Written by Matthew J. De Reno Tuesday, 15 May 2012 00:56
The Art of Getting Things Done (GTD)
We have all sorts of gadgets that can do great things, but more gadgets can merely mean more mechanisms to channel more work to us more often. Can we use our technology to get things done faster? Technological gadgetry has efficiently maximized the channeling of work to us but most folks have yet to learn how to efficiently use technology to process this voluminous never-ending work stream. A potential solution is to apply the principles of Getting Things Done or GTD.
What Is GTD?
Getting Things Done (GTD) is a popular personal productivity time-management system developed by David Allen. GTD doesn't require any sort of specific software. GTD only requires a mindset, though it should be noted there are countless GTD apps and tools out there for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS systems. GTD has an ardent following among knowledge workers in particular, a group distinguished in my opinion, as a breeding ground for innovative concepts in project and time management (e.g., Agile, Kanban, Scrum, and the list goes on).
I have been doing GTD for a couple years now. I can honestly say it has made a huge impact in my effectiveness in both a professional and personal capacity. I have a full-time job and a private business with a small client portfolio. I also need to keep my skills fresh, occasionally work on a fiction project or two, help others with websites, and do the best job I can - I saved the most important for last - as a family man. I need to master the art of Getting Things Done.
Written by Matthew J. De Reno Friday, 20 April 2012 02:44
The Pros and Cons of Serious Lego Play, Team Building, and How To Deal With Insufferable Cynics
Recently I participated in a "Strategic Lego Play" team building exercise at an engineering retreat. Strategic Lego Play (a/k/a, LEGO SERIOUS PLAY, the trademarked name of the activity by the LEGO company) is a team building activity whereby groups are given piles of Legos to build models that conceptualize certain ideal engineering and management principles. For example: with a given pile of Legos, we were tasked with building a model of what an efficient management process would look like to us. I suppose the challenge is you have finite resources, limited time, a team you must work with, and a goal to do something. I'll buy that.
Written by Matthew J. De Reno Wednesday, 04 April 2012 20:04
Where Patch.com Went Wrong with Hyperlocal
Patch.com (owned by AOL.com - yes, of 1980s Internet fame) set out to do something ambitious: become the national media leader on delivering profitable hyperlocal news coverage. By all indications, it does not look like that ambition will bare fruit. I am not celebrating that fact, but traditional media will likely smile.
What Is Hyperlocal?
Hyperlocal describes websites that focus on very specialized topics of interest only to people in a very limited geographic area. Typically, school board meetings, restaurants, community group meetings, and garage sales are big newsmakers for hyperlocal websites.
To carry out its ambitious plan, Patch systematically launched hundreds of hyperlocal websites, each with a full-time editor, sales person, and a network of listings contractors, and what have you. The idea was to provide coverage of the so-called lesser served suburban communities, which typically are made up of attractive market demographics.
Written by Matthew J. De Reno Tuesday, 20 March 2012 07:27
The Pros and Cons of Free or Low-cost Websites For Your Small Business?
Many small business owners who are just getting started in the online world of websites for their small business (and believe me there are more of you than you think), have probably come across very cheap and free website options. This article aims to examine the pros and cons of low-cost, free website solutions for your small business.
Written by Matthew J. De Reno Wednesday, 07 March 2012 10:44
Think Like A Hub To Grow Your Small Business Website
According to latest trends, index search appears to be going down whereas "app search" - as in mobile app stores - appears to loom as an emerging, ultra-competitive Internet marketplace. It would further appear that more and more Internet surfers are relying on trusted brand awareness sites, which serve as marketplaces for well known products. This possible shift in the search marketplace could be the power of hub centrality at work: the bigger a hub gets, the more links it tends to attract.
Google should take notice because the power of hubs just might be the reason that Google someday looses its own preeminence in the search marketplace. You, as a small business owner, should take notice, because the principle of hub centrality can work for you or against you in very powerful ways.
Hub centrality is a network phenomenon that is not merely a property of dominant websites but most things that exist in everyday life. The people with the most friends, tend to attract more friends much easier than those that didn't have many to begin with. So what does this mean for your small business website?
You can leverage the principle of hub centrality to great advantage. At the very least, you should be educated about how it affects you.
Case in point: a key component of the Google search formula is that inbound links are super important. How many people link to you, increases your value in Google's eyes, which by virtue places a great value on the principle of hub centrality. Google, then, is in the business of creating and promoting hubs. As hard as it is to fathom today, if Google doesn't innovate and try other things, they will likely give way to even a greater hub than itself.
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