Happy Holiday's Ya'll

To all our sweet readers, we hope that you have a wicked Holiday and enjoy the time off work. It's been a great year for us here at Adjoke - hundreds of posts, a ton of comments and suggestions and a growing base of readers who are always helpful in offering ideas for future posts.

Our hope in 2009 is to continue growing our readership, feature more Blogs from around the ad world and, of course, show you what's cool out there (and what really, really sucks).

From PJC and I, keep on reading and have a great Holiday.

(Oh, and if you want to get us anything, add us to your RSS feed in 2009 - and tell two friends to do the same!)


My Favorite Reads of 2008 [Another List]

In 2008, I made a resolution to read more. A lot more. 12 months, 30 novels and about 1,000 articles later, I feel more up to speed and interested (in everything) than I have before. Here is a short list of my favorites (warning: some are pretty random):

10. Click by Bill Tancer - interested in the world of Search? A must read (and a quick one) about how to use search data to influence your future decisions. Some cool stats and a great guide to understanding the digital world.

9. Whose Your City by Richard Florida - what's the most important decision you will ever have to make in your life? According to Florida, it's where you live. Want to understand the future of cities and how they directly impact your life? Check it out.

8. Tribes by Seth Godin - I like Godin. Like his blog and his stuff and this was a decent read (and if you have read anything before you can finish it in about 2 hours).

7. Hey Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan - want to read the book that is mandatory for CP+B creatives? If you want to understand the creative mind, process and struggle (and laugh while doing it), pick it up.

6. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright - Not ad related but important. Wright interviews thousands of people to understand the history of Al Qaeda and puts together a game-changing story about how 9/11 came to be. Mind blowing and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

5. Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff - I had the pleasure of hearing Bernoff speak in Toronto a few months ago and although a lot of the examples in Groundswell are very well known, the book does a good job at classifying digital behaviour in order to help ground strategy. Plus, almost every client has read it (well...any client that thinks digital is important)

4. Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres - I truly believe that data will drive the majority of our decisions in the years to come. This novel is about using data to be more accurate in your predictions and decisions (and has some mind blowing examples).

3. The Futurist by James P. Othemer - I don't read a lot of fiction but when I was given this as a gift (thanks Crowe) and found out that Othemer is a copywriter I thought I'd give it a try. 3 days of obsessive reading later and I was finished (and super satisfied).

2. Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman - the future of the world (if we have one) is green. This is the definitive plan on how we get there.

1. Wired - I'm a huge fan of Wired (and just got a subscription...finally). I think I'm most excited when I find the issue on my desk or grab one from my local store. If you love digital, if you are passionate about the space and want to learn more, read this magazine every month. Cover to cover.

Read every article, even if it seems - at first - like it's a topic that doesn't interest you (who knew that I would love reading about genetic sequences?). I'm a firm believer that if you want to be good at digital, you should learn from the best. And the writers, staff and stories found in this publication are all at the top of their game.

What about you? What were your favorite reads of 2008?

The Only Conference You Should go to in 2009

We all want (need) to learn more. About anything - especially why people buy, how brands influence them and - most importantly - how we can help our clients in the upcoming year.

But how do we have any time to learn extra? We spend all of it shipping ads, meeting delivery dates, pleading with creatives to make the logo bigger, sending clients status reports, booking meetings and managing our bosses. We don't have time to read about what's going on out there, who is doing what, what the latest creative is or the hottest social network. It's too busy. We already have enough to think about.

What's the most common way people think they can learn more? Go to a conference. Listen to some speakers and report back to the agency what happened.

The problem with conferences? They're frigging expensive. And they are a tough sell. Specifically if you've only been in the industry for a few years. Management doesn't want you taking time away from clients, they don't want to allocate budget against travel, delegate fee's, food, etc when you could be working. If you're lucky, you might find one in your city and be able to go but travel somewhere? Out of the question.

So what's the one thing you can do in 2009 to learn, get excited and transform your year?

Tell your agency to buy an associate membership to the 2009 TED conference (Feb 3-7). New this year, TED is opening up their conference to the world via a video cast. You can attend the conference in one of your own conference rooms with up to 10 other people from your agency. See the top speakers, understand what's new in the world and get inspired for the new year.

After the conference is over, TED will send you the box DVD set of every speech, their favorite books and CD's of the year and all information on future conferences.

How much will this cost you? $995.

This year, I'm doing it. For the last three years, I can't count the number of TED talks that have inspired me. Made me think about how things are changing or what I could be doing more of.

Don't go to AdTech. Don't go to some random "Social Networking" conference. Stay at your own agency and inspire people around you with a week of talks about the world. I know, I know it's not advertising specific. But it's life-specific and if you want to succeed in anything, it's well worth your time.

UPDATE: TED just released the 2009 speaker line-up. Some highlights? Well Bill Gates and Seth Godin will be presenting on the first day...among many others. Check them all out here.

Contagious Best of 2008

There are a lot of lists out there right now. Some good, some bad and others that you can pretty much ignore. Here's one I wouldn't.

Contagious Magazine has put together a great deck on the "Best of" work of 2008. The deck showcases the best technology, campaigns, websites, innovations and people of the year. If you want to stay ahead of the curve and learn something new from around the world, take a moment and read through it over the break.

More posts are on their way...just finishing up the 'real' work before the holiday begins.

Check it out right here.