Do something that matters

One of my favourite morning rituals is listening to podcasts while I ride my bike to work.

It makes the commute more interesting, makes the time feel even more valuable (exercise AND learning!), and unlike listening to music, which tends to be all consuming, I can still hear the traffic around me, so I guess it's a bit safer too. 

I subscribe to a huge variety of different podcasts, from well known ones like Serial and TED Radio Hour, to smaller ones focusing on health, finance, science, grammar, marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship.

One of my favourites is The Tim Ferriss Show because Tim (author of The Four Hour Work Week among many, many other things) for multiple reasons. Firstly, he gets some really fascinating guests on the show and secondly, I think his work and outlook on life is really refreshing.  

This morning I was listening to a recently posted interview Tim did with marketing guru and business icon, Seth Godin. 

The whole interview is fascinating and inspiring, and I really encourage everyone to listen to it.

There was one particular quote that really resonated with me though, so I wanted to highlight it here:

"If you think hard about one's life... Most people spend most of their time on defence in reactive mode, in playing with the cards they've got instead of moving to a different table with different cards. Instead of seeking to change other people they are willing to be changed. Everyone has more power than they think they do. And the question is what are you going to do with that power, because it comes with responsibility, and that responsibility is that you're going to make change happen or you're going to ignore it, and if you make change happen, that's on you." - Seth Godin

I love this because it's not only motivational but it also holds listeners accountable. It's about taking control of our lives and doing something. No one is going to make changes for us (at least it's unlikely they'll be the changes we'd like to see), so we'd better stop complaining and get on with it. Oh and make sure it matters, because as my mum/dad/teachers always said: "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well."

Listen to the whole episode here. 

New Year's Revelations

I generally avoid New Year's resolutions, at least the concrete, set-a-goal-and-absolutely-stick-to-it-no-matter-what kind. I don't think it's as easy as flicking a switch and all of a sudden, becoming a "better person" once the clock ticks past midnight (or maybe a few hours later once the drinks have run out). I don't even think it's a good idea to approach life like that, although as a marketer I can appreciate the efforts of certain industries trying to tap into this renewed optimism each year. 

I tend to have the same rough goals each year that are more about keeping things in check, such as eating well, exercising regularly, managing my money better (I'm still working on that one), and educating myself as much as possible. I'll often pick up a new hobby or set myself a goal three quarters of the way through the year because why wait until the end? 

The time over the most recent Christmas and New Year's period was filled with a lot more reflection and pondering than usual. 

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Tone Deaf published my rant about Tone Deaf

So, a little ironically, yesterday's rant has ended up being republished (after a bit of a rework to make it less angry and more helpful) on the very publication I was angry at, Tone Deaf.

I actually really appreciate that they took the time to read the blog and thought it was worth sharing with their networks, which are undoubtedly bigger than the friends, family, and stray Twitter users who accidentally click on my links. 

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No, Facebook is not making it harder for your page

I had not long finished reading Facebook's official statement on their latest set of changes to the News Feed algorithm before this scaremongering piece on how Facebook is making it harder for indie bands popped up online. 

I too used to complain about Facebook's news feed algorithm changes when they first started messing around with it a couple of years back. I was lucky enough to start working in social media before it was a common job title, so I was used to the pages I managed getting huge reach as there wasn't much competition. If the content was great, we got even more than usual. 

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How to deal with Facebook's latest algorithm changes

Recently Facebook announced they were tweaking their news feed algorithm (again). Two main updates were announced:

  1. Factoring in trending topics - showing more content regarding topics that are trending at the top of peoples' news feeds 
  2. Looking at when people like or comment - posts that continue to get engagement long after the post originally went live will be higher candidates for being "bumped" to the top of the news feed in the days following the original post

Every time Facebook announces changes to their algorithm I try to figure out how I can adapt my page's posts to keep them relevant and ensure they're being seen by as many of our fans as possible. 

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Social Media "is a fad" and Other Outdated Mistruths

I still distinctly remember the words, "Facebook is a fad," being stated by one of my tutors in my final year of university. We were discussing topics we might cover in our final semester mini-thesis, which is basically a thesis that is a quarter of the regular size. Apparently, providing we selected our topics well, the thesis mini-thesis would help us land high-flying jobs after graduating with our Public Relations degrees in-hand (the mini-thesis presumably in the other hand).

According to my tutor, it would have been foolish to focus on Facebook in our thesis topics because it would soon become irrelevant and dated, thus making its use as a job application tool redundant (never mind whether the process of exploring a medium such as Facebook to this extent might broaden our outlook on the communications industry in general).

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