My Five: Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Simon.
With Christmas fast approaching, I thought I’d sprinkle a little festive cheer on my last My Five of 2012.
1. Portable North Pole
If like me you have a woman-child sister, Portable North Pole will be right up your street. To my dear sister, this was something pretty special – an opportunity to send her amazing brother (me) a personalised Christmas message, direct from Santa himself!
The message rambles on a bit, but truth be told it is quite good. I’m borderline 30 and I found it rather amusing. Why not surprise a friend or loved one with their own Christmas message this year? Ho ho ho…
2. Film Posters 2.0
We like to be a bit quirky here at Browser Media. Some call us renegades; others call us pioneers, but regardless of how we are perceived, we do it all for the love of digital.
This month we think we’ve hit the jackpot with our latest gambit – Film Posters 2.0; an SEO twist on adaptations of popular film titles. Everyone loves a bit of Rand (Fishkin) and we’re no different. ‘Randbo’ and ‘Silence of the Rand’ are two adaptations, in our opinion, worthy of an Oscar.
But if it wasn’t enough simply to hatch a brilliant idea, we’re even throwing in a prize (a Google Nexus 7 Tablet) for the best film adaptation submitted to the blog.
Feeling creative? Why not have a go yourself and prove your creative valour.
3. Mariah Makes Christmas Better
I’m not quite sure what it is (actually I have a pretty good idea) but several of my friends, including Brower Media’s very own Tom Sizer-James have an unhealthy obsession with Mariah Carey.
That said, she does has a beautiful-shiny-voice and isn’t too hideous to look at either. OK, I feel like I’m starting to get it now. But the absolute win for me is Mariah at Christmas – she just ‘makes Christmas better’.
When Mariah sings, small children laugh with joy. When Mariah sings, it snows snow thicker-than-gumdrops. When Mariah sings; the whole world is a safer place (with less violent crime).
And this is the power of video, more specifically YouTube, spreading the Christmas love (over 6m views since Dec 4th 2012). Here is a nice rendition of ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ from Mariah and co.
My New Years Resolution: get creative with YouTube and rule the world.
4. Is Google + Here To Stay?
Several months ago my colleague Tom wrote an interesting article and posted an infographic questioning the value of Google +.
The topic was well received and it was great to see so many comments from digital professionals, all with their own personal and professional thoughts and experiences of the network (especially Tom ‘Pull-No-Punches’ Rolfson).
Fast forward to present time and it seems like Google + is here to stay, perhaps. The statistics for the network have never been anything less than impressive; the question lies with the level of engagement with the platform.
According to Google, Google + members now exceed 500 million, with 135 actively visiting the network each month (that’s a pretty big jump from approximately 75 million active users per month back in June.)
In the blog post announcing the new numbers, Google’s SVP of engineering Vic Gundotra described Google+ as “the fastest growing network thingy ever.” This could just be classic over-egging, but that’s a fairly bold statement right there. You’d like to think there is some truth behind the claim.
Either way, this has never been a debate about numbers. The numbers are great, glorious even. What remains to be seen, however, is whether people begin to use Google + as a network more integrated with their daily-lives, or whether it will remain a sleeping-beauty, forever in the shadow of juggernauts like Facebook and Twitter.
5. Time Management Tekkers
Anyone who knows me, knows me for the clock-watching, always-5-minutes-early kinda guy I am. Time keeping is my game. I live it. I breathe it. It keeps me ahead of the pack. My mantra understandably is “The early bird catches the worm”.
But digital is a fast moving industry, and we all have a lot of clients to manage and campaigns to run, so more often than not we’re juggling tasks. Today, while I was wasting time not working, I stumbled across this ‘5 ways to get nothing done’, written by Brett Terpstra.
‘That isn’t going to help me’ I hear you cry, and you’d be right (unless you actually read the article, it’s actually full of useful tips on ‘getting stuff done’). Below however, is my own extreme take on things… #foreverpushingboundaries
Here is a summary of Bretts post and my recommended tweaks:
1. Set Alarms for Everything
When it comes to distraction, there’s nothing like having alarms go off while you’re working, urging you to do something else. It’s a great way to break your concentration and ensure that you have a persistent feeling of panic throughout the day.
Tweaks: Never set an alarm. If you oversleep or miss an important meeting or appointment, rest assured that it’s all part of the grand plan. The big guy (Zeus I think he’s called) knows you have more pressing things to do, and will ultimately leave a lasting legacy in this world (in your own time…it’s all good)
2. Be Social
We all need a break now and then. Check Twitter, scan Facebook, and maybe fire off a few emails and texts to see how friends are doing. Keeping all of those outlets available all day is a guaranteed way to ensure that you’re never fully focused on what you’re doing. Chat rooms and IM are even better; it’s like a water cooler that comes to you.
Tweaks: Stop communicating. Buy some Dre Beats and download the back catalogue of ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’. Wear a hoodie, look scarier. Delete your social media accounts. Don’t respond to your name. Better still, change your name. Throw your phone in the bin. Religiously hum the theme-tune to ‘The A-Team’ in your head.
3. Lump Your Tasks Together
If you want to end a day feeling like you accomplished nothing, make sure that all of the items on your to do list are “big picture” projects. Overarching concepts with no sequential set of smaller tasks are a perfect way to make any job seem overwhelming.
Tweaks: Print out a picture of Patrick Swayze and stick it to the bottom left-hand corner of your computer screen. Whenever you’re feeling like things are getting on top of you, take a moment to gather yourself. Stare at the picture of Patrick and imagine you’re sitting with him, making pottery. (This applies to both men and women). Kevin Bacon is cool but Patrick Swayze is the boss.
Now you’re ready. No task is too big, no mountain too high. Soar high like big eagle.
4. Say ‘Yes’ To Everything
If you say “yes” whenever someone asks you if you can “fit it in” or help out with something, you’ll easily ensure that you don’t get done what you already need to, with the added bonus of not helping anybody out successfully.
Tweaks: Life is all about choices. Don’t feel obliged to say ‘Yes’. Try a new game. I call this the ‘No’ game. If someone asks you to do something, say ‘No’ and if they ask why, say ‘No’ again. You’ll be surprised how quickly people stop asking you to do things and how much your productivity sky-rockets #winwin
5. Don’t Sleep
Working all night to finish a project can accomplish great things. For me, even the next day is productive. Then, I lose two, maybe three days of productivity as my body and brain crash and struggle to catch up. Assuming that your life is a series of tasks and not one big, end-all job, maintaining a sleep schedule and finding a healthy equilibrium is vital to actually doing anything.
Tweaks: Sleep like a king, but do it right. 2 x horse tranquilisers before bed and in the morning, cereal with red bull (milk substitute) followed by coffee in big boy mugs.