hypocritical : talking the talk without walking the walk

April 29, 2006

Resigned. To my fate.

And now, the scary part begins.

You may notice, in the coming weeks, a decided change in hypocritical. I can't exactly say what the changes will be or how those changes may affect the content here. How they will affect the publishing schedule. How they will affect my outlook. It's the big unknown. But I have taken the first precipitous (or perhaps, more appropriately, "off the precipice") step.

I've resigned my current corporate-side-of-the-desk (safe) position. Turned in the letter of resignation. Proposed my last day of employment. Sealed the fate on my last guaranteed paycheck. I am now set to embark on my own agency-side-of-the-desk (risky) gig.

As what, you ask? A professional blogger? Um, no. Not unless you're going to let me come live with you, sleep on your couch, rifle through your fridge, and borrow that cute teal number, while we stay up late telling stories and painting our toenails. (On second thought, I may come live with you anyway.)

No, no, gentle reader. Being paid to babble incoherently about all things marketing is not likely to be putting food on the table and a roof over my head any time soon. I know, I know. I like to think I'm that smart, charming, and popular, as well. But deep down inside, we both know it isn't true. (But I thank you for that vote of confidence. Even though you didn't really give it and I just kind of forced it on you, so now you feel like you're sitting there stuck with the unpopular kid waiting patiently for your response to his/her invitation to the Prom/Sadie Hawkins dance. I'm still giving you credit.)

So, you may see hypocritical's focus on marketing and whining take some different tangents. I'm already noticing that those blogs with an entrepreneurial bent are taking on a whole new luster. (I've checked Workhappy at least 20 times in the past hour and no new resources. How am I supposed to survive out here?) You may catch me questioning things I didn't question before. You may see me focusing on minutiae that heretofore, from my ivory corporate tower, did not exist within my purview.

I can't tell you. All I can say is "stay tuned." It could be a unheralded success (in which case my swollen ego will deem you a "fan"), an abysmal failure (in which my pervading ennui will deem you a "contributor to my demise"), or something in between.

So, for any of you who have advice, suggestions, or scathing criticism that involves the word "imbecile" and the phrase "turn back before it's too late." I'd love to hear it.

In the meantime, join me, won't you? My self-induced vivisection eagerly awaits.

 

Resigned. To my fate.

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April 28, 2006

Portland Ad Federation (PAF) presentation verges on preachy

So, today, while the rest of Portland, Oregon, was basking in beautiful, sunny 80 degree weather, I was forcing some poor young design students to bask in the fire and brimstone of my views on marketing communications. Little did they know when they innocently registered to attend the Portland Advertising Federation (PAF) Career Jam that they would have to listen to me drone on and on and on about the state of the corporate marketing communications role.

That, in and of itself, will serve to be a valuable lesson for them.

I had the pleasure of serving on a panel with Lars Lofas, Vice President, Marketing, Comcast; Jeri Owen, Senior Director, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Digimarc Corporation; and Mike Fitzsimons, Graphic Designer, Digimarc Corporation. They, unfortunately, had the displeasure of competing with my constant blathering for airtime. (There are two basic problems with putting me on a panel: 1) I like the sound of my own voice, and 2) I think I have incredibly interesting things to say. This, my gentle reader, should not come as any shock if you poke around the archives of good ol' hypocritical.)

And, I have to commend Lynnette Xanders of Wild Alchemy for her attempts to keep me in check. It was a valiant attempt at moderation and direction. Unfortunately, my babbling is like kryptonite to most moderators.

I've said it many a time; I'll say it again: Brevity. Not my strong suit.

Although the glazed looks of the attendees led me to believe otherwise, I have been talking myself into believing that I made one, maybe two, cogent points during my babbling. Since making a point tends to be a momentous occasion for me, I thought I'd capture those points for posterity. Join me in reveling, won't you?


  1. Nobody likes ugly
    If you're going to work in Portland, Oregon, in marketing communications, it's highly likely that you're going to be doing some high-tech work. Sure sure. You'll get the random Nike account, like building Join Bode or something, or the Adidas gig, or the Columbia job. Maybe even Keen (which, by the way, has only ever so recently updated their site from the unbelievable horrible site they were running; please visit to encourage them to continue to improve). But for the most part? High-tech, high-tech, and, um, high-tech. It's all over the place here. And what's the primary problem with high-tech, young designers? That's right. Most everything in high-tech is ugly. Ugly ugly ugly. In fact there is so much ugly in high-tech, some people will try to tell you that the market actually, and I quote, "likes ugly." Um, no. This is complete bull... hogwash. Nobody likes ugly. They may have gotten used to ugly, but they don't like ugly. People want pretty. And you, as designers, are obligated to continue to strive toward delivering that. Clean. Simple. Pretty. It's your obligation.

  2. One resume = No jobs
    Send me the same resume that you send everyone else and I can guarantee you won't get the job you want. Every resume for every position for which you apply should be customized for that position. If you don't take the time to tweak (read "spin") your resume for the position I've posted, I'm not going to take the time to hire you. All you've shown me is that you either a) don't care enough to spend the time and energy to actually apply for the position or b) you don't understand what I need and you're lobbing in your resume as some lame attempt to hit the jackpot by sheer force of will. Sorry. If you don't rework your resume to tell a story that reflects the selfsame criteria I've told you I want, you lose. And deserve to lose. That's like getting the answers to the test and then deciding to fill in the answers to another test.

  3. It's not what you know; it's who you know
    Portland, Oregon, is an incredibly small town. In the marketing communications business, it's a closely packed hamlet at best. A one-stoplight town. Everyone knows everyone. It borders on ridiculous. The rumor mill I had to withstand in college was less informed than the Portland marketing community. Chances are, if I don't know you, I know someone who knows you. And if no one knows you? That's a problem. So network network network. I have yet to find a job in Portland that wasn't a direct result of a personal or professional connection opening doors for me. Now, I like to think that I've got chops to make it in this town, but I'm not fooling myself. References are huge. So join organizations. Join the PAF. Network. Join the AIGA. Network. Join Kent Lewis and the PDXMindShare crowd. Network. Get to know the community. Let the community know you. So the next time I call on my network to give me some feedback on you they can tell me some stories. I don't even care if they're positive. I just want to know you're a known entity.

And that was my little rant. See? You got a summary... Well, I hesitate to call it a summary because you sat here reading it as long as those kids had to sit and listen to me rail on and on. But, you get the picture.

See? I do provide some valuable information. Every once in awhile. I'm also available for weddings and bar mitzvahs. Book early. First come, first served.


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Portland Ad Federation (PAF) presentation verges on preachy

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April 26, 2006

Apologies for all quiet on the blogging front

Well, all's quiet, around here at least. Publishing has been a bit erratic and/or non-existent for a bit.

(And I've noticed similar publishing slumps on a variety of my favorite blogs, as well. What's that? No, I wasn't implying that this is your favorite blog. No, I'm not making far reaching assumptions on what you deem your favorite. I am not putting words in your mouth. No, I'm not conceited. Well, not that I'd admit. Whoa whoa whoa. Just can that hostility, Chachi. I was just trying to make a point. Potty mouth. You need a time out.)

My apologies for my postings, or lack thereof, as of late. Other fish to fry.

But, because my love for you, gentle reader, is insatiable, and because you are constantly on my mind, I found a few links, specially selected for you and only you. Don't tell anyone else. Please. I'd like this to be our little secret.

Here you go. Enjoy.

Cop-out? Nice. After all I do for you. Well, I promise more (or maybe the first) intriguing content, insight, and love, soon. I promise. Just hit the snooze one or two more times.

 

Apologies for all quiet on the blogging front

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April 20, 2006

Enough With the Blogging Already (First Anniversary)

So, sometimes when I'm suffering from a wee bit of the writer's block, I start digging through my blog "drafts." That little folder is chock full of tasty morsels about which I was oh-so-excited to write. With little venomous notes and carefully crafted barbs. Snarky comments. Links to refute positions.

It's exciting stuff. I think. Half the time I don't remember what I was even trying to say. Which, I realize, is not strange, given that, in the heat of the post, it's not even clear what I'm trying to say. Like right now, for instance.

What I'm trying to say, I think, is that while I had great plans to write those carefully penned posts that were going to rocket me to the tip-top of the blogosphere, with such caustic commentary that I would be lauded as an "insightful genius" and the only one who "truly understands," in reality, time marches on. And, in reality, I'm often simply regurgitating ideas. Regurgitating in terms of ingesting and then returning those ideas in a more jumbled and ill-smelling fashion. Not, I am chagrin to admit, like a mother bird nourishing its young.

Where was I?

Oh yes. The drafts folder. So most of these 200 or so drafts will never see the light of day.

Oh nice. I heard that sigh of relief. Rude, you are.

In any case, sometimes, rather than hear me babble, it's nice to take a trip down memory lane about what might have been. Or to take a look at articles published in the past to see if they're still hitting a chord.

Take, for instance, this little ditty for Darwin, Enough With the Blogging Already, that I added to my drafts pile about a year ago. Clearly, it struck a nerve. Or maybe I was awash with naivete. Or ennui. Who knows?

In any case, this article is from one year ago. A decade or so in terms of blog-years. Still relevant or clearly dated? You decide.

Oh, and I shouldn't fail to mention, that the man who penned Enough With the Blogging Already, Graeme Thickins? well, his blog is right here.

 

Enough With the Blogging Already (First Anniversary)

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April 17, 2006

FeedBurner shares some link-love

The friendly folks over at FeedBurner have been kind enough to show a little link-love for my post on RSS statistics versus Web page statistics. I just can't say enough about the crew over there. They never fail to impress me.

Are you using FeedBurner? You should be. Get on over there and burn a few feeds. Unless, of course, you work at Google. Then, some people are saying you should just buy the whole thing.

 

FeedBurner shares some link-love

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April 08, 2006

Interland takes down hypocritical, again

Apparently, our friends over at Interland have made another change to their servers which, for some reason, always results in hypocritical going offline for hours on end.

It's probably because hypocritical uses really high-tech code called HTML.


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Interland takes down hypocritical, again

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April 07, 2006

Technorati: Good listening, good!


Technorati revised UI
Originally uploaded by turoczy.
Earlier this week, I was whining. Oh, right. I'm always whining. Well, this time I was whining about Technorati and a big ugly WebEx ad that Technorati continued to shove into my face and UI.

I mean, I know they have to pay the bills. But this UI was just plain bad.

Well, I stumbled back over to Technorati today and, lo and behold, the situation appears to be rectified.

Technorati, you anthropomorphic entity to whom I will speak in this post, thank you for listening. You've won back a user. And you've wedged valuable information into a wasted space that would have never gained my click. Thank you.


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Technorati: Good listening, good!

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April 06, 2006

Web 2.0 Journal looks anything but


Web 2.0 Journal
Originally uploaded by turoczy.
Um. Okay.

I know I tend to rip on those kooky Web 2.0 kids more than I should. But, in all honesty, I really do appreciate some of the design concepts that have been associated with the space. This is not me waffling. Although I'm very good at a well-orchestrated waffle. This is just how it is.

So here's my question: Why in the name of all that is good and decent does the Web 2.0 Journal look like this? Was Mike Rundle too busy working on another refresh of Om's site? Maybe the BusinessLogs or 9rules dockets are a tad full. I would imagine they are. Maybe they're just working on some new dance moves.

I don't know. Whatever the case, I'm still pretty sure there's at least one or two other designers out there who have this whole "design concept" thing down. I hear Khoi Vinh might have some time freeing up.

Okay, forget the fact that there even is a Web 2.0 Journal. Try to look beyond that. Focus! I know, I know. Don't even get me started. And please don't bring up the point about how it's not leveraging anything even remotely close to a Web 2.0 technology. What's that? They're trying to cash in on the hype?

Oh, I see.

Let's get back to the point. Why does it look like that? Is that what Web 2.0 looks like? I think not. Maybe they should spend a little quality time with the Web 2.0 design checklist. Or, better yet, get a designer, any designer, to take a cut at their UI.


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Web 2.0 Journal looks anything but

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April 05, 2006

Technorati: Bad ad, bad!

UPDATE (April 7, 2006)

I am pleasantly surprised and happy to report that, thanks to Technorati making some tweaks, I have an update for this post entitled "Technorati: Good listening, good!"


ORIGINAL POST


Technorati: Bad ad, bad!
Originally uploaded by turoczy.
I don't know if you're a regular user of Technorati, but even if you aren't... How annoying is this WebEx ad? And I mean not only in terms of creative. (What, exactly, I always wonder, does having your entrails forcibly removed in front of a crowd have to do with Web conferencing? On second thought, scratch that. That's exactly what Web conferencing is.)

But the placement of this incredibly poor creative? This has got to be one of the most annoyingly placed ads I've seen in quite some time. I keep coming back, hoping that Technorati is going to revise their UI, again but alas and alack, this looks like it's here to stay and today (April 7, 2006) they surprised me with one.

Too bad. I keep harping and whining to no avail.

I guess I'll spend my time with icerocket and Google Blogsearch Technorati.



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Technorati: Bad ad, bad!

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April 04, 2006

PowerPoint love promotes pondering the prevailing perspective


Pondering PowerPoint's form factor
Originally uploaded by turoczy.
Like many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with Microsoft PowerPoint. Okay, so Edward Tufte always seems to have a hate-hate relationship with it--and hearing his disdain firsthand in a city near you is always encouraged--but you get my point.

So anyway, I'm back in love with PowerPoint. Oh yes, I know. I hear you. Yes, yes, I'm like some poor hostage suffering from a case of Stockholm syndrome after being incarcerated with his captors a few too many days. And I'll admit, some of that may be true. Sure. I may be spending a bit too much quality time with my buddy PowerPoint, as of late. We may be spending a few too many hours staring into one another's eyes. But, you know, that proximity may be a good thing with PowerPoint and me.

Because it's given me a new perspective on my oft maligned PowerPoint. And here it is: maybe part of the problem isn't PowerPoint, maybe part of the problem is the form factor of PowerPoint.

Which got me to thinking, why do we insist on designing PowerPoint slides at a horizontal perspective? I mean, that construct was developed for editing on screen, but I can't tell you the last time I watched someone present from a screen. I mean, most of the time I watch people present their little PowerPoint presentations, they're generally presenting with a projector.

I assume you have witnessed similar occurrences with PowerPoint and presenters. Okay, good. Stick with me.

We just design PowerPoint in a horizontal format, because that's the form it originally took. But we don't have to stay in that form. Do we? If we're projecting at a wall? Are we cramped for wall space? I mean, do we all work in offices that are cramped like some Being-John-Malkovich-ceilingly-challenged space? I'm pretty sure there's a good 5 feet of usable space there.

So why do try to wedge everything into a horizontal perspective?

Well, you say, because that's the way that PowerPoint forces us to design. Does it really? You can change the perspective of the presentation however you want. You're not constrained by the canvas, that's for sure.

Well, everyone expects it that way, you say. Who cares? That's a stupid excuse.

Well, that's how the projectors work, you stutter. Ah ha! There we go. That's exactly the same spot I arrived after I beat myself up on those same questions. (No worries. I'm always much harder on myself than I am on you, because I've always had a soft spot in my heart for you.) The projector is why we do it. The projector!

We're forced into horizontal PowerPoint design, not because of the information or the construct or requirements or the software tool but because of the machine that projects the information on the wall.

Might I make a slight suggestion? Topple the machine.

I think you're slightly stronger than the average micro-light projector they're building these days. I think you can do it. If you can carry it into the room, I'm fairly confident you can handle it.

So tip it. Topple it. Upend it. Set it on its side. Force it to provide a different perspective.

And what do you get? Something a little more familiar? A space with which you've been working since your youth? A vertical representation of a page begging to be designed?

Interesting. Potentially a perspective worth exploring. Even in PowerPoint.


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PowerPoint love promotes pondering the prevailing perspective

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Read this when you get around to it

Or you could read it now, if it will help you avoid doing something else. (By way of Lifehacker, which makes me wonder if blogs attempting to obviate procrastination are like AA groups proposing cocktail hours.)

 

Read this when you get around to it

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April 03, 2006

Coca-Cola Blak planning meeting

Coca-Cola Exec: I feel like wasting some money. And (and!) I want a grassroots media nightmare like Chevy has going with their Tahoe commercials.

Coca-Cola VP: Let's create a new product that nobody wants.

Exec: I like your thinking. But I'll do you one better: Let's create a product targeted at 30-50 year olds that nobody wants.

VP: Brilliant. But, what product could we create?

Exec: How about C2?

VP: We already created that. What about coffee?

Exec: Tons of people love coffee.

VP: Not real coffee, silly. Coke coffee.

Exec: Didn't Pepsi try that?

VP: That was Pepsi coffee, not Coke coffee.

Exec: Don't people already drink coffee?

VP: Not fizzy pseudo-coffee. Fizzy pseudo-coffee will be hot.

Exec: I'm sold. What do we call it?

VP: I've got it. We'll call it "Coca-Cola Black."

Exec: Too many "C"s.

VP: Coca-Cola Blak?

Exec: Brilliant. But it needs to be suave and sophisticated to hit the demographic. Somewhere short of Just for Men and Viagra.

VP: Packaging will be a big challenge for that group. But I've got it. What do you think of when you think of coffee?

Exec: Starbucks?

VP: That's Pepsi.

Exec: Oh. Um, caffeine?

VP: Warm.

Exec: Brown?

VP: Warmer.

Exec: The restroom?

VP: Bingo. So, the bottle? It will have the stylish mottlings of fecal matter.

Exec: You lost me with your high-minded jibber-jabber.

VP: The bottle will be the color of a turd.

Exec: Now you're talking. That's memorable, sophisticated, and enticing. But I'm concerned, how can we make the launch into even more of a trainwreck?

VP: Make the URL impossible to remember and build the site entirely out of Flash so that people can't use search engines to find it?

Exec: That's playing by the book. Think outside the box.

VP: But there's more: your grassroots media conundrum. You see, if we don't optimize the site for search engines, then the only way people will find it is through blog entries.

Exec: I smell a Coke Blak bottle, here, you genius.

VP: And, I've got another idea... let's pitch the story of the entire, horribly wrong product development process to the Constitution. Like we went through a bunch of research to come up with this concept.

PR: Consider it done.


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Coca-Cola Blak planning meeting

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April 02, 2006

Web 2.0 design rescinded, eyeballs everywhere rejoice

hypocritical's April Fools' Day 2006 Design

hypocritical's April Fools' Day 2006 Design
Okay, so it was fun while it lasted. Funny? Well, that's entirely open for debate. (UPDATE: Oh wait. It's not even open for debate. See Anil Dash's third bullet. Guilty/stupid as charged. If only he would publish this type of guidance before April 1st instead of the end of April 1st. Some friend.) But, at least, it gave me a chance to stretch a little, in a very strange way.

And, yes, I must admit, that stretch gave me some good elements for the actual redesign of hypocritical. Because, honestly, the light text on blue is horrible. And practically illegible. For me. And since I'm usually the only one reading the posts, I've got to redesign.

This, of course, also applies to the posts "Beat Web 2.0 design?" and "Slashdot steals... hypocritical design."

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. And whining. Happy April 2nd.


 

Web 2.0 design rescinded, eyeballs everywhere rejoice

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April 01, 2006

Nick Carr wins the annual hypocritical April Fools' Day "Dark Cloud" award

UPDATE (April 2, 2006): It's strange--and oft mentioned--how the most random little posts, the ones you don't think will really draw any attention, suddenly do. Kind of like the room going quiet as you yell, "This guy who writes hypocritical is an a...." Case in point? Nick Carr? Seth Godin? And now, a link from Scoble. Unreal.

UPDATE: Now, whether Seth Godin actually stopped by little ol' z-list hypocritical to comment or not could be the basis of a lengthy April Fools' Day discussion in and of itself. But, Nick Carr most definitely did recognize the posting of this award. Practically in real time. Again, strange that this little known and even littler read (apologies to those 3 of you who tune in from time to time) blog would attract such star power on such a random day. But, I'm not complaining. It's probably the pinky Web 2.0 goodness.

And the way Nick phrased it? With that oblique reference to the ouroboros state of blogging? It makes me wonder if he hasn't been a secret fan of hypocritical for quite some time. You be the judge.


ORIGINAL POST

hypocritcal April Fools' Day Dark Cloud award
darkcloud
Originally uploaded by turoczy.
Congratulations to Nick Carr for claiming the April Fools' Day "Dark Cloud" award. He steals the award from last year's winner, Seth Godin, with his brilliant and terse "April Fools Day jumps the shark."

Heaven forbid all these folks having fun. A travesty, to be sure.


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Nick Carr wins the annual hypocritical April Fools' Day "Dark Cloud" award

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hypocritical divider - Yes, I know it's called a 'cartouche,' fancypants

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