Something was missing, and I didn’t exactly know what it was. Around a year or so ago, I joined a big agency, and that gave me a chance to look at a lot of sites, provide in-depth consultation audits for a number of clients, perform monthly strategy reviews for others, inform the sales team on issues that might be helpful to address in proposals, and help other SEOs within the company when they asked for it.
I enjoyed doing these things, but there was something missing. I enjoyed working with the crew that I worked with as well. It’s great to work with people who are excited about the Web and about learning and growing. I’m now going to be working with a new crew who are filled with excitement and energy and innovation.
Understanding processes and improving upon them to work smarter can result in lower costs, better outcomes, and less friction between participants. This is true with projects involving websites and SEO, and it’s true with most businesses. As an SEO, there are a lot of things I work upon to try to make a website better. That tends to bleed over into other things as well.
I was thinking back to some changes at the court I worked a few years ago which provide some good examples of how focusing upon processes can bring about positive changes.
Where’s the Bail Money?
Back when I was an employee of one of the Courts of Delaware, a number of Courts and State Agencies joined together to bring a new case management software system to the State’s Courts that would help to:
This past October, an Official Google Blog post, What we’re driving at, introduced Google’s efforts to bring self driving cars to the world. The post told us:
So we have developed technology for cars that can drive themselves. Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard.
They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe.
All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles. We think this is a first in robotics research.
Stop, close your eyes, and take a moment to think about your home, without water faucets, without showerheads, without garden hoses, and without toilets. We use water to drink, to clean, to cook, to grow things, to cool our cars, to do countless things that we often take for granted, because we have easy access to one of the most abundant, and most precious resources in the world.
Imagine instead that your only easy access to water was from a dirty irrigation ditch, like in the photo below from a New Mexico back in the 1930s.
Or imagine that you lived in Washington, DC, and your only source of water was a backyard faucet shared by a number of homes, as shown in this image from 1935:
We often take time for granted, and how our perspectives of our past, present, and future can shape our lives.
How we plan for the future, how creative we are in the present, and how our past can influence our moods and attitudes are topics covered in a book on the psychology of time that was published in August of this year.
The book, The Time Paradox, by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd, helps to explain such things as why the D.A.R.E. “Just Say No To Drugs” effort to educate teens on drug abuse was a failure – it focused upon a small percentage of students who are future oriented rather than the many who are present oriented. (Perhaps the New D.A.R.E. will fare better.)
The authors of the book gave a presentation at Google on the topic, and it’s one of the best videos I’ve seen this year. I’m running out to get a copy of the book it’s based upon in a few minutes.
If you’re a musician, interested in helping musicians and artists across the globe, and collaborating with other musicians while doing so, you might find the Playing for Change (HTML version: Playing for Change) web site to be one that you may want to visit.
I was just blown away by the first of their videos:
The Playing for Change Foundation is working to fund music and art schools from around the world. You can participate even if you aren’t a musician. (Hat tip to idealist.org)
Over the past year, I’ve been keeping a close eye on some of the activities of nonprofits and environmental groups on the Web as they explore ways to share their message with people online. I’ve had a chance to work with a couple of nonprofits over the past few years, and enjoyed the experience.
I’ve also had an opportunity to talk with a few people involved in working with sharing the mission and message that their nonprofit organizations stand for, and their passion is contagious.
I’ve also really enjoyed working with small businesses, as they learn how to bring their offerings to the Web. It’s very fulfilling to help people realize their dreams, and bring helpful and useful products and services to the public.
I have been working as the Director of Search Marketing for KeyRelevance, and decided a few weeks back that I wanted to explore working more with environmental groups and nonprofits and small businesses, either on my own or within a nonprofit organization, and gave my notice.
Over the past year, I’ve had the chance to get close to Kimberly Bock, who you may know as the author of a number of popular blogs including Learning SEO Basics, Yicrosoft Directory Girl, We R Facebook, and who had been very active and popular on a number of social networks. Kimberly has pulled out of the blogging scene for a while to concentrate on school, but her impact has been felt by many, including myself.
Kimberly is a passionate champion for change, for the underdog, for the protection of consumers, and against marketing practices such as greenwashing, abuse of social networks, misleading linkbaiting practices, and other unethical marketing approaches.
Kimberly’s writings on the Web attracted a number of readers who appreciated her talented writing, her insights, her humor, her sharing of what she learned on the web, and the words and images that she posted online.