Resources for First Time Speakers

Speaking at a conferences or even a meetup for the first time can be both intimidating and difficult to achieve. Even if you have the courage to submit a talk to a conference, getting accepted can be tough and the first experience can be nerve-wracking. My first experience as a public speaker came at the cf.Objective conference in Minneapolis. I was speaking about a Flex framework called Cairngorm. Cairngorm was notoriously difficult - so, perhaps not the best topic for a first time speaker. Anyway, my timing was off - I spoke way too fast - and I screwed up...…

Did We Avoid the Ad Block Apocalypse?

This morning, I read an interesting article by Patrick Kulp on Mashable. It discusses the so called “ad block apocalypse” that many people were concerned about when Safari on iOS enabled ad blockers. The gist of this concern was that content-focused sites were already having difficulty surviving due to declining ad rates (which desktop ad blockers certainly didn’t help). If ad-blocking took off on mobile, the entire business model could collapse. …

How to Speak at Fluent

There’s a good post by Ben Vinegar suggesting tips for getting accepted to speak at Fluent Conference. These are all good tips and, as he says, will work for just about any event you want to speak at. It’s worth a read. As someone who has spoken at every Fluent so far, and someone on the conference committee, I’d add one other important suggestion - choose a topic where you aren’t going to face as much competition. This was a strategy that worked for me even before I joined the committee. Having reviewed proposals the past couple years I can...…

The Content Model of the Web is Broken - Part 2

Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a post on this blog called “The Content Model of the Web is Broken”. My basic argument was that there it had become very difficult to make a viable business out of content anymore. Advertising is not a workable revenue generator - the only real solutions were to produce content that either had ulterior motives (i.e. my content is designed to market some other product or service) or relied entirely on unpaid authors, which devalued writing to a point that the quality is potentially suspect. …

My Top 10 Songs of 2016

I’m a big music lover, and while 2016 was probably light on my music purchases compared to prior years, it still featured some great music. So, here’s my sort of traditional top songs of the year post (in case you’re curious, here’s last year’s post). 1. On Hold - The XX This song is from the upcoming album by the XX called ‘I See You’, which is due later this month. If the rest of the album is as incredible as this song, this album could be better than their debut album (which was fantastic). Plus, they sample Hall and...…

The Impact of Negativity Bias

Negativity bias is a term that describes something that, I think, we all instinctively know - that essentially negative things can overwhelm positive ones because they have more impact on your emotional state. Your brain is simply built with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news. The bias is so automatic that it can be detected at the earliest stage of the brain’s information processing. - Our Brain’s Negativity Bias So, what happens when we surround ourselves with media and feedback that is overwhelmingly negative? We get things like the occupational burnout that is seemingly so prevalent in our industry (i.e....…