Not here to crush dreams, but to crush entropy

Chaos begone!

Very good read on Medium by Rands about project managers and the need for them when your company is growing a tad too big. Don’t be afraid to slim down on your responsibilities to what you really need to be doing (for instance, managing code, not people). A good project manager will be able to provide clarity amongst all the moving pieces because that is what they are there to do. They have the big picture view of where everything is and what’s going on so you can focus on what you are best at.

A good project manager is one who elegantly and deftly handles information. They know what structured meetings need to exist to gather information; they artfully understand how to gather additional essential information in the hallways; and they instinctively manage to move that gathered information to the right people and the right teams at the right time.

Source: https://medium.com/@rands/entropy-crushers-fd552252dfff#.dduq017qe

Project Management – Manage Wha??

You would be person #5 who I have told that I got a “promotion” at work this past January! (!!!!) I put quotations around promotion because it wasn’t a direct move up the work ladder, but more a sideways leap into a different team and a completely new role. I gain a lot more responsibility, and I’m hungry for it.

I’m now a project manager at my start-up! Way to go me! *pats self on back*

The position encompasses working with other project managers, engineers, and some business partners down the road. Because of how different this job is compared to my previous duties, I am trying to get myself into a mindset of ultimate learning. Learning at work from my new colleagues and learning at home on my own with the textbook I borrowed, “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)”. There’s a whole line of published materials on this kind of stuff, and it may strike someone to find that there’s so much you can write about how to manage projects. I don’t know if this will lead me to certification, but it’s a start to moving forward in my career.

I haven’t done this much learning since college! Kind of exciting, really.

Lasting Relationships Rely On 2 Traits – Business Insider

“If your partner expresses a need,” explained Julie Gottman, “and you are tired, stressed, or distracted, then the generous spirit comes in when a partner makes a bid, and you still turn toward your partner.”

In that moment, the easy response may be to turn away from your partner and focus on your iPad or your book or the television, to mumble “Uh huh” and move on with your life, but neglecting small moments of emotional connection will slowly wear away at your relationship. Neglect creates distance between partners and breeds resentment in the one who is being ignored.

There are many reasons why relationships fail, but if you look at what drives the deterioration of many relationships, it’s often a breakdown of kindness. As the normal stresses of a life together pile up—with children, career, friend, in-laws, and other distractions crowding out the time for romance and intimacy—couples may put less effort into their relationship and let the petty grievances they hold against one another tear them apart.”

Source: Lasting Relationships Rely On 2 Traits – Business Insider

Just a reminder to be kind to your loved ones, and work in your relationships. Taking someone for granted or letting “life” get in the way is sure a sad way relationships fall apart.

Social Networks & Digital Media

Framing our thoughts on social media

We need to begin thinking about not only our audiences but the networks our audiences are a part of – both online communities and that of the physical world. Most of us are overloaded with content every day, and even if we’re not glued to our smartphones or laptops, we know all know some people who are in our work circle or close friends circle. We can always catch up on the latest trends or news updates with peer recommendations. So, content is everywhere. The marketplace is flooded with information, and readers are selectively parsing what they want to see on their preferred platforms. Thinking about how to break through all that noise to reach our target audiences is what we should be strategizing as content strategists.

Factors to consider when developing content strategies

Consider three crucial questions:

  1. How will we create value? (That is, value to your customers’ eyes, not simply that of the company’s.)
  2. How will we deliver value? (Think multi-media!)
  3. How will we capture value? (What is our relation with our audience and how does that come in to play in terms our defining our value?)

Learn about your audience and find the influencers and experts for a topic or community. When you locate that information, identify and serve them by retweeting their content. Learn about the hashtags they use and watch what they discuss on different topics. In a sense, become a part of their world!

There are also advanced social monitoring tools out there that can help you examine topics and give you the break-down of key words used around topics (for example, Salesforce’s Radian6 and IBM Social Media Analytics). These tools can produce raw data that can put your quantitative data into actionable insights. With more insight about our audience, we can adapt our content strategy to meet the needs to changing live trends.

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Putting the “Strategy” in Content Strategy

Creating Shareworthy Content

Social media – visuals matter! Great photographs can be turned into videos, and in general, pictures and videos share more than text alone. Also, think of ways to integrate both print and digital content. We thought that digital would complete displace print materials, but it turns out that that’s not the case. Using a combination of both shows greater returns. You are likely to address a bigger audience this way. Perhaps young adults are glued to their laptops and smartphones, but the more mature generations would find it more enjoyable to pick up a magazine and browse through that.

In today’s digital age, the length of your content matters greatly. Brevity is key, and it’s important to choose your words carefully. While not every piece needs to be brief, every word counts.

Stuck on a problem? Crowd-sourcing is the new great way to engage the public and ask your audience what they think. Gather ideas and solutions from the public, the very people you are trying to address!

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