"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." -Mark Twain

Content for the win - Vol. 1, No. 4

Thanksgiving 2012 

Thanks and Praises
After a slow spring, it's been a busy summer and active fall. I am thankful for all the new business and positive developments. I am also thankful for your attention and friendship. Happy Thanksgiving!

Talking Turkey
Founding father, Benjamin Franklin, preferred the noble turkey to the eagle for a great American symbol. He argued, "though a little vain and silly, (the turkey is) a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on." 

Speaking of Franklin, I recently stumbled upon his daily routine. The first thing he did each day was "Rise, wash, and address Powerful Goodness." 

Diggin' the New Digs
ISITE Design, one of Portland's leading digital agencies "took me in" last September and I've been a happy camper since. The agency, which last year bought and refurbished an old building on NW Pettygrove, put five private offices in the back with the intention of helping to incubate startups. In Bonehook's case, it is also a marriage of convenience, as ISITE is now hiring me to develop concepts and copy for their clients and the agency brand.

I feel nestled in this 'hood, like one might in Berkeley or Marin. Having the West Hills so near makes the area feel quite a bit different than other commercial districts like Downtown, The Pearl, Central Eastside, Lloyd Center and so on. 

Delight 2012
Last month, ISITE Design held its annual user experience conference in a downtown Portland ballroom. Here's a slice of my report on the event:

Dave Weineke, head of the Digital Strategy practice and member of ISITE’s Boston office, says brands can’t just compete on product and service, or on price. “Having customers that care is the strategic advantage” that matters most. Wieneke, I might point out, is also wielding an axe. He calls it an instrument of unabashed change. “The axe is an all or nothing commitment,” Weineke intones.

Caring is not overrated is it? No, caring is everything. The big question today, that we all must ask of our own businesses, is how do we get customers to care? And what role do communications play in this plan?

Push Play
I am pleased to be working with a new client in the emerging media and technology sphere. The Portland-based company is called PAGATIM, and they are audio storytellers with a network of downloadable programs about parenting, the economy, indie music and son on. PAGATIM also contracts with brands to make branded audiocasts and this is where I come in. I am presently helping to shape a new audio series for Portland Harbor Partnership, which is an industry group that is cleaning up the Willamette River Superfund site. We're devising an OPB-like series that can take some pretty complex regulatory issues, plus environmental and social justice issues and turn them into informative but entertaining audio segments that will inspire greater community action and drive greater awareness for the billion dollar problem at the heart of the city.

TeeBoxx Is Flying High
Another new client is taking off for the marketplace with help from Bonehook and friends. Thanks to help from Hovercraft here in Portland, we built the foundation right. Here, take a look:

Stay tuned for much more news regarding TeeBoxx and the innovative retail solutions the company is about the unveil. It's something I am excited to be part of, and I've also developed a wicked disc golf habit in the past few months. Darby and I have been playing almost every weekend, but now that the skies are "open" for the season, it will be more of a challenge to stay on it. Maybe someone could develop  an indoor course or two?

The Call of eCommerce 
alsooxx is an exciting creative opportunity, but I am aslo excited to be learning a lot. eCommerce, for one, is not something I know a lot about, so it's ramp up time on the digital cha-ching.

According to Forrester Research, the top reason for abandoning a cart before making a purchase is: Shipping and handling costs are too high (55%!). Online shoppers also get pissed when shipping costs were listed too late in the checkout process. Good to know.

Recommended Reading
- Fearkiller by Chris Maley (Chris is a friend, fellow copywriter and former colleage. His book is full of inventive language and social satire.)
- "Deadhead: The afterlife." by Nick Paumgarten (a long examination of GD in The New Yorker)
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (this science fiction novel from the early 1950s holds up particularly well for our time)
- "From the Very Beginning, Portland Has Been A City of Makers" by yours truly (my report from Design Week Portland)

Drop It In The Box
Are you using Dropbox to store important documents in the cloud? Do it!

Bonehook is a guide service and bait shop for brands.

Words That Mean Something
"Have you seen the two-hundred-foot-long billboards in the country beyond town? Did you know that once billboards were only twenty feet long? But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising out so it would last.” -Ray Bradbury