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.

Socialism and Individualism

Via The Guardian – here the full piece.

There are several reasons why rampant individualism sits at the core of the Tory project. Individualism promotes the idea that our successes in life are purely down to our own efforts. That rationalises inequality, because it perpetuates the myth that the wealthiest are the brightest and hardest working while the poorest are the stupidest and the laziest. Inequality simply becomes just desserts, rather than the sign of a society rigged in favour of a lucky minority. Tax becomes a punishment for success rather than a contribution to the collective kitty.

Individualism transforms social problems such as poverty and unemployment into personality defects, rather than the ills of a poorly constructed society – to be cured by a change in an individual’s attitude rather than by collective solutions, such as a welfare state. It erodes a sense that the majority have shared interests and aspirations, which are not only different from those of the elite, but on a collision course with them. It is fatal to the logical conclusion of this sentiment: that the majority should deploy their collective strength to challenge the concentrated wealth and power of the few.

As a dogma, this form of individualism is a formidable obstacle to socialism. But in practice it has increasingly resulted in insecurity: no wonder, then, that solidarity is so hankered after by so many. Labour has an opportunity to fashion a new individualism, with the promise that only socialism can liberate the individual.

Where am I from?

Yesterday night, after a boring cabaret gig, I was asked where I am from. I had to think for a few seconds before providing the (right?) answer.

Of course, I am Italian. But where am I really from?

I was born in Sicily. I left the island when I was 18. I spent 28 years in Milan. Austin, Texas, was my home town for some time in the late nineties. Now London, where I moved +3 years ago. I have been travelling at least 180 days per year in the last 10 years, mainly around the two US coasts and Europe. I fluently speak three languages – and I should seriously refresh my Italian. My daughters live in Milan. For now. My parents in Sicily. The rest of my family – spread around Italy and US.

Whenever I fly back to London, after a trip, I think: yes, back home. Same thing happens, now with a less convinced attitude, every time I land in Milan.

So, where am I really from?

5 things I’ve learned at SMXL 2017

SMXL 2017

First, I’ve learned that the Italian SEO community is small circle of badass experts, has a huge reputation and is super respected internationally. I’ve met lots of incredible SEO folks and I’ve attended so many great sessions. The level of SEO knowledge here is just impressive. I’ve learned a lot, and I invite all of you (the 5 readers of this blog) to get to the SMXL site and to look for the presentation decks once they will be made available. Some were really remarkable. Hat tip to the Italian SEO community.

Second, I’ve learned that the folks who have organised this event are a small team of professionals who have put a lot of passion with the event organisation and have made something special with a very personal touch. Yes, there might be some space for improvement, but what on earth hasn’t things to be improved? Well done, Sante and team. And thanks again for having me as part of SMXL speakers lineup.

Third, I have learned that most of the Italians attending were super-fluent in English and the simultaneous translation was used mainly by non-Italians to understand local speakers. And I was very proud of it.

Fourth, I’ve learned that very few speakers have addressed content marketing or content strategy as a topic; and that there is still a lot of confusion about content and social media. Social media are a content distribution channel. One of the many. Without a solid content strategy you won’t go anywhere. But still many presenters addressed social media as they were the atomic particles of their strategy. That should be content, instead.

Fifth, I’ve learned that there are still social media stars in Italy. They talk about stuff like hashtag, impressions and viral things. One session was even called “meet the media stars”… And the worst thing was that I saw many youngsters taking selfies with them (while they’d have spent a much better time attending SEO sessions).

Finally, my session. I’ve learned that after presenting so many times in English, I need to make a much better job whenever I switch to Italian, which ironically is my mother language. Also, I’ve learned that the topic (how to apply principles of psychology to design, content and social media) has generated lot of interest, questions and contacts. The deck is here (http://bit.ly/psychologysmxl) just in case you want to have a look.