blogging

Winning Digital Metrics That Matter

Episode #406 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

I think of one word when it comes to describing Stephen Rappaport: enigma. I have no idea why anyone who is a professional digital marketer…

Shutting Down Blog Comments

I think that I provoked the blog comment Gods today.

Sorry about this, but the ability to comment on blog posts here at Six Pixels of Separation has been disabled. It’s not you. It’s not me. It’s the spammers. I was recording a podcast today with Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks (it will be published in the coming weeks) and we were talking about the many bloggers and news sites that have shut down their blog comments (Copyblogger being the one that has most recently decided to do so: Why We’re Removing Comments on Copyblogger). I was marveling at how awesome and consistent Gini is at both engaging and connecting with the myriad of comments and feedback she gets all over the Web (and, you can read her side on the blog comments debacle right here: Why We Won’t Shut Off Blog Comments)… and then this happened.

It’s been going on for a few years.

As you may (or may not) know, I have been blogging for over a decade. Every day (or almost). That’s close to 4000 pieces of long form content. The blogging platform used here is not WordPress (we’re on MovableType because WordPress didn’t even exist back then). We have a strong IT team here at Twist Image, but never had the need/desire to switch over to WordPress. With that, we have been using the blog comment capabilities of MovableType since the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, it still catches way more pieces of spammy blog comments than the ones that go live and, every day or so, I would hop on to the backend and simply delete the ones that made it through. Lately, things are getting out of control and, in full disclosure, I started falling behind in cleaning them out. So, now it’s a bit of a massive mess. That’s not the real issue. Once Gini and I finished recording today, there was this massive and sudden influx of spam blog comments that made it through the filter. We had to shut it down. Like I said, I think I was tempting the blog comment deities after my chat with Gini.

I’m sorry… and what this means.

First off, I apologize. I love your comments, feedback and even those that disagree with me. I may not always respond or be quick to respond, but I care about your thoughts… I really, really do. I read every comment, tweet, status update and more surrounding these posts. So, I hate the fact that you can’t comment here (for the next little bit). I also believe that one of the core components that still makes blogging one of the most fascinating publishing platforms in the world is the ability for anyone to add to the discourse. Our team is going to check out Livefyre and Disqus to see which solution might best remedy our current situation (and, if you have any thoughts, please do shoot me an email). I’m hopeful that it will happen soon/fast, but I can’t be sure.

Until then…

Please don’t stop commenting. I typically post to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn when I publish a blog post, and I would love to hear from you there (or even on your own blog, if something inspires you to write). Blog comments will come back at some point soon on Six Pixels of Separation, and it pains me to let the spammers win, but it is what it is at this point in time.

Once again, thank you for following, reading, engaging, commenting and sharing. Please don’t let the lack of blog comments below stop that. 

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The Best That Social Media Has To Offer

Episode #405 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

Jay Baer is back and he’s doing what most people in Social Media are not doing: making big and smart moves (and good money, as well I am su…

The Perils Of Social Media

Episode #404 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

I first heard the voice of Eric Schwartzman over a decade ago as a contributor to the For Immediate Release podcast. I was always impressed…

Why Every Brand Should Build An Audience

Episode #403 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

There are few people as passionate as Jeffrey Rohrs when it comes to brands and connecting with consumers. It’s gotten so hot and heavy for…

Where Great Content Comes From

This could get gross. You have been warned.

Last week, I was lucky enough to have attended the TED conference. I’ve been going to this event since 2009. While most people can’t stop talking about how incredible the TED talks are (and yes, they are incredible), I wholly subscribe to the notion that they are but a small part of a much bigger (and more profound) experience. This year, one of the highlights was the return of Sarah Kay (you can watch her first TED talk below). Sarah was a part of the all-star stage, where famed TED speakers from events past got the chance to riff on what they have been up to since cranking million of views on YouTube and beyond. Kay was about to launch her latest book of poetry, No Matter The Wreckage. I know what you’re thinking at this point. You’re thinking that this is going to be some high brow blog post that you need to read with one pinky sticking out. Not the case. What makes Kay so awesome is her pragmatism. She’s all about getting everyone to try poetry. She’s about the democratization of poetry and spoken word, and encouraging young people to try it.

I’m a poet and I didn’t know it.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anything about poetry. In fact, the only thing that I may know less about than poetry is ballet. So, I’m not that cultured. I choose Metallica over Monet on any given Sunday. Still, I love the work of Sarah Kay. After talking about her new book, recent travels and the fame of being famous because of TED, the host asked her about the construct of poetry, her levels of concentration and the effort it takes to create a poem. As someone who creates content, this line of questioning is fascinating. How does a poet toil over their prose and decide which words should go where? Do you know what Sarah told the audience?…

“Poetry is like pooping. If there’s a poem inside of you, it needs to come out.” 

There’s brilliance in this thinking (and yes, it’s pretty hilarious). It’s not just about poetry either. That statement is as true for brands who are posting to Facebook or can’t figure out what to blog about, as it is to the art of crafting a poem. I did a real life LOL when she said this, because it jettisoned me back to the moment when I knew I had to write my second book, CTRL ALT Delete. I don’t work in isolation. Everything that I do, create and publish has a direct relationship with Twist Image. The whole purpose of my work is to help people become better in marketing and business, with the hopes that should they require a digital marketing agency that Twist Image would be top of mind. I don’t just decide to write a book. I sit down with my three other business partners and have a conversation about it. I remember telling them how excited I was about the concept and more. We then discussed if the timing was right, considering the growth trajectory of the agency or if the market conditions made sense for a second book. All fair questions, but the book needed to come out. I remember telling them that my water broke, and the baby was coming. Timing and perfect market conditions could not be factors at this point. I was in labor!

Where do babies come from?

I get where Sarah Kay is coming from. Sure, innocuous content like a tweet or Facebook status update doesn’t require that type of urge, but even a blog post (or article) should give the content creator that type of feeling. You need to have something to say! All too often, brands (and certain individuals) are just looking to fill up space, to be present, to not waste an impression, to not fall off of their consumer’s radar. That’s silly. That’s content for content’s sake, instead of content because there is something important that needs to be shared. As brands struggle to figure out the secret to creating compelling content in a world where everyone is a content producer, and the levels of saturation continue to rise and rise, it would be wise to pay attention to the words of Sarah Kay. We all need to make sure that whatever it is that we’re producing needs to come out. That’s good poop. Let’s try to stay away from the content that’s being created just for the sake of creating it.

That’s bad poop.

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The Absolute Value Of Marketing

Episode #402 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

Back in 2000 (yes, way back then), I read a book that made me rethink everything that I thought I knew about marketing. It was called, The Anatomy of Buzz, and it was written by Emanuel Rosen. Long before we were all talking about social media, viral videos, content marketing and more, Rosen was busy studying what makes people do the things that they do. You find a “best marketing books ever” list and not see The Anatomy of Buzz on it. Rosen, a former marketing professional, considers himself a writer, researcher, teacher and speaker. I’m fortunate because, over the years, Emanuel and I have become friends. In 2009, he looked again at what makes people talk about brands and wrote, The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited. Now, he’s back with a fascinating business book called, Absolute Value (that he co-wrote with Itamar Simonson). It has been getting incredible reviews… and for good reason. In this book, Emanuel wonders about the value of brands, marketing and advertising in a world where information is everywhere, available in real-time and spin becomes, increasingly, more difficult from brands to pull off. Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #402.

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The Culture Of Fear At Work

Episode #401 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

What is your work environment really like? Are you a leader who must inspire your team? Are you on a team with a leader who is inspiring……

Celebrating 400 Podcast Episodes With Douglas Rushkoff

Episode #400 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

For the 400th episode of this podcast series, I wanted to have a serious and in-depth conversation with someone who I consider to be one of the brightest minds when it comes to digital, media and technology. That’s Douglas Rushkoff. The timing could not have been more perfect, because he is back with a new documentary that recently aired on Frontline titled, Generation Like. You will be doing yourself a huge disservice if you don’t take the time to watch it (it’s streaming for free online). Rushkoff’s latest book is called, Present Shock, and he has ten-plus other best-selling books on new media and pop culture (including: Program Or Be Programmed, Life Inc., Cyberia, Media Virus, Playing the Future, Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism, Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out and Coercion, winner of the Marshall Mcluhan Award for best media book). He does tons of teaching and public speaking, but also makes time to produce and write documentaries like Generation Like (along with The Merchants of CoolThe Persuaders, Digital_Nation). If that weren’t enough, Douglas Rushkoff has written two series of graphic novels for Vertigo called, Testament and A.D.D.. I’m always honored that he takes the time to have these types of conversations with me, and we decided to deep dive into some of the bigger themes of this documentary, and what it means to society, as a whole. Lastly, thank you very much for listening to my podcast. I put out these shows, because having these conversations make me better (and hopefully smarter)> The fact that thousands of people – every week – enjoy them right along with me is a true privilege. I’m not one to celebrate milestones and the like, but thank you for being a part of my journey to discover. Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #400.

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Killer Online Content With Brian Clark Of Copyblogger

Episode #399 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

It’s hard to argue that we don’t live in a world where there is simply too much good content, and it’s everywhere. Brands are expected to not only be great advertisers and listeners to their customers, but to be excellent publishers as well. It’s not an easy ask. It’s something that most brands struggle with. It’s something that Brian Clark has been helping companies tackle for a long time. Copyblogger started out as an incredible blog to help people (and brands) figure out what works when it comes to creating online content. The blog still acts as a treasure trove of information and insight on the topic, but Copyblogger is much more than a blog. In the past few years, Clark and his team, have built Copyblogger Media – a company that offers software and training with over 100,000 customers who are doing their best to create better content marketing online. I have known Brian for many years, and we finally managed to schedule a conversation about the changing landscape of blogging, social media and content marketing. Enjoy the conversation… 

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #399.

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Building A Decoded Company

Episode #398 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

How much data is big data? How well can a company leverage that data and technology that they have to make the actual company a better place to work? These are just some of the questions that co-authors Rahaf Harfoush and Leerom Segal attempt to decode in the book, The Decoded Company. Segal is the president and CEO of Klick Health (a well-known healthcare marketing agency) that is both well-recognized for their client work as well as being an “e-mail free” work environment. Harfoush is a technology and media author, speaker and thinker who is best known for her book, Yes We Did: An Insider’s Look at How Social Media Built the Obama. Along with two other Klick team members (Jay Goldman and Aaron Goldstein), they are hoping to encourage other businesses to rethink what the workplace of today can look like in order to create a place where companies know their own people better than they know their consumers. It’s big, it’s bold and it’s thrilling. Enjoy the conversation… 

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #398.

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The Psychology Of Online Persuasion

Episode #397 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

What does it take to get a consumer to do something online? We can’t argue that we live in a world of brand saturation. From very small, in…

Humanizing Brands With Stories And Comedy

Episode #396 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

Welcome to episode #396 of Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast. He’s been on Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, Saturday Night …

What Will Be Your Body Of Work?

Episode #395 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

What do you do for a living? How many times have you been asked that question? If you don’t have a nine-to-five job, but are currently tryi…

The Blog Turns 20 This Year

Can you believe it? I had to re-read the headline a couple of times as well.

Yesterday, The Guardian posted an article titled, The blog turns 20: a conversation with three internet pioneers. It made me do a double-take. This blog, has been around for eleven years. With over 3600 posts and over 40,000 comments, it is much more than a publishing platform. It is much more than a place where I share what I am thinking about or tinkering with. It is an ongoing space where people come together to think differently about how brands can better connect with consumers. I can’t thank you enough for being here, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am that blogging was invented.

Twenty years is a long time.

Brands struggle to understand digital marketing. To say that this is nothing new, is to acknowledge just how slow companies can be to adapt, and how adverse to change many people can be. You can head over to your local bookstore (if you still have one) and look at the most recent business books being published, and there will – without question – be several titles about how to get started with blogs and how important they can be to a businesses success. When I was writing the first draft of my second book, CTRL ALT Delete (which came out in the latter part of last year), I was genuinely anxious to use the word “blog” in the book. I felt like people reading it may misinterpret my use of the word and think that I was dismissing some of the newer channels, or that I had become an old man, clinging on to this thing that had lost its shiny luster and media darling position in the world. When I look at new media platforms like Huffington Post, Business Insider, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever, I just see some kind of variance on the blog. A blog – for my dollar – has simply become the catchall phrase for the ability that human beings now have to create content (in text, images, audio and video) and instantly share that with the world for free. Blogs were better defined as an online journal that enabled writers to instantly publish their content to the world for free (it could also be easily distributed through the power of RSS – a term that is also all-but-forgotten). Now, it’s not just words. It’s not just on a computer. Still, Instagram just feels like photo blogging to someone like me.

Twenty years… and it’s just getting started.

In a world of disposable technology (both the hardware and the software), I still believe in the power of words. In a world where books are moving from bookshelves to iPhones, I still believe in words. In a world where pictures can be sent via mobile and then destroyed so that no trail ever exists, I still believe in words. This hesitancy of brands to embrace these channels are both a personal frustration to me, but have also afforded me an incredibly rich life of work that continues to keep me inspired. Still, I have a hard time believing that the concept of blogging is two decades old.

If you love to write.  

Often, people will ask why I love to blog so much and so frequently. The answer is simple: I love to write. If you love to write. If you love to share… you should be blogging. To me, the notion of blogging is still as exciting and powerful as it was over a decade ago, when I published my first post. Back then, I could not believe that this piece of software existed. I could not believe that I didn’t need anyone’s permission (be it an editor or a publication) to reach an audience. I could not believe that if my words resonated, I would be able to find my own audience and build my own community. Twenty years later, I get that same tingle – each and every day – when I lift the lid of my MacBook Air and stare at the blank screen. I don’t often know where the journey will take me, or how easily the words will flow, but I am deeply grateful and forever thankful for the pioneers who built this platform.

It’s not about me.

As I read the article in The Guardian, I started to realize that while I am thankful that I was able to find a corner of the world to share my words, that I much more grateful that I am able to read, consume and engage with the thinking of others. I have met some of my closest friends because they are bloggers. Because they share. Because they write. Because they care. These people are real. More real than the digital pixels that transform and distribute their words instantly around the world. If you look to the left of this blog post, you will see something that says, “Check Out These Blogs.” Those people are just some of the big brains that I think about, read and follow with each and every passing day. In a world without blogs, I would be waiting years or months (at best) to hopefully grab a new book from them or an extended article in a magazine or newspaper. No more. Blogs destroyed the chasm that existed between writers and their audiences, by giving them the ability to share on an ongoing basis. I marvel at that more than anything else. I hope you do as well.

Happy 20th Birthday, blog! I’m looking forward to decades more of your goodness.

Feel free to share below what blogs mean to you…

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Brooks Forester From The Bachelorette Talks Reality TV, Marketing And More

Episode #394 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

I spent some time last year at HubSpot‘s inbound marketing summit in Boston. It was, without a doubt, one of the most exciting marketing events I had attended in a long time. You could feel the excitement in the air, as more and more national brands began to embrace the power of building relationships and figuring out new ways to market their products and services. It was a stellar line-up of presenters, and I found myself quite taken aback by a spoof of the ABC reality TV show, The Bachelorette, that the company executives were performing live on stage. It turns out that Brooks Forester, who was a contestant on the ninth season of the reality televisions series, made a very newsworthy exit from the show when it was down to the wire. It also turns out that Brooks works in the inbound marketing space and wasn’t just there to be the comedic relief for the Hubspot folks, but was actually going to discuss some of the marketing lessons that he learned while being on the show (and the aftermath). In those few days, we connected and decided that – when he was prepared – we could our own, little, “The Bachelor reveals all…” about marketing, being a reality television celebrity and what comes next. He’s a super-kind individual and I hope you enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #394.

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Great Content Is The Least Of Your Worries

If a brand is looking to do something more than traditional advertising, what would be your recommendation?

The natural answer is: create content. And, to leverage that content through digital (re: social media) channels, so that consumers will see it, share it, talk about it, etc… Even that is not a simple and easy thing to do. We’ve seen – on a constant and consistent basis – just how hard brands struggle to get the right type of content into the right channels to see any type of movement happen. It’s still few and far between for most, as they grapple with defining what success (or ROI) looks like in comparison with their traditional advertising measurement models. With that, too many brands dismiss the myriad of other reasons why consumers like what they see. In the end, having great content or great advertising is a fraction of the work that defines success for a brand. 

What else are consumers looking for in a brand?

  1. Utility. As you know, utilitarianism marketing, is a huge part of my second business book, CTRL ALT Delete, and still remains a vastly untapped opportunity for brands. Consumers want to have a tool (or utility) that adds value to their already cluttered lives. Newsfeeds are filled with links and how-to articles. This is just more clutter for them to sort through. It’s not just about valuable content, but how that content is cased for them to actually derive a true benefit from it. The content that goes into this case is critical, but until a brand knows how much of a utility their apps, websites or wearable technologies are adding to their consumer’s lives, it will be hard to break through the clutter.
  2. Functionality. This can best be described as the opposite of “death by a thousand paper cuts.” Functionality is all of the small, smart and simple ways that your marketing creates value to the consumer by removing layers of friction and adding in thousands (hundreds?) or little things that make the experience of the utility that much easier and fluid than anything else they had used previously. Think about the “slide to unlock” functionality of smartphones versus the old days of multiple button combinations to get your device into working mode. The easier it is to navigate and use coupled with the valuable content will build more loyal consumers.
  3. Design. In two words: design matters. I’ve watched consumers – on countless occasions – attempt to navigate a website on a mobile device or try to work through a “mobile-friendly” version of a brand’s digital experience only to quit or calmly state, “this sucks.” Consumers don’t care about your IT roadmap or your marketing department’s apprehension to spend budget on a native mobile experience, they simple find it to be a brand weakness. Period. This isn’t just about mobile either. So few brands spend any semblance of time designing better experiences, that we wind up having two instances occur: One, a general homogeny, where it’s hard to tell the difference between one brand from another. Two, a brand that believes design is at the core and is able to create such a chasm between themselves and their competitors. Content surrounded by poor design is poor content.
  4. Integration. It’s a digital world. This pushes content well beyond the realm of simple text. We live in a world of text, images, audio and video. Consumers have an expectation to have that entire experience fully-integrated. They want access to the content as apart of the experience. Push this to think about ways to build a proper integrated player or embedding the right tools, so that the consumer can best benefit from a holistic experience. 
  5. Apps. This may be contentious to some, but apps are the new reality. Consumers are looking for new and interesting things on their smartphones and tablets. There is no reason why brands should not play an important role in this space. Sadly, most of the branded apps don’t follow the notions being put forward here and relegate themselves to narcissistic tendencies. They’re looking to pimp and shill over utility, functionality, design and integration. Consumers love and want more apps. Apps are the new websites. Brands need to get used to this.
  6. Alerts and notifications. If consumers love what you’re doing and creating, they want to know when more of that good stuff is coming. There is a balance here and subtlety that is hard to master, but the brands that consumers know, love and trust are also the ones that they want to be most connected to. Consumers do like alerts and notifications that are valuable. Don’t forget about that. And don’t be annoying. Remember, this is a very sensitive issue. Brands are trying to add value with alerts and notifications, not bulk up on impressions.
  7. Interaction. Arianna Huffington quite beautifully stated that “self-expression in the new entertainment.” Consumers love access. They love commenting, sharing, complaining and more. Do you know what they love more than that? Doing it in public. People love to share and tell stories and add to those stories. Great content is no different. In the early days of blogging, I used to say that the biggest difference between traditional media and blogging is that in the tradition world, the last period at the end of the last sentence is the end of the piece. In digital media, the last period at the end of the last sentence is where the story begins. Having great content without building in the hooks for people to have interaction, social play and commentary renders the content neutered.
  8. Distribution. This is something that I have blogged about on countless occasions. Content without an even stronger content distribution strategy is useless. This is a hard one for brands to understand. They want to control the content on their own platforms. Great content wants to be free. Brands can help with this. It means breaking down the walled gardens and finding new and interesting places where customers (and prospective customers) play and connect, and to get your content into those channels of distributions. Think about your industry trade publications or other, more adventurous, places for your content to live and breathe.

So, are you still just worried about the content side of things?

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A State Of Content Shock

Episode #393 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

Here is the definition of Content Shock from Mark W. Schaefer: “Content Shock is the emerging marketing epoch defined when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersects our limited human capacity to consume it.” In short, it’s getting more and more expensive and difficult for brands to create content in a world where consumers have a finite time to consume it all. Do you believe in this or do you not? Schaefer presented this theory (something I have blogged about on countless occasions with my own spin) on his Grow Blog earlier this month. That blog post has since generated over 300 comments and tons of diverse feedback. Shel Holtz (famed communications professional and one of the voices behind the long-running podcast, For Immediate Release – The Hobson And Holtz Report) took exception to the theory of Content Shock in a blog post titled, Six Reasons There Will Be No Content Shock. It felt like this could be a very interesting three-way debate. I hope it doesn’t disappoint. Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #393.

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A New Era Of Marketing Has Arrived In The Age Of Context

Episode #392 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

When it comes to technology evangelism, it’s hard not to think about people like Shel Israel and Robert Scoble. Together, these two co-authored the book, Naked Conversations – How Blogs Are Changing The Way Businesses Talk With Customers, back in 2006. The book was prescient, and was key in helping brands to better understand the power of blogs and how to actually implement a lot of the thinking that came out of The Cluetrain Manifesto (widely regarded as the starting point of social media). Today, these two journalists, bloggers, authors, tweeters, online publishers (and more) are back with their second book that they’ve done together titled, Age Of Context – Mobile, Sensors, Data And The Future Of Privacy. The Internet is no longer just a more interactive screen than television. It is everywhere. Technology is moving from screens to devices and that’s going to change everything. From connected dishwashers to being able to monitor every nuance of our personal health in real-time. These are both interesting times and confusing times. The Age Of Context breaks down these movements, what they mean and why businesses (and individuals) need to start paying attention to them. Enjoy the conversation… 

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #392.

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The Internet Will Break Your Creative Block

Writer’s block? Creative block? Can’t come up with something to create?

Steven Pressfield hates the words “writer’s block.” He believes that we’re all just fighting the “resistance” to create something (writing, that new startup, a project, whatever). His books, The War of Art, Do The Work and others are all about “putting you ass where your heart is,” as he calls it. Seth Godin feels that there is no such thing as writer’s block, because we don’t have thinker’s block or talker’s block, so if you write the way that you talk, there is no way to ever be unable to create. I believe that some days the creativity simply flows better than it does on other days. I can’t tell you how many times I have done a similar presentation, and on one day everything seems to be flowing wonderfully, then the next day it feels like I have to dig a ditch to string together the most simplest of sentences. I also believe that it’s hard not to create so long as you are inspired. The more you see, feel and hear, the more things there are to be inspired be. Be the infovore.

Inspiration is now everywhere.

Of course, that’s nothing new (thank you, Internet), but it is something that is often forgotten or dismissed. We used to have to go to the museum to be inspired. Some might go to a concert, a movie, the library, have a deep conversation with a friend at the coffee shop or even hit the local stand-up comedy club. At best, we might be inspired by something we read in a newspaper at home, saw on TV, read in a book, or heard on the radio. If you are tinkering in the right spaces online, it’s impossible to not be inspired. Always. Constantly.

Pushing beyond memes, Buzzfeed and Upworthy.

It’s easy to get lost in listicles and the bulk of snackable content that the Web provides. Look no further than your Twitter or Facebook feeds for hours and hours of animated GIFs, useless YouTube videos and Reddit randomness. There’s nothing wrong with it, but to then turn around and say that you have writer’s block or that you’re struggling to come up with an original idea, would lead me to believe that you’re simply skimming along the Internet instead of digging deep into the treasure trove of amazing, free and powerful content that is everywhere. There have been days that I have looked up at the clock – in the later part of the evening – only to realize that no topic, piece of news or anything has brimmed to the top and had me begging for a keyboard to blog. It’s at that point that I turn back to the Internet and start digging in random corners looking for inspiration.

It has never failed to inspire me.

Criticize the amount of content on the Internet. Balk at the true value and merits of it. Do as you will. I can’t imagine going back in time to a day and age when I found myself waiting at the local newsstand/magazine store for a new issue of Fast Company magazine to show up in the pre-Internet days. Plus, you would be surprised at just how much of the most juvenile or uninformed content that you come across online can be completely inspiring to get you creating. How often have you read something and wanted to immediately Javex your eyeballs, because you could not believe how stupid a perspective was? Well, guess what? That’s inspiration knocking on your noggin and begging for you to set the record straight by creating something with your own twist and perspective on it.

The Internet is the great liberator of creativity. 

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Don’t believe me? Go pull up any piece of content (or, feel free to use this one) and write your own little article, post or journal entry about it. If you choose this one, ask yourself what you think about creative blocks, finding new ideas or how to be inspired? Now, share it! If it’s not this piece of content, but something, just start with this question: what do you agree/disagree with what you just consumed?

See, it works! Let the ideas flow!

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