Advice to direct marketers: let the people do the talking

27/04/2010

Check this post Advice to direct marketers: let the people do the talking from Marketing on INSEAD Knowledge:

The explosion of social networking sites has been a boon for direct marketers. For the hundreds of millions of users of Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and so on, they are fun ways to communicate with their friends and make more friends. But for marketers they are huge databases of consumer information.


Kill Your To-Do List

27/04/2010

Check this post Kill Your To-Do List from Zen Habits:

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.

Most people reading this will have a to-do program, or a paper list or text file, listing not only projects and tasks but separate lists for home and work and possibly half a dozen different contexts.

Those who don’t have a to-do list probably feel they should, because they’re swamped and feeling overwhelmed.

I’m here to suggest: kill your to-do list.

It sucks up your time, and drains your motivation. Those who have to-do lists usually manage them constantly, or if they don’t they fall into disuse and get dusty and become worthless, while the person who’s fallen behind in maintaining the list feels constantly guilty. For those who keep up with the lists, they spend a lot of time on the lists they could be spending … doing something important.

And what of these lists? They’re long, you never get to the end of them, and half the time the tasks on the list never get done. While it feels good to check items off the list, it feels horrible having items that never get checked off. This is all useless spending of mental energy, because none of it gets you anywhere.

The only thing that matters is the actual doing.

So what’s a better system?

The One Thing System

Here’s what I do, and highly recommend to anyone willing to break free of the to-do list:

  1. I wake up in the morning, and decide what One Thing I’m excited about.
  2. Then I focus on doing that, pushing everything else aside, clearing distractions, and allowing myself to get caught up in the moment.

I don’t worry what else is on my list, because there’s only One Thing on my list. I don’t have to check anything off, because I don’t actually have a list. I don’t have to worry about things not getting done, because I do the only thing I want to do — if I didn’t want to do it, it wouldn’t be my One Thing.

If I happen to finish my One Thing early, I can slack off for the rest of the day (my favorite strategy), or I can pick my next One Thing.

But … but …

What about the other things you need to do? What if you forget them?

Make a list of possible things to do, if you like, or routine tasks that need to get done for one reason or another. I would consider eliminating as many things as possible on the routine list, as they tend to just be friction that stops you from doing what you really want to do. If you do make a list, don’t consider it a to-do list, of things you need to check off. Just keep it as a reminder, and don’t spend any time other than adding things to it and possibly checking it once a day.

Even this list isn’t necessary, but I only suggest it here for those who don’t feel safe without it. If you really don’t want to forget something, you can put a reminder on your calendar. I suggest avoiding this when possible, but if I need to send out payments once a month, I’ll put a reminder on my calendar. It’s not that complicated.

For the important things, you tend to know what you really want to get done. If you’re a writer, you know what you want to write, usually. If you’re a designer, you already have an idea of what you’re excited about working on. You don’t need a list. You just need to forget about the list, and get working.

Kill your to-do list, and forget about all the things you need to do … except the One Thing you’re passionate about, right now.


If you liked this article, please bookmark it on Delicious or share on Twitter. Thanks, my friends.

Read more about simple productivity, focus and getting great things done in my book, The Power of Less.



Nonostante

27/04/2010

Check this post Nonostante from Blog EfficaceMente:

Ma sono proprio questi momenti i crocevia più importanti in cui, più o meno consapevolmente, decidiamo il destino dei nostri sogni: rimarranno tali o si concretizzeranno nella nostra vita? La risposta a questa domanda è racchiusa nella parola “nonostante”. Quando definisci un obiettivo e sei certo del “cosa” e del “perché”, per raggiungerlo non ti rimane che continuare ad inseguire i tuoi sogni… nonostante gli insuccessi. nonostante la sfortuna. nonostante la mancanza di tempo. nonostante quello che possano pensare gli altri. nonostante la demotivazione. nonostante la stanchezza. nonostante sia spiacevole. nonostante i dubbi. nonostante l’età. nonostante la paura. Ogni volta che sceglierai di muovere un passo verso i tuoi traguardi nonostante tutto, non solo ti sarai avvicinato ai tuoi sogni ma avrai trasformato te stesso nell’uomo che è protagonista di quei sogni. Ogni volta che scegliamo il sentiero migliore invece del sentiero più semplice, la demotivazione ed il senso di frustrazione si dissolvono come per magia, e la stima in noi stessi si accresce. Purtroppo, diventare consapevoli del potere della parola “nonostante”, non ne rende più semplice l’applicazione. Con ogni probabilità questa settimana ti troverai di fronte ad una o più situazioni in cui dovrai scegliere se arrenderti, o andare avanti nonostante tutto. In questi brevi istanti in cui possiamo scegliere che direzione dare al timone si racchiude il nostro più grande potere: prima di prendere qualsiasi decisione, prova soltanto a ricordare la parola “nonostante” e non dimenticare di farmi sapere come è andata. Foto di Adam Dale Vai all’articolo >>Vuoi continuare a leggere? Casualità e determinismo: ovvero, come raggiungere i tuoi obiettivi… nonostante la sfiga Come motivare te stesso Anche le Porsche prendono la multa ???


Good Teachers, Good Results?

19/04/2010

Check this post Good Teachers, Good Results? from EQ Library:

This article from last week about good and effective teachers being the most critical piece of successful education had some interesting points. Teachers are clearly the most important resource our children have during their hours at school. Indeed, research has shown that even one solid connection in a child’s life can alter his or her path towards success and confidence and that in the absence of other sources, that person may often be a teacher.

Here’s the article in the Washington Post by Joel I. Klein, chancellor of New York City schools, Michael L. Lomax, president and chief executive of the United Negro College Fund and Janet Murguía, president and chief executive of the National Council of La Raza. They are co-chairs of the Board of the Education Equality Project.

http://tinyurl.com/ybwk5c6

One train of thought for me after reading this article began with a quote from the piece.

“Different teachers get very different results with similar students.”

Why is this? There are lots of reasons but some, surely, must have to do with the nature of relationships between any two people and indeed, group dynamics as well. All other issues aside, we generally expect teachers to be able to achieve the same results with all students, or at least be reasonably effective with all students, when the reality is that many teachers simply don’t have the skills to do this. If we turn the approach upside down and decide that instead of expecting children to fit into cookie cuter forms where teachers affect all students equally, our system will be one where variability is the norm and the benefits of that variability are used as tools, what would happen? What happens when teachers are guides who are taught to recognize the strengths in their individual students and their classrooms as a whole and use those to the benefit all students? What happens when collective learning in a classroom is as important as each individual student’s progress because it ultimately brings each individual to learn in ways we don’t currently have a good measure for? Is this just about teacher skills and training or is it a bigger question?

This is not to say that teachers don’t need to be good at what they do. Of course they do and the article makes a few interesting points as well about the overall lower education level of teacher trainees in the U.S. as compared to some other countries. However, we also continue to use the same standards of measure of success for our children (and our teachers, for that matter!) when looking at this example – primarily test scores. How do we accurately and effectively evaluate skills and abilities our children acquire in a broader way as they move through the system?

We are talking about reforming education. We know that in many cases our system is breaking and we are faced with the real dilemma of what to do about it. Does it make sense to criticize teachers, or any other part of the system, without recognizing the complexity of the larger system as a whole? Is it logical or necessary to place blame or does it make sense to carefully consider the evidence about what truly effective education looks like around the world and make changes based on that?

 


What is ‘Brandcasting™’?

19/04/2010

Check this post What is ‘Brandcasting™’? from Evolving Media Blog:

So what exactly is brandcasting™?

Brandcasting™ is the development of rich-branded experiential content that can be captured, produced and employed by brands across both traditional and Free Media/Social Media landscapes for the purpose of increasing their relevancy and impacting targeted consumer and/or business-to-business marketplaces. When broken down further, brandcasting™ can be translated as the use of online media to broadcast and extend the impact of offline experiential content. This broadcast often results in the generation of a viral buzz across online social networks and digital mediums.

Today, successful brandcasting™ is both defined and controlled by the consumer, who elects which media he or she wants to view, share, and/or participate in. To increase your impact within the consumer marketplace, give your audience what they crave: rich entertainment and personal relevancy. What you bring to the table must be both exciting and pertinent to your audience if you want to get that foot in the door! Why should they pay attention to or even consider purchasing your product?

One of our leading fast food clients wanted to make a big splash in the consumer marketplace in order to increase brand awareness. MME crafted an innovative brandcasting™ initiative for our client, which involved the creation of a branded “Twitter Truck Tour” that traveled all over the country giving out free product samples. Audiences were drawn to the tour because they were given the ability to make direct requests for the tour to make a stop at their house, party, or event with free samples. The tour spread virally as the truck’s followers re-tweeted posts to more than a half-million of their own followers, expanding the brand’s reach exponentially.

Once you have lured potential buyers in by breeding genuine interest, you can weave in your brand’s messages and finally achieve those positive metrics and the bottom line ROI you’ve always dreamed of.

Now we want to hear from you. How have you used brandcasting™ to improve your brand’s relevancy?


30 Days Habit Change: Morning Routine

19/04/2010

Check this post 30 Days Habit Change: Morning Routine from Freestyle Mind:

Now that I have implemented the habit of waking up at 5 am, I find myself with lots of time available. This is usually a good thing, but time per se is not a big deal if you don’t know what to do with it.

Up until today I would just used to wake up and work on what needed to be done, and if there were nothing to do I would just invent something. This is not necessarily bad, but I always had the feeling that I was missing the big picture, that’s why I’ve decided to start a morning routine. This is what I will do starting from tomorrow:

  • 5 am: wake up.
  • 5.15 am – 6.15 am: writing.
  • 6.15 am – 7:30 am: work on personal projects.
  • 7.30 am: meditation and then breakfast.

I know from experience that one hour per day might not be enough for writing, but it’s a start, and I can always continue during the day. But the big deal for me is being forced to work 1+ hour per day on personal projects. This way not making progress will be almost inevitable, and I’m looking forward to the results of this experiment.

I don’t think that it’s essential to have a morning routine, as you could probably do just fine with one in the afternoon or evening. I also know that I wont be able to do this every single day, but my goal is to do it for at least 5 days per week. As usual, I commit myself for a full 30 days before deciding if it’s worth or not.


Cannibailsm and spam

14/04/2010

Check this post Cannibailsm and spam from Seth’s Blog:

So, these two cannibals are eating a clown, and one says to the other, “does this taste funny to you?”

We don’t often have conversations about cannibalism. We don’t trade recipes or talk about health issues. That’s because it’s off the table, not permitted, inconceivable.

Marketers should feel the same way about spamming people. Spamming them by email, by text or yes, by calling their cell phones with a robot, repeatedly, just because it’s cheap and because they can.

Tweetswomma

Womma

If anyone should know better, it’s the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. And yet, not only did they spam thousands of people by phone, they want us to “keep the convo rolling”. And when I spoke to their Executive Director, she had a hard time understanding that what they were doing was spam.

Spam is unanticipated, impersonal, irrelevant junk I don’t want to get. Not only that, it costs them less to send it than it takes me to figure out what it is and deal with it. That doesn’t scale. In fact, it destroys the medium.

Why would anyone join, pay their dues, go to their meetings or want to engage with an organization that’s willing to cross a line like this? Even once? (and then brag about it!) Maybe I’m getting cranky, but the relentless march of marketers into our lives is really getting to me.

In case you missed the first part of our show, the future of marketing is based on permission. It’s based on sending messages to people who want to get them, who choose to get them, who would miss you if you didn’t send them. It’s not easy and it’s not cheap to earn permission, but so what? This is my attention, not yours, and if you want to use it for a while, please earn the privilege.

PS If I ran Twitter, I’d build my new ad service about a socially acceptable way for corporate users to build large lists of followers, people who would give permission to get news and discounts and insights from advertisers. Twitter knows who likes what and they have permission from users to be a bridge between the user and those that might want to talk to them. That’s a powerful place to be.

Using cheap technology to spam people is not.