Upping the Ante: Keeping Up with the Digital Joneses

Every morning, I come into work (usually with a Starbucks in hand, much to the dismay of my bank account), and sit at my computer. I take a moment to glare at the beauty of my Mac, and turn it on. First things first, I check my email. Next, I check Tweetdeck. And lately, after those two crucial things, I read blogs.

I haven’t always done this. Normally, I immediately delve into my workload. Sometimes my pile of work sits staring at me, forcing the belief that there just isn’t enough time in the day to catch up on industry news or trends. Forget checking Mashable, I’ve got to write that blog post or prepare for that brainstorm meeting. Well, no more!

Don’t get me wrong, work is definitely priority numero uno. I love my job, so keeping busy is never a daunting task. But from here on out, I’ve made a promise to myself and my company that I’ve got to do more, and that includes keeping up on industry news, trends, announcements, and opinions. If I don’t, I cheat on my responsibility to my work, clients, and ultimately, my employer. And since making more time to keep up on everything, I’ve noticed that my passion for the industry and the quality of my work has improved. Coincidence? I think not.

It inspires me. It gives me fresh ideas. It allows me to contribute more in meetings. And sometimes (as much as I hate to admit it), it even makes me jealous, creating a drive to do better. But either way, I become a better, harder worker, even if I’m not putting my nose to the grindstone immediately when I arrive in the morning. So I will continue to read, continue to learn, and hopefully it makes a difference in what I bring to the table.

Here are the blogs I enjoy (and actually provide something of value):

Mashable – THE resource for all things social media.

Brass Tack Thinking – everything from ideas to execution, the basics of making things happen.

DC | Baltimore Egotist – keeping up on all the local industry news around DC and Baltimore.

We Love Viral – great resource for cool videos.

Hey Whipple – an extension of Luke Sullivan’s amazing advertising insights.

Soshable – news and announcements from around the web, all in one place.

Chris Brogan – the do’s and don’ts of the industry – great how-to and advice pieces.

Terry Starbucker – great blog on leadership, management skills, and making a difference.

I get daily newsletters, too:

AdAge Daily

Creativity Online


CoDesign Daily

And for occasional comedy…

Hyperbole & a Half or The Oatmeal – be careful, you might pee your pants laughing… and that wouldn’t be very becoming of you while at work.

I’d love to hear what you do to keep up on industry news. Leave a comment and let me know what blogs you read & what feeds you subscribe to.

9 responses to “Upping the Ante: Keeping Up with the Digital Joneses”

  1. Joe says:

    Inspiration comes with envy. I encourage all creative people to study their industry and their competitors and challenge themselves to out do them. So many agency people lack passion nowadays — without that fire, you’ll never get better at what you do.

  2. Anna says:

    GREAT post! This was quite inspirational because this is something I think is so important but I find myself not doing it as much when I get busy. I think it should be mandatory – it’s such an essential part of our job. Not to mention, a critical part of pushing ourselves and staying inspired!

  3. Tessa says:

    I have to agree. Blogs give us the opportunity to grow professionally and personally on a variety of levels. I have to admit that I’ve fallen behind on some of the industry blogs I used to follow regularly, but I’m taking a vow to pick it back up again.

  4. Jules says:

    You’ve inspired me, with this post!

  5. Danielle says:

    I’m with you, Joe. Someone once said to me, “If you’re jealous, that means you care.” It was about something else, but the point is, you should never be too content, because that can turn into apathy. I think its great that you have that fire to be better and make Cyphers better, Jocelyn!

  6. Terry Starbucker says:

    Hi, and thanks for the mention! I totally agree that reading other people’s great work (like the others on your list, just about all of which I read regularly too) is beneficial in many different ways. Inspiration is our fuel, and these folks are high octane. And oh yes, I get jealous too! :-)nnThanks again, and all the best. Keep inspiring!nnTerry

  7. CapitolMacBaltimore says:

    You should try AllTop (alltop.com) for keeping up with new posts from blogs. You can browse by topic, or make your own account and customize what blogs it monitors. It’s a must for my daily routine.

  8. Jocelyn Rimbey says:

    Thanks for the suggestion, and thanks for reading. I appreciate it!

  9. Jocelyn Rimbey says:

    Thank you, Terry. Your words mean a lot, and I appreciate your input. We love your blog here, and it helps keep us motivated and positive – a necessity some days! nnBest,nJocelyn