Should I write more or read more?

I am extremely envious of some people. People like Mitch Joel, Seth Godin, and many others like them who somehow have time to blog daily, write books and read everyone else’s blogs and books. Oh yeah, and run companies. How?

I find myself constantly pressed for time. My job takes up a lot if time, as I’m sure it does for all of you. I have two young children and I never seem to spend the time with them I would like to. Then, when I do have some “free” time, I am met by my constant dilemma: should I read and find out what the thought leaders are saying and doing to expand my knowledge; or write and develop and espouse my own ideas? (or heaven forbid, just rest?)

As you can tell by the frequency of my posts here, I usually opt for reading. Am I making the right choice? It’s one thing to take in information, but without adding my own take, I wonder if I am short changing my future and becoming a Cliff Claven-esque figure.

What do you do?

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My favourite marketing play this Christmas

Every Christmas one of the toys I get my kids impresses the marketer in me in one way or another. This year it was a new game for the Wii: Skylanders, created by Activision. I hadn’t even heard of this one before the holidays, it’s the experience that impressed me.

With most games you buy the disc, maybe there’s an attempt at an online community or web component, perhaps some merch if it gets really popular, but for the most part the company makes its money on the sale of the disc and that’s it. This one is different. The game comes with three little plastic figures. You place a figure on the “portal” and that is the character you play. Right away, it becomes more than a video game, it becomes tactile. That in itself is brilliant, and the hook. It’s also similar to what made the Wii popular to begin with. What they do with the hook is pure genius.

There are dozens of characters. Each with different abilities and powers that are needed to unlock certain parts of the game. How do you get access to these other characters? You buy them for $8 to $12 each. You could play the whole game with just the three characters you get with it, but you would miss more than half of the secret areas-which are not so secret that you don’t know you are missing them.

If you bought all the characters, I’d venture you would spend another $300 on top of the $70 you spent on the game.

I love it, what a brilliant play. And the games not bad either.