Categories
Photography Quotes

‘His retina is beleaguered with images’

'His retina is beleaguered with images'

“What of modern man’s scale of values? His retina is beleaguered with images (photographs, printed matter, street advertisements, Cinema) from morning to night.” 

Alvar Aalto, 1927

And now we’re beleaguered with shiny devices that blast such promotions into our eyes.

We all carry a piece of Times Square in our pocket.

gif by Tomasz Konczakowski

Categories
Life & Philosophy Social Media

A little bit louder now

Provocation is neither about engagement nor expression — it’s about likes and shares.

The lightning rod on Twitter will always outshine the passive inspirer, hiding from the market.

But it is the quality of interactions that deliver the message. Neither the loud nor the faint succeeds.

Speak softly and carry a big stick.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Social Media Tech

Hobbying for hobbies sake

Whether it’s trying surfing or playing the guitar when’s the last time you did something out of pure joy?

In this Instagram-edited era where everyone gets their own stage, people only like to do things they’re good at. The thought goes: ‘if I can’t share it and show my best self, why do it?’

The aim for perfection limits the urge to enjoy hobbies for hobbies sake. As the author Tim Wu notes:

“But there’s a deeper reason, I’ve come to think, that so many people don’t have hobbies: We’re afraid of being bad at them. Or rather, we are intimidated by the expectation — itself a hallmark of our intensely public, performative age — that we must actually be skilled at what we do in our free time.”

The comedian never knows how their material will reciprocate until they get on stage and try their material. The jazz musician tweaks their tempo to test audience reaction. The writer publishes a first chapter of the book for feedback. In terms of professional life, showing your work is critical. But as a hobbyist, you don’t need reassurance. Again, writes Wu:

“Lost here is the gentle pursuit of a modest competence, the doing of something just because you enjoy it, not because you are good at it.”

Playing is natural, reception is artificial. It is hobbies that feed the soul with pure goodness. Showcasing the hobby is not necessary, but if so, neither is acing it.

Hobbies shouldn’t feel like work. They are a process to enjoy.

“The physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t have a destination that it ought to arrive at. But it is best understood by its analogy to music. Because music as an art form is essentially playful. We say you play the piano, you don’t work the piano.”

Alan Watts
Categories
History Travel

Advertising on the Eiffel Tower (1925 – 1934)

The dawn of ubiquitous advertising found itself on a Paris landmark before World War II.

Between 1925 and 1934, the Eiffel Tower served as a huge illuminated advertisement for Citroën.

Darran Anderson
Categories
Productivity & Work Social Media

Four to one

Untitled design (6).png

The goal is to be good at more than one thing. Everyone should be versatile.

But sometimes it is better to narrow yourself to expand. Instead of doing everything, you focus on doing one thing well. And the rest gets better as a result.

Take social networking for example. It’s a misperception that one has to be on all networks, sharing all the time. So you take shortcuts. After publishing a new blog post, you automatically share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+.

Frictionless broadcasting may work for those who already have an acquired audience. But for the startup or entrepreneur — they will need to work harder to get attention. And the best way to do that is to pick one network and double-down.

Focusing on Twitter, for instance, may allow you to write concise tweets, insert captivating media, and include vanity links. Focusing on Instagram may allow you to include the niche hashtags related to the post that gives the image an extra boost.

Single-tasking on one marketing channel takes a strategy. Publishing is deliberate and methodical, the community engagement well-intentioned.

Less is more. The pattern of interactions will bleed into other outlets. Unlike the feather, you’ll be the wind directing all the controls.

Categories
Books

‘The peak of peak attention…’

“The peak of peak attention can be assigned an exact date: Sunday, September 9, 1956, when Elvis Presley made his first appearance on television, on CBS’s Ed Sullivan Show. Its 82.6 percent share of viewers has never been equaled or bettered.”

— Tim Wu, The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads

Categories
Arts Uncategorized

Illustrations for Amazon Prime Day

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE THE DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Whether’s the art in Apple’s app store or Amazon’s prime day gifs, I continually to be amazed by some of illustrations coming out of the world’s biggest brands.

The ones above appear on Amazon’s giphy channel to help promote Amazon Prime Day, staring next Monday.

If you’re not a Prime member, you can sign up here to get a 30-Day free trial.

Categories
Creativity

Rather unique

Building the tallest building is a matter of ego. Machismo drives a lot of design and innovation, as it does leadership.

But there’s always going to be a taller building, just as there’s still going to be the next innovative car or gadget.

Things can only stand out for so long before something else surpasses them, or they become normalized, like a commodity that everyone else can own (see the ownership of mirrors).

There are also more people in the world that own smartphones than toothbrushes.

When size and novelty fall aside, people only remember what’s unique. That’s why, no matter what size a book or painting or any design for that matter is, it’s about the content and its context.

It’s the story that matters more than (temporarily) standing out.

Categories
Creativity Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Making for the micro

People always made art. Now, we just make it and share it in abundance.

But all the noise makes it impossible for aspiring creators to stand out.

On the flip side, the bell curve is widening from the masses to the niches. We can build an audience around sub-genres at scale for the first time ever; the Internet helps us stay connected.

Once we shift our strategy from marketing to everyone to marketing to the micro, we set ourselves up to make deeper work that lasts.

Your weirdness is not only acceptable, it’s mainstream.