March 5, 2010

Bulk view

A little less wise, a little more awesome

I had all four of my wisdom teeth taken out this morning to avoid complications later on. The anaesthetist (a woman named Sandra) wired me up with a blood pressure monitor, two heart rate monitors around my forearms, and an oxygen-level monitor on the tip of my finger. She numbed me with nitrous oxide (laughing gas), which brought on a stronger version of the light-headedness I feel when I hyperventilate. She then stuck an IV into me and gave a powerful sedative. As promised, I was completely out, and I woke up in the recovery room with W- holding my hand. (Win!)

I’m sure I’ll find out what the oral surgeon was like over the next few days. I hope he was great. Although it’s hard to imagine anyone being as great as W-. If you need to be stuck on a liquid/creamy diet, I recommend finding someone like him, because he’s going to make it awesome.

Lunch was congee made with the chicken/turkey stock, soft glutinous rice disintegrating on a still-numb tongue. I ate it very carefully because I didn’t want any rice getting stuck in places  that would be hard to clean, cooling my congee to avoid burning myself. For dessert, there was leftover filling from a lemon meringue pie.

Two acetaminophen-codeine phosphate painkiller pills and a nap later, it was dinner time. (Just like Timecat!)

When I woke up and headed downstairs, I found egg custard and egg tarts cooling under cookie sheets (to protect them from curious cats), lemon filling in the making (to use up extra tart shells), Jello in the fridge, and rice pudding in the planning. W- had been busy.

There are all sorts of soups in the pantry, too. I’m looking forward to raiding our stash of cream of mushroom soup.

Dinner will be congee (pureed this time), and there are all sorts of things for dessert.

It would be such a hassle to go and find restaurants that could accommodate my eating restrictions, taking the painkillers, and making it back to the car and to the house despite the drowsiness.

This would have been even less fun on my own. Or worse: battling for fridge space with housemates.

It still hurts to swallow. I’m still looking forward to my next dose of painkillers. I still hope don’t end up with dry socket, which appears to be the major complication. It’s reassuring to know that dry socket only happens in about 5% of cases and I don’t have any of the aggravating factors that typically bring it on.

All of my work is taken care of, I’m being taken care of, and life is good.

Now to explore the food options

What I learned from The Art of Marketing

I learned a lot from the Art of Marketing conference even before it started. To take advantage of someone else’s affiliate link discount and the group ticket purchase, I coordinated a group purchase with two friends, saving ourselves $100 each. It was easier than I expected, thanks to the joys of broadcasting on Twitter and receiving money through Interac.

CONTENT

Mitch Joel: New media isn’t like old media. Why are we still using old-media paradigms of broadcasting? Reboot your marketing. Interesting stories/points: Burning the ships, SnapTell, more grandparents than high school students (comments point out logical flaws in the headline, though), 40% sleeping while watching TV, negative review converts more readily to a sale, semantics: negative review can be great, 20% completely new searches on Google every day, Journey and Arnel Pineda

Seth Godin: Be an artist instead of a cog. Solve interesting problems. Risk getting booed off the stage. Invent the next step. Work around your lizard brain. Characteristics of indispensable people: connected, creative, able to handle complexity, good at leading tribes, inspiring, have deep domain knowledge, passionate. Ship. Thrash at the beginning, not the end. People say: we need you to lead us. Work can be a platform to create art.

Sally Hogshead: Factors of fascination: Mystique, power, lust, prestige, alarm, vice, trust. People will spend a lot on things that are fascinating or things that help them become fascinating.

James Othmer: Not about campaigns, it’s about commitments. Persuasion – voice – engagement – immersion. Create a story that invites people in. Learn from movies and entertainment. Pay attention to continuity. Create a story that hangs together.

Max Lenderman: Be compelling, contextual, visceral. Story about skits in rural India, virtual ary, branded spaces, Camp Jeep, Flame (Whopper perfume), Kwik-E mart (7-11), Tide free laundry

Dan Heath: Change: Find the bright spots. Not recipe, but process. Skip true but useless knowledge. Focus on the signs of hope. What’s working right now and how can we do more of it? Direct the rider, motivate the elephant, shape the path. We change behavior by working with the elephant. See – feel – change. Find the feeling. Shape the path: Tweak the environment. Amsterdam urinal spillage story (fly). Most people try to change 5-7 times before they succeed. What makes you think you’ll get it on the first try?

PRESENTATION

Video can be a shortcut for sharing emotional stories.

Slick ad-like animations (soundtrack only, no voice) detract, though. The shift in attention is a jarring.

Some professional speakers read slides, apologize for themselves, turn their backs on the audience, have low-contrast slides, use ineffective fonts, use jargon, get lost without notes… Plenty of opportunities here.

Big difference between people who give lots of presentations (ex: Seth Godin, Dan Heath, Mitch Joel) and people who haven’t given as many.

Vivid language, metaphors, stories, funny pictures = awesome.

Key message and simple framework essential for helping people follow what you’re saying.

Good talks are focused on you, not the speaker.

Well-chosen transitions/animations make a presentation look extra-polished. (Dan Heath – good example.)

Meta

1600 people filled the auditorium. Lots of need for insight.

Choice of topics shows that audience is still mostly struggling with shift to digital.

Advantages of attending conference over reading business books: see what speakers focus on, watch videos illustrating stories, pick up presentation tips.

Got so tempted to dig into some presentations and experiment with their structures. May want to turn that into presentation coaching someday.

I liked Dan Heath’s content the most. I like Dan’s presentation style and Seth’s presentation style about evenly.

Next actions for me: Track down stories they shared; collect interesting stories, videos, and pictures; continue learning and sharing material.