Here’s to the Crazy One.

The misfit. The rebel. The troublemaker. The round peg in the square hole.

The One Who Saw Things Differently.

He wasn’t fond of rules. And he had no respect for the status quo.

You can quote him, disagree with him, glorify or vilify him. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore him. Because he changed things.

He pushed the human race forward. And while some may have seen him as the crazy one, we saw genius.

Because the man who was crazy enough to think he could change the world, was the one who did.

Ever since I created the blog icon I’ve been pleasantly surprised  by where I’ve discovered it’s been used and encouraged by the responses I’ve received from those that have downloaded it and are using it.

In April this year web designer Mark Hesketh wrote a blog post about the blog icon… a couple of weeks ago Northern Events wrote an amazing blog post about their search for a blog icon and how they’d ended up using mine… a couple of days ago Carol Katona from AssurX informed me that Constant Contact are using it in their customer facing systems, as you can see from the video below (starts at 30 secs)… and today I received this message on the Facebook wall from Jessica LaShawn Payton “Thanks! I’m going to use the blog icon in my social media presentation. I didn’t want to use the orange B since we’re not using blogger and the tumblr badge looks too much like the twitter badge and would be too confusing to a novice social media user. This works just great!!”

I’ve also been surprised by how popular it’s become and the number of people using. I get around 120-130 people a day visiting my personal blog after searches for “Blog Icon” (that’s about 45,000 people a year!)  below are yesterdays statistics. Compared to this time two years ago when I was surprised to get around 20 people a day

so if you’re looking for a blog icon that’s completely free to use, you can stop looking

http://www.theblogicon.com

Please like the Facebook page and follow on twitter @theblogicon

New Truth

September 21, 2011

I was having a conversation just now and it reminded me of a sketch from the BBC Three animated series entitled Monkey Dust

In this sketch the Advertising Agency Labia, are pitching “New Truth” to a Government Ministry that has to deliver some bad news!

“By reclassifying things that aren’t entirely bad as things that are very nearly very good, you can achieve a significant re-emphasis of the good / bad ratio. We call it New Truth … it’s up to ten times better than old truth.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asFU5ReztXU]

eBooks Are For Weirdos

September 21, 2011

According to a new survey by Harris Interactive 1 in 6 Americans now use an eReader with 1 in 6 likely to purchase one within the next 6 months. That’s 15%, which is almost double what it was this time last year, 8%. Also eBook readers purchase more books and read on average more than paper book readers!

I should know, since I purchased my first Sony eReader I started reading more, and now with the books from my Kindle available on my Mac, iPhone, iPad I purchase and read more than ever!

A case in point, Seth Godin released a new book today entitled, We Are All Weird, but rather than purchase the hard back and wait for it to be delivered (which I’ve not done in many many years!), I clicked the link to the Amazon Kindle store, clicked the “Buy now with one click” and had it on my Kindle before my kettle boiled this morning! Two Clicks and I had the book, why would anyone purchase a book in any other way, and why would an author sell their book any other way?

I’ve been saying this for years, it’s part of my no paper mantra, but it would appear Seth believes the same:

My new book, We Are All Weird goes on sale today. We only have 11,000 hardcover copies on sale at Amazon, with no plans to print more. I wanted you to have first dibs. (PS, Outside the USA? click here). Why limit the number printed?

Conventional publishing wisdom says that the first 10,000 copies are the hardest. In fact, you don’t make money until after that. The goal is to prime the pump and then, if you get lucky, sell millions and millions of hardcovers, day after day, year after year. That’s what pays the bills at all the large publishing houses. The thing is, digital is better at infinity than paper ever will be. Digital is easy to keep in stock, easy to replenish, easy to connect with. Paper, on the other hand, benefits from scarcity.

iPad Movie Mount

September 1, 2011

I’ve posted info on iPhone mounts and lenses previously (Glif, Owle, Olloclip, SLR adapter) but this is a first, an iPad 2 mount!

This has been really well thought through, and at $70 / €50 it’s not a bad price either.

More info at Makayama

Alice asked the Chesire Cat, who was sitting in a tree.
“What road do I take?”
“Where do you want to go?” the cat asked.
“I don’t know” Alice answered.
“Then, it really doesn’t matter, does it?” said the cat.

If your destination or goals are vague, then the decisions you make will reflect that.

You can apply this philosophy to numerous aspects of your life, be it your job, your personal life, your retirement plans etc unless you’re clear on what you really want, then you’re unlikely to make informed decisions that will help you achieve something truly fulfilling, you need a compass to point you in the right direction.

In Branding terms, these are referred to as your Core Values… as I’ve written before “Your core values are the very essence of what you or your company stand for, strip away everything else and the core values remain, they become your compass in good times and bad times, they guide your decision making process” more on that here

Applying this sort of branding technique to your personal life may seem a bit strange at first, but it could really help, especially if you’re stuck in a rut, or find it difficult to make decisions. Core Values are a reflection of who you are, your essence, you don’t make them up, you discover and refine them.

As David Eagleman explains in his book Incognito, “The next time a friend laments that she cannot decide between two options, tell her to flip a coin. The important part is to assess her gut feeling after the coin lands. If she feels a subtle sense of relief at being told what to do by the coin, then that’s the right choice for her. If instead, she concludes that it’s ludicrous for her to make that decision based on a coin toss, that will cue her to choose the other option”

Why? It’s all to do with the fact that the unconscious mind has already made the decision, it’s just that your conscious mind, which is much slower, hasn’t caught up yet, in this instance, your unconscious mind represents your Core Values. So if you’re someone that usually goes with your gut feeling, great, but wouldn’t it be good to refine the process!

Freaky!

August 11, 2011

What were the chances of that happening!! Some would say it’s a sign, “Double Rainbow, what does it all mean?” Others will tell me to do the lottery today, some won’t even notice and will have to have another look at the image above… as for me, oh it’s just coincidence, but freaky nonetheless! (although doing the lottery today won’t hurt will it, maybe I can turn that coincidence into serendipity!)

As the saying goes “sh!t happens!”

The recent spate of rioting, looting and arson in the UK will cost the taxpayer millions, plus business and household insurance premiums will rise as insurance companies cover their loses. The large businesses will bounce back and continue to operate, but smaller businesses will have a much harder time of it, it’s likely a lot of them will never recover. A friend of a colleague lost everything, as her flat was gutted by fire, all she managed to save was a small backpack as she ran from the flaming building, as to her and other similar homeowners who have lost everything due to arson, I cannot imagine what they’re going through.

Whether a business owner or an individual, when disaster strikes suddenly like this, the first reaction is understandably shock & disbelief, followed by anger, but soon you have to start thinking about the future, what next? How do I get going again? Who do I contact to get some sort of compensation? I better contact my insurance company, but do you know who you’re insured with, do you know your insurance policy number, or what you are covered for? You need to contact your clients, your suppliers, your bank, your staff etc But how, if all that information was stored in files in the office, it has all been destroyed by fire or water damage!

This is where digitised versions of all of your paper work is crucial for business continuity, but scanning your documents and keeping them on a shared office server isn’t enough, you require off site copies, be it in the cloud, or at a different office location, an effective paperless office is no longer a pipe dream, it’s a reality, and one your business cannot survive disaster without!

At no paper™ our goal is to remove the need for paper from your daily life, by perfecting the paperless office for businesses, and developing convenient solutions for individuals leveraging their everyday digital devices. We believe this future is possible… join us in our mission… imagine a world with no paper™

Keep Calm and Riot On

August 10, 2011

The designer in me couldn’t resist!

You should follow me on Twitter

While London was ablaze last night so was Twitter with #londonriots, not that any of it was worth reading, mostly knee jerk reactions saying, we need the army on the streets, oh I’m ashamed to be from the UK, if the police can’t handle this what about the Olympics, bring out the water cannons, use rubber bullets as it worked in Northern Ireland, where are the police, they’re not doing anything, they’re letting this happen etc

In situations like this there’s not much the Police can do except try to contain the rioters, or monitor them the best they can, gather evidence and act when this has all subsided.  This is about damage limitation, but their role first and foremost is to protect the public, engaging with the looters would be a Pyrrhic Victory,  it would escalate the situation,becoming violent, there would be increased casualties on both sides, and injury to innocent bystanders and homeowners would  increase… looting and property damage is an acceptable cost. Thankfully no one has died yet, there’s been casualties, an elderly man is in critical condition due to head injuries, but that appears to have been the worst of it so far. The Police are in a difficult situation, damned if they do, damned if they don’t… the public and the media are all over them for not doing enough, but once they act, they are scrutinised for their every action they take… I know they’re not exactly squeaky clean themselves, but it won’t be long before we hear reports of people saying they were wrongly accosted by the Police, or roughly handled… well it’s quite simple, go home, if you’re not in the middle of it, then you can’t be there to be wrongly accused!

This isn’t a political gathering or demonstration, these are opportunists, knowing they can get away with theft as the Police are stretched too thinly across London (according to eye witnesses, there were only 4-5 Police Officers in Riot gear in Ealing to start with, the same for Clapham, the rest were simply in ordinary uniforms). The outbreaks in other major cities around the country support this. This isn’t racially motivated, nor is it just a disillusioned young society, or limited to disadvantaged or poorer areas of London (as there were riots in my part of London last night, Ealing).

There are growing reports from eye witnesses that the mobs are very well organised, all communicating via mobiles, but that they’re not as young as initial reports make out, amongst the thick of it there appear to be a good mix of older generation, whom appear to be orchestrating sways of the mob… this is organised crime by opportunists.

How much longer will this continue? Probably a couple more days, why? due to incredible Police strategies? nope… because it will rain tomorrow night, and not even mindless looters want to get their newly acquired 42″ Plasma screen wet!

Below is a video of a woman, whom is obviously fed up and ashamed of the looters, (thankfully there is a transcript). But I doubt it would have made any difference, these are mindless thugs, looking for trouble, the type that are in it for themselves and will grab whatever they can. Whether the graffiti on the wall behind her was written by them, or was there prior to the riot, either way it shows the writers level of literacy (or lack of)… or is there a campaign against people from the Cameroon that I’m unaware of?

“This is a fucking realtiy. Allow out burning peoples property. Allow out burning peoples shops that they work so hard to start thier business. Do you understand? That lady is trying to make her busines work and you lot wana go and burn it up? For what? To say your war-ing and your bad man? This is about a man who got shot in Tottenham. This anit about having fun on the road and burning up the place. Get it real black people. Get real. Do it for a cause. If your fighting for a cause then fight for a fucking cause. You lot piss me the fuck off! I’m shamed to be a Hackney person. Because we are not all gathering together and fighting for a cause. We are running out of Footlocker and theifin shoes. Dirty thiefs ya know. Tut ”

Thanks to Alice for posting this video on her Facebook page

Your should follow me on Twitter

UPDATE: Some videos of Ealing Riot

By Kris Thompson Kris has added a very informative Tumblr post in response to his video

This is worth a read 5 points About the London Riots by Kenan Malik