Another Way the Internet Makes Art Possible

By now, we are all familiar with Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans and how the internet allows us to find financial support for our art. But there is another benefit to having fans: recruiting people to you help you create that work in the first place.

Check out this art project by Chris Martin and Larkin Poynton.

Many, if not all of us, have created something with a group for the sheer joy of creating and spending time with friends. But these projects, while memorable and fun, rarely rise to the level of art. That’s because art requires the harnessing of talent, it requires editing and rehearsal and dedication. Those are really hard to do without the potential payoff of an audience to appreciate our work.

Some individuals can pull off art for art’s sake—Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickenson, for instance—but group projects are almost never done in a vacuum. To create this video above, Martin and Poynton had to enlist dancers, video people, sound people, lighting people, and others.

Artist: come work on my project, it is going to be really cool and take hours of rehearsal.
Potential collaborator: Who’s going to see it?
Artist: I’m gonna send a copy to my mom.
Potential collaborator: I already made plans that day.
Artist: Um…I didn’t tell you the day.

And this is another way the internet allows art to happen. It’s not just the finances, it’s the enthusiasm.

Artist: come work on my project, it is going to be really cool and take hours of rehearsal.
Potential collaborator: Who’s going to see it?
Artist: 313,000 from all over the world.
Potential collaborator: I’m in.

Rules are Bad

“Cool is a rule, but sometimes bad is bad.” — Huey Lewis

In my junior high days of desperately trying to figure out this language thing, the word “bad” started being by many tastemakers (I’m talking to you Michael Jackson) to mean “not bad.” I had no idea why this was happening, but it was a cause of consternation. So Huey Lewis’ rule provided great relief: I could use “cool” for good things and “sucks” for not good things.

Have you ever watched a toddler testing limits, constantly turning back to mom to see where the rule begins? We want rules, but rules are bad (see what I did there?).

Rules are bad (in the sense of not bad) because they give us structure and certainty. When a rule is in place, we can count on others to act a certain way and to understand our intent. Rules give us security. They also take some of the cognitive burden, allowing us to make decisions once and use categories to apply rules to similar decisions.

Rules are bad (in the sense of actually bad) when they are based on whim, or vengeance, or fear, or don’t reflect reality—all desks must be empty at the end of the workday; 10% of employees must be annually judged as incompetent, etc.

Bureaucrats and HR departments and MBAs love rules because they make the world predictable and manageable. When rules are in place, you can make decisions based on a flowchart, machinelike. But the day is fast coming when anything that can be done in a machinelike way will be done by a machine.

The next time you decide to make a rule remember, being replaced by a machine is bad.

Batching and Bingeing

Doing a certain thing exclusively for a set period of time or until a certain point is reached is called batching.

Or it’s called bingeing.

Batching has a positive connotations:

  • We batch our email to increase productivity.
  • We batch certain tasks to off peak hours to better utilize computing resources.
  • Grandma’s cookies come in batches.

Bingeing has negative connotations:

  • College students binge drink.
  • Cheat days turn into carb binges.
  • We shyly admit to co-workers that we spent the weekend binge watching The Great British Baking Show.

There’s a reason for these connotations. Batching takes self-control—requiring focus, and (it sometimes seems) superhuman willpower to keep going. Bingeing is all about self-indulgence, and once you start a binge it doesn’t end until the package of Oreos is gone.

Success requires that we batch more than we binge and that we recognize the difference between the two.

Marketing Your Law Practice Starts With Your Profile

In recent weeks, I have been talking with attorneys and practice administrators to find pain points and difficulties. One concern I have heard repeatedly relates to marketing, which lawyers are not generally comfortable with. I’ve noticed that some attorneys don’t even have LinkedIn accounts and others have profiles that clearly suffer from neglect.

LawBooksBackground

This post provides some advice and hints about the low-hanging fruit that is your LinkedIn profile, and includes two free resources: a profile guide and a professional background image.

It used to be that finding clients for a law practice was simple: Go to a few networking events, give and receive referrals, do great work, and the clients showed up. But times are changing.

In the course of talking to attorneys over the past few weeks, I have heard a fair amount of angst over the need to now go out and “market” the practice. It’s distasteful, it’s distracting, but it is absolutely necessary in the internet age.

For an attorney, the first step in marketing your services is making sure your LinkedIn profile is in good shape. (more…)