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    This is the personal blog of Simon Kendrick and covers my interests in media, technology and popular culture. All opinions expressed are my own and may not be representative of past or present employers
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Carpe diem

An unwanted corollary of thinking time – the topic of my previous post – is the possibility of feeling unproductive or lazy. There is a distinction between the two – thinking is doing, after all.

And doing is important. We should do stuff. And we all have free time. So we should look to do stuff in our free time (whether it is at work or home). Not tomorrow. Not the next day. Today. Now.

(Incidentally, Clay Shirky’s post on how our social surplus has populated Wikipedia is well worth a (re)read. As fun as drinking gin is, I think crowdsourcing is more worthwhile).

I’m sadly a deadline worker. I get things completed on time, but it usually involves a late night on the eve of submission.

And of course not everything has a deadline. So things slip. And slip. And slip. So I’m instiling self-imposed deadlines on all of my activities. Starting with this blog.

I have several drafts in WordPress filled with a few rambling thoughts – my online¬† post-it notes, so to speak. Some get written, some don’t. The worst offender is a post on the relationship between music and marketing that has been in my drafts for the best part of a year, and it has been some time since I stopped collecting news stories from Music Ally or Songs for Soap.

So I’m deleting it. I still have the bookmarks if I want to revisit the topic from a different angle, but for all intents and purposes that blog will not see the light of day. The deadline has passed.

Why? Because the quality of an output (whether a blog or otherwise) is a function of its context – its place and time. All the links in that draft are now old. Madonna may still be with Live Nation, but Groove Armada may not be associated with Bacardi for much longer. The interest is drying up, and the trend has passed. So my blog post dies.

If we think we have a good idea, we should execute it while it is still fresh (albeit considered). We shouldn’t save our best ideas, or wait for the “right moment” to come along. We should act. We learn by doing and we become stronger and better for it. New ideas will come. In the same way that saving money is bad for the financial economy, saving ideas is bad for the creative economy. Because not only do we improve from acting, our peers and associates benefit from the (hopefully) positive externalities of our ideas.

Therefore, I am imposing a deadline of Sunday to respond to Charles’ excellent post on cultural bias related to warped percerptions of Microsoft. It’s a cracker and has rattled a few cogs in my brain.

sk

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaewalk/

Links – 1st February 2009

Part 2 of the Good Stuff, following on from links yesterday to top articles on insights, marketing and advertising, online video and music.

Social media

I haven’t yet read it but I’m sure it is brilliant: danah boyd’s PhD dissertation

The Vitrue top 100 social media brands of 2008 (with methodology included)

Charles Frith provides an excellent case study of how brands shouldn’t engage with social media. Whether the person was officially representing Miller or not, he got pwned.

A Wired journalist experiments with various geo-aware applications and finds out that they are not all that they are cracked up to be

Mozilla have proposed a free, crowd-sourced usability tool which sounds, from this at least,  fantastic

Technology and the internet

One one hand, Kevin Kelly argues that ownership may soon be a thing of the past, and that access is far more important. Bodes well for tools such as Spotify.

But on the other, Jason Scott argues against the Cloud, as it can’t be trusted to safeguard your “possessions”

John Willshire lists several free tools that can be very useful in tracking online consumer behaviour

Discover Magazine offers a counter-argument to Nicholas Carr’s Atlantic article. Through outsourcing the effort required for recall, Google can in fact make us smarter. Not sure I necessarily buy this, but interesting nonetheless

Business and ideas

A great interview with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the Black Swan, in the (UK) Times

Henry Blodget’s plan to fix the New York Times includes cutting costs by 40%, raising the price of the print edition and – controversially – reconstructing a walled garden for premium content

John Willshire (again) live-blogged the recent PSFK ideas salon in London, and it is well worth a read

Copyblogger has six ways to get people to say yes

A lovely story of a designer recounting his experiences with notebooks. I’ve recently started using a notebook for more than transitional note-taking, but it remains to be seen whether anything useful will come of it

My Favourite Business Book – crowdsourced opinion

And, as always, I’ve been posting slightly more miscellaneous links to my Tumblr blog, which in theory now has comments enabled through Disqus.

sk

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