9 things I want to learn in 2011

Ian Lurie

I’m not a big New Year’s Resolutions kind of guy. My whole life is making lists and crossing things off of them. Why do that one more time each year?

I do love to learn stuff though. Here’s my learning ‘to do’ list for the year. I want to learn:

  1. How to give a kick-ass keynote. I love public speaking and teaching. I want to take what seems like the next step and give a keynote or two. But I don’t want to suck at it. You may get to be the audience, who knows? Please don’t throw anything that can cause permanent injury.
  2. How to use Google App Engine. For some reason, App Engine is a huge mental block for me. It’s like fractions in 2nd grade – no one could explain ’em.
  3. Data visualization. I know the basics, but I want to learn the theory and principles behind really good data visualization. Because I’m a geek.
  4. Python’s natural language tool kit. Because… Well, see #3.
  5. A bit of linear algebra. Just the vectors stuff. Yeah, I know. See #3 and 4.
  6. How to maintain the latest generation of bicycle drivetrains. What? You thought this would all be work? Compared to when I was a bike mechanic, the shifters, cranks, etc. on high-end bicycles these days might as well be printed circuits. I gotta start all over.
  7. 4 new Yoga routines. Hopefully ones that don’t make my fat hang out, my shorts ride up, my gut gurgle like Old Faithful and my face to turn beet red, but if I can avoid 2 out of 4 I’ll be happy.
  8. How to build the brand of my company and myself. Ironic, I know. I seem to be good at building other’s brands, pipelines, etc.. But when it comes to my own, well, I kind of suck. My laser focus turns into more of a silly string barrage.
  9. Really great paper modeling techniques. My kids, who now play D&D with me, love to see the worlds we create brought to life. Paper models are a great way to do it. It’s amazing I ever got married, really. Actually, it’s amazing I ever got a date.
Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. Paper modeling… wait, like origami or some such? I game on occasion (translation: it’s been way too frikkin’ long since I’ve rolled any dice), and I’m unfamiliar with what you’re describing. Also intrigued.

  2. Readings that might interest you, then:
    #1: Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte books, they contain all you need to know to create kick-ass presentations
    #8: Tom Peters’ Brand Me 50, a classic

  3. 3. Tufte. First, last, only.
    And his books & seminars would certainly further you toward goal #1 as well.

  4. #1 Stop by the closest Toastmasters club and hear the evaluators giving feedback to the speakers. You can even test-drive a couple of your own presentations with them, hear feedback, look at the audience response, and tweak accordingly

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