Archive | November 2012


As you will have noted, if you read the previous post on this blog, I recently joined Pinterest. I’ll be focussing on themes that relate to the novel that I’m currently working on – sharing ideas about climate change, sustainability, upcycling and books on those themes. Oh and rabbits too. You can find me here.

When I first joined Pinterest, I looked for interesting organisations and individuals to follow. I was struck by how many conservation charities aren’t on Pinterest. It seems to me that the site offers such wonderful opportunities to share cute pictures of wildlife that these organisations are really missing something by not joining up. This is how WWF do it for example, while a number of environmental campaigning organisations are making good use of the site, such as Greenpeace.

Pinterest is a great way of sharing visuals and through these visuals of driving people to your website (or other websites you find of interest). The downside is that there are issues over copyright on the site.

I’m not going to even attempt a ‘How to’ guide, after all there are plenty of those around (just do an internet search to find them) and I’ve only just joined the site.

What are your thoughts and ideas about Pinterest?

As ever, text in bold contains hyperlinks that take you to other websites where you can find out more.

The Feel Good Factory on Creative Thinking

The Feel Good Factory on Creative Thinking explores the techniques used to spark ideas that free our minds. It is an inspiring read, full of ideas for tapping into and making the most of your creativity.

It starts with a useful quiz to explore your attitude to procrastination and balancing your tasks. It then goes on to offer:

* Advice on time management, making ‘to-do’ lists, breaking tasks down into manageable chunks, how to identify your optimal thinking environment

* The importance of lifelong learning, research and creative problem solving and the value of being silly and allowing yourself to make mistakes

* Advice on finding and capturing creative ideas, how to improve your innovation skills and how to avoid information overload

* The importance of storytelling

* The value of networking


Some quotes from the book

‘A big part of being creative is not simply about being inspired; it’s about simply getting things done’

‘It’s much better to greet the new day with a messy desk and a clear head rather than the other way round’ (though the book does underline the value of de-cluttering!)

‘Deadlines help you to be decisive’

‘Think of your brain as being a bit like a computer – a lot of processing goes on in the background and that needs downtime’

‘It’s important to develop a sense of curiosity about everything’

‘Pay attention to your intuition’

‘Most creative ideas are just…. two or more elements connected in a new or novel fashion’

‘You only ever learned to walk after a lot of falling over’

‘Many of the greatest inventions were accidental’

The Feel Good Factory on Creative Thinking is published by Infideasbooks.


The book also recommends Pinterest as a useful social networking site and a place for collating visual images to inspire your work, so for better or worse I’ve now joined Pinterest.


Cross-posted on Crafty Green Poet.

As ever, bold text in this post contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.


The Handbook of Market Intelligence

I was delighted to win a copy of the Handbook of Market Intelligence from a give-away by The Big Red Tomato Company. Having worked in charity marketing I’m very aware of the importance of Market Intelligence (Market Research or whatever you want to call it).

The first thing I noticed about this book is that it’s not at all directed at charities or the not for profit sector or even small businesses. This is very much a book for big business. Which isn’t to say that it isn’t at all useful if you work in a charity or small business, just that the approach will probably seem much more corporate than you might be used to and everything is on a much bigger scale.

Having said that, and also acknowledging that this is not an easy read, there is a lot to be learned from reading this book. It highlights the importance of understanding change and of being aware of the operating environment and feeding that awareness into information management and then decision making. The authors underline the importance of good market intelligence in enabling better decisions and emphasise the importance of good networking and efficient use of information and resources in creating the best market intelligence.

Then there’s a lot of in depth analysis of the market intelligence needs of large companies (including their local branches). There are a lot of case studies, graphs, tables and diagrams to help things along and it’s nicely produced and laid out (though there’s some grey boxes with black text, never a good idea). All in all a very good in depth guide to market intelligence for large companies, with lessons for smaller companies and not for profits too.

The Handbook of Market Intelligence by Hans Hedin, Irmeli Hirvensalo and Markko Vaarnas, published by Wiley

As ever, bold text contains hyper-links that take you to other web-pages where you can find out more.