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Sorted For e

Sorted For e

The letter 'e' is a complicated little soul. In emails it is the bearer of much of our communications with friends, colleagues and clients alike. It is importantly lower case in names like easyJet and ebay. Adhere Creative notes that "Any marketing team knows there's a a lot more to building your brand name than just colorful scripts and pretty pictures" ... which they are very right about (but could have done with a blind proof reader spotting that they had doubled up on the letter a' in the middle of that sentence!)

The article talks about companies that have made the decision to update their names to switch a capital first letter to a lowercase one. I am curious if a marketing team decided that easy with a lower case 'e' represented the low prices of easyJet fares better than EasyJet with a capital 'E'; did some bright spark in the team point out that it could also represent the tiny amount of legroom on easyJet flights and the miniscule luggage allowance permitted, before he was summarily dismissed?

When we write pomes we also need to make such crucial decisions when we choose our words. Switching 'laughed heartily' for 'guffawed' is more descriptive, as is a sky shimmering with rain compared to a sky with dark clouds. I always find that leaving the poem for a few hours or days lets my brain ruminate before it erupts with a stronger verb or pictorial phrase.

Communicating

The article also points out that "Failing to make a connection with your target audience is pretty much brand suicide" and that is, in a sense, at the heart of this post.

Last week I went to a symposium on making theatre events more accessible to the blind and visually impaired. The same issues relate to many different kinds of events beyond the theatre; a poetry workshop would be far more accessible to a blind attendee if some of the recommendations for theatres were also embraced at a residential writing week.

As a blind person I can read promos and flyers with my screen reader, but very ornate fonts for example can challenge my screen reader and the Optical Character Recognition that may be needed, leaving me with patchy bits of information that may not tell me all I need to know. I learned about the Taking Flight event at Cardiff's Sherman Theatre through an audio flyer. You can do these at no great expense — maybe an hour of a staff member's time to write the script and record it as video or audio on a smartphone, from where it can be uploaded to sites like YouTube and SoundCloud.

I realised that I too had been negligent in not doing something similar to promote my pamphlet, Dressing Up, so I set out to rectify that, recording an audio version of a graphical eCard (note that lower case 'e' popping up again) that I will be sending out shortly. I started with a short bit of blurb outlining what topics fall under the theme of dressing up in my poems. I used the comments from the Cinnamon Press pamphlet competition judge, Ian Gregson, and then I gave the website URL to Dressing Up on the Cinnamon Pres shop, http://www.cinnamonpress.com/index.php/products-listing/product/247-dressing-up ... now that is quite a long website address so I used the is.gd URL shortening service to reduce it down to http://is.gd/YQMCue. I thought I'd done a good job with that ... until a week later when I went back and watched the YouTube video of it again, and in it I can be heard saying "Can be found in the Cinnamon Press shop at http colon slash slash capital Y capital Q capital M capital C lower case u and that's an M for mother" ... and if you type that address in you will be taken not to Cinnamon Press but to the is.gd website where it lets you know that such an address doesn't exist! That damned lower case letter 'e' presumably decided it'd prefer to see more of the world on an easyJet logo than in my shortened web link!

How Does One Solve a Problem Like e?

Well I didn't invite the BBC around for a cup of tea to discuss casting a musical about my situation. I put on my geek hat and figured out how to go back into the recording and delete the incorrect web link; that part seemed comparatively easy.

I recorded the correct link as a separate bit of audio and tried to paste it in where the old weblink used to be. In the first draft of this post I intended to give you a breakdown of the tears that were shed in trying to paste it in and then giving up (breakdown being an apt word for the state of my mind after battling with this all day). In a non-technical nutshell I saved the audio as far as the incorrect web link as one mp3 file, the new recording of the correct web link as another mp3 file, and finally the remainder of the audio as a third mp3 file; then I joined the three parts back together.

So now you've read this post why not pop over to YouTube and watch my 2 minute audio flyer for Dressing Up ... it's worth it :)

#TakingFlight #AudioFlyers #DressingUp #CinnamonPress #YouTube #LowerCase-e

Published inblindnessPoetry

3 Comments

  1. This is really interesting. When it comes to speaking aloud a URL, might it be worth using bitty.com to shorten the link first?

    • Giles Giles

      the link shortner I use for preference these days is is.gd which is what I refer to in this post. The rather long link to my pamphlet in the Cinnamon Press shop is shortened to http://is.gd/YQMCue. Usually the different shortening services produce equally short versions of website addresses and it is the website domain bitly.com with 9 characters that clocks in longer than is.gd with 5. I used to favour tinyurl.com but that has 11 characters so is.gd wins! Of course you’ll note that in the audio version it is important to state which letters are capitals and which are lower case, since mixing them up would generate another incorrect web link 🙂

  2. that should be bitly.com — the predictive text editor corrected to something quite different! Such is the joy of technology….

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