10 Ideas Worth Sharing This Week

“The gatekeepers must change.” — Prince

This week’s ideas include everything from why you need a Done List, to how to create interesting images, to the advantages of not caring.

Let’s do it…

1. SCREW YOUR TO-DO LIST. YOU NEED A DONE LIST.

“Your To-Do List doesn’t reveal much about you. But your Done List tells all.”

Actions matter more than intentions.

A conversation I had with someone obsessed with To-Do lists inspired me to write this post where I explain why maintaining a Done List will help you much more than any To-Do List ever could.

2. THE GATEKEEPERS AREN’T GONE

“Ordinary people on the Internet aren’t usually the ones who make an event go viral.”

I hate the word “viral” because the people who use it typically don’t understand how virality works.

This Jacobin magazine article breaks down how virality isn’t democratic and points out that 99% of content that goes viral does so as a result of the work of major media companies.

3. THE ADVANTAGES OF NOT CARING

“Once people realize you have no agenda, I can tell you for a fact they start to trust you. I feel more trust from people than I have ever felt in my life.”

James Altucher is a fascinating writer because he writes things that fascinate.

In this piece, he explains how his decision to give up caring about things has completely changed — and improved — his life. It will make you think.

4. TEN TIPS TO MAKE INTERESTING IMAGES

“Unconsciously, we want to put the thing of interest in the center. But it’s more interesting if we don’t.”

Caitlin Winner is a design manager at Facebook and in this post she shares some simple advice to help you create more compelling images.

Whether it’s for photos or artwork, and whether you’re an amateur or a pro, you’ll find some good tips here.

5. HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM FOR MARKETING

“The biggest mistake I see people make is they start with figuring out how they can get a large reach. That is bad news.”

This is one of the best things I’ve read about social media marketing — and I’ve read a lot.

In it, Austen Allred serves up a step-by-step breakdown of how he used Instagram to drive sales for a new clothing brand, but also offers a great breakdown of how to figure out who your target market is no matter what platform you use to reach them.

6. TIFFANY SHLAIN IS A PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW

“Connecting broadly is meaningless unless you connect deeply.”

Tiffany Shlain is a filmmaker and founder of The Webby Awards.

In my profile of her, you’ll learn what she sees as the 10 stages of the creative process, why the off switch is the most important feature of technology, the impact of living in a participatory revolution, and more.

7. SURPRISE! ADVERTISING STILL WORKS

“Here’s a real fact: If I don’t put some advertising dollars behind promoting this article, the odds of it being seen by a larger audience are minimal. No matter how great of story or cause it may be.”

Here’s an interesting counterpoint to the article I shared in last week’s newsletter about the need to kill advertising.

In this post, Mitch Joel argues that advertising is far from dead and that what’s really happened is people are confused about the goal of advertising.

It’s not engagement — it’s information.

8. SEVEN UNCONVENTIONAL RULES FOR GETTING CLIENTS

“Your clients define you. If you’re going to be defined by your work then choose clients who will acquire work you will brag about later.”

This is a nice summary of some of Seth Godin’s core beliefs about attracting clients for your business including to fire bad clients and be the one and only person who does what you do.

9. HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH LIVE-STREAMING VIDEO IN CHINA?

“Tens of millions of young people (many of them single men) live in soulless megalopolises far from where they grew up and are seeking human connection — even if it means watching and interacting with a stranger eating dinner.”

Ever wonder why Facebook, Twitter, and just about every other platform is so amped about their live-streaming video functionality?

As this Bloomberg article explains, one reason may be what’s happening in China, where a live-streaming boom has created new business opportunities and made a major impact on culture.

10. THE STRANGERS PROJECT

“I really believe that having an outlet is never a bad thing. I found that people want to be heard.”

The Strangers Project is the brainchild of Brandon Doman, who decided to set up on the streets of New York and solicit anonymous stories from strangers.

It’s an interesting project and the video linked above profiles Brandon and what he’s learned — you can learn more about the project here.