Innovative Horror Marketing

My latest Adweek contribution hits some ways that horror movies have helped pushed marketing in interesting new directions and taken advantage of new, at the time, technology.

While horror isn’t a genre that everyone enjoys, it is one that is a relatively accurate barometer of what frightens society at any given point in time. Looking back over the last century, one can see how horror evolved from the gothic romance of the 20s to the monster-centric 30s, the Red Scare allegories of the 50s, the nihilism of the 70s, the lone-killer slasher fears of the 80s and so on.

via How These 7 Horror Films Pushed the Boundaries of Movie Marketing – Adweek

Content Marketing is Functional, Not Delightful

Over the last few weeks I’ve shared a series of posts about how the oft-repeated goal of “delighting” your customers through content marketing isn’t exactly something that’s either desirable or achievable. Not to say you can’t do so, but there are bigger concerns in play and the way your message is received, as well as other factors, may not lend itself well to everyone having a jolly good time.

If you’d like to read the whole thing in one place, you can download it now as a PDF or scroll the embedded document below.

Delighting The Audience Isn’t Always Possible, Nor Is It Preferrable

Social Media Policies Were Never Meant For Times Like These

A small firestorm has broken out in the media world in the last week over one element of Axios editor Jim VandeHei’s thoughts on ways the industry can help combat the spread of “fake news.” Specifically, this point:

The Axios social media policy, which applies to all our colleagues, prohibits the sharing of political views or derogatory snark online: “Don’t say anything on the internet that you wouldn’t publish under your byline or say on TV.”

That’s not dissimilar from the rule I used to ask people to abide by in the social media policies I’ve written for various employers: “Don’t say anything online you wouldn’t say in your grandmother’s living room.” The idea was to encourage people to remain civil, polite and not create an appearance of impropriety. We didn’t want someone posting too much about drinking or other activities but to curate a profile that was professional and informational.

There was one caveat, though, that I always included: All of that aside, your social profiles are yours to do with what you will. They were yours before you joined the company, they are yours now and they’ll be yours after you leave. On only a few occasions did I ever have reason to talk with someone about what they’ve posted, and it was always about something posted within the office, not tied to a personal opinion on an external matter.

It’s true that the standards for journalists are – and should be – higher than they are for employees at other private companies. They hold the keys to a public trust and are relied upon, at least the traditional theory has held, to deliver the truth about what’s happening in the world.

VandeHei’s point is right, even if the logic isn’t quite right. Instead of talking about what is or isn’t right to say on social media, we need to be talking about what is or isn’t right to say under a byline. That’s the point that employers of all types should be reconsidering.

Social media policies are essential for companies to have. The best ones protect both employers and employees from touching third rails and getting themselves in trouble. But many of them were crafted in simpler times, when there wasn’t quite such rancor and quite such division, before a president regularly went out calling the press “the enemy of the people” and labeling any Democratic voter a criminal.

Those policies need to be updated. Not allowing people to voice their dissent on social and political issues – even if it comes across as venting their rage on a topic – is irresponsible to the public good. And certainly operating an unofficial (and therefore unaccountable) system of firing or blackballing employees and freelancers because of their social media posts like the one that apparently took down writer Chuck Wendig is unacceptable.

Policies that restrict what employees, freelancers and others working for or with a company often benefit only entrenched power. By creating an environment where people are reluctant to speak up when it challenges those in power because it puts their income in jeopardy, employers inherently stifle speech in a way that only benefits those who want to see speech stifled.

It’s worth considering some ways corporate social media policies, including those that apply to journalists and members of the media, can be revisited and revised:

  1. Political speech is fine. Let’s just drop the notion that taking a position one way or another is somehow a bad idea or should have any impact on your employment status. We are in a world where the average worker has little to no voice in the political system, thanks in part to a growing number of politicians coming from privileged backgrounds, the demise of union membership and more. If it’s alright for CEOs to take on the role of social activist, it stands to reason that it’s alright for the line staff to do likewise. After all, who has more actual influence over the direction of the company and how it’s going to survive?
  2. Instead of focusing on opinions, focus on what’s shared. There’s a stronger case to be made that people should be held accountable for sharing false or purposefully misleading “news” than for simply sharing news they feel strongly about. So a post where you share outrage that liberal politicians are being targeted by a right-wing bombing fanatic is reasonable, as is being mad about attempts to repeal healthcare coverage. On the other hand, sharing a story about how those bombings were a “false flag” operation by liberals to win the midterms should definitely lead to a conversation.
  3. The bar for firing someone should be much higher. Seriously, this should be the last resort. There should be a long list of steps that must be taken before it gets to that point and there should be an open dialogue about what issues can and should be addressed. Basically firing an employee who has violated a policy should be given every opportunity to explain what they did and why they did it and justify their actions and only after they’ve shown themselves to be unrepentant should they be let go.

Times are different, and the concerns that formed the cornerstone of the original wave of social media policies aren’t as paramount as they once were. Employees should be told they’re not to share corporate secrets, to disclose paid or client relationships when sharing information about their work and so on. But they should also be protected from ramifications for simply taking a stance on social and political issues. That’s the only way democracy thrives, and those policies should reflect that.

When Third Person Is More Emotionally Honest

It’s not bad advice offered here on using third-person perspective when writing your LinkedIn profile as a method to avoid coming off as overly boastful. That certainly resonated with me as being too overt about what I’ve done or what accomplishments I’ve achieved doesn’t come naturally thanks to an upbringing where bragging was seen as prideful and therefore not ideal.

The philosophy behind the advice to go third-person, to take yourself out of the story and write it more objectively, is one I’ve adopted not on my LinkedIn profile for reasons I may go into at some point, but have used when writing personal essays.

Over the last few years I’ve felt more of an impetus to write down some of the memories and anecdotes from my childhood and life in general. Either it’s just a story that occurs to me that I want to capture or some looming sense that I don’t want to let that moment disappear from my mind. Whatever the case I’ve written several on my parents, grandparents and friends, though I’ve actually published very few.

What I found when I sat down to write the first few was that I was having trouble telling the story from my own point of view. The words just weren’t flowing as I inserted myself into the situation. I felt stuck, like I was hiking up a mountain wearing swimming flippers with rabid chipmunks inside. It just wasn’t happening.

Then I shifted things and started using “he” and “they.” Suddenly the writing flowed and I just kept going.

I had to remove myself. I had to make the story about someone else, even as it’s completely and utterly about me. That was the only way I could get to the honest emotions and feelings I wanted to commit to words. It’s all there on the page and it’s still my story, it’s just from an outsider’s perspective.

There’s lots of good guidance for those attempting to write memoirs, much of which tackles the problem of telling very personal stories but not allowing the writing to suffer because you get too caught up in the emotions of the situations being shared. While I wouldn’t categorize what I’ve been doing as “memoir” exactly, the same mindset is in place to a great extent.

If you’re trying to tell a personal story, even if it’s just for yourself and not for publication or publishing anywhere, and are having trouble tapping into the emotional resources necessary to tell it effectively, consider shifting the perspective of the narration. You may find that the places you can go to by taking yourself out of the spotlight and putting it on a theoretical other helps you keep the quality of your writing intact while not sacrificing the point of what you’re trying to share.

Transporation Realities and Productivity Go Hand In Hand

Distractions of some sort or another are a major issue when it comes to productivity. There’s so much going on in modern life that it’s almost inevitable. Social media beckons with its siren song offering you the latest conversations and updates, whether you’re seeking the solace of puppy pics on Facebook or the outrage engine on Twitter. Text messages beep, emails chirp and so on.

Those sorts of distractions can be a major drain on productivity, which impacts both the individual and the employer. There’s a cottage industry in the business media offering tips for workers on how to reduce the number of distractions that get in the way of them doing their job as well as tips for companies on how to keep their staff focused on what they’re supposed to be doing.

After researching some of the advice and guidance that’s offered, it’s clear that the types of distractions being warned about and guarded against fall into one or more of several big categories. Few stories address these larger issues, though, instead dealing more granularly with things that can be implemented by managers *now* and pointed to when the time for their annual performance review comes around.

Read the previous entries in this series:

  1. The Reality of Offices Negatively Impact Productivity
  2. Employer Technology Investment Impacts Productivity
  3. Focusing on Productivity Shouldn’t Push Life to the Back

The Distractions of Transportation

You would think that, given the potential benefits it has on productivity, companies would be lining up to subsidize mass transit construction, embrace remote work situations or otherwise make sure that the workforce they claim to value so highly can actually get to the work they need to accomplish.

That does not seem to be the case, though.

Let’s start from the beginning: There are two basic models of where someone works.

  1. They go to the work. This is common for industrial and farm industries, where the worker needs to be where the crops are being pulled or where the massive machinery is located. It’s also how the traditional office was structured, with everyone coming to a central location to tap into common resources and knowledge that weren’t accessible elsewhere.
  2. The work comes to them. This is more and more common, as workers in the knowledge economy can increasingly access everything they need to do their job – from email to documents to calendars to presentation and messaging systems – via the web or apps that work on any kind of device with an internet connection.

Each one needs to be reviewed for its pros and cons.


Going to the Work

In the first model, there’s a certain level of infrastructure that’s needed. Roads, train lines and other transportation systems must be built and people need to be able to access those systems, meaning they need a car for the highway or the financial and logistical ability to get to a train or bus.

The building out of this infrastructure is what allowed for the growth of the suburbs in the post-WW II era as returning veterans were attracted by federal housing assistance programs that made buying or building a house several miles out from the city cheaper and more attractive than continuing to rent closer to the center. Train lines and highways originally meant for the transportation of military equipment were easily repurposed for civilian use, so people could still work in the city where the jobs were but live out amidst the green lawns and racial segregation.

This model was predicated on the idea that work was a centralized activity, which for decades was largely true. It also had the benefit of creating a much more clear differentiation between when someone was or wasn’t at work, since there wasn’t much most people could bring home with them and they weren’t going to get a memo in the middle of dinner. Asking someone to come back to work once they were home was a monumental request.

Now, with communications technology so far advanced from what it was in the 1950s, most companies still ask workers to assemble under one roof in order to do their jobs. Commutes have gotten longer in major cities, but that’s alright since workers are often expected to be working while on the train or bus, or in their car or cab. There’s no reason not to answer that email, and not doing so could make you look like you’re not committed to the company.

So either the company is A) asking the worker to log additional hours outside of when they’re expected to be in the office and not paying them any more for it or B) requiring the worker engage in an activity that can take at least a couple hours out of their day in each direction and not subsidizing or incentivizing that time.

The costs of transportation, as well as other logistics, can be a major drain on an individual’s emotional health and therefore their productivity. Owning a car is expensive, not only the purchase but the maintenance and upkeep. Not everyone can swing that and is therefore locked out of potential employment. While utilizing mass transit may be cheaper, it’s not something the US has prioritized at all, meaning not everyone has access to it either.

Plus, if an employer is just going to be emailing you all night and morning anyway, what’s the point of coming in? Employees then find themselves in a position where they have to go to the work but the work also comes to them, meaning they never fully escape.

The Work Comes to You

This situation is facilitated entirely by the rise of the internet, where everyone can access email, messaging apps, word processing and other tools from any location at any time. So if they can work remotely, they want to.

A recent study showed that remote workers were more productive than their office-bound colleagues because they didn’t have to worry about commuting and could put those hours to better use. They also don’t suffer from the kind of workplace distractions that are all-too-common, including noisy coworkers, drop-ins and other pressures.

The benefits, reinforced by a separate study of remote workers, would seem to be great for companies that embraced the idea. But the first set of results also showed workers felt they were being judged as slacking and were more likely to be passed over for a raise or promotion because they weren’t putting in the face time with superiors, meaning they weren’t under the constant gaze of those superiors. As if schmoozing the boss were the point of the job instead of getting the work done.

The kind of logic necessary to enact a system whereby someone must report to a central location while doing nothing to make that easier – either logistically or financially – is only possible in a capitalist system, where no additional money can be spent on anything that won’t return value to investors inside of two fiscal quarters. And the logic needed to say that someone must both be in a central location to be a valued employee while also being reachable at all times of the day because communications systems make that possible is only possible when employee well being is at the bottom of your list of priorities.

Productivity is the end goal of both systems, but only so long as it doesn’t necessitate the company doing anything differently. Which means it isn’t really a priority at all. If it were you’d see companies tripping over themselves to pay whatever municipal taxes were required so the train lines ran as well as possible, or that employees were paid not only for the work they do but the time and expense needed to get to the work. There’s not much of either in evidence.

How Big Is Gig? Not Even the Federal Government Knows

(Ed. Note: The following was written back in early July for a work project but in light of a new report on the gig economy from JPMorgan that has its own questionable methodology I felt it was a good time to publish this. Many of the same points of pushback against the BLS report also apply to the new one.)

It’s been 13 years since the U.S. government measured the size of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics refers to as the “contingent workforce” but which most others know colloquially as the “gig economy.” The last report, issued in 2005, captured a workforce where 10.9 percent of workers were said to be engaged primarily in non-full time jobs.

Here’s a quick look at some aspects of the larger economic world the “Contingent Workforce Survey” has been issued into:

Now the most recent CWS reports that the number of contingent workers has also dropped, from 10.9 percent of the workforce in 2005 to 10.1 percent in 2017.

This would seem to go against most every trend that’s been reported in the last five to six years in particular. A 2016 Princeton survey indicated the number of American workers engaged in temporary work hit 15.8 percent in 2015, adding that 94 percent of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were “temporary, including contract and freelance positions.

Indeed, many news outlets seized on the idea that the CWS disproved the narrative of the growing gig economy they themselves have been reporting on.

The gig economy is actually smaller than it used to be, Labor Department says, according to MarketWatch.

Everything we thought we knew about the gig economy is wrong, according to Quartz.

New report shows that the number of contingent workers is actually declining, according to Fast Company.

How the Gig Economy Is Reshaping Work: Not So Much, according to The New York Times.

Gig economy jobs aren’t really taking over America’s workforce, according to CNN.

Those headlines reflect the narrow definition of what qualified to the BLS as “contingent” work, only including those who worked gig-type jobs as their primary source of income, not those who use that work as supplemental income while also working elsewhere. So if you have a part time job at Lowe’s but also drive an Uber in the evening, you weren’t counted. If you’re a teacher who also has to work a part-time job, you weren’t counted. If you have a full time job but do freelance design work on the side, you weren’t counted. If you were frustrated by the lack of full-time job opportunities and hung out your own freelance shingle, you weren’t counted.

Nor does the BLS include full-time contract workers in its figures, a massive oversight considering report after report indicate more and more companies are seeking out contractors instead of full-time employees. The reasons for doing so vary from not having to pay those contractors the same kind of benefits to simply finding it easier to fill short-term skill gaps with contractors as opposed to making a long-term hire.

Questions of what does or does not constitute “gig” or other contingent or freelance work have created plenty of confusion as well as no small amount of legal headaches. Uber has gone to court – and prevailed to date – to make sure its drivers are counted as independent contractors and not employees so it doesn’t have to offer benefits and protections, which would make its scale unsustainable. A recent California ruling may poke holes in that, though and there are indications Democrats may make the lack of worker protections a campaign issue this year.

While it’s true that no two private studies use the same definitions and measurements of the freelance and contract economies, it’s clear the standard employed by the BLS falls short in that it doesn’t measure:

  • An individual in a part-time job who also contracts or freelances
  • An individual who, unable to find full-time work, has taken on multiple part-time positions
  • An individual in a full-time contracted position who also freelances or works additional contract jobs
  • An individual with a full-time job that doesn’t pay sufficiently and who takes on either part-time or freelance/contract work for supplemental income
  • An individual who has given up on the job search and is freelancing or consulting full-time, though clients may come and go

In short, it’s capturing only a small slice of the workforce that no longer adheres – by circumstance or choice – to a definition of full-time work that is rooted in an era of guaranteed pensions. It does not represent the current reality, where workers may be more reluctant to take a job, ask for a raise or otherwise stick their neck out for any number of reasons.

An important finding in the BLS report is that the majority of younger workers – those in the Millennial generations – still want a full-time job. It’s likely they still see that as the idea scenario instead of one where your retirement is dependent on you still having a side-hustle or where, because they’re so saddled with student loan debt and can’t strike out on their own financially until later in life, they’re going to have to work longer and harder before considering retirement.

One has to wonder, though, why people would even consider taking a full time job. Many companies don’t offer the kind of flexibility people are looking for. Or maybe they’re concerned there won’t be the kind of on-the-job training that will help them be effective and rise through the ranks. Those companies are also pushing workers to be more productive while not spending the windfall from the recent tax cut enacted by Congress on either more staff or better tools, instead prioritizing stock buybacks. And a recent Supreme Court ruling established that employers can include provisions forbidding workers from banding together in class action lawsuits to address perceived abuses.

Instead you have a workforce where 37 percent of people are freelancing in some manner. Or where 20 percent are engaged in contract positions. Both those numbers are expected to rise to the point where, in just a few short years, they will constitute a majority of the workforce.

That won’t mean full-time work won’t exist. Instead it will indicate that full-time work is no longer the single solution to making a living and supporting yourself or your family. It would be wise for those like the Bureau of Labor Statistics updated their methodology, reporting frequency and definitions to provide a more accurate and well-rounded picture of what the workforce – and workplace – looks like and will become in the future.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Aligning Content Marketing Objectives to Reality

There’s a concept that’s pervasive in the content marketing field that each time you put your brand and message in front of the audience – wherever they are in the customer journey – you should “delight” them.

It’s not a bad idea. It encourages you to find new and interesting ways to create a positive impression of your company in the mind of the audience. You want to surprise, inform and help them and they should come away from the interaction feeling as if your company is a good one and one they will consider doing business with in the future.

A basic understanding of audience dynamics will tell you that’s not always possible, and striving to attain such goals, as laudable as they may be, will only drive you a little more insane every time you try.

Ditch the Unrealistic Obligation of Delight

With all of that being said, there are a number of ways to adjust your thinking so it’s more in-line with what’s actually achievable, freeing you from the burden of feeling that every interaction must knock everyone’s socks off and, failing that, you’re a tremendous failure.

  • Embrace being offensive: I’m not saying you should go out of your way to honk people off, but understand that not everyone will be delighted by your content or react well to it because the best content – regardless of format, genre or goal – is inherently divisive.
  • Understand uncertainty: With so much up for grabs in terms of how, where and when someone reads, listens to or watches what you’ve created you have to allow for some variance in how it’s received, if at all. Even your best targeting efforts can’t ensure you’re not hitting someone at just the wrong moment.
  • Remember your customers are not personas: The main problem with the buyer persona model is that by definition it starts from the assumption the person is, has been or could be interested in buying what you’re selling. But people themselves are a lot more complex than even the most complex and complete data might make them out to be.

Again, the goal here is not to discourage you from trying to reach your audience with relevant, timely, useful and actionable messages. Go forth and do that, with my blessing.

It’s simply that management and leadership expectations need to be adjusted to be more realistic and achievable. It may not be Jack’s fault the email campaign he oversaw returned half the average success for previous efforts, it’s just that it hit the majority of recipients at the wrong moment, something that was completely out of his control. If it keeps happening, that’s a different conversation. But don’t judge someone’s efforts entirely on one instance.

Above all, don’t forget that putting something out in the world requires creativity and courage. When you are sure of the eventual results, it means you’re operating without fear and don’t have the courage to see how the effort turns out. You have to go out on a limb, not play it safe. Courage, then, means going beyond what you know will turn out well into the realm of what may turn out poorly. The risk is great, but so is the reward, as courageous content often gets the best reactions and results.

In short, don’t worry about delighting your audience every time you take a shot. Do what you can in the best way you can and hope that all those factors that exist outside your oversight align in your favor.

Selling Halloween


My latest movie marketing recap, this one for Halloween, is up at The Hollywood Reporter.

As with a number of horror franchises, the Halloween series has taken various twists and turns since John Carpenter’s 1978 original introduced audiences to Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. Now, after seven sequels to that first film and a 2007 reboot from Rob Zombie that had its own sequel, director David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride bring it back to the Laurie/Michael dynamic with the simply-titled Halloween.

via New ‘Halloween’ Bets That Nothing Else Matters But the Original | Hollywood Reporter

Snapchat’s Old People Hail Mary

In what has to be the silliest bit of news I’ve read in a while, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel says the key to getting Snapchat to profitability by 2019 is to revamp marketing around the app to appeal more to older users.

Part of that campaign appears, based on the timing of the announcements, to embrace scripted programming on the platform. It’s signed deals with a number of media companies to produce original short-form video shows. Except those shows seem geared toward the younger crowd and are meant to reach audiences that watch video across platforms. That’s in-line with moves last year where Snapchat reached out to “influencers” to try and retain or attract them to the app and create new material for it.

The company has had a run of bad news. Its stock has been hammered lately, especially after it reported it actually lost users in the second quarter of this year.

That means gaining more users over a certain age may be the only lifeline still available to the company. Pew research from earlier this year showed only about 28 percent of those between 30 and 49 used the app, while 78 percent of 18-24 year olds did. It’s the most popular social network for teens.

This isn’t the first time Snapchat has tried to explain itself to an older demographic. This past April it launched an ad campaign positioning the app as a way for parents to share moments with their kids, missing the point that “your parents aren’t there” was a big reason teens liked the app. And a much-maligned redesign of the app in January turned off swaths of people and did nothing to bring in more older users, leading to the company undoing or fixing many of those changes quickly.

snap 2017 redesign

It’s entirely possible – indeed it’s likely – that the time for Snapchat to make a broader push for older users is well passed. The app has always had the reputation of being impenetrable to those over 25 since it didn’t function at all like any other social network they might be familiar with. Even looking past its initial public image as a place for teen sexting, it’s just never been able to catch on.

The fact that it even has to do so illustrates a problem with public companies like this. There’s no reason it can’t be completely happy being a niche tool used by young people to share messages and photos, often featuring stickers or doodles or filters, with friends. Investor pressure, though, means it has to keep seeking new avenues for growth so it can keep growing its advertiser base and charging a premium for those ads.

That’s the same pressure facing Facebook, Twitter and other publicly traded social networks, which have to keep meeting Wall Street’s expectations of eternal and unlimited growth. That pressure is all about short term earnings, meaning the decisions made are intended to have a positive impact in the next two quarters even if they ultimately harm long-term corporate health.

Plus, I’m not sure that expanding into older age groups is something that would actually do Snapchat any good. It might boost numbers for a quarter or two, but the shift in the user demographics would change the thinking of media buyers, who aren’t as interested in reaching a 55 year old as they are a 16 year old. The former isn’t going to have the time or inclination, in general, to use the Venom movie AR filter Sony Pictures purchased on the platform, whereas someone in the latter group is.

The idea that now is when old people will suddenly embrace Snapchat and suddenly “get it” seems unrealistic to say the least. There’s almost no reason for that demographic – my demographic – to do so. If our kids are active there they’ll find a way to keep their Snaps and Stories from us. Even if our desire to learn it is professional in nature, there are younger workers who are more familiar with it and will run rings around us.

Your Writing Tools Are Very Personal

While I’ve made some jokes about it, there’s a legitimate point being made here as to why journalists – and writers of all kinds – continue to use Microsoft Word despite the presence of a number of alternatives.

Being the age I am I came up using Microsoft Word in college and then in the workplace. In high school any word processing was done using whatever software was in place on the old IBM machines that were pervasive or the Apple machines available in the yearbook office.

That usage continued for years but I made the switch to online writing almost as soon as it was available, first with Writely, which offered an AJAX-powered experience and then Google Docs, which was launched after Google acquired Writely in 2006.

For the most part that system has continued working for me. Google Docs allows you to export files into Word format, as well as others, if you need to send a actual copy of a document to a boss, client, editor or anyone else. I’ve continued using Word fairly regularly when it’s been necessary, but the automatic saving of documents as well as the collaboration functionality of Docs has been my preferred experience for over a decade now.

But that’s me. Some of the Twitter conversations that resulted from that op-ed called out Apple’s Pages, Evernote and other tools as people’s preferred experience. Some people, like me, also occasionally use TextEdit or Notepad (depending on their OS) for their writing.

I’m the first to admit that Word is a lot more fully-featured than something like Docs. The problem for me is that most of those features are completely inconsequential, whereas those offered by Docs are more of what I’m looking for when it comes to my writing. It’s easier to add linked text and elements like charts and tables in Docs than it is in Word, and those have proven to be more important over the years so I’ve stuck with it.

There are times where how Docs and Word talk to each other – or, more to the point, don’t – has become an issue when working with editors or others since sometimes the formatting of text doesn’t translate well or a comment left in Word gets mangled in Docs or some other problem arises. It’s almost never been an insurmountable issue, though, and is usually cleared up quickly with little fuss. I’ll admit I’ve been lucky on that front.

That sort of interoperability is less, in my mind, a case for one tool over the other than it is for the software industry to adopt open standards that would eliminate those issues, competing for people’s attention on ease of use and not on locked-in features or in-house requirements for usage.

In the end, writing is a personal experience, even if you’re doing so for business or professional reasons. So it’s only natural that different people have different preferences. It’s the same reason one artist prefers a certain type of brush while another says a different one is the only sane choice, despite them being almost identical. Do what feels best and most effectively matches how your brain works and what your reality dictates. That’s all you can do. Just keep writing, whatever it is you use.