Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

15 Things I Liked Enough to Show You: 1–14 August 2015

15 Things I Liked Enough to Show You: 1–14 August 2015

Chuck Wendig's "100 Random Storytelling Thoughts and Tips, Starting Now" at Terrible Minds:

35. There’s always something else for the reader to be doing. You are not competing against other writers or other books, but you are competing against the infinity of options open to your audience: games, toys, social media, sex, sex toys, sex games, corn murder, bee wrangling, monkey punching, gambling, sex gambling, exotic drugs created from household cleaners, falcon training, sex falcon training. Treat your reader as exalted. They have given you money and time. Do not punish them for their choice.

The Nancy comic strip + Alan Watts = bliss


Mike Monteiro's "What Are Conference Organizers Afraid Of?" at Medium's Dear Design Student:

Would you trust a restaurant that does its own health inspections? Why trust a conference that certifies its own safety?

You want conferences to be safe? Have an independent third party certify that the staff is trained to handle harassment situations. Have them explain how they would deal with certain situations. Have that conference actually pass an inspection. And make it a yearly thing to deal with turnover.


Andrew O'Hehir's "The Evil Behind Cosby And Polanski: Can We Overcome Our Long, Painful History Of Rape And Power?" at Alternet:

We look at Bill Cosby now and express understandable shock and outrage, but after that we might do well to take a long look in the mirror and think about how and why we permitted him to hurt so many women over so many years. We are all heirs to that long tradition of sexual violence to a greater or lesser extent, and have all been shaped by its ideological and psychological effects. 

Listen to The Smiths' "This Charming Man" (1983) with only Morrissey's isolated vocals. His voice is incredible:


Alex Halberstadt's "Out of the Woods" at The New York Times Magazine:

In 1979, a gay rights activist, communist and Angeleno named Harry Hay — a founder of a neo-­pagan countercultural movement called the Radical Faeries — urged gay men to ‘‘throw off the ugly green frog skin of hetero-­imitation.’’ Instead of fighting for the rights that straights had, like marriage and adoption, the faeries believed that to be gay was to possess a unique nature and a special destiny apart from straight people, and that this destiny would reach its full flowering in the wilds of rural America.

Zeynep Tufekci's "Why ‘Smart’ Objects May Be a Dumb Idea" at The New York Times:

A hacked car is a high-profile example of what can go wrong with the coming Internet of Things — objects equipped with software and connected to digital networks. The selling point for these well-connected objects is added convenience and better safety. In reality, it is a fast-motion train wreck in privacy and security.

Weep with me while we listen to a woman comfort a frightened pig with a lullaby:


David Carr's "A Code of Conduct for Content Aggregators" at The New York Times:

Traditional media organizations watched as others kidnapped their work, not only taking away content but, more and more, taking the audiences with them. Practitioners of the new order heard the complaints and suggested that mainstream media needed to quit whining and start competing in a changed world, where what’s yours may not be yours anymore if others find a better way to package it.

So where is the line between promoting the good work of others and simply lifting it? Naughty aggregation is analogous to pornography: You know it when you see it.


Hank Green's "Theft, Lies, and Facebook Video" at Medium:

Facebook says it’s now streaming more video than YouTube. To be able to make that claim, all they had to do was cheat, lie, and steal.


I aim one day to be this Ecuadorian turtle with a butterfly on its nose:


Jack Smith IV's "One Tweet Shows What Silicon Valley Really Thinks of the People It's Crushing" at Mic:

…the apps that supposedly "change the world" don't really affect anyone except for the wealthy young men who design them…

And this is the way it is with many Silicon Valley startups. The services are designed to nurture the needs of those who can afford to use them. 


Sam Fiorella's "'The Fat Jew' and Instagram – All That’s Wrong with Influence Marketing" at Sensei Marketing:

The problem lies in the fact that brands are paying for access to Ostrovsky’s following, an audience whose demographics cannot be quantified in the same manner that Facebook targets audiences via personal profiles, preferences, and past behaviors. Marketers would scoff at the notion of paying for magazine advertising without first having reams of data on the demographics of the audience being reached and how closely they’re aligned their existing or prospective customer base. Yet, somehow, brand marketers throw money at those Instagram-celebrities without holding them to the same requirements.

If this cockatoo playing peekaboo doesn't make you happy, get help:


Nastassian Brandon Older's "#ProjectBRAVE Photos: Volume 1, Part 1" at ItsNasB!:

#projectBRAVE is about seeing that we all have physical insecurities, no matter our size or shape or colour.  But more than that, it’s about getting that we all can and should grow to embrace these “flaws”. It’s about not just living with our imperfections and insecurities, it’s about learning to love them and seeing that they are beautiful.
Let Me Introduce You to the Mushrooms of Waskesiu While Dressed as a Bunny Rabbit

Let Me Introduce You to the Mushrooms of Waskesiu While Dressed as a Bunny Rabbit

Our Trip to Waskesiu, Day 1: We Didn't Die On a Deconstructed Road In the Woods. That's Something.

Our Trip to Waskesiu, Day 1: We Didn't Die On a Deconstructed Road In the Woods. That's Something.