This will likely come as no surprise to anyone who read this blog back when I posted several times a week (how did I do that?), but I’ve decided to stop torturing myself and officially stop posting on this blog. It will remain here for SEO/archive purposes but there will be no more updates in the near future. But who knows? Maybe I’ll get inspired again. Thanks for reading.
I’m live-tweeting this year’s MagNet conference from @magnetcanada, and make sure to follow #magnet12 on Twitter for live updates from all the sessions. Lots to learn!
I’m in the middle of signing up for a ton of e-newsletters for project research, and feeling that overwhelming sense of email dread that comes from a too-full inbox and not enough time. But it’s not that big a deal, because a couple of years ago I built in some tools to make managing e-newsletters easy.
First off, I recommend against using your work email for newsletters. First, it means they all disappear if you leave your job, and you might regret that. Second, if your workplace is anything like mine have been, your email storage limit is laughable and you’re always having to clean it out. Third, if you’re one of the poor souls stuck using Lotus Notes, they all look terrible anyways. Save yourself the trouble by using an online email service for your e-newsletters. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even create an account just for them, though that runs the risk of forgetting to check.
I recommend using Gmail for this purpose. There are things I don’t like about it, but overall it’s the best tool for the job, mainly because it has good filtering tools and huge storage space.
What I do is filter all newsletters into a couple of mailboxes – one for web and digital-related topics, one for lifestyle and magazine newsletters. They bypass the inbox and go straight into their special folders, meaning they don’t interrupt me during my day (I’m not the only one who has attention problems when there’s new mail, right?) and I can bulk-read them efficiently. You can create the system that works for you (and I might update mine too) – for instance, all food-related newsletters in one mailbox, all health-related newsletters in another. Another benefit of using Gmail is that filtering is done by tags, which means you can “store” messages in more than one folder. For instance, you might mark your favourite newsletters – whether it’s for design or story ideas – with a tag that keeps them in a special folder and makes them easier to find. Here are the filtering instructions from Google.
Do you have any tips on organizing e-newsletters?
I wanted to share this very useful post from the Econsultancy blog on writing and editing for the web – 20 things the author has learned from writing 2,000 blog posts. Some of the early tips focus on marketing blogs but most are applicable to all topics. One of my favourites:
There are thousands of marketing blogs out there, and lots of them are just writing the same articles, which are often straight write ups of the same press releases which reached my inbox.
This is not to say there’s no value in press releases, or that we never just write about a survey or a piece of news we’ve seen, as these posts can be useful sometimes.
However, the best content, and that which is most popular on the blog, and keeps traffic coming in long after being published, is that which is original.
A few longer reads that have appeared lately, proving that everyone loves to moan and groan about progress:
• The Flight from Conversation (New York Times)
On technology and the fear of interacting with other people. Personally, I think it’s a little overblown and too much of the blame is put on technology when there’s been so much other societal change (probably mainly rampant urbanization) going on. And the evidence shows that strong social media users have more and stronger offline ties, too.
• Facebook: Like? (Intelligent Life)
What is Facebook, and where is it going?
• Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? (The Atlantic)
Like the first story, I think this is much ado about nothing – there have always been lonely and out-of-place people, but now they have more outlets for communication, not less. Correlation and causation aren’t the same thing.
The general patterns of our research support what people are seeing and saying about, for example, the rise of social media, the rise of mobile, and that people are using voice less. But certain groups are using it a lot less — and that phrase, ‘the future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed,’ applies. If you look closely at the youth segment, they are already quite different than the rest of us.
If you’ve got a bit of time, watch this great talk by National Geographic Traveler’s “Digital Nomad” Andrew Evans on his first trip using Twitter to report on his travels.