10 Titles For Books I Will Talk About Writing But Will Never Write

1. Everything That Happened In My Life (So Far) Could Have Been Predicted By A Quantum Computer

2. Sleep Deprivation for Fun and Profit

3. Mario is Jesus – A Spiritual Journey Through the Worlds of the Super Mario Brothers

4. Destroy All Art (Before You Begin)

5. Everything is Dead. Long Live Everything.

6. Ignorance is Not An Admissible

7. Creativity is Ridiculous

8. How I Quit My Job In Advertising to Sell This Book

9. Black Plastic Lightning

10. Asterisk*


I’m writing a speech for FITC Toronto 2008 next week. I’m getting up to speed at a new job. I’m chaperoning birthday parties. I’m creating a creativity workshop for May. I’m lamenting my abandonment of the LifeFocus System (for now). I’ve written nothing on my blogs for weeks but have been sending out tweets like a mad man, and writing in my little ‘capture’ journal.

I need to learn not to promise things in writing. Especially on blogs. More to come later. ;-)

Change Addiction and Marketingitus

It has been my intension to create a short advisory and discovery program called Interne(x)t for clients, marketers, ad agencies, etc. It would be a three hour meeting to discuss and present emerging internet applications and digital technologies, followed by a brainstorm on how these could potentially be used for the forces of good and evil (aka advertising, marketing, pr).

The most common reaction to a discussion with clients and agencies alike is, “How do you find out about all this stuff?” The answer is simple: I suffer from an addiction to change. The internet and digital technologies just happen to dovetail nicely with my affliction. While most people are relieved to come home from the office and leave their computer behind, I look forward to catching up on hundreds of feeds, emails, services, blogs, reports, updates, reviews, experiments, links, tweets…

I try to join everything. I must have over 500 logins to various services. I’ll always try them. If they’re not sticky, if they don’t keep me coming back, then the passwords just gather dust and I forget about them. But if they do stick, I will emerge myself in them. Then I will experiment by using them in different ways. My perspective is clouded by another sickness brought on by well over a decade in the advertising business: marketingitus. It is impossible for me to ignore the marketing perspective of, well, everything. I ask myself questions like, “How will this help build an audience?” “How could this be used to communicate with consumers in a surprising and delightful way?” “What promotions would be appreciated through this channel?” “Is there a way to strengthen a brand relationship using this technology?”


It’s tough being an internet change addict afflicted with marketingitus but somehow I manage. I don’t ask for your pity, only your attention.

All of it.

Right now.


Twitter Tweet Sheet

UPDATE: Tweet Sheet 2 is now available, with updated geekiness. Check it out here.

There’s one things that annoys me about Twitter. Okay, there are two things:

  1. They are always down.
  2. There doesn’t seem to be one official place (including their own site) to get a complete list of mobile and IM commands.

I have fixed all that. Or at least I have fixed #2. I have created an exhaustive, ultra-portable, business-card-sized tweet sheet that you can download, print, cut out, and stick in your wallet or purse. Just click on the image below to download the pdf. Don’t all thank me at once, just go to twitter.com and follow jted.

Tweet Sheet big

UPDATE: v1.1 has fixed the “PERSOANAL” typo. Not sure exactly what Perso-anal Commands are, but they are now gone.
UPDATE: Another typo has been fixed after almost a year: FAVE now reads FAV. Also, Twitter has disabled TRACKING indefinitely.

LifeFocus System Day 7

LifeFocus System Day 7

I survived a week on my own LifeFocus System. Now it’s time to take a look at the last 7 days and review the things that are working and the things that aren’t. Here’s the data, run through a spreadsheet, where 1.00 is the equivalent of a perfect score. If I had drank 8×7 (56) glasses of water, I would have achieved 1.00 in the first row. If I had slept 8hrs a day (on average) I would have scored a perfect 1.00.

LFS Week 1

Working on my own brand, and exercising got top marks! This surprised me, although the exercises are so easy right now that I laugh every time I do them. I was also surprised at how close to 8 hours of sleep I get per night. I thought it would be much less for some reason. Obviously I need more energy. But the water and exercise should start to help that. The vitamins and fruit should help too. I was fairly successful in creating a routine for popping the multi-vitamins having only missed one day.

The other surprises were what fell below the 50% threshold: Ocean Front House and my Cardbots game. On reflection, this shouldn’t surprise me at all. There is very little direction, or break-down, on what to do with the House situation. It is too open and vague. I need to spend a bit of time focusing this LifeFocus item. Eventually I will get into the various steps to handle a huge life-goal. The Cardbots game might be an idea infatuation, something I fell in love with the idea of, but in reality is too much work at the moment. Might be love, might not be love. I’ll keep it on the card for at least 21 days (them’s the rules), and then allow myself to change it if it continues to bottom out in the scores.

Time to print, cut, and fold Week 2 for tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day.

LifeFocus System Day 6

LifeFocus System Day 6

A brief explanation of the LifeFocus items on my LFS card:

Drink {8C} Water
People argue about the amount and types of liquid we need in our bodies, but I know I don’t drink enough water. I figure 8 Cups, or approximately 2 Litres should do the trick. Basically I want to train myself to drink liquids throughout the day that are not diuretics (which pull water out of your body). Tea, water, juice all count.

This type of LifeFocus item is quantitative, meaning the goal is a certain amount. I place the number in curly brackets.

Eat Vitamins or {1} Fruit
As bad as I am with water, I’m even worse when it comes to fruit. If I can’t get a fruit into me, then I’ll at least swallow a few vitamins to make sure I don’t develop scurvy. I hear the crusted teeth don’t look too good in head shots.

This type of LifeFocus item is binary, meaning it is a yes or no answer. When I’m compiling the aggregate data, I use 1’s for YES and 0’s for NO.

Do {+1} Sit-ups
I need to do something to strengthen my back and abdomen after the car accident. Plus it will help me avoid becoming a skinny guy with a gut. I started with 1 sit-up on the first day, and am simply adding another one every day for a year.

This type of LifeFocus item is accumulative, meaning it adds up over time. I like the idea of starting out with the easy task of doing one sit-up on the first day, and ending with a slow build-up to 366 by years end. I know I can do it! My abs will be ripped by Christmas.
Own Ocean-Front Home
One of my dreams is to own ocean-front property. I want a big modern house with a deck to sit in and watch the water as I write. I know I’m not going to wake up one morning and find out that my dream has come true. I need to focus on taking incremental steps. The LFS, once it becomes a full-fledged book/course, will detail how to break down your goals and spend at least 10 minutes a day moving forward toward them. Right now I want to find the right architect, so that I can have a mental picture of what this house will look like.

Experience Abundant Joy
I used to call this Happinessness™ in the early cards. It was meant to gauge my mood and how much I enjoyed an individual day. Now it is a goal of mine to take time out every day to appreciate everything I have. Then I imagine myself happy, healthy, surrounded by my family and friends. I imagine myself successful, and doing the things that I love. It’s harder than it seems, but it makes me feel good, gives me energy, adds momentum. This is a routine I do not want to give up on.

Save $100,000,000.00
You laugh! Well, I figure you have to start somewhere. I went to a conference where they talked about ‘intension’ and ‘willing money’ into your life. I think it’s worth a try, and whenever I imagine money, it seems to come to me (on a slight delay of course). So I thought, if this is a fantasy, why pick a small number? Not only do I imagine this amount in my portfolio, but I imagine how to make it a reality: royalties, workshops, investments, real-estate. Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll be able to cash a check with 8 zeros. Until then, I’ll just keep dreaming.

Develop LifeFocus System (LFS)
Doing it right now. And will continue to do this every chance I get. I like the LFS. It’s simple. It’s not about to-dos, it’s about routinization. Over the year, with the help of some good friends, I will be blowing this whole thing out. I’m always looking for feedback and testers, so if it interests you, send me an email.

Monetize 1over100.com
I was running a very successful blog called 1%, which involved writing about and linking to inspirational and strange things found online by myself and some colleagues. I decided to attempt a transplant of the site, which is risky because 2 years of link equity is lost. But it’s coming along. I want to see if it’s possible to monetize it, so every day I tinker with affiliates, adwords, etc. But mostly I try to build an audience through interesting content.

Create Cardbots Game
This has been in my head for so long it’s starting to hurt. I need to get it out, or at least kill the infatuation. Either way, I try to spend a bit of time each day working on a collectible card game. Once I have the rules and a template completed, I’ll solicit some artists to make this very cool… more on this later.

Create There is No Box Brand
Brand building is supposed to be my expertise, but it’s more difficult when the beam is directed inward. It’s hard to find the time, the calm, the focus to know what to do next. So I make it a priority to think forward and review what I am trying to be. There is No Box is about creative thinking, applied in new ways. This can be monetized through workshops, consulting, lectures, books, websites, greeting cards, etc.

That’s it for now. I want to try to get 8 hours of sleep in for tomorrow’s card.

A Few Simple Questions

I received an email from a former colleague of mine looking to break back into the creative online ad world. He sent me a few questions which I hammered out some answers to and sent back to him. I found my own answers very interesting– not because I am completely narcissistic and egotistical, but because it made me think about some simple things that I don’t normally consider in the rush of daily life and work. Try asking yourself a few simple questions like these, and see where you end up. It might surprise you. Here’s an excerpt of the Q & A:

Where do you see Interactive media/advertising going in the next couple of years?
The landscape is fragmented. No one has the right answers yet. Boutiques are growing into larger agencies, larger agencies are trying to break themselves into boutiques. Pure-plays (digital agencies) are trying to be more strategic on the brand side, and global full-service agencies are trying to figure out how to hang onto the business when they cost so much. Everything is in flux.

Why does the Interactive space excite/motivate you?
Because it changes every day. Because there are no rules. We aren’t entrenched in 50 years of how things have been done, like television and radio.

What is the most exciting trend you see coming up in the Interactive area?
Data portability. It doesn’t sound sexy, but it would allow you to move your data from one vender or service to another. You would own your information and content. You could move your videos from YouTube to Vimeo if you wanted. Or from Facebook to Orkut. It would be much like transferring a word document from MS Word to Simple Text.

I’m also excited by online applications (Like Google Docs) that are the beginning of de-centralization: where we just need an access point, and don’t need a big heavy laptop. Free ubiquitous wi-fi would be nice as well.

What examples (read ‘list of links’) can you suggest of fantastic work you’ve seen or been a part of online?
As strange as it may sound, I’m less interested in campaigns and advertising online as I used to be. I am far more interested in the personality of an online communication tool, and how individuals and businesses us that tool to their possible advantage. Take Twitter for instance: it is a simple SMS broadcasting tool, set up to let people know what they are doing at any given time with a strict character limit of 180. Yet the community surrounding it and the many different uses of it, are of great interest. Using an application like Twitterific, I can keep track of what my ‘friends’ and acquaintances are doing and saying in real time. It’s like having a mini telepathic receiver on my desktop. Breaking news and viral videos come to me first. Interesting sights and links come to me first. It’s faster (and less predictable) than email. It’s not as invasive as Instant Messaging. I also get my New York Times and CBC headlines on it. I get blog updates, and track some of geekdom’s biggest celebrities: what they are thinking, what they are up to. It’s an application that has changed the way I use my computer.

To see some of the things that inspire me, or that I find, I have my collaborative link site at 1over100.com. It is published by me and a few friends, and contains found videos, sites, things of interest.

Ffffound.com is a sight that bookmarks images. I can’t wait to see how they monetize it.

Plaxo.com is an interesting way to keep track of your contacts, and what they are doing online.

The fastest growing social network in the universe right now is for kids: Webkinz.com. You cannot get into it without a plush animal that comes with a unique PIN code. Once inside, there are games, a virtual version of the pet, peer-to-peer “safe” chat and play dates, and countless product extensions with their OWN unique codes to makes sure kids want to buy things in the store and come back online in a vicious and expensive cycle.

The viral campaign for Cloverfield, the movie by JJ Abrams of “Lost” fame, was interesting. They created so much buzz online by not naming the movie or showing the monster. It made fans rabid for information, and Abrams’ team hid teasers online. These included pictures of a giant object on a Japanese radar screen, images of large chomped up fish washed up on a beach, etc. This fed the flames and created a monstrous opening week for the movie.

I’m fascinated by the viral videos being created for Barack Obama, as they all seem to stick in the top ten forever. Check out the ViralVideoChart.com to see what’s in the top 10 of videos shared online.

Hope that helps!