Good writing and thinking should be celebrated. It's one of the main motivations behind doing Post Of The Month every month. So a good way to round off the year is with a list of my own favourite blog posts of 2011. In no particular order, here's my top ten:
1. How to Steal Like An Artist And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me by Austin Kleon. An exceptional post by the artist behind Newspaper Blackout. He describes it as "10 simple things I wish I'd Heard When I was in college". So good it's become the basis for a book which is coming out in March.
2. How To Explain An Idea by Mark Pollard. Simple, but fantastically useful advice from Mark.
4. The Web Is A Customer Service Medium by Paul Ford. How 'Why Wasn't I Consulted?' is the fundamental question of the web.
5. Planning For Participation by Patricia McDonald. An erudite explanation on why "then people can upload their own versions" is the new "let's do a viral", and how we can do better.
6. Do We Really Need Chief Innovation Officers in Ad Agencies? and Ten Things I've Found To Be True About CIO's in Agencies by Ben Malbon. A challenging question, worth reading not just for the posts but for the comments it stirred up.
7. Think Small, Thinking Small, Why Small Matters, Small Ideas, How To Think And Make Small by Gareth Kay. An exceptional series of posts from Gareth expounding his thinking on why small is important, and how "a continuous stream of interations and interactions" can become a "long idea". Smart and insightful.
8. 'Engagement': Fashionable Yet Bankrupt by Martin Weigel. A sharply focused piece railing against lazy thinking in marketing. Martin posted a number of well-articulated posts this year (including another favourite of mine on how we should Stop Fetishising The Insight) but sadly he seems to have stopped blogging.
9. Check Against Delivery. My Speech to the IAAC by Ben Hammersley, about technologicial change.
10. My ICT Teacher Can't Mark My Homework from Emma MulQueeny, who runs Young Rewired State. A powerful call for change to our national curriculum in order to create more opportunity for our kids to learn how to code.
There were many that could so easily have been amongst the list including Murat's question about whether the next Angry Birds or Instagram could be born within an agency, Igor's smart piece on why W & K are not hiring Creative Technologists, and Noah's short but erudite article on the stock and flow of content strategy. But I had to stop somewhere so there you are. My thanks to all the authors for providing us with such challenging and well articulated thinking this year.