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Monday, October 31, 2005

Have you talked to George?

From the Monday Morning Memo by the Wizard of Ads comes the link and intro to this wonderful work.

Roy H Williams writes:
In a stunning effort I believe to be their best to date, poet Peter Nevland and guitarist Paul Finley have been joined by miracle animator ThatBaldGuy to create a 5-minute video about George, an old fellow Peter met while vacuuming his car one day. It is a powerful performance (kinetic,) featuring a distinct graphic style (architectural,) and it's free (generous.) Be sure your heart is in a quiet place and that you can protect 5 undistracted minutes, but definitely make time to enjoy this moving performance at
I recommend making some time for this.

It is worth it.

Have you talked to George?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

You Are Important to Me

Write about what is important to the people who are important to you.

I am determined to post tonight. Let the words say what they may. I would like to think I am writing something of substance. I would like to think I am writing something, somehow, that might mean something to you, but I don't know you.

I don't know you, yet you are more important to me than I can articulate. More accurately, you are more important to me than I am willing to attempt to articulate. Thus, I am writing blindly.

It's not so bad, writing blindly. It is actually liberating. Certainly, it is much easier than writing with an explicit purpose. If I was an anonymous caller to a talk radio show, I might hang up now, but I am not anonymous.

I have never been a big fan of anonymous. Anonymous amuses me from time to time. Anonymous enlightens me occassionally. Anonymous even inspires me once in a while, but I am not a big fan.

You're right to think that my use of anonymous and Anonymous in tandem is dubious. This is not style. It isn't interesting and it isn't cute. It is merely frivolous.

My grandfather is spinning in his grave.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Blog Family Tree

Here's an interesting blog meme.

A blog called The Politburo Diktat is putting together a "family tree of the blogosphere."

Bloggers are invited to leave comments indicating:
1. The blogger who inspired them to start blogging.
2. The month that they started blogging.
3. Any "blog-children" or other blogs whose creation their blog inspired.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Of 600 Bloggers...

Do you feel free to write "anything and everything" in your blog? Do you worry whether or not your blog is funny and witty? Do you worry about offending people?

Are you disappointed when people post negative or abusive comments to your blog.

Of 600 bloggers surveyed by America Online:

No. No. No. Yes.

Is it really?

This blog is worth $8,468.10.
How much is your blog worth?

Some would say, you've got a long way to go.

I would say that may be, if we only knew where we were going.

What would you say?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Saying no can feel so good.

Hmmm. “Seven Technologies that Change Everything.”

As far as I know, I’m not using a single one of them, however I feel just fine.

Is it only me?

I am sure it is not just me.

What is happening with communications?

Communication is so easy thanks to electronic advances, so how come there is so much bad manners?

Am I the only person in the world who does not get a reply to e mails?

I have written elsewhere that it is no different than someone meeting me in the street - looking me in the eye and completely ignoring the fact that I just said ‘hello.’

Maybe I am pedantic - maybe I am a wee bit obsessive but all I am asking is what I consider to be simple good manners in - at the very least acknowledging that someone has taken the time to contact you.

I am not talking about replying to junk mail or subscription mail but when I receive a personal e mail then I take the view that it deserves at least an acknowledgement.

Maybe I am the only one who feels this way - Comments?

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Via FastCompany

Joblogging | by David Teten and Scott Allen
The next time you search for a job, your blog may be more important than your resume.

The word to the wise is to be careful what you write!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What is the point?

The purpose of the 100 Bloggers weblog is unstated and it is unstated purposely. Make of it what you will. Make it what you will.

If you are interested in joining us, write me. If you would like to recommend another for inclusion, write me. If you want out, write me.

I appreciate your contributions and your feedback.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Decoding Intent

I'm off to give a talk on "decoding intent and emotion" at a conference in Concord, NH. I'm glad that "100 bloggers" is happening (although I had recommended creating the "100 Bloggers Experience" in the badlands of the Dakotas instead!

Lots of great talk and ideas. Its cool to participate in such a grand "meta conversation" with such a flow of connected thoughts.

My contribution: What matters is not just what we say (content), but how we say it (our process, intentions, etc.). Geeks (and I use the word admiringly) sometimes tend to forget this and focus on content alone. Theory of Mind tells us to continually attempt to infer what others are thinking and feeling and to be "mindful" of that. Noam Chomsky called this the "deep structure" of language. So, rather than knocking the ideas of others, lets "tune in" to each other and care about what we are all saying. Not so good ideas do not disappear because others criticize them, but rather because better ideas begin to shine. I know this sounds corny, but having just survived awful flooding in the Keene, NH area my belief in the importance of a little "peace, love, and understanding" (Elvis Costello's words, not mine) is stronger than ever. Let's listen...not just to the words, but to the meanings behind the words...and spread some much needed good vibe out there.

Larry Welkowitz

Friday, October 14, 2005

He's Brutally Truthful

That's what Atlantic artist director Neil Pepe said of Harold Pinter, the British playwright who won the Nobel Prize in literature Thursday. "I don't think there's ever been another writer like him, in his ability through minimal words to convey subconscious fear and hidden foreboding ... He's brutally truthful."

I haven't read Mr. Pinter, who at 75, was published before I was born. But I think I will. I've been meaning to read some serious literature. It seems like so much of what I read is something other than that. Pulp. Management theory. How to. Process improvement. Quantitative analysis. Eric Carl. Dr. Suess.

No serious literature.

This is what 15 years in Corporate America will do to you. When I received my BA in Language and Composition from the University of North Texas in December of 1989, my favorite author was James Joyce. When I received my MBA from Jacksonville University in December of 1999, my favorite author was Tom Peters. Today, my favorite writers are Michael L. George, David Rowlands, Mark Price, and John Maxey.

You have never heard of them? Me, either. Not before I saw their names on the cover of The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook. Certainly, they are writers, but to call them authors may be a bit of a stretch.

Is this a deterioration? The pretentious pricks in Stockholm or the tragically hip in San Francisco or the inane mod in New York City may think so...

Thanks to corpodibacco for the link.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Me and Mr. Pinter

Since Harold Pinter just won the Nobel Prize for Literature, let me say something about the guy.

All I know of Mr. Pinter: I know nothing.

Heard the name, at the university, once. Never read or saw a single play. Since I am a compulsive reader, I am supposed to feel bad about it, 'cause he just won the Nobel. But I don't.

How's that?

Well, in my perverted mind, that's how the thing works: If I know and love the writer who won, I am happy and feel like I discovered the pearl first. If they give the Nobel to someone I dislike or am ignorant of, I think they're all a bunch of pretentious pricks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

What's amazing to me about blogs ...

"What is amazing to me about blogs ... is that it's all text. People have to have some verbal ability to operate in this medium and there's been a lot of creativity--the invention of emoticons, for instance--in the way people express themselves in writing." -- Sam Potts

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A blogger with some passion

The other day we were asked to share our favorite blog, and I never got around to sharing mine. We're supposed to do it in fifty words, but that's just too concise for me.

The very first blog I ever read, ever subscribed to, was The Occupational Adventure (sm). I don't actually remember how I got the link, but it was Curt's post on the Like Minded Lunch that caught my attention. I linked to it in my LiveJournal, and I think I read it four or five times before someone syndicated it to LJ for me.

That was a year and a half ago, and I still love reading this blog. When I read it, I feel like I'm just looking in on a conversation Curt is having with someone. He's insightful, open, and inspiring.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Four Hour Rule

Read Four Hour Rule at Slacker Manager.

It is all about managing expectations. Have you ever heard the phrase, "under-promise and over-deliver?" This is the mantra of effective career managers. Over-promise and under-deliver and you will be marginalized. Under-promise and over-deliver and you will rise up the corporate ladder seemingly effortlessly.

Of course, we all know that no worthy accomplishment can be achieved effortlessly, and even if it could, it is best not to make it look too easily done.

This is the genius of the Four Hour Rule.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony (at Harvard) TONIGHT

The 2005 Ig™ Nobel Prize Ceremony

WHEN: Thursday, October 6, 2005, 7:30 pm.
(Note: the pre-ceremony concert and the webcast begin at 7:15)

WHERE: Sanders Theater, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.(Info about how to pahk your cah near Hahvud Yahd)

WHAT: The 15th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. Ten new Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded in categories ranging from Physics, Medicine and Chemistry to Literature and Peace. The new winners traveled to the ceremony, at their own expense, from several continents. The Prizes were handed to them by a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, all before a standing-room only audience of 1200 people. Full details and action pictures will appear in the Nov/Dec 2005 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Challenge your comfort zone

It's that time of year when amateur and professional writers all across the world start prepping for National Novel Writing Month. The premise is pretty simple: write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days.

As simple as that.

This will be my fourth year participating in NaNoWriMo.So far, I've only failed to meet that goal once, and that was because I became really sick during November that year. Now I help encourage others to complete their NaNovels (the appropriate name for a novel undertaken during NaNoWriMo).

My first year in NaNoWriMo was interesting. I've always loved to write. My notes in schools were always an interesting blend of class notes and random bits of stories and poems. I used to drive my teachers crazy, but since I was a great student, they really couldn't ask me to not write during class. So when some people told me about this program, I jumped at the chance. I figured 50, 000 words in one month wouldn't be that hard for someone who spends much of her time writing as it is.

Boy, was I wrong! My experience was entirely with short stories. Writing a novel (it's actually closer to a novella) is a vastly different experience. With a short story, you can present the characters, the conflict, hit the climax, and wrap everything up in a very short space. A novel gives you more room to develop things and to introduce a variety of plot threads and create a complex world.

That first year, I thought I would never get the hang of expanding my normally very concise writing style to meet this challenge, especially when I started the last week of November with 25,000-30,000 words. It was terrifying.

One of the biggest problems for me every year is reminding myself that this is a draft. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be down on paper. I can't it to myself every time I hit writer's block in my own writing. The funny part is that now that I'm teaching writing, I've actually found myself telling my students this as they struggle through their own first drafts.

National Novel Writing Month really challenged me as a writer, and I feel like I grow just a little bit more every year that I participate. It's always important to incorporate activities into our lives that challenge us, becasue it's through challenge that we grow.

Ning and JotSpot

Ning -- social applications playground
JotSpot -- "The Application Wiki"

TWO OF THE MOST clever uses of Web 2.0 internet architecture are Ning and Jotspot. Ning's developers describe it as a playground and Ning Pets shows what that means. Tipperary Institute students are using it to help rehome Irish animals. Jotspot is one of the best editable intranet applications on the planet. Both show the power of the read-write web and the promise it offers to connected communities.


Monday, October 03, 2005

100 Monkeys

This from David Rothacker:

Dave’s Friend: There is no cohesiveness in my department. I think I suck as a manager.

Dave: Have you checked out Rosa Say’s blog yet?

Dave’s Friend: What’s a blog man?

In 1952, on the island of Koshima scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.

An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers, too. Read on…

Note: For the purpose of my point, stop reading when the discussion turns to nuclear weapons.

Beyond Seth

When there is sufficient awareness, most become aware – even if this awareness transcends unconnected geographies. Imagine if the monkeys had been connected!

Okay, let’s ramp up this discussion past Hotmail. If I recall correctly, Microsoft taught a couple of monkeys how to use….

We need to increase awareness. Right now, Imo has only had casual conversation with her friends. She hasn’t even told her mom yet. As blog authors, we have had vibrant and meaningful conversations with each other. But we’ve yet to tell our moms, our customers. We need to break away from Seth’s gravity.

Seth Godin is a marketing guru icon. You know this. There isn’t one person reading this who doesn’t know of Seth and his brilliance. Seth however, has done his job. He has taught us well. It’s up to us to tell our customers how to wash their potatoes. It’s up to us to load our blogrolls with our own customers. It’s up to us to connect up with folks a few islands over.

Dave: How in the world did you increase productivity?

Dave’s Friend: Bob, my buddy over at Jim’s Air Conditioning told me about Lisa Haneberg. I bought her book High Impact Middle Management and have been following along at her Web site Her system works.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Tom Asacker, blogger extraordinaire

Tom Asacker is one of the big names of marketing. When Troy asked us for a review of a blog we love I couldn´t think of any other blogger. Among the many reasons I can tell about Tom´s unique writing there´s one that stands out: Tom is an implicator. He has been working on the idea that marketing is more concerned with a genuine interest on your customers, in this case the readers of his blog, than in any complicated marketing recipe.

And Tom´s blogging style is the very example of this interest in you and me. Tom implicates his readers. Tom is always there when you write him. Tom becomes your friend.

Tom´s writing is not only a source of good intentions. His writing is as brilliant as a blogger´s style could be. His posts are always contextual, he provides a historical perspective, an ironical twist of the facts, a clever interpretation of the reality of the business world. Tom Asacker is the most intelligent mind in the business gurus' circus.

If Seth Godin represents the quintaessentia of the intuitive marketer, Tom Asacker shows the structural connections of marketing, work and innovation. Thanks Tom for being so cool.

Felix not being finslippy

We all have our favorite blogs. Likely, we all have a dozen or two favorite blogs. Pick one and tell the rest of us why in 50 words.
My blogroll is ever-growing, especially since I was fortunate enough to attend the BlogHer conference and add that whole blogroll to my site for convenient perusal. I keep another big set of bookmarks on hand (with some blogroll overlap) and add to it any time a new blog catches my attention.

Still, the one blog that I can unhesitatingly single out as my favorite is finslippy. Alice's writing has made me laugh out loud more times than I can count. Even though my lifestyle is practically the opposite of hers, I can identify with her every witty anecdote. Getting to read her blog for free seems almost unfair - I've paid hundreds of dollars for books and movies I didn't enjoy a fraction as much as I enjoy finslippy.

(Okay, so I'm incapable of expressing anything in only 50 words...)


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Creme de la Creme

There are more than 2 billion web pages out there. That's a bigger population explosions than a dozen mice with cocktail bottles of viagra and pherenomes and no one home to protect the larder from munching lunch.

That's a lot of tanker trucks of milk to skim to get cream. What a huge task to carry on small feet. I don't often point to things much, the internet being largely comprised of finger pointing in delight or ridicule, I often keep my comments to matters of immediate importance like when will I be fed, and what. It is not exacly a noodle blog I run. It's more of a tuna buffet with some human psychology and transdimensional travel and prayers to Moonlight and Godess Mror thrown in.

That said, I do get around this old pirate ship of a net. I share my browser with a couple humans but even still, how much we colelctively notice as noteworthy from the billions of possibility adds up over time. In just a year since we let behind the Windows system, we've loaded up on the bookmarks.

Just today I discovered that I have more than a screen of folders of bookmarks, aproximately 200 of them are sidesurfs dumped in a "to check out later" folder. In all there are 1,868 bookmarked sites in all. (That's about 55 full screens worth and doesn't include the ones that came pre-installed with Safari.) Over 2 screens are my written by cats (like Beau, Sparkle or Oreo, as well as dogs, hamsters and a stuffed sheep. (Mror, is that bookmarks search tool ever useful!)

Many things tempt me for being the one I put my paw on and purr, this is for sure, great.

Since my audience today is cat and non-cat, something that tempts me Great lecture Library. It is by the Chautauqua Insitute. You can hear some of the leading human lecturers in the world speak on Art, Business, History, Religion, Government, Health Care, the Environment, Family and Ethics.

You can get a 15 day free trial. After that you have to pay out of your tuna fund on a sliding scale depending on how many downloads a month you want to get or pay about $6 each, which works out to about 4 cans and a nibble of the really good stuff, for really good brainfood

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