Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rise and Shine

Who knew the Black Hat with all of its cautious thinking could get so many people to speak out? Let's hope today's yellow hat is as magical.

De Bono's Six Hat Thinking is proof that there is room in the world for a healthy amount of skepticism. Yesterday we went to the office dressed in our best black hat and quickly worked up a healthy amount of caution. So cautious were we that, by 10:00 a.m. we were back to questioning the need for a new tag line at all.
  • Do we really need a new tag line? Some said, "no." The issue isn't tag lines it's lack of identity, lack of keyword optimization, and lack of patience.
  • Others said," yes." They argued, visitors referred to our site by an acquaintance and people who only visit once or twice, complain that our site's concept is hard to get.
  • Still, other black hat thinkers asked, "Do we really need to get rid of the current tag line, "Where Creativity and Community Meet" or can we not somehow integrate it into a suggested graphic, such as the neighborhood?
  • Or what about, "We Saved You a Seat?" Where's that going? I like that caption and it feels as homey as the neighborhood.
  • Still others played right along and gave us cautious thinking about the remaining three tag lines (Welcome to Neighborhood, Gather 'Round, and Villagers Wanted).
So you see, thinking is not quite as easy as we thought and it certainly isn't linear (dammit).

It seems that to treat our process with integrity, I must add two more tag lines into the mix ("Where Creativity and Community Meet" and "We Saved You a Seat". I would have loved to have visuals accompanying each phrase this morning, but Cheryl's the graphic artist behind the original five and there is a limit to how far I can push our friendship. Hold onto your hat (ha! ha!), we'll discuss graphics later in the week.

No more stinkin' thinkin'. Instead, up with the Yellow Hat!

The yellow hat is positive and constructive. It symbolizes sunshine, brightness, and optimism. Wearing the yellow hat allows us to generate positive assessment in the same way wearing the black hat generated negative assessment. Interestingly, yellow hat thinking is not associated with creativity (green hat, coming up tomorrow). Yellow hat thinking is concerned with the positive attitude of getting the job done. Effectiveness rather than novelty is what yellow hat thinking is all about.

Your yellow hat thinking might begin with phrases such as these:
  1. The positive thing is that now...
  2. Positive aspects of the tag lines are...
  3. What I see now is...
  4. An idea that has merit is...
  5. The silver lining is...
  6. We can be successful if...
  7. It's very likely...
  8. A possible benefit is...
  9. To improve our site...
  10. In the best possible scenario...
  11. I have this vision of...
Below are the tag lines still alive, plus remember the addition of, "Where Creativity and Community Meet" and "We Saved You a Seat."

See you in the comment section...


Robin said...

The positive thing is that now... we are down to five that have support, maybe it's really even just three.

Positive aspects of the tag lines are...they are friendly and easy to feel like you understand what they are about.

What I see now is... we need a plan for implementation of whichever one we choose. We need to know how each page will incorporate all of our goals, creativity, self growth, community, shine, etc.

An idea that has merit is... to brainstorm what people think when they get here and how they maneuver. Could we do a very unscientific focus group? (I can help.)

The silver lining is...we have the strengths and talents to do it.

We can be successful if...we focus.

It's very likely...that this will all fall together nicely, even when we feel like it's falling into pieces and dividing.

A possible benefit is... our site will experience growth and everyone learns something along the way.

To improve our site... we need to ensure it oozes our mission and vision.

In the best possible scenario... we build a site that draws people in to the community and yet is easily scalable.

I have this vision of... Taste of USA with 300 people in a hotel somewhere.

Cheryl said...

Damn Robin! 300 people is a scary thought for the introverted, shy girl! :insert nervous laugh here:

It's a great thought though and you have the positive thing down pat!!!

I'll be back I just had to comment on Robin's comment. :)

Anonymous said...

So I can’t keep myself from HLA this week…not very sporadic lately, am I?

Welcome to the Neighborhood
The positive thing is it's
very inclusive. It is a theme that can go many directions from community establishments (The CafĂ©’ as the logo says) to street names (the corner of Creativity Rd and Community St), elected officials, etc. I think it lends itself to many fun graphics in the long term as well.

Villagers Wanted
The great thing about a tribe is that everyone works and has a specific role to fill. If HLA were a tribe, “members” would also contribute, hopefully creating investment and long term readership.

Gather ‘Round
The positive thing is there might be smores involved. It suggests a get-away from normal activities and an escape.

We Saved You A Seat
A benefit to this tagline is it is welcoming. Sharing a meal is universal across time and cultures. It lends itself to promoting the dining challenge over the long term as well as that snack thing. I just think the idea of breaking bread together, sipping a cup of coffee, chatting over chips and salsa is fundamental to creating connections.

Creativity and Community Meet is a positive part of HLA history. It is comfortable & seems to resonate what the developers hope for the site.

Enjoy your event this weekend ladies! I am going to be away from computer connectivity for several days—I look forward to seeing what is hashed out when I return!


Chaotic said...

1. The positive thing is that now...
The taglines have motivated ppl here to take an active interest in HLA
2. Positive aspects of the tag lines are...
They are easily adaptable to fit HLA
3. What I see now is... a blending of ideas...and my boss coming to work...sigh

Peggy said...

WOW! Robin and SS.... just wow! Is all I can say!!!

A headline that changes to fit the topic of the day or week....what happened with "Fall in love with a new idea"? Maybe now that I think of it... you guys are trying to go to a website vs a blog right? So maybe having your main title/heading and then by having different fonts/colors/size of text you can have the revolving sub-title (just like in a report)ticker tape?
title page
body of text
conclusion etc...

To improve our site do you need, like most companies and organization to have a concrete Mission statement? I loved the 'we saved you a seat'... but think it can be tweaked a bit...(don't know how at the moment) the thought of
A. You guys around the table with an empty chair for us (be it your coffee table or altoid table)
B. Inviting us to participate in the food challenges or an activity as SS stated
C. Welcoming us in to voice our opinion or give up fresh ideas.

It is very likely that others could see that with the statement Villagers Wanted... that they see an Indian, police man, construction worker... the Village People!

Sorry this is so long... To improve our site, another thought I had is to go backwards (my right brain thinking)currently you have links to GalleRAY, Taste of USA... where and how do you want to direct people on the blog, what are your sub-headings
Random Thoughts
Today's topic
Go from the bottom up, or outside the bun to the middle....where do you want your reader to end up... and then go backwards to pinpoint the easiest way to get there.

Okay... I'm done... I need to go pack!

Katie K said...

Just checking in very quickly before heading out to a meeting, but I just have to say this very quickly. I LOVE that you all talk about 'our' site. It really is ours because each of us has played a part in creating the community which exists among us. I just love reading it every time I see it... our site.

I'll be back later for yellow hat thinking.

PS. Peggy- I love that you're packing. I'll be doing that this afternoon.

Claudia said...

Great input so far today. Can I just say... Robin, I think you are great!

I hope to steal some time with you this weekend to talk about how to capitilize on your wealth of knowledge and experience. Three hundred people at a future Taste of USA sounds GREAT to me.

Lauren said...

I do a lot of my thinking/brainstorming when doing household chores. Last night while I was making tropical tuna melts (which are a tasty, cheap, quick, fun dinner that I can share if anyone is interested) I was trying to think of a word, or sentence to describe the website. Claudia, like you said most blogs have some sort of niche: baking, crafts, weddings, etc. I was trying to pinpoint what exactly HLA was to me. (Other than staying connected, b/c I don’t really think of HLA as a social networking site, even though a byproduct of the posts, discussions, etc. is actually a form of social networking.) I’m going to walk you through my brainstorming. My first thought was HLA is ideas, as are many blogs. I pushed further. Ideas of what? For what? Some blogs have ideas for vegan dishes or color themes for weddings and so on. HLA are ideas for…life? Ideas for life. I liked it. I stored it away and decided to work on it more in the morning. So this morning I’m throwing around all these words and thoughts and came to the phrase that HLA is to me: Creative ideas for daily life. Perhaps that is not a blanket meaning for everyone, but that is what it has been for me.

While many of these tag lines are good, I don’t necessarily think they portray HLA as fully as the “where creativity and community meet.” In the spirit of HLA, I will still wear the yellow hat.

Welcome to the neighborhood – Positive word that comes to mind: acceptance. This reminds me of a friendly neighbor showing up with a basket of muffins. A group of people who are accepting and excited to have me in their “neighborhood.”

Gather Round – Positive word: join. While my first instinct with the phrase “gather round” sans picture made me think of a huddle of football players or a kindergarden teacher telling her class to gather round for story time, I quickly changed my feeling once I saw the picture. Obviously HLA is a camp in this one, telling me to gather round (the campfire?) for a discussion, story time, or something along those lines. They are telling me to join their circle.

Villagers wanted – Positive word: desired. This means that I am a villager? Villagers are a tight knit group, they work together to achieve a common goal, like gathering berries or painting a cave wall. HLA wants more villagers (like me) in their tribe so I can paint cave walls too.

We saved you a seat – Positive word: inclusion. This one is thoughtful. HLA knew I was coming and they saved a seat for me to be included in what they have going on at their table. And their table is the cool table.

Where creativity and community meet – Positive word: intersection or fusion. HLA is taking two things that I like, creativity and community, and fusing them together in one place. So when I want my daily “fix” for these two things, I know where to go. And I only have to go to one place.

Side note – you have another slogan at the bottom of the page – Fall in love with a new idea. I love this and it ties in with what I think about HLA. Falling in love with the creative ideas for my daily life.

Cheryl said...

I'm having a tough time formatting my thoughts because I think that I'm either too close to the topic or the input part just isn't my thing. And Positivity is one of my strengths so this should be a piece of cake for me but it's not today. Hmmm...

Welcome to the Neighborhood. Y'all come gather 'round. We've been waiting for you and we saved you a seat. This is where creativity and community meet and we hope you fall in love with a new idea today.

Well, that all fits together kind of nicely. Is it a little Stepford Wifish? Too southern?

Claudia said...

Lauren, for those of you who don't know her, happens to be one of the hardest working, most diligent women I know.

Thank you, Lauren, for your very thoughtful feedback. I am very interested in your notion of creative ideas for daily life.

It underscores a major observation so many of us has made. We are not simply a blog about how to make a particular craft. We are a blog about creativity in the most general sense of the word.

Today, for instance, we are exploring creative thinking and a method that can be applied in your work life.

The ideas - all of your ideas - are really working to push us along.

Thank you and keep 'em coming

cassie p said...

ive pretty much missed this week. too much goin on for me to follow. ill have to be caught two days at TOU!!! WOOHOO, i cannot wait to see some friends, FINALLY meet cheryl, and meet a few new people too!!! sooooo excited :-D