Published in Super8 -

Super8: Eight intriguing articles from June.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of EOFY, June marked the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. A time to reflect on the Queen’s 70 years of service. It was also a time to look forward to the future and ponder, what might be next for the Monarchy?

Whilst reflecting, we began to wonder what the Monarchy will be like when the baton is passed to Charles. Will it be more of the same? Or could this be a turning point? A chance for the Royal Family to do something different… and ‘level up’ so to speak?

This brings us – slightly tenuously – to this month’s Super8 theme: levelling up and becoming better versions of ourselves. We’ve curated eight insightful pieces of content to spark thoughts and ambition to continue levelling up, both personally and professionally. From a thought-provoking stop motion animation on perspective and boundaries, to exploring the surprising benefits of quiet time, there’s something for everyone’s tastes.

So, prepare yourself some cucumber sandwiches and a cup of the finest Earl Grey – or if that’s not up your street, a coffee and a cruffin – and settle into our June edition of Super8. Let’s go!

1. Whiteland stop motion: a short film.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If this is true, then this stop motion animation by Ira Elshansky speaks volumes. Six and a half minutes of brilliance, this animation will make you think differently.

Levelling up sometimes requires a change in perspective. A recognition that the things you thought were dreadful, are in fact quite wonderful. Or a realisation that the boundaries you thought were in place, are in fact, not boundaries at all.

2. Designing your service offerings.

If you’ve been a long-time subscriber, you’ll likely be familiar with 2Bobs. In their usual part-comical, part-insightful style, David C. Baker and Blair Enns discuss how to improve your service offerings.

Targeted at digital and creative agencies—but equally relevant to anyone in a service-related business—this team-favourite podcast is full of interesting tips to level up your service offerings, benefitting both you and your clients.

3. Forget personalisation, it’s impossible and doesn’t work.

Levelling up isn’t always about building out new knowledge and skills. Sometimes, it’s about dropping bad habits and beliefs. If you share Peter Weinberg and Jon Lombardo’s perspective, one belief to drop might be the idea of personalised marketing.

In this article, Weinberg and Lombardo propose the idea that personalisation is, in fact, impossible. And they deliver a pretty compelling argument too. We’ll let you make up your own mind, but the key takeaway for us is asking the question – what widely held belief exists in your industry that might be nonsense? To level up, it might be time to challenge that belief.

4. 10 ways to check if your website is accessible.

At August, we’re big believers in accessible design. You’d be surprised at how many websites we come across that have been built without accessibility in mind. One of the simplest starting points on your accessibility journey is to check how your current website performs from an accessibility point-of-view.

In this article, Nick Babich shares some simple ways to check the accessibility of your website, along with ten tips to make your website more accessible. If you’re looking for a way to level up your website – that may have a bigger impact than you think – dive head-first into this article.

5. Why we owe it to ourselves to spend quiet time alone every day.

Ever find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media, and then suddenly snapping out of your trance to ask yourself, ‘what on earth am I doing?’. You’re not alone. This mindless, reflexive, almost automated behaviour is incredibly common. It’s one of the reasons people often lament that they have no time. And it’s holding us back.
This TED article shares a range of practices we can implement to cultivate a more contemplative habit of mind. To slow down, reflect, and allow our minds to wander. Because without quiet time, we’re simply rushing from one idea to the next.

6. How to learn stuff quickly.

One of the core components of levelling up is skill development – learning new skills and enhancing existing ones. But did you know that learning itself is a skill that can be developed? That we can ‘learn how to learn’?

While this piece is targeted at developers, these useful tips can apply to almost any skill. If you’re keen to grasp new ideas quickly and retain more of what you learn, we suggest reading the full article.

7. Code Review: how to make enemies.

On the topic of code, let’s talk about code reviews. In this tongue-in-cheek article, Iain Cambridge shares how to annoy your co-workers during a code review. Ultimately, this satirical piece illustrates that levelling up involves improving communications within a team, with code review being just one example.
An entertaining read, especially for developers. Although our wider team found the humour in this one too.

8. How to grow your email list with social media.

One of the most challenging aspects of newsletters is building your audience. As a content producer, you might be confident people are connecting with your content, but you might still struggle to get signups. Social media is the perfect place to do this.

In this article, Pam Neely shares ten mini case studies on how ten different content producers have used social media to build their email subscribers exponentially. If you’re looking to build your audience, this one is well worth a read.