Monday, 2 July 2012

Favourite Seth Godin posts


Signed up to the Seth Godin blog (by the way, the link to get my posts by email is here...)

See posts that from time to time I'd like to save...

And put the links to them here.



Free Samples

Watching people sneak endless tastes with no intention of making a purchase--sometimes I gasp at the audacity.

The distinction in the digital world is profound. In the digital world, the more free samples you give away, the better you do.

The miserly mindset that afflicts the merchant watching inventory walk out the door at the market is counterproductive in the digital world.

- Then started my own page to bank links about giving away material for free.


Snark and fear
The single most appropriate question to someone who attacks, dismisses or trolls: "What are you afraid of?"
Full "Snark and fear" post here


The first thing you do when you sit down at the computer
"You've just surrendered not only a block of time but your freshest, best chance to start something new.

If you're a tech company or a marketer, your goal is to be the first thing people do when they start their day.

If you're an artist, a leader or someone seeking to make a difference, the first thing you do should be to lay tracks to accomplish your goals, not to hear how others have reacted/responded/insisted to what happened yesterday."
Full post here


Email checklist
- The ones that really hit for me are 4, 9, 20, and especially 34.
Full Email checklist here...


"Do you have a people strategy?"
Hard to imagine a consultant or investor asking the CMO, "so, what's your telephone strategy?"

And then the internet comes along and it's mysterious and suddenly we need an email strategy and a social media strategy and a web strategy and a mobile strategy.

No, we don't.

All of these media are conduits, they are tools that human beings use to waste time or communicate or calculate or engage or learn. Behind each of the tools is a person. Do you have a story to tell that person? An engagement or a benefit to offer them
Full "Do you have a people strategy?" post here


"You won't benefit from anonymous criticism"
Forms, surveys, mass emails, tweets--none of this is going to do anything but depress you, confuse you (hey, half the audience wants one thing, the other half wants the opposite!) or paralyze you.

I'm arguing that it's a positive habit to deliberately insulate yourself from this feedback. Don't ask for it and don't look for it.
Full "You won't benefit from anonymous criticism" post here




Soapbox and the City
The soapbox is the newspaper with subscribers, the Twitter account with followers, the blog with readers. A soapbox cannot ever scale to be like the city, because given the chance, the mob, attracted by the attention that comes with the soapbox, will grab the microphone and create nothing but noise. Open mic night is an interesting concept, but it never sells out Madison Square Garden.

Your soapbox might be the reputation you have in the comments section of a favorite blog, or your page on a social networking site. It might be those that listen to you in the conference room of your organization. But it's yours.
Full "Soapbox and the City" blog post here


The New Lazy Journalism
How many times have I read the story about Louis CK in the last week? Did I need a newspaper to write precisely the same story days after I read it for the first time? How much do we care about the race for 'first' when first is now measured in seconds or perhaps minutes?

We don't need paid professionals to do retweeting for us. They're slicing up the attention pie thinner and thinner, giving us retreaded rehashes of warmed over news, all hoping for a bit of attention because the issue is trending. We can leave that to the unpaid, I think.
Full "The New Lazy Journalism" article here


If you want to get paid for your freelance work
"...then access to tools is no longer sufficient. Everyone you compete with has access to a camera, a keyboard, a guitar. Just because you know how to use a piece of software or a device doesn't mean that there isn't an amateur who's willing to do it for free, or \an up and comer who's willing to do it for less.

...then saying "how dare you" is no longer a useful way to cajole the bride away from asking her friend to take pictures at the wedding, or the local non-profit to have a supporter typeset the gala's flyer or to keep a rock star from inviting volunteers on stage."
Click here for Seth's full blog post on "If you want to get paid for your freelance work"


Dancing on the edge of finished
For the marketer, the freelancer and the entrepreneur, the challenge is to level set, to be comfortable with the undone, with the cycle of never-ending. We were trained to finish our homework, our peas and our chores. Today, we're never finished, and that's okay.
It's a dance, not an endless grind.
Full post here...


Civilization
There are always shortcuts available. Sometimes it seems like we should spend less money taking care of others, less time producing beauty, less effort doing the right thing--so we can have more stuff. Sometimes we're encouraged that every man should look out for himself, and that selfishness is at the heart of a productive culture. In the short run, it's tempting indeed to trade in a part of civilized humanity to get a little more for ourselves at the end of the day. And it doesn't work.

We don't need more stuff. We need more civilization. More respect and more dignity. We give up a little and get a lot.
Full post here...


But I don't want to do that, I want to do this
"If you've built an app that won't be profitable unless you're featured on the front page of iTunes, the problem isn't with the front page of iTunes, the problem is with the design of your app. Ideas built to spread are more likely to spread.

If your plan requires getting picked and you're not getting picked, you need a new plan. I'm betting it will turn out far better in the end, but yes, indeed, I understand that it's harder than being anointed. Your talent deserves the shift in strategy that will let you do your best work.

The problem isn't that it's impossible to pick yourself. The problem is that it's frightening to pick yourself. It's far easier to put your future into someone else's hands than it is to slog your way forward, owning the results as you go."
Full post here...


Harvest demand or create it?
Except the answer isn't to poach demand at the last minute. The answer is to redefine the market into something much smaller and more manageable. You don't need to persuade everyone that you have a great idea, you merely need to persuade one person. And then make it easy for that person to share.
Full post here


Q&A: The resiliency of Permission Marketing
"For the individual or small organization, all the social networks provide you with a fork in the road. Either you can work around the edges, spamming your way to more followers and more noise, figuring out how to make some sort of make-believe metric increase as a result of your efforts. Or, you can use these networks as a new form of 1:1 interaction, making promises and keeping them. This second path means that your followers are actually followers and that your friends are closer than ever to becoming friends."
Full post here


Your Permanent Record
"...Everyone has failed, everyone has misspoken, everyone has meant well but done the wrong thing. Your favorite restaurants, cafes and books have all gotten a one-star review along the way. No brand is perfect, no individual can pretend to be either.

Perfect can't possibly be the goal, we're left with generous, important and human instead."
Full post here


Thinking about money
"Many marketers work overtime to confuse us about money. They take advantage of our misunderstanding of the time value of money, of our aversion to reading the fine print, of our childish need for instant gratification and most of all, our conflicted emotional connection to money."
"16. In the long run, doing work that's important leads to more happiness than doing work that's merely profitable."
Full post here

ON CRITICISM

But What Do People Really Think
Hint: You won't find out by searching for yourself on Twitter or Facebook. You won't find out by eavesdropping in the lounge, either. Or by reading the reviews.
Full post here

The Worst Feedback Is Indifference
But all of this is the feedback we get when we touch a nerve and are doing work that matters enough to care about.
Full post here

The Critic Stumbles
No one has ever built a statue to a critic, it's true. On the other hand, it's only the people with statues that get pooped on by birds flying by.
Full post here

Critics and the Dip
But the real takeaway for me is how small-minded, snarky and downright mean the three judges are. Even (or especially) when they are surprised by his performance, they act as if they somehow deserve to sit in judgment of him.
Full post here


Conservation of energy in conversation
If you escalate (cut off in traffic, angry at the gate agent, frustrated at your boss), you've just added (negative) energy to a conversation.
If you escalate (high-pitched enthusiasm, a hug, encouraging words), you've just added (positive) energy to a conversation.

Once the energy is added, it has to go somewhere. Often, the person you're engaging with throws it right back, or even increases it. A talented, mature person might take your negative energy and de-escalate it, or even swallow it and permit the conversation to calm down or end. But don't count on it.
Full post here


Getting 2 year olds ready for school, Ofsted? Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin

"Too many nurseries are failing to ensure children are ready to learn when they get to primary school, Ofsted's chief inspector says."

I read this, "Nurseries not preparing children for school" and my heart sank.

Ofsted scathed about our nursery "not having enough real world items in its play area".

So we donated a kettle.

Like our kids haven't got enough "real world" items at home.

Anyway, my heart sank because it brought to mind this:



I know the guy can't spell "labour", but here are 10 random quotes:

"The plan: trade short-term child-labor wages for longer-term productivity by giving kids a head start in doing what they’re told. Large-scale education was not developed to motivate kids or to create scholars.

It was invented to churn out adults who worked well within the system. Scale was more important than quality, just as it was for most industrialists."

"If you do a job where someone tells you exactly what to do, he will find someone cheaper than you to do it. And yet our schools are churning out kids who are stuck looking for jobs where the boss tells them exactly what to do.
Do you see the disconnect here?
Every year, we churn out millions of workers who are trained to do 1925-style labor."

"As we get ready for the ninety-third year of universal public education, here’s the question every parent and taxpayer needs to wrestle with:

Are we going to applaud, push, or even permit our schools... to continue the safe but ultimately doomed strategy of churning out predictable, testable, and mediocre factory workers?

As long as we embrace (or even accept) standardized testing, fear of science, little attempt at teaching leadership, and most of all, the bureaucratic imperative to turn education into a factory itself, we’re in big trouble."

"5. Column A and Column B
Aware
Caring
Committed
Creative
Goal-setting
Honest
Improvising
Incisive
Independent
Informed
Initiating
Innovating
Insightful
Leading
Strategic
Supportive ———————————- > or Obedient

Which column do you pick?
Whom do you want to work for or work next to?
Whom do you want to hire?
Which doctor do you want to treat you?
Whom do you want to live with?

Last question: If you were organizing a trillion-dollar, sixteen-year indoctrination program to turn out the next generation of our society, which column would you build it around?"

"Mass customization of school isn’t easy. Do we have any choice, though?

If mass production and mass markets are falling apart, we really don’t have the right to insist that the schools we designed for a different era will function well now."

"Here are a dozen ways school can be rethought:

Homework during the day, lectures at night
Open book, open note, all the time
Access to any course, anywhere in the world
Precise, focused instruction instead of mass, generalized instruction
The end of multiple-choice exams
Experience instead of test scores as a measure of achievement
The end of compliance as an outcome
Cooperation instead of isolation
Amplification of outlying students, teachers, and ideas
Transformation of the role of the teacher
Lifelong learning, earlier work
Death of the nearly famous college"


"Dreamers don’t help with either of these problems. Dreamers aren’t busy applying for jobs at minimum wage, they don’t eagerly buy the latest fashions, and they’re a pain in the ass to keep happy. "

Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin
http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/docs/StopStealingDreamsSCREEN.pdf



"Grades are an illusion... passion and insight are a reality"

"Your work is more important than your congruence to an answer key."

"Persistence in the face of a sceptical authority figure is priceless, and yet we undermine it."

"Fitting in is a short-term strategy that gets you nowhere.
Standing out is a long-term strategy that takes guts and produces results."

"If you care enough about your work, to be willing to be criticised for it, then you have done a good day's work."



Click here for links to all the other things I like on the web.


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