I was honored to be a panelist with three very talented and professional creative business owners in Boston on May 15 at the 2014 How Design Live Creative Freelancer Conference. The panel addressed the joys and challenges of virtual teams to an audience of my peers; creative business owners like me and a smattering of really talented soloprenuers. I’ve included my presentation here, just in case someone listening to the presentation didn’t take notes. Or you overslept and missed it.
It has been humbling to teach Adobe InDesign the last few weeks to a room full of eager creatives at SMU CAPE. These students are bright, often teaching the rusty teacher, and they will do some pretty exciting stuff with the program in the future.
The variety of functions with InDesign made it tricky to teach. There’s always more than one way to do something. That flexibility can make simple projects much more complex because we choose the looooong way to get the job done the first time. One evening before the lesson started, a young woman showed me a catalog she created way before she took our class. The finished piece turned out really well, but now that she knew some how-tos of the program, she knew she made her job much more complicated than necessary.
During World War II, Coke and Pepsi were competing for the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of every American. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it.) Coke had already managed to develop a strong following stateside with the promise that every American in uniform could buy a Coke for a nickle no matter how remote the outpost. In response, Pepsi rolled out what I like to call the first social network campaign – “a recorded message from your man in service”.
Pepsi set up several mobile recording stations at training centers around the world where soldiers were preparing for service. Soldiers stepped into a recording booth to read letters, sing songs or just say a few meaningful words to far away family, friends and fiancée. That session was made into 78Rpm thin acetate records and then mailed to the loved one to be played on the family record player. Over and over again, if they wished. You could say it was the very first example of voice mail. (Here’s a YouTube video of one of these records if you are interested.)
Before boarding their flight, 250 WestJest Christmas Miracle passengers were encourage to tell Santa their Christmas wishes. While the plane was in the air, WestJet employees purchased and wrapped the gifts, fulfilling some pretty big ticket items. Once the flight landed, the surprised travelers watched as their packages were delivered on the baggage carousel. They never expected that their wishes would be granted. Some requests were extravagant (a diamond ring) and others were simply dull (underwear and socks). But every one was delighted, touched, and left with a huge smile on their face.
In a few short days, the first seasonal airing of It’s A Wonderful Life will take place, marking the start of the Christmas holiday. It’s a family favorite. Poor George Bailey longs for a world without him in it because he can’t see his life the way others see it. Thankfully, he has a guardian angel to show him exactly who he really is, and comes to his senses just in time to hear the bells ring.
The movie is a favorite because we may secretly long to know what others think of us when we were not in the room. Our persona can be hard to measure in real life. Fortunately, it’s much easier to discover “who you are” online. That question just isn’t asked very often. We rarely contemplate the end goal before storming out the gate with an army of people to put digital fingerprints on any and all of the available platforms.
When Twitter prepared their IPO in 2013, the buzz got loud enough that perfectly rational people may think they need to add Twitter to their campaigns — just because everybody is doing it. But before you jump into this platform . . . there’s something you should know.
Come close so we can whisper it in your ear: Twitter can be a very scary place. (Cue spooky organ music and a howling wolf.)