I spent last Friday night sorting through a few packs of felt stick-on letters and numbers trying to make 12 sets that would spell Troop 4313 so that the next morning our Girl Scouts could make pennants to wave in the local Christmas parade.
That was after creating a big banner that read Girl Scouts Go For Gold and creating oversized trefoils—you know, the green clover-looking symbol of Girl Scouts, and also the name of the butter cookies they sell—which we lined with tinsel garland.
My daughters helped until they got crabby then I sent them off to sleep while I finished the search for felt letters and numbers.
The parade theme was Hall of Fame, so the girls were going to dress as inspirational female athletes.
I ended up needing to get fairly creative when the letters and numbers ran dry. It turned out that the 3 packs I’d bought could only support 5 or 6 pennants.
The girls figured out that 8s cut in half could become 3s before they headed off to bed.
Then I realized that, with some trimming, Es could become 3s.
And straight bits of letters could be 4s and 1s.
Hs showed promise as potential Ts.
It was a disorderly process when I began, but once I started looking for solutions they began to appear amidst a mess of letters and numbers.
I eventually had 12 packs ready for the morning.
And it was worth it (to me) to watch the girls assembling their pennants and solving the puzzle of felt pieces they’d been given.
I think most parents and teachers can relate to the sense of joy I experience when I’ve done the groundwork to create an enjoyable activity for children.
Beyond just the pennants, setting them up to decorate their float gave me that same sense of satisfaction. It’s wonderful to watch girls accomplish their goals, and I’ve learned along the way with Girl Scouts that it’s smart to break down their tasks based on how old they are so that the work of the project is a stretch, but achievable.
Getting things 10-50% there and letting them do the rest is ok.
It requires assessing what they’re capable of and meeting them there.
We should do the same in our newsletter content, right?
Or, at least that’s how I tend to think about writing and curating for an audience that looks to me for resources and inspiration.
It’s your job to sort through the fray and find the letters they need.
It’s also your job to find the unexpected fits that might need a little context (trimming/reframing) to be valuable.
To gather and deliver them, give guidance, and watch—with joy—as readers make their own pennants and wave them at the world from their places perched on tinsel-adorned parade floats.
Help them go for gold and cheer them on as they shine.
This week’s issue is a day late. Did you notice? I traveled to visit part of my work team in Memphis this week and chose to delay a day rather than send you a rushed draft. I hope you find the roundup of news and ideas below helpful.
Grow Your Readership And Revenue With These Publishing Insights
As a publisher, chances are you want to grow 2 things: your audience and your revenue. This week’s publishing insights offer advice on both.
- There’s a battle for audience loyalty raging, and newsletters are in the middle. Peter Houston reports on the trends here.
- Not only do you need quality content, but WNIP reports that you also need distribution channels, monetization strategies, and an engaged audience to grow readership.
- Could solutions journalism be the key to generating more revenue? Alec Saelens with The Whole Story takes a look.
- The Federal Trade Commission is ramping up enforcement on subscription practices. Does your “click to cancel” make the cut? Sarah Scire breaks it down here.
- As a publisher, you should be repurposing content. Learn how in this WNIP article.
- In this Digiday article, Seb Joseph reports on what some publishers plan to do when sources aren’t properly cited.
Search And Filter Collected Links
Hey everyone, Seth from Curated Success here.
One of the benefits of using Curated is the ability to store links you collect for your newsletter in the Collected Items page. Then, when you’re building your next issue, you can sort through those links in one place.
We recently updated the Collected Items page to make it possible to filter collected links by category and search them for specific words or URLs.
How to use it:
- Log in to your Curated account and click Collected Items (top left)
- Filter by category or search for a word or URL
- Add a link to a draft issue by clicking the Move To arrow symbol just below the trash can (Note: you need to have created a draft issue for this to appear)
You can also see more accurate information about your collected links, including
- Who originally collected the link
- Who last updated the link and when
- How the link was collected (i.e. manually, API, Slack, etc.)
Let us know what you think.