By Lindsay Bell
Welcome to the 67th edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss – from Howie Goldfarb (Blue Star Strategic Marketing), Joe Cardillo (Visual.ly), and yours truly.
For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.
Today we explore advertising in today’s consumer landscape, telecommuting, and short hair.
Howie on advertising challenges for brands in today’s consumer landscape. Instead of my normal long winded write up I will call out two numbers that blow the mind: 3000 and 92%. I think you will agree. For the latter, ask yourself how many you would truly miss. And the percentage seems low doesn’t it?
Joe on virtual work. Despite high profile decisions to end telecommuting by Yahoo and others, research suggests that remote and/or contract work is on the rise. According to the Freelancers Union, 1 in 3 Americans is an independent worker (.PDF). It’s nice to see big companies supporting this (though there are certainly complications, like benefits if you’re in a part time or contract situation).
This is particularly interesting to me because I work for a design marketplace that depends on virtual work from journalists, designers, developers, and other creatives. While there are definitely individual employee concerns (isolation, access & experience with cloud tools like videoconferencing, file-sharing, etc…) a larger problem seems to be skeptical and/or apathetic attitudes by companies to telecommuting/virtual work. I onboard some of our larger brands / organizations and one of the most frequent questions from both HR departments and director & C-Suite level stakeholders is: what is the project management like / how do you keep things on track? They sometimes hint and sometimes outright say that they don’t believe virtual work is as effective as in-office and/or in-person communication.
Personally, I’ve seen the same trend play out over and over: when you properly align roles & the scope of projects (timeline, deliverables, overall goals), there isn’t much need for in-person meetings. A good work ethic and inspiration can and do happen via virtual work. As my super smart developer brother pointed out a couple of weeks ago, the internet is quickly becoming our biggest business opportunity here in the U.S. and virtual work could be the thing that keeps it viable.
Lindsay on Chicks with Short Hair. Last April, when I got Bell’s Palsy, I decided to cut my hair off. Don’t get me wrong, when I was a young rebel, I spent years with hard-core punk rock hair, sometimes shaved down to the scalp, sometimes to a number two. But over the last eight or nine years, I had grown my hair out to a respectable bob. And I missed my short hair. After much deliberating, this Bell’s Palsy thing was just the impetus I needed to cut it all off. Now, trust me, I have never – not once – considered my being a female with short hair as some kind of political statement. Nothing could be further from the truth. Much like the author of this article, I have namby-pampy hair that really doesn’t grow much longer than my shoulders, and I just look better in a pixie cut.
That’s why this article touched a nerve. I would *love* to say that I find it hard to believe that women are judged by their flowing locks, but sadly, no, I wasn’t surprised. Personally, I couldn’t give a rat’s what type of “sexual image” I am giving off with my shorn head. But I find it sad that some women do. To me? It’s just hair. Cut it, grow it, dye it, cut it again. It’s just hair.
Now it’s your turn. Is there a book, podcast, article, TV show, blog post, or story we should read?