Our fabulous Flowstars are a diverse, interesting and inquisitive bunch. With skills ranging from developing award-winning websites to managing complicated projects, we certainly have enquiring minds. This means we read widely – and love to pass on thought-provoking or entertaining titbits to our colleagues.
Engaging bits and pieces shared recently via the Flow Reading group include how Uber is collecting data that will help city planners improve transport networks in future; a beautifully written feature about Paris’s otherworldly lost-property bureau; a mind-blowing synopsis of what happens in an internet minute; and tips on handling office drama.
Missed these? Here’s a brief summary:
TechCentral’s news piece, “Uber Movement traffic data website launched in SA”, explains how commuters and urban planners can use traffic-pattern information gathered by the site over years to plan “the way cities move”. Gauteng – the biggest Uber city in Africa – is already part of the movement, and Cape Town should follow soon.
A vastly different city perspective is found in “The Peculiar Poetry of Paris’s Lost and Found”, published in The New Yorker. The piece offers a delightful glimpse of the city’s intriguing, 200-year-old Bureau of Found Objects, where 600 to 700 lost objects a day – from wallets and umbrellas to a wedding dress and prosthetic leg (!) – are handed in for safekeeping to (hopefully) be reunited with their owners.
Not only objects get lost – so does content in a world with “almost infinite amounts of competition”. The scale of the internet is so great that it doesn’t make sense to look at the information on a monthly or even daily basis, says Jeff Desjardins, founder of the Visual Capitalist media site, in his article, “What happens in an internet minute in 2017?”, published on the World Economic Forum website.
Desjardins includes a fascinating Cumulus Media graphic showing the scale of content creation on the web in 2017. This includes 3.5-million Google searches per 60 seconds and 4.1-million YouTube videos viewed.
When the pressure rises in the office, tempers may flare, but the right response can save you from conflict. So says Marcel Schwantes in her Inc. magazine article, “7 Brilliant Things Emotionally Intelligent People Do When Their Buttons Are Pushed”. The best approaches include taking a six-second pause before you speak, staying humble, having empathy, and speaking from the heart and taking the blame for mistakes, says Schwantes.
In a digital world, face-to-face interaction is no longer a given. Social media brings out the best and the worst in people, according to Mlenga Jere and Raymond van Niekerk. In their Fin24 article “Social media is giving SA consumers the power to discipline corporations”, they argue that while social media enables consumers to “influence business behaviour”, this power should be channelled constructively. “On the one hand, it gives the power to do untold damage. On the other it can be used to do tremendous good.”
Is the pressure to be “always on” wearing you out? Maybe you need Inbox Pause, a new feature in Boomerang for Gmail that allows you to take control of when you receive – and send – email messages. If those constant notifications are driving you mad, simply “pause your inbox”, or enable batch delivery.