Old Hat

old hat on magenta
Originally uploaded by zen♫.

John Moore over at Brand Autopsy has a great post that includes a powerpoint presentation. There are 60 slides, but you can flick through pretty quickly … but I got to about slide 22 and stopped.

Slide 22 has a quote by Guy Kawasaki:

It is better to hire people who can get you where you want to be than people who profess to have been there before.

There seems to be a smattering of posts on similar topics … each talking about resumes, blogs and power of authenticity. It is funny, when you are looking at other people’s CVs you are looking at a snapshot. And whenever I am reading one, I am always looking for something that stands out, something that tells me that I could work with this person — sometimes it could be job choice, sometimes unusual hobbies.

The thing is, CVs are horribly imprecise … and interviews are not much better. BUT face-to-face I can tell in seconds whether I can work with someone. This was a great skill when I was directing plays and faced massive casting calls. I have never really been able to quantify it … but I do rely on it — even if it is a bit spooky. Happy Halloween!


Copy Writing Migraines

I have been a migraine sufferer for as long as I can remember. As a child I used to lie on my mother’s bed and thrash around in agony, holding pillows against my throbbing head. At other times I would try laying quietly, listening to my breathing and the sound of the blood pulsing around my brain.

Sometimes nausea would come unbidden, rising like a hot stone from my belly. And at other times my sight would dim and I could see stars in everyday things. And while the wonders of my body were amazing my mind, I was also battling with the combination of weird physical and mental sensations and wondering when it would all end.

The thing about migraines is, however, that non-migraine sufferers (NMSs) just don’t get it. NMSs think that a migraine is just a bad headache. Worse … NMSs think that there is an element of drama or acting in migraines (oh, my headache is so much worse than yours …!), and that the migraine sufferer is somehow weak. I had a partner who thought this way for years. The NMS does not understand that the migraine is unlike anything else you have ever experienced.

Why I am I telling you this? Marcus Brown has this great entry on his blog today that demonstrates EXACTLY why just anybody cannot write good copy. Good copy is also unlike anything you have ever experienced. (Hey Marcus, can you fix your trackback system — it doesn’t work.)

As I watched this video I actually felt my pulse start to race. I was beyond excited at what I was seeing. As Marcus’s old boss used to say:

Just because you can hold a bloody pencil and write your own name doesn’t mean you can write copy.

Interestingly, my partner did not understand migraines, or believe my experience until she too experienced a migraine. She felt the fear of not being able to make it home from the train. She worried about what may trigger a recurrence. Me? I secretly liked her new experience (ok I never said I was nice).

Now, if only others could see the advantages of a good copywriter! Let’s start with this video.

Sassy Search


We have been wondering when the Google-killer would arise … we always suspected it would be Microsoft … but I never expected it to look like this. Ms Dewey is certainly an unexpected surprise!

John Battelle wrote this up a couple of days ago.

Sure this is not ALL about search, but it is good to see a sexy approach to something that we all take for granted. NOW the challenge is to find all the secret phrases that create unexpected responses.

Oh … and she IS impatient. Don’t keep her waiting.


Blogs are the New CV

If you are looking for a new job, how do you find it? Do you spend your time looking online job boards, do you talk to recruiters or do you “let it be known” to your friends that you are on the market?
I hope, at least, that you are not putting out CVs with typos like that in the picture here!

Russell Davies has a fun post responding to an email he received asking questions about why he blogs, and what is the future of blogging (for planners and the like). He shares his response here. And while his response is humourous, Russell has a great point — blogs will eventually replace CVs for many of us (no matter what industry we work in).

As I was saying in this post, blogs allow others to gain a deeper understanding of the person blogging. The posts become a repository of their ideas as well as a journal of their intellectual and creative pursuits. Interestingly, the WAY in which bloggers deal with their readers/audience/community says a lot — and smart employers will do well to check very closely through the archive of postings prior to any interview.

What does this mean in practice? I guess anyone wanting to hire the Servant of Chaos gets what they deserve … but I see this as bringing another level of transparency to the recruitment process (and we all know what a hit-and-miss affair hiring can be, so any help is sensational!). Blogs are great for strategic planners and for creatives in general … but make sure you are aware that some of your readers may be your future employers!

Update: OK … I have no original thoughts in my head. Here is the same article on Fast Company.


It’s Not Just Business and It’s Just Not On

Stopping by Seth Godin’s blog I found this after a little digging. Sure it is only a couple of days old … but he writes like a maniac. I quite liked this …

"It’s just business" …

Work takes too much time and too much emotion for it to be just work. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t want to spend time or money with anyone who has this particular attitude disfunction.

Reminds me again of Olivier Blanchard’s commitment rant. Life’s too short to waste your energies. Remember it!


Coffee Morning Sydney

Originally uploaded by E Welthorpe.

I must admit to feeling rather envious of those who live close enough to be able to make it to Russell’s regular coffee mornings. So I was very pleased to be able to join up with a couple of other locals last Friday.

Blogging can be a very solitary activity … especially in the early days when it is unclear whether anyone is reading your writing (and even then, when you think they are … why are there no comments?). Also, in reading blogs, you begin to build up a sense of the writer without the blindness of meeting — if you are careful, you can read between the lines, get a sense of their history and process of thinking and also see who they respect, admire or (even) dislike. In this way you are able to get a sense of who your blog buddies are before you meet them in person (and hey, sometimes we never get to meet).

It is interesting, that much of what passes for "authenticity" online, is directly based on never having met. I think it is something to do with the way that we listen/read blogs. It is also linked very closely with action — we are judged not ONLY by what we say/write, but by the promises we make and whether we follow through on them. And on the web … it is relatively easy to find out whether you DO as you SAY.

So actually turning up to a coffee morning can be more nerve wracking than making your first comment on Russell’s blog. Well perhaps NOT nerve wracking … but strange. To start with … what do bloggers look like? Then … what will we talk about? Will we all get along? What happens next? Will more people come next time?

As I said here, we did have a pretty good time … some great conversation, some ideas … a little of basic getting to know you. But there were a few suggestions that sounded really good — like performance blogging (thanks to Sebastian) and the challenges of creative teamwork in Sydney (again thanks Sebastian).

NEXT WEEK (3 November) will be the next coffee morning in Sydney — and all are invited to come along. This time I promise to take my own photos (and business cards). I think Vando nominated The Lounge in Milsons Point — I will need to track it down and confirm.

Commitment is a Funny Thing

Olivier Blanchard has a great post on his Brand Builder blog about commitment. He has a great perspective on what it takes to commit to a project — either a yes or a no. Make sure you read the whole post, but here is a taste:

Commit. Give it everything. Your project. Your job. Your relationship. Your race. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well… and if it’s worth doing well, it’s worth doing exceptionally well.

There is even a great section in the post that talks about projects that you aren’t passionate about. You know the type — the one where you have no choice — where it has been delegated to you or forced upon you.

If you can’t turn it down, if your boss or client forces you to work on something you would rather not spend any time on, then take a breather. Go clear your head. Find that one thing in the project or task that you know you can throw yourself at wholeheartedly, and focus on that.

Don’t ever, ever, ever do anything half-assed. Ever.

Of course, if you need something to be passionate about, check our www.KarmaCredits.org and contribute.


Karma Credits

Originally uploaded by Unbridled Expression ™.

We had a great coffee morning here in Sydney today, organised by the charming Emily. You can see the photos here.

If was great to get together and talk, drink coffee and solve the world’s problems.

Speaking of which, following on from this post, I have setup a new blog site called KarmaCredits.org and invite you all to come along and participate. It is all pretty free-form at the moment, but I think it is going to be a lot of fun. AND it doesn’t matter WHERE in the world you live … this is VIRTUAL baby.

We all talk about changing the world … or "giving back" to society. Well here’s your chance to stop talking and start doing!