SocialMediaCamp London: A Look Back At The Many Themes

Do you ever look back at past achievements and feel yourself swell with pride because, with hindsight, you now realise how well you and others did?

This morning, poking around Flickr, I came across Tom’s photo of the schedule board at SocialMediaCamp London, which was back in October. We gathered 100 attendees, many of which chose to present on a topic of their choice, kicking off interesting conversations and collaborations amongst participants. Since I didn’t get to attend every presentation, some titles still puzzle me, but here is the full list of panel/presentation/discussion topics:

socialmediacamplondon_schedule

  • How to write awesome headlines – Tom Whitwell, The Times
  • Social Media as Community Activism: From International Networks to a local perspective – Salford Social Media Centre
  • Love is in the air – Jonny & Jayme, Glue
  • How/Why Moderate Masses (180,000 users) – The Sun Online
  • Social Media: How Not To Get Fucked – Girl With a One Track Mind
  • How to Replace CNN with Something Nicer: IPTV
  • How Hedgehogs can Inspire Social Media – Carl @Fellowcreative
  • Entreprise Microblogging is More Than Twitter: A First Look at Brand New Microblogging System – Communote.com
  • Lifestreaming your Life Online – Ande Gregson & Paul Kane, Sky
  • Buzz Management For Startups: How to Build Workflow so Everyone Knows What’s Going On – Jure C
  • Relationship Counselling for PRs and Bloggers – Paul Borge
  • Legal Aspects of Social Media – Victoria McEvedy
  • Digital Yoga & The New Religion of the Web – Rohan
  • One (wo)man Social Media Empire-Life! – Lloyd Davis
  • Twitter for the Environment – Carmen
  • Man Boobs, Incest, Sarah Palin and The Times: How We Do SEO @ Times Online – Mariana Bettio
  • The Social Graph: Who Owns It? What Is It?
  • DIY PR: How to Get PR For Your Startup (Please Fire your PR Firm/Agency)
  • Native To a Web of Dudes – David Thompson
  • How to Present to Big Scary Companies (And Look Like You Know What You’re Doing) – Terence Eden, Vodafone
  • Alternate Reality Games
  • Social Media For Good: Respite For Carers, A Project in Development (Discussion)
  • We’re All Chemicals: Social Objects on the Social Web, Socialising – Dan Donald
  • 6 Degrees of Separation Now – Benjamin Ellis
  • Programmer-Journalists or Journalist-Programmers (Group Discussion) – Mark Ng
  • How to Use LinkedIn To Get a Better Job
  • TV III Branding: The Management Of Television Brands in The Digital Age – Will Prestes
  • Staying Pseudonymous On & Offline
  • Scrumping 2.0: A Model for Wider Community Involvement?
  • Digital Footprint
  • If you Work in Marketing or Advertising, Kill Yourself Now – Chris Applegate
  • Data Portability – Ben Godfrey
  • The Web of Babel: Managing Languages on the Web – Chrys
  • Akoha: The Social Reality Game – Emma Persky
  • Online Reputation Management: It’s Not All Bad
  • Ideas Into Action: Developing a Toolkit for Collaborative & Community Projects – Alison
  • Print & Online Social Media: Can You Make It Work? – The London Paper
  • Measuring Engagement of Social Media Websites in the Web 2.0 World
  • Managing Online Identity & Personal Brand – Vero Pepperrell
  • 7 Secrets to Facebook Fundraising
  • Blogging Breakdown & How to Avoid It – Annie Mole
  • Social Media Bingo Session

A few presentation notes made their way on the SMCLondon blog and quite a few have been posted to Slideshare under the tag “smclondon08” so, if like me you want to reminisce, or didn’t have the chance to attend, have a look!

I can’t help but wonder what trend similarities and changes we’ll see at SocialMediaCamp London v.2.0… Want to get involved in the second SMCLondon? Drop me a line as the planning is only just beginning and we always welcome an extra pair of hands!

A Handful of Tips for the Self-Employed

Tips for the self-employed have been done to death by every lifehack geek, GTD addict and smart living blogger, but everyone develops their own little system so I thought I’d share mine.

Over the years, I’ve tried every GTD app under the sun, only to discover that the tool/software I used to get stuff done was irrelevant, so I kept it simple this time around. It turns out that the best organisation tools are a single sheet of paper and a calm brain. Ok, I’m oversimplifying a little but here’s my system nowadays.

The writing on the wall

On the wall by my desk, I have a small index card with reminders. It reads:

EVERYDAY: Today's Three Most Important Tasks, 9-11am: No Distractions, Take a break for lunch before 2pm, End of day review, Evening meditation time

Simple, unh?

1. Today’s Three Most Important Tasks

Self-employed or not, we all have an awful lot of responsibilities and tasks in our daily life, and it’s easy to forget which are most important and go for the most urgent one, the one backed by the pushiest client or the easiest one.

Start the day with a defined list of 3 must-do tasks and focus on them first. If you finish all 3, you can either skip off early or get on with some other bits of work feeling saintly for having done your most important work for the day.

2. Distraction-Free Time

In the same vein as the tip above, setting a few hours in the day which are sacred and during which you can focus on the most mentally demanding tasks. For me, it’ll be writing time where I can dive in without distractions.

Mid-morning 9 to 11am works well for me, because it gives me the 8-9am slot to check emails, have a coffee and schedule anything else for the day/week. However, when 9am rolls around, the phone goes onto silent (or out of the room), email, IM and Twitter get closed down and aren’t (usually) reopened til 11am, or later if I find I’m really zoned in.

Everyone’s got a different time of day where they’re most productive – a friend of mine is a night owl and gets that time after the kids are in bed and up until well after midnight!

3. Take a break for lunch before 2pm

I used to think I’d have no problem stopping around 1pm, trotting down to the kitchen and making something healthy to fuel me for the afternoon. As it turns out, I start sitting on the corner of my chair at 1pm thinking I should eat, but found that at 4pm I was still working and the sounds of my stomach were loud enough to scare the cats!

Having food suitable for lunches in the fridge and cupboard like healthy sandwich fillings, salads and soups makes it easier to break for lunch, because I know I won’t have to fiddle around or go out to find something to eat.

4. End of day review

In order to close up shop at the end of the day without that uneasy feeling that there’s more to do, I end the day by double-checking that the Most Important Tasks are done, have a look in Things and picking the next day’s tasks – which may change in the morning, but at least will be there as priority reminders.

5. Evening meditation time

I’ve not done a great job keeping up with this one, but after a long day running at full steam, I find the only way to really wind down and enjoy my evening is to have 10-15 minutes of complete relaxation. Sitting in silence with one of the cats on my lap purring away for a few minutes does wonders to chill me out.

Whatever your trick may be, it’s worth taking those few moments to get out of work mode and into home/family mode, especially if you don’t have the drive/walk home to serve as a forced downtime.

Great posts elsewhere on keeping your sanity when self-employed:

Blog Topic Challenge: International Boredom Day

Today, a certain friend of mine spotted a three year old entry on my blog named “International Boredom Day” and suggested I should write an update about it. While it’s not a written suggestion, it’s good enough for me today 🙂

Indeed, tomorrow, we shall be celebrating 3 years since I pronounced January 9th International Boredom Day. I suppose that on the day I wrote the entry in question, I could’ve done all sorts of productive things but instead had a nap, read a book, lazed around a little. That’s a luxury I hardly even dream of these days! What I’d give for one day where I have time to be bored.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my fast-paced exciting life and don’t want to give up any of my projects, but there’s a part of me that envies my boss for his two weeks in Sri Lanka spent meditating and doing yoga over Christmas. Sounds like bliss! (Not the yoga part, I would probably break in two if I tried doing yoga, but the meditation, relaxation bit.)

I have a theory that the older you grow, the faster time flies. I call it the Theory of Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff. (A beer to whoever can place this quote) So in the past 3 years, I’m convinced days have gotten shorter! It’s harder to find time to sleep, and almost impossible to get everything done at work and at home while keeping some sane Me-time every so often for reading an embarrassingly cheesy novel or watching a bad movie like… Robocop or Hackers…

So while I don’t have an answer on how to MAKE time, all I can say is that International Boredom Day is no longer in existence in my mind.

This Blog Topic Challenge is turning out to be harder than I thought – especially with the mad evenings we’ve recently had. But I’m still up for it! Entries still welcome to help me make up a whole month’s worth of suggestions!