But not today.
Today we need to put our heads together in order to solve a problem.
As of yesterday the United States Post Office raised their prices... AGAIN! Today a stamp is $0.44 and the rate of everything from Express Mail to Priority Mail, First Class Mail, and Media Mail has also gone up.
Why do I care? I love mail. Not only that, but sending and receiving mail - is an integral part of the Highlowaha experience. T-shirts, baked goods, baking supplies, and all sorts of other goodies are shipped out on a somewhat regular basis. With each rate hike, I am more aware of the amount spent on shipping and of our young blog's absence of "sponsors." Treats are part of the spirit of 218 and I just can't see that changing. Besides, look at what Seth Godin (brilliant marketer) says about the benefits of mail over other mediums of connecting with people...
"Email is dying because it's free. If you can send an email for free to 100 of your closest friends, instantly, you probably won't abuse the privilege. But someone else will because they might define 'friend' differently than you or I.100 times 100 is ten thousand. Spam.So now people don't reply when you send them a resume, because it costs too much to do that ten thousand times.Twitter is next. The paradox is obvious: to grow, you need to remove friction from the medium. If it's not easy and free to use, people won't. But then it gets big and it becomes profitable, so people use it too much.The churn rate at twitter is reported as 50%. That's because of lack of friction as well. Easy to get in, easy to get out.Stamps are underrated. Friction rewards intent and creates scarcity."
Mailing packages (friction) is one of the ways we encourage readers to engage (intent) with our community. And it is the daily commitment from each of you that makes (creates) Highlowaha the unique (scarcity) blog site.
It's a Highlowaha formula we're not prepared to mess with. So, the dilemma is this... How do we continue living the spirit of 218, by surprising readers with packages, in spite of rates that are quickly becoming cost prohibitive?
Now for the part of the process with which you are familiar - the Whack. This is when Roger von Oech provides us with a creative principle to jar our thinking. Then you get to apply the principle while trying to solve our dilemma.
Try a Random Idea: There was once an Indian medicine man who made hunting maps for his tribe. When game got sparse, he's put a piece of fresh leather in the sun to dry. Then he'd fold and twist it, and then smooth it out. The rawhide was now etched with lines. He marked some reference points and, a new map was created. When the hunters followed the map's newly defined trails, they usually discovered abundant game. Moral: by letting the rawhide's random folds represent trails, he pointed the hunters to places they hadn't looked. Stimulate your thinking in a similar way. Open any book at random and put your finger down on a word: How does it relate to what you're doing? What associations can you make? What random ideas can you try?
That's a lot to think about and a lot to respond to. I'll get out of the way and let you do your thing.
Signing off until tomorrow...