Becoming Professional: A Blog

Posts Tagged ‘reading


A close up on the white king of a chess board.

by plffft on Flickr

I just finished reading Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal. I’ve enjoyed every page of it, and I’ll put up a full review in a bit. McGonigal talks about how crappy reality really is. And, truth be told, it does suck. Here’s what she thinks is wrong with reality:

  • Reality is too easy. It’s just not engaging us in good enough challenges. There’s a reason why work is boring.
  • Reality is depressing. Where is the hope of success? What is success anyway?
  • It’s unproductive. You work and work, but do you ever feel like you’re getting anywhere?
  • It’s disconnected and trivial. Do you actually know your neighbors? If you do, tell me where you live so I can move there.
  • Reality is just not engaging. It’s really hard to give a damn. Even if you accomplish something, how worthy was that goal?
  • It’s pointless and without rewards. So what if you managed to get the grocery shopping and the laundry all done in one day? That’s the bare minimum, right?
  • Reality serves up bitter disappointments. How do you get over being laid off?
  • Reality isn’t sustainable. Ask anyone what makes them happy. For one of my roommates, it’s shopping, but she’ll run out of cash eventually.
  • Reality lacks a purpose, a point. What’s the goal? As I said before, what is success? It’s not an easy answer.
  • Reality is a mess. It’s disorganized. It’s hard to know where to go or what to do.
Close up of broken glass

by davetoaster on Flickr

Now isn’t that a depressing list? McGonigal uses her book to discuss how we can use games to fix reality. I think it’s a great idea. But as I was reading I realized that we don’t need to use outside games or organize everyone we know to play with us, though that does help, if you can do it.

Rather, as I was reading, I realized that I was already playing life as a game. This blog, for example, was a game. Before you give me funny looks, here’s McGonigal’s definition of a game. For McGonigal, a game has four key traits:

  1. It has a goal. You know what it is and you try to achieve it. She translates this as “a sense of purpose.”
  2. It has rules. These are the limitations that confine the players. If you have ever played party games you know how ridiculous and fun these can be.
  3. It has a built-in feedback system that gives players information on their progress towards the goal. The popular badge system, for example. Or a leader board.
  4. And finally, it is voluntary. No one makes you play.

Now, do you see how my blogging is a game?

  1. I have a goal: Continuous growth of my readership. I’d love to hit 1,000 views a day.
  2. I have rules: Post at least once a week. Make it good, and make it fun.
  3. I have a lovely feedback system: Thank you WordPress dashboard. Honestly, though, I need to get Google Analytics on this puppy.
  4. I do this voluntarily: There is no one but myself cracking the whip.

    A bunch of swimming trophies lined up

    by terren in Virginia on Flickr

When I first started writing this blog, I thought that I was doing it for career advancement. Then I thought it was to help me make sense of what was going on and make contacts. Finally, now, I know the truth. I’m playing a game. I do it for the sake of doing it.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to think of work in the same way? School? How about marriage and relationships? I’m not trying to trivialize these things. I’m trying to raise their importance. Blogging has gained an intrinsic value for me. It’s no longer a means to an end. It is worth doing in order to do it. If work could be that way, education, and even relationships, that would be good for the entire world. And don’t kid yourself that all relationships are had for their own sake.

Do you play any games like my blogging one? Does it help you really sink your teeth into life?


The book DigiMarketingThis book is a great introductory book on digital marketing. It’s a bit out of date, but the principles are still good. It’s actually a bit amusing and educational to see how the authors predicted the world would look a few years ago and compare it to what it actually looks like.

I would expect this good work from a book with Ogilvy’s name plastered on the front cover. The authors, Kent Wertime (from Ogilvy) and Ian Fenwick (from Sasin 25), certainly know what they are talking about and go in-depth on the subjects. And they cover a lot of subjects. This book is rather thick. Wertime and Fenwick cover the various digital channels that are making their way into marketing meetings. My favorite section was “Games: The New Hollywood,” but they also cover things like Television and IPTV. From there it is on to how to use all these channels. Here, Wertime and Fenwick do not go channel by channel. Instead, they, correctly, emphasize using channels together. They provide a step by step guide on how to do this.

It’s a very thorough book, but if you are looking for an in depth advanced read, look elsewhere. As their inclusion of a step-by-step guide on building a digital marketing plan might suggest, they are aiming for beginners. The authors take the tone of talking to newcomers who don’t know anything. They describe everything from the ground up. They do go into pretty good detail but you will probably know most of it already if you are already familiar with digital marketing.

But even an advanced practitioner can walk away satisfied. The authors provide a very interesting way of looking at digital channels and organize everything very nicely into trends and principles so that you can easily grasp the highlights and how that information all fits together. Even if you already knew the information, this is worthwhile. This is true both for their discussion on digital channels and their “How-To” section.

I also enjoyed the writing style. Regardless of the break out case studies in little boxes, a personal pet peeve of mine, it was quite easy to read. The conversational tone and the use of examples made it interesting.

So, I recommend this book. Again, it is a bit out of date, but as I’ve already stated, if you are already familiar with digital marketing, you’re reading this because of how they approach the structure. Be warned, though. It’s a bit hefty.


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Who Am I?

I am a Digital Native who is trying to puzzle out what exactly that means. I share my thoughts on social media, digital business models, and PR here on this blog.

I am currently getting my Masters in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School, having gotten my B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University. Everything is on track and I am making headway towards my dream: World Domination... or being a productive, helpful citizen and marketer. Whichever comes first.

Don't hesitate to get in touch. I Tweet daily at @KateDavids and also have a science fiction and fantasy blog (maskedgeek.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Masked_Geek).

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