Web site shortly after visiting the wind map site, but the Odin image really gets the point across, don’t you think?

weather March 13 2019.png

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Join the Joss Group Community for Graphic Arts Professionals!

Hey, I am an introvert. If you know me in real life, that’s probably not a surprising statement. I do not like small talk, but I can generally manage a few comments about the weather. I like to listen more than I like to talk. Yes, it is true, I’m a public speaker and a teacher, but, like many people in the graphic arts I am a Reluctant Extrovert.

Thus, networking is not my forte.

My Community Idea

Still, networking is important in all aspects of life, so I came up with an idea for networking I hope will work for the introverts (reluctant or firmly inclined) and the extroverts among us: the Joss Group Community for graphic arts professionals.

So far, we are a small group of members, but the content on the members-only part of the Joss Group Web site is growing and will continue to grow and hopefully the community as a whole.

Going forward, depending on the interests and reactions of the members, we may set up a meet-up dinner or other type of event here or there, probably at an industry event. Maybe a Webinar or two. We’ll see. Introverts-R-Us.

If you join the Joss Group Community (membership is free, btw), you can choose to make your membership private or public. The membership list is not available on the Web and won’t be, ever. And, we promise to not drive you crazy with e-mails or reminders or anything of the kind or sell your information to anyone.

Oh, and the Book Club Idea

And, to help us all network a bit better, I have come up with another idea, and you don’t have to even become a member to use this idea. Please, all of you, steal this idea and then leave it around for other people to steal. Here’s the idea: a book club for graphic arts professionals. I am calling mine: Molly’s Book Club. You saw that coming, I hope.

Anyway: my first book for MBC is When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning. I first read this book a few years ago, and I think it’s perfect for graphic arts professionals: it’s got history about book design, book publishing, libraries, and more. To learn more and to buy the book (yes, the Joss Group gets a cut if you buy through the links), please visit our home page: http://www.thejossgroup.com and scroll down until you see the info and links about the book.

Oh, and we’ve also launched a book store for graphic arts professionals on the site. Click the Store tab to see.

Join Us!

Back to membership. Here’s the text from the sign-up page:

It is always nice to make new friends, so we have created a community gathering place here. Community members can access content such as our blog, an event calendar, and more.

We promise we will not send you spam or rent or sell your information. We value your privacy as much as you do!

Joining our community is easy! Graphic arts professionals and students studying the graphic arts age 18 and older are eligible.

We review every application, so please do not worry if your application is not approved immediately. We will either approve it within a few business days or get in touch with you to explain our decision not to approve it.

So, go ahead. Sign up and help us build the community. Networking for Introverts and Others. Hope to see you there!

To visit the Joss Group Web site, click here.

The Solution to Fake News is Within Our Grasp

Note: this post first appeared earlier this month as a guest opinion column on What’s New in Publishing

In the closing days of 2018, New York Magazine published an article on its Web site entitled How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually. This article is a must-read for anyone involved in digital advertising.

In case you were wondering, I agree with everything the writer, Max Read, has to say in the article, which is a good summary of the latest reasons why digital advertising is abig black hole which has been sucking an incredible amount of money out of advertising budgets around the world every single day for years.

In fact, this Black Hole Effect is so pervasive, so long-standing, and so important, we warned our newsletter readers years ago about the high level of fake in digital advertising metrics:

https://mollyjossoutloud.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/methbot-the-method-by-whichrussians-are-stealing-millions-of-digital-advertising-dollars-from-advertisers-andpublishers-every-day/

https://mollyjossoutloud.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/theft-on-auto-pilot-bot-fraud-indigital-advertising-or-how-to-waste-millions-of-dollars-without-really-trying/

https://mollyjossoutloud.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/the-trade-off-fallacy-howmarketers-are-misrepresenting-american-consumers-and-opening-them-up-toexploitation/

And, I decided to stop publishing the digital marketing newsletter because, frankly, I just could not stand to keep writing about digital advertising when so much of it was fake, and so many companies are obsessed with the idea of invading their customers’privacy in order to make money. These days when we do talk about what’s real and worthwhile in digital marketing (and there is some of this, but not enough), we do so in the Digital Publishing Report.

So, yes. I agree with Read: there is a lot that is fake on the Internet and in digital advertising. Especially troubling to publishers and advertisers alike should be the absolute reality the majority of the metrics are faked. So much so companies spending their money on digital advertising would do better opening their windows and shoveling their cash down onto people passing by. Throw a few ad flyers into the money mix and the response rates will be higher than anything really happening out there on the Web.

What I do not agree with in Read’s article, though, is his conclusion: “Years of metrics driven growth, lucrative manipulative systems, and unregulated platform marketplaces have created an environment where it makes more sense to be fake online—to be disingenuous and cynical, to lie and cheat, to misrepresent and distort—than it does to be real. Fixing that would require cultural and political reform in Silicon Valley and around the world, but it’s our only choice. Otherwise we’ll all end up on the bot Internet of fake people, fake clicks, fake sites, and fake computers, where the only real thing is the ads.”

The fix, my friends, lies not in the stars or in cultural and political reform, but in ourselves, Ourselves, as in the publishing community as a whole.

As Helena says in All’s Well That Ends Well, “Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie…” In this case, the group implied in the “our” is the worldwide publishing industry. We need to do our jobs and protect our content. Curated content researched, written, and edited by human beings who know what they are doing and are good at their jobs is the only real fix to the pervasive and expensive fakeness of the Internet.

Repeat that last sentence over and over as long as you need to and chant it at staff meetings. In fact, shout it from the rooftops: carefully curated content published by trusted sources is the only way to make the Internet more real. It will never be totally real, but expecting anyone in Silicon Valley to abandon the pursuit of endless profit is a totally unrealistic notion. The place is full of billionaires who care no more about reality and truth than they do about paying a fair amount of taxes on the money they and their companies earn.

To be crystal clear, there is no reason, legal or otherwise, for Googleand Facebook to care more about making digital advertising real. Driving the bots away does not make them any money, and reality is not a concept they like or encourage very much.

One thing that would help publishers in this quest is to join in the efforts of organizations such as the Alliance for Audited Media (https://auditedmedia.com). There is absolutely no reason why digital advertising cannot be audited in the same way print advertising has been audited for decades and more. Audited metrics put forth by established publishers with a trusted brand message will go a long way toward makingdigital advertising fraud less profitable.

Another thing publishers can, and should, do is stop giving away their content to “blood sucking” companies like Google and Facebook and insist these companies be classified as publishing companies. Publishers have been grousing about these vampire organizations for years (see: https://adage.com/article/digital/google-suckingblood-newspapers-wsj-publisher/137565/) for example. I see some signs publishers are at least looking around for a few good stakes to drive into the heart of the villains (https://adage.com/article/digital/publishers-form-factions-fight-google-facebbok/309458/), but it is way past time for a full-on assault.

The value in insisting these companies be declared, legally, publishing companies andnot technology companies (as they will insist and will keep insisting) is doing so makes them liable to the same legal sanctions other publishers deal with on a daily basis. One of these legal niceties is copyright.

Another is protecting people’s privacy; Google and Facebook et al make a lot of money from selling personal information and existing legal liabilities are no more than the sting of a mosquito to a very big, very nasty behemoth (http://fortune.com/2019/01/04/google-face-scanning-illinois/).

Yet another is the full range of legal liability related to making up stuff about people and making money from it (https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/make-themliable-costello-rails-against-facebook-google-for-fake-news-20181122-p50hpb.html). “Nine Entertainment Co chairman Peter Costello has dismissed Facebook’s plans to launch fact-checking in Australia and says regulators should make digital giants liable for fake news and defamatory content hosted on their platforms.”

Costello is completely correct, but regulators around the world, but especially in the United States, will not take action without the publishing industry making this a lobbying priority for 2019 and beyond. Nor will depending on tech giants to change their ways benefit the worldwide publishing industry or its readership. The fix we seek, and deserve, must begin and continue from within our industry.

Ralph Breaks the Internet: a Graphic Design Perspective

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Ralph Breaks the Internet is a new 3-D movie from Disney. The plot is pretty standard Disney fare, but what interested me most about the movie is how the animators envisioned the Internet in physical space.

Briefly, Wreak-It-Ralph and friend Vanellope von Schweetz journey from their video game homeland to the worldwide universe of the Internet on a quest. No more spoilers on the story than this!

Now, consider the design challenge this brief represents and then focus on the biggest part: showing the audience, a mix of kids and adults of various ages and attention spans, the journey and the space that is the Internet, but in physical terms they will find engaging and non-threatening (this is a Disney film, after all). This is a huge and intriguing designer puzzle and it must have been a lot of fun to solve.

No spoilers on how the animators accomplished this feat, but I do have a suggestion for graphic arts business owners and managers and also for people who organize group activities for graphic designers and students: take a group to see the movie and then discuss how well the animators met the design challenges, large and small.

Do the activity seriously, though, as everybody involved has so much to gain from the effort. Don’t just go around the table at a meal or meeting and ask for general comments that take all of three seconds to make.

Instead, make the participants get way down deep into the scope and the details. After all, with animation you can do just about anything, so make the group think about the challenge and how and why the animators made their design decisions and ask what your group members would have done differently.

For people who manage writers and for writing groups, you could do the same thing, but focus on the story challenges and how well the writers met the brief as I’ve sketched it out above, not the design aspects.

If you would like help developing a set of questions to ask or other aspects of such an outing, get in touch and I’d be happy to help. And, if you do take up my suggestion, I would love to hear about it.

Voting Always Matters, So Be a Patriot and Vote, America!

The reasons United States citizens do not vote or even bother to vote are complex and numerous. Yes, some people feel their votes do not make a difference, while others take pride in refusing to take part in what they consider to be a charade of some sort.

And, in some parts of the country the states themselves make it difficult to vote. Take Pennsylvania, for example, just one small example. Pennsylvania refuses to allow people to vote early or to move voting days to the week-end or do anything else to make it easier to vote, such as automatic registration.

By the way, the fact states make it harder to vote than it should be is a clear indication some people are afraid of letting more people vote. Some politicians and manipulators want to create a virtual voting machine that swings elections their way. Letting just anyone who is truly eligible to vote do so would throw a spanner in their works.

Well, none of that matters today. It never did matter. And it won’t matter tomorrow, on the day of the most crucial mid-term elections this country has had in decades. Tomorrow could be, I hope, the beginning of a new, better, brighter era in America.

So, if you are registered to vote, get out and vote tomorrow. Just do it.

If you are not registered to vote, get that job done right away. It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s free. And, it’s part of your job as a citizen. You won’t be able to vote tomorrow, but for ever after, you and and you should. Find out more at https://vote.gov.

Remember, people who do not vote should not complain about the kind of government they get as a result. If you are eligible to vote, you should vote. Period. Oh, and make sure to take a picture of your sticker (see above) after you vote and share it around and wear it proudly.

IMG_2326.JPG

Researchers Develop Memory Aiding Typeface

In the Seybold Report newsletter, we love reporting on typefaces, especially history of type design and new typefaces. I laughed out loud when I learned about this new one (see below), and, of course, we had to share the news with the Seybold Report subscribers in the last issue (18.19) of the newsletter, which published earlier this month.

“Researchers Doctor Janneke Blijlevens and Doctor Jo Peryman from RMIT’s Behavioral Business Lab (Melbourne, Australia) collaborated with the School of Design to produce a typeface specifically designed to enhance memory retention. They dubbed it Sans Forgetica (pun obviously intended) and say the design helps prompt the brain to remember more content.

To download the Sans Serif typeface and learn more please visit http://sansforgetica.rmit. To view an explanatory video and learn even more, please visit https://www.rmit.edu.au/media-objects/multimedia/video/eve/marketing/the-science-of-sans-forgetica-the-font-to-remember.”

To learn more about the Seybold Report newsletter and to subscribe, please visit our corporate Web site: http://www.thejossgroup.com and click on the Newsletters tab. And, we hope you will apply for membership in the community if you are a graphic arts, printing, publishing, or design professional.