Category Archives: words

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.

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!

“A bit of Blockchain” with @berniejmitchell

One of the immediate benefits of working in downtown Euston has been that I’ve been reminded of this podcast I did with Bernie a few months ago when we first started talking about the “Airbnb of Brains”.

Check it out. It has a bit of Blockchain, but it’s mostly about different ways of working together. I’m listening myself for the first time, it’s not bad!

On Renewal(s)

C4CC index cards

This post is intended as a starting point for online collaboration – let it be a launchpad for something you make yourself.

I think the first time I heard the word renewal it was in relation to library books. If you wanted to keep a book longer than the standard amount of time, past the date due that was stamped on a sheet inside the front cover, you needed to ask for that date to be extended and this was called ‘renewing’ or ‘a renewal’ otherwise, if you kept the book too long you’d be fined. You’d have to pay money to the library as a punishment for withholding the book from other borrowers.

However if you renewed it, the librarian could check that no-one else desperately needed that book right now and give you a further borrowing period. It was the loan then that was renewed. It was re-new-ed, made new again. The book was the same book, I was the same small child, but there was a new date to remember in the front of the book, the date that must not be forgotten or ignored or else it will cost you pennies.

Library tickets in my town were brown for children and white for adults. You could take and borrow as many books as you had tickets, because you had to hand them in when you had chosen your books and had them stamped.

A new set of books for the week was so exciting. I was renewed. My collection was renewed. My imagination was renewed.

Thanks Libraries and Librarians.

You might make something that fits together with what I have here or it might stand alone. You might make something in another form or medium – a poem, a picture, a movie, a song.

Take the picture, take the words and augment them, allowing them to augment you.

You can join in wherever works best for you – I’m publishing this on my blog, on the Tuttle Moonthly publication on Medium and on Steemit. I will endeavour to pull strands together and play them back in each of these places.

Come collaborate with me at @WorkHubs

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From this Monday, I’m going to be hanging out (as full-time as I ever do such a thing) and working in the Euston co-working space atworkhubs with the lovely Philip Dodson and Bernie Mitchell.

I’ve been to a couple of Blog Clubs on Wednesday morning and there’s also a Write Club on Thursday mornings (short planning session, get into writing for an hour and a half, quick group review). And I think Art Club too but I can’t find a link for that!

It’s a nice convenient space, right next to Euston and Euston Square stations with just the right balance of people – not too mad noisy, not too dead quiet.

They have an affordable and flexible range of membership options including day passes so if you’re looking for somewhere straight off the train at Euston, it’s a real goody.

Anyway I’ll be there and it would be good to see you too.  Ping me if you’re nearby and up for a coffee or something.

At the moment, I’m expecting to see some 1:1 clients there; run some workshops; hold some evening or breakfast events etc., but I’m open to suggestions, let me know if there’s something you think I should be using the space for.