Reading List

I’m currently back on a reading kick (this seems to happen in waves, rather then an ongoing organic process), and I’ve just finished or am almost done a couple of really good books.

Rework – by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of 37Signals . An amazing and detailed look at how to approach your work with an emphasis on creativity, corporate culture, and a proper balance. A must read for anyone, entrepreneur, or president of a large business.

Ignore Everybody – by Hugh MacLeod. This book is a great compliment to Rework and focuses on the need for personal creativity and the buckling down to create. This is a super quick read, and the book is interjected with MacLeod’s signature “cartoons drawn on the back of business cards” illustrations.

Lastly, I’m in the middle of reading Drive – by Daniel Pink. It ties together the previous two books in an uncanner manner. I’ll post my full thoughts once I’m done reading, but its quickly becoming one of my favorites for 2010.

An Upward Trend

When I got my first iPod in 2003 I was quite happy to put the white earbuds in my ears and stroll around university with a seamlessly endless supply of music.

An interesting thing happened that winter though. As I walked from class to class when ever I would pass a fellow student with an iPod would would nod slightly to each other. We didn’t know the other person but we were connected by the shared bond of having one of the few iPods on campus.

Fast forward to 2010. On Sunday I went on a leisurely bike right around downtown. I noticed a vey similar trend taking place. Whenever I passed a cyclist (who was obeying the rules of the road) we telepathically acknowledged the other, nodded, and essentially provided them with (a tiny amount of) personal approval.

The iPod took off like wildfire and before too long there were more then justa dozen on campus. The exclusivity bond disappeared, but I didn’t mind that. Thousands of people had discovered the excitement of having all your music in your pocket and I was glad that they had.

I’m hoping and I’m optimistic that the same trend will be repeated with cycling here in London. I hope that one day events like Critical Mass are no longer necessary because there are tonnes of cyclists using the roads to commute.

Social Network Organizing

I was listening to this weeks TWiT and one of the hosts, John Graham-Cumming, made a comment about what he uses different social networks for. I’m going to try to implement the same system myself.

  • Facebook for friends and family
  • LinkedIn for colleagues and work contacts
  • Twitter for new acquaintances and information

I think if we start to use this organizational method then fewer people will be worrying about privacy and “information leakages”.

Ignite London

Last night I was able to attend the second iteration of Ignite London. I left throughly impressed and encouraged by the people in this city, and the work that so many are doing to better our community.

I wrote a post last week, but never published it, about how I felt that Londoner’s weren’t getting enough recognition for the many awesome things that we are doing in the new media / digital media space. By recognition, I meant outside of the 519 and 226 area codes. Honestly I think this can be traced back to a larger London problem; that of humbleness to a fault and the urge to rather talk about a solution that actually implement one.

After spending an evening at Aeolian Hall listening to my friends, peers and acquaintances give short, from the heart, pleas about what we could be doing and what they already are, I’m starting to feel renewed.

Its no longer a bunch of people talking about how we could improve Municipal politics; its ventures like Hack the Vote.

We don’t have people complaining that the arts are inaccessible; events like SMarts continue on.

Innovation in the digital media space continues to flourish, and by an active community with varied insights and experiences. They collaborate to build an application like London Trash.

This is just a small sample of the projects in the city that are looking at a problem and tackling it head on. There are many more initiative either in the works and I’m excited to follow them into fruition.