Coincidence. Sometimes wonderful. Other times, darn right annoying.

Yesterday was the soft launch of Like Minds, a gathering of like minded people around creativity, technology and fresh thinking. The slogan sums it up best: Collaboration over Innovation.

So around midday yesterday, I send the tweet that Like Minds is now open, and ready for registrations to attend our first conference in Exeter on the 16th October. So I’m expecting a nice bunch of in-the-buzz-of-it registrations to come in over the following hours, right? Guess again. Eventbrite, the service we’re using to take all registrations, decides to one of those days that is plagued by intermittent service. It’s not until late last night that the first (get that: first) registration comes through.

That’s pretty bad, right? Guess again.

The beloved feed service Feedburner (the way blogs get into people’s inboxes and RSS readers) also decides to have a day off. So all the momentum I had built through my blog dissipates in one beautiful and inglorious moment. Fortunately some people visited my blog by tweet or by routine – but all my wonderful readers who are signed up the easy way, didn’t get the message.

It all ended ok though because as we all know, Google are great on customer service and this was all resolved last night, right?

Guess again.

Feedburner still hasn’t picked up my feed, meaning this blog post probably won’t make it to more than a precious few. (Of course, you can help out by retweeting this article using the button at the end of the post – thanks!)

Coincidence. Not my favouite word right now.

Yet coincidence is, as I’ve pointed out, much of how marketing apparently works. I wrote about casting your bread on the social media waters and the fact that very often when people tell me how they heard about me it was through a series of events I had never predicted, anticipated, or even planned for. What then do you do when coincidence conspires against you?

These last 48 hours I’ve learnt to think outside of the bin. Forget the luxury of even having a box with which to think outside of – thinking outside of the bin is survival mode – the kind of thinking you need when you are scratching the ground as you are descending into a pit of FAIL.

Here’s my survival kit for thinking outside of the bin, courtesy of ‘coincidence’:

  • Fix the problem. Easier said than done. The rule here is that if you can’t fix it immediately, get someone on it, and while they’re trying to figure it out, you can:
  • Have a contingency plan. When emotions get the better of you, you need a framework with which to stick to, that you’ve planned in advance. This helps keep your head cool while everyone else is loosing theirs. Failing this:
  • Use multiple channels. In the absence of my auto-posting, auto-emailing, auto-feed-reading, auto-marketing system, I’ve become best friends with Facebook walls and events, old Ning profiles and good ol’ texting. Failing this:
  • Ask your friends to help. It takes a good dose of humility to ask for help – but if you’re doing business personally, then you understand that friends in business help each other out. So, hopefully you’ve built good relationships with others who can reach some of your audience for you. Hopefully. Failing this:
  • Prepare to bounce back. Convert the stress of ‘it isn’t working and what on earth are we going to do?’ into preparation for a huge bounce back. Write a great press release. Make the website better. Write your contingency plan while it’s fresh in your mind.Again: convert stress into preparation. Failing this:
  • Watch The Office.

My descent last night actually went one step further. Failing owning the office, I embarked on the most fruitless of excercises: trawling through Google Groups to find a Google employee who could help. Yes, I went to bed late last night.

So anyway, I hope this helps. It’s fresh thinking, that’s for sure.

And one other thing is certain, this is the most peculiar blog post for announcing a new event ever. (Unless someone can find something even more off the wall?) Hopefully Feedburner will have me back up and running soon, but in the meantime, I want to thank you for being a loyal reader who visits my site. As you know, I really appreciate you, even more so today.

Yours, most truly,

Archived Comments

    • Ah, you went into where to find a Google employee! I haven’t seen a real life Google employee in “Google Groups” in a looong time! Unfortunately, even if you did find one you would likely join the queue of RSS publishers (including myself) who cannot stand the “non-realtime” delivery of content.

      Even with the release of PubSubHubbub, there has been no notable “real-time” improvement. I have better luck manually submitting via Twitter (where a lot of my RSS subscribers have moved to), then I do getting Feedburner to work properly!

    • Wow. The trifecta of defecta for sure. What a way to start. Just in case, I probably should plan to fly in a day early just in case we have another trifecta.

      You all are doing a great job gathering and building community in Exeter. When I was with you earlier this year, I felt the intensity of brotherhood amongst the friends who joined with us for the tweetup.

      It’s especially rewarding to see how Twitter was the tool—the track, as it were—enabling like-minded people to find each other, share wild ideas, and eventually, make it all happen.

      So, Scott, now it’s time for you to GO TO BED and get some rest!

      See you soon.


  • Trey, having you and Olivier over is going to be awesome.

    I can’t wait!!!!