September 2, 2009
Are you familar with happy talk?
If you're not sure whether something is happy talk, there's one sure-fire test: if you listen very closely while you're reading it, you can actually hear a tiny voice in the back of your head saying "Blah blah blah blah blah...."
A lot of happy talk is the kind of self-congratulatory promotional writing that you find in badly written brochures. Unlike good promotional copy, it conveys no useful information, and focuses on saying how great we are, as opposed to delineating what makes us great.
Happy talk is the kudzu of the internet; the place is lousy with the stuff.
And then there's the visual equivalent of happy talk. Those cloying, meaningless stock photos of happy users doing ... something ... with a computer.
What is going on here? Given the beatific expressions, you'd think they were undergoing some kind of nerd rapture. Maybe they're getting a sneak preview of the singularity, I don't know.
It's unclear to me why companies (and even some individuals) think they need happy talk, stock photos of multicultural computer users, or the occasional headset hottie. Jason Cohen provides an explanation:
Even before I had a single customer, I "knew" it was important to look professional. My website would need to look and feel like a "real company." I need culture-neutral language complimenting culturally-diverse clip-art photos of frighteningly chipper co-workers huddled around a laptop, awash with the thrill and delight of configuring a JDBC connection to SQL Server 2008.
It also means adopting typical "marketing-speak," so my "About Us" page started with:
Smart Bear is the leading provider of enterprise version control data-mining tools. Companies world-wide use Smart Bear's Code Historian software for risk-analysis, root-cause discovery, and software development decision-support.
"Leading provider?" "Data mining?" I'm not even sure what that means. But you have to give me credit for an impressive quantity of hyphens.
That's what you're supposed to do, right? That's what other companies do, so it must be right. Who am I to break with tradition?
I'm not sure where we got our ideas about this stuff, but it is true that some large companies promote a kind of doublespeak "professionalism". Kathy Sierra describes her experiences at Sun:
By the time I got to Sun, using the word "cool" in a customer training document was enough to warrant an entry in your annual performance eval. And not in a good way.
I cannot count the times I heard the word "professionalism" used as justification for why we couldn't do something. But I can count the few times I heard the word "passion" used in a meeting where the goal was to get developers to adopt our newest Java technologies. What changed?
Some argue that by maintaining strict professionalism, we can get the more conservative, professional clients and thus grow the business. Is this true? Do we really need these clients? Isn't it possible that we might even grow more if we became braver?
It's a shame that this misguided sense of professionalism is sometimes used as an excuse to put up weird, Orwellian communication barriers between yourself and the world. At best it is a facade to hide behind; at worst it encourages us to emulate so much of what is wrong with large companies. Allow me to paraphrase the simple advice of Elmore Leonard:
If it looks corporate, change it.
The next time you find yourself using professional text, or professional stock images, consider the value of this "professionalism". Is it legitimately helping you communicate? Or is it getting in the way?
Posted by Jeff Atwood
That headphone hottie reminded me of our own website. Yeah, it does also contain a headphone hottie. All sites should have headphone hotties.
I guess the point is if someone takes the time to make a "professional" website, then maybe they also take the time to make "professional" product (software / hardware / bridges / skyscrapers).
It is however a testament to how easy one can create the perception of a larger company with such little effort though.
Here's a thought. People don't want to fork over money to fly-by-night operations. Of all people, you ought to know best about how quickly software becomes legacy.
What's your alternative. "Click here for l33t tool5! We R da b0mb @ ur dataz."
Does the same apply to a resume? Despite what many have told me, I've kept a portion of my resume written in the first-person to add a bit of flavor and make it stand out. Bad idea?
Wouldn't it have once been considered unprofessional to pretend that a hired model was actually an employee?
I wonder if we've misundertood the purpose of communication in our business world. It is *not* to convey any real kind of idea. The purpose of communication is to bring about an outcome which brings forth advantage. If one is not engaging in business communcation which is not tailored to bring forth advantage then one will not benefit from advantage. One might at best be useful to someone - someone who does understand how to communicate to bring forth advantage - from time to time. One find that, as Marx would have it (roughy speaking), will find one's labour is subjugated to the advanatge of another, more so than oneself.
Business communication is about marketing. There is no other advantageous purpose of business communication. The dominace of 'speak' and the 'head set hotties' are simple and inevitable consequences.
+1 for Headset Hotties reference.
You will be disappointed by the actually "headset hottie" who answers the phone.
You production websites written by the developers will not be nearly as appealing as the corporate website.
If they are smiling at the screen, they must be waisting company time (watching youtube?).
I am the leading provider of first comment world-wide.
It is not "professionalism". It is a very dangerous mind-set that is a mixture of "diversity", what an industry thinks is the right way to act and talk, company self-importance, blah blah blah.
I'm not sure if this happens anywhere else other than in the software business. It is sickening.
I was in an interview once at Symantec, and in 20 minutes the manager must have said "in that space" at least a dozen times.
My favorite headset hottie comes from Despair, Inc, the makers of such fine demotivational posters as:
Bitterness: Never be afraid to share your dreams with the world, because there's nothing the world loves more than the taste of really sweet dreams.
Give Up: At some point, hanging in there just makes you look like an even bigger loser.
The headset hottie on their Customer Disservice page is classic.
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Programmers are just as guilty as marketers - or at least, our lead developer insists that sites need these happy images because people respond well to smiley imagery.
Thank you so much for the headsethotties URL. That made my day.
Right now there are 5 of us (black guy, white woman, asian transgender...) all standing around my computer looking at headsethotties.
Respond to Happy Talk and corporate PC professionalism with buzz-word bingo.
"Isn't it possible that we might even grow more if we became braver?"
Yes it's possible - but it's also possible that the reverse is true and that in any given situation Sun et al get it right. It's disingenuous and maybe even downright dangerous to advise that one way or the other is *always* right.
Great post. It reminded me of Joel's first tip on writing functional specs. Be funny.
Here is an excerpt.
Yep, rule number one in tricking people into reading your spec is to make the experience enjoyable. Don't tell me you weren't born funny, I don't buy it. Everybody has funny ideas all the time, they just self-censor them because they think that it's "unprofessional." Feh. Sometimes you have to break the rules.
If you read the volumes of garbage I've written on this web site, you'll notice that there are a few lame attempts at being funny scattered throughout. Just four paragraphs ago I was making a gross body-fluid joke and making fun of managers for playing golf. Even though I'm not really that funny, I still try pretty hard, and even the act of flailing around trying to be funny is in itself amusing, in a sad-clown sort of way. When you're writing a spec, an easy place to be funny is in the examples. Every time you need to tell a story about how a feature works, instead of saying:
* The user types Ctrl+N to create a new Employee table and starts entering the names of the employees.
write something like:
* Miss Piggy, poking at the keyboard with a eyeliner stick because her chubby little fingers are too fat to press individual keys, types Ctrl+N to create a new Boyfriend table and types in the single record "Kermit."
So everybody agrees that happy talk and stock photos are eveil. But what would you advice to mentioned Jason Cohen when he was writing his "About Us" page?
communication is designed to convey an idea. corporate communication is designed to obfuscate - plain and simple.
here's the summary on my resume - I'm a developer.
Yes on the words, but stock photos have their purposes that other approaches might not: are you paying your employees enough for the promotional use of their image? If they're professional models, and the photos are licensed by people who's business is the licensing of artwork, you can be reasonably confident that the answer is yes. The expectations of that financial transaction are well known in advance. Are you exploiting or harassing your in-house headset hottie if you put their picture on the site? Headset heartbreak! Stock photos protect you and your employees from poorly thought out potential disasters.
Also: Do it in-house with in-house faces, and what happens when Key Employee 2008 becomes Took Top Customer to Competition 2009 (or Messy Fired For Cause 2009): do you cram through a site rebuild, or forget about that page deep in your site and confuse other customers, especially if key employee is known through trade shows or the like? What happens if Call Center Peon 2008 makes it on America's Got Talent or the FBI's Most Wanted?
I'll go for founders and partners or principal executives, or whole-team group pictures.
Actually, having the corporate mumbo jumbo and stock images can actually be much more pleasurable to what comes when a corporate tries to get down with the kids - My ISP (Be* Broadband) turned their reasonably good site (if a little OTT with pink) into something that was last considered cutting edge when the Spectrum 128k reigned...
getting in the way of what though? What would you replace the photo with? When people are thinking about hiring your services they're taking a chance, and they don't need YOU to be "brave" and to be taking chances, THEY'LL do that stuff, they want you to be exactly what you advertise and nothing too "out there". Or they'll run
The headset hottie link triggered my virus scanner; either they or their ad network is trying to deliver a trojan via JS exploit.
I m not able to view the headset hotties...I m behind a corporate firewall..
+1 for DJ Jazzy Jazz. And who would've thought that the Fresh Prince's best friend would ever be on the internet? All praise the mighty internet.
Yeah, but how do you convince your clients that *they* don't want to put up another Headset Hottie?
This is one of the better posts you've put up here in a while.
Guess that's why everyone looks so miserable on the StackOverflow about page,
Seriously though, I do hate marketing with a passion. Spent enough time trying to persuade the marketing men that it would be useful to actually say what the product did, rather than going on about how it was state-of-the-art, powerful, ground-breaking, etc.
Having said that, I suspect successful corporations wouldn't use pictures of smiling faces if it didn't work. People do seem to be programed to respond positively to a smiling face, even if you know it isn't real.
>>>It's unclear to me why companies (and even some individuals) think they need happy talk, stock photos of multicultural computer users, or the occasional headset hottie.
Right on point, its almost boring when you come across sites that follow a fixed formula that they think always works. And the headset hotties site hasnt been updated since Feb 2009!
Would you have an example of what you consider to be 'refreshing' or 'innovative' design that is not 'corporate' but yet is still from a big company?
I appreciate keith's comment:
"Are you exploiting or harassing your in-house headset hottie if you put their picture on the site? ... Do it in-house with in-house faces, and what happens when Key Employee 2008 becomes Took Top Customer to Competition 2009 (or Messy Fired For Cause 2009)"
Perhaps paid actors is a better idea. But it still doesn’t have to be so damn generic.
Commentator CynicalTyler makes a good point.
I know such bland content makes my beautifully-programmed web application ho-hum. But, what can I do about it? Give me some ammo to use against the decisionmakers.
And, no, I don't want to be my own rogue copywriter or photographer or brand consultant. I want to be a programmer.
"What is going on here? Given the beatific expressions, you'd think they were undergoing some kind of nerd rapture. Maybe they're getting a sneak preview of the singularity, I don't know."
Look at the look on their faces, especially the woman in the middle. They are clearly looking at something extremely cute. Either a baby, or a lolcat.
No one ever got fired for creating a bland, corporate web site, using stock photos and Verdana 12pt.
It's all about PsyOps. This is what Madison Avenue has been so good at since the 1980s, and the Web simply followed. People are now trained to expect this sort of imagery so the lack of it suggests sloppy incompetence.
Why do you think single urban apartment dwellers drive giant diesel pickup trucks?
I always get annoyed by this sort of fluffy corporate-speak on company websites when I am going for an interview and I want to know what exactly they do. Why can't they just *say* what they do?!
I have noticed a few company websites lately that are very direct and clear about what the company does (I don't have any links handy). They tend to be newer/smaller companies, and I think this no-nonsense approach to communication adds adds to their credibility and honesty, and therefore sounds far more "professional"! Hopefully this is a trend that will take hold over the next few years.
This isn't communication, it's advertisement. It holds no more communicational value than large breasts, and it's not supposed to.
*shudders at another well articulated article about the horrors of coding ...*
Spot on. It's not coding horror, it's real life horror.
@Justice - "Don't blame Madison Avenue. Advertising plays to our insecurities and lack of self-awareness, but it doesn't create it."
Are you sure? Remember, you're talking about an industry that relies on deception for the express purpose of getting us to do (buy) things we otherwise wouldn't.
A classic advertising strategy is convince me I have I problem (likely one I didn't even know I had) and then show me how your product fixes it. I get your point, but I don't think the line between playing to our insecurities and creating them is as bright and well-defined as some might think.
Beware of the corporation though that 'pretends' to be cool (I think Apple is falling into this category at this stage). My own experience was of a company (cant say who it is or I'll get sued) where, on the surface, everything was cool. Developers were paid really well, everyone had one of those fancy programmers' chairs, two 24" monitors on every desk, lunch was free and there was a nice gym on the premises (someone must have read one of Joel's blogs). Unfortunately, they were hell bent on exploiting their customers, they treated developers like shit, they never told anyone what was going etc, etc. My own epiphany came on the day our boss called the group in and gave us a 'motivational' speech. There had been some firings in another part of the company and he wanted us to know that "It was a great company to work for, you are being watched and you should be scared". The scary part was that these three phrases occurred in the same sentence. I went back to my desk and logged on to a job site right away...
To Jeff & Joel
Can you please discuss and inform us all what is meant as a 'tight deadline'.
I see this often in job 'specifications' and descriptions.
Or is it also corporate fluff?
No Blond in that picture, How could you do it Jeff...!
Great post, This is something I have been thinking about every single day...!
Here's how things work on my current project:
1. I write a technical document in (as far as I am able) a readable, jaunty style. The goal is to communicate complex information to the reader, so anything that makes the text warmer and more approachable has got to be a boon, right?
2. I get review comments back that basically suck the life out of the thing. Sections with any hint of informality are reworded to make them less comprehensible and much more stilted, but, hey, it's more "professional".
We actually had a QA person (now thankfully departed) whose sole purpose on the project was to mutilate documents in this way. She once painstakinly itemised a list of 50-odd "unprofessional" uses of language in a functional specification I wrote, this included things like analogies where I was comparing a complex process to things in the real world to make it more approachable.
My take on this is that IT has ballooned in the last 20 years from a geek-centric niche into a broad industry which now attracts talentless drones with little or no technical inclination. These are the sort of people who are responsible for the plague of bogus "professionalism" blighting the industry.
+1 for Headset Hotties reference.
For a programmer like me, if a few customers that don't want to hire a good designer want the said prof... site, this is very handy.
Shameless, I know. But there's a ton of these guys and a ton of their customers like to see the same thing - "Can't you put a smiling lady so that it looks professional?"
I probably did not rob a designer of a contract because most "designers" here do the same thing!
I charge less, and I tell them where the thing came from (to cover up the guilt) so I guess I'm the lesser evil ! :-P
I think this has to do with the mindsets we are in and the mindset training done.
Creativity is not allowed in analytical work. Indirect socializing is a crime. This goes back to obfuscation of plain concepts in sophisticated English.
Equations and source code have brought some balance to the scene.
Legalese still remains unaltered, although we have sufficient tools for documenting the worst cases of legalese in easily visualizable pictorial form.
I think someone should start a formal movement to de-obfuscate things.
Several manuals are precise and apt inspite of not using legalese.
Some are downright friendly!!
But I don't see corporatese going anywhere as long as majority of society is willing to accept some lofty-sounding explanation for something trivial or wrong.
Most businessmen swear by "if you cannot convince, confuse".
It's the natural extension of animal escapism and childhood fibbing that stays over even though your body grows into adulthood.
Sometimes Jeff, you write something like this, and then the world is a better place because you exist :) keep up the good work
Jeff, are you and/or Jason Cohen suggesting that the term "data mining" is marketing doublespeak?
"happy talk" ? Thats everything that our government has been trying to shove down our throats since the first "the sky is falling" BS going back to Paulson in Sep 2008.
I love it when I try to figure out what a piece of software actually DOES and all I can find is a blurb that says sometime like:
INCREASES EFFECIENCIES AND STREAMLINES PROCEDURES. PROVIDES TOOLS WHICH ALLOW YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMERS TO COLLABORATE ON PROJECTS WITH EASE, THEREBY REDUCING COSTS.
I remember many years ago trying to figure out what the hell Windows Server ISA actually did! Besides provide "enterprise-level security" and "granular control over traffic". and exactly how implementing it would "lower TCO".
So 1 90-trial later I finally figured it out. "Oh! It's a firewall/proxy/VPN server, and it's AD-integrated!"
Even if that's not 100% accurate, at least it gives me a better understanding of what it actually does than the dribble that came from Microsoft's description.
And I'm not a Microsoft hater either! I like their products and work almost exclusively with them
It's a matter of knowing your audience.
Most of us here are techies, geeks if you prefer. We want our communication to have intellectual substance, both to and from other people. While we may like pictures of lolcats and hot members of the appropriate sex, we have this instinctive feeling that somebody who substitutes them for facts must be hiding something.
On the other hand, we don't generally buy expensive stuff for corporations.
The headphone hotties and professional models are designed to appeal to a different sort of person. Being geeks, we have some difficulty in understanding different sorts of persons. (Those who deal with people professionally also have difficulty understanding different sorts of persons, and there I consider it a professional failing.)
Therefore, when you see the multiethnic group of good-looking people apparently having a heartfelt moment of quiet joy because of a new accounting package, remember that this is an artifact of an alien subculture. You aren't the target audience. This is either because the advertiser isn't trying to sell to you, or the advertiser doesn't know any better.
So what are your (least) favorite instances of corporate-speak?
I nominate "learnings", "talk to [not about] subject X", "have a conversation on that", "go ahead and [verb]", and "offline". As in, "Let's go ahead and talk to our learnings in a conversation offline".
That helps explain why I never understand what Sun is talking about!
Companies would be better off forgetting their misguided sense of "professionalism." Companies like 37signals, FreshBooks, Google, ZenDesk, and several other web 2.0 companies are leading the way when it comes to speaking normally. Example:
Google, after a loss of network connectivity in Gmail:
"...and we're back!"
Some "professional company," perhaps Microsoft:
"We deeply regret the interruption of service and we apologize for any convenience this may have caused. Please contact your network service provider if the problem continues."
This misguided sense of "professionalism" was also covered in a chapter in 37signals Getting Real book. They argued many companies make the mistake of trying to "sound big." It's okay to show your size, be genuine, and be personal.
And lmao at "headset hotties."
> +1 for DJ Jazzy Jazz. And who would've thought that the Fresh Prince's best friend would ever be on the internet? All praise the mighty internet.
-1 for you: His name was DJ Jazzy *Jeff*. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DJ_Jazzy_Jeff
"It's all about PsyOps. This is what Madison Avenue has been so good at since the 1980s, and the Web simply followed. People are now trained to expect this sort of imagery so the lack of it suggests sloppy incompetence.
Why do you think single urban apartment dwellers drive giant diesel pickup trucks?"
Don't blame Madison Avenue. Advertising plays to our insecurities and lack of self-awareness, but it doesn't create it.
The urban guy with the pickup truck buys it because he's insecure in his masculinity, or he thinks it will impress women, or he wants to pretend he's a construction worker for a couple hours a day. Or hell, maybe he's a secure and with-it guy after all, and he just happens to like trucks and has the personal resources to own one.
The point is, don't blame advertisers for our neuroses.
Don't forget "spun up" and "path forward".
Heh, the article reminded me of this: http://pokazywarka.pl/msmurzyn/ But of course, if you go to the respective websites [now[, they both have the same images.
The fist comment in this post is just hilarious. Of course, is not as genious as the official site for the company behind github. http://logicalawesome.com/
After analyzing other factors of course, I usually trust in software that creators have sense of humor like that. They don't try to "mask" everything in buzz words and corporate grammar. They are just... too good to do what everybody else in the market does. They're unique.
I once worked for a .Com service vendor. At one point one of the images on our web site showed some of our managers huddled around a monitor with expressions of great intrigue. They were looking at the Windows desktop.
There is *one* advantage I see of "corporate style". Other big corporations will not take you as seriously if you do not have it and you will not get those big deals.
haha gotta love that picture with the little group behind the pc screen. So smiley and... multicultural
Data mining is reasonably well defined, though I have no doubt that some people misuse it as a buzzword. It is a real field that geenrates real results (and might sometimes be over-hyped).
http://stackoverflow.com/about -> see the pictures, and "The only unusual thing we do is synthesize aspects of Wikis, Blogs, Forums, and Digg/Reddit in a way that is somewhat original." (wow, i should call our forum wiki with blog with digg/reddit with social network or so)
and this buzz / bullshit on stackexchange:
Designed by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, Stack Overflow has rapidly become the best place for programmers to get answers to technical questions. Now there's a way to get the same kind of site for your audience.
no. for programming question the microsoft newsgroups in the windows world are still not beaten.
Thanks, and GREETINGS FROM GERMANY
my motto: Mountains never meet, people always
Thanks, and GREETINGS FROM GERMANY
my motto: Mountains never meet, people always
"INCREASES EFFECIENCIES AND STREAMLINES PROCEDURES. PROVIDES TOOLS WHICH ALLOW YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMERS TO COLLABORATE ON PROJECTS WITH EASE, THEREBY REDUCING COSTS."
You left out "workflows", "synergies", and any word ending in "-ize". Note pluralized forms; real professionals never singularize.
Grant had a share. Thank you.
Grant had a share. Thank you.
> Perhaps paid actors is a better idea. But it still doesn’t have to be so damn generic.
So you have $40k USD hanging around extra for a pro photo shoot .. for what amounts to a few generic images?
I didn't think so. The $250 for a royalty free image is a lot easier to stomach.
I'm sure there was a recent study that confirmed that cheesy stock photos and traditional marketing speak actually had a negative impact on potential customers.
The study proved that honest copy and real photography are much more likely to get results today.
Very cool post and so much true. Reminds me of my first experience at a consulting company which was a bit like http://www.huhcorp.com/.
Great post. I laughed a lot. Did some happy talk on my blog: I referred yours :) ...
Managers focus on making things (code, websites, documentation) "professional" and just like everybody else. Drones focus on meeting exactly the requirements set in front of them. Innovators focus on doing the things that are important to them and people like them, trusting that things that are useful and/or fun will adopted by others.
Guess which one is more enjoyable and fulfilling? (Extra credit: Guess which one is a more sustainable business practice? Playing follow-the-leader is great, unless you're in a herd of lemmings...)
Great post! I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I'm inspired, and plan to break the rules a bit more with my project (http://www.screenjack.com). The idea is to build a business simply because it's helpful to people without getting distracted by pressure to increase revenue or conform for investors.
I could so easily link to "professional-image" websites that are fraudulent (but won't for obvious reasons) - a Sydney lawyer who is a stalker and a criminal (but her web-page looks so professional!), 2 law firms perverting the course of justice, a multicultural organisation with a secret history of persecuting and injuring foreigners (kept silent by threats from the law firms) and a "leading" IT contracting agency that does everything it can to avoid paying its contractors (starve them out by not paying for months on end, then terminate the contract because they were starved out and could not continue working - no pay owed, due to "breach").
I don't think we need to imitate these people - we need to provide better examples for the world to emulate.
I suspect "professional" imagery also works to exclude small players - by conditioning the audience to expect big advertising budgets, it is much harder for small startups to compete, even if they prove to be more agile and relevant.
I wish my company had a less corporate-y look. It's really not as horrible as the website makes it look :D
My brain is one where I expect a simple description of the service being provided. I want to know the basic approach and how it might be different from others.
I've always felt that the reason they use that happy talk/marketing speak is because the average person prefers it.
What we need is the ability for companies to know who there audience is and provide happy talk/marketing speak for those people who prefer that and a simple explanation of the logic of their approach people like me.
"It works by making you feel 123% more satisfied!" is not an answer to "How does it work?"
Tell me *really* how it works.
Best post that I have read (here or elsewhere) in a while. And I rarely LITERALLY LMAO.
Keep it up Jeff.
It's not "professional", it's merely unobjectionable. Some people think that being unobjectionable is the best way to get ahead. But this is a silly and immature idea. Do you want to be John Tesh or The Beatles. How many truly runaway successful endeavors in history have been completely unobjectionable?
The following comment about promotional writing needs minor editing:
Unlike good promotional copy, it conveys no useful information, and focuses on saying how great we are, as opposed to delineating what makes us great.
Drop the first two characters and you're spot on.
Several years ago I developed a website for the online subscription services of a major national news magazine. The graphics for the site featured a stock image of a "headset hottie" even though the point of the site was to reduce the need for CSRs ("hottie" or not) answering phones.
@Mormegil it's a very, very fine line.
I work on multi-country websites all the time, and if the site's in China, they don't want some random white person on there, they want some random asian looking person. If it's a Norwegian site, they don't want Spanish-looking people. And Spaniards don't want to look at Russians, etc.
We're not just talking color of skin here. We're also talking clothing and the overall look.
The intention is not racism, but making the users of the site feel more comfortable and associating with the site. Microsoft's problem is that while they replaced the black guy with a badly photo-chopped image, the people still look American, not Polish.
I had to put up a website when applying for a tender. I couldn't help myself with the stock photos. The respective tabs had:
1. "Projects": some kids doing finger painting.
2. "Contact": a barbed wire fence.
3. "About me": a guy jogging. Away.
I didn't get the tender. But I did piss myself laughing.
I'm not sure how relevant this is, but it reminds me of a story told to me by a teacher at the community college in my town. The English department got some policy put in place that all department web pages had to be proofread by someone in the English department to be sure the grammar and spelling was both correct and professional. Included in the email sent out by the English department was a link to a website full of tips on professional writing. It was some guy's angelfire page, and the link was mistyped in the email.
I miss this blog. It used to have 3-4 awesome posts a week.
"professionalism" is world wide level,
this is why we have to pretend to be professionalism.