“People say they want shorter, but really want something that rivets them. They’ve got endless time for great.” — Bob Lefsetz
The ideas I’ve got for you this week include everything from a better way to build an audience, to innovation advice from Google’s biggest thinker, to why our world feels so overwhelming these days.
Let’s do it…
1. WHY YOU SHOULD “LIKE” MORE THINGS
“While we obsess over getting Likes, we think little about what it means to give them.”
More than three million people “Liked” something on Facebook in the last minute, but I bet few thought about what that means.
In this post I explain why you should Like more things on social media and the benefits it provides to the recipient of your Like, the broader community, and yourself.
2. BUILD AN ARMY, NOT AN AUDIENCE
“In an army, people assume different roles depending on their commitment, engagement, or skills — all things an audience alone cannot.”
This Gina Bianchini post is one of the smartest things I’ve read about modern marketing and audience development in a while. It points out that while most people focus on building an audience to consume their creations, they miss the larger opportunity to create something much more powerful.
3. ASTRO TELLER IS A PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW
“Failures are cheap if you do them first. Failures are expensive if you do them at the end.”
Astro Teller leads Google’s project X, its division charged with generating and pursuing “moonshot” ideas — basically, the most innovative and ambitious ideas they can come up with.
In my profile of him, you’ll learn how he approaches idea generation, embraces failure, and builds the future.
Plus, he explains why it’s easier to make something 10 times better than it is to make it 10 percent better.
4. WE LIVE IN AN OVERWHELMING DECADE
“We’re all confused. This is what the Internet, the information revolution, has wrought. And we haven’t yet figured out a way to cope with it.”
Cultural observer Bob Lefsetz does a great job summing up what’s happening with our world at the moment in this piece where he tackles the confusion that’s so common across our media landscape these days.
He breaks down the times we’re living in, the source of our stress, and suggests that “we’ll figure it out eventually.”
5. 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN YOU START A PROJECT
“Being honest with yourself about your time commitment is important when you create a project that makes a promise to its audience.”
You better learn how to start things. In this post, I offer some simple suggestions that can improve your chances of success.
Specifically, a set of questions that can help you get a clear sense of what you hope to accomplish and how best to get there.
6. NICOLE FENTON IS A PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW
“Helping people and making them happy is the best kind of marketing you can do.”
Nicole is an expert on writing for the web.
In my profile of her, you’ll learn why she believes the key to writing is to come from a place of not knowing, a great formula for writing your own About page or bio, and six ways you can get more customers for your business.
7. WHY CLEVELAND’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATTERS (AND DOESN’T)
“Daddy’s hometown is very close to doing something that’s never happened before. I don’t want you to know it as a place that always loses. And I don’t want you to think Daddy is a loser.”
A lot of people wrote a lot of things about what Cleveland’s recent NBA championship win meant for its long-suffering fans.
But this piece from writer Sam Greenspan, who celebrated his first Father’s Day on the day the championship was won, is by far my favorite.
8. WHAT THE DEMISE OF BARNES & NOBLE WOULD MEAN FOR BOOKS
“Without them, the kinds of books that challenge us, that spark intellectual debates, that push society to be better, will start to disappear.”
This New Republic article ponders how the book business would be impacted if (when?) its biggest retailer goes under. And it’s not a pretty picture.
9. JESSICA VALENTI IS A PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW
“While falling in love is fun, it’s not everything and it’s not the antidote to an unfulfilled life.”
Jessica Valenti is a feminist, columnist for The Guardian, and the author of a new memoir titled “Sex Object.”
In my profile of her, you’ll learn why she thinks it’s important to tell the truth about what happens to you, why women should worry less about being liked, and why it’s ok to be unhappy around kids.
10. BO BURNHAM IS BETTER THAN YOU REALIZE
“Social media is just the market’s answer to a generation that demanded to perform. It’s prison, it’s horrific, it’s performer and audience melded together. What do we want more than to just lie in bed at the end of the day and just watch our life?”
Bo is a comedian, but hes doing things unlike any other comedian I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot).
His new special is on Netflix and well worth your time, but the link above is a small snippet from it in which he shares his unique perspective on the relationship between performers, audiences, and social media.
Also, when you’re done watching that clip, check out this one from his previous special — it starts slow, but trust me it gets good.