Motorbike stolen; answers to “Thumper”
APRIL 30, 2010
On April Fool’s Day, I noticed the disappearance of my beloved bike, a 1989 Honda GB500 TT (Tourist Trophy) that I’d bought used in 1998. I had seen it the night before, parked as usual parallel to the curb outside our flat on Church Street (in San Francisco).
My road-trip mix tape
JANUARY 22, 2009
brand new friend by lloyd cole. the perfect driving tune. carmina burana by orff. wheel. fortune!!!
Looking forward to hearing John Taylor Gatto
AUGUST 19, 2008
Ages ago, Doc introduced me to John Taylor Gatto ’s essay The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher (since upgraded to eight lessons, I think). I’ve been a fan ever since, and met him a couple of times. At one point, he recommended what is now one of my favorite history books, Tragedy and Hope.
In which I muse about the future of the Net
JUNE 3, 2010
Some European journalists recently asked me a few great questions about where the Net might be headed. The questions and answers are posted online here. Being a bit too modest to quote myself here, I’ll just recommend you head over and read the piece in full.
In which I answer Andrius’s 12 (excellent) Questions
MAY 9, 2010
We talk a bunch about openness and transparency, but I don’t know anyone who walks that talk more than my friend Andrius Kulikauskas. Andrius lives in Vilnius, Lithuania, and runs the Minciu Sodas (Orchard of Thoughts) Lab from there. He recently asked me his 12 Questions for Us to Know Each Other , which are thoughtful like the Proust Questionnaire , but more spiritual. I really enjoyed our interview.
On blind friending
JANUARY 23, 2009
This is the era of “friending through online social networks. Some people have already done so much friending that they’re fed up. Their online social networks are full up, thank you. Some people are just climbing in, and are busy forging new contacts. I’m very puzzled by those who seem to try to connect promiscuously or randomly, with no feel for what’s going on in the space (and also no obvious role as a spammer or overzealous commercial come-on).
The Law of Convenience
JANUARY 7, 2009
(I first published this page back in August 2002.). Friction keeps us from doing things we might otherwise really want to do, such as writing a handwritten note to a friend or donating money to people whose work we admire. The causes can be quite complex, such as the bookkeeping, auditing and disclosure that assures us that donated funds really get to their intended recipients, but it’s the other extreme that is remarkable: Even simple impediments can become insurmountable obstacles.
What should Obama do to help Africa?
NOVEMBER 26, 2008
At the IDLO Microfinance Project workshop in Dar es Salaam, I asked the 25 collected participants to blog, email or otherwise tell us what are the most powerful things Obama might do to help Africa. From Stella Odife of the Women’s Organization for Gender Issues in Abuja, Nigeria, the first (fabulous) answer: “Set up a ‘genuine’ African Court to try corrupt leaders in Africa.
A Microsoft ad I love (who knew? it’s not Seinfeld)
OCTOBER 12, 2008
Via Chris Carfi and Twitter, just saw a lovely skit that Microsoft’s ad network people created: “Advertiser vs. Consumer.. The point that advertisers have no clue about actually conversing is sweetly made. Whether Microsoft’s ad people can actually do better than this caricature suggests remains an open question.
No more buffing the corporate veneer: time to pierce it
OCTOBER 10, 2008
Old-school branding and public relations are all about creating magical, memorable brands, unifying the enterprise’s many operations under that brand banner, then making sure nothing besmirches that image. Think of that old-fashioned brand image as a beautiful burled veneer covering the corporate facade. It must be kept pristine and shiny. Whenever anything threatens it, the public relations group’s function is to clean it up. In quiet times, to buff it to a sharp polish.
Public Relationships (an open letter to PR agencies - repost)
OCTOBER 7, 2008
I originally posted this to my Blogger site — the site that vanished mysteriously some time back. It’s not showing up on Google, so I thought I’d repost: Thursday, August 12, 2004. Public Relationships (an open letter to PR agencies). Two articles I read this morning reminded me of an old idea. Among my peers, the PR industry is regarded with considerable skepticism, to put it mildly.
O my love is like a no-doc loan (the subprime song)
OCTOBER 3, 2008
No idea what made me start uttering the first lines of Robbie Burns’ old poem while pondering the subprime crisis, but the result is this: My love is like a no-doc loan. That’s newly sprung in June: My love is like th’economy. That’s sweetly played in tune. As fair art thou, my bonnie ass, So deep in debt am I: And I will love thee still, my dear, Till a’ the banks gang dry.
Gatto’s dropouts don’t prove his point
SEPTEMBER 18, 2008
I had a great time listening to John Taylor Gatto talk at the recent Future Salon. He started talking before the scheduled start time, then covered lots of ground over more than two hours. He has a lot to convey. The weakest aspect of his talk, though, was also the most entertaining.
Work is play; play is work
AUGUST 6, 2008
Thanks to a tweet from Hugh MacLeod (who tweets a lot ), I read JP’s recent post on play , in which he riffs on an insight Michael Schrage had in Serious Play. This complex chain of stimuli reminded me of a great passage I’d just read in Turning Learning Right Side Up , by my erstwhile prof Russ Ackoff and Dan Greenberg , one of the founders of the Sudbury Valley School. Here they quote co-founder Mimsy Sadofsky describing SVS (p.
AUGUST 5, 2008
Susan Crawford started OneWebDay back in 2006 to help remind us how valuable this Web thingie is. She hoped to inspire us to help it stay special and to evolve in more special ways, rather than become just another marketing channel or a walled-off network of the kind Jonathan Zittrain has recently described. OneWebDay is held on September 22 every year. That’s less than two months from today. One way I can really amplify the value that I perceive in things is through mindfulness practice.
Just uploaded my Bucharest presentation
JULY 22, 2008
I’m in Bucharest for another IDLO program , showing microfinance experts from the region what social media can do. I uploaded the presentation I’m using to SlideShare here.
Do You Sociate? » Heading to Chennai for a week
MARCH 28, 2008
April and I are off to Chennai to teach in an IDLO program on microfinance. No, I don't know much about microfinance (April does!), but I do know a bit about social media, so I'll be running a session in the program on that
Do You Sociate? » Windows Mobile is one way Microsoft can’t innovate
MARCH 23, 2008
I'm not sure how many articles I've read over the years that not only say that Windows Mobile sucks, but detail the same reasons why: putting a tiny version of Windows on small screens is an idiotic idea, no matter how comfortable it's
Do You Sociate? » An iPhone grumble grumble (ok, two)
MARCH 13, 2008
What happened to the nifty link between addresses in my Google Calendar and the Google Maps app on my iPhone? Once upon a time, I'd fill in the location data for an appointment on the Web. Then I'd look up the appointment on my
Do You Sociate? » Interesting sessions on the future of life and the Net
MARCH 8, 2008
I'm at the Stanford Legal Futures Conference, which today adopted a FOO Camp approach that, in truth, isn't that FOOish. Last night they posted the schedule, which has multiple panels with five or six smart people on each.
Do You Sociate? » Dan Pink’s new career advice — in manga!
MARCH 3, 2008
Over the years, Dan Pink has written many pieces that I've found truly inspiring, from his 1997 Fast Company cover story Free Agent Nation to his more recent book A Whole New Mind. Now he's going to offer career advice in a whole new
Do You Sociate? » TED’s been barcamped!
FEBRUARY 27, 2008
Heard from Shannon today that a self-organizing alternative to TED, the supremely expensive annual conference, is also taking place in Monterey this weekend. The new event, BIL (get it?), has a site and a wiki (BIL = Beauty
Do You Sociate? » Doing video interviews from Fast’s user conference
FEBRUARY 20, 2008
I'm almost done with three days of video interviews from Norwegian enterprise search vendor Fast's annual user conference. I'm doing what David Weinberger did last year (you can see his interviews here). This year, David gave a great
Do You Sociate? » Interviews of note
FEBRUARY 20, 2008
If you want a quick take on the top interviews here at FastForward, check out: Sandy Kemsley; David Weinberger; Liv Brahin; Jim McGee (to be posted shortly); Rob Paterson
Do You Sociate? » Clay Shirky will be our guest on next Monday’s Yi-Tan call
FEBRUARY 6, 2008
Even though the topics of crowdsourcing, collective intelligence, social media and self-organization have been in the air a bunch lately, I have found few people who can break through the surface layers of what's happening and also
Do You Sociate? » Viz afterthoughts: manifesti, missing tools and what would Leonard do?
JANUARY 28, 2008
I won't be able to attend tomorrow's concluding day at VizThink, so I'm debriefing now, at the end of a fun and brain-filling day. It would be wonderful if this collection of graphics wizards could come together to frame out some
Do You Sociate? » Blogging from VizThink, surrounded by lonely visual thinkers
JANUARY 28, 2008
Today I'll be blogging from VizThink, which feels like the first confluence of a variety of graphical disciplines. People are involved and excited. Among the viz luminaries present are Dave Gray, who helped catalyze this event and runs
Do You Sociate? » My other table neighbor…
JANUARY 28, 2008
On my right is Alan Stillman, CEO of Kwikpoint, which makes handy fold-out visual language translators. If you travel much, you've wanted these or even bought something similar. One of his translators is for medical emergencies
Do You Sociate? » Using photophlow as I blog and tweet (and Brain) and keep real brain from popping
JANUARY 28, 2008
photophlow is one of the way-coolest apps I've seen in a long time, and it's sort of a perfect way to talk about this VizThink conference. The app asks for your Flickr ID, then offers a beautiful way for multiple people to talk together
Do You Sociate? » Nice ethics panel at VizThink
JANUARY 28, 2008
On stage now: four graphics editors who've worked at Time, Newsweek, Wired, Conde Nast and many more publications, talking about their experiences with graphics that blew it. Check out this page on the conference wiki
Do You Sociate? » Office competency, then and now (repost)
JANUARY 26, 2008
I originally posted this to my ex-blog on Nov. 25, 2006. Linkrot prevents me from pointing to it elegantly, so here goes again… Turn the clock back two or three decades — three to be safe — and consider what technologies the average
Do You Sociate? » Traffic-calming pioneer Hans Monderman has died
JANUARY 18, 2008
Every now and then you get to spend some time with a person who has some extraordinary ideas by the tail and is turning them into reality. In January 2006, I was lucky to travel to Holland to meet traffic-calmer Hans Monderman
Do You Sociate? » When does word of mouth beat advertising?
JANUARY 6, 2008
An OpEd piece in today's New York Times compares the boost that Huckabee and Obama got in Iowa from people talking to people with their opponents' well-funded advertising campaigns. Romney outspent Huckabee on TV by 6 to 1
Do You Sociate? » Writers on Writing
JANUARY 5, 2008
A friend on a list just asked what to do to learn to write well, which reminded me that I've collected quite a few inspiring and instructional works (thanks, Jay; thanks, all!). I don't claim to have read these, but herewith a great
Do You Sociate? » Remembering the Milk (again)
JANUARY 3, 2008
Over the years, I've tried many to-do list tools, from lightweight ones that emulate Post-Its to more intricate, project-managementy ones. (In In fact, Blogger started as Pyra, a nifty group project tracking tool.) None really stuck
Do You Sociate? » Wooo hooo! Got my OLPC
DECEMBER 22, 2007
On Thursday FedEx home delivery dropped off a mystery box. I opened it, failed to recognize the logos on the cover sheet I saw on top of the contents, then dug deeper and saw this: Ah! the logo! An early Christmas present
Do You Sociate? » Mini-Feed’s not in Wikipedia
DECEMBER 2, 2007
Now and then, Wikipedia falls short. In this case, the entry for Facebook lists a few of the system's features, such as The Wall, Gifts, Pokes and the Marketplace, but the entry doesn't mention the Mini-Feed (the News Feed is mentioned
Do You Sociate? » “Exhaust data” cite in the Economist
DECEMBER 1, 2007
A few weeks ago, Economist reporter Andreas Kluth wrote a nice piece about Facebook and social networking services in general, titled Social Graph-iti. He kindly quoted me referring to the peripheral vision that Facebook's MiniFeed
Do You Sociate? » Drat! We’re even at two:two
NOVEMBER 29, 2007
Don't you hate it when you point something out about someone else, then do that blundery thing yourself? I did just that in pointing out Jeremy's typo and fact-checkiness here. Turns out nobody's spelled Jakarta with a D in ages (must
Do You Sociate? » Join me for a Braininar on Dec. 4
NOVEMBER 26, 2007
Next month I'll have been using TheBrain's PersonalBrain app for ten years. That's a pretty big chunk of my life. Other than Microsoft Office, I can't think of any other app I've used consistently for that long