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Rebranding, reshaping, renewing
Say goodbye to Time Well Spent, and make way for Neonarrative.
A rebrand has been sorely needed for this publication for some time now, and a few honest reasons for that include:
Time Well Spent sounds nice, but what does the name actually connote? What can be gleaned from the name after a cursory glance? I’ve always known that the answer to both questions was a resounding “not much at all,” but I’ve ignored that thought for a superordinate reason—I wanted to associate what I was doing here with my favorite book, In Search of Lost Time by Proust, which is the literary equivalent of seeing the sea for the first time in my humble opinion. But that’s not a suitable reason for a business, and I think the publication might have had twice the growth it’s had so far with a better, more meaningful name.
The second reason is captured well by that last sentence. I’ve been considering the importance of branding and aesthetics lately, the enterprise of manufacturing alluring ideas and images, and it’s something that I’ve massively discounted on the whole across various domains. I’m a content-first kind of guy, I care about whether ideas, businesses, people, etc. align with my concept of the true, the good, the beautiful, I don’t care about the packaging they come in, and I assumed that that was the best approach to nearly every situation interpersonal or otherwise, to just discard the packaging and focus on fundamental content. For example I made it a personal rule in high school not to flirt, I wanted the beautiful Armenian girls in my classes to like me for what I am, not what I could pretend to be. But then I saw the White House’s messaging for pride month on Twitter, which was a statement from Biden and an image of the pride flag being flanked by two American flags. People were really upset about this for obvious and valid reasons, the U.S. flag should never flank any other flag since this is the greatest nation in history, but, politics aside, it occurred to me that the reason the pride flag made it all the way to the White House was purely for reasons of aesthetics, and that no one actually cares about the content of movements, businesses, people, at least not completely. What they care about most is the aesthetics of things, the manicured presentations that carry positive valence. A good illustration is what happened at the pride event held at the White House today. The White House invited an LGBT influencer to the event, the influencer posted a video flashing their fake breasts, the White House banned the individual from ever attending any events again as if they didn’t know that a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual influencer didn’t have a huge interest in sex. The actual content of the LGBTQ flag is about sex and sexuality, obviously—4 out of 5 letters of the acronym are about the kinds of sex around 5% of the American public have. When people put pride flags on top of elementary schools they aren’t thinking homoerotic thoughts (I hope), they’re thinking about something less carnal, more abstract—thoughts of tolerance, compassion, freedom, or something like that. This is excellent branding, people are buying into that flag. I’ve seen this happen everywhere. Once you notice the importance of branding you can’t unsee it. That’s what I plan to do here, I’m going to forget the content for a second and focus on the packaging.
The final reason is that I’m more aware of what I actually want to do with this publication than I’ve ever been, and the old, less reified goals of the past have fallen away like deciduous leaves in winter. Something new and evergreen is happening now, and a new name has been needed to reflect that.
Where do we go from here? Well, this rebrand is going to be a bit of a process, s few kinks need to be worked out until the changes I’m working on are completed, but this new name is the first step. I’m thankful to everyone who’s hitched along for a ride and for all of you who’ve supported the interviews and research done here so far. I promise the future is going to be good.
Side note: I’ve been dealing with a few challenges this year that I haven’t talked about, like the loss of my super sweet grandma-in-law who was just the greatest person you could imagine, so I appreciate your guys’ patience!
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