Month: April 2006

Getting things done… for real

Instead of telling me I need to clean everything off my desk, or put everything on my desktop into an elaborate folder system, or clean out my inbox, how about offering some real advice?

Getting Things Done (GTD) is BS. People eat it up because it heals common pains. Everyone could stand to be more organized and/or procrastinate less. While I do agree with many of the principles behind it, the whole thing is kind of half-baked. I can’t write down and categorize tasks that haven’t come up yet.

It’s like the Atkins diet – it can work, its just hard to stick to. Why? Because life can’t be planned for. Nothing ever takes as long or short as its supposed to (what happens when your 2 minute task takes 15 minutes?). Fires come up that have be put out. You get a flat tire or your server goes down. That sort of thing.

Staying productive isn’t about some mind trick or obsessive-compulsive organization. It’s about enjoying what you do – believing in what you do… but also, realizing that things you don’t enjoy doing need to get done. It’s about committing yourself. Being truly successful is about willpower and drive – not GTD.

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What associations dont understand about blogging

First of all, blogging is a terrific way to quickly and easily deliver a message. Second, the message is broadcast to millions instantly. So why aren't more associations jumping on this bandwagon? Is it fear? Are they waiting for the technology to begin to phase out before they jump in? Maybe both.

My thought is associations just aren't well enough informed or aware of the power blogging can have. So why aren't people in associations understanding how to leverage blogs? Well, from what we see at associations they just aren't embracing publicly available content. The decision makers are still stuck in the late 90's and early 00's with 'member-only' content and 'forums'. While I completely understand the value in this content, there is an even larger value in publicly accessible content. The delivery, mainly, is what can make accomplishing a mission much easier for this type of content.

The American Medical Association helps doctors help patients by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues.

The mission of the Association is to prevent and cure…To fulfill this mission, the American Diabetes Association funds research, publishes scientific findings, provides information and other services to people with diabetes, their families, health professionals and the public.

So where are these blogs? I'd love to read more on diabetes from the public authorities on the disease. Instead all my choices are just people living with the disease. Again, these blogs are very interesting and valuable, but if I were to come across an association's blog that was tightly integrated into their website, it would probably drawn me to other areas of their website, which would lure me to the mission (I always read orgs mission statements). Then, finally, they would at the very least have me thinking about the org and joining. Instead, I end up on or just surfing the web.

So what can we do about this? Do we need to shove blogging more down the throats of boards and executive directors? How can we get more associations involved in this huge value-add?

The spirit (Geist) of the time (Zeit)

If you have never used the Google zeitgeist, you should really start. It is a lot of fun. They have two interfaces for it. One is an archive list and the other is a bit more elegant. I actually prefer the list version.

This addiction to see what people are searching is assisted by the guys over at doorOne Projects who put together a device called the Voyeur. The Voyeur pulls queries from MetaCrawler and displays them on the Voyeur in your family room! Very cool if you ask me, and very addictive. All of you out there who want to play voyeur from your computer at work can use the feed it pulls in. Enjoy!

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