July 27, 2012 - FILED UNDER Mindjet
Happy Friday Fun Links: Secrets to Success, How We’re Shaping the Digital World and Sweet Poetry
Welcome to Chelsi’s Number One Super Happy Fun Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times they’re links that aim to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them through one of the usual suspects.
What is the true secret to success? According to Geoffrey James, the same ingredient that makes us happier, healthier, better people: gratitude. This article is a good reminder of something that is so obvious we often forget it:
“People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what’s wonderful in their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success. And when things don’t go as planned, people who are grateful can put failure into perspective.
“Therefore, if you want to be successful, you need to feel more gratitude. Fortunately, gratitude, like most emotions, is like a muscle: The more you use it, the stronger and more resilient it becomes.
At last year’s announcement of the sFund (a US $250 million investment initiative fund aimed at accelerating the creation of social applications and services) Marc Davis, Partner Architect at Microsoft, said something that really resonated with me: “The great opportunity and challenge of our time is what it means to have a digital society and a digital economy. What does it mean to be a person, to have data, to create property, to create groups, to work and play and love and live in a world where the Web and people are connected all the time? That is the world we’re creating…and we have real decisions to make about what that world’s going to be like.”
I think this is an ongoing struggle, but there are some organizations happily taking the reins. Contents Mangazine’s special report on data protection is one example: “By establishing a set of simple, explicit industry norms for handling user-contributed data, you—webmakers and app developers of the world—can win back user trust and enthusiasm, and contribute to a more stable digital future.”
Their proposed guidelines are simple and to the point. What do you think?
- Treat our data like it matters. Keep it secure and protect our privacy, of course—but also maintain serious backups and respect our choice to delete any information we’ve contributed.
- No upload without download. Build in export capabilities from day one.
- If you close a system, support data rescue. Provide one financial quarter’s notice between announcing the shutdown and destroying any user-contributed content, public or private, and offer data export during this period. And beyond that three months? Make user-contributed content available for media-cost purchase for one year after shutdown.
Chris Dixon, the co-founder and CEO of Hunch, recently blogged (with permission) an e-mail sent from Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed to all employees and investors. It’s a long summary of the company’s strategy and progress, but completely worth the read. An excerpt:
Most publishers build their site by stapling together products made by other companies. They get their CMS from one company, their analytics package from another, their ad tech from another, their related content widgets are powered by another, sometimes even their writers are contractors who don’t work for the company. This is why so many publisher sites look the same and also why they can be so amazingly complex and hard to navigate. They are Frankenstein products bolted together by a tech team that integrates other people’s products instead of building their own.
At BuzzFeed we take the exact opposite approach. We manage our own servers, we built our CMS from scratch, we created our own realtime stats system, we have our own data science team, we invented own ad products and our own post formats, and all these products are brought to life by our own editorial team and our own creative services team. We are what you call a “vertically integrated product” which is rare in web publishing. We take responsibility for the technology, the advertising, and the content and that allows us to make a much better product where everything works together.
It is hard to build vertically integrated products because you have to get good at several things instead of just one. This is why for years Microsoft was seen as the smart company for focusing on just one layer and Apple was seen as dumb for trying to do everything. But now Apple is more than twice (!) as valuable as Microsoft and the industry is starting to accept that you need to control every layer to make a really excellent product. Even Microsoft and Google has started to make their own hardware after years of insisting that software is what matters.
BuzzFeed is one of the very few publishers with the resources, talent, and focus to build the whole enchilada. And nothing is tastier than a homemade enchilada.
Yet another vote for visual. In this post, Meetings.io makes an argument for visual communication by citing a study from Professor Albert Mehrabian. He found that we rely most on nonverbal cues when interpreting messages containing ambiguity. Here’s how each mode weighted:
- Verbal (the words): 7%
- Vocal (the tone): 38%
- Visual (gestures, expressions): 55%
Been thinking a lot lately about the importance of collaboration and customer communities. And by the great the law of attraction (you attract what you think about), a fellow Mindjet employee shared the following David Whyte poem with me today, so now I’ll share it with you :
We shape our self
to fit this world
and by the world
are shaped again.
and the invisible
in common cause,
I am thinking of the way
the intangible air
passed at speed
round a shaped wing
holds our weight.
So may we, in this life
to those elements
we have yet to see
and look for the true
shape of our own self,
by forming it well
to the great
intangibles about us.
– David Whyte
from The House of Belonging
©1996 Many Rivers Press
Written for the presentation of The Collier Trophy to The Boeing Company
marking the introduction of the new 777 passenger jet.