29 April 2014

A Whole New World, Addendum: Business Cards

Here's another new one. In preparing for an upcoming writers' conference (my first), I found out that industry standards for writers are different than every other line of work I've ever been in, and this includes business cards.

Everything I've ever learned about business cards has always involved the admonition to never put your picture on a business card, often accompanied by the statement, "Only realtors do that." (I still don't understand why realtors do it, either. Can anyone explain that to me?)

In the corporate world, to have your picture on business documentation (including business cards and letterhead) is a serious infraction. It's illegal to consider someone's appearance as part of the hiring practice in many industries, and corporate lawyers frown on things that might incur an EEOC investigation or lawsuit. Most HR departments in those industries have strict policies that specify that any resume or c.v. submitted with a photograph gets automatically destroyed and removed from consideration. Apparently writing falls outside of the general practice guidelines I've been taught to observe.

I'm trying really hard not to cringe as I attempt to design my new business card with my picture on it. My muscles are revolting against me, tightness is locking down on my spine, attempting to paralyze my fingers' attempts at adding the picture. Yikes.


28 April 2014

A Whole New World

Generally, I consider myself to be fairly savvy when it comes to corporate or business-oriented things. I've worked in enough different organizations and jobs to have a somewhat passable knowledge of how things function in the world, these days. I had no idea, whatsoever, what I was in for when I started to attempt to penetrate the writing/publishing world, however. Apparently, I've been lulled into a false sense of technological security by my activities on the front end of tech development, and I am as lost as a goose in a hailstorm (to use one of my daddy's sayings) trying to backtrack my way to where things make sense. It's like trying to revert to Windows 95, when you're used to using 7.

I'm beginning to learn-- and let me just interrupt myself here; this may not be ALL of the writing/publishing realm-- perhaps it's just where I've found myself for now... back to the sentence at hand-- I'm beginning to learn that everything seems to be done by email. Not that I don't spend 40-80 hours each week dealing with email in my full-time job, but this is a different reality of email altogether. This harks back to the mid-to-late-1990s version of email, when the internet was largely unregulated and it was a wild, wild west of courier new text and badly realized html. It's a whole group of people sending emails in a huge moving ball of communication, rolling over one another and shooting off on seemingly random tangents.

Not that all this is necessarily bad. It's probably good for me to see how spoiled I have been. It's just hard to backtrack a couple of decades, technologically speaking. Frankly, it's a bit overwhelming. It makes me wonder how that transition actually worked its way through those awkward years until the technology became user-friendly enough to not cause you to go blind. In Courier New. 
If I never see a non-html email in courier new with all the html tags built into it (random question marks, anyone?), I?ll be completely fine with that.&nsbp Except that I know I [i] will [/i], each time I try to decipher one of the mystifyingly old-school eloops (really?) or attempt to scan through a course archive. &nsbp? 

They're not bad, though, deep down. It's good for people to connect and be a part of things. It's good for the courses to be available online. I am truly astonished, though, that some of the more user-friendly tools that are widely available, and free, are just going unused by these groups. In an age of simple blogs with comments sections, forums with user-privileges, and other fonts besides the  brain scrambling courier new (and associated random unrealized html coding), one would think that those things would be hugely beneficial for organizations with memberships in the thousands. Maybe, one of these days, they'll upgrade to the Aughts and start using forums instead of emails. It almost makes me nostalgic for Windows 2001. :)