In the spirit of the New Year, a post to address the best… and worst… of the past 12 months. TIME put out an article listing the Top 10 Everything of 2011, which includes 54 wide-ranging lists. Here are some of the top notables in selected categories.

TV Ads

  1. Dear Sophie — Google
  2. The Force — Volkswagen
  3. Reply All — Bridgestone

Best Tweets

  1. News of Osama bin Laden’s Death Breaks on Twitter
  2. Gabrielle Giffords Returns to Congress (The #Capitol looks beautiful and I’m honored to be at work tonight. – @Rep_Giffords)
  3. Wael Ghonim on the Egyptian Revolution (Mission accomplished. Thanks to all the brave young Egyptians. – @Ghonim)

Worst Tweets

  1. Anthony Weiner on… Anthony’s ‘Weiner’ (I won’t share that one with you.)
  2. Nir Rosen on Lara Logan (Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal – @nirrosen)
  3. Gilbert Gottfried on Japan (Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them – @realgilbert)

Viral Videos

  1. Rebecca Black, “Friday”
  2. The Homeless Man with the Golden Voice
  3. Volkswagen’s Darth Vader Commercial

Buzzwords

  1. Occupy
  2. Winning/Winner
  3. Planking

You might notice that Volkswagen’s Darth Vader commercial made the top three on both the ‘Top 10 TV Ads’ and ‘Top 10 Viral Videos’ lists. In the ad world that is one of the biggest home runs you can hit. (Not to mention the fact that I’m aware of at least one kid who chose his Halloween costume based on that commercial. It seems to appeal to nearly all demographics.)

It’s entertaining to look back at the last year in our culture. Go ahead and take a minute to peruse the other 49 lists. Happy New Year, all!

December 30, 2011 · Posted by in misc  

Need Cash? Become a Photographer!

I love this article… Need Extra Money for the Holidays? Just Become a Photographer!

Why do I love it? Because it’s hilarious…

Most of us in the creative and/or technology industry have had to deal with this.

Designers, web developers, photographers, you name it.

Since the price of computers, software, cameras, and other previously expensive or specialized equipment has come down to the level that the average person can afford them, everyone thinks they are a designer, or web developer, or photographer.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people learning new skills and trying their hand at making money with those skills, but if it were that easy, we’d all be doing it, and we’d all be rich… or broke… or something.

And I’m not about to tell people they are ruining an industry. If you love doing something, then you should do it. If you can provide amazing work cheaper than someone else, go for it. It’ll be up to you to decide if you’re ruining an industry. But keep in mind, after years of honing your craft, someone else will come along and offer to do what you do even cheaper. That’s just how it works.

Whew, I didn’t mean to get all heavy there… What I meant was, Happy Holidays! And if you need extra cash this holiday season, you might have better luck looking for loose change in the couch cushions than you will if you have no photography skills and try selling portraits of people after the fact.

Happy New Year! :)

December 19, 2011 · Posted by in art, design, photo, web  

Do You Haiku?

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This week I came across a fun article, 17 Haikus About Writing and Editing, by a woman who practices haikus as an exercise to keep her writing fresh and flexible. It seemed like an interesting experiment, so I decided to give it a go. Here’s what I came up with.

Call the media.

We have an awesome story.

Now tell it like this…

PR or social?

Related, but not equal.

Differentiate.

You must proof your work.

Not enough time in the day?

Prepare to look dumb.

Comma before which,

but no comma before that.

Please pay attention.

I could go all day.

But, no time for fun with words.

Clients call my name.

Seriously, my mind will not turn off. What a fun (and addictive) exercise. Go ahead, embrace your inner nerd and give it a try.

December 16, 2011 · Posted by in misc  

Exposure

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Bombs Fall

Here’s a great blog post for creatives about the “you’ll get great exposure” line. We’ve all been handed this line. Someone wants you to work for cheap, or for free, and explains that the exposure you get from the project will make up for the lack of money.

This is the important bit:

You cannot eat exposure, nor pay your rent with it, nor buy health insurance with it, nor put it in an exposure bank for a rainy day. You need money for all of that. That is the trade – you trade your time and work for the client’s money. You both need something from the other. Exposure can be a byproduct of this transaction, but it should NEVER be the basis for it.

As always, you can choose who you work for, and how much you charge them (or don’t charge them) but getting paid in “exposure” will only get you so far. If you want to do work for exposure, it should be on your own terms.

(And that illustration above? It was done by Scott Benson, the (awesome) artist who wrote the post, and deserves all the exposure he’ll get from this post. :)

Hat tip to Paul for this one.

December 12, 2011 · Posted by in art, marketing  

Looking for the proper way to write “regifting?” Wondering if “Christmastime” is one word or two? AP to the rescue! Earlier this week it put out a special Holiday Style Guide informing media—and those of us pitching media—how to talk about the holidays (always lowercase, by the way). Here are just a few words/phrases from the list.

Champagne

Capitalize sparkling wine from the French region uncorked to celebrate New Year’s.

Christmastime

One word.

hallelujah

Lowercase the biblical praise to God, but capitalize in composition titles: Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus.

Kriss Kringle

Not Kris. Derived from the German word, Christkindl, or baby Jesus.

Nativity scene

Only the first word is capitalized.

regifting

Passing along an unwanted present to someone else.

(My personal favorite.)

December 9, 2011 · Posted by in pr  

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