Follow Friday – Buffer

This week’s Follow Friday recipient is…

Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automagically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long.

What do I use Buffer for?

  • Updating Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – I’m able to pick which social site to update.  For example, I usually update Twitter and Facebook at the same time.  Example 1
  • Updating the above social media sites all at once and right away.
  • “Scheduling updates”.  With Buffer you have the ability to set an update schedule – 4 different time a day for each.  I can write something in the morning and update my social media sites after it’s published  Example 2
  • Queuing multiple updates.
  • Analytics – track when and how my links were clicked.  You can do this with Buffer or with bit.ly, if you use it.  Examples 3 & 4
  • Webapp and iOS application – I can use Buffer while staring at the computer or while on the go!
  • Google Chrome extension – make sharing articles even easier

Other Things to Note

  • I currently use the free version.  However, I have contemplated the paid version since you can add multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Workaround – create another account.  I do this for Dented Box.
  • My favorite feature!  When updating Facebook with a link it shows up correctly – Facebook parses the update and adds the appropriate picture.  I used to use RSS Graffiti and it didn’t include the image.  Great feature!

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

 

Follow Friday – Design You Trust

This week’s Follow Friday recipient is…

Design You Trust is a hourly-updated design blog and community, full of new design trends, news and events, great design portfolios, young design bloods, design articles, photographies, fashion, creative advertisements, architectural inspirations, video design and hand-picked design stuff from all over the globe.

This week I discovered Design You Trust and have been infatuated with their photography, tattoo, and architecture posts.  If you’re looking for some ideas or looking to kill some time, check them out!

Rewards Program

If you’re into the whole social media rewards program, they have that too.  If you share their content on Twitter, Facebook, and whatnot you are able to accumulate points.  With those points you are then able to get free stuff from Groupon, Restaurants.com, or Barnes and Noble.  Disclaimer: I have yet to participate in the program and can’t speak to the experience of the program.

They also have this badge concept.  Unfortunately, I can’t speak to that either.  I’m going to assume that it’s like foursquare in that you get a badge for certain things or categories that you share on your social platforms.

Here are some of the interesting things that I’ve found so far.

The Final Showdown Of Alien Vs. Predator

Conceptual Photography by David Pahl (Click for more images)

Most Powerful Images of 2011 (Click for more images)

Weekly Review – What did you read last week? 4/17

Top off your cup of coffee, sit down, take a deep breath, and read something interesting.

Seth Godin in Minneapolis – #sethgodinmpls – Part II

When was your last idea?  Did you write it down?  Did you actually follow through on that idea?  I’m going to guess that the answer is “no”.  Most ideas are either forgotten about or shot down.  I tend to forget about ideas because I never write them down.  This can easily be solved by writing it down on my palm, post-it note, or an email to myself.

Ideas that are remembered are also usually not executed because you mentally shoot them down.  For some reason the human mind likes to play it safe and not take risks.  This is also when the human mind makes up excuses and puts up a mental barrier.

Some of the common barriers are:

  • Start-up Costs – Do you really need Microsoft Office for everyone, the best laptop, an office, or setup an LLC? – Just to name a few.  You probably don’t need the latest and greatest software, hardware, and etc.  There are many open source products out there that can give you the same or similar functionality of the name brand stuff.  Can you rent an office or the equipment?
  • Lack of time – Well, you’re going to have to make time!  Believe it or not, you may already have some “free” time and you just didn’t know it…  Do you take the bus to work? How about using your laptop, phone, or even a pen and paper to write your blog posts, business plan, or respond to client emails?  How much time do you spend reading the paper, blog posts, or watch TV? Sounds like that’s some quality time you could be using to work on your next big thing.
  • “Someone else beat me to it!” – Who cares! Learn from their mistakes and make your product or service even better.
  • No one will buy it!” – Just remember, “you need to sell your problem before you sell your product.”
  • “I don’t have the expertise” – I bet someone does.  Use your network: You friends, twitter, Facebook, an ad in the newspaper (not sure about this last one) but I’m sure you’ll find someone.
  • And so many more

“The only way to solve the perfect problem is to blow away one of the barriers.” So what’s the problem?  Pick the biggest barrier in your way and blow it away!

Long story short, stop making excuses, find the barrier(s), and blow it away!  Good Luck!

Seth Godin in Minneapolis – #sethgodinmpls – Part I

Today I had the privilege to see Seth Godin in person.  Long story short, my mind was blown with his insights on public education, resumes, and so much more!  Disclaimer: I have not read his new book Linchpin yet, but I plan on it!  Some of today’s highlights include:

Public Education – Brainwashing

From 8am-3pm we are teaching our kids to become drones in today’s society.  Raise your hand for this, follow these directions to do that, you must use a #2 pencil to write, and quizzes are on Friday.  As a result, some workplaces have benefited from this phenomenon. McDonalds is a great example. Ray Kroc was able to take the McDonald brothers hamburger stand and create a scripted, repeatable process that just about anyone could reproduce.  He also influenced the food infrastructure beef, chicken, and others.  Franchises heavily rely on this brainwashing from our public education system. – Follow all the steps and you’ll be successful.

There is also a negative result of this way of learning…  When today’s kids are done with school they heavily rely on these sets of instructions to live from day to day.  What’s missing? – Critically thinking and problem solving.  When presented with a problem they tend to ask for the answer instead of trying to figure it out on their own.

What can be done?

  • From 3-10, maybe 8? – Parents should be teaching their kids critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Forget about the TV and video games and do something that stimulates the brain in a positive way.
  • Remember that when you’re at work you don’t have to memorize fact after fact (depends on the job) but you can look things up in a book, internet, or even a SME.  I can speak from experience that there are some classes from my undergrad and even my graduate program that I remember absolutely nothing about. Why? – Because I crammed all of that information into my brain for a test and I was never given the opportunity to apply that textbook knowledge.

Just figure it out!

Project Management – Ship It!

Many projects tend to fail due to scope creep, lack of funding, last minute changes, and various other reasons.  Get these things out of the way right away!

Physically write down the follow and sign it!  Assign tasks/deliverables to people, not groups.  Most importantly, hold people accountable!

  1. What is the project?
  2. When does it ship? – Deadline
  3. Who is responsible for shipping – List the individual that is responsible in the end
  4. What are you afraid of?
  5. What are you really afraid of?
  6. Why are you afraid of the above?
  7. Why should your customer pick your product?
  8. Who is the customer?
  9. Who are the key influencers, gatekeepers, and authorities?
  10. Does anyone else matter?
  11. What does your devil’s advocate have to say?
  12. Who can stop the project?
  13. Who else can stop the project?
  14. Who is essential to the success of your project?
  15. What does perfect look like?
  16. What does good enough look like?
  17. List ever task and milestone.
  18. Who becomes your competition?
  19. What does failure look like?
  20. Plus it / Minus it – What can you add/remove that would significantly add value to your project?
  21. Thrash it – Go to town on tearing the project apart
  22. Agreement/Sign-off – Get a signature in pen to proceed with the project with all of the feedback given in the steps above.

Here is a video similar to his speech today – different examples though.

Last Words of Wisdom and Quotes

  • “Send kids to public school from 8-3 to learn how to become part of society but home school from 3-10″
  • “Become remarkable by choosing tasks that have no limit/ceiling.”  Once you get a 300 in bowling, you’ve hit the top.
  • “You don’t need a resume. Your trail of breadcrumbs online proves that you’re the same and probably has more info.” – This has created some contention…
  • “If you’re not committed to failure, you’re just avoiding it.”
  • “I had a hammer and everything looked like a nail.”
  • Sell the problem before selling solutions.”