Is Social Media Making Us Dumb?

how to stay focused in a world of distraction

It’s 2016, and Skynet doesn’t need to send Terminators to wipe us out. A new gaming app ought to do the trick.

I’ve seen the best minds of my generation destroyed, made starving and hysterical by Kim and Amber posting a selfie.

The over-the-top tomfoolery of the current election in the U.S. The crumbling of even minimal scientific literacy. The Kardashians.

We’re living in a culture that can’t stop asking if it can haz cheezburger, and it is rendering us … stupid.

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The 79-Year Master Plan for Becoming Unforgettable

masterful moves that get attention and keep it

During his career he was loved, hated, admired, dissed, fought over … but never ignored.

His name? Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y …

Picasso.

Anybody with a name like that was bound to lead a big, bold, messy life, and Picasso did exactly that.

I have to confess that I’ve had a creative crush on him ever since I first encountered his work in my college art history class.

But it wasn’t until I stood in front of piece after piece of his art that I learned the most important lesson Picasso ever taught me — and how it applies to content marketing.

I’ll get to that.

First, let’s talk about a few other digital marketing and sales lessons I’ve gleaned from the life of this amazing, torrential painter.
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A Champion of Creative Play

hero's journey - an advocate for creative expression

Life was simple when we were seven, wasn’t it?

A puddle and some pebbles, crayons and paper, a piece of chalk and a sidewalk — that’s all we needed to keep us happy and amused for hours.

But somewhere along the way, most of us lose this sense of joy in simple creative pleasures.

Today, you’ll learn about Melissa Dinwiddie’s quest to bring creativity back into your daily life.

Melissa’s story is this month’s Hero’s Journey feature. We’re tapping the collective wisdom of our community members to bring you reports from the front lines of the content marketing world. Read all of the Hero’s Journey posts here.

Here’s Melissa to share her journey in her own words.
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How to Consistently Create Remarkable Content

a roadmap for better ideas

It’s no secret that creativity and innovation are two key ingredients in a highly effective content marketing strategy.

And yet, consistently coming up with new, imaginative content ideas for your business or brand can seem utterly vexing at times.

We all want to have better ideas, but it isn’t always as simple as just putting on our “better idea” caps.

That’s why successful content marketers often have methods that help them produce remarkable content on a regular basis.

Let’s look at one such method.
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Take 15 Minutes to Find Your Winning Difference

a person writing in a notebook - answer this: why you?

A unique selling proposition (USP) is the reason people do business with you and not someone else — a winning difference that sets you apart and makes you the only real choice.

Traditional marketing advice will have you lock yourself in a cave for weeks listing all of the features of your business, translating them into benefits, then somehow finding that one compelling point that will differentiate you from everyone else you could possibly compete with.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach if it works for you.

But if it doesn’t, try throwing it out the window and doing it the cheap and easy way instead. We’re going to show you how today.
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3 Reasons Why Great Writers Always Work Alone

why writers embrace solitude

Collaboration is all the rage these days. It’s implied in many words and phrases we love to hate:

  • There’s no “I” in “team!”
  • Let’s brainstorm!
  • Crowdsourcing!

And it seems there is no stopping this train. There’s even furniture that encourages collaboration.

Malcolm Gladwell presents a reason for this growing way of thinking: “Innovation — the heart of the knowledge economy — is fundamentally social.”

It’s beyond question that innovation is important for most companies, and if innovation is fundamentally social as Gladwell argues, then the fallout of such a view includes a depreciation of rugged individualism.

In fact, some argue individualism could be dying.

Is the great creative individual a thing of the past?
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