Revisiting joie de vivre

After the dust finally settled on our move, we started unpacking – both physically and mentally. One of the boxes in the back of my mind was on the Vintage shelf, where I store my love for many things vintage, retro, antique and timeless.

My love affair with all of that was rekindled when we ended up purchasing a Craftsman style 1940’s home. Spiders in the sink? Ants on the floor? Sticking windows? Creaky noises? It all bothers me much less than it would have two months ago, and I am smitten. The thought of having a cute little tiled kitchen to cook in… comfortable reading corners… tiny cups of tea… solid glass doorknobs… it’s just too much Wonderful for me, and has to have an outlet.

I’m lucky enough to have a large amount of creative freedom at work, and after redoing the general design on the brochures, my thoughts turned to revamping our website. My design preferences for flourishes, fine lines, parchment, typography – it all began to show through in my mock-ups.

There is quite an abundance of vintage stuff online, so I’d like to take a moment and share some of my inspiration, the most recent of which can be blamed on Anthony Bourdain. That’s right, Tony, I said it – this is your fault! His Disappearing Manhattan episode showcased “Marlow & Sons”, a classic French restaurant in Brooklyn, which spoke to me immediately. All his shows (and books, and general presence) inspire me, that one was just the most recent memory and appealed to my art side as well as my foodie side.

While the thought of chicken liver paté doesn’t currently spark my appetite – the ambiance definitely struck a chord. The decor! The menus! The flourishes!! It was just lovely. View their site here: Marlow And Sons

Other interesting sites of the moment are as follows:
Vintages
Tongue In Cheek
Vintage Indie Wedding Guide
Royal Steamline

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If It Ain’t Broke…

Courtesy AdAge.com – Twitter is raising a massive $100 million round of funding from seven sources, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Twitter, which has already raised $55 million, has become a valuable resource for brands, both big, national ones and local ones, and can act as both a broadcast and a listening tool.
View the full article at: http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=139265

My response (in apropos tweet format) is twofold:

What should Twitter do with $100M? http://bit.ly/F6MMX Don’t fix what ain’t broke!
http://twitter.com/larissayoung/status/4375704644

Twitter is a word-of-mouth communications tool & is fine as-is. You know who needs $100M? Poor/starving/sick people. NOT TWITTER.
http://twitter.com/larissayoung/status/4375730813

I realize that they are a business, and will need constant revenue. Let’s look at the basics.
First, on their website, they say, “Twitter has many appealing opportunities for generating revenue but we are holding off on implementation for now because we don’t want to distract ourselves from the more important work at hand which is to create a compelling service and great user experience for millions of people around the world. While our business model is in a research phase, we spend more money than we make.”

Compelling service? Yes, Twitter can be habit-forming. This is why celebs are tweeting about nothing (SOMETIMES IN ALL CAPS), pseudo-celebs are tweeting for stardom, marketing folk & social media gurus are tweeting about tweeting, and bored teens are tweeting horribly misspelled past lunch experiences. This is why iPhones and Blackberries mention Twitter in their 30 second ad spot. This is why businesses are creating Twitter accounts, this is why spammers are getting banned as fast as they appear, and this is why everyone thinks life is described 140 characters at a time.

This ties in with Marketing, which is pretty straightforward at the moment: Twitter (along with the various monikers of it) is a near-household name. People mock it, enjoy it, hate it, love it, but the popularity has skyrocketed.

Great customer experience? It’s a simple yet powerful platform for many types of people, so overall, yes. Except for when the Fail Whale appears.

Server/bandwith/hosting costs? Okay, that will need to be paid for. The service is currently not ad-supported, so perhaps small ads built into the web browsers could be something new, which might cover their cost on that if they cap it at 10 advertisers a year (for example). These would be prime/coveted positions, and also manage to be unobtrusive.

Employee pay? They have a small crew that seems to be productive and happy. Location, perks, benefits all seem to be good. It’s about what you’d expect from a small company, except that they have almost entirely changed the world of communication as we know it. (Hit up http://twitter.com/jobs for more info.) These guys came from Google, Blogger, Xanga, CNET, AOL, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and more, so you know they know what’s up – and expect/deserve to be compensated accordingly.

Looking past all that, Twitter is a small business with a huge current-event megaphone, and they’re doing well, so they do need revenue to keep going. That, I understand.

But $100 million? What are they planning on doing? I honestly hope it doesn’t involve trying to fix what isn’t broken. As much as all the social media folks, marketing directors, Google Gurus and trendy people want the extra bells and whistles, do we, the Normal People, the ones who helped make it what it is, really need all that?

Just leave it alone, Twitter. It’s fine. (Except maybe you could build a little habitat for the fail whale to hang out in, because he really doesn’t need to show up quite so often.)