My not-so-friendly library, boring teachers, and other marketing interactions
My city's public library is a wonderful place. It hosts a variety of
well-attended events, has a phenomenal children's section, and serves as a real
hub for the community. But its formal communications stink.
The very first time that you have an overdue book, the initial notice that
you receive says that failure to pay your fines may result in being turned over
to a collection agency. Ouch. When you request a book,
the notification that the book is in says that failure to pick up the book
promptly will result in a $0.50 fine. Huh? If you
write a letter to the public library's director highlighting the somewhat
draconian tone of its communications, you receive a letter justifying the
library's terseness (trust me on this one). So despite all of the great things
that the public library does, you're still left with a bitter taste in your
Godin reminds usthat every interaction with a customer / client / patron /
stakeholder / visitor is a marketing interaction. It's
an opportunity for us to build or erode our brand, a chance to increase or
decrease the trust and goodwill of the people with whom we are interacting.
What's this mean for schools? Well, it means that every time a parent walks
away unhappy from an encounter at school, that's a marketing interaction. Every
time a teacher has yet another boring lesson, that's a marketing interaction.
Every time a school board member puts her personal agenda ahead of what's best
for students, that's a marketing interaction. Every time a member of the
community walks through an uninviting building, that's a marketing interaction.
And every time an administrator squanders an opportunity to be a leader rather
than a manager, that's a marketing interaction.
Schools do a host of wonderful things. But they also engage in a number of
individual and organizational behaviors that chip away at the trust and goodwill
of their internal and external communities. We can bemoan the lack of student
engagement / parent support / community involvement / referendum votes all we
want, but our actions probably led to the problem(s) in the first place. Putting
forth a glossy spin on the surface (We're the best! Support us!) does
no good if we're not willing to look at our underlying practices as the
marketing interactions that they are.
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It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.
In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.
Image from the study.
As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.
Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.
"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.
It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.
Image by authors of the study.
Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.
The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.
“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
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