Saturday, March 12, 2011

Visual Explanation for the Failure of Traditional Media

7:00 p.m. EST Saturday, March 12, 2011

MSNBC Online (

MSNBC on my teevee:

Compare and contrast ...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meetups, Tweetups and Burning Man

On Saturday I’ll be leading a discussion with some of the Tri-State’s most prominent social media voices at the March round-up of New Media Cincinnati.

NMC is a group of professionals, students, special interest bloggers, activists, consultants, freelancers … you name it who share a passion for connecting and sharing with other people in social media channels.

In real life.


We’ll be talking about social media tragedies – deserved and otherwise – but what’s important is that we’ll be talking face-to-face.

But why do we do these things? With Facebook and the Twitter machine and especially Skype and such, really, the Gathering is hardly necessary anymore.

For all the wonders of modern technology humans have an innate desire to be with people like them, people with a shared experience (your awkward family Thanksgivings notwithstanding). We are chromosomally programmed to congregate. Not to herd, but to gather and share knowledge, trade ideas and connect.

Late each summer, 50,000 people who share a common identity gather in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada to build a city that lasts exactly eight days. From the Monday before to Labor Day, artists, nudists, self-expressionists and other opt-in non-conformists pay $200 or more to be with folks like themselves. They can be freaks at home, so why do they fly and drive to a remote desert mesa?

To gather and share knowledge, trade ideas and connect.

These are people who choose to engage in unusual hobbies or to live alternative lifestyles 365 days a year. But for eight days, they’re normal. They’re with their own.


I have a few friends participating in a similar ritual in Austin this weekend. They will, I hope, go home to their respective communities (online or otherwise) with knowledge and ideas to share.

Aside: If you’re interested in New Media Cincinnati event, I should warn you this will not be the standard preso model of #CincySM events. It’s a discussion and I hope to learn a heckuva lot more than I teach.

Image cred

Monday, January 17, 2011

Leadership, Dr. King and, The Drum Major Instinct

And what will you do when you get there?

I was honored to be a part of the Martin Luther King Legacy Awards breakfast with my colleagues from Powers Agency this morning. By “a part,” of course I mean that I sat there and drank their coffee and ate their turkey sausage.

And applauded. A lot. And almost cried a couple of times, but enough about me.

At the end of the program, one of the honorees, Mr. Barron Witherspoon, presented an excerpt from one of the last sermons Martin Luther King delivered: The Drum Major Instinct.

In short, it’s about our (very human) need to be important and draw attention to ourselves. I swear, it’s not an indictment of actual drum majors.

Ambition is a good thing. There’s great common good in the incentive people have to improve themselves, their lives.

But on its own … without another objective …

Many people aspire to leadership positions for status.

Others for prestige.

Even more to satisfy the expectations they have for themselves or those of their families.

There is no shortage of people who want to be in charge … who want to sit in the big chair and make the tough decisions. But before they aspire to that position, they (and those who might put them there) need to ask, “Why?”

What would you actually DO if you were in charge tomorrow?

Leadership requires vision. It’s not enough to be able to read a compass or find your position on a map.

So: Where is your ship headed?