It’s not often someone who isn’t family, a friend or a postman knocks on our door. On this occasion it was the local representative of the Green Party. In the run up to this years General Election he wanted to know how I felt about local issues, the council and so forth. Now, this doesn’t happen very often, I can count on three fingers the number of times a member of a political party has knocked on our door in the 7 years I’ve lived in Brighton. To be honest, he put me on the spot. I haven’t really given a great deal of thought to the political climate of late, let alone local government issues. Nevertheless, here was someone from a major political party on my doorstep interested in what I have got say. Some quick thinking provided him with some feedback on refuse, recycling, free schools and rail fares for commuters. I then wished him luck and he moved on to the next house.
A simple list of some of the things I enjoyed in 2014:
If i had to pick a top 5 is would most probably be these:
Honourable mentions to: Burial, Angel Olsen, Sharron Van Etten, Clark, Francois & the Atlas Mountains and Mogwai
Shamefully, I only got to one. Kurt Vile in Brighton. Which was excellent, if a little stripped back. I did get tickets to two other gigs. However, Francois and the Atlas Mountains got cancelled and we clean forgot about Teleman (still kicking myself about this).
With out doubt Interstellar is my film of 2014. I simply loved it. The driving away scene is one of the best pieces of cinema I’ve seen for a long while. Wonderful.
Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Guardians of the Galaxy, Pride and Paddington are the honourable mentions. I should also add Godzilla, purely for the Halo Skydive scene.
Serial is the podcast of 2014. A factual whodunnit detective story. The Kermode/Mayo Wittertainment podacst was still excellent in 2014 and it’s the first podcast I listen to each week. Honorourable mentions should also go to Six Pixels of Separation, Marketing over Coffee and a relative newcomer, to me at least, Slate’s Working.
I have a huge backlog on my Kindle. However, the three listed below are the ones that immediately spring to mind:
Longform have compiled their best of 2014 list if you want more of the same.
I targeted myself with reading 24 books in 2014. I managed 14. None of which were published in 2014. However, I really enjoyed The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle, Predatory Thinking by Dave Trott and Galveston by Nick Pizzolatto was a great accompaniment to True Detective.
Sonos: It’s everything I expected it would be. The only real drawback is that I think the Sonos contoller app on both iPhone and Android is very poor. No Spotify Radio? C’mon.
Gramofon: my first kickstarter. It’s a great piece of kit. Whilst it’s now largely obsolete thanks to Sonos, it’s smaller than the Sonos which means it will travel well and I suspect it will accompany us on holidays.
Chromecast: Makes your TV smart. Makes your smart TV even smarter. And the kids can use it. Love it.
Grid-it: Phones, pens, chargers, security keys and even chewing gum all held in place by interwoven elastic straps. It’s the simple things that make the difference.
I fell into B2B marketing. It was the Video Game Retailer or the B2B ISP. The video game retailer went bust 3 months later. Was I lucky? Perhaps. Did I achieve what I set out to do when I graduated? Yes and No. Yes, I got my first marketing job, proper. No, in so much as I didn’t set out to get in to B2B marketing. Marketing, yes. B2C, almost certainly. B2B marketing, unlikely.
I was reading an article the other day about how to stand out in business and in your workplace, a kind of manifesto on being remarkable. One of the many suggested ways was to not reference TED talks. The justification was that anyone can do it, it’s not clever and in many ways it’s myopic. I didn’t agree with much of the article but that comment stuck. Primarily because I wholeheartedly disagreed with it.
It got me thinking about TED. It’s a much discussed topic. It’s also one of the ultimate pieces of content marketing. And ley’s face despite what that blog post said, It’s a great way of finding common ground with people you know and don’t know as it did with me when meeting new colleagues at the end of last year. There was an immediate common ground and in a way a common purpose. We want to learn more, know more, investigate more, sate our curious minds. Ideas Worth Spreading.
There are around 2000 of these talks. I’ve not watched all of them (obviously), however, those that I’ve listed below are the ones that immediately came to mind. And are the ones that I’ve shared with friends, family and colleagues.
Simon Sinek – Start With Why
He recently talked about being bored of delivering this talk, which is both a shame and unsurprising. Thankfully it’s been recorded for posterity.
Ken Robinson – Are schools killing creativity?
I first watched this many years ago, and I suspect it was probably the first TED talk I watched and the first time I became aware of TED. Since then I’ve become a Governor at a local school, and I’ve revisited this talk several times. However, the message isn’t just about the education system, it also applies to parenting and to business: Are the systems we have in place the most appropriate for nurturing creativity in the modern world?
Jason Fried – Why work doesn’t happen at work.
I mentioned this talk in a previous post and with good reason. Jason talks a lot of sense.
Rodney Mullen – Pop an ollie and innovate
Rodney Mullen is one of my sporting heroes. Skateboarding was my first real passion. As an 8 year old in a leafy English commuter town, skate videos (yep, VHS) from the States where our escape and inspiration. Rodney talks about creating content through context. Essentially, there’s an obstacle, what can I do with this board to overcome or make the most of the situation. Test, fail, learn and adapt.
Photo Credit: Gisela Giardino via flickr
Having worked in B2B for the last 16 years, I’m proud that B2B marketing is growing in reputation. From the the work being done by CBRE (architecture) on instagram to the more widely recognised output from SaaS vendors such as Adobe and Marketo there has been a seismic shift in creativity and investment in B2B marketing. So it was with interest that I read the 2014 B2B barometer from the IDM. You can download your copy here
1. 31% of respondents have a budget of 1% or less than turnover. That’s a lot! I guess my first impression is clearly b2b marketing is not at the top table. I’d love to see an additional data set that correlates budget with industry, would it all be SaaS vendors and professional services in that top quartile?
2. It was unsurprising to see 34% of b2b marketers identifying content as a major trend. And it is, however, I think we shouldn’t lose sight that whilst content is very much the foundation on which us marketers generate leads, it’s also a means to end. I was also surprised to see lead nurturing much further down the list, especially given the role marketing content plays in the nurturing cycle.
3. 30% of respondents identified a lack of resources as a major challenge. Again I’d like to see this data overlaid with budget allocation.
What were your takeaways?
Why I’m hiring graduates with thirds by Rory Sutherland
How not to be alone via The New York Times
Dick’s Sporting Goods by Derek Cianfrance
Beer vs Coffee: Which drink makes you more creative? by Mikael Cho
The Pixar Theory by Jon Negroni
Why Music discovery services fail for me by Darren Hemmings
Let there be tears by Melissa Cole
Finding this great list of Aeropress recipes methods and recipes.
The future of link building by Will Critchlow