Mark W. Shead is a consultant who use technologies to help business solve problems. He authors a blog called Productivity501 which is dedicated to bringing you regular tips and tricks to help increase your personal productivity. Mark focuses on publishing original content and share useful ideas which has helped him be more productive in his practice.
This blog is hosted on Wordpress with a 2 column layout. The header image of a jigsaw puzzle missing its last piece goes well with its tagline "Pieces of the productivity puzzle". It formed an image in my mind that Productivity501 hopes to be the missing piece of puzzle(yellow piece which stands out) to complete the whole set, which translate to being the missing link in the readers' life. Productivity501 is completely ad-free and without those flashing banners which try their darn best to shout out to readers to click them or to purchase the advertised products, the blog is uncluttered and gives a very clean feel. I admire Mark for not waivering under the huge temptation of blog monetization.
The furtherest dated post on archive goes way back to Sept 2005, so I'm assuming this blog got started then, some 21 months ago. During this time, Mark had published a total of 195 posts (till Jun 2007) which are confined in 11 categories. That average out to about 9 useful posts every month, not a lot for his readers to read in one month. But if you dig deeper, most of his posts are lengthy, very detailed and well thought out, containing very useful tips. I do have a slight problem with his categories though. Only 13 out of the current total 195 posts were spread among 10 categories, with the other 182 posts tagged as 'Uncategorized'. This sort of tells me the redundancy of too many different categories which were not properly utilized.
I particularly enjoyed reading and can relate to his post '4 Reasons You Should Use a Credit Card' as I subscribed to all those 4 beliefs myself. Another post I find very useful to most of our technologies-laden life is "10 Tips for Creating Secure Password". I'm sure most of us at one point or another had difficulty remembering or generating easy-to-remember yet secured passwords for so many of our online accounts. The tips offered in this post may be able to help us solve this problem.
Mark is currently holding a contest where interested bloggers can participate in 4 different ways to win an iPod Shuffle.
- Full Review of his site - 10 chances to win
- Link to Site & blog about the contest - 5 chances to win
- Subscribe to RSS - 1 chance win
- Subscribe to Email - 1 chance to win
This is the first time I come across Productivity501 and I'm not going to pretend I know Mark, his blog and his writing style well. In fact, base on my first impression, I'm going to offer a humble suggestion that maybe Mark can do something to improve on the shortcoming of the categorization of his posts which I've pointed out earlier. I've also pointed out that his blog gives a very clean feel, sometimes to the point of being too clinical - hospital-kind-of-clinical. My humble suggestion to tackle this would be creating a personal touch to his blog posts, and one way he may want to consider doing would be to add and sign off his blog posts with his signature.
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