July is an introspective month for Mack Web. This month’s Nuggets of Knowledge includes musings on the nature of the web (and society), the quest for inspiration, the benefits of human connection, making bold decisions, and the pursuit of inner light.
Or maybe the heat is affecting our brains. Who can say, really?
Either way, we’ve got some great thoughts for you this month and, if you’re itching for something to do, check out our NOKlist archive.
by Chris Savage
I’ve flown a lot since moving to Colorado. It’s an easy way to get from point A to point B. Sometimes you plan a trip months in advance and eagerly await for the day you take off. Sometimes you book your flight and leave in less than 36 hours.
This article has absolutely nothing to do with travel, but everything to do with the bold choices and plans we make. It’s easy to make decisions out of fear – especially fear of failure or fear of looking like a fool.
Chris tells the story of some the choices he and co-founder Brenden made in the early days of Wistia. This short post will provide valuable insights you can apply to building your own business and brand (the way it should be done). Take a peek and learn a lesson or two about how they did — and didn’t — stay true to who they are. Make bold decisions, get on planes.
This is a provocative piece by Hossein Derakhshan, recently freed from six years in a prison in Iran, who argues that we need to go back to the web of 2008. The web that focused on ideas, and text, and hyperlinks. The web that was responsible for his blog, which condemned him to 20 years in prison.
His concern is that “web pages outside social media are dying” and that the web’s values are reflective of our time: novelty and popularity. He argues that “the web was not envisioned as a form of television when it was invented. But, like it or not, it is rapidly resembling TV: linear, passive, programmed and inward-looking.” With a focus on images and videos, rather than text, we are moving from a “book-internet to a television-internet.”
Because content is curated for us by the social media networks’ algorithms, we are no longer exposed to other ways of thinking. Exposure that is imperative to understanding the world. Exposure that leads to new hyperlinks, which take you to places you would never have discovered.
What do you think? Is the internet merely for entertainment now?
Here at Mack Web we live in a realm comprising the overlapping bits of marketing and social media and the web and mission and organization…and probably a few other bits as well. There is so much going on in each of those worlds, so much to learn, so many new developments and old insights to catch up on – we could read for weeks at a time and still not know everything there is to know.
Which is why I found this particular article a good reminder. As a writer/content-type, I need to remember to take the time to feed the skillset that first made me a useful part of our little patchwork universe. While we believe pretty strongly in being multi-talented, T-shaped team members, writing is still the cornerstone of what I do. And I can’t neglect that part if I want to keep doing it well, doing it better.
Some of Shelby’s suggestions are old favorites (love me some Mental Floss), some I’ve never checked out (though you can bet I will), and and there are some I’d like to add (you haven’t lived ‘til you’ve spent some time on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency). Because creativity and is a pool fed by many different streams and you can never guess where the spark of inspiration is going to come from.
No super chickens! It’s time to recognize everyone’s contributions by devoting time to building social capital at work.
Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur, author, and speaker, says, “companies grow best when workers are connected socially.” She argues that focusing on the super performers in a company cultivates an environment of competition rather than a culture of camaraderie. For a company to succeed, everyone needs to be connected.
So, start scheduling coffee breaks where everyone has to show up so that people can chat, learn about one another, talk life and work, and ultimately build a cohesive company that is committed to one another and to success.
by David Brooks
This article came to me a few months ago and it didn’t take me long to realize that it was the perfect article to share with the inspirational people in my life. The way David Brooks presents the concept of a “Moral Bucket List” – the traits and experiences to pursue in order to become the kind of person that you want to be – is the perfect reminder to us all that sometimes we just need to slow down and do a little life inventory check.
There are so many times in my life that I’m just blown away by the wonderful people that surround me and the beautiful souls that have guided me. It’s incredibly motivating to know that I can feel the same conclusion as Brooks does here, that “wonderful people are made, not born — that the people I admired had achieved an unfakeable inner virtue, built slowly from specific moral and spiritual accomplishments.”
I love the sense of optimism here and the reminder that it’s never too late, there are endless opportunities to grow and embrace the life of a “stumbler.” It should always be about being better – not better than others, but a better version of yourself and to always be grateful for the beauty and lessons given to us.