It’s funny how spurts of inspiration can work. I am surrounded by people on fire right now. For just one example in a long list of possible examples I could give you, I want to tell you about InfluenceHR.
You know I work for The Starr Conspiracy — we expanded recently to a full-service agency for enterprise software companies, but historically all of our clients have been human capital management vendors who market to HR professionals. There are dozens of events for HR professionals every year. We attend almost all of them.
Until recently, there were exactly zero events for HR vendors — they, instead, were the peddlers and exhibitors at the shows for HR professionals. Which means this — they were there to sell shit. But they weren’t there for professional development, learning or networking.
My friend had this idea. He wanted to create an event for the vendors in the HR world — an event where they weren’t the exhibitors or sponsors, but the attendees. Not responsible (or encouraged) to sell (sell! sell!) but to learn from one another in a barrier-less environment of altruism and reciprocity. So he made it happen.
He didn’t let any obstacles in the beginning of its creation stand in his way. He had this faith and confidence that this shit was going to happen — he willed it so and then he worked hard.
Now it’s a real thing. And people are really excited about it. It’s going to be huge.
At the same time that was happening, the agency I work for worked with this friend to brand the event with a great logo and build a responsive, mobile-first site that is really a joy to look at.
I’m surrounded by people every day who astonish me with their creativity and ability to make something out of nothing. And when they take a break from changing the world, I’m on social media, surrounded by another group of people who “PFFT” in the face of time and energy constraints the rest of us are ruled by.
And because I’m somewhat of a self-absorbed, self-deprecating creature like most of us (at least a little, be honest), sometimes when I’m surrounded by inspiration and heroic displays of creativity and ingenuity, I feel like a potato. Lumpy. Weird. Ordinary.
That’s why I recommended unplugging from marketing and social media blogs if you are looking to become a better marketer. So this week, I don’t have anything for you in terms of news in the social media or marketing world. Instead, here’s two completely unrelated blog posts that sparked my creative brain this week.
Why I’m Campaigning to Save the Original Social Network: The Post Office
If you haven’t heard by now, you probably don’t/won’t care, but the USPS announced it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays. I have a love/hate relationship with the postal service just like everyone else. I love sending mail. I write cards and mail them at least once per week. I know how I feel when I get a piece of tangible mail written by a friend or family member … stamped, sealed, sent with some kind of positive intention — love or thoughtfulness.
I try to give that to as many people as I can.
What I hate about the postal service is shipping. I wish I never had to ship anything ever again. I can never believe how much it costs to ship or how long it takes something to get across the country. But I’m ungrateful and impatient — that’s a personal problem.
Anyway, Tucker Nichols is campaigning to save the original social network on GOOD. Read it.
Uncreative Writing: Redefining Language and Authorship in the Digital Age
“To create is merely to choose wisely from the existing pool of ideas.” Brain Pickings shares snippets of Kenneth Goldsmith’s book Uncreative Writing in a recent post. I can’t do the piece justice in a few words, so I’ll just share one of the quotes that stuck with me — which will be ironic to you when you read the full article:
It seems an appropriate response to a new condition in writing today: faced with an unprecedented amount of available text, the problem is not needing to write more of it; instead, we must learn to negotiate the vast quantity that exists. How I make my way through the thicket of information — how I manage it, how I parse it, how I organize and distribute it — is what distinguishes my writing from yours.
Go read it. You’ll be better for it.