Friday, November 13, 2015

Who is the most searched for Democratic candidate?

This is live, and will keep updating, thanks to Google's awesomeness... I was pretty amazing to see this...seems like there is a reality to the idea that Bernie's message is resonating with people...Now we'll just have to see if these same tech-savvy searches are actually voters. I really have no idea who I'm going to vote for. But I do that voting is an extremely important thing that each of us needs to do. If you think about it, it's pretty much you're only chance to have a say. Once someones elected and voted into office, the wheels are in motion and we as the public don't have the level of control or voice that Democracy once allowed for. It's a privilege. It's your right. If you do not vote, do not ever talk to me about politics. It's my litmus test for if you are even allowed to enter my mental space (it's my world, you're just living in it), and if you don't vote, you aren't allowed to say shit. You gave that privilege up the day you decided not to vote. Not to have a say.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


As you probably know, I'm a Product hunt Addict. I use the Panda 4 Chrome extension to get my daily dose of new products (mostly software) and every now and then I stumble on something that I can't help but share.

Today's gold mine find is for everyone out there that uses spotify.

You might think I'd be willing to pay for spotify seeing as I'm a music blogger over on Unfortunately, it's a touchy subject for me and I've refused to become a spotify user because I want to build my own streaming service and I don't want to give them the satisfaction of having me as a user.

But as they continue to roll out new product features I'm having a hard time resisting.

Don't get me wrong, I've used the product a ton...for...competitive analysis...but I've never been able to pull the trigger on the 9.99 monthly subscription fee and my mobile music listening habits have remained firmly rooted in podcasts because I'm usually concerned with what's new, not necessarily creating epic playlists, which is really what spotify allows you to do (in the cloud). Podcasts are again, I can't really see the value in paying for spotify when I can barely get through all of the free music podcasts deliver on a weekly basis.

And it's funny, the tool I want to share with you today wasn't even developed by spotify, which continues to prove how important it is to have open source software, generous API's, and application marketplaces. It's the add ons developed by random dudes in their basements that will finally convert resistant people like me into a user.

Behold, music magic:

I tried to trick this thing and typed in some pretty random Trance artists and tracks but it was still able to come up with playlists. And for someone who has spent the last 4 years focusing specifically on podcasts and reviewing singular EDM tracks, this thing might be able to help me drastically improve my music library for entertaining less EDM focused guests at parties etc.

Chill playlists, 90's hip-hop, R&B...Genres I really enjoy but haven't dedicated any time to curating over the last 4 years...I can create playlists and save them to spotify in seconds. And that solves a huge problem for me.

Shout out to the guys that developed this. Maybe I can hire them to help me build a new streaming service in the near future.

If you're interested in doing something like that, connect with me on linkedin.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Daniel Taibleson Q4 - Write 3 Times a Week

After doing an internal assessment of where I'm current at in life using Maslow's hierarchy of needs I've determined how I should prioritize my personal "Q4."

Treating your life like a business might sound crazy or too extreme to some, but I often find that the structure is helpful and battle tested by hundreds of years of economic research. Not to mention the best part about this process is that you don't have to adhere to the normal rules of business. So as soon as you discover some aspect of this structure is unappealing to you, or undesirable, you can simply change the paradigm and create a new one, or one that morphs over time.

In fact, I'm not measuring anything in this post like a normal business would. All I'm doing is stealing some terminology to make things make sense to me in a way that I can easily digest.

I'm choosing to share these thoughts with you because I believe 1) it will make me more accountable and 2) they are pretty solid, basic things that other people in their 20's might want to consider focusing on (or they already are).

  • Extreme focus on diet and exercise
    • But exercise in natural ways, not only exercise that take place in nature, like hiking, but simpler exercise like walking. Participate in team sports over individual workouts (again, I include this in my definition of "more natural" since personal fitness is a relatively new phenomena on the human timeline). Knock out 100 pushups a day to keep the chest on point, but other than that, enjoy the camaraderie that comes from engaging in team sports outside of the work place (where losing can be debilitatingly stressful) and instead, remember what it feels like to keep pushing when you're behind by 10, remind yourself about how to lose with grace and shake hands after the game. Practice detaching your emotions from your daily performance. Remember, you win some you lose some. 
  • Read at least 2 books at a time, all the time
    • This leads to click moments (ah-ha moments, moments of inspiration, moments of creativity connected by engaging in self-education that happen outside your normal field of work/study) and furthers personal education that leads to enhanced creativity. 
  • Listen to podcasts
    • Just found a list of the top 20 business podcasts for 2015 that I'm really digging. These are consumed mostly on morning walks and during commutes to work. 
  • Write at least 3 times a week. 
    • I had to be realistic about this and give myself a goal that is attainable. I wanted to write everyday but the weekends are really hard to do when I spend time with my son. I want to make sure I'm actually providing some value in the blog posts that I write (not simply adding value to myself by increasing the number of published posts on this blog). 3x a week seems realistic and I look forward to hitting this number consistently, building my confidence as a writer, and also providing some really amazing content about content marketing. 
  • Have dinner or lunch with an old friend or new acquaintance at least 2x a week. 
    • This is simply a way to leave room for serendipity in my life. I love catching up with old friends and I love making new ones. But I've also found that I truly enjoy one-on-one meetings. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the team, but there is a different side to creating an intimate connection with someone that can only be produced by spending some quality time together in a safe space where each person is able to confide in the other or simply express their authentic self as many people tend to change their behavior in group settings. 
      • Make sure you have an interesting person/activity fund that you budget for. 1-3k a quarter is realistic depending on your income. It's totally fair to say, "I'm going to set aside $1,000 over the next 3 months to say yes to anyone that asks me to dinner. Or "I'm going to spend $1000 over the next 3 months on two trips to San Fran in order to make some new connections in a city where my industry is taking off." And then just do it. Even if you only meet one person per trip, that one person can connect you to their whole network. (Don't forget to invest in yourself). 
  • Make friends at work. 
    • This is a no brainer and very simple, straightforward initiative: Be kind, be compassionate, listen, add value, follow the golden rule. 
  • Learn about FHA loans! 
    • Now this is more specific, but after moving back to Seattle from Arizona, there is no way I want to dump 12k a year into renting a small 1 bedroom studio in downtown Seattle. I need to crunch the numbers and figure out what I can afford and how I'm going to get it done. This is definitely the most specific goal for Q4, but 1) it's good to have a few specific goals and 2) it's one of the most important things I need to focus on as it's a huge investment that could also set things off in a positive direction for years to come. 
What are your Q4 goals? I'd love to know in the comments. They might inspire me to rethink my plans! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Disproportionate Effects

I was doing some introspective journaling in my private, offline journal and for some reason I decided to use Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid to psychoanalyze my current state of existence (woahhh, heavy dude...okay not really, just something fun to use as a measuring stick of "where am I at?").  

The interesting insight that I felt like sharing is that health, located in the second Safety section of the pyramid (a step above our physiological needs) seems to have a disproportionate effect on my wellbeing. That is to say, both levels above and below, above: love & belonging, esteem, and also below: physiological needs like "sleep," are more deeply effected by the effort (effort = time + focus) I spend on my personal health. Which also leads to greater creativity (located at the top of the pyramid in "Self-Actualization"). 

If nothing else, let this serve as a reminder to get 8 hours of sleep a night, drink tons of water, and realize that you must sometimes be rooted in your routine in order to be violently creative in your work. 

I chose the words "rooted in your routine" specifically, and rather than "boring," even though it was the first word to cross my mind. 

You never need to be boring. Reading isn't boring unless you're reading about a boring subject. And writing should never be boring because you should be writing about things you know! Or reading about things until you know them well enough to write ;) 

All that being said, I've noticed a huge improvement in my...I don't know what you call it...overall performance (?) since I've put a huge amount of focus and emphasis on my health. 

I've always been a healthy guy, playing hockey all the way up through college, but doubling down my my diet and water intake, making time for long walks, and activities that appease my mental health (doing random things or learning about things outside my sphere of excellence) has seemed to be, again, disproportionately effective in it's ability to create positive results. 

Take control of your well-being! Remember that you can't help anyone if you don't help yourself first. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

High level Content Strategy


The purpose of this blog post is to give anyone a high-level view of what Content Strategy is and how it works. You should be able to walk away from this article nodding your heads with a decent understanding that you could then take to someone else and explain: This is what content strategy is.

This is a very, very simple way of explaining things in a fast-moving conversation but has proven to be extremely effective for me in it's ability to convey that I know what I'm talking about.

So if you want to sound like you know what you're talking about...keep reading.


I've been going through the interview process for about 6 weeks now after moving back to Seattle from Phoenix in mid-August. During that time I've been talking with a lot of people about what content strategy is and what content strategists do. At first I was finding it hard to communicate because I was more concerned with explaining my story and how I'd ended up at their door, but eventually I learned to distill things down to a very simple formula that I believe works for communicating the core principles content strategy.

Who is this for

Content Strategy can be a confusing topic for:

  • People who don't work in marketing. 
    • Is that you? Don't worry, this is still extremely important for you to understand because you now live in a digital world and are affected by good and bad content strategy, keep reading!
  • Marketing and advertising professionals that work on the Account and/or Media side of the business.  
    • Not that you aren't strategists, you just don't spend all day in the creative world ensuring you're finger is on the pulse of the latest content marketing tactics. This post should provide some added clarity when it comes to conversations with highly educated clients or horizontally, your industry counterparts. This post will make you smarter. 
  • Agencies with clients who don't understand the value. 
    • Good news! This blog post should help you convince them why content strategy is important and why they should give you MORE MONEY to do more of it. 
  • Literally anyone who doesn't know what SEO stands for. 
    • Hint: it stands for search engine optimization. 
Search Engine Optimization

Okay, so to really understand why this is important from a high level, you kind of need to understand how search engine optimization is and how it works. The good news, we can boil it down to one sentence, albeit a bit of a mouthful: 

"Who ever has the most links back to their website on a specific keyword or key phrase ranks the highest in google for that keyword or phrase."  

Now take that with a grain of salt. Google has over 200 different factors that contribute to how sites are ranked (another data point you can drop in a client convo) but that sentence above, that is 95% of the algorithm. After that, it's: 

  • How long has your site been around? 
  • And, are you following all of Google's other rules like: 
    • You can't get paid to post links back to other peoples sites
    • You site needs to be mobile friendly
    • You haz lots of social shares? Super. You're cool, we'll rank you a lil higher. 

The Rub 

So you might have noticed something from what I just explained above. The way to rank the highest is to have the most links back to your site...but I also said you aren't allowed to pay for them...

Google's mission is to organize the worlds information. 

It's every company's goal to manipulate Google's algorithm in order to rank higher, get more people to view their site, and convert those visitors into customers. (The first 5 search results get 75% of the clicks). 

So you want more links, but you can't pay...Boom! Enter Content Strategy. 

Someone has to figure out how to create content that's cool enough or useful enough to encourage people to share and link back to. That's pretty much it. 

How you do that? How do you create content that's cool enough or resourceful enough to get people to share it, link back to it, or even buy your product simply from viewing or engaging with your content?!?!  - Honestly, this is more of a question for the agency crowd so we're going to skip that and come back to it another time. For the sake of time, and making sure you walk away with something tangible, let's understand the core principles, and let's understand them in human speak, not crazy convoluted marketing speech.

Content Strategy 

Okay. So you totally get why content strategy is a thing now...but again...what is it...well, in the most basic terms I can use to break things down, this is how I explain it to other people in conversation: 
  • What are we saying
  • How are we saying it 
  • What's our process for creating the content
  • And what's the process for measuring it? 
Now don't get me wrong, we can go deep on all 4 of these points, and I intend to in different blog posts, for example, if we wanted to talk about point number 2 "How are we saying it" we would have a conversation about: What channels of communication are we using? Social media? Facebook vs Instagram? Email? Even traditional creative like TV, Radio or Print should be driven by the content strategy which is the guiding light behind everything you do. The real way to answer this question quickly is: Will this help us get where we're going?

But again, let's not get wrapped up in the tactics right now, memorize those 4 things above and you'll be miles ahead of the rest. 

An even shorter definition of content strategy coming from Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach's book Content Strategy For The Web is: 

"Content strategy guides your plan for the creation, delivery, and governance of content." 

If you want to dive deeper you can come back to my blog or you can simply go buy the book I've linked to above. It's literally THE book on content strategy and I suggest every serious professional content strategist have a copy in the top drawer of their desk at work. I do. 


  • What are we saying
  • How are we saying it 
  • What's our process for creating the content
  • And, what is the process for measuring it? 
Got it? Of course you do! You're a smart cookie.

The next step is to start noticing how you're being marketed to and realize how stupid most of it is. How it lacks a comprehensive strategy that moves consumers down the purchase funnel and communicates consistently across the channels you spend the most time on.

Use what you've learned in this article to create your own insights into either your own work, your agencies work, or you're day-to-day life so you can learn to communicate more effectively.

Be Relentless. Be Curious. Be Human.

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