Back for 2015.
Yeah, so the plan was to take 2015 off for FTOF. I’ve done it before and it was actually quite nice to shake off the responsibility for a year or so. For this time around I thought I’d hand the decision over to you, dear reader (see item five, last week). And what a lovely bunch of people you turned out to be: every single response I received – via email, Twitter, or in person – was a variation of ‘Keep it going!’ and so here we are.
Five things on Friday is still here and will be for another year.
If you’re new here, welcome. Five things on Friday is a weekly collection of things that I’ve found on the Internet in the past week. It’s rarely five things (as there’s usually a few bonuses) and it sometimes doesn’t go out on a Friday either (like today, for instance). It’s as regular as it can be and a fair amount of effort goes into putting it together.
In short: your readership and support is appreciated.
If you know someone who might enjoy this weekly update as a newsletter, please do forward them to the sign up page, and give the gift of Five Things on [sometimes] Friday for 2015.
Right then, shall we crack on?
Things of note for the week ending January 2nd, 2015.
1. ONE DIRECTION: PUB QUIZ QUESTION
Did you know that some of Harry Styles’ biggest Twitter fans number their replies to their handsomely-haired boy band idol? No. Me neither. The why behind it though is just amazing.
To those (eg @freethestones) wondering why some Harry fans suffix their replies with a number, hereâ€™s why: pic.twitter.com/1xNw9rM0O8
â€” John Self (@john_self) January 1, 2015
‘I believe the children are the future…’
As random Internet facts go, I really like it.
2. PUBLIC SPEAKING: PREP
I’m fortunate enough to be invited to speak at different events from time to time and the three things I swear by are preparation, preparation, and preparation.
In the first instance, knowing your materials forwards, backwards, inside and out, is so important for getting your presentation right.
In the second instance, knowing the space where you’re going to give your talk helps you understand the nature of the acoustics, how people will be looking you, and where the screen will be in relation to where you’re standing.
Finally, in the third instance, rehearsing the talk – alone, in your room, with friends, with family – helps hammer out those habits (I used to touch my face ALL OF THE TIME for some unknown reason – my Mum actually pointed it out and I don’t do it any more) and helps give you confidence when speaking.
That’s all great but what about if you have no materials?
What if you’ve had no prior warning to speaking and someone’s asked you to ‘just say a few words’ at a professional gathering of some kind?!
For some of us, panic can set in and fear takes over.
And fear is no good at all.
The good news is, thanks to Lifehacker (which is where I found this handy tip) preparation can help here too. Well, not preparation. But PREP. The PREP framework, in fact:
The next time youâ€™re asked to say a few words with little or no notice, use the PREP framework to structure your speech.
PREP stands for:
- Point â€“ Introduce your speech with your main point. Focus on one point only, so itâ€™s easier for your audience to comprehend.
- Reasons â€“ Tell your audience why you think the point is true. Back this up with research and statistics to add credibility if you have these to hand. If not, simply speak from the heart.
- Example â€“ Highlight an example (or several) that supports your main point and your reasons. Again, back this up with data if appropriate.
- Point â€“ Wrap up your mini-speech by reiterating your main point so that it sticks in peopleâ€™s minds.
It’s a simple structure, relatively easy to remember and most importantly it works.
I love littleÂ ‘cheats’ like this and employ a fair few of them when giving presentations. If you’ve got any, I’d love to hear about them.
3. STING (no not that one) BUT FOR WI-FI
Imagine you’re a Hobbit. Now imagine you’re Bilbo (or Frodo) Baggins. You’ve got this sword – it’s pretty ace – it glows blue whenever Orcs or Goblins are near. It’s literally magical.
Now keep imagining you’re a Hobbit but you’re no longer in Middle Earth. You’re in the middle of New York City. You’ve got to somehow get an email to Gandalf to let him know where to send the giant eagles to come and get you but you’ve got no Wi-Fi.
Thing is about NYC, there aren’t that many Orcs and Goblins so your sword’s early warning alarm system is pretty useless. But what if you could hack that sword somehow? What if you could swap out the bits that detect evil and swap in elements that detected FREE WI-FI instead?! Wouldn’t that be something?
If only there was some kind of handy guide on how to do it.
4. TWITTER: ‘WHILE YOU WERE AWAY…’
This has been around for a while now (I’m on the Twitter beta channel, shh) but only seems to have been rolled out in earnest over the past week or so.
In short: Twitter has started presenting a few of [what it thinks are] the best tweets you might of missed since your last log in. Of course, to see this new feature in action it does mean having to actually not use it for a short while which I know will be quite a hard stretch for some of you.
Joking aside, this roll out is bang in line with the some of the thoughts and ideas that Marshall Manson and I have been talking about in our recent 2015 Trend Predictions presentation. To quote slide 13 from said document:
‘In 2015, like Facebook before it, Twitter is sure to embrace algorithmic content serving, and move away from its traditional reverse chronological format’
‘While you were away’ is just the beginning, boys and girls.
Just the beginning.
5. THE MARVEL OMNIBUS
This is the kind of stuff the Internet was made for.
A man named Mike Furth has created his own super cut of Marvel’s cinematic universe. If you’re new to this, then you might not know that Marvel’s films happen in phases. Each phase is finished with an Avengers film. So any film that happened before The Avengers (or: Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, for us guys and gals in the UK) all happened in phase one. Everything after that is phase two and, when Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out later this year, we’ll be moving into phase three.
Back to that super cut.
This chap named Mike Furth has gone through every Marvel film to date (as well as some episodes of Agents of SHIELD and a couple of the One-Shots) and re-edited them into one chronological super cut.
The whole thing comes in at just over 12hrs (that’s about the same time you’ve spent watching The Lord of the Rings in your life time, if not less) and if you want to make your own, Mike has put up a guide on how to do just that.
Even if you’re not planning on making your own version, this is a really informative video and probably worth watching anyway for just sheer geek points.
Bonuses this week are in the shape of 2014 round ups / 2015 look aheads that are worth looking at.
- The widely-read and equally knowledgeable Paul Fabretti passed me this succinct tech round up from Fred Wilson: ‘What Just Happened?‘ (this is not only really good reading but also completely and utterly spot on – read this and let’s talk about it sometime).
- My unpaid and unaware mentor, Stephen Waddington, has put together his ‘15 areas of work in progress for 2015‘ covering off everything from Demographics to Influence, this is a great insight into what one of the smartest minds in the industry is thinking and talking about. On that note, if you’re not subscribed to Steve’s blog you’re really missing out.
- Katie Moffat shared this list of ‘The 10 Best Podcasts of 2014 (excluding Serial)‘. If Serial has got you in, then definitely check this list out. If it hasn’t that check it out anyway.
Until next week!