You know what next week is? A short week! Oh. Wait. I guess the short week really isn’t until the following week. But most of us will leave early next Friday. Right? Right.

So sorry to rub that in the faces of my friends not in the U.S. We’ll be thinking of you as we sit outside sweltering in the heat.

Until then, though, there is plenty of work to do. Including reading/watching these five pieces I’ve pulled together for you. Some will inspire the heck out of you, while others will have you nearly peeing your pants from laughing so hard (cough, sheep expert, cough).

Without further ado, this week’s Gin and Topics.

5. I Scored a 35 Playing the Google Game. I saw this tweet come across my stream because Sarah Robinson RT’d it. Intrigued at the title, I clicked through and was pleasantly surprised to find Alex Whalley and his extremely concise, and easy to understand, content on SEO. This particular post teaches you about the long tail of search. Everyone who needs a lesson should try his suggestions…and see how high you score.

4. Equality Is Up to You. Late last week, as I was boarding a plane, Ann Manion and I had a fiesty email exchange about women, our perceived equality, the glass ceiling, and why more of us aren’t invited to speak at conferences. Her last email to me was a link to Sheryl Sandberg’s (the COO at Facebook) commencement address at Barnard. It was one of the most inspiring speeches I’ve ever seen. Ever. It’s worth every minute. Please watch it, women and men both. I want to be her when I grow up.

3. An Open Letter to TIME re: Darth Vader. Let’s be real; any person who has created an entire identity around doing PR for the Death Star has to be the most creative around. And, to prove my point, this letter to TIME, who listed Darth Vader as the third worst fictional father figure. They wrote the letter as if it were coming directly from The Galatic Empire. So. Freaking. Funny. I wish I were this creative.

2. Six Easy Steps for Measuring Marketing. It’s a big no no for me to link to anything on Spin Sucks in Gin and Topics, but I’m so impressed with the REAL RAW DATA that Adam Boastman provided in his guest post this week that I think it’s fair to point you to it, especially if you missed it. If you’re in marketing or PR, this is a MUST read. It has really easy steps to begin to implement a dashboard for reporting your results.

1. Klout Discovers a Renowned Sheep Expert In Mr. Danny Brown. This is, by far, the best interview I’ve seen all week. It’s no secret how many of us feel about Klout and its perceived influence measure, but this just takes the cake…and shows how easy it is to game the system. I love how serious Danny and Dino Dogan come across. Some people on Twitter thought it was real. #iamdying

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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