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A Lynda.com Lesson: The value of content to a business is more than its role in marketing

(Via the Hammock.com Idea Email)

Lynda.com, a company started by a woman actually named Lynda (unlike, say, Mavis Beacon) who is now in her 60s, became a $1.5 billion business unicorn by teaching people who are customers of other companies how to use the products and services made and sold by those other companies.

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John Oliver Hates April Fools Day as Much as I Do

The 12 people who read this blog know how much I don’t like April 1 on the internet. It’s the day when people who aren’t funny on the internet try hard to pretend they are funny on the internet.

What results is me using a term one rarely hears except to describe humor on April Fools Day: ham-handed.

The saddest example of this was in the early days of TechCrunch when each year, the day would start with some news item about one company purchasing another company for some reason that made no sense. As a different version of that same “prank” appeared in TechCrunch each year, the only thing funny about it was how unfunny it was.

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Places Willie Nelson has Sung About While on the Road Again

Willie Nelson has recorded songs about six of the eight Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) I’ve lived in. Missing: Washington, DC and the small town I lived in until age five.

The following two graphics are via the Atlantic’s CityLab.com, which also provides a Spotify playlist that will allow you to hear  most of the citified songs Willie Nelson recorded while rambling around the country.

Click/tap either graphic to enlarge them:


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On Gigaom

On first glance. the front page of the influential tech news site, Gigaom, appears like yesterday was merely another day at the office: Coverage of the Apple Watch announcement, coverage of the upcoming SXSW Interactive. But then, in what appeared on Twitter to be a surprise to even its employees, Gigaom ceased operations with a post on its front page saying this:

Gigaom recently became unable to pay its creditors in full at this time. As a result, the company is working with its creditors that have rights to all of the company’s assets as their collateral. All operations have ceased. We do not know at this time what the lenders intend to do with the assets or if there will be any future operations using those assets. The company does not currently intend to file bankruptcy. We would like to take a moment and thank our readers and our community for supporting us all along.

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Remembering Marissa Mayer’s 41 Shades of Blue

The following is from the current Ideal Email from Hammock Inc. Read the entire idea post here: You Can’t Control How Others See 50 Shades of Blue.

Years ago, while Marissa Mayer was still at Google, an article appeared in the New York Times about the way she tested 41 shades of blue to decide which to use in a navigation bar. Many people still use that as a benchmark for the lengths a marketer should go to make sure something works.

But there’s a “rest of the story” to the 41 shades test, as shared by Douglas Bowman, Google’s first visual designer. When he left Google to become creative director at Twitter, about the same time as the Mayer feature story appeared, he observed, “I recently debated over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can’t operate in an environment like that. I’ve grown tired of debating such minuscule design decisions. There are more exciting design problems in this world to tackle.”

Now that I think about it, I’ve blogged about another example of Ms. Meyer’s approach to design.

Continue reading:You Can’t Control How Others See 50 Shades of Blue

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