Last week was a little irregular, so you didn't get any communication from me. My youngest had her state gymnastics competition, which meant we were out of town, doing our thing (while wearing masks). But I'm back at it this week, with a bunch of interesting things. Oh, and a joke I thought of—but probably heard from someone else at some point in my life—while taking a shower. Scroll to the bottom of the email for the answer.
Where do German designers keep their dogs?
Some Interesting Things
Here’s a very thorough article from Stephanie Walter about how to make better conference slides. Or any slides, really. Most people think it’s a bit of an art but, really, anyone can make awesome slides. Just a handful of guidelines that help out, which Stephanie covers well.
On the newsletter side of things, CJ Chilvers has some good advice for embracing a beginner’s mind over following a bunch of best practices without any real context. It’s cliché at this point, but the best advice I can give anyone about email topics is: It depends. Everything depends on a million things that are different from sender to sender, newsletter to newsletter. Those best practices worked for the one sender who’s spouting them (or wherever they heard them from originally) but that doesn’t mean they’ll work for you (see survivorship bias). Experiment a little, try random shit, and find your own voice instead of imitating someone else’s.
Email friend and accessibility advocate Paul Airy has teamed up with the folks at Action Rocket to create Email for All, a new resource center for email accessibility. Take the survey, please, as it’ll help inform the recommendations they make for creating better email experiences.
I feel like I’m souring a bit on corporate blogs (lots of fluff, not a lot of value) but this is an excellent article from Christina Power and Franka Martinovic on the Intercom blog. I’ve been on the receiving end of toxic customer interactions and know folks that have dealt with way worse, and the advice here is really, really good. Bonus: I like seeing multiple authors on posts, since—at least with company blogs—it’s rarely just one person writing/editing/publishing anything.
Ethan Marcotte has a good piece on why tech workers should unionize over on his blog. He references Jane McAlevey’s newest book, A Collective Bargain, which I’ve had in my pile of books for months after hearing her on The Ezra Klein Show podcast. You can bet it’s made its way to the top of the pile for tackling this summer.
Speaking of books, I got my copy of Extra Bold the other day and it’s fantastic so far. I’m only a little of the way in, but it’s already proving itself to be indispensable.
The Regular Communication Playlist
Here are the songs keeping me going this week. Follow along on my official Spotify playlist.
- Joe By The Book from Buck Meek is so good. It’s just so lackadaisical and simple, and the woodwinds in the background are ace. The whole vibe is just so Buck Meek.
- birds and the bees by Elizabeth & The Catapult should go down as classic of pandemic music production. The lyrics, sure, but also the whole production, the feel of someone recording in isolation. The piano is gorgeous.
- Rainforest by Noname is getting me riled up.
- Sleater-Kinney announced a new album, so it’s only fitting that their new single makes it onto the playlist. Enjoy Worry With You.
- José Gonzalez also announced a new album, which I can’t wait for based on his latest single, Visions. I also heard he’s touring this fall with Rufus Wainwright (!), so that may need to be my first concert experience post-vaccination.
Have your own favorite songs? Reply to this email and share them, I’m always looking for new music to enjoy.
From Extra Bold, a good quote from Kaleena Sales:
Challenging racism is easy when it overtly hits you in the face. Systemic racism is harder to fight because it hides in our day-to-day experiences, camouflaged by age-old practices and routine behaviors. That’s the problem with systems. They are so pervasive and deeply embedded in society that we must aggressively shake ourselves free from their hold.
Until next time,
Oh, the answer is: The bowwowhaus!
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