150k botanical images enter the public domain

“Had he lived in our time, Thoreau would’ve been thrilled to know that the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the world’s largest open-access digital archive dedicated to the natural world, is now offering more than 150,000 high-resolution illustrations for copyright-free download.”

Over 150,000 Botanical Illustrations Enter the Public Domain (Hyperallergic)

The public domain is a blessing for students and artists. The freedom to remix and reinterpret the work of those who came before us is an integral part of our cultural evolution. Thanks to the web, the public domain is more accessible than ever.

Strong marketing starts with a strong product.

In a PLG business, the product is front and center in how you acquire, convert and expand your users. Your product managers are the equivalent of your great sales rep. Yet research shows that most PMs don’t own the metrics they’re measured against.”

The SaaS Trends You Need to Know for 2020 (OpenView)

PLG stands for product-led growth, by the way. I dig the sentiment. Strong marketing starts with a strong product.

Newsletters: Too much of a good thing?

“A funny thing happened in our current Newsletter Renaissance: inundation. Much like the television streaming era which is now in full-swing, we’re learning that there can, in fact, be too much of a good thing. At least for those of us who are completists. Which is to say: there are too many newsletters that I now subscribe to and want to read, but often cannot. Because, well, time.”

Newsletters as Newspapers (M.G. Siegler

Time is a finite resource, as is our attention. I’m adapting by skimming headlines more often, and saving my deep-reading moments for books and my Pocket list.

Watching: 10 years with Miyazaki

Over the weekend I started watching 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki, a four-part documentary series covering the life and work of Studio Ghibli’s prolific co-founder and filmmaker. You can watch it for free on NHK World Japan.

Despite their stellar reputation, I never got into the Ghibli films. (Hell, I still haven’t watched Totoro in full!) But after seeing the emotion and labour that Miyazaki pours into his work, I’m definitely going to go back and catch up.

I tweet, therefore I am

“I tweet, therefore I am? Internet participation can feel like being on tour in perpetuity, and the feedback loops can feel like a noose, one that you tighten yourself.”

How Everyone IPO’d in the 21st Century (Eugene Wei)

I read somewhere recently — can’t remember the source — that when you hit “peak social” on Twitter, everything you write sounds like something you’d pull out of a fortune cookie. Truisms to amplify and outrage to stoke. Hell, I’m guilty of it. So how do we keep it in check and not lose ourselves to the game of scoring internet points?

The next era of Instagram

“Forbes and a handful of social-media-marketing websites echo that appetites are changing. People are sick of unrealistic lifestyles and picture-perfect aesthetics, they say. The next era of Instagram is all about the “relatable influencer,” with trends like #nomakeup, #nofilter, #mentalhealth, #bodyimage, and “Instagram vs. Reality” memes. I now realize that in this essay, I’ve hit five out of five.”

— Who Would I Be Without Instagram? An investigation (The Cut)

Instagram started with snapshots of personal moments in filtered splendor. Then it swung towards influencers peddling products via over-produced photo shoots. Now it’s swinging back to something more real. (Hopefully.)

Life as a seamless, worky fever dream

Busy people who see work and nonwork as two separate spheres tend to get angry when one bleeds into the other, Butts says. One coping mechanism might be to view your life as a seamless, worky fever dream. As unappealing as that sounds, at least you’re not surprised when it extends past 6 p.m.

Give Up on Work-Life Balance (The Atlantic)

I prefer to think of life as a latticework of projects, but hey, to each their own.

Online advertising comes full circle

As we look beyond a sort of a digital programmatic world that’s underpinned by cookies, it’s become really about audience. How do we reclaim some of the value that has always traditionally resided with publishers, which is about quality, context and trust? Once you begin to think of good advertising in those terms, it seemed to align our commercial interests and our values, and then it became almost unarguable that this was a commitment and a statement that we should make.”

The Guardian’s historic ban on fossil fuel ads (Heated)

Snipped from an interview with The Guardian’s interim CEO Anna Bateson in the latest Heated newsletter.

The line re: moving away from programmatic advertising resonated with me. I agree with it. I’d love to see a resurgence in direct relationships between publishers and advertisers; placement based on context, audience, and alignment.