Archive for the 'general' Category

From Azerbaijan, With Love

Earlier today, I had one of those magical moments that I refer to when I say “Social Serendipity“:

I’ve never met Orxan before, but when I followed the link through to his blog, I got a wonderful surprise:


It’s a superb translation / recreation of our Global Digital Statistics infographic (you can find the original here).

What’s more, it turns out this isn’t the only one of our infographics that Orxan has translated either.

But here’s the interesting bit: no-one had asked Orxan to create this translated version. He’d just done it because he cares, and because he sees value in the content for his audiences too.

What made it so magical for me is that Orxan had stayed true to our original style, and kept our We Are Social branding too – to the extent that he’d gone out and found a good match for our proprietary font even for Azerbaijani characters.

That’s pretty impressive.

Social media is special like that – it helps us connect with likeminded individuals from all over the world, and share and discuss the things we care about – and go on to share them with others too.

This is why I am such a strong believer in social: together, we can achieve something magical.

So, when I saw his translated version of that global set of stats, I couldn’t resist creating a special ‘thank you‘ in return. Here’s to social serendipity:

We Are Social - Azerbaijan Stats 2014-09-08


Career Planning In 60 Seconds


If you want to find Joy, do what you love.

I published my first remix of  Bud Caddell’s ‘How To Be Happy In Business‘ 2 years ago, but some recent conversations have inspired a few fresh tweaks.

I’ve tried to distill it into a very simple tool for reviewing your current career situation and ensuring you’re on the right path to a happy and fulfilled life – hence why I call it ‘Career Planning in 60 Seconds’.

If you’ve not found the way to your central ‘heart’ yet, now’s the time to start thinking about where you want to go in your career, and in your life.

“Choose a job you love, and
you will never have to work
a day in your life.” ~ Confucius

Critically, it’s up to you to choose your path; only you can define what ‘Joy’ means for you, so don’t wait for someone else to tell you what to do.

The easiest way to start finding the way to your ‘heart’ is to write lists of all the things that fit in the three yellow (outer) circles of the diagram, based on your own unique preferences and circumstances:

‘What You Care About’ refers to the things that you love doing, that you care about, and that matter to you in the longer term:

  • Your passions, e.g. music, design, photography.
  • Your beliefs, e.g. environmental sustainability, education for all, societal equality.
  • Your ‘soul food’, e.g. spending time with your family, community activities, teaching students.

What You’re Good At’ refers to your actual skills and abilities. It’s important to be honest with yourself here, and take a broad perspective:

  • Identify the things that you are good at – even things you may take for granted (e.g. helping others understand complexity)
  • Things that you are good at, but don’t necessarily want to do every day (e.g. a deep mastery of spreadsheets and coding)
  • Avoid things you wish you were good at, but where you haven’t achieved greatness yet (e.g. true fluency in a foreign language)

‘What Pays Well’ refers to the things that keep you alive. Don’t confuse this with ‘soul food’ – this is all about feeding mouths and paying the rent:

  • Most people need money to live, so regardless of whether you like that fact, take some time to work out what your desired lifestyle costs, and then add on some extra for savings and special occasions.
  • However, if you genuinely believe you can be self-sufficient and survive without money, and that lifestyle appeals to you, add it to your list.
  • Try to think laterally about how you might achieve your lifestyle goals too, especially in light of the things you listed for the previous two circles; could a change of city, country or lifestyle help you to make things in the other two circles more viable?

The trick is to find a job, career or vocation that links at least one thing on each of your three individual lists.

As the orange sections highlight, any form of compromise will leave you feeling incomplete, and it’s only when you can link all three yellow circles that will you find your true Joy.

However, it’s unlikely that you’ll find your way to the central heart straight away, so use these orange sections to guide your path, based on how you’d like to live your life in the meantime.

It’s also important to stress that the path to Joy will be different for everyone, and that the path is rarely clear or straightforward.

However, unless you start proactively making things happen yourself, it’s very unlikely that you’ll reach your heart by accident.

So start planning your path now, and give yourself the best possible chance of living a Joy-filled life.

A Beginner’s Guide To China

China 101 – a fantastic introduction to the country, its people and its cultures

Thanks to JuanMarketing for sharing.

Introducing #SataySocial

Last month’s #beersphere event in Singapore (organised by the globe-trotting Willem) was a great success, and it was wonderful to meet so many interesting and inspiring people.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I thought we’d try making it a regular event.

However, in typical Singaporean style, it seems sensible to combine the #tweetup concept with another local passion: street food.

So I’m delighted to announce the launch of #SataySocial.

As the name suggests, it’s intended to be a highly social event, s0 it’s open to anyone who’d like to join, but it should be particularly relevant to anyone who’s interested in social and digital media, technology, and strategy.

The first event will be on Thursday November 10th at Lau Pa Sat‘s legendary Satay Street, starting at 7pm.

You’ll find full details of the event at this Facebook page.

I’ll do my best to arrange a table that’s big enough for everyone, so please let me know in advance if you’re coming by clicking the ‘I’m attending‘ button.

And if you’d like to attend future events too, be sure to join the #SataySocial Facebook page.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Photo credit: esimpraim on flickr


Today has been one of those days, so this post is a  little break from the norm.

Serendipedia is a game that occurred to me while reading this great article that suggests the internet has been the death of serendipity.

The article raises a number of great points, but even a 10-minute session of Serendipedia should be enough to show that reports of serendipity’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

Beware, though: there’s a real chance that this game will eat up much more of your time than you anticipate.

The concept is very simple: start by clicking this link to load a random Wikipedia article – here’s the article it brought up for me today:

Read through the whole of this random article, and then, once you’ve finished reading it and learning about its subject, return to the beginning of the page and click the very first link within the article’s main text (i.e. ignore any links to disambiguation or Wikipedia style guides – in the above case the link you’d click would be ‘genus‘):

This brings up a whole new Wikipedia article, with a whole new world of serendipitous learning:

Once you’ve finished this second article, go back to its beginning and click the first link within that article’s main body text – in this second example, the link would be ‘biology‘:

From there, simply keep repeating until you run out of time, you fall asleep, or your brain runs out of space.

Welcome back serendipity.

always learning, never failing

Learn from your mistakes and you’ll never fail.



Thiago Krafzik used a quote from brand interpreters on his nĂŁo esquece blog, illustrating it with a beautiful video that I couldn’t resist reposting here:


Many thanks to Thiago Krafzik for the intro.

killer app


Skype is coming to the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Are the days of the network service providers numbered?

More here and here | Image from WSJ

super folding

This video has been around for a while, but I keep referring back to it.

Feels like something that might work for a brand like Uniqlo.


Other Distractions