Social Media Camp 2017: Idea Lab

Idea Lab handout for Social Media Camp 2017 cover image

Hello and welcome!  If you’ve found your way here, you likely attended my Social Media Camp workshop, Climb Into the Content Clubhouse, a session designed to help you find and craft content ideas. Whether you’re a blogger, a livestreamer or a staffer in charge of the company newsletter, I hope you learned lots to help you with your content planning.

Did you get a copy of the handout?

I went old school for this workshop with a printed handout. As I likely said in the room, I’m an advocate for analog!  If you’d like a digital copy, grab the Idea Lab handout here.

Sample Inspiration Resources

Throughout the workshop, I mentioned various resources that can help you identify potential content ideas. Here are a few visuals to further develop the idea:

Toy Rhapsody mind map for Content Planner

Mind Maps

Blank paper and a pen or sharpie are all you need to capture ideas in relation to one another with a mind map. IF you prefer, you Mind Meister or a similar tool to make digital mind maps.

Thought Cloud Thought Cloud

Thought clouds let you gather a variety of digital words to look for patterns. Wordle helps you speedily create beautiful thought clouds.


Wonder question books

Put “question book” into the search bar of an online bookstore and you’ll find thoughts of books filled with questions! The books I brought to share at Social Media Camp included:

Inspiration decks

The inspiration decks I shared included:

  • Derek Walter’s Mahjong Deck
  • John August’s Writer Emergency Pack
  • Roger von Oech’s Creative Whack Pack
  • Violette Clark’s Artists Deck
  • Tim Porter’s Stormdeck

Happy Idea Hunting

I wish you every success with your content planning journey. Identify the topics and formats you love. Create great content to share your passion. And move those ideas around.  And, please, let me know how you’re doing! I want to see the great content you create.  ~Angela


Pick Subscriptions That Serve You

Digital Cleanse Day 20:

Pick Subscriptions that Serve you

Please pick subscriptions that serve you! List building is a big marketing trend right now. I think its a great strategy for brands to connect with their ideal customer. [Yes, it’s something I do in my business, too. Note the sign-up box in the sidebar!]  Subscriptions lists can be great for customers, too. Who wouldn’t want to have the latest information (and offers) delivered right to their inbox?

Unfortunately, some businesses are doing it wrong, in my opinion. Too many businesses are gathering any and all email addresses. This leads to some iffy list building strategies. For example, I recently attended a conference. I was disappointed when one of the exhibitors added my email to their email list. Yes, I entered a contest. But putting your card in a bowl doesn’t equal “sign me up”!  The brand did a great job of introducing me to their product with a fun demo. I’m not their target audience but I liked the product. I did some voluntary word-of-mouth advertising to people in the market for their product. I felt good about the brand.  Right up until I got the unwanted email in my inbox. Instant unsubscribe. And now I don’t think as highly of the brand.

[The legalities of list building are different in Canada and the USA which can be a problem, too. I’ll write about that another day.]

Have you ever been subscribed to an email newsletter you didn’t want? As part of your digital cleanse, I’m giving you permission to unsubscribe.  For the next month, think critically about each subscription email that lands in your inbox. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you really want it?
  • Are you still interested in the topic?
  • Do you read every issue?
  • Can you get the information elsewhere?
  • Is the frequency right for you?
  • Does it include great discount codes?
  • Is each email full of information?
  • Do you like how they sell to you?
  • Do you have time to read it?

If your answers are no then its time to unsubscribe. Look for an unsubscribe link in the footer of the email.  Don’t feel badly just do it. The list owner pays to have each name on the list. If you’re not interested then save them some money. Save yourself time, too!  If the subscription stays, now you know why you agreed to get it.

It took me about a month to evaluate all my subscriptions. For every subscription I kept, I unsubscribed from 7 other lists. My inbox was rejuvenated!

I limit myself to a few of my favourite in each of a few categories. Here’s a sampling:

  • business resources
  • favourite events
    • Social Media Camp is my next speaking engagement and one of my all-time favourite conferences.
  • favourite organizations
  • favorite retailers
    • Canadian made Tilley Endurables hats and and clothing keep me on track in my quest to pack light!
  • just for fun
    • My daily comic strip fix with all my favourite comics from Go Comics.

Be very picky about your subscriptions. Each email that hits your inbox just adds to your digital clutter. Once you’ve sorted through the backlog of subscriptions, be vigilant about any new ones that slip into your inbox.

More on the 30 day #digitalcleanse tomorrow. Hope to see you then!

(If you missed yesterday’s installment, take a couple extra minutes to explore Keep an Inspiration File. For links to the complete Digital Cleanse series, click here.)

Get Over FOMO and Embrace JOMO

The Digital Cleanse Day 11:

Get Over FOMO and Embrace JOMO

The fear of missing out (FOMO) grips many digital citizens. Are you afraid of what you’ll miss if you’re not online?  Are you compelled to read every status update on Facebook? Are you constantly on Snapchat to stay abreast of the latest gossip?  The compulsion to stay online may, in fact, disconnect you from the people, passions and projects that fuel your soul. Rather than worry about what you’re missing online, I encourage you to embrace the joy of missing out (JOMO).

For me, the joy of missing out means I spend time with my family. Just this morning, I spent an hour with my son engaged in an epic battle of LEGO versus TinkerToy. When I’m offline, I connect with my grandmother. She’s fast approaching 90 and has no interest in digital anything. We talk about flowers and clothes and world events and family history. Each conversation joyful in its own way. Perfect moments come when I can simply sit and hold my husband’s hand. Just be. Who do you want to spend time with?

The joy of missing out also means I do more things I love. I write my best project outlines with sharpies and sticky notes. I love to go cycling, swimming and beach-combing. I doodle with fine art supplies and browse bookstores.  And so much more. What do you love to do?

While I do document lots of my life with Instagram photos, I often leave the camera alone.  Its very freeing to just enjoy the moment.  No need to freeze frame your kids in action to take a photo. Nor do you need to recreate those perfect moments. Just commit them to memory.  My dear friend, Moira Bridgman, gave me an amazing piece of advice for my wedding day. She told me “you won’t remember what you saw but you will remember how you feel.”  I’ve lived that truth as much as possible.

While undertaking a digital cleanse, I encourage you to plan time away from your technology. Spend time with the people you love. Do the things you enjoy.

Book: The Joy of Missing Out by Christina Crook JOMOFor a more academic look at JOMO, I highly recommend The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World. In her book, Christina Crook writes:

By understanding our online habits, we can form new ones – as we seek to be fully human in a smartphone world.”

I’m looking forward to meeting Christina at Social Media Camp in May. As long as our sessions don’t overlap, I plan to watch her presentation. With her permission, I will write more about her work.

More on the 30 day #digitalcleanse tomorrow. Hope to see you then!

(If you missed yesterday’s installment, take a couple extra minutes to explore Pick a Cloud. For links to the complete Digital Cleanse series, click here.)