Weekend Reading / Viewing List

Enterprise 2.0 ROI Metrics: One Size Doesn’t Fit All | Collaboration 2.0 | ZDNet.com.Dan Bricklin – New Modes of InteractionAdina Levin – Social and Conceptual Models for Google WaveIvana Taylor – The Reluctant CEO’s Guide to Becoming More PopularAs many videos as possible from the Aspen Idea Festival – Does anyone know how I can get an invite to this next year?A bunch of internal white papers on implementing Enterprise 2.0 that will be published soon.New Geography – Who Killed California’s EconomyThe SkepBitch – Ghost Hunting Can Be a Real Pain in the Ass – I’ll probably have to read the accompanying post too because it just seems to crazy to be thought up by any sane person.Socialtext SocialCalc Webinar – I missed it yesterday.What are you reading this weekend?

Long Weekend Reading & Viewing List

Danah Boyd –“The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online”.Dion Hincliffe – The Enterprise Implications of Google WaveBusiness Insider – Everybody but BP Passes on Iraqi Oil FieldsHello, My Name Is Scott – How to Become the Most Inspirational Person You KnowGoToMeeting 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris WebinarMIT Technology Review – A Limb Regeneration Mystery SolvedMashable – How to Get Retweeted (Share something useful, I suspect)CIO Magazine – How to Determine the True Cost of Microsoft SharePoint

Neko Case’s “PEOPLE GOT A LOTTA NERVE” – Blog it for a Worthwhile Cause

People Got A Lotta Nerve – Neko Case
If you have a blog, embed this song. If you don’t, get one and embed this song or add it to your iLike profile.

Today, we are especially happy to bring you “People Got A Lotta Nerve,” the first single from Neko Case’s forthcoming album Middle Cyclone (out March 3), because for every blog that reposts the song and/or iLike user who adds it to their profile, Neko Case and ANTI- will make a cash donation to Best Friends Animal Society.

Chris Brogan’s 40 Ways to Deliver Better Content

Chris Brogan’s post, 40 Ways to Deliver Killer Blog Content, kicked me in the ass the other day.  I’ve been working on a lot of projects lately and haven’t had a lot of time to focus on this, but I’m going to make the early new years commitment and try to write more.  Chris has some great suggestions in his list of 40, including these first 10:

  1. Brevity rules. Can you say it briefly?
  2. Start at the main point, then work the story up. (Make the main point in the first paragraph.)
  3. Use small words. You don’t have to impress people. You have to be clear.
  4. Analogies help people understand things better.
  5. So do stories.
  6. You don’t have to write complete sentences, even though your teacher taught you to do that. But treat it sparingly. Like this. Like a condiment.
  7. Keep paragraphs small, if possible. We balk at large blocks of text.
  8. Make your point from the reader’s side of the fence. Who is your audience?
  9. Depending on how you write, go back and see if you can cut out more. Reduce. Reduce. Reduce.
  10. Use the word you’re thinking about, not a fancier, or more polite word.

You have to read the rest of the list at Chris’ site.  I agree, that this is something that should be printed out and reviewed regularly.

Timely Persuasion – A Book Review

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about my experience with Lulu.com in trying to procure a copy of Timely Persuasion, a book about rock and roll and time travel, two great tastes that go great together.I finally got the book and banged through it in about 4 days.  It was great.  The reason for my delay is that Jacob LaCivita, the books author, was kind enough to mail me a signed copy of the book and let me send the copy from Lulu to my dad for his birthday.  I didn’t want to spoil anything in the book.I’m not a book reviewer and I’ve never been happy with my results, but here goes…Timely Persuasion is a story about an avid music fan, about my age based on the references to early 90’s indie rock, who inherits the ability to travel through time, which he uses to try to prevent his sisters murder.The story is really well written and the adventures that the nameless protagonist goes on when confronted with his past self are very fun.  In one scene, we find future and past main characters meeting up in college.  Similar to my personal college experiences, past main character was a bit out of it and wasn’t sure if it was real or a hallucination.  In another scene, the main character goes back to Seattle to try to unravel Kurt Cobain’s still mysterious death. Unlike Marty McFly’s DeLoreon, the main character in Timely Persuasion has the ability to blink himself back and forth kind of like Hiro Nakamura.Timely Persuasion is filled with amazing musical references.  The main character is an ex-writer for a musical magazine and regularly speaks in lyrics, at one point causing his father to say ‘Don’t blasphemy’ when he quotes Simon and Garfunkel.The book also deals with the ethics of time travel.  What can you get away with when you’re back in time?  Without spoiling too much, in one chapter, the main character, while back in time, helps “write” songs, borrowing liberally from future popular songs.  What happens to the future artists?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.As someone that loves social media, the thing that I especially loved about this book is the blog that the author kept.  The blog acts as a ‘Behind the Book’ for both the story and what was going on in the author’s life at the time he wrote the chapter.  Each post represents a different chapter and sometimes spoilers.  I was about ½ way through the book when I discovered it and would immediately hit the blog after every chapter.  Often times, I had to go back through the chapter to reread what I had apparently missed.The blog also lists the number of intentional musical references in each chapter.  As a music lover myself, this became a great game, keeping track of the references and seeing how I did.  I was horrible and it really goes to show LaCivita’s interest in music.Finally, the blog made the writer accessible.  If I send an email to a NYTimes Best Seller author, I’ll probably get a short ‘thanks for the note’ response.  Since I’ve received my copy of Timely Persuasion, I’ve had a handful of interactions with Jacob LaCivita via both the blog and email.  From a fan standpoint, it has been really great to be able to ask about certain aspects of the book and get an answer back.If you like rock and roll and time travel (and seriously, who wouldn’t go back in time to see Dylan play in his heyday?) check out Timely Persuasion.

Watch History Hacker

Bre Pettis, who does a lot of the really cool videos on the Make Blog has a television pilot that will be showing on the History Channel later this month called History Hackers. His first show is going to be on Nikola Tesla, who, if you aren’t familiar with him, you should be counting your lucky stars as most of the electronics in your life are based on his research. History Hackers is going to be debuting on 9/26 on the History Channel at 9:00. Be sure to check it out.

David Bryne / Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

I’ve been really hooked on this record for the past couple of days.  I think that I listened to it 3 times yesterday and actually had it playing at the beginning of my staff meeting.  It is that perfect, soothing, record that could be great office music, dinner music, and, I’m sure, long drive music (I’ll let you know next week).I’m also insanely intrigued by what Ian and the team at TopSpin are doing around the promotion of this and other artists.   The back story on this particular album and the partnership with Byrne / Eno is espeically fascinating.  I encourage you to check it out.If anything, listen to the album here.

Starfish and the Spider – Book Review


I recently finished reading The Starfish and The Spider, an excellent read focused on the idea of building decentralized organizations.A decentralized organization is one that gets started by a founder who lays out a rough framework of the ideals and goals of the group and then gets out of the way in order to let it prosper.  Specific examples of these decentralized organizations include AA, Wikipedia, eBay and Toyota.  The message is simple, be a catalyst for an idea and get out of the way.The premise of the title is that if you cut off the head of a spider, it dies.  If you cut off the leg of a starfish, it regenerates.  The classic ‘hit by a bus’ scenario.  The goal is to make your company, group, organization, team whatever, more like the starfish so that if the leader leaves (or hit by a bus) the group doesn’t fall apart, but can still thrive.Starfish and the Spider offers a fascinating walk through history highlighting examples of centralized groups that, eventually fell (GM, the Aztecs) and those that were decentralized that have thrived (Apaches, eMule, suffragette movement).  All of which were started with a basic idea led by a catalyst, who drove the point at any opportunity, and eventually thrived in the face of not having a leader in the traditional sense.Of course, there are tradeoffs associated with being decentralized, the primary being revenue.  Emule, for example, is a P2P file sharing service that was a result of the music industry putting, first Napster, then Kazaa, out of business or in bad shape.  Emule has no defined owner, manger or leader, yet the service prospers based on the idea of the drive of being open sourced so that anyone can add to it.  As a result, emule has no revenue.The book recommends building hybrid organizations such as eBay, which have a leader providing guidance to the company, but also has a decentralized community that helps the company thrive.  Without the buyer / seller rating system, eBay would simply be another commerce site, however, by letting the users police themselves, eBay has built a business that has one of the strongest communities out there and has become the de facto standard for online auctions.The book itself is a really simple read, especially if you are interested in social media and open organizations.  Check it out.