Tag Archives: Lists

The LinkedIn Premier League of New Economy Job Titles

The nature of work has changed. Want proof? Search LinkedIn and see how many people choose to define their job role with what might previously have been seen as non-traditional, even esoteric, terms:

  1.    4,475,626 results for owner
  2.    3,677,739 results for consultant
  3.    1,911,106 results for specialist
  4.    537,068 results for advisor
  5.    469,201 results for founder
  6.    468,044 results for expert
  7.    405,901 results for freelance
  8.    398,420 results for contractor
  9.    365,215 results for writer
  10.    138,506 results for speaker
  11.    84,840 results for strategist
  12.    61,032 results for ambassador
  13.    50,013 results for thinker
  14.    45,848 results for visionary
  15.    42,614 results for guru
  16.    20,318 results for blogger
  17.    16,270 results for evangelist
  18.    4,582 results for entreprenuer
  19.    3,094 results for gatekeeper
  20.    1,637 results for futurist

Old favourites – like freelance and contractor – are still popular. At the start of the last decade, such descriptions were seen as being catch-all phrases for individuals operating at the fringes of the formal economy and providing an outsourced service to larger businesses.

Twenty years ago, futurologists predicted something called ‘the internet’ would allow us to all work flexibly. Now, in a new economy driven by collaborative technologies, freelancing has become the mainstream. A global economy of contractors is fast-developing, with individuals selling their expertise on-demand.

Old monikers – such as freelance and contractor – do not necessarily encapsulate the act of work. The result is a collection of meaningful/meaningless terms that are used to describe what people actually do, or would like to do.

I wonder how the table will develop as the economy changes? Feel free to suggest other esoteric descriptions.

Want an original name for your baby?

“Deciding on a name for your baby is one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make,” starts the A-Z of Baby Names. Maybe, maybe not. But if you’re struggling, pay careful attention to the advice on the back of the same book: “These days, virtually anything goes when it comes to babies’ names!” (Note the exclamation mark, because chosing an unusual baby name really is that much fun!!!)

In fact, if you’re really stuck for names, just turn to page 14 and pay careful attention to the lists entitled: “Made-up names for boys and girls”. Here are five of the book’s made-up suggestions for boys:

  1. Dantrell
  2. Daquan
  3. Markell
  4. Quintavius
  5. Tevin

And here’s five of the book’s made-up names for girls:

  1. Amberkalay
  2. Dalondra
  3. Jameka
  4. Keoshawn
  5. Quanisha

But what about when you’ve run out of ideas because all your mates have already picked all the Dantrells and Keoshawns? Don’t worry, just make up some of your own – and here are ten suggestions from me (I might turn this into a baby name book, because there’s only 487,549 on the market right now and someone could make 38p from a book like this):

  1. Anubriffpentam
  2. Collectingcars
  3. Crrdft
  4. Farmyardken
  5. Loodmubbaois 87f.g SD338WE69AMN
  6. Mz
  7. Prestonnorthend
  8. Trejanfoog
  9. Snakehead
  10. Zabs

Final Premier League Table 2010? Place your bets now…

So, there’s this theory. I stole it (I think) from Times journalist Daniel Finkelstein. It’s a pretty good theory and allows you to see the final Premier League table months before the season ends. Sceptical? Then, let me explain.

Order the Premier League teams after they’ve played 12 games (this process is harder than it sounds, because most sites don’t allow you to look at tables retrospectively – which means you have to keep the League tables for a couple of weeks).

Once you’ve worked out the maths – and every team in the table has played 12 games – you’re left with an ordered list. And this table, give or take a place or two, is likely to be the final Premier League table. Still sceptical?

Well, I heard about the theory a couple of years ago and – give or take a bit of movement – the theory was sound. There’s normally a couple of big changes (Hull dropping like a stone last year, Spurs zooming up the League). And as I said before, you have to have an accepted error of one or two places around most teams.

Which – if you look at the table below – is either Champions League or nothing (if you’re an Aston Villa fan, like me). And it’s time to get excited if you’re a Chelsea or Spurs supporter, and time to look away if you’re a West Ham, Pompey or Wolves fan. Anyway, here’s the [predicted] final table for 2009/10 (goal difference after 12 games in brackets, followed by points):

  1. Chelsea (21, 30)
  2. Arsenal (21, 25)
  3. Man Utd (11, 25)
  4. Tottenham (6, 22)
  5. Aston Villa (8, 21)
  6. Man City (7, 21)
  7. Liverpool (9, 19)
  8. Sunderland (1, 17)
  9. Stoke (-3, 16)
  10. Blackburn (-9, 16)
  11. Burnley (-10, 16)
  12. Fulham (-1, 15)
  13. Everton (-5, 15)
  14. Wigan (-9, 14)
  15. Birmingham (-4, 12)
  16. Bolton (-11, 11)
  17. Hull (-15, 11)
  18. West Ham (-4, 10)
  19. Wolverhampton (-10, 10)
  20. Portsmouth (-8, 7)

My top five types of numbered list stories

List stories are great, aren’t they? Easy to produce and as addictive as super-strength editorial crack, journalists, bloggers and Uncle Tom Cobley churn list stories out like there’s no online tomorrow.

My Twitter feed seems to be a constant trickle of lists, with the latest bunch of social media gurus keen to impart their knowledge on topics like search engine optimisation and social networking. Good for them.

And good for me, as I jump on the top tip bandwagon and ride into the search-optimised sunset. Ladles and gentlespoons, let me unveil my top five types of numbered list stories:

  • Top 10: The all-time favourite – most top tip lists come in tens and there’s a reason for that; it’s a round number
  • Top 100: The ultimate list story – particularly good for top album blog entries. And for Channel 4 TV shows compiling clips from the 1980s
  • Top 5: Half a top ten but not necessarily half as good. Great for your basic, short tip list
  • Top 6: Also has a nice, round feel. Useful for list compilers that are aiming for ten, but who quickly run out of ideas
  • Top 9: There’s an honesty about giving a top nine; the complier knows they’ve only got nine points and they’re admitting as much

I recently saw a ‘Top 9′ list story where one respondent complained that the journalist hadn’t bothered to round the list up to ten. That might be so, but at least the journo was honest – the scribe clearly got to nine and ran out of ideas. I mean, it’s not like these list stories take five minutes to put together.

What makes a good headline?

In this webtastic age of search optimisation, one answer is a lot of references to stuff that will get you a high Google ranking. The basic theory goes something like ‘never mind the quality of my story on service-oriented architecture, just check out how many times the headline mentions the recession, Angelina Jolie and Twitter’. Goal.

Or is that an own goal? Back in the world of ink, paper-based headlines are usually short. There’s often a pun involved, too. I worked with a sub who thought song titles by The Smiths made the best headlines. The theory works well to some extent, such as in the case of ‘How Soon is Now?’, ‘What Difference Does it Make?’ and ‘This Charming Man’. But ‘Girlfriend in a Coma’ and ‘The Queen is Dead’ have a more limited applicability.

And of course, there’s the online problem. ‘This Charming Man’ is a nice title for a magazine article on a friendly CIO. But most paper-based articles end up on the web and would you click on the article if you weren’t a fan of The Smiths? More importantly, would you be able to find it?

The end result is that puntastic magazine headlines get rewritten for the age of webtastic search optimisation. In fact, stories start to exist simply because people know they will get hits, such as ‘Top 10 tips’ articles. As journalist Andy McCue said to me the other day: “I’ll go mad if I see another ‘Top 10 tips for beating the recession’ article.” Check out Google News, my friend – there are plenty to push you over the edge.

Still, the headline and the content are no guarantee of attention anyway. I heard a woman on the train say to her friend the other day: “So, what was that story about a plane landing on a river? I missed that.”

It is difficult to understand how she could have missed the story of the US Airways plane landing on the Hudson River. Well, unless she’d sold her TV, refused to read, smashed up her radio, disconnected the computer, refused to talk to another human being and moved to Venus.

Which, I assume, she hadn’t. In short, you just can’t grab some people’s attention – even when the headline is great and the content of the story is even better. But good luck trying.

A league table of my top 15 favourite bands

Although a member for a good while longer, I’ve only really been using Last.fm for just over six months. It’s pretty good. I like the way it recommends stuff based on your listening history – I’ve found some new stuff through that, which is nice. The charts that show your favourite bands and tracks are particularly cool. My top 15 most listened to bands of the last six months-or-so is very shoegaze/post rock biased:

  1. Slowdive 
  2. Stars of the Lid
  3. Helios
  4. Sigur Ros
  5. Goldmund
  6. M83
  7. Immanu El
  8. Mahogany
  9. Mogwai
  10. God is an Astronaut
  11. Boards of Canada
  12. My Bloody Valentine
  13. Monster Movie
  14. Styrofoam
  15. Eluvium

Basically, I like stuff that drones. I pretty much know something is going to be my bag when I read words and terms in a review like dischord, processed sound, tape loops, repetition and electronica. Nice.