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Content imprisonment

Occasionally I lose sight of a link I wanted to save because I shared it directly on Facebook or Twitter. Letting others own our content is deeply flawed. The new development of "decoupled" or "headless" content management systems and content containers gives me hope. 

Here are some interesting links about this topic

Austin Startups: Why modern marketers and digital producers are going headless, 2018-Jan-18 by Michelle Greer

WebInkNow: Content Neutrality From Amazon, Apple, Facebook, & Google More Important Than Net Neutrality, 2017-Dec-6 by David Meerman Scott 

Scripting News: Anywhere but Medium, 2016-Jan-20 by Dave Winer

Dries Buytaert: To PESOS or to POSSE? 2018-Feb-6


Why, why, why... a strategy for focusing innovation to what matters most

#MonkeyFirst refers to the strategy of focusing on the biggest challenge of an innovation project. ("If you want to get a monkey to recite Shakespeare on a pedestal, you start by training the monkey, not building the pedestal.")

"Why, why, why" is a strategy for identifying the big challenges. 

Inc.: Google's Genius Productivity Hack Will Change How You Innovate, 2018-Jan-14 by Greg Satell

Talia Milgrom-Elcott of 100Kin10 points out that we have to change the way we approach problems. "You have to keep asking 'why?' Keep asking why and you start to see connections that lead to root causes that have enormous leverage and that's where you need to focus your efforts," she says.

And that's why taking a #MonkeyFirst approach is so important. Tackling the hardest problems first forces us to ask better questions and those questions can lead to vastly different approaches. Some of these will be blind alleys that lead to nowhere, but others will be game changers and permanently shift our ability to compete.


Loyalty versus fealty

When I became more interested in marketing to customers instead of attracting new customers, I began to study the concept of loyalty. I wanted to understand what motivates people to be loyal and how their behavior can change over time and circumstances. I've come to the conclusion that loyalty can improve our lives, making support easier to find and decisions easier to make. 

Reciprocal benefits for both parties in a loyalty relationship are key. We find it difficult to be loyal to someone who has been disloyal to us. However, simple tit-for-tat behavior is not loyalty. Loyalty implies trust and commitment that enriches a relationship. Family members have a private history that builds loyalty (or not). When people make sacrifices for one another, then loyalty gets stronger. 

Fealty, or guaranteed faithfulness, demands supportive behavior from the follower toward their leader across all circumstances. We don't expect this is business, and we shouldn't in politics, either. Coerced loyalty is a nice name for blackmail, but someone who demands fealty will not hesitate to use it. 


Get better job feedback by asking "What can I do to contribute more?"

Several years ago I tried to get a co-worker to share some feedback about my performance, but he avoided it like the plague. I now realize that I made the whole process too risky for him. To find out how others see us, we need to ask simple, frequent questions that allow them to help us. "Why" and "how" can be too confusing and emotionally charged. "What" questions are easier to answer and more likely to produce information we can use. 

HBR: What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It), 2018-Jan-4 by Tasha Eurich

My research team scoured hundreds of pages of interview transcripts with highly self-aware people to see if they approached introspection differently. Indeed, there was a clear pattern: Although the word “why” appeared fewer than 150 times, the word “what” appeared more than 1,000 times.

Therefore, to increase productive self-insight and decrease unproductive rumination, we should ask what, not why. “What” questions help us stay objective, future-focused, and empowered to act on our new insights.

For example, consider Jose, an entertainment industry veteran we interviewed, who hated his job. Where many would have gotten stuck thinking “Why do I feel so terrible?,” he asked, “What are the situations that make me feel terrible, and what do they have in common?” He realized that he’d never be happy in that career, and it gave him the courage to pursue a new and far more fulfilling one in wealth management.

Similarly, Robin, a customer service leader who was new to her job, needed to understand a piece of negative feedback she’d gotten from an employee. Instead of asking “Why did you say this about me?,” Robin inquired, “What are the steps I need to take in the future to do a better job?” This helped them move to solutions rather than focusing on the unproductive patterns of the past.


For better social media posts, join a conversation

Very wise advice...

Karen Yankovich: 3 Easy Steps to Generate Competitive Social Media Post Ideas Every Time, [undated but probably 2016]

You can’t start with strategy you have to start with the conversation. So in an attempt to provoke some inspiration on what to talk about when you have no idea what to talk about I thought I’d compile a few of my best “strategies” on social media writers block.... 

Always always always start with what is trending that day on your chosen social media platform. [Karen points out that you can often take bad news or negativity and spin it to be more upbeat.]...

Every time you attach to a trending topic with a hash tag or subject you have a better chance of being found and read because more people are talking and reading about that very same thing! Make sense?

What are your competitors talking and blogging about these days? What is on their mind and in their wheelhouse? Do you see a trend or a topic or two you haven’t covered yourself in awhile? Well then get to it and be inspired to write the best blog post or the most interesting.... 

[She also suggests services like Post Planner.]


How the professionals find blogging topics, from Katy Katz at Search Engine Journal

I highly recommend this entire article if you do anything type of topic-oriented writing. It will take me days to chew through all the ideas I found for "loyalty." She mentions BuzzSumo, which is great, but the biggest find for me was "Answer the Public." 

Search Engine Journal: How to Spy on Your Customers to Get Blog Ideas, 2017-Dec-12 by Katy Katz 

There quite a few tools that do a great job of collecting disparate contextual information from across the web and condensing it into bite-size chunks of information that marketers can use to supplement their keyword research.

Some are paid, and some are free, and they all offer their own benefits and drawbacks.

Here are a few of my favorite tools: Answer the Public (https://answerthepublic.com)

This was one of the original long-tail research tools, and it’s entirely free!

One of the really cool things about this tool is the data visualization that it produces around your keyword....


Seth Godin's 4 elements of entrepreneurship

Hmm, there's my weak spot... Number 3

Blog: The four elements of entrepreneurship, 2018-Jan-16 by Seth Godin

And what do people do when they’re acting like entrepreneurs?

1. They make decisions.

2. They invest in activities and assets that aren’t a sure thing.

3. They persuade others to support a mission with a non-guaranteed outcome.

4. This one is the most amorphous, the most difficult to pin down and thus the juiciest: They embrace (instead of run from) the work of doing things that might not work.

As far as I can tell, that’s it. Everything else you can hire.