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Did You Miss? 22 MUST READS of 2013

Here are some of my absolute favorite posts of the year. I am a curating machine and have a funnel system for all of the things I read, where I skim most in Feedly, share some, bookmark the ones I want to write about, occasionally save articles I want to read more carefully in Pocket, and then star (in Pocket) the very few articles I want to save for longer.  Here are the best of those.  Trust me, take some time with this list – you won’t regret it.

These are in no particular order.

Generally interesting stuff:

Six Visual Solutions To Complex Digital Marketing/Analytics Challenges (Avinash Kaushik)

“Each of the six visuals re-frames a unique facet of the digital opportunity/challenge, and shares how to optimally take advantage of the opportunity/challenge.

We’ll start with digital at the highest strategic level, which leads us into content marketing, from there it is a quick hop over to the challenge of metrics and silos, followed by a recommendation to optimize for the global maxima, and we end with the last two visuals that cover social investment and social content strategy.”

Content Management Has It Backwards. Behavior Trumps Action. (Richard Becker)

“Instead of attempting to remind people to recycle every time they are about to toss a plastic bottle away, you want them to develop a long-term behavior so you don’t have to be an ever-present reminder. Conversely, great campaigns results in long-term behavioral changes so people not only toss plastic bottles into recycling bins, but also actively seek them out by extending their threshold for convenience.

So maybe it’s better to think less about systems of delivery (technology), single event triggers (response), and the minimum reach to generate an expressed conversion (reach) and think more about how you can change behavior so that your company is part of the equation much earlier in the decision making process. Some people might mistakenly assume I’m talking about brand loyalty alone, but the relationship is embedded before brand consideration, making loyalty an outcome.

The future of marketing isn’t just technology. It’s behavioral sciences.”

Why a New Golden Age for UI Design Is Around the Corner (Wired)

“Over the past 30 years, as every facet of our lives, from our shopping to our schooling, has migrated onto computer screens, designers have focused on perfecting user interfaces—placing a button in just the right place for a camera trigger or collapsing the entire payment process into a series of swipes and taps. But in the coming era of ubiquitous sensors and miniaturized mobile computing, our digital interactions won’t take place simply on screens. As the new Disney World suggests, they will happen all around us, constantly, as we go about our day. Designers will be creating not products or interfaces but experiences, a million invisible transactions.”

The Secret to Scaling Social Networks and Local Marketplaces (Platform Thinking) – a must read for anyone involved in community management.

“We often associate social networks with hyper-growth, a perception largely fostered by growth infographics of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest that get shared all around. But not all social networks scale that easily.”

Why Big Data Will Never Beat Human Intuition (Mix) – we always say data is the beginning of the conversation, not the end.

The Platform Design Canvas: a tool for Business Design - fascinating proposal for a model of  business as platform.

  • “From customer segments to segments of peers: the first principle behind the canvas and the vision of the business as a platform is to understand how the role of the consumer has changed radically from at least two points of view. Users now increasingly want an active role in the process of consuming and often become producers or configurators of goods and services when they get a chance.

  • Among these peer groups, transactions increasingly happen with exchange of value. These transactions may take place outside of the platform or, more desirably, within the same, through appropriate channels. When these channels do not exist they should be created and cured by those stakeholders who manage the platform: their mission is to spot the emergence of informal transactions and economies that can be modeled and grown around optimized channels.”

What the Future Holds for Business Blogging (Hubspot)- Spoiler alert – business blogging is more and more essential and here’s a great explanation why.

Transmedia Storytelling: Building Worlds For and With Fans (Moz) – really love this and find it inspiring. I hope we’ll all start to get much more creative with our content (including us here at SocialFish!)

7 questions you’ll face as you modernize your company (John Stepper)

“As a company evolves, the questions shift from fear of the unknown to a desire for utility to excitement about innovative possibilities. And the answers tend to be – or can be – the same across companies.

Knowing the questions and answers in advance might help you modernize your firm more quickly. Or at least provide some comfort that others are sharing in the same challenges and struggles.”

The Influencer checklist (John Stepper) – how to spark adoption. Must try–and please report back!

Self-explanatory tool-related, but really really good:

10 Mobile Trends for 2013 (That Brands Need to Embrace) (McMurry/TMG) – this is really good, and I hope the link works, as it’s to my saved article on Pocket, now the original doesn’t come up.

The 3 Steps for Success in a Multi-device Search World (Moz) – more on the topic of mobile.

The SEO of Responsive Web Design (Moz) – and another. Must read.

7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook (HuffPost)- we’re all guilty – but after reading this, I’m doing my best not to be.

3 improved social media metrics to implement in 2014 (SBOSM)

“Your 2014 is in front of you. You have the choice to rinse and repeat old metrics and methods only to find you’re back in the same place. Or you can hold yourself and your organization accountable to new measures and standards. Those articulated here are just a few that we have found to have great consequence on building and sustaining better marketing and better businesses.”

The Step-by-Step Guide to Hosting Epic Google Hangouts (Moz)

“Google+ hangouts are the unsung heroes of digital marketing. They allow you to communicate with customers, develop videos for your YouTube channel, and place distinctive content on your website and social networks…all for free.

Yet, how many hangouts have you organized last month? And, if you produced hangouts recently, have you scaled them to improve your social following and engagement? If the answers to these questions are “no” and “not really”, then this post is for you.”

5 Big Reasons Why You Should Consider Google Plus Marketing (Jeff Bullas)

“Google+ may not have caught on with users as a Facebook alternative yet, but the service’s “Plus 1” symbol is ubiquitous within social marketing, and top name brands are commonly listing the Google+ icon on television ads right next to their Facebook and Twitter symbols. Whether you like it or not, Google+ is quickly becoming a significant player in the social media marketing world because it has one thing going for it that no other social site has: Google.”

How to Use Tumblr for SEO and Social Media Marketing (Moz)

Feature Friday: The Explore Page (A VC) – would love to see some of you run with this.

“At USV we invest in a lot of networks and marketplaces. These are messy places where anyone can post most anything and it can be hard to find the good stuff. Enter the explore page. Using data, analytics, social signals, and often some human element, the explore pages are incredible places to discover amazing stuff.”

Just for fun:

Every Noise At Once - Ever wonder about the  difference between drum n’bass and dubstep? Or indie rock and post-grunge? Here’s a truly amazing audio map.

Kids Can’t Use Computers… And This Is Why It Should Worry You - provocative, but true.

A Trance-Inducing Simulation of All the Winds In the World - breathtaking and mesmerizing.

Enjoy! And please, if there’s anything you think we should not miss, add yours in the comments.




(Photo credit)

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