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what's happening in our world

Call to Support Senate Bill 932

Modesett Williams - Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Texas Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 932, the bill that would crack down on bad nursing homes, and now the House is deliberating on whether these bad nursing homes should be held accountable for their wrongdoings. Jack Modesett wrote a letter in February congratulating Senator Schwertner for his work on this bill and on behalf of some of our most vulnerable citizens, which can be read here.

This morning's Austin American-Statesman features a full page ad in support of the bill and we strongly encourage you to check it out, learn more about the low quality of care provided by Texas nursing homes, and take action.

"Tell your legislator to make nursing homes safer and protect Texas seniors by passing Senate Bill 932. Call 1-844-305-8852 today."

Connecting the Jury to Each Other - And Your Case

Modesett Williams - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

At our shop, we spend a lot of time thinking how to connect with juries. We constantly ask ourselves, how can we tell our client's story in a way that resonates with the jury's experience? As we all retreat into our smartphones and become less connected to each other, though ostensibly connected to the world, finding that common ground is becoming more difficult.

Perhaps that is why Sebastian Junger's "Tribe, On Homecoming and Belonging" resonated with me. Junger asks, "How do you become an adult in a society that doesn't ask for sacrifice? How do you become a man in a world that doesn't require courage?" He answers his questions with, "Humans don't mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary. It's time for that to end." I agree. A jury's experience at trial can and should be a way to make them "necessary" to society.

Junger goes on to describe human "needs" in a way that can be a call to action for a jury. "...human beings need three basic things in order to be content: they need to feel competent at what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others. These values are considered 'intrinsic' to human happiness and far outweigh 'extrinsic' values such as beauty, money and status."

How many of us are aware of how our world works? Are we connected to anything outside of our daily routine? Not really. Junger makes the point that we are "disconnected from just about everything. Farming, mineral extraction, gas and oil production, bulk cargo transport, logging, fishing, infrastructure construction--all the industries that keep the nation going are mostly unacknowledged by the people who depend on them most." Junger's solution: "When people are actively engaged in a cause their lives have more purpose... with a resulting improvement in mental health..."

When presenting your case, give jury members a cause, even if just for a week or two.

Reasons MuseGrid is my Favorite Thing Right Now

Patricia Small - Thursday, April 17, 2014

Building a website can be daunting, even for computer whizzes with extensive coding knowledge (which I am certainly not). After struggling with some online web designing tools and throwing my hands up in frustration trying to work in Adobe Dreamweaver, I discovered another Adobe product called Muse. Let me just say, thank you Adobe geniuses. Muse is a web building tool for designers. You can drag and drop content from a built in widget library, and design your website using an interface similar to Adobe Indesign. The best part? It generates the code for you, and if you do have some HTML background you can still tweak the code yourself. I've been plugging away on our new website, learning tons of cool things about the new features, getting super excited about the design, basically loving everything about Muse.

Now for the downside. Muse doesn't have a blogging capability. You can design a page to look like a blog, but it won't have any of the features like tags, archives, comments, etc. For marketers, the most important aspect of a blog is SEO. You want your content to show up on search engines. That is the point of regularly updated content. So while Muse does allow you to embed a blog from a third party site like wordpress or nabble, non of that content is recognized natively on your host server. That means it does nothing for you in terms of getting your website on the top of the search pages. 

After discovering this (and already having embedded a third party blog), I started following some threads on the Adobe Community Forum page. Most people were frustrated by the lack of blogging capacity offered by Muse, and the difficulty of getting Muse to integrate with another great Adobe product called Business Catalyst. BC does allow you to create a blog, and offers a whole smorgasbord of other useful features that you can check out here, but BC requires extensive coding knowledge, which as mentioned above, I don't have.

Enter musegrid. For $19.99 you can get a module package that includes the embedded BC blog, paragraph styles so you can change the look and feel of your blog directly in muse, and the widget to add a latest news feature directly to your homepage. It took a tiny bit of configuring to get things looking exactly the way I wanted, but I used this comprehensive tutorial, and there is also a great step by step guide included in the downloaded files from musegrid. You will have to host  your site with Business Catalyst, for the basic marketing package you get several features for $16.99 a month, but you get the SEO function third party blogging sites don't offer because all of your info is stored on one platform. Can I just say, musegrid, thank you for doing what Adobe is dragging their feet to get done and making this so much easier for design oriented muse users who need the blogging capabilities of Business Catalyst. Hats off to you my friends. 

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