Please Support Riding4aCause – the Black Dog Institute

While I am here at my desk, typing away in the middle of the night, a bunch of my friends are pushing their way through the Australian desert on their motorbikes – on their way to the centre of Australia. But this is no weekend cruise – it’s a ride with a purpose. Riding4aCause are supporting the Black Dog Institute’s efforts to promote awareness of depression and bipolar disorder.

Having ridden to the “dead heart” many years ago, I certainly understand that his will be a challenging journey. It is often hundreds of kilometres between stops and the hours in-between create a vast psychic space between “where you are now” and the places and people that you have left behind. When I returned I felt like I had a continent of silence within me – a deep, enduring peace that I had never experienced. But that can also be terrifying. Confronting.

I am certain there will be some of that facing my friends. For while there is comfort in riding as a group, there is only one mind active in each helmet.

And while I am excited to hear of their adventures, I don’t have to wait for them to turn up to the next coffee morning. I can follow along on their blogs, watch their youtube clips and catch their tweets live from desert truck stops.

Be sure to follow along with Raz, Andrew and Rob as they traverse the country. And if you, a family member or a friend has ever struggled with depression or mental illness, consider donating to Riding4aCause. Your contribution, no matter how small, could well change another’s life.

Why the Most Passionate Attract Us

There is do doubt that we are drawn to passionate people. Charismatic, energetic, and purposeful individuals tend to attract us like moths to a flame. Interestingly, it doesn’t really matter what that passion is … the sheer energy of their performance – their life – brings us closer to them. It brings us closer to their passion.

The passionate, are for the most part, master storytellers. But they are also deeply aware of those who are SUSCEPTIBLE to the story – what we would normally call “the audience”. BJ Fogg suggests that there are three important elements that will create influence. The Fogg Behaviour Model identifies three crucial elements that will turn an idea into action:

  • Motivation
  • Ability
  • Trigger

Take a look at Lily Cheng’s video on Why Twitter is Persuasive. A student with Fogg’s Persuasive Technology Lab, she explains the three-way connection that we have with Twitter. However, for my money, we need to dig deeper into the notion of motivation. Sure, we need to have it. But what is it? Where does it come from? And why does it transmute us from something/someone inward-looking into someone/something that transforms those around us? I think Sean Howard’s excellent presentation for Toronto Ignite goes some way to explain.

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

As we edge our way into spring here in the southern hemisphere, I can feel the energy and excitement that comes with the promise of warmer days. And these five must-read posts from last week will hopefully get your week started in the best possible way! Enjoy.

  1. Are you in a social media role for your company? How do you manage it? David Armano shares five tips for corporate ambassadors everywhere.
  2. I don’t normally include posts from the big blog publishing sites, but this post from Mashable on Facebook Insights is perfect for beginners (and the more experienced).
  3. Where does innovation happen? Saul Kaplan asks us to look between the silos in our organisations – to spend some time there. He calls it interstitial innovation. It’s like magic and I like it.
  4. For all our connectedness, it’s not about the technology (except for you gadget geeks, of course). The technology helps serve a purpose – to bring us together. This post from Olivier Blanchard reminds us that a real, real life, lived in the moment can sometime be the most memorable.
  5. In case you were looking, Valeria Maltoni shares 104 Social Media Case Studies. No, it’s not Valeria’s longest blog post ever. But it is very clever.

A Cup of Chaos #46: Directory Select

cancelyellow Sometimes a cup of chaos works out for you, and sometimes it works against you. After receiving copies of the local Yellow Pages last week (and placing them straight into the recycling), I was pleasantly surprised to see this site surface. DirectorySelect allows you to order or cancel telephone books.

It’s been a long time coming!

Bored at Work = Viral

I can remember coming across Buzzfeed quite some time ago. It stunned me. It made me realise that there was much more going on online than I had imagined. The site, by Jonah Peretti constantly tracks content on the web and asks a simple question – will this go viral? You don’t even have to choose “no” – you can just ignore the question. But if there is a topic/post you think worth voting up, you can do so simply with one click.

In a way, it’s a pop culture version of Digg – but with one important difference – it is curated.

In this presentation (with thanks to Polly Becker), Jonah shares some of the strategies and tips that he has learned over the last 10 years – one of the most important of which is to target the “bored at work” network. And as he explains, you can't "make" something go viral – but you can improve your chances by tweaking, seeding and being lucky.

Jonah Peretti Viral Meetup Talk