How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes

My friend Eric Kim at Twylah shared this most excellent TEDTalk with me yesterday. Watch it!

Here are the 5 questions that Adam Leipzig offers…

The 5 Questions...

What do you think? Helpful? Overly simplistic? Tell me…

Here’s a bonus list of my ‘on purpose’ videos…

Related articles

What is Google Voice?

Why I blog

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Image by adria.richards via Flickr
Some thoughts on beginning blogging from a writer at FlowingData… 

I answered a few questions for Amstat News not too long ago, and the questions were centered around why I, as a stat grad student, take the time to write for FlowingData and why others should give blogging a try. The questions were more from a career standpoint, but it really all comes down to this. It’s fun.I have fun picking apart designs and playing with data. It’s fun reading comments. It’s fun looking at others’ work. It’s fun learning how to make stuff. It’s fun getting emails from people who were totally scared of numbers, but are now taking stat courses.

People often ask me how much time I spend writing posts, but it’s like asking someone how much he watches TV or plays video games. How many hours have you spent roaming an art gallery?

I’ll let you in on a little secret though. Maintaining a blog doesn’t take as much time as you think. You just need to manage your time wisely. Don’t waste minutes checking stats, tweaking design, etc. Get rid of the extraneous, and you’re just writing in a journal. Doogie Howser wrote every day and he was a doctor and he had a social life. So it must be possible.

Hold on. I think I have a point here.

I guess—if you’re thinking about starting a blog, go for it. I highly encourage it. FlowingData has definitely been a good thing for me. There’s a book on the way, and I’ve been lucky to connect with people and groups I probably never would have been able to otherwise. But don’t just do it because you think it’ll advance your career. Do it because you actually like what you’re doing, and other stuff will follow. It’ll be much more fun that way.

Sorry for the longish curation excerpt, but this was a great post by ‘askflowingdata’ at the FlowingData blog that I just had to share! Comment, call or ‘connect’ so we can talk about how this applies to your organization. btw, here’s a bit of ‘Doogie Howser’ eye candy for those unfamiliar with the reference…

Is Content Marketing Worth the Effort?

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Image by bobbigmac via Flickr

We preach it every week.

Attract the right kind of traffic by creating exceptional content.

Engage your audience so they know, like, and trust you. Let them know you’re the likable expert who’s going to give them the information (and eventually the products and services) that won’t let them down.

Then use smart copywriting and conversion techniques to turn those raving fans into customers.

No, it’s not paint-by-numbers, but it is a proven, systematic way to build your business.

But sometimes I hear people say, “Geez, that sounds like a lot of work.”

Well, ok, I’m going to give it to you straight. It’s work.

But a lot of work compared to what? Digging latrines? Losing your mind in a cubicle farm? Spouting half-baked opinions on a reality TV show?

So let’s break it down … building a business our way versus building a business by other people’s methods.

Want more? Follow the ‘via’ link…

Richard Branson on 'Social' Relations

Industrialist Richard Branson at the Time 100 ...
Image via Wikipedia

People no longer want to be sold to; they want companies to help them find an informed way to buy the right product or service at the right price. They still watch ads, but often online rather than on TV, and they’re much more likely to view ads that friends have recommended. When something goes wrong with a product, they want to be able to reach the company instantly and get a quick solution.

How companies adapt to this energetic and sometimes chaotic world will define their future success. The website, Facebook page, blog and Twitter feed are no longer add-ons to a business’s communication budget: They should be central to its marketing strategy, and used in coordination with other marketing efforts.

As a first step in addressing your problem, make sure your site is set up not just to handle transactions, but also for communication – and that when customers leave comments or send emails your team always follows up. Depending on the channels you choose, this might mean helping your customer service staff adapt to new methods of communicating. Once they have, you must continue to keep in touch with customers yourself.

In the past, I would ask Virgin customers to write to me with problems or ideas, and I often called people to talk about the problems that came up. It was a great way to check on our businesses’ quality and standards – though many of the complainants believed one of their friends was playing a practical joke on them. To this day, I try to answer as many e-mails as I can and encourage our executives to do the same.

Beyond customer service, you may need to consider that the old divisions between advertising, marketing and public relations have broken down, so it’s time to review how your marketing team works. Virgin Atlantic recently created a Social Relations team to manage the combined media space and to make sure our sites and communications are current and interesting, maintaining the cheeky flair that characterizes the brand.

You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source if you’d like to read the rest of Richard Branson’s perspective. Comment below or ‘connect’ above so we can talk about how this applies to your business…

4 Predictions for the Future of Politics and Social Media

Show me a modern political candidate who doesn’t understand television, and I’ll show you a loser.When TV became the dominant medium for Americans to consume news and entertainment, political candidates could no longer be successful without looking polished in televised debates, appearing on talk shows and spending big on commercials.Like the television boom of the 1960s, we are standing on the precipice of a big shift in how public figures are perceived and how campaigns are conducted. Our frontier is social media, and its impact on mainstream political culture is coming on fast.While my colleagues have been making their predictions about what’s on the tech and social media horizon in 2011, there will be no major U.S. elections next year. Here, we’ll be postulating about social media’s impact on the more long-term future of American civics.

You can read the rest of the article here if you’d like: 4 Predictions for the Future of Politics and Social Media.

The way we get our news is changing

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Image via CrunchBase

Interesting data from a great source that should have you thinking…

“In the digital era, news has become omnipresent. Americans access it in multiple formats on multiple platforms on myriad devices. The days of loyalty to a particular news organization on a particular piece of technology in a particular form are gone. The overwhelming majority of Americans (92%) use multiple platforms to get news on a typical day, including national TV, local TV, the internet, local newspapers, radio, and national newspapers. Some 46% of Americans say they get news from four to six media platforms on a typical day. Just 7% get their news from a single media platform on a typical day.

The internet is at the center of the story of how people’s relationship to news is changing. Six in ten Americans (59%) get news from a combination of online and offline sources on a typical day, and the internet is now the third most popular news platform, behind local television news and national television news.

The process Americans use to get news is based on foraging and opportunism. They seem to access news when the spirit moves them or they have a chance to check up on headlines. At the same time, gathering the news is not entirely an open-ended exploration for consumers, even online where there are limitless possibilities for exploring news. While online, most people say they use between two and five online news sources and 65% say they do not have a single favorite website for news. Some 21% say they routinely rely on just one site for their news and information. ” Source: Overview | Pew Internet & American Life Project

Me? I use over 600 online sources aggregated in one great tool; Google Reader! Occasionally, I listen to WTAQ, but that’s not for the news — it’s to catch my good friend Jerry Bader! I rarely if ever watch television or read a dead tree newspaper for the news — I get it ALL online. I’ve covered my methodology in great detail here and here. Comment, call or contact me if you’d like to take your news aggregation needs to an unprecedented level…

Better than TV

Gin with Muddled Summer Plums
Image by via Flickr

Interesting perspective on the use of time and intelligence…

“I was recently reminded of some reading I did in college, way back in the last century, by a British historian arguing that the critical technology, for the early phase of the industrial revolution, was gin.

The transformation from rural to urban life was so sudden, and so wrenching, that the only thing society could do to manage was to drink itself into a stupor for a generation. The stories from that era are amazing– there were gin pushcarts working their way through the streets of London.

And it wasn’t until society woke up from that collective bender that we actually started to get the institutional structures that we associate with the industrial revolution today. Things like public libraries and museums, increasingly broad education for children, elected leaders–a lot of things we like–didn’t happen until having all of those people together stopped seeming like a crisis and started seeming like an asset.” Source: Gin, Television, and Social Surplus – Here Comes Everybody

Television is to us, however, what gin was to the British a few hundred years ago and smart people are beginning to take notice…

“Clay Shirky has noticed the trend of talented people putting five or six hours an evening to work instead of to waste. Add that up across a million or ten million people and the output is astonishing. He calls it cognitive surplus and it’s one of the underappreciated world-changing stories of our time.” Source: Seth’s Blog: But it’s better than TV

Think about it! How much time do YOU spend watching tv? How could you use that time to take over your world?