How to talk to (and about) your clients when their gender identities are complex

Gender identities are complex, and the words we use to talk about gender are constantly evolving. Whether or not you spend a lot of time in a gender-ambiguous world, as a business-owner, you need to know that it's important to be aware of the different ways people can gender identify, and that it's even more important to respect those identities. It's not always easy to discern someone's gender identity by sight, so here are three different ways I've gone about determining how my clients identify in a subtle, respectful way…


How we do stock photography

Can you run-down how you guys handle posting your stock photos for each site? I know you use Creative Commons most of the time, but what are your criteria for picking photos? Do you maintain a database of photos that you think might work with future articles, just to cut down on time, or do you search and hope for the best?


Show-don't-tell marketing: how to share your business story with integrity

I spent over a decade in the corporate marketing trenches before I founded the Offbeat Empire. If I learned anything from my time with Microsoft, Amazon, and The Seattle Times, it's this: the best marketing is just about telling a story. Really, all you're trying to do is share stories that potential clients might be interested in and might see themselves in… all with the hopes that those potential clients will themselves become a part of the story.

As a writer, however, I know that it's all about SHOWING (not telling) your stories. Don't just TELL people about your business's new products or values — SHOW them.


Social Justice League

I love that so many people on the internet are committed to encouraging us all to examine our privilege and carefully consider the ways that words have impact. But there are times when I can see it start to slip into a game, and all-too-often the well-intended corrections have an unhealthy amount of white guilt mixed in. There are times when it feels like checking your privilege has become almost a form of performance art for young white people online.


Editorial diversity hacks: is tokenism ever ok?

Here's a sad reality: 90% of the content submissions we receive to the Offbeat Empire's websites feature young, white, able-bodied heterosexual Americans. When we go out and actively recruit more diverse content for the sites, is that tokenism? And is that kind of tokenism ok if it's increasing the media visibility of minority communities?