Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A collection of Thoughts

Stuff I found today.

A Hamster with a Hat

A really cool Hip Hop Website, I like it's simplicity. Blip.fm is Ego DJ based. HipHop DX is crowd sourced filtering, we will see more of this in the near future.

The definitive guide on how to use twitter. You'd be daft not to read this if twitter is still a bit alien to you.

Hot on the heels of Google buying a Mobile Ad Platform, Apple buy a Mobile Ad Platform. If these two are moving into Mobile in a big way, maybe you should too ;o)

Nobody told me Eminem and Lil Wayne did an amazing track? Awesome.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Key to finding Work: Motivation

Youth Unemployment has recently reached a Record High. The problem appears to be at least partially systemic. We need a boost, a leg up or some help as a Generation

Why is Life After Uni like Treading Water?
The strategies for becoming truly effective at job hunting take time to learn.

When you watch a child learn to walk, the start out very shaky and unsure... but for some reason they just keep trying. They are driven to complete the evolutionary imperative. They learn through trial and error and playing. They are rewarded for effort and quickly achieve.

Now take a young adult fresh out of university facing the job market. They are scared to take the first step and fear failure. Despite being an indictment of our education system, it also shows a key flaw in becoming an adult. We lose our will to fail, to play and to try. It has been proven that if you reward achievement you create students who fear failure. If you reward effort you create students who are less likely to.

How can you Get closer to the Job you Want?
Firstly you want to Identify your Passion & Make a list of the type of jobs you can tolerate. Could you work in an office? Do brands excite you? Maybe you prefer to create?

With most industries people can open the door, but they won't do that until your visible to them. Without Passion and Focus it is very difficult to ever progress from the child on Shaky legs scenario. The sad fact is most people don't try to improve their CV or Career until they are out of work. You may not always be passionate about the work in front of you, but if you can see the path in front of you & break that down into achievable steps you are much more likely to get there.

Such is Life
To find a blog post talking about how to get motivation means two things 1) The Author probably should have been doing something else 2) Nobody is around to give you a kick up the ass, so you gotta do it yourself.

Hard Work brings rewards. Open up that CV Document, do a Google Search and see how you can improve it. Ask anyone who will listen if they know about your passion & when you're done buy yourself a really tasty cookie!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Goals for 2010

Inspired by @Chrisbrogan and his prolific nature of setting wildly ambitious targets and then hitting them, it seemed wortwhile to list a few goals for the Record. Someone on twitter earlier mentioned that "2010 is starting like a fairytale, with the snow".

Behind every fairytale story there is a tremendous amount of hard work and slog involved. A few names? Simon Cowell, Duncan Bannetine, Alan Sugar, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg. All of them achieved success in different ways at different times. Yet they all share a passion for what they do, and understanding of what they need to do next, and the drive to be the best.

Do you?

Goal 1: Move the blog to wordpress. End of January
Why? It's not essential, and it would mean an outlay on webspace once again, but it also gives me access to create the kind of online presence I really want. Moving from beginner to intermediate in the blog world.

Goal 2: Read 52 Books this year. Year End
Why? Despite my youthful rebellion against books, I've always been an avid reader. Maybe it is something you have not taken to. Books sound like the most boring and nerdy thing in the world... but one day I promise you, if you are on a journey for success a book will help you get there.

Goal 3: Achieve financial Target. Year End
Why? Like many under 30, money management isn't a strong point. I can't exactly plead ignorance either. I know how banking works. If you don't it's worth getting educated on the difference between Credit and Debit. Direct Debits may seem like a pain, but they are worthwhile in the long run. Maybe you are like me, and lack a little dicipline

Goal 4: Attend 10 Conferences / Tweetups
Why? People are the real spice of life. Amazing things happen when you make the effort to get out there and enter their world.

What are your goals? I gave myself 40 points for setting 4 pretty tough goals there.

Points make prizes 1000 Points for every Goal Achieved.

How will you do?

Friday, January 01, 2010

How do you make 2010 your Year?

Identify your passion
. - Target - Jan 31st
The key thing here is not to get bogged down in "What should I do with my life". Instead focus on what you've already done, what you liked about it. Make a list of the top 10 things you ever did. Here's a sample:

For Example
What?: Visited Vegas.
Why?: Got an invite at 2am and by 7am was on a flight.
How did it make you feel?: Alive, happy, free.
What about the experience would you like to repeat?: The travel, meeting people, doing business outside of the office confines.

Repeat this exercise for anything that stands out when you look back on your life. From there you can build a picture of what lights your fire.

You are now a step closer to making 2010 your own.

Points Make Prizes
  • + 10 points for every example you create (Maximum 100 pts available)

Plan to make 2010 Yours - Get a Network - Ongoing Task
You now know what you are good at. What are you not good at? This is a harder question to answer than you might think. Who out there will give you a fair appraisal without pulling punches?

The beauty of humanity is despite our inability to be great at everything as individuals, we can use networks to achieve amazing things. You need a network to make 2010 yours

You can get a job by happening to meet the right person, and getting lucky. But you can create your own luck by knowing who you need to meet, where they hang out, and who can introduce you. What is your plan? Who can you network with to get where you need to be?

A couple of good ways to get noticed:
Boost your CV / Resume with Social Networking
Find the kind of job you dream about

Points Make Prizes
  • +1 Point for Every Twitter follower
  • +5 Points for everyone you meet (Maximum 100 Pts available)

Plan to make 2010 Yours - Get a Mentor - Target Feb 28th 2010
Find a Mentor. One of the great joys about having achieved success is spotting talent and helping them achieve too. Giving away your knowledge to those who can use it, is about the most rewarding thing you can do.

A Mentor can give you feedback, will have a network, and will be able to help you build yours. These people can open doors for you, but you have to walk through it. Who is your mentor? Is there someone in the Network you have built?

Points Make Prizes
  • +100 Points for Finding A Mentor (Maximum 100 Pts available)

Plan to make 2010 Yours
- Make something happen - Target March 31st
This may sound quite vague, but taking action is the key to progress. How can you use that?

  • Organise an event
  • Travel
  • Attend conferences
  • Help people in your Network
  • Read about your passions
  • Make Lists / Set Goals

It's when you get out there among people, that things happen. As much as Social Networking opens the door, face to face seals the deal. Many of you will have done much if not all of the above before... but 2010 is an opportunity to attack this thing.

  • What is your Passion?
  • Do you Have a Network?
  • Do you Have a Mentor?
  • What can you Make Happen?
Points Make Prizes
  • +1000 Pts for creating an event
  • +100 Pts for Attending events
  • +10 Pts for Every Book Completed

Have a Great 2010! Remember this is something ongoing, a little competition never hurt anyone, but consistency is more important than what you achieve tomorrow. Think long term and make things happen. Good luck and please let me know how it goes.

Read this post tomorrow, and comment on how many Points you got!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Some Thoughts this Winter

  • The Boxing Day sales have arrived, and I'm yet to see anything that could be described as a bargain. What happened to the credit crunch?
  • The new Calvin Harris Album is excellent
  • Why is it no matter how much you earn, it's never enough. When does that turn around?
  • I finally got my Dad from IE7 / Outlook Express to Chrome / Thunderbird
  • Thought about moving to Gmail myself to cloudsource myself... can't see the benefit yet though
  • Tom Davenport will run the Wiltshire massive one day, and is more geeky than I am
  • It's nearly 2010, we're 10 years into the future, and 5 years from hover skateboards

This has been said before, but it bares recording here. Google will soon have their own Phone, running their own Phone OS, with their own Voice over IP application. So in effect, if I bought a google phone, all I need a network for is a data plan. This means 02 and Vodafone are in serious danger of becoming a commodity provider. Why in the world described above would I want to buy an Apple Phone to pay for my voice calls & pay for data on top?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Want Mobile Payments?

The EDC 2009 Global Payments Survey suggested that in the USA, the mobile would replace the wallet over the coming half decade. A bold statement indeed, and something we have all heard before. It's an argument that is winning traction since Square has won itself a lot of attention, mostly for some snazzy web design, and having a certain Jack Dorsey at its helm.

The problem facing these upstarts is that some very exciting companies are trying to create a solution where the consumer doesn't see a problem. Perhaps the greatest degree of disruption will come from developing economies. Payment processors and banks have been attempting to load these territories with credit cards. Whilst this might give a short term revenue burst, where is the strategy?

Africans are already using SMS as a form of payment, because its simple and low tech. Payments in the western world need to be simpler, and have no barrier to entry for the consumer. The consumer has a phone, and has a bank account. They don't have a payment mechanism that works as well as the card.

Until that is the case, we're in an interesting but risky place with mobile. mPayy and oboPay both show a lot of promise in solving the Mobile Payments problem. However until someone is able to package this service and sell it to the banks, Mobile Payments will not take off. Given that most Payment Processors still think "e-commerce" is the future (scary I know), that could take a while.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Odd Ball

And they gave me a prosthetic ball. Which the first time a girl licked, I had to giggle. I mean, she didn't even know. Couldn't she tell it has a totally different consistency? "Man this dude has an odd ball".

Maybe thats where "odd ball" came from.

There are some pokes on facebook you hold on to, because you know it will be a while until you get them back. So you return the favour by waiting 6 months yourself. Where as there are some you know you will get back pretty quickly. Sometimes I poke those people just to cheer myself up.

Is it a sign of age that I've never installed iTunes on any machine ever? Or is it just some weird old school geekery. There are teenagers now who never suffered the horror of having Napster shut down, and having to use WinMX because Limewire was full of Spyware. Bad times.

I freakin love Chase and Status.

Was supposed to wake up at midday today, and finish shopping. Woke up at 3, sat around and watched TV. It's been so long since indulging in being lazy. It was actually a pleasure.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cold Mornings


Gotta love how Wolves have managed to adapt to the cold and snow. Me? Not so much. I am a walking winter weather dichotomy. On the one hand, give me shorts, and a football and I can run around (not naked) and end up sweaty. Give me all the coats in the world and I freeze.

Why is it when we get older, it feels colder? Do you know? Its bugging the shit outa me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Leeds #CozyTweetup

We came, we saw, we drank!

Big Thanks to hebemedia / leedsonline for the banter and managing to keep @TomDavenport stimulated. That guy has some crazy ideas, and came a long way to share them!

This is why we love Social Media.

Phil will be at the Temple Works this Wednesday in Leeds. An Egyptian Temple... IN LEEDS!

Lisa is the loveliest PR manager I ever met. Enthusiasm is contagious, and I think we ended up infecting all of those around us.

My poor memory resulted in less photos than would have done the meetup justice... but on the strength of this there will be more! Good to meet you guys & girls!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Social Media Vibe

"The vibe" is something that you either love or hate about twitter, and social media. Like everything that is a trend, from the outside it is downright annoying. Partially because everyone won't shut up about it. The criticism is that all people do on twitter is talk about their love of twitter. (Unless they're the celeb stalker type, I'm looking at you Justin Beiber fans).

But is there something to this twitter thing?

The mainstream media loves to talk about how big Facebook got on a slow news day, but you get the sense they still don't take it as seriously as they could... and I'm beginning to think the gap is generational. For this post to make sense, we're going to have to generalise a little, but here goes:

Baby Boomers - Born Prior to 1961

The Baby Boomers still occupy the prominent social & business positions, their thinking is the status quo for how business and society reacts to new trends. Their lens, is the lens we have used successfully for a very long time. Kudos to the Baby Boomers. Things are a changin' though...

Generation X - Born between 1961 and 1981

Generation X or the "MTV" Generation is often cited as the rebel generation and is a little more reactive. Responsible for the .com boom, the growth of the personal technology industry and further liberalisation of media Generation X lived up to its name. It still did all of this through the Baby Boomer lens of Globalisation...

Generation Y - Born between 1976 and 1990

Generation Y is the favourite of AdAge and a whole lot of PR / Marketing companies right now. Understanding Generation Y, is fundamental to getting the Social Media Vibe. Having grown up with technology and to a lesser extent the internet, as a generation; Y see's nothing wrong with giving away its data to the information for convenience. Facebook and Google are trusted because they are Trust Agents, ie. They are trust worthy in the eyes of todays youth.

Social media has real value to these Generation Y types. Not because it's a fad, but because it fits the way they see the world. These views are challenging convention and causing an awful lot of upheaval in the old economy. Just look at how unhappy News Corp is with Google, or the Advertising revenues of Newspapers. The Baby Boomers and Generation X take some level of comfort from the human interaction, but the very key of Social Media is humanising our online interactions. Being ourselves online.

It leads to a lot of philosophical questions. Am I more myself online? In person? Alone? Outdoors?

These kinds of questions don't sit well with the old world, since they challenge some pretty fundemental beliefs. The key is how this change will impact YOU. The way we interact is changing. Knowing the change is coming means you can take action today to be ready as these changes begin sweeping through into daily life, and business as usual. No matter what age you are, these trends beg some very interesting questions indeed.

  • Maybe you could pitch social media to your company?
  • Maybe you could start a blog and begin building your digital identitiy?
  • How about looking into this Social Media thing, are you part of the conversation?
  • Does this Generation Y lot have a point?

Or you could just wake when the change has already happened. You don't have to do anything, you lucky thing! There is an awful lot to be gained by taking advantage though. Worth a shot right?

Oh and a word to the wise. High pressure sales don't trick anyone but other high pressure sales types. Snake Oil is endangered.