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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Google+ increasing its reach

Just about a week ago, it was announced that Blogger users may now mention either people or pages from Google+ in the same manner as within G+ itself. This would have been quite useful when I first promoted my +Mayo Takeuchi Plus page, which has now accumulated a good body of photographs. However, I cannot seem to cite myself, perhaps because I've linked this blog to my personal Google+ account and it would be self-serving?
In the meantime, I've also added more G+ related widgets on this blog, including one that allows me to show thumbnails of people who have circled my personal account. Another button hopefully will encourage more people to circle my aforementioned Plus page.
During my "day job" researching I'd also noticed that, although the follower/circle counts weren't up to date, that the PPC spots were also starting to make mention of sponsor pages on Google+.
In an article "marriage of SEO and Social Media" (which likens this union to a predictable yet sudden elopement, to extend the metaphor), Matt Cutts's views on "social signals" continuing to grow in importance is quoted. One presumes that Google+ related cues such as +1s and other activities native to their environment would likely hold more weight than other SNSs, although perhaps there could be favoured emphasis on Twitter for breaking news.
If Facebook and Bing's integration evolves the way it has been implied, such as the 2012 August 30 announcement of the latter enabling searches of photos hosted in the former, Google would find it natural to mine Google+ data to enhance personalized results. Indeed, searching for my name on Google (in an incognito browser session) has started to yield my publicly uploaded photos to my Google+ accounts.
Speaking of social signals and Google, their Android OS received an influential vote of confidence from former Apple evangelist and current author of a free e-guide to Google+, +Guy Kawasaki. I'll be looking through this publication with interest and trying out more of the Google+ features.
In the meantime, I notice that I'm only prompted to share a new post via Google+ if immediately publishing. I'm hoping that time delayed G+ shares/posts (such as are available for Twitter) will become possible eventually.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Three Tips on Time Management


A little over fourteen months ago I'd posted the predecessor to this post, where I touched upon the concept of multitasking. Now, over three months since my last post, I find myself on vacation, and finally able (and willing) to return my attention to this blog.
I recently read a discussion by friends that mentioned that "the days are long, but the years are short". I've certainly found this to be the case also, for the client-facing work I've been involved with since August of last year.
There are advantages to being obsessive, focused, and absorbed in any activity, I believe, but there are also unavoidable detractors, such as needing to use a timer or other externalized tooling to ensure that less engrossing tasks involved in daily living are still accomplished as required.

So, here are three tips to avoid ending up like that (altogether uncomfortably identifiable) XKCD character.

1. Learn to accurately estimate task duration and effort.

As the XKCD comic mentions, building a schedule can be useful to structure one's day, week, or project. However, I also posit that an accurate ability to estimate the effort and time every task can be expected to be required to create an effective timetable.

2. When prioritizing tasks, pick your battles.

Another indispensable skill concerns correctly prioritizing one's to-do list. This I consider as an essential pre-requisite to creating schedules that can be followed, regardless of the desire (or lack thereof) to do so. There are hard deadlines, softer (more negotiable) ones, and "nice to have"s. Identify them first.

3. Make yourself a priority.

Building in breaks, meals, and contrasting activities to break up the day can contribute to successfully adhering to any schedule. This clearly involves self-awareness and learning one's proclivities from experience. Should one take a sugar boost in mid-afternoon to offset the lull of digesting a lunch? Is one most productive first thing in the morning, or late afternoon?

As a child, I thrived on routine, although by external perspectives my parents created a household that was completely enslaved to our (self-imposed) schedule. While now I enjoy heretofore unknown levels of flexibility with my work-week, I'd like to reassess all of my priorities this year's end. Part of the 2013 planning will hopefully include ensuring that I resume blogging more regularly!

About Mayo

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Professional: As "Senior Enterprise SEO Strategist" in IBM's Digital Marketing division, I provide consulting and training services for both internal and external clients. Formerly I was involved in Natural Language Processing, software localization, quality assurance and documentation authoring.
Personal: INTJ Nikkei Nisei ex-patriated Canadian who takes photographs and enjoys Baroque through late Classical music. The G+ page shares some of the "best of" photos.