Why It’s Okay to Take Breaks

20 03 2012

or, why advertising agency’s have game rooms in the building and are just awesome in general.

Wall Street Journal had this article on “How to Be Creative” that discusses the different types of creative problems and how they are overcome.  I personally found that very vindicating interesting, because I often appear a bit scattered while I’m at work.  I have roughly 10-20 design projects, emails, spreadsheets, etc. that I’m working on throughout the day all open at once (Which may be why my computer hates me so much). Then there are the tangible tasks of assembling marketing materials which take up the table and the proofs, quotes, and industry pieces I want to review piled on my desk.  (but hey as my father in law has said “If a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind, what does an empty desk mean?”)  I work on something until I hit a wall, then I work on something else.  And I almost always forget that I printed something until then next time I walk downstairs.

Everything in the article seemed spot on to me in my small amount of experience.  Breaks can make you step back and view your project from a different perspective, but you still need to hunker down and do the work when your break is done.

Yes, I bounce around alot if there are distractions, but if something takes focus I find a way to tune things out.  And yes, I have often had creative breakthroughs at awkward moments (often verbally too).  But that’s all okay, because the Wall Street Journal said so, right?


Not really newsworthy…

27 06 2010

So, maybe Foxnews gets a little too distracted by the pop culture Buzz to run legitimate news stories all the time, but they have given me a great gift in their lapse of journalistic judgement.  Foxnews ran a slide-show piece on classic print ads, which I promptly saved to my hard drive knowing that they would come in handy when I had crippling writers block.  (Can I help it that there are no commercial breaks during soccer?)

Behold my top choices from this great list.  More will follow in the coming weeks.  Today we will start with the borderline misogynistic ads.

I love my Stand Mixer.  Andrew isn’t allowed to touch it.  So, I’ll let this one slide.

I’m not sure what this one is trying to convey.  Is he mad that she won’t use the postage meter that looks suspiciously like a toaster?  Is he trying to kill her with a postage meter?  Can someone from the 50’s explain this to me?

Nothing bad can come from drinking on an empty stomach!

Worst. pickup line. ever.  Nowadays, she’ll slap you with a restraining order and lawsuit for forced second-hand smoke exposure.

An Untapped Resource.

19 05 2010

Let’s hope it stays that way…

The Onion, America’s Finest News Source (parody news source, mom) had this great “news” clip.

Yes, it is a joke, but I’m a little worried that Google might take it seriously.  The Nexus isn’t going to sell itself.   “Funny, because it’s true.” says Engadget, “Users won’t even remember a time when they didn’t have a second voice whispered in their ear.”

A Search Engine with the Power to Destroy Lives…

17 05 2010

Being an avid google user, you can just imagine this review will not be positive.

Bing, why do you think you are so life changing?  Why do you think that people are overwhelmed by links?  Why you gotta be breaking up Filomena and Juan Carlos?  Since I have a decent level of reading comprehension and logical reasoning, I actually do not want you to be my “Decision Engine.”  I don’t think that decision making is something I should really be outsourcing.

So, now I ask you dear readers, who is Bing trying to reach with these commercials?  Other than Spanish Soap Opera viewers.  Do you use Bing over Google?  Why?  Please enlighten me on any benefits Bing has, other than promoting laziness and illiteracy.

Just a little off topic…

12 05 2010

This is a topic more suited to this guy, but this article was just too good to not share.

Many people ask why I don’t have facebook, and the general response is “it is creepy and belittles the meaning of friendship by sharing your stuff with everyone from a high school classmate you don’t speak with, to your boss.”  Not cool.

In this article, “Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative,” the author lays out the definitely creepy/borderline illegal (see part about the federal wiretapping laws) setup of Facebook. If you don’t read the article, read this part at least:

Setting up a decent system for controlling your privacy on a web service shouldn’t be hard. And if multiple blogs are writing posts explaining how to use your privacy system, you can take that as a sign you aren’t treating your users with respect, It means you are coercing them into choices they don’t want using design principles. That’s creepy.

Facebook could start with a very simple page of choices: I’m a private person, I like sharing some things, I like living my life in public. Each of those would have different settings for the myriad of choices, and all of those users could then later dive into the control panel to tweak their choices. That would be respectful design – but Facebook isn’t about respect — it’s about re-configuring the world’s notion of what’s public and private.

So what that you might be a teenager and don’t get that college-admissions offices will use your e-mail address to find possibly embarrassing information about you. Just because Facebook got to be the world’s platform for identity by promising you privacy and then later ripping it out from under you, that’s your problem. At least, according to the bevy of privacy hired guns the company brought in at high salaries to provide cover for its shenanigans.

New Ad Report Card Article

10 05 2010

Pretty Interesting.

Apparently the FTC partnered with an Ad firm and Scholastic to create a video game that teaches kids the dangers of advertising.  Talk about irony.  I think this is a decent idea, since it teaches kids to recognize advertisements for what they are and to analyze them by asking three questions: “Who is responsible for the ad? What is the ad actually saying? What does the ad want me to do?”

One critic would rather the FTC use its limited funds to instead protect children from advertisements, but I think this focus on teaching the kids is more beneficial in the long term.  It is more teach a child to recognize propaganda and you protect him for life, instead of for a day.

However, this just might go over the kids’ heads though…

Lighten Up, Steve

4 05 2010

So, Ellen made a very funny mock-commercial for the iPhone, but apparently the folks at Apple were none too pleased which in turn resulted in a staged apology the next day on her show.  If Ellen hadn’t professed her love so adamantly and listed off every product Apple makes, I would have thought her sincere, instead of furiously backtracking from an enraged nerd who had given her free products to shill.

But hey, I can’t say I blame her.  This dude is scary.  Especially if you say “Flash” or “Android” within his earshot.

Who said "Android"?