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Nuggets of Knowledge: July 2014

By July 10, 2014Nuggets of Knowledge
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Yay! It’s #NOKlist time. (Not to be confused with Hammer Time or Tool Time or Miller Time or Adventure Time or Outta Time.)

We’ve once again gathered – for your entertainment and edification – our favorite posts from the last month(ish). We’ve got reflections and instructions, creativity and content and career advice, processes and platforms. Y’know, the good stuff.

So check out July’s Nuggets of Knowledge and – if you’ve missed a few – our Nuggets of Knowledge archive is there to help you out.

Bon appetit.


Rebecca’s Pick

How Seth Meyers and TV Showrunners Are Using Twitter to Find New Writers

by Michael Schneider

Rebecca

Rebecca

I’m not even 40 yet and I already feel like an old fart in the job hunting game.

When I started considering my next career move less than a year ago, I did what every go-getter does: updated my LinkedIn profile, worked my connections, did some last-minute volunteer work (don’t judge me). I even spent quite a bit of time on Pinterest researching design upgrades for my soul-defining résumé.

But if I had been applying for writing jobs? Hoo boy, I would have been missing a vital step. Little did I know that Twitter was becoming a legitimate forum for showing off one’s writing prowess.

Michael Schneider lays out exactly why Twitter has become a writer’s new way to get his or her foot in the showbiz door. It’s not just another place for writing samples. It’s become an additional opportunity to discover the true voice and tone of a writer over a longer period of time.

Don’t believe him? Then just ask Seth Meyers and Andy Samberg (although Mindy Kaling isn’t quite sold yet).

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Nat’s Pick

Creativity isn’t about the end product, but the process of making it.

Post by Birdsong Gregory, video by Liberatum

Nat

Nat

There’s a lot of content out there about creativity and inspiration. Do a few searches online and you’ll probably get back articles like four steps to getting inspired, rules to finding inspiration, 9 ways to increase creativity, and so on. As a creative myself, I know that often times finding inspiration is much more random and cannot be contained (or nourished) within a 4 step plan. Don’t get me wrong, this type of content can be extremely useful for coming up with ideas or thinking in new ways. However, at the end of the day, inspiration doesn’t come from a mechanized method; it comes from a desire within to create.

That’s why I found the short film by Liberatum, Inspiring Creativity, so refreshing. The film presents 21 perspectives on creativity and inspiration from some of the top creatives in the fields of art, fashion, film, design, technology and music. As you watch the film, not only do you start to understand just how nebulous the sources of creativity can be, you start to see a pattern: that highly creative people find the process more important than the final product.

Give it a watch and see what you think.

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Mack’s Pick

The Future of Content with Lisa Gerber

Interview of Lisa Gerber by Danny Brown

Mack

Mack

It has become very apparent that there is no scarcity of content on the internet. It’s also no secret that businesses all over the world are using content to build their brands.

Which means there’s a lot of noise about content right now.

‘Here’s what you need to write about.’ ‘Here’s how often you need to write it.’ ‘Here’s how much you should write.’ ‘Here’s how long to make your titles.’ ‘And here’s how to get people to click on your tweets about the stuff you just wrote.’

There’s a whole lot of talk about writing content and not a whole lot of talk about the meaning behind it.

What I love about this brief interview with Lisa Gerber is this:

“What I hope for the future is brands who forge their own paths, and do marketing on their own terms. They take smart risks by standing for something and using that perspective to drive their content plan.”

Content is an incredibly valuable asset if it starts from a place of purpose. If it comes from a place of meaning that goes beyond acquiring a link or achieving a conversion. If you’re not intentional with your content, if you’re not creating “helpful and relevant content,” you’re just adding to the noise.

It’s a great (and short) post that will challenge you to think about the content you’re making.

Side note: I noticed Lisa is speaking at SearchLove San Diego this September. That would be a great opportunity to get more of this good stuff from her in the flesh.

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Courtney’s Pick

She’s Still Dying on Facebook

by Julie Buntin, The Atlantic

Courtney

Courtney

I was all ready to go with a lovely post on not forgetting the small wins in our rush to lay down the foundation for long-term content success when I saw this article. It talks about a lot of things: the nature of friendship and grief and growing up. Really, Facebook is just the catalyst, the framework for Julie Buntin’s reflection on the final, tragic days of a friendship.

But beyond the sad truths she fearlessly reveals, what struck me about this article was this:

As digital marketers, we talk a lot (like, a lot) about how the internet and the advent of social media have changed the face of the world. We bandy about terms like ‘audience engagement’ and ‘target demographics’ and ‘applause’ and ‘amplification’ and ‘conversation’.

We warn our clients to be careful what they (and their employees) put out there on social media because the record is permanent and you don’t want the images from your 10-year reunion to color how you’re seen in board meetings. Those things are all real and true.

What we (or at least I) tend to forget is that the internet and the advent of social media have changed the face of the world. Not just for businesses, not just for marketing, not just for the professional sphere. Every layer of our lives, from superficial conversations to the deepest ruminations of our hearts, have been touched by the simultaneous immediacy and permanence of the digital realm.

Julie’s story is the perfect example. We talk about the stages of grief and the process of mourning. Of sharp pangs and harsh self-recriminations fading, with much time, to watercolored memory and soft, regretful melancholy. With evergreen records of all our days, there is no fading. There is no forgetting.

What other effects have crept into our daily lives without our noticing? What follow-on effects will emerge?

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Ayelet’s Pick

Why Your Unique Value Proposition is Killing Your Landing Page Conversions and How to Fix It

by Rich Page, Unbounce

Ayelet

Ayelet

We deal with unique value propositions (or as we call them USPs, unique selling propositions) weekly, if not daily. The UVP/USP is the biggest thing you’ve got going for you, like speed to a cheetah or the shell to a turtle. They are the core of our clients’ businesses and are the reason a customer chooses them.

And yet, USPs are one of the hardest things for a business to pin down. Why? Because you’ve got to set aside your agenda, your wants, needs, and desires. You’ve got to focus 100% on why the customer is coming to you and how you can help them satisfy their wants, needs, and desires. This article is a great resource to walk you through the process of finding your USP and, specifically, showcasing it on a landing page. Read it now or read it later – at some point, it’s going to be useful for you.

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Ann’s Pick

First Follower: Leadership lessons from a dancing guy

by Derek Sivers

Ann

Ann

We Mack Webbers have been known to have an opinion about followers. This video, however, is about a different type of follower.

Derek Sivers gave this TED talk in 2010 in front of Bill Gates, Al Gore, and 200 other “geniuses.” In three minutes, he walks you through the growth dynamics of a movement, any movement. From start to finish, crazy idea to mass appeal, he highlights the role of not only the leader but the first follower, too. Because a leader, without a first follower, is just a lone nut.

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Nuggets of Knowledge April 2014

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