Writing & Things of Interest

January 16, 2020

What was your worst talk ever?

an illustrated woman speaking in front of a diverse crowd

I’m fortunate in that outside of some laggy slides and a few spotty microphones, I haven’t had too much go wrong during a talk. In speaking to others—and having witnessed more than a few cringe-worthy conference sessions—I realize that I’m in the minority here. Most public speakers a number of horror stories to share.

Since I’m working on my next book, Speak Easier, which is obviously about public speaking, I wanted to do some more research into peoples’ experiences. Specifically, I’d love to hear all of those horror stories, whether they’re from a conference talk gone sideways, a terrible wedding toast, or anywhere in between.

I set up a quick form to fill out if you have a good (or not so good, I’m not picky) story to tell about your worst experience speaking in front of others. Don’t worry, I won’t share anything without your consent.

Share your story

December 12, 2019

Link: Link in Bio is a Slow Knife

A good post from Anil Dash on the insidious way links - or the lack thereof - on platforms like Instagram are actively working against the open web. An idea I’ve never thought about but now makes perfect sense in hindsight.

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July 3, 2019

Link: Superhuman is Spying on You

This is an important post from Mike Davidson, one that’s been taken the wrong way on other sites (like HN, which isn’t surprising). I totally agree with Mike that what Superhuman is doing is unethical and worrying. But it’s terribly annoying when commenters conflate what Superhuman is doing with what ESPs do with email marketing to track opens. Calls to disable all images in email because of tracking like Superhuman’s seems… unnecessary.

One of those times I wish more people understood the underlying mechanics of email and the web. I guess that means there’s more education and work to do on my end, huh?

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June 15, 2019

Link: Delivering Ep. 5: What is email design really?

Over the last decade, I’ve heard a lot of definitions for email design, all of them hit on different aspects of the email designer’s role. However, I’ve found most of those definitions shallow and limiting. In the latest episode of the #DeliveringPodcast, I dig into what I think email design really is.

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June 9, 2019

Link: Alessandro Cortini of NIN Plays a Tascam

This is absolutely fascinating. Alessandro Cortini of Nine Inch Nails uses a Tascam Portastudio, which is an old 4-track cassette recorder, as an instrument. I have one of these sitting on my desk and desperately want those tapes he has. I love the idea of taking a tool and pushing it beyond its intended purpose.

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May 31, 2019

Link: Delivering Ep. 4: Understanding Background Images in Email

Delivering podcast art

In today’s episode of Delivering, I take a look at the humble—but powerful—background image. It’s a companion piece to the recently updated Ultimate Guide to Background Images in Email over on the Litmus Blog.

Oh, and I published a roundup of three trends we’ve loved at Litmus Live and how those trends are impacting this year’s agenda. Check it out and see some cool sessions from last year.

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May 23, 2019

Link: You Got This

Wow, I didn’t realize that Jeffrey Zeldman started working for Automattic this year. That seems like a big (and interesting) move, excited to see what he does there. The first output I’ve seen is this great post about not being so hard on yourself if you’re an old-timer learning new skills in tech.

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May 17, 2019

Link: Delivering Ep. 3: Asking the Right Questions with Chad S. White

Delivering podcast art

In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Chad S. White, Head of Research at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting and the Email Experience Council’s 2018 Email Marketer Thought Leader of the Year, about email analytics, the metrics that matter, and the biggest challenges and opportunities for email marketers today.

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