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17 posts from November 2011

Share the good things other people say. #li

I wish I always had something to say, but sometimes the best I can do is point to something worth saying.

Chasnote: Advertising as curation, 2011-Nov-20, by Chas Edwards

We’ve spent the past 15 years arguing over the size and shapes of banner ads and the click-through rates they generate, and this has distracted us from the hard work of filling the space with good story-telling, good entertainment, good content that happens to be published by a brand.

Beware of the job that doesn't help you learn. #li

If you're job doesn't allow you to learn, it's dangerous to your career. There's no longer any job security in doing what you know. 

Brazen Careerist: How to find a job you'll love, 2011-Nov, by Penelope Trunk

When people talk about their job, they are really talking about their learning. When we say, "What do you do?" we really mean what do you learn? Because that's what makes a person interesting – what they are learning. No one wants to answer the question what do you do if they have a job where they  are not learning. That's how you know it's the learning that matters.

Why I write newsletters, or how to control the conversation, I hope. #li

Today I have an unusually long quote from someone else. It's probably a violation of Fair Use, actually, if you know what I mean. (So I hope you don't!) I think of it as an homage to Michael Katz, so if you like it, please run over to Blue Penguin Development and buy something. 

Anyway, if you aspire to be an expert, as I do, then you want to share that expertise. Which means you have to dominate the conversation. Publishing a newsletter allows you to pick the topic, in hopes that some day someone will join you in conversation. Or, at least, listen. Or notice that you seem to know what you're talking about. We can only hope. 

Solo Professional e-Newsletter*: A Random Writing Recipe, 2011-Nov-11, by Michael Katz

  • At their best, your newsletters represent an ongoing conversation, not chapters in a book.

    And so while it makes sense - and I recommend - coming up with a big list of topics when you begin publishing, that's really just to get you started. Your most memorable issues will be those in which you notice something - in your work or in your industry - and are able to comment on or explain that something's relevance from the perspective of the experienced expert that you are.

    Insights, not information.
  • Redundancy is not a big problem.

    When writing their newsletter, lots of people are overly concerned with "not saying something I said before." My recommendation? Don't worry about it.

    First, because practically no one other than you will remember what you said and when you said it. And second, to the extent someone else does (you should be so lucky), they'll simply think of you as someone with a consistent point of view.

*Wasn't this originally called "The e-Newsletter on e-Newsletters"? I liked that name.

Don't thoughtlessly let Facebook create your image. #li

I have seen amazing benefits from Facebook, many of them beneficial to me personally. But I will not carelessly let it create the me that it thinks exists based on the information it harvests. I don't agree with everything I read. 

CNet News - Molly Rants: How Facebook is ruining sharing, 2011-Nov-18, by Molly Wood

Sharing and recommendation shouldn't be passive. It should be conscious, thoughtful, and amusing--we are tickled by a story, picture, or video and we choose to share it, and if a startling number of Internet users also find that thing amusing, we, together, consciously create a tidal wave of meme that elevates that piece of media to viral status. We choose these gems from the noise. Open Graph will fill our feeds with noise, burying the gems.

Decorating my mind with a Cube Grenade from Hugh MacLeod's

In my new job at, I don't even have a cubicle. I have a big comfy office with large windows. To keep myself on track in my job as a marketing manager, I ordered a new picture to hang above desk. 


At the website, artist Hugh MacLeod looks at contemporary marketing and pushes us all to take our game to the next level. This cartoon, "all products are conversations," refers to The Cluetrain Manifesto book which presents some revolutionary ideas about how companies ought to relate to its customers--as people. 

My goal is to enable one-to-one relationships in the organization I'm marketing. That requires creating the space where conversations can take place. And it's a real struggle. Many company owners and managers are impatient and just want to blast a message. Or they want to snag people and ask one question, "Do you want to buy?" Speaking as a member of the public, we don't have to put up with that any more.