Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fantasy baseball players with long eyelashes

By popular request, I am now documenting the saga of my fantasy baseball experience on tumblr.

I chose to draft my players primarily based on the length of their eyelashes, whether it looks like they are wearing eyeliner, and the overall prettiness of their eyes.

From what I can tell, this seems to be about as valid a draft strategy as any, but time will tell!

So, if you are at all inclined to watching me misunderstand baseball, join me at http://baseballerswithprettyeyes.tumblr.com/

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Silly songs about kittens!

It appears I am not the first (nor, I’m sure, the last) to sing silly songs about kittens.

From the (incredibly awesome) National Jukebox of the Library of Congress, I present, for your consideration, “An Armful of Kittens and a Cat” sung by Mr. Steve Porter in 1901.

(I am really enjoying digging through the digital collections of the Library of Congress!)

My current happy place on the interwebs

When the cats bite, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad… I’ve been spending time diving through the digital collections of the Library of Congress. It’s rabbit hole to some of the most delightful content on the web.

For example, the collection of An American Ballroom Companion, dance instruction manuals ca 1490 – 1920. This gorgeous collection is housed on a somewhat outdated site, but you can still get to the content (in both plain text and scans of the pages) if you dig far enough.

My current favorite is Immorality of modern dances, ed. by Beryl and associates. Here’s an excerpt form a chapter entitled “Sinful Modern Square Dances“.

They include, to a certain extent, the immodest Spanish “Pavane,” in which the performers look maliciously at each other, strutting like peacocks, fluttering, fondling, cooing and wooing, approaching and retreating and imitating something in the animal kingdom, until at last, tired of the contest, and from a certain distance, both parties rush like maniacs to the wild close embrace for which they were fully prepared.

Just gorgeous.

Focus

Choose to do one thing well, and one thing only, and the chances are that you’ll do it well.

Like King Foot Subs, who have been making delicious sandwiches since 1975.

My phone is broken

Terribly sad news. My beautiful Nexus One did not win the phone vs. concrete bout.

Broken phone

My poor broken phone...

I still have remote access to my voicemail, but that’s about it. Luckily, the phone is insured, so I will have a new one soon.

If you are trying to get hold of me, best to use my email: mia.judkins[at]gmail.com.

Strange happenings with our basil

Every two weeks we get a delicious package of organic produce delivered to our doorstep by Farm Fresh to You. Sometimes, there are generous bunches of herbs in our package, and most times we are terrible at using them. We’ve tried various recipes and  techniques, but we always end up with our herbs going to waste.

So when a gorgeous bunch of basil appeared in our last package I put it in plain sight, so that we would be constantly reminded of our duty to consume it.

Two weeks later we had failed at consuming all the basil, but the strange thing is that the basil showed no signs of deterioration. In fact, it was sprouting roots…

Basil takes root!

Basil takes root!

I quickly transformed the peanut butter cup container in to a pot and transplanted the wee basil stalks.

Basil planted in a handy Trader Joes container

Basil planted in a handy Trader Joes container.

I have never seen this happen with any other herbs I’ve had. Is this normal for Californian basil? Or is it because the Farm Fresh to You people pump it so full with goodness? Whatever the cause, I’m stoked to have wee basil plants growing on our kitchen sill.

Basil on our window sill

Basil on our kitchen window sill.

“A Day in the Life of a Content Strategist”

I went to a fantastic meetup last night called “A Day in the Life of a Content Strategist”. The discussion ranged from the place of content strategy in an organization to the value of asking dumb questions. The lovely panelists were CC Holland from Cisco, Kris Corzine from eBay, and John Alderman from Razorfish. The panel was moderated by Frank Marquardt from Barbarian Group (you can read his write-up on the Barbarian Group blog).

The panel for "A Day in the Life of a Content Strategist" meetup. From left to right: CC Holland, Kris Corzine, and John Alderman.

The discussions about the mobile web and the artifacts of content strategy in particular have left me pondering.

The artifacts of content strategy
As good content strategy is largely invisible, how can content strategists prove the worth of their work? Here are some of the possible artifacts content strategy:

  • A content inventory. It’s the first step towards understanding the content in context of the rest of the site.
  • A projection of how the site will look and what it will be.
  • Editorial style guides that include a section about SEO.
  • Documents on brand, tone, and voice. As these can often be a bit waffly, include a ton of examples of correct use of tone/brand/voice so that everyone is on the same page.
  • A long-term strategic document that clearly lays out the problems and possible solutions of the site. Include the primary, secondary, and tertiary goals of your work.
  • A detailed and well-kept change log, listing the date, the words or phrases that changed, and the reason why. This will help to prove the credibility and hard work of the content strategists. It also prevents your organization from going in circles and repeating past mistakes.

The mobile web
The mobile web is being largely ignored in favor of apps. CC Holland called it “the ugly red-headed child of mobile”. One of the problems with this is that if I am on the go and need to find out if your shop is open, your address, or just to find some basic corporate information, I don’t want to download an app.
CC also talked about how this is difficult to manage as a content strategist because you don’t want to have two separate sets of content.
Kris Corzine added that this is another reason for keeping your content as concise and minimal as possible.

As mobile platforms become a larger focus for content strategists, I will be interested to see how we balance the needs of our different users. Although many people on-the-go just need concise nuggets of information, there are those who have time to kill on public transport or waiting in line and want to kill it by reading our content (and then there’s those who just want an app for that).

You can see other interesting tidbits from the meetup by searching twitter for #sfcontentstrategy.

Thanks to Frank, Stacey, and Michael for organizing an awesome event, and to the Barbarian Group for allowing us to meet in beautiful offices. I am looking forward to the next meetup and would recommend joining the group if you are interested in coming along too!