Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

Over the last week, I have been fascinated by the concept of disruption. Everywhere I look I see fear and uncertainty – from political debate to economic prosperity. But I also see abundance – insight, creativity and persistence. And yet, we hold more tightly to the former and relinquish easily, the latter.

These five must-read posts share a sense of optimism – and a determined focus on practical action. Sounds like just what we need in the weeks ahead. Chin up!

  1. Michael Michalko asks why we keep getting the same old ideas – and suggests that we need to protect our imaginations by disrupting our habits, thinking patterns and routines
  2. I’ve never really been that interested in food blogs. But this post from Martin Weigel gives me a way in, explaining why creativity is like cooking. Time to plate up
  3. We’ve all heard the line about every answer looking like a nail when you have a hammer in your hand. Paul McEnany suggests that sometimes we need to look first at the problem and not just jump to the ready answer
  4. What is the future of business? Kate Carruthers says it’s entwined with the future of technology
  5. Last week at the ADMA Forum there was plenty of discussion on the topic of “big data”. But what is it and what does it mean? SimplyZesty explains big data and how social media uses it

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

5MustReads The last week has been a bit of a blur – and I was just not able to finish off the five must-read posts last week … so I’m jamming two weeks together now. Slightly early … and maybe you’ll find this an antidote for insomnia on Sunday evening – or an inspiring way to start your Monday. Either way – I trust you will enjoy these five great reads.

  1. Trevor Young hits it out of the ballpark with his great post I’ve Seen Marketing’s Future and its Name is Amanda Palmer. Superb thinking and connecting of the dots
  2. Kate Carruthers looks at the big shifts between the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries – focusing on the digital economy and the digital revolution
  3. Any marketing practitioner will know – often through bitter experience – that our jobs are infinitely harder than they used to be. But Bill Lee says the evidence is clear – Marketing is Dead
  4. The climate change deniers can deny all they like. But Bill McKibben says you just need to follow the figures to realise just who the real enemy is – Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math
  5. I’ve been saying it for years – share the message but OWN the destination. But Ray Wang pulls no punches –> Brands are dumb if they drive traffic to Facebook. Read it and weep suckers!

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

Some weeks there are plenty of great blog posts to read and to select for this article. Other weeks, there is hardly anything that seems to leap out at me. This week is one of the former.

I have avoided any articles related to the Olympics – there will be plenty of analysis available on brands and sport in the coming days/weeks … so I will let you seek that out yourself. I have, instead, focused on non-sport topics.

And these five posts really tell a powerful story in their own right. Be warned … they are so good, you may have to skip lunch just to savour them. Bon appetit!

  1. I have friends who are hardcore Liberals. And I have friends who are union-supporting lefties. Some are passionate Greens supporters and (I believe) others may even be communists. It’s part of the great rich tapestry of my social life that enriches me and feeds my soul. But do political leanings change the way I feel about them? Does it matter? Not to me. Olivier Blanchard feels the same way – explaining eloquently and passionately why politics, careers and haters are irrelevant. Awesome read.
  2. On this theme – the challenge with social media is not disagreeing, but disrespecting. John Haydon explains how you walk the fine line and keep the panda happy.
  3. Do you have a Facebook presence? Is it working for you or your brand? Nichole Kelly asks whether Facebook is anti-ROI for brands. And she may have a point.
  4. Do you know what it’s like as a business to have everything on the line? Can you handle the heat? Do you crave it or run from it?  Jye Smith shares some lessons from CrossFit and what it taught him about creativity and innovation.
  5. One of the first elements of a social media program is “listening”. But what does that really mean – and how much listening does social media listening really offer? Danny Brown gives it some thought.

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

If you could only read five articles online each week – where would you turn? Would you turn to the mastheads, to Twitter or to your RSS reader? Would you wait for the updates to come or would you go and seek them?

I’d be lost myself, without my trusted Feedly reader … it’s become my must have start to the day. Interestingly, however, I have yet to try it out as an iPhone app – even though it is installed. There is something that I prefer about the big screen – but then, that may change at any moment.

I hope you enjoy these five must-reads from last week!

  1. It has been an amazing week – for some unforgettable. So I’d like to lead out with this powerful anti-gun rant by Jason Alexander. Well worth a read.
  2. On a lighter note, Mandi Bateson shares 3 easy ways to annoy a social media expert guru. Awesome and funny.
  3. Many brands and businesses treat social media like any other form of media – something to yell at your audience. Robin Grant suggests that social is a waste of time unless you can engage your audience.
  4. Years ago I wrote that “blogs were the new CVs” – but Doug Gross now asks are social media making the resume obsolete? What do you think?
  5. Every wondered how Wikipedia should fit into your marketing strategy? David Meerman Scott shares some suggestions and a link to the CIPR guide for PR best practices.

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

This week is like a bag of mixed treats – delicious snacks that you can savour individually or dive in by the handful. Some are good for your brain, some for your heart and others will make you want to get out and try things for yourself.

I Hope you enjoy reading these – and that you find something that hits you in the right spot.

  1. Have you ever wondered why your press release doesn’t get an airing with the media? Trevor Young may have the answer for you! Take a look at his Five Tips for Pitching the Media.
  2. I used to work with someone who was difficult to interview. Knowing that I was going to write our conversations up, he’d try and talk as if he was writing. It was weird. As Bill Delaney says, Talking Isn’t Writing.
  3. Does your brand have a reason for being beyond the profit motive? Maybe you should rethink what you do and consider storybranding, says Jim Signorelli.
  4. Stories remind us that we are human – fallible and mortal. Valeria Maltoni shares some of the cultural assumptions that underpin the way that we construct our most important stories.
  5. The always brilliant Ann Handley shares a personal reflection on the history of the future – life with and without your loved ones. Read it. It will make you cry as well as smile.

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

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As I surf the web, I normally keep a few tabs open with links to the best stories I find. But last week, there were so many that I just had to start writing this post early – or risk Chrome crashing through over work. These were the best five I could find. Enjoy!

  1. There are many who analyse, rate, rank and make decisions based on various “measures” of influence – from Klout to Kred and back again. But Danny Brown suggests that it’s not influencers we seek but instigators.
  2. Most businesses claim to seek out and nurture creativity – yet, in practise, creativity in the corporation can prove to be not only risky but career limiting. David Burkus takes it further, suggesting that traditional organisational structure – hierarchies – kill creativity. Does this gel with your experience?
  3. In Australia, a price on carbon came into effect over the last weekend. Will it mean that our country will be transformed into a post-apocalyptic Mad Max style landscape? Jim Parker shares his vision of this new world order – and it doesn’t look pretty.
  4. I have always thought that great marketing tells a story. But Jim Signorelli explains exactly why marketers should care about stories.
  5. Can you use social media to find a job? Dave Cutler shares five personal branding best practices.

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

5 Cinco Five Fem Vijf Viis Viisi Cinq Fünf Öt Fimm Lima Cinque Pieci Penki Piatka Cinci Pet BeçThis week I’m all about creativity – what makes it, what bakes it and what fakes it. Sometimes we need to follow our hearts and sometimes we need to think through problems and issues in more complex ways.

  1. Remember Richard Florida’s Rise of the Creative Class? At its heart was a concept that I loved – and deeply wished to believe in. But it always seemed a little hollow for me. Frank Bures explains why in the Fall of the Creative Class.
  2. “The best art is neither socialist nor indifferent to the needs of others”. Ben Irvine writes persuasively about the social entrepreneurial role of artists – and may just change the way you think of innovation and the role of creativity.
  3. I’ve been loving Saul Kaplan’s The Business Model Innovation Factory – but as he points out in this post – the hardest question any leader can ask is one we must all ask ourselves.
  4. To be creative means to be fearless – or rather it means taking your fear and channelling it in a different way – away from paralysis and into action. Amber Naslund shares her thoughts On Fearlessness.
  5. One of the most compelling transformations that are driving our behaviours and sense of identity is the notion of trust. Just think about who we trust and why. Venessa Miemis asks how do we trust each other without proof?

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

Quite a mixed bag of topics this week … with posts on innovation, SEO and Edgerank, collaboration and crowdsourcing. But you’ll find each of these articles useful in creating customer value and generating strategic advantage for your business or clients. Well worth a quick scan or even a deep dive.

  1. One of the great ruptures that is coming or already upon most businesses is the great demographic shift that will see Gen Y succeed the incumbent Baby Boomer generation. Rather than controlling Gen Y, Sarah Miller Caldicott suggests we need to embrace their need for progress in order to drive innovation.
  2. One of the challenges for marketers is keeping up with the changes that are constantly being made to Google’s search engine or to Facebook’s Edgerank algorithms. And Google’s recent changes (code named Panda and Penguin) will have a huge impact on those who have focused on quantity of inbound links rather than quality content. Craig Wilson explains the impact on link building for SEO.
  3. And speaking of Facebook Edgerank, Ken Mueller suggests that we should keep creating and sharing great content, understand what and when we are posting on Facebook and work to really understand what Edgerank is about. He says its a common sense approach to Edgerank.
  4. Anyone who starts a business blog post quoting Jay-Z is alright by me. And Trevor Young’s article on collaboration makes it even better.
  5. Can companies bring crowds to their causes? The folks over at Realized Worth say yes – and remind us all that Facebook is a tool not a strategy.

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

Saturn V RocketsTowards the end of each summer I start thinking about the joys of cooler weather that come with winter. But last summer in Australia was so wet, I really was just waiting for summer to start when winter abruptly arrived. And normally winter is a time of reading – but over the last couple of weeks – a series of colds and fevers has kept me well away from such lovely pursuits. So it was nice over the weekend to start feeling better – and to find that so many smart people around the world keep sharing their insight, intelligence and creativity. It’s like a pep-shot for creative lethargy. Hope you enjoy these:

  1. In marketing, we have become much more focused on niche networks and the power of influence. Neil Perkin explains why you should choose your friends carefully. Especially when they are Friends not friends
  2. Kris Hoet ponders the nature of value and the power of creative work. Sharing a video of TBWA/Chiat/Day’s Lee Clow, he asks how do we create value and value creative?
  3. Are you on Twitter? Does it have a strange hold over you? Does it make you feel alive, connected and energised? Kate Carruthers suggests that this constant ambient connection is creating a new kind of normal
  4. We all talk about the power of stories – and their importance in the life of a brand. But how do you create a brand with values that allow stories to resonate with your customers and audiences? Jonah Sachs has some ideas
  5. Do we want fame or do we want community? Most brands confuse the two – pushing for fans to “like” their Facebook pages or subscribe to their newsletter. But the two are very different. Chris Guillebeau explains some of the distinctions.

Five Must-Read Posts from Last Week

I was out most of last week with a bad, bad cold. It seems it’s going around (ie the really viral). But I was still able to find a few gems to read in between heavy nanna naps.

  1. Some snappy writing and a barb in the tail of Jim Parker’s writing. He explains why journalists fear academics and shines a light on the process of opinion making and influence wielding in the Australian media. You’ll love it.
  2. Greg Verdino takes us behind the scenes with the American Express OPEN Forum and shares the four principles that keep it fresh and focused.
  3. Is branding something that only your customers experience? What if you treated your employees first? In Let’s Go to Work, Katie Chatfield talks about what this might mean.
  4. Despite our interest in authenticity, it can be hard to live by. Mark Schaefer shares a recent conference experience and explains why.
  5. Is Facebook the New Big Mac? Tim Longhurst casts an accusatory eye across the over-hyped Facebook IPO to tease out the sense, if not the dollars, underlying the valuation and market expectation.

Oh and if you are looking for one more, here’s my post on the future of work and the need to think like a teenager.