Blog Club: Six things I hate about Headlines

Birmingham Evening Mail, Moonday July 21st 1969

So yeah, hate might be a bit strong but we’ve been talking this morning about titles for blog posts. You’ll remember that last week we fired off as many headlines as we could. Today we’ve talked about crafting them a bit more.

My things are:

  • It’s one of those things again that falls too quickly into conversations about SEO and “making” people read your shit.
  • I tend to be too clever about it – the post rarely lives up to the anticipation.
  • If I can’t think of anything to write, then just writing a headline can get me started.
  • Sometimes it’s just a placeholder for getting me writing. I will often come back and edit the title after I’ve finished the post.
  • If you look back, you’ll see that I often include twitter handles – this means that when it gets automatically shared the person I mention sees it in their mentions.
  • Six things I hate about… is a lazy, innacurate and more likely to make people skip over it anyway.
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Blog Club: Thirty blog posts I’ll (probably) never write

Bridlington Leisure Centre.jpg
Bridlington Leisure Centre By Martin Dawes, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

At today’s Blog Club we did an exercise to kick off with. We had ten minutes to write twenty-five titles of blog posts we’d like to write. I ignored the “like to” bit and just wrote as many off the top of my head titles I could think of. I came up with thirty-five. The thing is, when you let go of actually having to do anything with them, you can come up with a lot more than you’d imagine.

The next bit of the exercise was to choose five to actually write (one of which was “Ten blog posts I’ll never write” which I’ve turned into this one).

So that leaves the other thirty, which I didn’t want to throw away, so here they are:

  1. Eating dinner with Chris Brogan
  2. How to play the violin if you’ve never done it before
  3. The hypocrisy of babies
  4. Jelly – my part in it’s downfall
  5. How to have hope
  6. Using household objects to make a movie
  7. How huge is this artichoke?
  8. The three types of people you meet at an unconference
  9. Is there anything bigger than this experience?
  10. The view from Clee Hill
  11. Eating out in Rhyl
  12. How I turned my bedroom into a cinema in 2 weeks
  13. On the bus
  14. Calamari
  15. How much coffee is too much?
  16. When caring goes bad
  17. The dark side of Jaffa cakes
  18. Dear Lazyweb, please recreate Posterous.com
  19. A man on a train in West Texas
  20. Apricots: what’s the point?
  21. Fifteen amazing people in Bridlington
  22. How corned beef saved my life
  23. Twenty-two things to do with a bottle opener
  24. Crazy golf without the crazy
  25. When did you last see your Aunty Beryl
  26. Eating shellfish: a primer
  27. If you can’t do this thing, you’ll never do anything
  28. Don’t wait, keep it moving
  29. Primary School Blues

On second thoughts, I probably will write some of these.

But what were the other five?

  1. Great tube journeys in Zone 3
  2. Ten (thirty) blog posts I’ll never write.
  3. Stop thinking!!
  4. Today I shot a gun for the first time
  5. The devil makes work for idle hands

Watch this space.

 

@WorkHubs Weeknote 001

At @workhubs having a think

I’ve been here a week! So this is an attempt at a log in the sense that Austin Kleon uses – it’s just a list of simple facts.

  • In every day.
  • Had one meeting.
  • Wrote three blog posts.
  • Met lots of new people.
  • Drank a lot of coffee.
  • Had a wander around the immediate neighbourhood.
  • Drafted a little e-mail about my coaching offer and asked for feedback.
  • Went to a Digital Leaders Salon about Digital High Streets over at Finsbury Sq.
  • Came to Blog Club.
  • That’ll do.

 
These facts might get more complicated and interesting over time. Or maybe not.

Blog Club: Creating Conditions for Productivity

#achievementunlocked

“Productivity and the conditions that we need for it” was just suggested and settled on as today’s topic at Blog Club. In the few minutes that we were talking about it, I noticed on my phone that scientologylondon had just liked this photo of mine on instagram, so I screenshot it and instagram the notification. Bam! I just created some new content and put it out into the world for my followers! I’m so productive! Take the rest of the day off, Davis.

Well yes, and…

I had, only moments before, been preaching about social media addiction, how things like pinterest and insta can swallow my time and take me to a place that’s a bit dark and definitely poor. So, my sermon continued, for me being productive is much more connected to creating engaging content that connects me more intimately with people and helps build good business relationships. Blah!

This is my problem with the P word – it assumes a whole raft of things about what I’m doing, why, and how I get things done these days. The lines between having fun, being seen to be having fun, being seen, getting to know people who might be interested in what I’m doing and making mutually valuable connections with those people are all getting waaaaay blurred.

Sometimes we need black and white rules in order to deal with the bazillion shades of grey in everyday life. So my black and white is currently no new shiny things in work hours, focusing on being real with people and building relationship here and now, really, with you to see how you can help me and I can help you – and in order to do that I have to put down (sometimes one minute at a time) the Trump stories, the Brexit saga and anything else that starts with “OMG I can’t believe they just did that” get quiet and chat with you over a coffee.

What gets me there? Self care, self care, self care. Knowing myself well and forgiving when I screw up; connecting with love and support with everyone I know, taking a good look at myself regularly, not taking myself too damn seriously, oh some self care (a walk at lunchtime, a healthy meal, a good nights sleep). You know, all that stuff.

PS ultimately, I hope for the time when I can say “my productivity is not dependent on my conditions” but, well, probably not today!