I read a book!

Business People IdiotsOK, OK, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I managed to read a book. I can read, and I like reading. But so often I start with great intentions; I order a book from Amazon (or heaven forbid pick one up in a real bookshop). I tuck into it with great enthusiasm. But then about 1/2 or 2/3 into it I suddenly come to a halt. Not because I’m not interested, but because I run out of momentum. The stuff of everyday life gets in my way. Or perhaps more commonly my magpie vision spots something newer, something more interesting.

But not this time! For the first time in a while I actually finished reading a ‘business book’. Why Business People Speak Like Idiots captivated me from the back cover to the end, and I suppose that it’s a good job that it was readable, otherwise their whole premise would be shot to bits.

It wasn’t stacked with ideas that revolutionised my life. But it was really nicely written. Charming, and it somehow helped to reaffirm some of my views on the business world. The single thing that made me love this book was one simple concept. The fact that our weekend-selves (friendly, interesting, passionate, smutty, fun and REAL) get ditched on Monday morning and replaced by a greyer, less interesting, less real version; the one that we think our clients and colleagues want to do business with. We’re wrong.

Nothing new for people who work in creative jobs surrounded by creative people. But I realised that I’m very lucky. I don’t have to pretend to be a different person very much. I’m allowed to be me (most of the time). However, this book shows how even in very ‘straight’ environments there’s a lot to be said for staying true to yourself.

I think I might have rambled a bit, sorry, I think I’m coming down with a cold, which for some strange reason has made me more verbose than normal.

Wall Stickers

robotsI ran into these the other day on the ThinkGeek site. Giant Robot Stickers. I thought they were pretty special. So I did a bit of digging around and found that they make loads of cool removable wall stickers. Blik is the name of the company. I’ll let you know how I get on…

LED Throwies

LED throwiesSimple, cheap and pretty. These LED Throwies stick to any metal surface and make it look pretty. Can imagine some really nice interactive type applications with these at the core. Check the video at the Graffiti Research Lab (their re-use of Jose Gonzales made me smile).

Only downside, someone’s got to clean up the mess…

Tate Online | Net Art

Tate Online | Net Art – once again I’m probably about 5 years behind the curve. But nice to see that the Tate are doing a series of Net Art projects.

I’m only a day late on discovering The Dumpster – a project to visualise the romantic (or otherwise) life of teenagers. I’m not quite sure how it’s supposed to work, or what I’m supposed to take away from it, but I guess that’s art ;-) It’s an interesting idea though…

Whatever: Writing Tips

Tips on writing better written in a simple and easy to follow fashion – Writing Tips for Non-Writers Who Don’t Want to Work at Writing. Almost everyone I know could benefit from reading this. And even if I don’t know you, I’d still recommend it.

Update:  As Lori points out here: http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/02/15/180927.php not everything in the above post is totally correct and buttoned down. But at the same time I really do think there’s some great ideas and principles in there.

Viral Promotion

Saw this on iamcal.com.

threadless are doing a secret sale – buy 3 or more shirts and enter the code ‘tenbucks87’ at the checkout and you’ll get them for $10 each. you have until feb 25th – tell everyone you know

A really nice example of a ‘viral’ promotion.

Nothing too clever, just a simple secret discount code at a well-liked and talked about online tshirt store. Why is it viral? Because people are telling each other about it. Easy.

Flipping the Funnel

Flipping the Funnel (ebook) – as ususal Seth writes in a way that makes you think, “duh, of course, who didn’t know that”, but then you realise that you didn’t, and he’s just implanted something new and brilliant in your brain.

A really straightforwardly written ebook about how tools like del.icio.us and flickr can be used to give your company’s fans a voice that can have a really unique kind of cut through. Read it or weep.