Screenshorts are killing the blog

I’m embarking on something new and you’re invited. One of the things I want to do before I’m 30 is start every week smarter than the last. I’ve been publishing these to Linkedin and storing them here on my blog so I can look back in years to come.

To do this I’m reigniting a former passion of mine – writing a weekly round-up of news I find interesting and sharing it with my network. Yes it’s a bit self serving (aren’t all these things?) and so I’m going to trial it for just four weeks, gather feedback and decide whether I should continue. I figured writing and being accountable to an audience would force my hand to do it every week.

So here goes:

Screenshorts are killing blogs

The blogging scene has changed dramatically over the years. This week I thought it was interesting that famous people (read: Justin Bieber) are tweeting and Instagramming screenshorts to share longer prose with the world. Apparently 140 characters is just not enough. Owen Williams at The Next Web argues screenshorts are ‘more authentic’ than tweets, but I’d say it’s a bit twee…in the same way sending a note across the classroom used to be. What’s interesting, however, is how this and appearance of apps like #Homescreen make me think we’re all more interested about seeing what’s on other people’s phones than we let on. Our black mirrors are now the keyholes to our inner most thoughts.

Why do so many (young) people hate themselves?

Because we told them to. There’s an article doing the rounds headlined: ‘I Hate Myself Because I Don’t Work for Buzzfeed’. If you want an insight into millennial life, this is it. The underlying question is – for a generation growing up with likes, comments and shares – how do we ever know if we’re good enough? Do we compare the success of each post on the last one, or is there some absolute measure out there ready to guide us sometime soon? The Medium article in the headline sums it up nicely: ‘We’ve made the entirely understandable translation from web traffic to self worth. Here’s the thing: web traffic is not deterministic. It’s not fair. It’s not objective. And it sure as hell is not a meritocracy’. When I think about what this means for the self worth of teens and pre-teens hooked on their phones, I worry about the lack of support on how to properly manage and moderate our online lives.

Say No. Stay Productive.

I am obsessed with time management. I think it’s been instilled from four years of timesheets in agency land. ‘Clock-blocking’ still remains my favourite term learnt from a previous FD. It was with great interest that I read Shane Parrish’s post on how saying no makes you more productive. The key is to stop wasting important time on e-mails, and saving it for bigger jobs. Nothing new there, but how many of us actually put it into practice? I realise the irony of this given you’re currently reading this in an e-mail, but this week I’ll be attempting to relegate e-mail to one hour a day.

So there you have it. Just articles that I hope have given you some food for thought. Looking for more? Here’s what happened when I walked into a bar and got asked if I support ISIS.

I’d love to hear your feedback on how I could make this better. I won’t be upset if you’ prefer to unsubscribe…it’s totally not akin to moving house to avoid getting a Christmas card…(it is).

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