Freaky Good Blog Post.

So I’m cruising the web as I finish up F–k therapy, loooking for CC licensed work to use for commercial purposes. I see a couple of good images, and then an incredible tutorial on how to create propiganda:

http://thefishery.typepad.com/the_fishery/2008/08/why-obama-may-n.html

Go look for yourselves. AMAZING.

More posts soon, including one on how to write an ebook.

F–k therapy is two weeks late, but friends, it’s the best thing I’ve done.

http://thefishery.typepad.com/the_fishery/2008/08/why-obama-may-n.html

Precious and Abundant: Stealing Ideas is Obsolete

Jonathan Fields got me thinking in this post:

http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/steal-this-idea-im-begging-you/

Regarding ideas, he writes:

If it’s that good, people will try to knock it off the moment you gain any level of traction, notoriety or both. Maybe sooner. In fact, if they don’t, it just may speak to the fact that what you’ve got is either not nearly as cool as you think it is or you’re not able to communicate it’s coolness…

I know that people will steal ideas.  I steal ideas.   I work with great people at places like Lenderama and BHB and those folks throw off great ideas all the time.  For free.  For real, and they keep on doing it, all the time.  One of my synapses will fire a half formed idea, and then Tood or Greg or Pat will throw off some nugget that I didn’t know before.  And I’ll be enriched with thoughts and thought, and I’ll be able to do my job more effectively.  These ideas are given away for free.  All the time.

And they are precious.  Look–if we apply the lessons that are here already for the taking, we’re going to get so far ahead of the curve, so enriched, so smart, that we’ll never finish.   The value of Twitter is mostly that we see other brains having firing synapes together.  Ideas are everwhere, and they’re precious.  An idea to use a spammy plugin like FeedWordPress to create a non spammy blog network came out of a conversation.  Anyone can use it.  There you go.  It just requires putting it into use.

And there’s the rub, isn’t it?  We all know essentially, in broad strokes, what to do to to make life happen.  We know that we need to pick up the phone and call people, we know we need to connect, think, help, add value.   And yet, we find ourselves not executing because the next big idea is right around the corner.   Well, the next big thing…is simply executing what we do well already.  It’s taking the bull by the horns and getting things DONE and not started.  Execution is more profitable than shere creativity.

There is nothing staggeringly new about what’s happening now.  The best of what we do is about elegance, not novelty.  Facebook could have been twitter, could have kept twitter from happening.  They didn’t go that route.  Twitter could have been blogging.  Livejournal could have been WordPress.  Etc.  Etc.   All of those ideas were half thefts, and just SCAMPER type solutions.    What was different is execution.  There isn’t really an ‘information advantage’ out there right now that has a lot of meaning, except in the realm of execution, finishing projects, getitng things all the way done.

Even though they are abundant–ideas are precious.  Having what it takes to finish, to do, to be, to have whatever we seek…starts with being created in the mind.   Instead of fighting over who owns the knife, we should help one another grow a bigger pie.  Or mix a better metaphor.   All it takes is a realization that scarcity and value are different things.  In an abundant world, we can continue to freely throw off knowledge.  Hoarding knowledge is going to become a thing of the past.

How can we encourage others to think?

How can we encourage ourselves to think?

How can we continue to make sure ideas grow?

Planning for the Loss of Momentum On A Project.

According to Basecamp, I have 13 projects right now, in various stages of completion.   Everything from blogging work to setting up my long delayed personal website at http://rightrightnow.com (I’ve had more fun connecting with people here).   I have two ebooks I plan on getting out, and about 6 blogs do deliver for clients by the EOY.  It’s all manageable stuff, most of the work is waiting on feedback, and I have plausible reasons (people not calling me back) for most of the issues.

Problem is, some of the stuff has been going on for weeks, and it is a momentum killer.   We only have some limited amount of bandwidth and we can’t have umpteen half done projects waiting for us.  David Allen aptly puts out the notion that each unprocessed loop consumes some amount of psychic RAM that keeps us from doing things more effectively.  And this is true (though I’ve taken in a ton of work lately).   So–in addition to the planning that I do, I have to have an action plan for when a project loses momentum–what to do.

I don’t really know the answer for this.   Sometimes the client absorbs the energy and is the obstacle, sometimes it’s circumstances (and sometimes, it’s simply my fault).   A conscientious freelancer needs to have a plan in place for this stuff though.  It’s not really about ‘causing’ or ‘manifesting,’ the loss of momentum.   It’s about having a plan in place to ensure it never happens.   So…instead of phrasing it ‘planning for the loss of momentum.’  Let’s say ‘ensuring that projects go fast and well,’ and accounting for normality.

Here are thoughts on how to do it–none of them are exhaustive–or even complete.  This is more or less a brainstorm:

  • Acknowledge the issue proactively at the beginning of projects.  “We’re going to plan–in advance–for the BS that happens on projects…and do something about it.”
  • Financial Incentives: Clients can be motivated by money, and having an understanding that if we have to chase down documents, etc, etc, we charge more than if we don’t.  Making this explicit can help everyone get the deadline done faster.
  • Check in:  Schedule Check ins on your calendar periodically, and don’t accept reschedules.   Have a mutual commitment to one another.
  • Stay far far ahead of deadlines: This is way more important than you think–really.   If you stay out in front, then there no issues in that regard.

This is preventive.  When momentum is lost, what then:

  • Regroup ASAP.  Reschedule milestones and deadlines ASAP.
  • Try to abbreviate the remaining workdays till project delivery & focus on the ‘lost sheep.’
  • Have a ‘back on track’ plan written in advance for the major stuff you do frequently.
  • Deliver SOMETHING the day you recognize momentum is gone, daddy, gone…a milestone, anything.  Stop other projects till the last sheep is in the fold.

I think that’s it for now.

Making A Blog More Popular Using A Few Easy Tools.

I’m not a huge fan of twitter.  I use it, but I have a highly filtered stream that I mostly ignore (except–of course–when they are talking about me).  But…since I’ve been playing with some feeds for Tim and Julie, using the “Feed WordPress” plugin for what I want to do.

Simply put, I already use “twitter tools” to auto post blog stuff to here and Facebook.  Works fine, if not perfectly.  It’s one thing I don’t have to do and it seems to have increased my Twitterer Followers and FB follwowers in my virtual dick waving contest to collect people.  I don’t ‘try’ that hard, but I want ot think it through.

Since Josh says to me that comments beget comments, and I happen to agree, why not use Feedwordpress + Twitter tools to beget yourself some comments.

Here’s what I’ll be doing, and this may be a kudge on a kludge.

I’ll set up a blog @ comments.genuinechris.com, and I’ll feed it with the comment stream of approved comments.  I’ll make sure all nofollow tags are removed.

Then, I’ll install twittertools to that.  And each time I get a comment, it’ll show up in my twitterstream, inviting more people into my house to have a ‘spirited debate’ with me, to tell me I’m full of it, or to tell me what’s what.

This should not take long at all–it’s on the list for tomorrow.