Keep your WordPress Site Plug-ins Updated

Now more than ever…

After its removal from the WordPress plugin repository yesterday, the popular plugin WP GDPR Compliance released version 1.4.3, an update which patched multiple critical vulnerabilities.

— Read on www.wordfence.com/blog/2018/11/privilege-escalation-flaw-in-wp-gdpr-compliance-plugin-exploited-in-the-wild/

“Everything that rises must converge”

Twitter, and social media in general, is a harsh lover. I’ve heard similar laments from other Twitter personalities and I think we’re reaching a tipping point…

“Translating the essence of who you are into a digestible product is a strange way to live, especially when you’re a young adult and your sense of self is in flux. It was never my main intention to peddle my personality for a living, but in the era of social media, the personal brand reigns supreme.”

Via First Twitter Gave Me Power. Then I Felt Hopeless by Eve Peyser on Vice

Being a Productive Dad That Works From Home

I intentionally work from home most days. I’ve had an office on Main Street in a big high-rise, I’ve tried co-working spaces, and I’ve had my own building… but working from home is the greatest.

HOWEVER, it’s not without its ongoing challenges that you must tackle and figure out if you’re going to run a business and be successful. Here’s a great post…

So you’ve made the decision to work from home. Whether that be an opportunity to work on a new business project of yours, or maybe you’re just fortunate enough to enjoy the ability to work where you want due to your career—working from home is an incredible experience.

But that doesn’t mean it’s as easy and fun as everyone thinks.

Source: 7 Ways to Be More Productive While Working from Home

Mailchimp Rebrand

They’re based in Atlanta…

The email marketing company Mailchimp, which today is announcing a complete rebrand, could have easily given up the quirkiness that defined its branding as a young company the way many other giants have. Instead, with the help of branding agency Collins, Mailchimp is doubling down. It’s keeping its logo-cum-mascot Freddie the Chimp, for starters, and using an analog typeface from the 1920s as its new wordmark, and illustrating its new brand with a series of almost childlike drawings that look unpolished and rough by design. Weird branding is alive and well in Silicon Valley.

Source: Mailchimp rebrands as an anti-tech company

 

Instagram Stories for Churches and Nonprofits

More and more of my clients on the nonprofit and church side are asking about Instagram Stories and experimenting with them in some form to help with outreach. Like anything on the web or mobile, it’s always fun to dive in and try things out. But there’s no need to reinvent the wheel if you’re looking to make the most of your time (especially given that most nonprofit marketing is done on a volunteer basis!).

Here’s a handy guide that makes some of the same points that I do with clients… shoot vertically, don’t take yourself too seriously, don’t be afraid of stickers, be afraid of hashtags, and (most importantly!) PLAN PLAN PLAN with a calendar that you’ll stick to…

Consider treating your Story like a TV network with scheduled programming for the week, or even recurring “episodes” that happen on certain days. Thinking in advance about what kind of content you’ll be sharing and how your Story will flow will help you craft a more addictive and consistent experience for your viewers.

Source: Instagram Stories: Everything Businesses Need to Know

NASCAR’s Marketing Decline

I’ve been a fan of NASCAR since I was a small child (runs in the family) and got to experience the peak of the sport in the early 2000’s. Sponsors and money and TV deals were rolling in and it was just an exciting time to follow races despite the gimmicks that NASCAR leadership started introducing to keep the numbers growing.

The last few years have been difficult for me to watch from a marketing point of view. Major long term sponsors have abandoned the sport and its top drivers as costs of sponsorships skyrocketed (at least $25 million a year for a top team) and returns began to decline. Sponsorship is difficult to give firm ROI numbers for generally, but requires more than just writing a check… there’s the notion of “activation” of branding that has to be done at the track or in special events that tie in with the billboard cars moving at 200mph. In the mid 2000’s, races were destination events in themselves complete with large areas of entertainment and vendors provided by the same companies sponsoring teams. “Win on Sunday, sale on Monday” was a real and measurable metric. That’s just not the case these days. When I go to races and see the anemic amount of vendor stands and trailers, it makes me miss the fun times from the last decade.

With an aging fan base (the oldest of any sport in the U.S.) and historically low ratings, it looks like the marketing angle is not going to improve any time soon for the sport…

Kyle Busch‘s win ranks as the lowest rated and least-watched NASCAR Cup Series race since at least 2000. The previous lows were a 1.2 (multiple races) and 1.99 million (New Hampshire last year). Six of the ten lowest rated and least-watched races have taken place this season alone.

More races have had less than a 1.5 rating this season than in the previous 17 seasons combined.

— Read on www.sportsmediawatch.com/2018/09/nascar-ratings-lowest-years-richmond/

History of Auto-Tune

I still remember the first time I heard Cher’s “Believe” while in college … I didn’t like the song, but it felt like something important was happening musically at a time that innovation was needed on the radio as we recovered from mid 90’s pop-rock in the post-grunge / machine-rock / neo-reggae era…

Rihanna is the dominant singer of our era, in no small part because the Barbados grain of her voice interacts well with Auto-Tune’s nasal tinge, making for a sort of fire-and-ice combination. Voice effects have been prominent in many of her biggest hits, from the “eh-eh-eh-eh-eh” pitch descents in “Umbrella” to the melodious twinkle-chime of the chorus in “Diamonds.” Then there’s Katy Perry, whose voice is so lacking in textural width that Auto-Tune turns it into a stiletto of stridency that—on songs like “Firework” and “Part of Me”—seems to pierce deep into the listener’s ear canal.

— Read on pitchfork.com/features/article/how-auto-tune-revolutionized-the-sound-of-popular-music/

Walking Away from $850 Million

Fascinating story of morals, standing up for your beliefs, and watching others ruin what you created…

Under pressure from Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to monetize WhatsApp, he pushed back as Facebook questioned the encryption he’d helped build and laid the groundwork to show targeted ads and facilitate commercial messaging. Acton also walked away from Facebook a year before his final tranche of stock grants vested. “It was like, okay, well, you want to do these things I don’t want to do,” Acton says. “It’s better if I get out of your way. And I did.” It was perhaps the most expensive moral stand in history. Acton took a screenshot of the stock price on his way out the door—the decision cost him $850 million.

— Read on www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2018/09/26/exclusive-whatsapp-cofounder-brian-acton-gives-the-inside-story-on-deletefacebook-and-why-he-left-850-million-behind/amp/