Monday, March 30, 2015

The "yellow fats" category

For weeks I've been telling some students of mine that you can tell which company's margarine you're buying by the shape of their tubs, regardless of the brand.

Goodman Fielder are the round tubs -  mostly Meadow Lea but plenty of other brands.

Unilever are the "orbital" rectangular with rounded corners - mostly Flora but plenty of other brands too.

Whiteboard: Social Media Consumers for Tour Down Under

A little exercise I just ran.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Reality check: Are you doing what it takes?

I have been thinking about the nature of achievement, and a particular question springs to mind:

"Are you currently doing enough of what it takes to get you where you say you want to be?"

I've noted two sad situations recently. The first is the person who worked all his life to be comfortable - good job, plenty of money, comfort. Then at 46 the guy was lamenting how his life was empty. Sounds like a matter of choosing the wrong goals for himself, achieving them and recognising that there's more to life. A variation on the old "on their death bed, nobody says 'I wish I'd worked harder".

The othre sad situation is when a person sets a goal for themselves, but then they don't do the things required to achieve that goal. So, if you want to be an HD student are you putting in the hours and working with likeminded students? If you want publications in A journals are you really writing, submitting, reworking and resubmitting? If you want to be earning more money are you minimising the amount of unpaid work you're doing and saying 'yes' more often to unpleasant but lucrative offers?

Of the two, I feel the second is the sadder of the two situations, because from the outside it seems so obvious. And it indicates that the person is not being honest with themselves - that they are on a train track just wishing that the train will end up at a different destination.

So at the end of this I have a question for myself - "is where you say you want to be really where you want to be?" and a question for others:

"Are you currently doing enough of what it takes to get you where you say you want to be?"

Sunday, March 22, 2015

This is what we'll assess our students' blogs based on

Thanks for coming here. You probably followed a link from twitter from cullenofadelaid - and you haven't heard from me lately. Sorry about that. I'm running a lecture for a friend's "Social Media Marketing" course and your clickthrough just appeared on my pageviews, which will help me show students how they can do the "objective measures" and "promote your blog" part of their assignment.

Here it is:

Friday, March 20, 2015

A little vid shows how content marketing works

I was confused about the various sizes of HDMI plugs. Because Google is my friend, I landed pretty quickly at this vid. How easy is that?

And this little is has created over 1300 views for a small business called cables2u. Sure, it's modest but imagine you want to "snail mail" 1300 people?

A blog on how to be a better blogger

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

As a student - why write a blog?

I am working with some students who have been asked to write a blog as a part of a course they're doing. They may well ask "why?"

So, as well as getting a feel for content marketing - in my opinion one of the great new directions - the student will be enhancing their personal brand. I've done it with other students in other courses and it works.

I have a dozen students in the last two years who have landed a great job in marketing who have thanked me for getting them into writing a blog, because they feel it got them over the line.

Here's one, currently working full time in NYC.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hello to my "Social Media Marketing" students

I'm running a few sessions in a course called "Social Media Marketing"

So I'm saying hello to my students. In particular I'm saying hello to the one, or two, students out of the 60 or so I have who have done the clever thing. They will have found out the name of their tutor, Googled him and got to this blog.

You win the door prize. Very clever. I look forward to working through this strange animal that is social media over the next ten weeks - with you.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A tale of two Cullens

In August 2004 I allowed my lust for the sky to wane, and focused hard on academic research. It gave me plenty - a PhD, a bunch of wages/billings to date, and a saleable set of skills. And this is a photo of me after eight years at it:

Fine. No problem. But after eight years it was clear that the academic research gig wasn't gonna work for me - at that time. I searched my memories for the time I was the happiest. In Jan 2013 I got back into the sky again. For the last two years I've had my Facebook status as "part time DZ bum" and used a day job(s) to meet my (most important) responsibilities to family and traditional life. But I love the sky.

After two years at it this way I took this photo yesterday, on my 999th skydive. So as a career (what career?) goes I didn't entirely choose the path myself but I dunno, the path might have been a good one.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

On the cusp of working till I'm 90

Not that I'm complaining - but I think we're on the cusp of working until we're 90.

As the demographic bulge of the baby boomer generation moves through Australia's economic and employment system this is almost the day I've been waiting for.

As a kid I was regaled by stories of young people in the 1960s walking out of a job on a Friday and walking into a new one on the Monday. The employment market was that loose.

By 1985 when I was looking for a job, it was pretty grim. After the stockmarket crash of 1987 it was disastrous, and I've only once (God bless Cryovac) worked in a job where I felt valued and secure and left only because it was time to grow.

But just as the employment market was tight then (by pure weight of baby boomer numbers) so everyone seems to want to retire, these days. As a guy who was born two years after the last baby boomer I'm classified as GenX. I've always felt like I've been scratching around in the dirt with the rest of the chooks, trying to find something to eat. For the last three years I've classified myself as a "freelance educator and market researcher" - living mostly on invoices I can send to a range of clients. It's kept food on the table and kept me in the sky.

But recently the scratching has become more productive. I'm noticing increasing numbers of people ten years older than me who have formally stepped out of the game - and good on them - meaning I get asked to quote more often. And in the last three months I've had a lot of calls.

I need to remain humble about this. A swallow doesn't make a spring. But if the prediictions are true - that we will all be asked to work until we're a lot older - I'm not complaining.

In his adolescent rant a young guy called Ryan Heath squealed Please Just F* Off: It's Our Turn Now (Pluto Press, 2006) and told us GenXers to get out of the way, too. News for Ryan - there are no "turns" and if there were, then the late boomers and GenXers never had one. So man up, Ryan, and compete in the free market like the rest of us.

But the good news is that market forces might cut all us chooks a break.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Be ready for Uni

A retailer that happens to be right next to a University campus has done a perfect blend of capitalising on a situation and helping with problem identification.