Monthly Archives: December 2012

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Writing tips are always interesting – some even conrtadict others, though many are repeated, like write all the time, write every day, practice your trade.


But the most interesting are those from renowned, famous writers, especially those we know from the literary field.

Gifted writers such as Kurt Vonnegut and Anton Chekhov worked according to certain tenets of the craft. Here are some favorites.

Just because you’re writing blogs or website content doesn’t mean you can’t learn a few things from the great writers of yesteryear. In looking at the tips below, you might be surprised at how relevant and timely their advice can be.

Here are 10 ways to improve your writing, online or otherwise:

1. Write, write, write.

“Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed.” —Ray Bradbury

You know what they say, “If you want to be a writer, write!” What applies to novels and newspaper columns also applies to the Web: The more you practice, the better you become. Keep churning out content, refining as you go, learning what works and what doesn’t. Over time, your content will improve.

Read the rest here.

This is a re-post from LinkedIn, which surprisingly doesn’t employ a proper infographic. But it ends with a good question, so I suggest we all meditate on that for a few minutes.


Throughout Change by Design, I tried to show that the designer’s skills can be applied to a wide range of problems—and also that these skills are accessible to a far greater range of people than may be commonly supposed. These two threads come together when we apply them to one of the most challenging problems of them all: designing a life. There is a big difference, though, between planning a life, drifting through life, and designing a life.

We all know of people who go through life with every step preplanned. They knew which university they would attend, which internship would lead to a successful career, and at what age they will retire. Unfortunately, this never works out as planned. And anyway, if you know the winner before the start, where’s the fun in the game?

Like any good design team, we can have a sense of purpose without deluding ourselves that we can predict every outcome in advance, for this is the space of creativity. We can blur the distinction between the final product and the creative process that got us there. We can learn how to take joy in the things we create. We can work within the constraints of our own natures—and still be agile, build capabilities, iterate. We can conduct experiments, make discoveries, change our perspectives.

Think of today as a prototype. What would you change?

Original article here.


This re-post from LinkedIn approaches the topic of stress and what it does to our bodies. Links at the bottom will take you to related posts on the subject.


I don’t want to open the vast discussion of stress that now exists, except to make two limited points. 1. Stress isn’t good for you. 2. The vast majority of people do not deal with their stress effectively. Coming to grips with these two things is important for anyone who wants to create a conscious lifestyle. To be aware is to be open, alert, ready to meet unknown challenges, and capable of fresh responses. When you are under stress, these qualities are compromised. Raise the stress high enough and they are reversed. The mind closes down as an act of self-defense. In that state it is very difficult to be alert and open.

But stress is bad for you in far more basic ways. The hormones that are released in the body’s stress response, such as cortisol and adrenaline, are meant to be temporary. Their effect is to galvanize the fight-or-flight response, which is triggered in a primitive area of the brain, because fight-or-flight is an inheritance from our pre-human past. In the stress response, a privileged pathway is opened for dealing with emergencies, while at the same time the brain’s higher responses are temporarily suppressed.

Read the rest here.

How the social media landscape will develop is a question that is always discussed during social media think tanks. Not only are we unsure of the future – and is it just a phase? – but we can also play a part in guiding it.

This post from gives six interesting prediction for social media in 2013. And some of them we’ve all heard before, so we should take note. A picture does tell a thousand words. Infographics are on the rise. And yes, timing is everything.


Although 2012 was filled with exciting PR and social media developments, including London’s 2012 Olympic extravaganza,Prince Harry’s Las Vegas scandal, and a down-to-the-wire race for the U.S. presidency, the coming year is sure to see even further transformations of the media landscape.

1. LinkedIn is the new Facebook. More brands will use LinkedIn to monitor conversations and connect with customers and influencers. New and enhanced features on the site, such as its “endorse” capability (which employs the one-click validation of a Facebook “like”) and new profile and company page designs are encouraging users to spend more time building their personal brands with LinkedIn’s tools. Companies, particularly in the B2B world, will increasingly recognize its marketing potential. Also, as adoption and activity on LinkedIn surge, journalists will spend more time using the platform for research, identifying sources and breaking stories.

Read the rest here.

Lots of people have social media accounts like LinkedIn and Facebook, but they don’t always know the right way to use each one. And they are different, so should be treated and approached differently. After all, who wants to give a potential employee access to their Facebook page? That’s what LinkedIn is for.

Here’s a re-post from Firebrand Blog with some tips for those using LinkedIn.


Almost everyone I’m in contact with through business is on LinkedIn these days (and if you’re not, you should be). It’s a brilliant, professional, online business networking site and a place where you’re expected to promote yourself through your own profile and other areas of the site. Having said that, I consistently hear people moaning about a number of things that their connections do that really annoys them.

Since my post on 18 things you should not do on Twitter was so well received, I thought I’d share my candid thoughts on what you should avoid on LinkedIn.

Read the rest here.

The Firebrand Blog shared their best ten blogs from over the year. Among them was this one. With such a headline, how could I resist reading it? Especially when Disruption is a topic so close to the heart of WMN.

Here’s the re-post:

If you want your company to beat the competition and be the place the best clients and people want to be in – then make sure you’re hiring black sheep. And sometimes be a black sheep yourself. Here’s why.

Too often we hire clones — worthy clones: hard working, ambitious, disciplined, compliant, well educated, often trained and proven in a competitive firm, appropriately groomed, etc. You know the story. Just look around you. Look at yourself perhaps.

To really succeed in a fast changing world where rules of old are being broken every day — as a business or as an executive striving for the most vibrant of career — we have to resist the usual and be brave.


Read the rest here.

“What does disruption mean?” asks Janine Stein, at the panel of experienced change makers to start off the discussion.

Sue Adams, Head of Learning and Development at Aldersgate Partners and Bamboo Businesses, began the round by differentiating change and disruption. “Change occurs every day, whereas disruption is big transition.” As many women in the room could probably attest, Adams explained that having a baby or moving to a new job is a disruption – it’s not an everyday change.

Jennifer Berthold, Vice President and General Manager of American Express Singapore, said  “From a corporate point of view, unanticipated change is disruption – change that’s not asked for but happens to be change you have to respond to.”

Charmaine Huet said philosophically that what is permanent and what isn’t has been contemplated for centuries by thinkers such as Plato – disruption can be both big and small. Huet is the former Communications Director for Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific and described how leaving Discovery to take care of her baby, then becoming the General Manager at La Barca Ristorante was a disruption she initiated to create more balance in her life. “For big decisions in life, balance is key” she advised.


For Abi Sekimitsu, General Manager at Reuters South East Asia and Pacific, disruption is changing what we’ve always done. It’s about getting out of our comfort zone and often comes with the big question: Are we ready to challenge ourselves?


The panel gave a three-sixty perspective on how disruption presents itself, how it can be dealt with and harnessed to bring about positive change and improvements to get head, both in our lives and in the global market.

The common theme of the morning was that disruption was necessary for growth, especially in this time over ever evolving technologies, market behaviour and personal choices. Encouraging innovation (“embedding it into the DNA of a company”, as put by Jennifer), soliciting collective buy-in from all stakeholders and employees from the top-down and bottom-up and changing our perspective of failure are vital when embracing and deploying disruption. A good method to move towards this is to give incentives, understand the fear behind resistance and create a forum for discussions.

Both eastern and western approaches to failure were discussed among the panel. The concept ‘fail fast, fail quickly and move one’ was introduced. Adams offered a coaching perspective that ‘win, learn, Change’ is a more positive formula.

Review and acceptance should be part of every organisation – failure should be taken out of the equation. Bad decisions are not failure, Sekimitsu added, because it’s a step away from where we started; the only failure is not trying. From an eastern perspective, Sekimitsu and Huet noted that failure equates with shame. Asians need to learn to separate failure with shame so innovation can be adopted.

Guests at the event also heard that women make fantastic change managers. Women are natural communicators and collaborators. Good managers ask questions, they engage. It’s an ego-free process where what’s best for the organisation is conveyed and the best outcomes happen when everyone is one board.




About the author:

Amanda Blum is a freelance writer, traveller and social entrepreneur. She was born in raised in London and spent the latter part of teen and adult life growing up in a small town in Florida where she studied English Lit, Anthropology and Environmental Science.


In the spirit of change and innovation, Amanda recently migrated to Singapore in search of new challenges, projects and eco opportunities.

This post was so interesting and helpful that I wanted to post it into our Industry blog so that you can all refer back to it any time you need it.

LinkedIn groups are useful for a range of reasons. People tend to be more careful about their use and inclusion in groups on the platform because of its professional outlook, and while I like the platform, I don’t find the interface to be that intuitive (not that I love the Facebook one either).

On top, LinkedIn seem to be moving more and more towards developing their niche and their own tools, having separated some partner functions from Twitter and embracing their own market more.

This is a re-post – no ownership implied.



Are you currently managing your ownLinkedIn group?

Are you considering launching a LinkedIn group?

Keep reading for five tips on how to better manage LinkedIn groups.

Why Start a LinkedIn Group?

Building a LinkedIn group around a specific cause or niche topic can provide many business benefits.  You could:

  • Build more awareness with your target markets
  • Position you and/or your company as an industry thought leader
  • Nurture valuable industry relationships
  • Showcase and highlight your own thought leadership content
  • Generate interest and inquiries for your company
  • Convert group members to subscribers and advocates for your brand

As you can see, there are many good reasons to start a LinkedIn group, but it can be very helpful to have some guidelines for managing a successful group after you launch.

Read the rest here.

Here is another great post, from Firebrand.


Not only do I love infographics (and they seem to be increasingly popular) but this  one is really helpful for brands trying to figure out what platform to use. These days, Facebook is trying so hard to monetise that they are not the friendliest platform for brands. Ok, brands to get a group or page for free, but the time and money behind managing the account is still a cost factor.

Now, Facebook wants to charge for posts, if you want them to be visible in your fans’ streams. This post will tell you a lot more about it.

The main message we’ve heard from our HK social media guru, Jay Oatway, is move on! Grow your audience in a new place, Facebook is becoming hostile grounds.


Facebook is seen by many as the ultimate social media marketing platform to engage with your customers and prospects.


Nearly 1 billion potential customers are using it, so why participate on any other social network? It seems that marketing with Facebook will provide you with the means to reach and engage with all of them.

Read the rest, here.