Gutenberg

Gutenberg

I am writing this post with Gutenberg, the new WordPress’ Medium-like editor. Now a plug-in, the plan is a full integration with WordPress 5. Well, I’m probably not doing justice to the new editor saying that it’s just like Medium. It’s much more, thanks to the concept of the blocks – you can learn more about the blocks, here.

Gutenberg has three planned stages. The first, aimed for inclusion in WordPress 5, focuses on the post editing experience and the implementation of blocks. This initial phase focuses on a content-first approach. The use of blocks allows you to focus on how your content will look without the distraction of other configuration options. This ultimately will help all users present their content in a way that is engaging, direct, and visual. 

These foundational elements will pave the way for stages two and three, planned for the next year, to go beyond the post into page templates and ultimately, full site customization.

For now, I’m simply enjoying the new experience (yet, I cannot understand how I should manage things like content distribution – eg. Twitter and LinkedIn – directly from Gutenberg…)

I think I’m back

I have been surprisingly silent in the last 3 months. When this happens, either you are in big troubles or new exciting events are taking over. For me, the second.

My professional life has been turned around by a tornado. I started my own business in September, after 8 very disappointing months in the SaaS world. Good vision, wrong people, unprepared management, miserable people-management practices, structural inability to make things right. Leaving the startup wasn’t difficult; it was probably the best decision I could ever make.

I found myself nearly without a job at 48. Luckily it didn’t last long. Thanks to my (best) half, I approached the situation with a positive attitude and I simply ‘let the flow hitting me‘. I closed some great deals in few months with large tech enterprises. Met some of the best marketers on the planet. Started an insightful  strategic collaboration with LinkedIn and its content marketing agency. Opened collaborations in my home town, Milan. Then, one month ago, luck struck me again. A new great opportunity and a new start. Still keeping a slice of my own business, which is giving me that wonderful sense of freedom I never had in 20 years of corporate life.

At personal level, another tornado. This. And plans for a future trip I have always dreamed of, since I can even remember.

So, I am still not entirely sure if I am back. Yeah. Probably I am.

Content Marketing and Italy

Just few weeks ago I started a new collaboration with The Story Group/Lifonti & Company, an Italian agency who is literally paying a lot of attention at the content marketing space. I will support them and run their content marketing efforts in Italy. At the same time this collaboration will give me the opportunity to closely look at the country from a digital marketing perspective.

Had the opportunity to chat with many people in the last several weeks and the feeling is that interest for content marketing in Italy is rapidly growing. At least, this is my perception. First content factories have been established, companies and agencies are starting to think about content and move investments from traditional advert to content creation. Still, the market requires lot of education and this is the reason why this is a good momentum to be in countries like Italy.

Definitely not my intention to leave London; but Milan is my home town after hall, and these market evolutions are something that I am closely investigating.

And here is some press stuff. In Italian of course: Engage, PubblicitaItalia, IdeeIdeas, BrandNews, YouMark, ImpresaInternazionale, Assocomunicatori.

LSBU

For the first time ever I have been invited as a guest speaker by a University. Specifically, the London South Bank University. I will be introducing Content Marketing Strategy at the ‘Emerging Issues in Marcomms’ module, which is part of the MSc Marketing Communications course.

I have been speaking so many times, and I’ve been in front of very diverse audiences; but this is a special invite. And it makes me so excited!

More details in the next few weeks.

Freedom, Fairness and Equality

Equality

I’ve been obsessed – I just can’t find a better term – all my life with the respect of three values, freedom, fairness and equality, which in my (ideal) world are core values of the left – a left that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. I took so many decisions, personal and not, with these three values in mind. I failed sometimes, but still I felt proud of my sense of respect for these three guiding principles.

A few days ago Seth Godin has published a little gem, where he defines, guess what, the three values. And he adds some arguments about responsibility and equality that quite frankly are the cause of some of my failures. Here is what he writes. I think it is worth to share.

Freedom doesn’t mean no responsibility. In fact, it requires extra responsibility. Freedom is the ability to make a choice, and responsibility is required once you make that choice.

Fairness isn’t a handout. Fairness is the willingness to offer dignity to others. The dignity of being seen and heard, and having a chance to make a contribution.

And equality doesn’t mean equal. Equality doesn’t guarantee me a starting position on the Knicks. Equality means equality of access, the opportunity to do my best without being disqualified for irrelevant reasons.