Category: Personal Branding

The Most Popular Non-Obvious Stories of 2022 (Based On Reader Feedback)



Every week for the past year, I’ve curated the most fascinating stories every week in my weekly email Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter. This year the newsletter was honored in the prestigious Webby awards too. It’s always interesting for me which stories seem to resonate most with readers based on how many email responses I get, how frequently a story is shared on social media and how frequently the link to the full story is clicked. Based on this combination of quantitative and qualitative data, here is a partial list of some of the most popular stories of the year, based on what my readers shared (scroll down to read the full stories):

  1. The Surprising Forgotten Medieval Habit of “Two Sleeps”
  2. Does Science Need To Be Dumbed-Down To Make It Meaningful?
  3. Why Humans Learned To Laugh (and Naming the Uranus Mission)
  4. The Predictable Failure of Unlimited Vacation Policy
  5. The Backstory of the Bookshelf That Converts Into a Coffin
  6. Is It Ever Possible to Avoid Buying More Stuff For Your Stuff?
  7. The Science Is In. Wearing Your Shoes In the House Is Disgusting.
  8. Oslo’s Secret Future Library Holds Books To Be Published In 100 Years
  9. Why Do So Many Media Personalities Use Our Hate As A Popularity Test?
  10. Why I Just Became A Noble Citizen of the Micronation of Ladonia

Note – Some of the most popular links are to stories that have photo collections such as the winners for the World Press Photo collection to TIME magazine’s best photos of the year (Read more...)

How To Archive Yourself In the Digital Age



“I thought self-archiving could lead to self-actualization. I filled as many spaces as I could with information, whether it was on my blog, in Facebook albums, on Twitter, or on any of the many social media platforms I’ve used through the years. It was like collecting data on myself. But I also had an overall fear of letting go, of impermanence. I was so scared of forgetting pieces of myself—even pieces I longed to discard, like bad relationships and bad friendships and, I guess, other people in general. They discarded me more easily than I discarded them.”

I have the luxury to remember myself cooler than I actually was in school. As I have sometimes shared on stage, there are no social media posts from the ’90s to contradict how I think of my younger self from 25 years ago. The digital archives we are now creating for ourselves can be a gift, but also can weigh us down. Writer Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya explores this idea in an essay this week that suggests perhaps the path to self awareness requires deleting the past … a conclusion she reaches after much soul searching:

“Easing up on my self-archiving felt like building new trust with myself, giving myself permission to change and grow. I used to believe saving everything was the only way to find out what I really wanted, who I wanted to be. But when I delete things, I just make space for something new.”

It’s not easy to admit, (Read more...)

Understanding the Woman-Led Backlash Against the “Lean In” Movement



Nearly ten years ago former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg became the “face of 2010s-era corporate feminism” when she published her book Lean In, which advocated for women to be more assertive and empowered at work. Since then, the book has been simultaneously celebrated as a much-needed manifesto for working women … and a one-dimensional tech industry perspective that failed to acknowledge the many systemic barriers at work that women often face.

Now that Sandberg is stepping down from her role and close to a decade has passed, the moment is inspiring a backlash as some people question whether her insights have moved women in business forward or ultimately held them back. If you are a professional woman working in business right now, what do you think? Do you identify with this idea of “leaning in” as the right way to build your career, or do you feel that this expectation that it is your responsibility to assert yourself underestimates the cultural and institutional barriers that stand in your way? I’d love to know.