By Lindsay Bell-Wheeler
Welcome to the 49th edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss from Michael Schechter (A Better Mess), Howie Goldfarb (Blue Star Strategic Marketing), and yours truly, Lindsay Bell.
For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.
This week we look at an app to help you stay focussed and read faster, what can happen to a marketing campaign when a country has two official languages, and share some brilliance from comedian Louis C.K.
Michael on Reading. So, this week’s thing is an actual thing. Instead of something to read, I’ve fallen for something to read on.
I’m a distractible reader. When working my way through something – especially if that something tends to be heavy on information and light on voice – my mind and more importantly my eyes tend to wonder.
I lose focus and end up reading the same sentence over and over and over again. This tendency always has me looking into new and interesting ways to read, so I was curious when I first heard about Velocity, a new, iOS 7 only speed reading app.
Velocity taps into your Instapaper or Pocket articles, and there’s also a Bookmarklet to send content directly into the app. Then it displays a selected article on the screen one word at a time (at anywhere between 100 and 1,000 words a minute). I was skeptical about this at first, but the video on their website sold me on the concept.
While I wouldn’t recommend Velocity for pieces with a strong narrative or voice, it’s proving to be ideal for getting through information-heavy articles. I’m moving through these pieces faster and the single word focus is not only keeping my attention, but I feel as if it’s improving my retention. For $2.99 it’s worth a shot if, like me, you’re easily distracted.
Howie on Marketing Campaign Planning. If you are a major multinational with all the resources and computer technology available….don’t be a dumbass. If you run a campaign like Vitamin Water did, I suggest you run a language filter to remove all potential for all offensive linguistic conflicts. When you make 100′s of things, chances of pulling a boner (in French is that un Bonet?) are small. But when you make as much product as Coca Cola does, this was a fait accompli!!
Lindsay on Solitude. This has been flying around the interwebs this week, but if you haven’t watched it, it’s a must see. I love Louis C.K. – he just strips things down and tells the frikken truth! And sometimes, the truth is hard to hear. In this chat with Conan, what starts as a typical “I don’t allow my kids to have cell phones…” evolves into a harsh look at smart phone culture, and how it has changed us at an individual level. Personally, I *love* being ‘alone’, as Louis talks about, but 100% agree with his theories here. We are getting numbed by technology. Hope you enjoy it.
Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, book, or article you think we need to see?