Bluffing your way through parenthood

Yes, Dear Parent, of course you influence your children. When you mirror them well, they get a little clearer glimpse of who they are and they settle a little more comfortably into their soul. When you join them well, they learn they have a place to belong, a safe place to return to when the world tries to take a bite out of them. When you see them well, they know they matter , and the world needs kids who know they have a part to play in this great big human project. And when you limit them well—with love instead of power—you teach them the value of finitude, the beauty of boundaries, and the contract for community.

But, Dear Parent, beyond that, there’s not a whole lot you can do about how their lives play out. You have almost no power over who they are going to be. In this great poker game called parenthood, the hands have already been dealt and, for the rest of the game, we’re mostly just bluffing our way through the mystery of it.

So, instead of worrying about our lack of control, or beating ourselves up for the outcome, may we all cut ourselves some slack and focus on becoming the best witnesses we can be.

Dr. Kelly Flanagan

5 articles I shared with friends this week

#MozCon 2015 notes
Chelsea Scholz and Cody Campbell of Unbounce took notes of the ENTIRE MozCon 2015 conference for you. If you missed any of the 3 days or 28 talks — or simply couldn’t keep up — they’ve got you covered.

How to do more in less time
Often our biggest problems when it comes to busyness is the way we talk about busyness. Give up on the idea that busy is cool. Successful people aren’t busy. Successful people are good at budgeting their time.
No Sidebar

The death of conversation
The rise of the smartphone has been so rapid that we have not had time to work out the social etiquette but we desperately need to put some ground rules in place to stop it having a detrimental affect on our inter-personal relations.
Babycakes Romero

Marketing stack
A curated directory of marketing resources & tools.
Marketing Stack

What it’s like to face a 150 m.p.h. tennis serve
The New York Times looks down the barrel of a 150 m.p.h. tennis serve.
New York Times

5 articles I shared with friends this week

The emerging role of SEO in app discoverability
There are many ways to promote apps today: advertising, optimizing for app store algorithms, or even just promoting the mobile app via your website. But Google has also been adding some new ways for mobile apps to be discovered organically, and it’s an something that SEOs today should be considering in the holistic optimization process.
Search Engine Land

The habits behind successful, creative, productive people
It would be easier if there were a one-size-fits-all solution for the habits that make a great leader or a great thinker. But there’s really not. The people who are really successful just figured out what works for them, and they work like crazy to make sure that their environment gives them what they need.
Washington Post

5 iconic road trips to take before your kids grow up
Here are 5 classics that will show them everything from the Grand Canyon to Big Sur and teach them the country’s history from Paul Revere’s ride to Martin Luther King’s Freedom March.

Now you can embed auto-play Facebook video on your site
With a little HTML code work, you can enable Facebook videos to play automatically with sound muted outside the social network.
Marketing Land

Creating demand for products, services, and ideas that have little to no existing search volume
A lot of fantastic websites are in something of a pickle: The keywords they would normally think to target get next to no search volume. It can make SEO seem like a lost cause. Rand explains why that’s not the case, and talks about the one extra step that’ll help those organizations create the demand they want.

Warren Buffett’s best investment advice

Generally speaking, investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents; nobody can tax it or take it away from you. They can run up huge deficits and the dollar can become worth far less. You can have all kinds of things happen. But if you’ve got talent yourself, and you’ve maximized your talent, you’ve got a tremendous asset that can return ten-fold.


I keep a separate personal development account. Each month I deposit a set amount of funds that I use towards books, online courses and betterment.

All the apps you’ll never use

Hammer meets nail courtesy of Charlie Warzel at Buzzfeed.

We’ll wait hours in line in the cold/heat/rain/snow for a shiny new piece of Apple hardware, but once we get it, the first thing we do is fill it with third party services.

I’m sure Apple understands that a majority of their users will never pay for or venture to the app store for an alternative to the default apps. The apps that come with the phone are more than enough for most.

…Monday’s WWDC keynote, there was something noticeable lacking: namely, the notion that any of the new technologies on stage were truly transformative and thereby a convincing reason to buy any deeper into the Apple ecosystem. Instead, WWDC’s highlights felt perfectly competent but hollow: table stakes in a game with a bottomless pot.

Look at it this way. Because Apple’s default apps are so bad, it does open a market for developers (where Apple takes a 30% cut). But, how long can Apple stay in the game with just superior hardware?


See Twitter follower demographics, interests and behaviors with Audience Insights

Twitter unveiled Audience Insights last week. The new tool can help marketers better understand the audience interacting with them on the social network. The Audience Insights dashboard provides information about a variety of characteristics, categorized by demographics, interests, lifestyle, purchasing behavior, mobile use and TV viewing behavior.

Audience Insights are available to any advertisers or analytics users. To access your information go to and click on Followers. 

Analytics and Attribution via Google Insights

The case for using analytics and attribution

Analytics alone do not tell the full story of your customers. To make the most of mounds of data, you need to combine analytics with attribution.

Analytics help you understand your customers’ engagement points. Attribution tracks the value of each touchpoint (that lead to a desired outcome).

By combining both analytics and attribution, you can establish a universal measurement plan that better manages your marketing mix/spend and motivates your audience to the places where they convert.

At a high level, customer analytics provide an understanding of your customers’ experience—primarily across sites, apps, and other customer engagement points (call centers, for instance).  These insights can then be used to inform targeting, marketing, and product decisions. Although these insights are critical, customer analytics alone do not tell the full story.

Brands using more than one or two channels to reach their target markets may be missing vital details about the many touchpoints across the full customer journey and throughout their marketing mix. Data-driven attribution tracks and values all touchpoints that lead to a desired outcome (regardless of whether the customer ended up on a brand’s website).

think with Google

Additional reading:

Facebook Instant Articles

What you need to know about Facebook Instant Articles

What are Instant Articles?

  • Instant Articles are stories from big-name news outlets that appear within Facebook’s iPhone app in their entirety rather than simply as a link to elsewhere on the web. [Wired]
  • Facebook is working with nine launch partners for Instant Articles: The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild. [Facebook Media]
  • Facebook allows publishers to control the ad sales, branding and content; sell ads on the articles and keep all the revenue; and get data on their readers. [Digiday]

How do Instant Articles work?

  • The app is using the same technology Facebook has used to get photos and videos to load quickly. It pre-loads the story as you approach it in your News Feed, and is able to show you the top of the story as soon as you tap. On the web, publishers typically lard their pages with dozens of modules for serving advertisements and analytics; one reason instant articles load faster is because they strip most of those out. [The Verge]
  • Instant Articles makes use of a tool called AsyncDisplayKit. By tapping into the iPhone’s multi-core processors, the user interface is quick and responsive. [Ben Cunningham]
  • Facebook lets publishers use their own publishing tools, and then converts stories automatically into a format that works on Facebook’s app. There are bells and whistles, like a photo- and video-panning feature Facebook imported from its Paper app. [Re/code]
  • Essentially, the social network reads special tags coded into the story to reformat it, but refers back to the underlying link so that reading it counts as a mobile web view [The New York Times]
  • You can “like” individual elements of the story, follow the authors or the news organization on Facebook and even share the story on other platforms, such as Twitter. [The New York Times]
  • The Instant Article experience is only available on the Facebook app for iPhone. Those using Android will see the article in their news feed the way it normally would. [The New York Times]
  • ComScore gives Instant Article publishers full credit for any traffic those stories generate on Facebook’s app. [Re/code]

Why is Facebook doing this?

  • As more people get their news on mobile devices, Facebook wants to make the experience faster and richer on Facebook. The articles are hosted on Facebook’s servers, are well designed and create a better experience than the typical 8-second wait for an article to load on the mobile web. [The Verge]
  • Facebook is taking a 30 percent cut if the ads are sold through the Facebook network. [Contently]

What concerns do publishers have about Instant Articles?

  • In this deal, Facebook retains sole control of its news feed algorithm. [NPR]
  • Facebook is working to solidify itself as the default place where millions or possibly even billions of people go to get their news . The risk is that it will wind up helping Facebook more, and that eventually Facebook—a for-profit company that has shown no evidence that it actually understands or cares about “journalism” per se—will become the trusted source of news for millions of users, rather than the publications that produce content. [Fortune]
  • Facebook will becomes the de facto solution for publishers’ mobile challenges, publishers effectively limit their business to content creation and could become dependent on others to deliver their audience. [VentureBeat]
  • Once news sites join Instant Articles, they’ll lose their leverage and Facebook will impose more and more unfavorable terms on them. [Vox]
  • By publishing on Facebook, publishers may cannibalize their in-house ad sales teams. [VentureBeat]
  • What happens when Facebook goes away? Are today’s publishers, by then, just portable content generators ready to be passed to the next platform? Or have they been replaced by something else entirely? [The Awl]

Who worked on Instant Articles?

  • Project Manager Michael Reckhow and designer Mike Matas are part of the team behind Instant Articles. These are the same guys behind Facebook’s Paper app. Matas came to Facebook when Push Pop Press was acquired in 2011. [TechCrunch]

The Hollywood model and what it means for your career

The marketer’s CMO, Dana Anderson, wrote in the Wall Street Journal last year that AORs (agency of record) are “no longer the pathway to Oz for clients or agencies.” She said that digital has “created thousands of new mediums,” so “it is just not possible for one agency to be expert in all these areas.”

…creative agencies were once viewed as the “custodian” for brands. But that notion is getting “circumnavigated” by the “two-way conversation” occurring on social media directly between brands and consumers


Work is making a grand shift towards the Hollywood model. In the not too distant future you’ll see ad hoc teams assembled of different people with parallel skills carrying out large and elaborate problems. They’ll work together for as long as is needed to complete the task then dissolve.

The Hollywood model is far more adaptable for today’s business world. Employees that are proven, reliable and have highly-sought-­after skills will have leverage. Those that don’t have marketable skills will be forced to compete against the robots.

How do you make sure you’re one of the first picked in this new economy? Be curious. Remain teachable. Educate yourself (and not necessarily through a traditional college). Develop your soft skills and communicate clearly. Flex your creative muscles.