Piggies for tomorrow

piggy bank

Piggies are for saving!

My piggy is Instapaper, Pinboard and Evernote, where I bookmark all the things that my ADD head says, “Oh I’ll want to read this later.” But when does later come? I think it’s tomorrow, and when I realize that, I figure heck! What was I worried about? I can look at that tomorrow? So when does tomorrow actually arrive? And then I realize that it never comes. (!!!!!) And so I go look at the content I want in my piggy, and it bleeds into my browser...slowly, oh so slowly, and I curse Comcast and I open a new tab and go to Feedly while I’m waiting to see what new might be there, and oh there is! So I start reading there and bookmark the interesting bits to Instapaper, Pinboard and Evernote....

And then I open a tab to Facebook...which does not allow piggies, where content floats by like cottonwood puffs on the wind and I watch it flit this way and that, and I say, “Oh, that’s pretty!” and then it’s gone, and piggies aren't allowed, no, I’m not supposed to remember, I’m not supposed to save these puffs, because there are more puffs, new puffs and old puffs that whirled around and came back again all on their own, and I must now see those now because I must not, may not, cannot save any for tomorrow. For there is no tomorrow on Facebook. There are no piggies allowed.

7 essential elements to create amazing top 7 lists!

graphic image of title text

7 essential elements to create amazing top 7 lists!

In my years as an interwebs information consumer, I've gleaned great insight into one of the mainstays of online content: The top (n) list.

Here are some essential tips to creating amazing top n lists that will thrill and excite your readers:

  1. Pick a number, any number, ideally the one that takes the least amount of work to fulfill. Top 5 foos, Top 100 bars, doesn't matter. If you want to cover, say, online apps for a making lists and you have 100 of them to cull through, forget that grunt work and just list them all. The number in the list doesn't matter. (Bonus tip: The higher the number, the less essential that you actually have that many items. Who's going to count to see if you actually list 200 free icon sets? See the tip about numbering, below!)
  2. Screenshots or logo images can help, but don't worry if you don't have them handy. Some lists, such as this one, are full of plenty of pith without pictures to prop them up.
  3. Drink your favorite beverage while writing it. Why? See the next point for explanation.
  4. Don't worry about including an irrelevant, off-the-wall, non-sequitur point in the list. People won't quite "get" the connection and will just think you're smarter than they are. This boosts your online credibility!
  5. Numbering is optional! Entertain your readers! Think of the fun they'll have counting up your bullet points. If you have a big huge long list, motivated readers have even more items to count. Minutes of enjoyment! Think of all the fun you'll have with comments if you in fact don't have the right number of items!
  6. Don't worry about how well you fill out the list. People clicked to your site. You already won, right? Linkbait! That's what Top (n) Lists are all about!
  7. Ask for feedback. Never mind that this is just a good policy for blogging. By asking for feedback on your list, you're covered and won't look totally stupid if you forgot an obvious thing.
  8. Add an extra point as a bonus. People love this shit.

Adding an amazing graphic doesn't hurt, either.

Did I miss anything? What do you think?

[Amazing graphic created at CoolText.com.]

Hat brain

illustration of brain processes, by Robert Fludd circa 1619

Do you ever get hat hair? You know, what happens when you've been wearing a hat or visor and you take it off and your hair is all dented and messed up?

I get hat brain. It comes from having to change hats so often during the work day. Designer hat. Project manager hat. CEO hat. Coder hat. Community member hat. Marketer hat. So many hats! And I have to wear many of them each and every day.

And that's hard. It's especially hard when jumping from a designer or coder hat, where I'm deep in flow puzzling out something, experimenting, totally immersed, to a project manager or CEO hat, where I'm stepping back, looking at the big picture, strategy stuff, people interactions. Each hat leaves dents in my brain. It takes a few minutes to let the dents fade, a few minutes before I can realistically and effectively wear a different hat.

Right now I see timeboxing as an answer. I'm tempted to write a quick app to facilitate it, since I haven't seen anything too useful so far. But of course that would require changing hats.

[Illustration by Robert Fludd circa 1619, via Wikimedia Commons]

100 Hot Tips to Find 100 Hot Tips on 100 Hot Topics = More Info, Less Insight

If you're making a list, don't go on. Less is more. To say the least. Less.

Seems like everyone makes Top X lists these days. 35 this. 50 that. 100 the other thing. Maybe they're link-bait posts. It must be effective, because they're everywhere. But why is it that nobody seems willing or able to parse through the datamass and recommend a useful number?

Do I really want to trawl through the "Top 50 Tutorials" for doing x or the "Top 100 Twitter Applications"? All I need is the one that works. The "top" one. Your best recommendation. The other 99 aren't all that helpful. There's Google for finding oodles.

To all Top 100 list-makers: If you have taken the time to go through all of these sites/resources and write up a paragraph on each, maybe pulled a screenshot or logo, couldn't you, like, give one or three the nod?

What are the best three Twitter apps? [Tweetdeck (Air), Twittelator Pro (iPhone), Tweetie (Mac OSX)]

What are the best two CSS grid systems? [960, Blueprint]

What are the best four coffee shops in Boulder? [Sidneys, The Cup, The Laughing Goat, Unseen Bean]

What is the best professional video online resource? [Creative Cow]

What is the best open source content management system? [Drupal]

Is that too much little to ask?


Friday cat blogging

Since everyone's been doing it since like forever, I thought I'd join in, because my little guy is just so adorable!

The best April Fool's prank is one you really don't want to believe

These guys got me really good.


I can talk about it now, the day after, right? No spoilers? The nail for me was seeing the names supposedly associated with the endeavor. Also, the rumors and whispers of actual new things that may or may not be happening really soon (wink wink nudge nudge say no more) served as the perfect set-up for this spike.

What's really low about this prank, though, is the use of a four-letter word: fork. Now that's really really low.

I think I'm way too trusting.


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