From AIN Conference 2017.

I spent the past week in Washington, DC at Influence 2015, the annual convention for the National Speakers Association.

It was a great opportunity to connect with other speakers, share my thoughts on the value of what we do, and, of course, learn a ton of great things.

Here are 10 Insights I gained from Influence 2015:

#1 Model Your Content [Neen James]

In a session on Commercializing Thought Leadership, Neen James suggested creating a model for your content. There are a number of benefits to this, including enhancing personal branding and building credibility, but the most important benefit is that it can clarify thinking.

Think about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and how informational this single graphic is (now with WiFi!).

wifi hierarchy of needs

#2 The Power of Analogy [Roger Courville]

Roger was part of Jeffrey Hayzlett’s morning session that included Q&A. What impressed me about Roger was his ability to answer questions through analogies.

Roger spoke of the value of Virtual Presentations and, when addressing concerns about their typically one-sided, impersonal nature, he reminded us that we’ve experienced that for years with TV and Radio.

That simple connection clicked in my head to help shift my perspective on doing things virtually.

#3 A Story is the Most Engaging Thing of All [Immaculee Ilibagiza]

immaculee

Immaculee delivered a talk during the opening general session of the conference.

It started with a short video, then she came out, took her spot on stage, and began to speak. And for the duration of her talk (I’m not entirely sure how long it was as it flew by, but at least 30 minutes), she didn’t move anything except her mouth as she told her story.

There were no slides, no big gestures, and no audience participation. And yet we all listened. Because her story was engaging, powerful, and moving.

She told the story of surviving genocide by hiding in a bathroom for 91 days and what it was like coming out of it all as a different person.

Compelling slides, big movements, and audience activities can certainly make for an engaging talk, but there’s nothing quite like an incredible story told by an incredibly storyteller.

#4 Being Good is the Best Marketing [Laurie Guest]

Laurie led an incredibly useful breakout session on a deep-dive into sweetspot pricing.

She covered a number of tactical things to do, but my biggest takeaway was more strategic. Laurie said her goal is 2-to-1 speaking; at every event she does she wants to get 2 more engagements out of it.

Translation: be so good that you get future bookings from people in the audience. There’s still strategy that goes along with this (such as giving out Tent Cards that have a spot for people to check “I want to hire you”), but it all starts with being great on stage.

#5 Can’t Knock the Hustle [Chef Jeff]

The opening night started out with a bang with a great presentation from Chef Jeff, a former drug dealer and prison inmate who’s now a successful chef, entrepreneur, speaker, TV personality, and more.

He told the tale of how he ended up in prison and ultimately became a hustlepreneur, turning Federal Penitentiary into Federal University.

The number one ingredient to success: hard work. Where you’ve been is certainly a part of your story, but what happens next is entirely up to you to write, and you write it through hard work, focus, and dedication.

#6 Use Principle-Driven Decision-Making [Bruce Weinstein]

Bruce, a fellow NSA-NYC chapter member, is known as the Ethics Guy. So it’s no surprise that he led a session on Ethics.

With the help of Gerard Braud, Bruce created a Family-Feud style game to teach the value ethical leadership. They would get a group of people up and ask them an ethical question (such as “Would you get on a flight and do an event if you knew you had the flu?”). The participants would guess, there’d be discussion, and then Bruce would give his perspective.

When giving the reasoning behind what decision to make, Bruce returned to 5 Principles. Every. Single. Time. The 5 Principles?

  1. Do No Harm
  2. Make Things Better
  3. Respect Others
  4. Be Fair
  5. Care

Having a set of principles can make the decision making process easier—you return to each time and use that to determine the course of action. Not “do whatever is easier” or “whatever makes more money” but do what should be done based on your principles.

#7 Be Grateful to the Audience [Mark Scharenbroich]

Mark’s closing keynote of the conference is one of the Top 5 speeches I’ve ever seen live. It was absolutely brilliant in terms of message, pacing, humor, and poignancy.

2 hours after delivering a keynote to 1700 people in a packed room, Mark took part in a breakout session for less than 100 people where he deconstructed how he prepared for the talk.

In both sessions, Mark started off with saying thank you to the audience, showing gratitude for them just being there.

A man who has delivered over 1,000 talks, is a CSP and CPAE, and had just given an incredible keynote, was still thankful to a room full of strangers. It didn’t matter the size, nor the context, of the group, Mark was appreciative that they were willing to listen.

#8 The Value is In the Hallways [Damian Mason]

Damian delivered a masterful impersonation of Bill Clinton at one of the evening events, as well as value-packed breakout session on re-invention.

20150718_194354

He was also one of the funniest, most authentic people I met at the conference. He shared his honest thoughts and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. He’s also been around for awhile.

He profoundly told me that the greatest value of a conference such as this isn’t in the general sessions or in the breakouts, it’s in the hallway (and the restaurant and bar).

Basically it’s where you connect with people, build relationships, and learn from each other. He was right.

It was in those places that I met people who gave me great insight on my own business, connected me with potential clients, and more than a few who became friends, which is helpful in a business such as this one.

#9 Embrace Your Strengths [Me]

Yes it’s a little weird and a lot narcissistic to gain an insight from yourself, but here we are.

I delivered a session on the ROI of what we do, quantifying the value speakers provide to organizations. It was a presentation chock full of numbers, something I’m passionate about.

After delivering the talk, I had a number of people tell me how much they enjoyed it. In a VOE recording session, the sound guy said he’d never hear anyone talk about what I was talking about in his 21 years of experience.

One woman stopped me later in the hallway to tell me it was the most valuable session she attended the whole conference. She didn’t say funniest or best, she said “most valuable.” As an engineer, that’s the best compliment I could ever receive.

It all came from sharing something that is my passion and my strength: thinking about numbers and how we can use them demonstrate our value. What came more naturally to me was brand new for others.

#10 We’re All Human [Everyone]

Perhaps the biggest insight was a reminder that we’re all human.

From a Hall of Fame Speaker who has made over a million dollars from speaking to someone who started their business last week, we’re all human beings.

And at a conference like this, you get to meet those people as human beings.

I talked with Mark about stand-up comedy, with Immaculee about NYC neighborhoods, and with Laurie about interesting audience questions.

I saw mainstage speakers working out in the gym, big name speakers waiting at the end of the line for food, and speakers of all experience levels rocking it on the dance floor.

No matter their skill level, topic, years of experience, or dollars earned, they were accessible, open, giving, and sometimes a little drunk.

We sometimes get enamored with those we perceive as experts, professionals, or celebrities. And while those who work hard and develop mastery in their craft should be celebrated, they shouldn’t be put up on an unapproachable pedestal.

Because at the end of the day (and end of the conference), we’re all human.

On to Influence 2016

Needless to say, Influence 2015 was tremendously valuable for me as a speaker and as a person. If you’re interested in getting in on the action, be sure to sign up for Influence 2016 in Phoenix, AZ next year.

I had the privilege of speaking at TEDxOhioStateUniversity in February of this year. The video is finally available online:

You’d think with 94% of Americans having the option of Broadband Internet that things like site loading and page speed wouldn’t be that important. But given that 24% of all Internet traffic comes from Mobile, how long it takes your site to load is still a big factor of user satisfaction (and Google rankings).

Here’s how I improved my Google PageSpeed score by 40 points in 5 minutes.

1. Check your PageSpeed score

First, check your score by going to http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

2. Make 2 tweaks to your .htaccess file

Add the following to your .htaccess file (assuming you are on an Apache server such as Dreamhost):

[html]

# Enable Caching for Speed

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType text/html M3600
ExpiresByType text/css M3600
ExpiresByType application/x-javascript M3600
ExpiresByType image/bmp M3600
ExpiresByType image/gif M3600
ExpiresByType image/x-icon M3600
ExpiresByType image/jpeg M3600

[/html]

3. Install W3 Total Cache

Install W3 Total Cache and enable the following options: Page, Minify, Database, Object, and Browser, and then hit Save All Settings.

4. Check your PageSpeed score again

Submit your site again and see your improvements. You can also read the other tips provided by Google on how to make your site even faster.

And just like that, you’ve increased your PageSpeed score.

RESOURCES:

photo by Tsahi Levent-Levi

photo by Tsahi Levent-Levi

I was recently asked to sit on a panel to answer questions about job transition. Given my move from the corporate project manager to full-time speaker last year, people were interested in how I handled the move.

Here are some of the questions I was asked along with my answers:

What steps did you take to clarify your career goals?

For me it was a discovery process. I tried a little bit of everything it seemed, looking to see what stuck out the most. I’m not the type of person that can just visualize how something might look or feel, instead I have to just go out and do it.

To expand on that research, I also talked with people in the field. I asked them what their day-to-day schedule was like, what they liked about the job, what they disliked about it. Over the course of a few years, there was something that I kept coming back to from all the things I tried: teaching people about humor.

Was there a defining moment in your search?

There was. I had already created the humor in the workplace blog, but I hadn’t fully decided if that’s what I wanted to do long-term. And then I talked with Sarah.

Sarah was a coworker of mine at P&G. We worked together on a couple of projects, and one night, before a big project was due, she came up to me and said,

You know, Drewsito, before Project Awesomization, I was feeling burned out from my job and not liking what I was doing. And then I joined your project, and right away I could see it was different. The project wasn’t named a typical boring name, it was Awesomization. We each had unique nicknames for our meetings. And you started each meeting with an interesting question, like “what’s the first thing you remember spending money on?” Or “what was the last movie that made you tear up?”

And I realized that you made the choice to make your work more fun. Your manager didn’t pull you aside and say “Use more humor.” The CEO didn’t come down with a directive that said “Have more fun.” You made a choice to have fun with your work, and that’s now starting to rub off on me. Now, when something frustrating happens, I think “What would Andrew do? How would he find the humor in this?” And it’s helped. I’m not as stressed or frustrated as I was before, and I’m actually enjoying some of my work. Thank you.

It was in that moment that I realized there are thousands, probably millions, possibly billions of people that are in the old mindset that Sarah had–going to work everyday stressed, frustrated, and dejected. I wanted to find as many of those people as possible and tell them there’s a better, more enjoyable, will-actually-make-you-a-better-employee way to work. That’s when I knew that growing Humor That Works was what I wanted to do.

How did you keep your energy up during the process?

There have been a few things I’ve done that really helped with the process. One was “finding my tribe,” a group of people that were like-minded and working to accomplish something similar. They proved to be a great resource for bouncing ideas off of and encouraging me through the process.

I tried to develop habits for long-term productivity that included tracking my time and success. I also added gamification elements to my process–a  system with points and rewards that helped motivate me to get some of the more mundane tasks completed. That all supported my overriding philosophy of “Be better today than I was yesterday.”

And finally I tried to find something everyday to be grateful for. I live in the greatest city in the world and just walking the streets of NYC would remind me that despite any challenges I have, I’m happy to be where I am right now.

What advice would give to others?

I would say most important is to keep searching and trying things until you find one that you are passionate about. Once you find it, create a weekly plan (every week) that includes steps towards building up that passion. I’d also make sure you schedule other things and get out there and do some type of work to avoid Parkinson’s Law.

And finally, I’d say have fun. All of life is a journey (even the job search process), so it might as well be a fun one.

One of my most popular requests is setting up websites for actors, comedians, and improvisers. The process to do so is usually pretty quick (assuming the person has the copy for each page, I can turn it around in a day or two) and is mostly painless.

If you’re an actor looking to set up your own site, here’s what you should look to include:

1) Static Home Page

Unless you plan on updating your site daily or weekly, you should have a static homepage that has a picture of your beautiful face, a welcome message, and links to the other pertinent stuff on your site.

2) Bio Page

People searching for you want to know a little bit about you. What’s your story? Where are from? What have you done? What are you doing now? The bio is a chance to tell the world about yourself in a more personal, and humorous, manner.

3) Resume Page

In addition to the Bio, you should let people know about the awesome work you’ve done in the form of a Resume page. Include both an webpage and a downloadable PDF version so people can print out your resume if they need to.

Note: Do not include your home address on your resume; your home city / state is good enough.

4) Media Page(s)

Visitors want to see you in action, so it show them in the form of images and video. If acting is your thing, they want to see you act. If comedy is it, show a clip of you making people laugh. You can choose to have all of your media on one page or separated into images and video if you like. Either way, make sure people can see what you have to offer.

5) News Page

A simple News section of your site (done via a blog) gives you a chance to update the world on current / recent projects you’ve been working on. This shows you are a working professional and can also be great to send out to casting directors to keep them posted on the awesomeness you are creating.

6) Contact Page

After a visitor realizes how great you are, you want them to be able to get a hold of you. Your contact page does just that. You can either include your email (or embed an email form), or post the contact info for your representation.

Note: If you post your email, I recommend creating an email account (with your domain name) specifically for these inquiries.

Last year I published my very first book, 50 Quotations on Humor, mostly as a way to learn about the self-publishing process. After tons of research and actually doing it, I’ve boiled down the process to these steps.

Note: This assumes you already have a book idea / content ready. Also this is for self-publishing a physical copy of the book.

10 Basic Steps for Self-Publishing a Book

Step 1: Purchase Your Own ISBNs

Most book-publishing services will create ISBNs for you, but if you do that, you lose control over who the imprint is. If you want a more official publisher name, and not SELF-PUBLISHING-COMPANY X, you can purchase your own ISBNs and define the imprint (maybe something like “DREW’S PUBLISHING HOUSE”).

To purchase ISBNs, I used myidentifiers.com. I bought 10 ISBN’s for $250 (and you’ll want to buy in bulk as you should have different ISBNs for digital and print versions of your book).

Step 2: Assign Your ISBNs

After you’ve purchased your ISBNs, you’ll have to assign one to your print book. Using myidentifiers.com, you fill out the pertinent details such as Title, Author, Summary, etc. This information is used when booksellers are listing your book.

You may not know all of this information until after you finish the other steps, so you may have to come back to it. The important step right now is assigning the ISBN to this particular book.

Step 3: Choose a Publisher

There are a number of great Print-On-Demand publishers out there, including Lulu, LightningSource and Blurb. However I personally went with CreateSpace because of it’s direct connection to Amazon. With CreateSpace, as soon as you approve your book for publishing, it gets listed on Amazon.com, as well as a few other places.

Step 4: Create a Book / Choose a Size

One of the first things you have to decide on with your publisher is the size of your book. There are number of standard sizes but CreateSpace also allows you to create your own.

Note: If you create your own size your book won’t be distributed to bookstores, it’ll only be available in the eStore and on Amazon.com.

Step 5: Design Your Interior

Once you have the size, you can design the interior of the book and fill it with content. Another advantage to using a standard size is that CreateSpace has templates you can download so all you have to do is Copy/Paste and format the text you want (no messing with margins, etc).

If you decide to go with a custom trim size, using a program like Adobe InDesign might be easier to use for formatting.

Step 6: Design Your Cover

Once you have your interior set, you can create a design for the cover. Once again, standard sizes have templates, custom sizes require you do some math to get things right. Be sure to leave the correct space for where the barcode will go and pick print-safe colors for the cover.

Step 7: Upload Your Content

Once you have the interior and cover completed, you’ll save them as PDFs and upload them to the publisher. CreateSpace has an electronic checker that will review for any formatting issues such as incompatible fonts. Be sure to clear any errors (or actively decide to ignore them like I did when an error about spacing came up).

Step 8: Order a Proof

Once everything looks good in the previewer, it’s a good idea to order a physical proof. This will take a little bit of time as every time you submit something to be available as a proof, it takes a day or so to be reviewed by a human to make sure everything is OK. Then you can order the proof (which is usually pretty cheap although they get you with shipping costs, especially if you want it rushed).

Step 9: Publish Your Book

After you’ve received and reviewed your book, it’s time to make it available to the world. You can approve your book on the site and also enter your distribution details: price of the book, distribution outlets, etc. Be sure to also go back to myidentifiers.com and update any information you left out earlier.

Note: For pricing, CreateSpace will tell you the minimum you can sell the book for. Anything over that minimum is how much you make on the book. The price varies from book-to-book based on size, number of pages, color or black & white interior, etc.

Step 10: Fill Out Your Amazon Author Information

Once you approve your proof it’ll take 5-7 business days for it to show up in Amazon. Once it’s there, you’ll want to make sure you fill out your Amazon Author information so people can learn more about who you are (and you can add your blog, twitter, etc).

BONUS: Publish to Kindle

If you also want to publish to Kindle, CreateSpace now has a conversion tool that will get you started. Whether you use that or create a new document yourself, you’ll manage the Kindle version of the book at kdp.amazon.com. More tips on this process in a future blog post.

There you have it, the 10 Basic Steps for Self-Publishing a Book. Got questions? Leave ’em in the comments.

TEDxEast. by Keith Bendis

I attended the 2012 TEDxEast event last week and I was blown away–the variety and quality of the speakers was incredible. Here are my notes from the awesome event. You can also check out some pictures on the Humor That Works Facebook Page.

SESSION 1 – THE LEFT BRAIN

The Other Side of Separation (Keith Yamashita)

Keith Yamashita, a business innovator and consultant, talked about surviving separation after a loss and what it means for how we live now.

  • On the other side of separation is connection.
  • Life is what we choose. Fear or love.

Titan: A World of Both Strange and Familiar (Oded Ahronson)

Planetary Scientist Oded Ahronson shared the story of the Cassini mission to Titan.

  • Titan–a moon around Saturn.
  • Create a test to find out if there is water underneath Titan’s ice surface by reapplying spinning egg test of soft or hard boiled egg.
  • Life in the Universe? The Drake Equation

The Golden Ratio (Matthew Cross)

Business Consultant Matthew Cross introduced the idea of the Golden Ratio.

  • Also known as Phi and the Divine Proportion.
  • The ratio: ~1.618:1.
  • Camera Awesome App — uses golden ratio to frame picture.

Unlikely Targets of Modern Day Vaccines (Dr. Kim Janda)

Dr. Kim Janda presented his work on using vaccinations for more than the “typical” diseases.

  • First lab vaccine came from Pasteur, came about by chance because of an extended vacation.
  • Addiction isn’t a moral failure of the individual but a brain problem.
  • Trying to find vaccines for drug addiction. The vaccine works by blunting the rewarding effect (no pleasure from using the drug)

The Muslims are Coming! (Dean Obeidallah)

Comedian Dean Obeidallah gave a stand-up performance and discussed his work using stand up comedy to counter Islamaphobia.

Resolving the Health Care Crisis (T. Colin Campbell)

Dr. T Colin Campbell discussed his take on how the health care system in the US could be improved.

  • Whats missing from our health care? Nutrition.
  • 80-10-10 diet is the best diet in his view (80% carbs, 10% fat, 10% protein).

Gillian Grassie. By Keith Bendis

Musical Performance (Gillian Grassie)

Gillian Grassie, a singer / songwriter / harpist, gave the background of the inspiration for one of her songs and then performed it.

You Are Not an Ape (Jon Marks)

Dr. Jon Marks discussed evolution and racism.

  • Decades ago we distinguished between what we are and what we were.
  • You are not your ancestry, nor are your DNA. Your genetics are simply who you were, not who you are.

SESSION 2 – THE RIGHT BRAIN

The Creation: Plus 40 (Carmen deLavallade)

Dancer Carmen deLavallade performed a piece titled The Creation: Plus 40.

Between Art, Architecture, and Monument (Maya Lin)

Maya Lin, an artist and architect, talked about her creative process and her current projects fusing art and architecture. See more of Maya’s work on Artsy.

  • There is tension between the straight and the curve.
  • Her work is a tripod of all three, can’t have one without the other.
  • Memorials are between art and architecture
  • “I do research for months, years, then put it away and try to create.”
  • Whatismissing.net

The Gap (Julian Crouch)

Keith Yamashita interviewed Designer / Director Julian Crouch about his work.

  • Success is tricky because people want you to repeat THAT success (the same thing you already did).
  • Failure can be an amazing cleansing.
  • Be yourself more. Do the thing you loved when you were 8.

Nix, Nada, Nameless (Peter Wegner)

Artist Peter Wegner talked about his work and projects.

  • Zero, Nameless, Speck are all real towns in the US.
  • What makes the buildings possible is the “city in the sky” (buildings made of sky in the space between 2 buildings on the street.)
  • Making the invisible visible.

How to Pass, Kick, Film and Run (Charles Atlas)

Charles Atlas, filmmaker and video artist, shared how he captures dance on film.

A Public Place (Oskar Eustis)

Oskar Eustis, an artistic director, talked about his work on Angels in America.

  • Change can feel like death.
  • You have to give time and space for creativity (like blocking downfield for a running back).
  • Art and creativity is not a commodity. One way to keep something from being a commodity is by making it free.

Meet Wendy (Matthias Hollwich)

Architect Matthias Hollwich shared the process of how he created his most recent project.

  • Creativity is about an exhaustion of ideas… and then one idea after that.
  • After generating a list ideas that didn’t work, went back through them and selected what they like about each idea. Molded them together into something new.

The Song Makes a Space (Michael Friedman)

Michael Friedman, composer and lyricist, talked about his creative process and shared a song from his upcoming musical.

  • Fortress of Solitude, the telling of a story told through pop songs.
  • Which comes first, the music or the lyrics? Both. Neither. Depends.
  • Why is this person singing? (Its not good enough to say, “because its a musical.”)
  • Make it simple, not simplistic.

SESSION 3 – FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Excerpts from Beauty (Jane Comfort)

Jane Comfort and Company, a dance company, performed excerpts from an upcoming performance.

Estranged Labour (Samantha Sleeper)

Fashion Designer Samantha Sleeper shared insights from her clothing line and explained why she uses local labor.

Musical Performance (PS22 Chorus)

The boys and girls choir from PS22 sang a collection of songs.

PS22 Chorus

Biology of the Mind: Who We Love (Helen Fisher)

Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, talked about the biology of love.

  • 2 aspects of personality: nurture and nature; estimate 40-60% decided by nature.
  • 4 groups of personalities: explorers, builders, directors, negotiatiors.
    • Explorers: Dopamine/Norepherine, sensation seeking, live in big cities
    • Builders: Serotonin, conventional, numeric creativity, “more close friends”,
    • Director: Testosterone, analytic, rule based, direct. Use “Real”
    • Negotiators: Estrogen/Oxytocin, big picture, empathetic, indecisive, unforgiving
  • Love: Explorers and Builders want people like themselves. Directors and Negotiators want opposites of themselves.

Defining Photography (Antonio Bolfo)

Photographer Antonio Bolfo shared his worked and discussed the importance of perspective in art.

  • How do we make photos stand out? Finding a personal perspective.
  • Perspective is the key to photography. What did the photgrapher want you to believe?

Be Your Own Superman (Cassandra Lin)

Cassandra Lin, a 13 year-old social entrepreneur, shared how she was able to impact change in her community.

  • Steps to getting things done: 1) identify your allies; 2) Find adults to the work; 3) make sure everyone makes money; 4) keep it simple.
  • Do things for people (create the first draft, start the project, etc) instead of asking them to do it from scratch.

Dirty Minds (David Pizarro)

Psychologist David Pizarro talked about the emotion of disgust.

  • Disgust is one of the easiest emotions to elicit.
  • When something disgusting touches something clean that thing becomes disgusting (not clean).
  • Thus it can be used for politics and linking disgusting things with your target.
  • Signs reminding of washing hands increases political and moral conservatism.

SESSION 4 – REFRAME

Musical Performance (Julie Reumert)

Opera Singer Julie Reumert performed with an orchestra.

Julie Reumert

City as Platform (Beth Coleman)

Dr. Beth Coleman shared her dream of engaging strangers in urban areas.

  • Turn your city into a playground.
  • How do we use technology to be heads up (aka interacting with each other and the world) instead of head down (consumed in our personal lives).

Visual Anonymity (Sam Gregory)

Sam Gregory, a human rights activist, talked about the importance of anonymity in a world with social media.

Poetry of Misunderstanding (Ross Martin)

Creative SWAT Team Leader Ross Martin shared how the understanding and misunderstanding of poetry is important to creativity.

  • The best we can hope for is not to be understood, but to misunderstood by great minds.
  • People will not receive your work the way you anticipate it.
  • The world moves forward by creative minds using things in ways beyond our intention.

Prodigious Serendipity (Jeff Carter)

Jeff Carter, an innovator and creative, discussed how radical change occurs.

  • The audacity of self identity. I am who I say I am.

GERM that Kills Schools (Pasi Sahlberg)

Dr. Pasi Sahlberg shared what is helping schools Finland rank among the top in the world.

  • 3 reasons why Finland schools are doing well: 1) open to learn from other countries; 2) have never wanted to be #1; 3) take teachers seriously.
  • GERM — Global Educational Reform Movement
  • Accountability is what is left when responsibility is taken away.

Mahmoud Natout

How I Improved my Iteracy (Mahmoud Natout)

Educator / thinker Mahmoud Natout talked about the linear and nonlinear representation of life.

  • When presented with ambiguity, we project our feelings.
  • A refreshing bio would be about presenting our failures in addition to our successes. Do this?
  • We represent our life linearly. Why? 1) linear is predictable, clear and comfortable. 2) education told us to.
  • Linear representation leads to linear values (they are binary, either succes or failure).

There you have hit. Some ideas worth spreading from TEDxEast 2012.

I recently shared a post about how to move a tumblr blog to a new owner. Unfortunately that only works for secondary blogs. It may be the case that either on your current account, or possibly a new one created specifically for your blog, you want your secondary blog to actually be your primary blog.

Sadly, this isn’t possible from tumblr’s perspective (nor does it seem like they’ll be changing it any time soon). However, you can “trick” the system into treating your secondary blog as your primary blog.

Note: This process renders your current primary blog pretty much useless. This is a workaround to get as close to the functionality as possible. Make a backup before you start and proceed at your own risk.

I recommend transferring your secondary blog to a new account before you begin.

How to Make a Secondary Tumblr Blog a Primary Tumblr Blog

  1. Log into your tumblr account and go to your current Primary blog.
  2. Click on Customize theme, then Edit HTML.
  3. Right after where it says <head> put the following code, where “http://inserttumblrurl.tumblr.com/” is the address of the Secondary blog that you want to be the Primary blog.
    [html]<script type=”text/javascript”>
    window.location.href = “http://inserttumblrurl.tumblr.com”
    </script>[/html]
  4. Click Update Preview, then Appearance, then Save, then Close.
  5. Your old Primary blog will now always redirect to your Secondary blog. That means whenever you follow someone or ask a question, they’ll be directed to your Secondary blog if they click on your name.
  6. Optional: You may want to change the URL of your old Primary blog to something similar to your Secondary blog so that the name that appears when following people seems related to your blog. The easiest solution is adding a hyphen (‘-‘) in the name.

Sources: