Show, snow, go away, my flight to Miami leaves in t-minus 7 hours... 

We're going from this:


To this:


(That's an actual portrayal of me immediately upon arriving in South Beach.) 

Until then, this is edition #27 of The World's Best Newsletter, and in this version, dear reader:


1. Language as an evolution: Struggle bus, man bun, throwing shade. 
2. You are not your job.
3. Instagram's Courage to Mess with Success
4. Calling Bullsh*t on Faux Feminism as a Marketing Commodity
5. Content Marketing Conference - Boston 11-13, 2017
6. Bold Calls to Action from the 2017 Women's Leadership Forum
7. Quote of the week: where inspiration is born

Let's do it.


1. Language as an evolution: Struggle bus, man bun, throwing shade. 

Dictionary.com published a new slideshow featuring new words in the dictionary, including, yes, struggle bus, man bun, and throwing shade. Read the full list. 

Language's evolution can be jarring. How can you change what is so founded in history and culture and identity? But it's obvious that language changes over time (there are many TED talks about this topic), it represents our evolving understanding of the world, and it always has. 

Slang, even texting... they're real ways we make sense of the world, and whether or not you agree or like it, these words hold meaning. 

The dictionary is not an authority, it's more of an evolving record of our time and our collective identity. Read author David Skinner's take on The Role of a Dictionary:

"Language is profoundly conventional, so few of us can claim to be innovators, but the ambitious writer tries to avoid saying what has already been said. This is true for ad copy, political speeches, quality nonfiction and most other types of writing. 

Journalism, obviously, rests entirely on the claim to be delivering something new. And what is new should sound new, seem new and maybe require quotation marks, your copy editor thinks."


2. You are not your job.

I met Jamie Bradley at one of the countless marketing trade shows I've attended. She's hilarious, smart, and someone you're going to want to know. You'll see why once you read her latest post on the difference between you, and your job.

"...You are not your job. Your job is not your worth. I am not the first person to say something like this. The first person was likely some Entrepremaker and Doer named Chad or a Content Rockstar Ninja Guru that has a soul patch and a kitesurfing avatar..."

"...The pain, the loss, the grief, the unholy mountain of obstacles you’ve faced. The opportunities you’ve seized and squandered. The people you’ve met. The hustles you’ve hustled. On and on and on and on. This is you. This is your worth.

Your job? That’s something else. That’s, most likely, someone else’s vision. Someone else’s purpose..."


See? Read more.

3. Instagram's Courage to Mess with Success

In business, there is risk in not risking. (Oooohh. Deep. I know. Am I in South Beach yet?)

This FastCo article is an interesting chronicle of Instagram's decision to change, before it had to. Many organizations are faced with the need to change when it's too late. Sales are dropping, churn is increasing... time to change, right? 

Actually, it may be too late. "Embracing change when everything’s clicking may be one of the hardest challenges in business."

If Instagram waited until there were signs the app was in dire need of revamping, it would likely be too late. By even considering changes (like allowing for non-square photos - I know, shocking), the company actually came to understand itself better, finding the courage to reimagine itself on multiple fronts - from app features, to internal team structure.

What really stuck with me, though, was the motivation behind letting go of "business as usual", as described by CEO Kevin Systrom:

Every recent change the company has wrought, he says, sprang from the team asking itself: What would the company do if Instagram as we knew it suddenly stopped mattering?

Talk about motivation.


4. Calling Bullsh*t on Faux Feminism as a Marketing Commodity

In late October I'll be in Columbus, Ohio (any of my subscribers there!?) speaking at Women In Digital's annual conference alongside some amazing women including the co-founder of the #grabyourwallet movement and head of social for Wired magazine. My session will absolutely call BS on the troubling trend of using feminism as a marketing commodity. 

Read my earlier rants on this topic, and join me if you're in the Columbus area. This event is the real deal, and founder Alaina Shearer is unstoppable.


5. Content Marketing Conference - Boston 11-13, 2017

I'm moderating a panel featuring my partner in crime, Katelyn Holbrook, VP at Version 2.0 Communications at the upcoming Content Marketing Conference in a few days. 

We'll be speaking alongside some of Boston's most well-known marketers including Ann Handley, Samantha Stone, Lee Odden, and many more. Join us if you're in town!

6. Bold Calls to Action from the 2017 Women's Leadership Forum

If you liked my post featuring advice from Madge Meyer, former EVP and Chief Innovation Officer at State Street, you'll love this larger recap of the full event. I share seven key calls to action from this recent AdClub event including:

  • “You represent millions of dollars of purchasing power. Do some good in this world.”
    - Mary Mazzio – Award winning director and social impact documentary film maker
     
  • “Find your own voice, and use that voice to lead.”
    - Sarah Hurtwitz – Chief Speechwriter to Michelle Obama
     
  • “Embrace emotions as an essential part of life, not a sign of weakness.”
    – Dr. Miriam Meckel, Expert on Media Economics and Communication


Quote of the Week: Nobel laureate and poet Wisława Szymborska on uncertainty. 

"Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous ‘I don’t know.’”

More of her acceptance speech is available here, give it a read if you're looking for some inspiration. She continues:

"This is why I value that little phrase “I don’t know” so highly. It’s small, but it flies on mighty wings. It expands our lives to include the spaces within us as well as those outer expanses in which our tiny Earth hangs suspended. 

If Isaac Newton had never said to himself “I don’t know,” the apples in his little orchard might have dropped to the ground like hailstones and at best he would have stooped to pick them up and gobble them with gusto. 

Had my compatriot Marie Sklodowska-Curie never said to herself “I don’t know”, she probably would have wound up teaching chemistry at some private high school for young ladies from good families, and would have ended her days performing this otherwise perfectly respectable job. 

But she kept on saying “I don’t know,” and these words led her, not just once but twice, to Stockholm, where restless, questing spirits are occasionally rewarded with the Nobel Prize."
 

To me, there can be comfort in the chaos of "I don't know." It's either a personality trait, or something forged from years in startups wrought with ambiguity (maybe it's all that yoga I've been doing), but accepting a certain level of anarchy is... freeing. 

Speaking of a certain level of anarchy... time to work from Miami for a week. Because I can. #workfromanywhere

Best,
Katie
 

2 Comments