"And so it goes..." -Kurt Vonnegut
Content #ftw | Vol. 3, No. 1
January 2014

 
It's time reinvent this newsletter. I want to make it a "no news" letter. 

Do you remember what it was like to send and receive physical mail? It was a lot more personal than email, and when our loved ones were off traveling, we waited anxiously for a hand-written letter. Now that communications are instant, even email seems ancient and slow. Our brains are hungry for more data right now. The thing is, we can't give in to this voracious digital beast. We can't tolerate a reprogramming of what we do, who we are, or what we find essential. 

Maybe it's my problem, and not your problem. I do have a desktop computer, a laptop, an iPad and an iPhone. I have multiple blogs and social channels to fill, plus client sites and their social channels to fill, so the volume of content I absorb, remix and create from scratch is substantial. For the most part, I enjoy doing this work and I enjoy the positive aspects of always on push-button publishing. But I also miss certain traditional things that were laid to waste by the digital waves crashing upon our shores. Things like books, records and smart phone-free meet ups with friends. 

Today, to go from the rapids of social to the relative tranquility of reading a book is a big mental adjustment, which is all the more reason to read a book, and then another and another. A book means hours of commitment and concentration. A book means balance and a proper neural refueling. 

A book can also be disruptive. I recently read Ryan Holliday's Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. Holiday shows his readers how easy it is to create false impressions and spread outright lies in a media environment ruled by an obsessive need for pageviews. He also makes the point that even when a media outlet makes a correction, it's merely a footnote (they don't remove original story or the undo the damage they've done). 

The book made me reflect on the editorial direction we pursued on AdPulp.com over the years. From a market perspective, it makes sense to publish outrageous articles with titles like: "The 10 Biggest Assholes In Advertising" or "How Wieden + Kennedy Went From 'Most Admired To 'Growing Tired.'" This is not where we chose to go with the opportunity, and I can see how that limited our chances for commercial success. I can also see what a bitter pill pageview journalism is and how marketing, of all things, can help make it better. 

How? It's marketing's job to build long term brand value by delivering quality brand experiences. Therefore, a brand needs high standards and a well-conceived mode of conduct. As I see it, media brands will continue to sink to lower and lower depths, which means brands acting as media companies have an opportunity to build trust and serve their audiences with relevant content that is simply better than anything else available. 

Footnotes:
  1. New year, new client: Lewis & Clark Bank in Oregon City. #bankerpreneurs
  2. OPB's "Oregon Experience" did a great job with this new Ken Kesey documentary. Public broadcasting for the win!
  3. Richard Hugo talking about (and performing) his poem, "Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg." 
  4. My new poem, "Jury Duty" on Medium.
  5. Gary Vee inspires hustle. "Effort is underrated," he says.
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Words That Mean Something
"I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose." -John F. Kennedy

I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.
John F. Kennedy 
I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.
John F.