Let me explain my day.

Guest post by Hursh Joshi.

Let me explain my day.

I wake up. For a moment I think I am in my parents’ home. I look around and everything seems easy. I turn around and I doze.

Just a little while later, I wake up again. A little confused. I was sure I was at home, my parents’ home that is. But something is different. The walls, I recognise them. So I must be at home. But they are not the walls from my parents’ home. Gradually I wake up; I look around and everything seems familiar but different.

The Importance of a Clean Workspace

Did you know there’s a National Clean Off Your Desk Day? It is held on January 9th and is one day of the year when you have no excuses. If your employees can manage to get their desks looking tidy for one day, should it be a problem to keep them organized for the other 364 days of the year? They might actually like being a little bit more organised, and their productivity will definitely increase. If cleanliness of the workspace is not the first thing your team thinks about every day, here are some reasons that could change their outlook forever.

It Makes Them Look More Professional

Encourage them to look at their desk from an outsiders point of view and think what an untidy desk conveys. A tidy desk speaks volumes and makes the person sat behind it look more competent and professional. It doesn’t matter whether it’s their appearance or their workspace they are taking pride in, both have a lot to say about a person.

Increases Efficiency

If your employees have tidy desks, they are going to know where everything is and not waste time looking for important paperwork or a pen to sign a letter. It’s all too easy to lose items under stacks of paperwork and spend hours looking for them. Providing storage solutions for your team will result in less surface clutter.

Safety

A lot of the information your employees use will be sensitive and should not be left lying around on a desk. Leaving it sitting around means that anyone can look at it, which is a serious concern. 

They Will be Much Happier

If your employees are able to work in a well-maintained environment, they will be more productive, efficient and most important of all, happy. It’s important your employees are happy in their work because, on average, 8 hours of their day is spent in the workplace.

Allocate Certain Cleaning Duties

It is counterproductive to give all the cleaning duties to your employees, but they can be charged with keeping their own workspace tidy. Hiring a cleaning service in Newburgh NY such as America’s Cleaning Service will be the perfect solution for large-scale cleaning jobs and many of the not so pleasant cleaning duties.

Minimises Stress

Your employees might not appreciate it at first, but it’s likely they’ll notice a difference in the stress levels when their desks are kept tidy. Piles of paper, jumbles of wires, and nothing having a place of its own can make the largest of spaces seem very overwhelming. If everything has a place of its own, your employees are going to be able to think clearly and tackle tasks with ease.

Safer Workplace

Safety of your employees is of paramount importance, and by encouraging them to keep the workplace clean and tidy, you are improving the safety of the environment. Slip, trip, and fall hazards are going to be reduced. It will help to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses. If green cleaning products are used, it will be safer for your employees and kind to the environment.

Measuring ‘fame’: The simple method used for my list of Top 10 most famous Danes

The “Top 10: Most Famous Danes in 2015” list published has been created using the following method:

1. I asked my Facebook friends to name who they think should be on the list.
2. I took this shortlist (a pretty long list) of names to Google Trends and started analysing them and benchmarking them against each other.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 15.43.31
A screen shot of what the Google Trends analysis tool looks like. Here’s an all-time (since 2004) comparison of Lars von Trier, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Susanne Bier and Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Note that Helle Thorning-Schmidt has received more searches than Susanne Bier – but that’s only if we include searches from Denmark. Once we remove those the result is the opposite.

Is it a valid method?

The method is not perfect (no method is).

First and foremost, since the scores on Google Trends is based on how many searches related to that person has been made it will be more about “interest” in the person than about his or her “fame”. But it will reflect how much these people are on other people’s minds.

Having used this tool for many, many hours I’m convinced it’s a very valid way of judging the current fame of the shortlisted people.

In Google Trends, you’re also able to see where in the world the searches have been made, and so I’ve also taken into account and deducted the amount Danish searches. Because I’m only looking to judge the fame outside of Denmark. Some are “world famous in Denmark” – and those I don’t want on the list.

Typos and proof-reading

Time for a post about… typos.

Please bear with me, I believe it does make some sort of sense in the context of this site and its overall digital theme.

I must admit my thoughts on the importance of avoiding typos and silly mistakes have changed during the past decade. Back then, ten years ago, a grammatical error was a source of shame for me. And my fear of erroneous writing could even wake me up in the middle of the night and make me go check if this and that in my latest writing was spelled correctly.

During my studies at the university I was even hired as proof-reader on Weekendavisen, a respected Danish weekly. One  of the paper’s prominent writers, Arne Hardis, gave me a small tour around the newspaper and introduced me to their way of working.

At one point, in his office, he said: “I always look up the words. It’s the only way you can make sure the language doesn’t erode. But, you know, I’m the only one in here who does that. That’s why we need someone like you. All these highly esteemed writers, they think they don’t need to. They think they’re too good to make errors. They can’t be bothered by dictionaries.”

As it turned out, he was right. And I was stunned by the amount of errors in their articles. And proud that I could help them out.

Later on, when I myself began writing for the newspaper, it was sometimes overwhelmingly difficult. Fear of failure. Vanity. Call it what you will. It was there all the time. Not to the degree that I couldn’t write. But I believe I was somehow tied up by the grammatical minefield I envisioned right there in front of me.

Then later, when moving on to become a copywriter on a digital agency, my approach changed. Now, it was no longer about my own vanity. I was not the named author. I was the machine behind the words. It became about making the texts work. To make them do their job. And in that process you get more occupied by the content and the literary effects than grammatical errors.

It also has something to do with the speed of the digital media. The online users are less patient and less demanding. They browse. They are restless. So you need to catch their attention. Not necessarily with fancy puns and wordplays, but by telling a story. It’s less wordy. It’s less grammatical correctness.

So to wrap it up, what I found within the genre of digital writing was two things: 1) A freer tone-of-voice, enabling me to “take it as it comes” and play around; 2) A shorter and stronger prose directed by a clear purpose, focusing only on what works (and not necessarily on what I like).

Getting started

… with a starting point

I ask myself: What would be interesting to know more about? What’s going on out there that I would want to know, but don’t know yet?

And so it all begins.

Social media

Let’s start with social media. I would like to know more about the social media landscape globally. I would like to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.

First, is it a phenomenon, or is it just a name for the way digital medias are organised today, i.e. user-centric? How does the social media landscape look globally? What does it mean for our lives? And what does it truly mean in terms of the way we communicate with each other? What kind of implications does it have for companies? And where are we heading?

Based on that, it would be far easier to grasp the current state of the social media phenomenon. And to come to terms with the future developments.

That being said, the digital landscapes are characterized by their ever-changing nature. New ideas and developments happen at such a high speed that we all need to filter them in order to make some sort of sense of it.

And that’s a theme by itself: Transformation. The speed of life has increased dramatically during the past decade.

Storytelling

Eternal acceleration is of course not a universal truth. Take the area of storytelling, for example. Here, the good old discipline of telling a story that’s engaging, beautiful, erotic, humorous, exciting, scary, surprising, empathetic etc. is as promising and necessary as ever. Even though the possibilities and premises for telling a story has changed with the availability of new digital medias, techniques, equipment and ways of communicating.

So there’s still plenty to explore within the storyteller’s field.

For example: What is the key to successful online storytelling? What can we hope to achieve by telling a story? Has the anatomy of storytelling changed? Is it changing all the time, or will “the good story” remain forever young?

The answer to some of the latter questions might seem obvious, to some. And to me, I think.

But closure is a thing of the past. Today, we need to re-open all the thoughts and notions we have on a specific topic. It must change. And it does.

Maybe that’s one of the biggest achievements of the digital world. That it has emphasized the fact that nothing is dead.

We inhabit a world full of both opportunity and risk. It’s wide open.

Maybe Heidegger was right after all?

Research. Insights. Reflections. Ideas.

About “The Digital Blueprint”

This site is meant as a place where I can accumulate and keep track of my work with communications in the digital age.

It’s a well-known fact that we need to filter, process, reflect and not least articulate in order to make the most of what we experience. Or as David Bowie states in the song “Fantastic Voyage” from his album Lodger (1979): “I got to write it down, but I’m still being educated.” I would re-phrase that and say “because we’re being educated every day.”

So what, more specifically, is it that I’m writing down on this site?

Broadly speaking, it’s research, insights, reflections and ideas regarding the ever-changing digital landscapes that most of us are somehow trying to manoeuvre our way through on a daily basis.

For me, it’s also an integral part of my daily job as chief copywriter on a medium-sized digital agency in Copenhagen, Denmark. A job that’s basically about providing strategy, concept and content (copy, film) for the various digital communication channels, e.g. social media, websites and apps.

To see my LinkedIn profile, click here.

Jonathan Wichmann, August 2011