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How to Avoid Meetings That Suck

How to Avoid Meetings that Suck by dailyidea

Post sponsored by Search Studio – Advertising agency based in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Or as they say in Spanish: Agencias de publicidad en Monterrey.

How do businesses solve most problems? With meetings. Meetings are a necessary part of everyone’s business day. Make your meetings more effective by following some simple guidelines. Everyone will thank you for freeing up a portion of their day.

Thanks to one of our viewers, James Heires for submitting this idea! Now you can also read the full transcript of our shows, by reading the full post.

Full transript:

Hi, I’m Nikki Key and you’re watching The Daily Idea.

“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’”

While that quote is from humorist Dave Barry, there’s a lot of truth behind it. We all know what it’s like to be in meetings all day only to go home feeling like you didn’t get anything done.

Well the behavioral research team here at The Daily Idea thinks it may not be the meetings that are the problem, but how the meetings are run. Of course, they needed a two hour meeting to come up with that, but that’s beside the point.

Fortunately for them, an alert viewer sent in a suggestion for a Daily Idea. James Heires, a professional meeting planner, says our researchers are on the right track. Here are his tips on how to run an effective meeting, with visual reenactment provided by … well, three guys we bribed with free chalupas.

First, have a meeting purpose or objective.
FALLS: Okay, I thought we’d get together and just see where everyone is.
TODD: (pauses, acts like the manager is nuts) The conference room?
CHAD: (half asleep, perhaps drunk) The Bahamas.

The second tip is to have an agenda and stick to it.
FALLS: And as you can see from the numbers before you, the quarterly report is not going to look good.
TODD: Sir, this is Rob’s birthday thing.

The third tip is to establish time limits for each topic.
FALLS: Now, moving on to point 23b, you can see from the bar graph that the inflationary precautions we predicted in quarter one

Tip number four is to ensure all participants participate, especially when it’s a conference call.
SPEAKERPHONE: And that’s what we’ve got from the west coast. Anyone there have any questions?
FALLS: Sounds good to me, Todd?
TODD: Nope, I’m good. Chad?
CHAD: That covers it for me, too. Rob?
ROB: I’m good.

Tip number five is to start and end on time.
FALLS: And that takes care of it. (LOOKS AT WATCH) Okay. That’s 12 minutes early. Anybody wanna Wii?

The sixth tip is to publish and distribute the minutes of all major decisions, progress or action items.

ROB: Here’s the meeting minutes from yesterday Todd.
TODD: Oh thanks, Rob.


Perhaps the best suggestion James offered is the last one: Don’t have a meeting at all if it’s not needed! Start preparing your topic and agenda before hand. If all the information can be shared via email, hit send and save everyone some valuable time.

ROB: Hey Chad. The meeting was cancelled. Didn’t you get Todd’s email?
CHAD: Oh … no. IT’s had my computer all day. Something about Ham … Lamb … Spam … something.

Now, we’ve taken James’s suggestions and had a little fun with them, but professional meeting planners everywhere will tell you, he’s spot on.

And just like James, you too can send in your suggestion for a show topic. Just go to DailyIdea-dot-T-V and click on the “Suggest An Idea” link at the top of the page.

Thanks, James! Now, if you’ll excuse me … I’ve got to run to a meeting.

And that’s another Daily Idea.

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Thanks again for watching!

Why a Geek Will Steal Your Girlfriend in 2008

Chances are, this is the year that a geek steals your girlfriend. Don’t believe me? Check out a website called Their blog post got our researchers all excited. After they changed their pants, they offered up this highlight list of the reasons you’ll soon be crying in your beer because a Geek took your woman.

Hi, I’m Nikki Key and you’re watching the Daily Idea.

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Shocking: Giants Win, Falls Topless and Presidential Voting

I know you’re probably sick of us covering the Super Bowl and let’s be honest, none of us saw the Giants winning. Tomorrow’s another “Super” day, but this time we’re turning to politics. Be sure to turn in tomorrow as the Daily Idea makes its first “official” Presidential endorsement. So, jump in the comments and tell us who you’re voting for on Tuesday.

Hello, I’m Nikki Key and you’re watching the Daily Idea.

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The Best and Worst of SXSW Interactive 2008

The Best and Worst of SXSW Interactive 2008 by dailyidea

This event was sponsored by Search Studio – Web Design Agency based in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Or as they call their service in Spanish: Diseño de paginas web en Monterrey.

The whole web seems to still be talking about South by Southwest 2008. After sorting through tons of interviews, we offer you insights from 10 of the leading web minds. We discuss the best and worst of SXSW Interactive and find out their favorite social networks. You’ll be surprised by their answers and be sure to watch their outtakes. After all, SXSW isn’t all about business.

Steve Garfield –
Jackie Huba –
Ben McConnell –
Jake McKee-
Scott Monty –
Charlie O’
Jason Pearce –
J.J. Toothman – Stanford University – @jjtoothman
Gary @santagaryvee
Nathan Wright –

Ultimate Guide to SXSW Interactive

SXSW 2008

South by Southwest is better known for its now famous annual music festival, but they’ve expanded over time and now it’s also one of the best web conferences around. Since our producers are old hats at this, we asked the Daily Idea research team to dig up the best tips to create the Ultimate Guide to South by Southwest Interactive.

Special thanks to Scott Beale from Laughing Squid for many great photos we used in this video and a great list of links on his site.

Primary Links
SXSW Interactive 2008 – the official website
SXSW Videos – the latest videos from SXSW (watch Daily Idea here)
SXSW Tools – web resources for SXSW attendees
SXSW Baby! – the unofficial SXSW blog
SXSW Tweeps – a wiki for Twitter users

Written Guides
Airbag Guide to SXSW – Greg Storey’s veteran roundup
Beginner’s Guide to SXSW – John Phillip’s guide for newbies
SXSW ‘08 Insider’s Guide – tips and advice from fellow SXSW attendees
Rohdesign’s SXSW Roundup – nice list of links and first timer’s lookEvents
Evening Events at SXSW Interactive – official SXSW Interactive events
Unofficial Evening Event list – Adactio’s event list integrated with Google Maps
SXSW Events & Parties – all events tagged “sxsw” on Upcoming
16bit SXSW Interactive 2008 Party – Laughing Squid is a co-sponsor
BarCamp Austin III – the unconference companion to SXSW
Kick! 2008 – SXSW Interactive’s unofficial, informal kickball kickoff
dorkbot-austin at SXSW – a convergence of art of technology
The Heather Gold Show: Opting Out – Laughing Squid is a co-sponsor
Fray Day 8 – the annual personal storytelling event
The People Powered Party – Moo Cards, Etsy, Timbuk2 and Threadless
The Bigg Digg Shindigg – Digg’s big closing night party
Austin 360’s Party List – Great list of parties for SXSWi and for Music
Geeks Love Bowling – Hit the bowling lanes with other geeks, March 9

Geek SXSW T-Shirts – Smith Magazine’s Collection of Geek Tees
SegCity – Segway tours around Austin
Photo Groups – All SXSW Flickr groups you can join
Flickr SXSW photos sorted by tags – SXSW, SXSWi, SXSW Interactive
Twitter posts by keyword – SXSWi, SXSW, SXSW Interactive
Austinist – local group blog all about Austin
Taco Town – More than you’ll ever want to know about tacos
Restaurants – City Search’s list of all local food joints

Daily Idea Twitter links for SXSW
Daily Idea – Show news
Nikki Key – Host
Jason Falls – Writer/Director
Todd Earwood – Producer


Howdy, I’m Nikki Key and the Daily Idea is headed to TEXAS!

For regular geeks, tech conferences are a dime a dozen, but if you’re a WEB geek, and we are, South By Southwest Interactive is THE place to be each March.

South by Southwest is better known for its now famous annual music festival, but they’ve expanded over time and now it’s also one of the best web conferences around. Since our producers are old hats at this, we asked the Daily Idea research team to dig up the best tips to create the Ultimate Guide to South by Southwest Interactive.

According to the research team, all types of good-to-know folks attend this event. You’ll run across developers, designers, photographers, podcasters , authors, consultants, entrepreneurs, web stars and even a few corporate suits. C’mon, he’s not a suit… yet.

With all these great people in one place, hour first tip is to meet new people! I know some of us like communicating online but why not actually MEET your online friends in person. And don’t be afraid to approach the big name guys either. The great thing about this event is everyone is approachable and if they’re not … well tell the world on Twitter.

Ahh yes… Twitter. In 2007, this micro-blogging service started its love affair with South By Southwest and blew up in Austin. Be sure to follow the new friends you made like us and follow those you want to meet.

We’re positive Twitter will bring that beat back to Austin. Seriously…be patient with the Twitter gang as we’re sure they’re servers are going to be pushed to their limits.

Now let’s discuss the most important part… ok the most important to me… What to wear!

Yes, I’ve been told not everyone there will be sporting belt buckles, wrangler jeans or leather chaps, but ladies I must say… a cowboy hat isn’t the worst thing a man could wear. Actually, this is the worst thing a man can wear but that’s another show. At South by Southwest, you’ll see everything from t-shirts to t-shirts to… t-shirts and yes a few corporate suits… someone had to sponsor this thing!

Seriously though the dress code is whatever works for you and our research team suggests above all else… be comfortable.

In addition to clothes, our researchers suggest bringing your camera, a camcorder or any other device that helps you document the event.

Now, I’m not trying to ‘Mom’ you guys, but be sure to appropriately tag your content. What good is that perfect photo of you and Chris Brogan if people can’t find it?

When you’re not hobnobbing with the blogebrities, you may be tempted to spend your free time on your laptop.

I know most of us can’t go too long without web access, but if you’re going to make more friends in your first life, try to keep time online to a minimum.

It’s fine to write a couple blog posts and check your email, but honestly you can do all that back home.

What you can’t do at home is party with this many web geeks. Be sure to get rest BEFORE you show up at Austin, because our research team say the parties are the best.

Check out South By Southwest, upcoming .org and the official South by Southwest site for all the evening events.

And be sure to ask around as there are a few unlisted parties you’ll want to attend.

Now we didn’t have time to cover everything here, so our researchers compiled a great list of links and tools for you to plan out your schedule. Be sure to go to for our lonnnggggg list of links.

And don’t be strangers… when you see us down in Austin come up and say howdy. We’ll be taping lots of great stuff and talking to fabulous people like you on camera.

Again, get some rest before you go, travel safe and that’s another daily Idea.

Things to consider before you get married

Things to Consider Before You Get Married by dailyidea

So you’re thinking about getting married? Before you get ahead of yourself, a few of the amateur marriage counselors here at the Daily Idea put together a list of some things to keep in mind before you get serious about getting hitched.

Link Resource: Dumb Little Man


Nikki: Hi, I’m Nikki Key and you’re watching the Daily Idea. So you’re thinking about getting married? Well, it’s about time. But before you get ahead of yourself, a few of the amateur marriage counselors here at the Daily Idea put together a barely comprehensive list of some things to keep in mind before you get serious about getting hitched.

Romance (title on screen)

Nikki: Marital bliss is all about honesty. That includes your past relationships. It’s important to know a little bit about your partner’s previous partners if you know what I mean. You don’t want any major surprises after you’ve already said “I do.”

Girl: If we’re going to get married, I think we need to be honest with one another about our past.
Boy: You mean my past. Ok, fine.

[Each sits down to make a list. The girl has a 3×5 card. The guy has a legal pad. The girl scrawls on her card for about 3-4 seconds and she’s done. She looks over at the guy and he’s frantically writing still. He flips the page. Cut to clock on the wall. Cut back to guy frantically writing. Back to clock. You get the idea. Cut back to the guy finally finishing his list about four pages in.]

Boy: (still writing) And…I’m…done.

Girl: (disgusted) Nevermind.

Finance (title on screen)

Nikki: Research married couples fight most often about money and sex. You can avoid some arguments over both with a few honest discussions while you’re still dating. Start with review of everyone’s salary and savings, and especially any outstanding debt. This will help you get an idea of where you’d be starting financially and prepare you for any incompatibilities in your spending habits.

Girl: I printed this out for you. (hands page to Guy) I have about four thousand in savings and about a thousand in my checking. I keep all my financial records in here. They’re organized by type of bill, then by month. (points to a nice bank box with vertical files inside)

Guy: Wow. That’s quite a system you have there.

Girl: I pay all my bills as soon as they come in and I have no debt. What about you?

Guy: Uh, yeah…I have about eighteen dollars in my checking. I keep my financial records in here. (hands her his wallet, which is fat with receipts sticking out everywhere) They’re organized by folding them and putting them in sideways.

Girl: That’s quite a system you have.

Kids (title on screen)

Nikki: Talking about kids too soon is probably one of the quickest ways to find yourself single again. But once you’re both looking toward marriage, it’s a good time to find out if you’re both in favor of a family or not.

Guy (with a basketball): I can’t wait to coach the kids someday.

Girl: I assume you mean the neighborhood kids at the YMCA.

Guy: No, I mean my own kids. Are you saying you don’t want to have kids?

Girl: I really don’t like the idea of actually having kids. Maybe Brad and Angelina will just give us some of theirs. I’ve like the one with the funny name.


Nikki: Lots of married couples find out too late they’re faiths don’t match. Inevitably one party wants to get married in a church with an alcohol-free reception. The other party wants a five-minute ceremony with ice cold beer waiting in the parking lot. And that’s just the trivial stuff. There are a lot of much larger issues related to faith plays you should know before you’re both halfway down the aisle.

Guy: Ok, so how often do you go to church?

Girl: Usually two or three times a week. Sometimes Saturday, but mostly Sundays and Wednesdays. How often do you go?
Guy: I go two days.

Girl: Two days a week?
Guy: No, two days — Christmas and Easter.


Nikki: And finally, while there are certain issues you shouldn’t discuss at dinner parties, that doesn’t mean you can avoid controversial topics at home. Issues that you very strongly about, your spouse-to-be may feel just as strongly about. On the opposite side. Take an evening to go over your hot button issues to see where you agree and where you’ll need to agree to disagree.

Girl: We don’t agree on anything, huh?

Guy: What about politics?

Girl: Democrat.

Guy: Green Party. I voted for Nader in oh four.

Girl: You just wasted your vote.

Guy: So did you.

Nikki: Maybe opposites really do attract. Apparently they also divorce about 50% of the time. So consider these issues before you start thinking about a wedding date. Oh, and let us know what you decide about the reception because we’re planning to get tanked.

And that’s another Daily Idea.

Family Therapy: Dealing with Thanksgiving Relatives

Family Therapy: Dealing With Thanksgiving… by dailyidea

Thanksgiving is nearing and the season of thanks brings about universal meaning for most of us: turkey, football, and family fighting. We interviewed several people about family holiday traditions, favorite foods and wacky relatives.

Hi, I’m Nikki Key and you’re watching The Daily Idea.

Thanksgiving is nearing and the season of thanks brings about universal meaning for most of us: Turkey, Football, and family fighting.

Instead of telling you horror stories about my family, on today’s Daily Idea, we’re taking it to the streets. Rabid roving reporter Jason Falls visited a mall recently to ask folks how they deal with those annoying relatives for the holidays.


Nikki, what we found here today is that like the turkey, the stuffing, warm rolls and pumpkin pie, irritating relatives are a staple of Thanksgivings everywhere. And speaking of staples, several would fit nicely across my mother-in-law’s mouth.

For the Daily Idea, I’m rabid roving reporter Jason Falls.

Thanks, Jason … I think.

One thing we sure are thankful for here at the Daily Idea are the good sports who had to suffer through Jason’s questions. In all seriousness, though, we’re eternally thankful for you, our viewers. Thank you for making the Daily Idea part of your regular web surfing routine. We hope you have a great meal, great fun and enjoy your great family this Thanksgiving.

And that’s another Daily Idea.

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