The Blend, Jan 8

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People are posting good stuff all the time. Things that make us smarter, think more creatively and encourage us to push ourselves just a little bit harder. So when we find such stuff, we put it in The Blend and share it with you.

Here’s the most recent batch of goodness worthy of a second look…

“We need to create a strategic plan” can be the wrong language because there’s a difference between strategy and planning.

Most brands give little thought to “dark social” but it now accounts for 74 percent of all online sharing.

This guy read 70 books last year and here are his tips for how to read more.

Regardless of what you think of her music, Taylor Swift is an amazing celebrity as proven by this end-of-year video that brought many fans to tears.

Someone counted the total number of awards different ads won last year and here’s the resulting list: the best ads of 2014.

You can write a news critique about an NFL coach shifting to college, or you can write something clever and entertaining about an NFL coach shifting to college.

Yes, direct mail will be making a bit of a comeback.

Autonomous cars mean new kinds of highways, but apparently the Netherlands has it all figured out.

(That “autonomous cars” article you just click on was a native ad by Hitachi.)

Finally, who doesn’t like great psychology studies; perfect to share with friends and family at your next social gathering.

If you find something that belongs in The Blend, let @JohnDrake know.

Here’s to a productive, creative and thought-filled day.