Tweets : 11 Dec 2018

Twitter Digest

I tweet more than I blog. Interesting links, good reads and occasionally a pithy comment. 

So to keep my content all flowing to one place – I’ve added a Twitter Digest here – each day a plugin pulls all of my tweets from the day before, and posts them here. 

Hopefully will be a dynamic way to keep my site updated. 

Tweets : 10 Dec 2018

  • My week on Twitter 🎉: 1 Mention, 3 Likes, 2 Retweets, 9.94K Retweet Reach, 1 Reply. See yours with… https://t.co/0R5TF2dCqM ->
  • RT @Herring1967: To preserve democracy we must have no votes on anything else ever again. We’ve already voted. And that vote is sacrosanct.… ->
  • RT @ValaAfshar: A timeline of when machines can achieve human-like capabilities:

    2024 – translating languages
    2025 – assembling LEGO
    2026… ->

  • RT @NeilMcMahon: Who needs subs? Julia Roberts, that's who! https://t.co/FK6aO4jIZf ->
  • RT @DanielPriestley: Under 30s suffer from FOMO – Fear of missing out.

    Over 30s experience JOMO – the Joy of Missing Out … being super… ->

  • Cryptocurrencies are like lottery tickets that might pay off in future | Kenneth Rogoff https://t.co/XRrpZnlTtA ->
  • RT @rolandmcs: The idea that the Westminster parties can bring this situation back to something resembling a quiet equilibrium (with them “… ->
  • The top five publicly traded companies by market cap – great visualisation – from https://t.co/S2boyWhZFP https://t.co/H9eDDegAf6 ->
  • Community as a Service – great read from @glenhendriks https://t.co/939aBCiutM ->
  • Measuring the "Filter Bubble": How Google is influencing what you click https://t.co/oKygXhfWOq ->
  • More free stuff – in Japan anyway…

    Why Japan is giving away free houses (and how to get one) https://t.co/0m3uSTZExR ->

  • This is the way forward:

    Luxembourg To Cut Chronic Traffic Congestion By Abolishing Public Transit Fares via… https://t.co/vOUGJvjltZ ->

  • RT @APompliano: “Twitter is a war zone” – @elonmusk

    Welcome to the battlefield of snark, wit, and intellectual olympics.

    Best of luck to… ->

Miracles do happen

I ran five kilometres this morning. Four months ago I couldn’t run for a minute.   

I used to visit the gym two or three times a week, repeat twenty or thirty minutes of cardio. Sure, I’d be sweaty and puffed out, but I couldn’t ever run.   In the end, I’d blame my knees or my ankles and stick with exercise that had no impact. 

Then, this winter I decided that I wanted to do some walking – I headed down to a local stretch of river and would walk three or four kilometres listening to a podcast or audiobook.  Every time I would be overtaken by healthy-looking joggers and cyclists.  

Dorney Lake – a London 2012 venue

After completing some walking laps of Dorney Lake, I decided that I really wanted to run around it – but knowing how much I hated running, I needed a programme to get there. 

Enter the NHS Couch to 5km programme – I started on June 8th, and graduated on 22nd August. I was short of the 5km, but it was within reach. 

Now, I’ve ran around Dorney Lake on a 5km track a total of four times – slowly, but surely I plod my way round. 

To me, it’s proof that miracles can happen…

I did a few things to help me get there:

  1. Held myself accountable – a video diary, telling people I was on a journey made me accountable for my work. 
  2. Enrolled a cheer squad – one or two positive messages of support after each run was enough to lift my spirits.
  3. Found the right tools – good shoes, good socks and some proper running tops made me feel like an athlete, even as I was learning. 
  4. Geeked out – Strava and some decent Bluetooth headphones kept me amused and entertained. 
  5. Enjoyed it – one of the best pieces of advice was to look up and out and the world as I ran.  

As I’ve said on more than one of my videos, if I can do it, you can too.  Take a few steps, run for a minute and before you know it, you’ll be running a five kilometre stretch. 

Podcast: Boys don’t cry with Russell Kane

I’ve written about podcasts before (here and here), and I’m constantly seeking out new ones to add to my commute and gym feed.

I stumbled across Boys don’t Cry, hosted by Russell Kane today and listened to the latest episode on the way to work.  It’s hosted by joe.co.uk which is an interesting online men’s lifestyle brand. 

Boys Don’t Cry – Russell Kane

The episode I was listening too, debated the issue of flirting in the post #metoo era and how (primarily) young men act now that the dynamics of relationships have shifted a bit. 

Russell Kane hosts, alongside comedians Justin Moorhouse and Danny McLoughlin as well as a ‘female auditor’ Rachel Fairburn.

The 45-minute show is both funny and attention grabbing, and gave me some food for thought as I plan any words of wisdom that I have for a young man heading off to university in the next month.  

The archive promises to discuss the ‘issues that men don’t usually like discussing’ – probing the ‘inner recesses of male insecurity’. 

I’d highly recommend Boys Don’t Cry – an entertaining listen, I’m going to be working my way back through the other episodes next.

What podcasts am I missing?  Let me know in the comments what I should be checking out? 

Couch to 5km – lessons for beginners

I’m over halfway through the Couch to 5km programme, it’s the first time I have undertaken a fitness challenge like this one. I’m not a natural runner, so it has taken some effort to get here, but as I was running this morning, I was thinking about what I have learned so far on this journey.

  1. It’s OK to reset, it’s not OK to give up – at the end of week one, I thought I had made a mistake. I was suffering with painful ankles and calves and I started to entertain that idea that I couldn’t do this. A bit of investigation and research and I came up with an alternative approach that reduced the pain and kept me going.
  2. If you need to repeat a week, do that – whilst I was researching, I kept repeating week 2, making small changes each time to see what would work. I did week two a total of three times before I felt I could move on.
  3. Prepare properly – it seems obvious, but stretches and the right equipment can be the difference. The pain I felt in Week 1 and 2 were alleviated by getting shoes with more support for my ‘over pronating’ feet, better socks and then finding a stretching regime that really works for me.
  4. Take it slowly – a bit like lesson 2, it’s OK to do this at your pace and ignore everyone else. Watching other runners is fatal, they are all better than me – so trying to keep up with a pace that is anything other than mine is not a good move.
  5. Reward yourself – I promised myself a new pair of cheap earbuds when I got to week 5 / run 3, two thirds of the way through the programme. It felt like a milestone to run 20 minutes, and so I treated myself to a prize. Now, I’m thinking about what to get myself at the end of week 9.

So far, the programme has been hard but the results have surprised me – in week 1 I struggled to run for 60 seconds and never thought I would get to run for 20 minutes. I have a way to go before I can hit 30 mins, and then a full 5km – but I’m confident with this programme, I’ll get there.

Review: Non Obvious, how to predict trends and win the future by Rohit Bhargava

I’ve been a bit behind on my reading over the last few weeks, but this book fell into my pile as a ‘prize’ at a recent event and quick flick through had me immediately hooked.

Non Obvious 2018 is the latest instalment in an annual report of ‘trends’ that are researched and curated by Bhargava. What originally started out as an online-only report, has made the leap to a book and comes wrapped in some interesting extra chapters.

The book opens with a good explanation of what trends are, and how the author goes about researching, gathering and then curating the ideas for each year. It might seem counter-intuitive to provide a guide to writing your trend book, but the examples and process look fun and anyone can collate their opinions into a book. As someone who struggles to label ideas and projects, I especially liked the methodology that is used to name the trends, and the haystack method of collating information is easily transferrable to other fields of information.

The body of the book is the 2018 report, where Bhargava brings together 15 trends, each with supporting evidence. The 2018 report contains some excellent concepts, from ‘Truthing’ – the idea that people will search out truth based on personal connection through to ‘Manipulated Outrage’ – a perpetual stream of noise that is designed to incite rage.

Each of the trends is well described, with a short and the detailed summary and some good examples. At the end of the trend, there is a ‘why this matters’ section and some ways that you can use this trend to your advantage in business or in your product.

The book is backed up with some online resources, which can help find the articles cited in the examples and some exercises that can help with brainstorming your trends.

At the end of the book, there is a Trend Action Guide, a set of ‘go-do’ actions that can help you continue your thinking about the trends, as well as a comprehensive analysis of the trends identified in the previous books, which I thought was a transparent way of assessing accuracy.

Overall, I really enjoyed Non Obvious, the trends identified were both interesting and provocative. I found myself translating some of these trends into my day job and thinking whether there were opportunities for me leverage some of the thinking into the Customer Experience work I am doing.

The book is written in a very readable style, almost like a magazine or blog with short, snappy chapters containing sensible, relatable examples. I found it a great book for the commute where I might have to stop and start, and it was easy to plough through it at a good pace.

I’d highly recommend Non Obvious to anyone who likes to think about the big picture of the trends that are affecting all of us on a daily basis. The ideas and provocations included feel both accurate and interesting.