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|Phil Wolff's subversions...|
Monday, July 26, 2004
( comments) # 2733 10:15:47 AM G! DayPop!. email
Ted Shelton: "Frankly I felt that BlogOn was a waste of time and money."
I think the BlogOn conference was overproduced. In the name of professionalism the organizing firm turned off potential speakers, oversubscribed sponsors, etc.
I would have liked a debatable topic (aside from *blogging = journalism*. Two people slugging it out. Or a devil's advocate taking challenges from the floor.
I would have liked more hard numbers. Facts. Charts. Diagrams. We have the analytic tools to BS-check them; harder on vague opinions and single-points-of-observation.
I found it disturbing how much money was being commanded (from both attendees and sponsors) for a conference at a university. Maybe it was because it was at Berkeley? Maybe we should have taken over a community college or a Cal State or a DeVry. The facilities costs would have been cheaper at least. I heard an organizer apologize and say the next one would be at a hotel, like that would have been better.
Cost wasn't the whole problem. We're at a stage where early adopters are meeting folks who want to leap the chasm. Huge gaps in knowledge, experience, context, culture, vocabulary. It's the gap.
There are huge ideas to be explored, even in the world of applying blogs to media strategy and the enterprise. And most of the big ideas weren't even on the agenda at BlogOn. Probably because it was catering to those who want to commercialize, fund, and otherwise exploit (excuse me, "get in on") the emerging medium.
Let's fork these conferences so advanced topics on business and technology and culture fit the participants.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
( comments) # 2732 8:13:49 PM G! DayPop!. email
( comments) # 2731 6:23:48 PM G! DayPop!. email
This is not a peak hiring season. But there are jobs to be had in blogging.
IBM's hiring researchers into a team that's worked on weblogs in the past.
SixApart has openings for a Web Designer/Developer and a Software Engineer. You too can make MovableType and TypePad better. Technorati has jobs for a Analytics Engineer, MySQL Administrator, and a LAMP Software Engineer.
And then there's Monster's Rebecca who blogs pseudonymously.
( comments) # 2730 4:51:13 PM G! DayPop!. email
The Social Tools in the Enterprise Symposium had fewer corporate attendees and more academics and consultants than I expected for a business conference. Then again, it's mid-July.
Stowe Boyd was a great host, a cross between David Letterman and Columbo. If you've never seen him in person, he has the voice and affect of actor Robert Patrick. (congrats on the brown belt, Stowe.) In the run up to the event, Stowe wrote an piece for Darwin on the convergence of social tools, blurring the lines between "the four co's": coordination, collaboration, communication, and community. This theme came through in the symposium.
Some high notes.
My presentation (maybe a low note) was a recap of the positive feedback that conditions blogger behavior. A collection of aha! moments that promote expression, control, ownership, sociality, and introspection in a blogger. Before managing a fleet of bloggers (always looking for that plural), let's understand that virtuous cycle and create tools and behaviors that support it.
It was great seeing George Por again. He extracts layers of depth with quick comments, often from his collective intelligence view. [note to self: I think this fits into the third layer of maturity in collective blogging.]
Marc Eisenstadt showed some of his team's tools for knowledge workers: hacks of maps, presence integrated with a video wall, and instant messaging. Marc Canter would have been yelling "Dude! That's a Digital Lifestyle Aggregator!" if it wasn't so workplace focused. This brings home the hard fact that most blogging tools are still too hard to use. Industry needs a ten-fold improvement in user experience in writing, reading, and navigating blogs (imho, especially the writing). Why is UserLand the only vendor using WYSIWYG authoring?
I enjoyed the Q&A about Lee's presentation. It's a great case study, one that will be repeated.
Martin's write-up of the sessions is thoughtful, although I think there are 40,000 blogs in China, not 400,000 (but give them a two minutes).
During my UK visit I forgot to:
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Dear Phil -( comments) # 2729 11:26:20 AM G! DayPop!. email
Why should we conference in person when the virtual has been so enriched?
So I leave my computer, my home, my city, my country.
I'm going to try for the Bio 2004 conference exhibit hall, this week. Especially interested in new bioinformatics and the publications systems that try to promote innovation without giving away secrets. Innovation World's Michael Boland and Mary Kate Stimmler are blogging from the conference.
This week and next are full of East Bay Kerry stuff. A Democratic Party Meetup where East Bay Kerry recruits volunteers. Committee meetings for Fundraising, Chairs, Media Relations, Visibility and GOTV, and Writers. We're having our first Speaker Training & Kerry Teach-In. And a big bunch of us are going to the Oakland A's vs. Pittsburgh Pirates game to show Kerry love to all those Pennsylvanians watching the game. Gary Hart is signing his latest book. And we're sending envoys to other political meetings, like the Lamorinda Democratic Club and the MGO Dem Club. All the time compression of a startup, none of the cash flow, and hard deadlines.
I've started going to Mark Finnern's Future Salons. Smart people, challenging topics. Next one June 18th at SAP Palo Alto. Saw him at Planetwork, first time in daylight. You owe yourself a venue to talk about 10, 20, and 50 years out. Great context and fodder for work and life planning.
In two weeks I'll attend the first day of Supernova, blogging a technical and policy discussion of today's convergence. Time to bone up on spectrum allocation, grid computing, WiMax, and more. I'm glad the wiki (thank you, SocialText) and rss feed (thank you, TypePad) are up.
I'm spending July 4th in Vienna, Austria, for BlogTalk 2.0, the conference by Thomas Burg and the Center for New Media at Danube University. Getting there a little early to spend time with the Actionable Sense Troupe ("How do you switch between Discussion and Action?") and BlogWalk 3.0 in beautiful Krems.
Then to Bloomsbury Square for the first London Symposium on Social Tools For The Enterprise, 12 July. This scans like etiquette and finishing school. It's really about blogs, wikis, social networks, IM'ing, and the like. And turning them into workplace tools. Matt Mower of Evectors Software put it together. Stowe Boyd's there too. I'll have a week in London. Favourite pubs, bookstores, museums, clubs, bordellos? Blogger events?
Back in town for the BlogOn conference. Read Susan Mernit's post. They have a boot camp, similar to workshops I proposed for London. What do bloggers know that others don't? To understand social software, managers need the insights that make blogging and other social tools "click" for users, and to frame those "Aha! moments" into a useful context.
What should I do this fall?
Thursday, May 20, 2004
( comments) # 2728 12:39:15 PM G! DayPop!. email
Initiative. Voice. Democracy.
We're gonna use'em.
From HQ to volunteers to the mediasphere.
Issues of the day.
And the tools to put them to use.
We have five months
So let me tell you about the Rapid Response Model, how Kerry's Media Corps builds on it, and what makes this a beta release.
The John Kerry Media Corps
That's the anatomy. What's the whole?
Why does it matter?
The Rapid Response Model
Most of the money in this election will be spent on television ads.
Every presidential campaign staff has a political director and a communications director. Typically a political director picks the ideas, issues, facts, and positions that will win voters to the candidate and money for the campaign. Then the communications staff wraps them up in events for the media to cover, things for voters to read, oratory for the candidate to propound, and all the other stuff that gets the word out. Advertising and branding, product management and media relations. Promotion.
Campaign communications are dynamic.
Hot items in the press change a campaign's message strategy hourly. For example, right now Rumsfeld is defending his performance in Iraq instead of attacking Kerry's war record. While a candidate's staff is small and agile enough to respond to attacks, it's not enough. Once leveled, an attack can fester in the air for weeks. And character attacks are best fought by anyone but the candidate.
That brings us to "rapid response."
Rapid Response has four parts:
Detection in three steps:
The US has about 300 million citizens, about 106 million voted in the 2000 general election [US Census Bureau]. There are tens of thousands of newspapers, radio stations, television channels, mailing lists, and web sites. Two "free" strategies:
Response. Every attack should be met with a swift and effective response. Prioritize only when you don't have the resources to respond everywhere. When you choose among multiple attacks, watch for the attacks which:
Response has three steps:
Feedback serves four goals:
Prepare. Detect. Respond. Learn.
Sunday, May 16, 2004
( comments) # 2727 6:24:49 PM G! DayPop!. email
I wrote Rapid Response: Memetic Engineering in the 2004 Presidential Campaign, my assessment of a new project from the John Kerry campaign. It's a recap of the political Rapid Response model, an analysis of the John Kerry Media Corps version of that model, and a checklist of things for the JK campaign to work on.
Not included: the idea of the grassroots web site network.
When you blend:
You turn to free media.
John Kerry HQ is doing it with Media Corps, but not to weblogs.
Both the Dem and GOP professional staffs are resisting publishing decentralization.
Otherwise they'd host the biggest network of blogs in the world. Blogs for each county, each precinct, every meetup, each working committee. Aggregators that tie local groups together. Both content and event/activity syndication. And promotion of those sites to the local news media, community groups, and political clubs.
The ROI? Better communication, coordination, cohesion, and collaboration. We need it as groups form, as citizens swell their ranks, as we commit time and energy to making momentum. Tools to help them follow the campaign's lead while making local sense of issues and messages.
But they're not. The people who understood and supported this vision are no longer part of the Kerry staff. Instead, we're seeing incremental marketing. 3 of 5 Cluetrain Points.
Maybe next time.
[aka public policy]
Friday, May 14, 2004
Other metaphors I like...( comments) # 2726 10:45:11 PM G! DayPop!. email
California bans smoking in office buildings. People slip out for a smoke and huddle around the doors or the ashtrays in smoker exile. For those 5-15 minutes, your small group of fellow addicts shares the moment. Sometimes you break out in conversation. Usually casual, sometimes deep, occasionally the start of a labor union or a new product or a lawsuit. Despite yourselves, repetition of exposure fosters trust. And people take it from there.
Sometimes I think of blogging like amateur night at a comedy club. You step up on stage for your five minutes, probably at one in the morning, greeted by a random audience who laughs at you and maybe your painful story told in a funny way. You thank the audience, who were just barely awake anyway and who were never vested in your barely coherent ramblings, and you leave the stage. Until tomorrow. When you come back for more. And the next day you look at the world a little differently, noticing things that could be material for your set, and you rush home, write them down, and that night you try it out on a mostly different audience. And your material gets better, and you start to build a reputation, and you relax into the doing of it and start to pay attention to the two-way conversation that takes place between a performer and those cheering and jeering on the other side of the microphone. From utterance to rapport.
Company cafeterias or regular happy-hour spots are as much about being seen, and with whom, as it is about the conversations you have. Food? It's a heartbeat check, a status reinforcer, a clique definer. Depending on your role, it may not matter at all, or it may be everything. Presence is everything.
An automotive supply store (tires, I think) had a big sign by the street. Each night the owner put a new witticism, twisted proverb, or insightful comment on the sign. And commuters on Atlantic Ave chuckled or thought on the way to school or work each morning. 10 words or less, but those "posts" became a landmark amid the drab clutter of an interchangeable commercial district. Now in Oakland, California, about 500 miles away, the owners of the Grand Lake movie palace put one side of their historic marquis into the hands of their movie programmer. He writes strong messages about blackbox voting, the Patriot Act, a possible military draft, the Iraq war. Some people think he's an ass, others applaud, but everyone slows down to see it on the way to the market. In both cases, the author had no control over readership. A consistent voice, regular updating, and strong points of view defined both personal and corporate identities.
( comments) # 2725 6:14:48 PM G! DayPop!. email
What's a "Why Sayer"? LEO says:
On a flyer at Ikea:
Things I love about this:
( comments) # 2724 4:11:38 PM G! DayPop!. email
So you're asking, why does traffic slow down at a car accident, why do people crowd a murder scene, who pays for boxing matches and hockey games? That's one trigger.
Another. We've just fought a war where none of the violence was televised. We're hearing death announcements but no coffins, high school snaps, but no bodies. This video is unfiltered truth about the conflict, our conflict. Bloody, wretched, simple.
And. We trust our federal government less than before. They admit to screening what we see, hiding "morale damaging" evidence from the general view. We trust our media less than before, wimps when we needed courage. So we scavenge for facts, for truth, for context and interpretation. For sense.
Click. Click. Click.
p.s. Almost no mention that Nick Berg is a Jew. He's not the first Jew executed on TV by Islamic terrorists after being captured working in a dangerous zone. Talk about derivative cinema.
( comments) # 2723 11:08:18 AM G! DayPop!. email
Enterprise blogging is a team sport. So are grassroots, educational, and community blogging.
And teams have personnel turnover. New people replacing departures, temps filling in. So the total number of user accounts grows over time. The average person changes jobs every four years, more frequently when you're younger; 25%-50% new faces a year, assuming you're not in a troubled economy, facing personnel problems, or coping with growth. Did I mention no more guest blogging?
I can no longer, in good conscience, recommend MT to small businesses, workplace teams, or any of the 1000 Kerry grassroots teams any more. They'll max out any of the five MT licenses in six months. Or minutes. My East Bay Kerry communications teams (writers, speakers, media relations, rich media) have more than 100 volunteers. Repeat that for every county in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, etc.
I'd love for MT to offer a parallel pricing structure for non-governmental organizations, for unlimited numbers of users/blogs.
Monday, May 03, 2004
( comments) # 2722 2:50:02 PM G! DayPop!. email
I received this email from Anne Collingwood this morning.
What are your answers to these questions?
Thursday, April 29, 2004
( comments) # 2721 12:41:31 PM G! DayPop!. email
First off, read it out loud. Take a moment.
This is an OK pitch. Say what you propose, frame it, and say why it matters to the listener. Use the language of the pitchee. Terse language is good, flowing is better. This pitch hangs together.
LeFever's pitch does some things well. It explains what weblogs are. How they're used. How they affect daily life and the bottom line. It's focused on the workplace and the specific problems of harnessing intellectual capital, of herding cats, of decentralizing decisions. There's a nice analogy to the Wall Street Journal as a context baseline, and that you need one of your own.
Do you think LeFeber made his case? Is this the right case to make? Would you buy a blognet from this man?
Sunday, April 18, 2004
I edit EastBayKerry.com , a TypePad weblog. It's a dual-use site: evangelism with a public face for our group and political cause, and a work coordination site. From a September 2003 help desk ticket to TypePad support:( comments) # 2720 10:52:12 AM G! DayPop!. email
Also: TypeLists should be accessible to guest authors too, with permission.
It's still on the wishlist.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
( comments) # 2719 10:36:19 PM G! DayPop!. email
Blogger James McMurray of Technology Deprecated wrote of his father:
[aka obituaries a la blog]
This is my Blogchalk: United States, California, Oakland, Adams Point, English, Phil, Male, 41-45.
STRATEGY - project management - technology - design - tools - Blue Sky Radio - Skypememe - klogs - community - staffing - shortage watch - - LIFE - events - food - Bloggers for Hire - shrub - public policy - books - Obituaries a la Blog- -