The uniformity of visual pop culture

“Ultimately, the uniformity of visual pop culture is far too ominous to consider when planning a gathering, the announcement of a milestone, or a flat lay.

In an online environment where accounts live and die by engagement, modifying our households to be public facing, rather than personal, is rooted in the simple desire to look nice and be noticed.

A few shimmery streamers from Amazon, a $250 letter board, or a faux marble pattern will get you there, no matter how far from the reality of your living space.”

Home is where the photo booth is (The Ringer)

Not saying we considered this while renovating our kitchen… but we may have considered this while renovating our kitchen. ?‍♂️

Digital media’s swift path to profitability

“A swift path to profitability tends to come from brands that own, rather than rent, their audience. The majority of recent deals have involved highly-focused, subject-specific verticals. New acquisitions are quickly tucked into the margin-sensitive organization’s wider office space, ad-tech stacks and other back-office functions. Overlapping costs are largely stripped out, rather than continuing to operate the assets as separate, adjacent businesses.”

The age of the operator (Digiday)

Feels like digital companies, from SV-based startups to NY-based media brands, are coming ’round to practical business models. We’re finally seeing some sticker shock from “growth at all costs”.

How the Bauhaus survived

“Ultimately, the Bauhaus survived because it left the building. The Bauhäuslers were scattered all around the world in exile. Germany’s loss was as numerous as other countries’ gain as teachers and students took the design ethic with them, to places like Tel Aviv, Chicago, Detroit, Tokyo, and Amsterdam—through architecture, art, and industrial design.”

How the Bauhaus Kept the Nazis at Bay, Until It Couldn’t (CityLab)

Visiting the Bauhaus museum in Berlin was a highlight from our trip to Germany a couple years back. The building is under renovation until 2022 and I’m grateful that we got in before the close.

The context of search queries

“Knowing that a term is informational only gets you so far. If you miss that the content desired by that query demands a list you could be creating long-form content that won’t satisfy intent and, therefore, is unlikely to rank well.”

Query Syntax (AJ Kohn)

Understand what people want when they enter a search query, lest you waste time on creating things that don’t solve for what they need.

A few thoughts re: Substack

“If great writing were to flourish on the internet, the media world needed an alternative to online advertising. We believed that direct payments between readers and writers provided a better way forward. With subscriptions, the emphasis is placed on an ongoing trust relationship between reader and writer. The reader – not an advertiser – becomes the primary customer. A writer of a subscription publication can only do well if the reader feels well served – and if they succeed with that, then even a relatively small audience is enough to support a lucrative business.”

Two years of Substack (Substack)

Substack isn’t an email marketing platform. It’s a publishing platform for writers. Email is the primary delivery mechanism, but you gotta jump to the Substack site for comments and discussions.

I’m bullish on Substack because I like the product, I like the model, and I like the experience as both a subscriber and a creator.

I’ve subscribed ($$$) to a few newsletters so far because I follow the writers and want to support their work, and a few cups of coffee per month feels like more than a bargain to do so.

Read moreA few thoughts re: Substack

The rise of “no code” tools

“These tools are reducing the amount of time and coding expertise required to translate an idea into something people can use. You no longer need to become a programmer to build things on the internet, empowering a new wave of makers from different backgrounds and perspectives.”

The Rise of “No Code” (Ryan Hoover)

I dropped a similar tweet a few weeks back:

“Growing code-free services bringing software creation to the masses = finally crossing the chasm. There were some earlier attempts, but with the likes of site builders, Airtable, Zapier, Notion, Coda, etc… there are more options than ever for tech-savvy, non-coders to DIY.”

@andymci on Twitter

Good marketing is…

“Good Marketing is showing, not telling. Good marketing is delivering stories and experiences that incite emotions. Good marketing focuses on solutions to your problems. Bad marketing pushes. Bad Marketing compares oneself to the competition. Bad marketing focuses on features.”

The Drift Marketing Manifesto (Drift)

I like these group manifestos. Lock ’em down early. They give everyone in the organization something to anchor on.

Staying afloat is a win for yourself

“Build something good, keep your costs low, keep your growth in check, hold back your expectations, find some customers, charge them money for your good/services, make more than you spend, and you’ll buy yourself another day, or week, or month, or year in business. Just aim to stay open, don’t aim to win anything from anyone. Staying afloat is a win for yourself.”

Q&A: How do I win in a packed category? (Signal v. Noise)

This is exactly what I’m trying to do with my new side hustle. I’m “soft launching” it at WordCamp Niagara next week, and formally opening it up on November 1st.

Related: My notes and recap for Company of One by Paul Jarvis.