10 incredibly inspiring interruptions

if there's one thing we all need on a Sunday night it's a bloody big dose of inspiration.

I've always been a huge fan of the greats in motivation: no surprises for anyone remotely connected to a successful businesses that the likes of Napoleon Hill, Richard Branson and Dale Carnegie crop up with almost monotonous regularity in the list when I'm asked who gets me buzzing.from.

Sometimes, though, it's all a bit of a challenge to find new inspiration. New ways of thinking.

All of these things talk to me in a language I both admire and understand. Being a communicator with a high level involvement in technological gubbins it can sometimes be tough to impress me but I only need to be in the company of these things or sites for a short time and I realise how incredible the world is – and how lucky I am to be in it.

NorthxEast and its blog series on Building a SuperBlog. I've been a big fan of FreelanceSwitch since I started pretending to work for myself. The 'Switch spawned Freelance Radio, the first podcast I ever listened to on a meaningful level. NorthxEast developed the 'Switch site, on WordPress foundations, and delivered something incredible for the freelancer looking for help and advice. Which, in short, is all of us. The SuperBlog series – which is only two-posts wide so for heaven's sake, go read it and turbocharge your site – is one of a range of idea-spawning creations by NxE.

Matt Mullenweg's 10 favourite blogs. Back in November CNN asked our Lord to opine on his most inspirational sites. Some are as you would expect – Dave Winer's Scripting News, featuring essays on technology (among his latest missives, a drive to encourage us all to cement ways to archive all the content we create – otherwise it will all be lost, forever. Fact is, most of the writing we're doing now, no matter what tools we use, will disappear, probably a lot sooner than you think, he says) is chief among them – but you wouldn't have imagined xkcd, a surreal webcomic with no obvious objective, was his thing. Shows that code aside, Matt's as eclectic as a fish with three gobs.

GazoPa. If you're trying to connect the dots for a mood board or simply looking for themes or colour palettes that synergise with one of your thoughts in the real world, get an image that says it all for you and upload it to GazoPa. Wonderful things will happen, and GazoPa will come up with a bunch of pictures that speak to you in a way words cannot. They'll solve your problems and bring the sunshine out to play all day. Google Image Search is also out there but I like GazoPa for being the first and the best.

True/Slant. A very loose definition of the raison d'etre of this site is: Insights on today’s news from people who know. And my God, do these people know. Some of the world's best journalists get under the skin of their subjects, and share with you their views and hard-won ideologies. Then T/S goes and shows you what these guys and gals are reading next, so you can keep your finger on the pulse of the world through their eyes. It's almost an experiment, but a litmus test of humanity, its wars and winning ways. Love.

Marketing over Coffee's 'conference in a box'. John Wall and Christopher Penn have that exquisite ability – near-talismanic – to predict what you need and output a solution during their weekly MoC podcasts, recorded in a Massachussettts coffee shop at an insanely early hour. God knows how. So when I found out they'd created a conference of some of the world's biggest names – and attendance was free – I was there like a shot. It gets way better than this, though: transport costs are also free, because this is a conference that takes place on your PC, whenever you get time to tune out of the daily grind and settle down for a day's worth of intriguing presentations. This unconference defines the potency of the internet – and shows how much rich, free content there is waiting to be harvested whenever you need some mind biscuits.

Spezify. Got something on your mind but can't be arsed researching it further? Don't junk it – thrust it into Spezify and quickly discover what people are saying about your chosen subject. It's endearing, it's addictive, and it crawls all over the web on your behalf. It's free, it's inspirational and it might just about do your job for you if the boss wants some benchmarking done on the cheap, quickly. Being a fan of cartoons and baboons I wanted to find out all about the Jungle Book. So I did.

Leo Laporte and Tech TV. Leo's made the internet and podcasting hip by throwing fortunes of time and currency at futurising people's ears and eyes. His netcasts command regular viewing and listening figures in the hundreds of thousands – magnetising geeks in particular with his unique brand of gadget and tech talk. His The Tech Guy radio show (on satellite airwaves, if you will) is his main earner and TWiT (This Week in Tech) his sandbox poster child. Having said that, TWiT and its derivatives – that span Google netcasts, operating system presentations and even foodie shows – grossed $2m in 2009. With a staff of 9 and new stuff being unveiled all the time, including more and more hi-def telly versions of his shows, Leo is en route for greater and greater things. Even if, frankly, his CES stuff was junk this year and he should think seriously about taking another five years off the show to repair the damage on my listening orbs.

Inspired Magazine. How could a rag with this title not make it into the Ten? I have to say they don't disappoint, the kids who rail and nail it. One of my all-time faves from this magazine – which sports a particularly natty and easy to navigate design – is Type Porn. There's something seductive and ultimately intoxicating about jazzing around oodles of delicious fonts. It makes my heart race, my skin redden. And then something pops up – an idea, out of nowhere, that sends shivers down my spine and keys clattering afront my screen. An abject moment of creativity, one step away from Helvetica. Which is my all-time favourite font and will never be beaten, I'm afraid. But there are some amazing pretenders here, nonetheless.

Justin Tadlock. If there's anyone who epitomises 'community' and the beauty of WordPress, Justin hits the nail every time. He gives, gives, gives. The creator of the Hybrid WordPress Theme Framework (the future of WordPress sites, as if you didn't know already) and just about the best plugins available for the platform, Justin is Jesus. At least, he is if you're infatuated with blogs and how to serve them up in the best and most flexible way we can. You da man, Mr T.

Seth's Blog. Love his straightforward, talksy style that educates and inspires you all at the same time. You don't have to like competition in order to understand that it exists. Your fair share isn't going to be yours unless you give the public a reason to pick you. Hell, he must be a diamond marketeer, otherwise why would I ha
ve bought a book called Purple Cow?

And if you don't find at least one thing above to stimulate your withered brain cells, check out Mashable's 10 Sites to Learn Something in 10 Minutes.

What are your main inspirations out there on the world of the web?

Posted via email from 10 for 10



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