Endlessly Interesting

These are notes from when I co-hosted the first ever Bagels with Berky without Berky.

(You should keep doing what you’re doing because it’s where the amazing is.)

Get going.

and keep going.

and keep going.

and keep going.

and keep going.

How do I find and remember all this stuff?

  • Read EVERYTHING, including stuff that is really obscure. Lots and lots and lots of blogs. The niches are where the interesting things are because that’s where people have gone the furthest.
  • Be curious about everything, follow the reference links at the bottom of articles / blog posts to find out where they got stuff. You may find a whole new world!
  • Learn and use tools, but keep it simple. Once you find a technology that will help you be productive, spend the couple hours you need to really learn how to use it. Learn the keyboard shortcuts. Learn how the app behaves. You will be far more productive if you know how to wield your tools effectively.

Tools I use

  • Google Reader (http://support.google.com/reader/answer/113517?hl=en) for managing blog feeds.
    • From your 983 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 25,078 items, clicked 232 items, starred 6 items, and emailed 0 items. Since January 26, 2012 you have read a total of 300,000+ items.
  • Reeder (http://reederapp.com/) on my computer and phone for “processing” them.
  • Pocket (http://getpocket.com/) on my phone for easily capturing an article that I just want to read.
  • Evernote (http://evernote.com/) for capturing notes & articles and organizing thoughts.
    • I’ll spend an hour a week cleaning up, managing, updating, processing, etc. notes in Evernote.

Data Visualization

  • Can show patterns not readily visible through other means
    • One week of Twitter conversations: Network graphic reveals all the conversations between the people working at Twitter over a time period of one week.
    • What patterns did you see?
    • Sometimes it’s about what you don’t see (no significant clusters, evenly dispersed)
  • What’s coming: ViralSearch: Identifying and Visualizing Viral Content

360i Vendor DB

going further

This is meant to be an inspirational post and is about taking your craft and trying to do it better. This is also not safe for mobile (NSFM) as it has lots of images. The animal theme is accidental, but I liked how it fit.
Have you ever had a client ask you to go further with an idea?
Have you ever struggled to take a small idea and make it “bigger” without a clear way to do that?
The simple solution just may be to keep doing the same thing, only more of it. Take your idea as far as you can take it. Then take that and keep going. The boundaries you hit may not be real boundaries but instead just a resting place before you climb your next hill.
Does this story resonate? Let’s say you were tasked with creating some art with finger-paint for a client. On your first attempt you get this:
Sure, it’s pretty, has lots of colors, but the client wants more structure, so you come back with this:
2-lion

http://lacason.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/week-one/

The client likes it but wants more detail, so, after some hard work and exploration, you come up with this:
3-bird
Which was WAY realistic except that now the client wants something less real and more abstract, so you think hard and draw this:
4-masks
And now the client thinks it’s too busy, too much stuff going on. So, frustrated and upset, you go back to basics. Black paint on white paper. But instead of adding in things, you just keep going. Your first attempts don’t take you anywhere interesting:
5
But you have faith in your abilities, you take a breath and get back up and keep going:
6
And going:
7
And finally get to somewhere you could not have gotten to otherwise.
8
9
10
And that place is somewhere incredible, valuable and special. Not everyone can get there because it’s hard and because lots of people confuse frustration and breathing with failure and stopping. Frustration is good, it’s a birthplace of creativity (ask me for some other example
s). Breathing and faith allow you to persevere and keep going further.
Sometimes we need to get back to basics, remove the feature creep and go further with a simple, core idea. We can look at the struggles we face when trying to make an idea bigger as a good thing. We’re going further than most to get to a place most people never can.
Incredible Finger Paintings by Judith Braun
– Randall Noval