Pulling things together

December 29th, 2014

You know the way when you do a proper tidy of an office, bedroom or whole house, you rip everything out, pile it up and then find a way of re-ordering? While doing so you find things you forgot about and you might decide to dump them or find a use for them again?

You then reorganise things in patterns comfortable to you. Adding some new bits to an existing pattern/pile or removing some, merging others and of course then there’s the detritus the remains and you shove that away somewhere in a box labeled Misc, misc boxes are drafts on this blog. Some drafts are 9 years old now.

When you’re done, all is tidy once again but you know that it isn’t 100% perfect but pretty good. The tidying, acquiring, moving is how I see myself putting proper long form blog posts together. Here are some lovely insights on how to distill ideas and find new ones:

These are all kind of linked. Reading the tea leaves, pulling things together.

Shane Parrish’s piece on how he reads and takes notes. Superb quote:

“I’m trying to engage in a conversation with the author.”

And from him again, a collated set of quotes on ways we can gain insights.

Kazuo Ishiguro: how I wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks. 4 weeks of hell where it seemed he was almost hallucinating at the end. He does point out 1) He had done a tonne of reading before he started off on this journey and was satisfied with the amount he researched 2) After the 4 weeks he had the raw material for the book, not in any way a finished book.

I wrote free-hand, not caring about the style or if something I wrote in the afternoon contradicted something I’d established in the story that morning. The priority was simply to get the ideas surfacing and growing. Awful sentences, hideous dialogue, scenes that went nowhere – I let them remain and ploughed on.

Time is the Secret Ingredient to Writing Great Articles. Thomas Baekdal. Genius. He suggests gathering your data, writing it up, putting some thoughts together and … wait.

By allowing yourself time to reflect on your story, you see things that you hadn’t realized initially. You form connections you hadn’t recognized, and you identify the patterns that you couldn’t see before. And, more to the point, you let the story simmer for as long as it needs to.

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Fluffy Links – Monday December 29th 2014

December 29th, 2014

Last Fluffy Links of 2014!

On January 13th in Dublin I’ll be giving 29 short lectures on digital marketing. It’s nearly free to attend this. Nearly as if it was free people wouldn’t feel obliged to turn up if they got a place.

Mailchimp Snap is a nice idea. Take a photo, send it to your mailing list or part of it with a little note. All from your phone.

A list of courses UCC will be doing mostly in the evenings come January. So many I’d love to go to but work travel means no.

Laghdú by Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh & Dan Trueman. Album of the year say so many people and they’re right. Do see Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh live too if you ever have the chance. A gent and a slow-motion explosion of talent in front of you.

The Jack Lynch Tunnel has its own app. You can connect to the CCTV streams too. Obviously only as a passenger but you could watch yourself drive in and out of the tunnel from your phone. The future has landed but we won’t realise it until it’s the past.

Is the Malcolm Gladwell mask slipping? Doubts on his work now.

Anti-social (media) publications. Let people read the content and not see Twitter and Facebook begs. You may get less traffic but people that do consciously share your content are more bought in to it.

A graphical explanation of UI vs UX.

Missed stories on Facebook? Most people do. Catch up here.

Absolutely scary. A piece from a woman about her father. Her father the serial killer.

Hoodies where the hood part can be swapped out for another one and you can collect the designer hoods? I’m in.

You can just tell that the people in Reuters, stuck on Queen and started singing “I Want to Break Free”. Reuters says good luck and fuck you to commenters.

The Philosophy of Aristotle

30 minutes of Jeff Bezos’ time and he’s silent.

December 28th, 2014

Amazon, for meetings, gets into the idea of being considered. Their very high level meetings start with a 6 page properly written talking points memo being handed out and everyone reading it in silence. 30 minutes of silence at the start of a meeting. Jeff Bezos:

“Full sentences are harder to write,” Bezos explained. “They have verbs. The paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page, narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.”

30 minutes of Jeff Bezos’s time is fairly expensive but there you go.

December 2014 Dublin Mentoring Sessions

November 20th, 2014

Each year I do mentoring sessions with some Enterprise Boards/Org toward the end of the year and also do one public one. The public one is on December 4th in Dublin.

Length: A mentoring session will run for 50 minutes.
Cost: Around €45
Location: Gibson Hotel, Dublin
Prep Work: Know what questions you want answered and know I can mostly only help during that 50 minutes. Bring a laptop or tablet.

I’m good at giving advice on Digital Marketing, PR stunts and tech startup feedback.

You can reserve the Dublin mentoring sessions by clicking here.

Put in your initials next to a time you want then then email me and I’ll send you on payment details.

Please note: I’ll be wearing at least Christmas jumper, you don’t have to.


Fluffy Links – Monday November 3rd 2014

November 3rd, 2014

Well that was a bit of a lull. Web Awards stuff got in the way of me posting stuff up here. Good event, hotel will never be used by me for anything again though. Roll on the SME Awards.

Some alternative Christmas jumpers you might like. 51 days to go.

Heard Tony Mac Mahon on RTÉ Arena the other night. He has a new album out with Steve Cooney, which is a recording from a good number of uears ago from a gig they never knew was being recorded. That link allows you to listen to it.

The Irish Coffee in Chapter One is a hell of a thing. Good post about how it’s made.

Rhône Wine Week Ireland 2014 is upon us. Full events listing.

When betting or making decisions, an empty stomach could help with decision making.

CEOs share the best advice they’ve received and given.

Luke Skywalker’s home in Star Wars? Stay in it for a few quid per night. Just need to get yourself to Tunisia.

With Tim Cook publicly acknowledging that he’s gay, lots are saying that’s great, let’s move on. Eh no, the reason this very private man made that statement is because it helps. A lot of LGBT people both young AND old need role models that suit them and Tim Cook will help people. Just watch this video from Pixar if you think we’ve got that whole “everyone is okay with gay people” bull.

Interesting one from James. Twitter video cards potential, video keeps playing while you scroll through Twitter. Second screening without the TV!

How to make videos succeed on YouTube. BBC advice.

Tony Mac Mahon explaining an air.

MKAI – Waiting

Keeping a “your computer has a virus” phone scammer busy

October 18th, 2014

This was about 40 minutes in to the call

Fluffy Links – Monday October 13th 2014

October 13th, 2014

Web Awards stuff has/had me busy so that’s why the lack of posts.

Looking forward to this gig in Triskel Cork on Saturday, the lovely Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh is playing.

Apply for Late Late Toy Show tickets.

On that, list of 2014 Christmas Pantos.

Roy Keane Rant fanfic.

Clarity as a business model. Lovely way of looking at super clear and honest ads. There was a bit of this where ad agencies started making clients make better products so they didn’t then have to lie and confuse to sell shitty things.

The Physical Web. I like this idea. Very very early days. When everything has an IP address (and this is almost a certainty) then do you need an app for it? Use cases:

Any store, no matter how small, can offer an online experience when you walk in.
A ZipCar broadcasts a signup page, allowing you to immediately drive away.

JOMO! The Joy Of Missing out. Yes.

And on the topic of JOMO, one day I’ll get around to talking about my personal trainer, David and the huge progress achieved in the past few months after going to him. I went with back problems but the side effect of fixing them has been the various issues I had with insomnia were kicked away too. It’s so exhilarating to be falling asleep before settling into bed. Another side effect is I’m now a 28 inch waist. I’m 12 again. I want to start a blog, yet another one around sleeping and sleeping issues as I seem to notice more and more people are having them. Definitely a link between this and the always-on life. Anyway, this is almost a public promise to go through this in the future here.

Aidan’s site. Want docs, print outs binded? Binding.ie may be of help.

Fascinating story of two guys building an art tool that hasn’t been made in 100+ years, the very end is very enlightening too.


Fluffy Links – Monday October 6th 2014

October 6th, 2014

79 days until Christmas. Some more posts from me over on Christmas.ie

This illustrated take of Cork City centre is lovely.

The iPad beats chocolate brands, Nickelodeon, Disney, YouTube and M&Ms as the favourite brand of kids 6-12 year olds. That’s the thing, it seems more a family device these days than anything else. One can do many in one family too which probably stunts their own market. A phone is never and never will be a shared resource though.

The finals for the 2014 Web Awards are out. Some crazy numbers in it this year. We’re going to have to gut it for next year, the size is not sustainable.

Calendar for inspirational women in science and tech. Put the Frozen wishlist to the side for a few moments.

Merce Cunningham, motion as a metaphor.

David Hieatt is doing some Do Workshops on branding. I traveled all the way to Cardigan in Wales to attend one. Was worth it. Plus I drove a car ON TO A FERRY. Woo. I’m 6.

via Kottke, Emergent calls bullshit on Twitter/Social Media news stories. Shame they’re not real time yet.

Using Excel to summarise your Twitter Analytics data better.

If only there was video. 1991 Clio awards were amazing, it seems.

Working with Dignity.

Rhythm and Stealth, full album:

Fluffy Links – Monday September 22nd 2014

September 22nd, 2014

Finally a listicle that’s original and interesting. Ben’s 30 at 30.

You need balls to get gender balance. The LadSummit is still the LadSummit.

I like this technique from Amazon, they wrote a “test” press release when considering buying Twitch so they could explain to the world why they were doing it and that helped them explain to themselves why it would be good or bad.

OpenCo. I like this. It’s like Culture Night but for businesses. Open your doors and host a talk or and event.

Value is created by DOING.

Shane Parrish has read and summarised Peter Thiel’s new book. Very interesting insights from the billionaire investor.

Charle Munger, investment genius and nice guy. Shares wisdom.

I read this bio on Tony Fadell from Nest and I think he’s going over the top to be like Steve Jobs in the interview with his always wanting to redesign the world. Seriously? Complaining about the CCTV cameras in your house in the interview. Channeling Run Burgundy more than Steve jobs. Kind of a big deal.

Karl Lagerfeld quotes. Ubercoolkarl.

Favourite books by some CEOs. Atlas Shrugged a Bible for an Oil CEO. Course.

Sinkane – Mean Love (Full album)

The wisdom of Charlie Munger

September 20th, 2014

From here.

12 lines from Munger is worth more than 5 of your business books, Horatio.

There isn’t one novel thought in all of how Berkshire is run. It’s all about what [Mr. Munger’s friend] Peter [Kaufman] calls ‘exploiting unrecognized simplicities.’ We [Messrs. Buffett and Munger, their shareholders and the companies they have acquired] have selected one another. It’s a community of like-minded people, and that makes most decisions into no-brainers. Warren and I aren’t prodigies. We can’t play chess blindfolded or be concert pianists. But the results are prodigious, because we have a temperamental advantage that more than compensates for a lack of IQ points.

Nobody has a zero incidence of bad news coming to them too late, but that’s really low at Berkshire. Warren likes to say, ‘Just tell us the bad news, the good news can wait.’ So people trust us in that, and that helps prevent mistakes from escalating into disasters. When you’re not managing for quarterly earnings and you’re managing only for the long pull, you don’t give a damn what the next quarter’s earnings look like.