The Noname Diet

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This is a huge comment I posted or actually have yet to post on a Facebook thread about Walnuts and Weetabix.

I went on a diet on Monday, or rather I entered a limited, conditioned behaviour breaking hacking mode. Not that I wish to detail my life online or fugue your vision with more personal affirmation type crap you constantly see on social media. But more of an experiment in content types and more importantly to keep my focus strong, defined and on target. Writing organises my thoughts, puts them in correct order, allows me to see the strands of causality running though my actions.

In a sense this is a what blogging was about, detailing stuff, recording stuff, ordering and categorising thoughts and actions into something that has a point.

Which is odd, because my business is all about attracting the audience. But the audience needs something real, something not processed by a slimy PR guy who thinks in terms of audience segmentation.

But relating this back to the stuff I teach at Linkbat Coaching.com, you need something personal to bash out on the keyboard to freshen up the writing brain. If you constantly write for clients and yourself you burn out. Which is what has happened this past year.

The well needs to be refilled regularly.

Here is the comment, or post from the thread on Facebook. And the reason I am posting it here is because I want to see if it indexes in Google before it does on Facebook.

“I totally get the Omega 3 thing and the good fat two step.

However, I am following a fat free diet (ok a 3% fat diet) for a specific reason which is to do with gallstones and the gall bladder.

I was totally into my Omega 3, however I would chase it down with nuttella/Dortio/DrPepper combo or whatever high sugar/high fat, squeezed out of the ass of some factory in New Jersey type grub.

My focus on fat free is to break the conditioned behaviour I have built up over 15 years in front of a computer monitor. I used to work from 6pm to 8 AM, fueled by 2 litres of Dr Pepper and a 6 pack of Tesco Chocolate muffins, which you can do in your 20′s and just about in your 30′s but not in your 40′s, as I am finding out.

Drinking a diet coke is not going to make me fat, but after a diet coke I want to balance out the sodium with sugar or fat, nnnnnggg.

And so, for this phase I am going brutal and evacuating years of pink slime from the tubes. I guess it’s a massive detox, although I think that word in inaccurate as your liver is constantly detoxing you, that’s what it does.

Todd, Julie Patricia, totally agree with you. Walnuts and oily fish etc. are essential for a balanced diet, except I am not on that type of diet right now. This is the nuclear, kill em all, take no prisoners, realignment on a fundamental level.

Jaqueline, Sarah, I agree with you. But only with regards to a regular, everyday diet. When you want something specific to happen you have to hack the diet and adapt it to your bodily needs and the result you want.

Gary, absolutely. My diet right now is mostly fruit, rice, chickpeas, tomatoes, Weetabix and the odd boiled sweet (Rhubarb and Custard). So pretty much going the non-processed route. I suppose Weetabix are somewhat processed, but the ingredients are as raw as you can get.

I haven’t given up milk or gluten, which may be an interesting experiment to do. I’m approaching this as I do other things. Ignore fashion, get obsessed, rely on the data, have specific objectives. I do find it interesting when the first thing people as is “what’s the diet called?” As if it’s a movie or a small child.

It should be defined by the objective and not a “pirmal brain” defined title.

And before the Walnut crowd rise up with bottles of rosemary infused walnut all to drizzel over my Weetabix, this is a time limited phase to break the cycle and break conditioned behaviour.

I write this not in expectation that it will all be read but to keep me on the wagon and focus my will power for the day.

It’s all mental.

But so far so good, started on Monday, dropped 4llbs and have a “running across a desert with a large stone on my back” energy. Which is having a huge effect on my word count I churn out each day.

It annoys me when comments become blog posts. I should post this elsewhere and get it indexed before I press post.”

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She Crushed the Tory MP with a Shocking Verbal Assault, but look at his face

Glenda Jackson MP

Glenda Jackson, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, eviscerated the Minister for work and pensions, Iain Duncan Smith.

If you look closely you can see the moment the Minister’s skin moisture level increased and he had to shift in his seat as he got itchy.

Useful links
A New Weapon In Upworthy’s Unlikely War On Clickbait
Upworthy Wants You To Play By Its Rules
Upworthy’s unworthy politics
Time Spent Is the Metric of the Moment as Upworthy Opens Its ‘Attention Minutes’ Code
The existential question at the heart of Upworthy: Is viral clickbait okay if it brings attention to something worthwhile?

Is it better to know, or think you don’t know?

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It’s good to know stuff and share with those who do not.

It’s helpful that people who know see advantage. not only in sharing with those who don’t know, but with sharing with those who appear to know but don’t know.

As long as you always think you don’t know, the need to know will always be active. When that is switched off we can never know what we don’t know and so knowing can mean knowing less than when you don’t know.

And with that, time for a spot of lunch.

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High Frequency Trading Debate Continues

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Evil ancestors of the dark art of High Frequency Trading conjour up dark machinations.

Does Michael Lewis simply just not get High Frequency Trading?

This video from Options trading expert, Tom Sosnoff of Tastytrade.com adds interesting perspective.

Charles Schwab has said, High-Frequency Trading a ‘Growing Cancer’ That Must Be Stopped. They seem a tad scared of the technology, perhaps they are wandering around their extremely expensively carpeted offices muttering, “These computers, why they are just evil”.

CNBC chose not to burn the witch, claming “High-frequency traders can’t front-run anyone
Great clip from CNBC with “William “Bill” O’Brien, the CEO of BATS, slammed Brad Katsuyama, the CEO and president of IEX, and author Michael Lewis.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ceos-fight-over-high-frequency-trading-2014-4#ixzz2xuJuBsaj

It’s not that people are stupid, it’s that they are a sucker for a scapegoat.

Mark Cuban weighs in and says “the game is rigged so that the fastest,smart players are guaranteed to make money“. Do I even need to point out the obvious. Being smart gives you an edge, c’mon, gimme a break.

People, the media, book publishers, even Michael Lewis, loves a bogeyman. Watch out investors, the evil high frequency traders are out to get you and steal your money. All nonsense of course. It’s like saying that when traders installed the first electronic ticker tape machine they were stealing from honest traders who avoided such devlish machines.

I do not claim to be an expert in this field, but I know when someone is whipping up sensationalist stuff to sell some books and using the “traditional” part of an industry who are desperate to protect their turf.

I mean come on, would you really want to use Charles Schwab and the rest of them when you know they prefer to use slower, dumber, more ancient technology?

Why Tasty Trade does not Create Fans

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According to its strapline. Tasty Trade is a “real financial network”,

The reality is that it’s closer to being a huge “disruptor” in the financial investment space.

It’s a challenger to all those networks rooted in the old way of doing things, a rebel, an explorer, even an outlier.

It does not create fans, because it creates addicts. Once you watch, once you swallow the pill, there is no going back. It changes everything you ever thought about how financial investing should work.

If you are a retail investor, this is the network you want mainlining into your veins.

You will not go back to wall to wall, Bloomberg, CNBC, etc. after you have taken your hit of Tastytrade.com

I am no heavy hitter trader, at the most it’s a hobby. I have been trading for nearly two years now earning my chops, building my 10,000 hours if intense real life practice. I ingest as much as I can, aim to learn from those who have the thousand yard star of the battle scarred trader

Here is the thing about the presenters of all the Tasty Trade shows.

The all trade, and they all trade with their own money.

They are true experts in their field and over the range of the shows they put out each weekday, cover all types of trading styles. The emphasis, or the ethos is to get engaged, build confidence, trade small, trade often.

I’m not particularly into hero worship, but the two main guys who do the main show, Tom Sosnoff and Tony Battista have not only opened my eyes to the possibilities and realities of retail investing, but have made me laugh more than any professional comedy act this year and I am talking about filtered coffee through the nose, rib aching, aneurysm inducing laughter. And as an old comedy writer myself it takes a lot to impress me.

What they have on their opening hour is a perfect balance of broadcast entertainment and information. Vonetta Logan, who joins them in the first hour provides the down to earth, erudite, kick ass, compliment to the big beasts of Tony and Tom and does not hesitate to open a can of whoop ass when required. Which is usually every ten minutes of the show as ADD, egomania and “busting balls” kicks in. The opening show is heavily influenced by Howard Stern and in many ways is much more fun as it can improve your bottom line.

The mix of intense intelligence, honesty, domain expertise and a fantastic production team make this an absolute, essential place for you to go for investment advice and trading ideas. Yes, sometimes it’s like sipping from a fire hose and you have to give it time to figure out just exactly what it is, because it’s so huge and dense in information.

What could be done to improve the site is a big fat button saying, NEW HERE, CLICK THIS, which then takes you to a page giving you the 10 places of where to start. Organising the amount of content they produce into digestible bite sizes for noobs must be a huge task. It took me a week of watching before I finally got it, and learned how to get the most from it.

I may write up a noobs guide to Tasty Trade, as it would direct you to the places you need to go a lot quicker, although I have found the discovery aspect of digging into the site fascinating. They keep archived material going back a year or two, I’m not quite sure of the timeline. But it’s simply a master class in technical analysis, options trading, retail investing etc.

Although it does take some time to get what the network is really about and how to make it work best for you, my advice is stick with it as there is no other place on the planet that offers such in-depth advice, knowledge, real life examples etc. for the price it costs to access.

So how much is Tastytrade.com?

This is the bit that’s insane, it’s free and there is no advertising of external products, only their shows. Which may be a bit nuts from a conventional business point of view, but I think this is killer point. Sure these guys are in it for the money, but they are truly passionate about what they do and it’s rare to find people at this level who are so generous and fun.

They do have a deal with Ameritrade to sign up with an account with them and they do have an iPad/iPhone app where you can track their real time trades, which is subscription based. But all the content you ever need is free to access.

I could write a few thousand words more about Tastytrade.com and what I have learned and how I have been entertained. But I am an addict, you need to see it for yourself. My advice is to login to the live, first hour which is at 1pm UK time, it’s pre-market for the US time zone and if you are like me and your day begins at 7 am trading the FTSE, it’s a nice way to get extra insight to how the day is going.

The other shows on the network worth watching are Shadow Trader, with Peter Reznicek and Brad Augunas from shadowtrader.net, Last Call, with Tim Knight from Slopeofhope.com, Ask Slim, by veteran trader Steve Miller, The LIZ and JNY show with options traders, Liz and Jenny, who are very good at giving an introduction to options trading.

And yes, I am a full paid up addict of the Tasty Trade network.
I would go as far to say it’s actually worth to start trading just to appreciate the shows.

Interested to know what you think of the Network.

Is Internet Marketing really that bad?

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You know that feeling when you accidentally eat a moldy Dorito, one that has been left out for a few weeks, licked by the dog whose residue of saliva attracted the most exotic of bacteria to copulate wildly on the Southern Californian corn chip. And of course you eat it before seeing at and so your body is alerted to the fecund snack through sensitive taste buds who sound the alarm as if a dead rats, enlarged sack has entered your opening.

Well that’s kind of feeling thar being in internet marketing is for me. And it’s not because it’s full of venal, money crabbing, cynical hounds who love to manipulate the fears and loves of the masses to get a few Tweets. No, I actually find those types refreshingly honest. It’s the ones who do it badly, and my god are there a lot of them.

As entry is open to anyone who can drag their rank smelling fingers over a nicotine and Guinness stained keyboard, it attracts those who figure out you don’t have to be good, you just have to be there. This is of course changing. The agencies that I sometimes deal with are full of good people, but there are more than a few, “just do as much as we need to”, types scumming up the surface of the pond.

And maybe this exists in all industries, and especially an immature industry such as internet marketing (or as some call it “inbound marketing”, no I don’t get it either). It certainly is changing, as a new breed of worker who has grown up on the teat of Facebook, swarms into the agencies with their hipster glasses and fixie bikes.

You still find the warmed, soured milk types in the crevicies and fleshly folds of the Internet though, places where the cyber-flesh has moistened and stuck together, creating a mold that beats any three week old Dorito. I sometimes even work for them, presenting them with copy I gave birth to and nurtured, rather than writing. They ruin it of course by putting it on their cruddy blog, stacked to the gills with soulless churn from achingly dull copywriters who are paid in the nails of their artistic coffin.

But’s it’s cash. And the thing about cash is that it does not care where it came from, it has no memory. It can be used to buy a Mars bar or a bottle of Paracetamol that is chugged down with a bottle of vodka.

So you take it and do the work, always feeling grimy, but knowing you can buy your kids some new shoes.

But then it happens, someone you know gets a book deal, and suddenly Angelina and Brad Pitt are starring in their movie and Nelson Mandela is asking them to write a speech that unites Arabs and Jews and frees North Korea to be able to download Angry Birds from iTunes.

So you decide to leave Internet Marketing and trade options and futures, sitting in a houseboat in Sausalito, whilst putting the finishing touches to your Zombie-Vampire-Alien-Invasion, RomCOm, which will be the next big Kindle hit.

But the reality is that Minecraft cave complex wont build itself, so back to reality you go.

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What an Office Chained Writer really needs

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I just read The Curse of the Cliché from Harriet Cummings, in the blog post it says, “The wandering mind is, perhaps, one of the most powerful enemies of online copy.

When I first read this I mistakenly read it as “The wandering mind is the most powerful… of online copy”, and thought yes, absolutely, The mind that wanders is able to go to places the other writers, chained to their formulaic, rigid thinking, rules is rules copywriting brain.

Of course both is true, you need to focus, you need to implement, you need to ship product. And writing is a craft, you hone your blade by constantly creating, testing, sharpening.

It was Faulkner who said “kill your darlings”, perhaps emotion and ego get in the way of the words. Sometimes you have to kill off whole projects.

And that is part of the craft.

But here’s the thing, most of the writers in this industry lack a certain something. They are bereft of any spark, any sharpness of wit. Mostly because the dreadful client doesn’t understand what really works, what really grabs the moist strings of the souls and pulls them in, and so they grind out grey, regurgitated putrescence of dust.

At that point, the writer must wander, must refresh, go read comics, poetry, song lyrics, must dip their cup into the well that is purely of the human experience. Rather than a commercial goal.

Don’t get me wrong, writing needs a process, it needs discipline, it needs you sometimes to do that which you hate. Writing is not a joyous vocation. But those who hear its call must come or suffer the thousand paper cuts of the office chained wage slave.

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Helping get the focus you need

I have recently moved house, as everyone knows, moving house is a tortuous process.

On top of all the usual problems BT screwed up the transferring internet and telephone line to the new house ending up in two engineers turning up on the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon to fit the same line. The 2nd BT engineer told me this kind of mess up is perfectly normal in his organisation.

This caused me to be left me without internet to my home office for two weeks. Which is extremely frustrating, however there are some very interesting lessons to be learned from this.

Focus is an increasingly important skill in this day of massively delivered media.

I am a writer who developed his craft before the Internet, a time when you physically had to travel hundreds of miles to a different physical location to do a bit of research. Now most research can be done with a few clicks and a fast connection.

Because of this I am hard wired to suck in as much information as possible, as in those days I wouldn’t know when I would have access to it again. But now, such information does not need to be stuck in my head as I can access it all online.

So when offered as much data as I can eat my default is to pull in too much noise and not enough signal when online.

Also, I developed the habit of collecting as many books and magazines as possible, building up a decent library of research material. Most people would not need to keep the magazine about hydraulics in advanced construction vehicles, but I needed to keep information I might need for an article in the future.

And so the books piled up, and so did the magazines. For quite some time 90% of my possessions in terms of mass and wealth was tied up in information. Obviously when you move you audit and chuck out what you don’t need.

What I have figured out is that I don’t need most of my books and magazines. There are books that have emotional value, but from a pure informational delivery system the paper version is dysfunctional and no longer serves its primary objective that is the efficient delivery of information.

Of course my Kindle and iPad Newstand collection was a lot easier to move. Which makes me think that such comparison would make great linkbait or a funky infographic on the amount of carbon that is produced from transporting your books each time you move house.

I see paper books as more art and emotion than functional these days. They will always exist because a printed page has something a digital page never will.

However, there is a massive problem that digital information and the Internet brings, which is making the act of focus increasingly more difficult.

I confess, I am a personality type that makes focussing on one thing at a time difficult, this helps somewhat in coming up with interesting and different content ideas, but tricky when it comes to production and implementation of those ideas.

The point is, I have found the benefit of no direct Internet access to be an increased focus in what is important. It helps or rather forces you to concentrate on what is important when schlepping to the local caffeine delivery point, mine is Coffee 108 in the Artisan Quarter of Truro.

You stop being distracted by all the bright, shiny, interesting stuff that bombards you whilst online because you simply do not have the time to ingest them.

Now I have my dual 28 inch monitors hooked up to a powerful PC delivering 47 Megabits per second of pure distraction. The aim now is to keep the focus and work on time management.

Lesson has been learned and hopefully writing this has helped in setting it in concrete.

Or at least, digital concrete.

Sometimes your content needs to be more Xfactor than Strictly Ballroom

People often mistake the term “quality”, for “what works”.

Quality is subjective, whilst “what works” is clearly definable.

But when web content is sold, it’s sold as “quality content”. Look how many blog posts talk about “quality content”, repeated without thought.

When what they should be talking about is content that does the job. The objective is not to please the critics, it’s to play to the audience.

A number of people claim to hate infographics, as if what they feel is of some importance. But the feelings of a few industry experts is not the objective. Does the infographic work?

It’s said that infographics are dead and that they have saturated the market place, but so they work? What the pundits and commentators say is mostly irrelevant. The only question to be answered is…

…does the content work.

I use infographics as an illustration of something where you get a swathe of negative opinion and yet they get the job done.

Am I saying only do infographics to communicate your message?
No.
That would be insane.

But think who you want your communication to reach and the job you want it to do. And they go and craft the tool that will do the job.

Xfactor, is no way quality, but it works.

Sometimes your content needs to be more Xfactor than Strictly Ballroom

I Love This Story of Sweat and Candlelight in New York City

“I love this story”, probably the worst headline I have ever written. And I like to think writing headlines is one of my best skills.

Two things that have sunk into the deeper depths of my consciousness this morning. Outside my window of my garret the sky is still black, I like to get up early and this morning is was earlier than usual. 4.30am I am laying awake with the brain doing its thing, it usually starts writing a blog post and that forces me awake and running to the keyboard before the words drift away.

But thoughts were disrupted by two things, Ed Dale blogging about the story being the thing. Which is something I have known and thought for a long time, and a video by flip flop guru Jonathan Fields. Actually that sounds like I’m poking fun at him, I’m not, I think he’s a real cool dude with some very interesting ways of looking at things and definitely worth listening to.

But Flip Flop Guru, I really like that term so it’s staying and I just have to work around it.

Ed reminded me of the thing that is at the core of my being, the story. But it’s more than that, it’s that the story is at the core of making sense of the human condition. It’s not just about selling stuff, although commerce is totally something that humans are about and absolutely nothing wrong with that.

And I do realise I am getting a little existential with all this, but this is what happens when you write early morning blog posts.

The thing is, I have been kind of disconnected with the thing I do for work. Which is really about helping websites communicate to their potential market. Tempted by the short cut I went a hard core seo route with some of the stuff I do. I never felt that OK about it, but rent needed to be paid and food placed on the table.

However, it wasn’t me. It wasn’t what I am really good at.

I’m good with glueing words together and creating a great story, that is what I should focus on and stick to.

Now Linkbaiting is a lot of what I do, this is the art of getting links by producing great content. I have no problem with this, even if some think the term invokes a certain swampishness. But it’s the other stuff that seems easy at first and suddenly you find yourself over at the dark side.

And then I watched a video from the Goodlifeproject.com

It’s quite long so I don’t expect you to watch it all, but it really struck a chord with me.

What really burned in my brain was not that fact I want to get on a bike in candlelight and discuss the Unbearable Lightness of Being, which is probably not a bad way to spend an evening. But it was the tone of the conversation, it wasn’t about getting rich, it’s wasn’t about creating Vegas penthouse piles of cash, it was simply people talking about what they could do to make things a little less dark in a drab world.

And that is really important and resonates with me. I think that tone that Jonathan had created with the interview was very appealing and I am jealous that I don’t have it. But what’s behind the surface fabric is simply a desire to get to grips with the human condition.

There is a conflict within me of course, and I can make the excuse it’s because I am British I like to see things a little more dark and cynical. But I don’t think all the dark bits should be jettisoned as you seek the sunlit uplands.

I think it helps to keep an edge.

Fascinating stuff though, at lease to me. And here’s the thing, this blog post is for me. So why send it out there? Well, because it helps me structure my thinking. If you like it, brilliant. If you don’t, it wont really matter, as I have already moved on and it’s not the point.

The other stuff I write goes on blogs that I do want you to love and get excited about.

Now, the sky is developing into a blackened blue. The light is so hypnotic this time of day, and I am going to get a nice cup of tea and some toast with the kids.