Has Chris Anderson Crossed to the Dark Side?

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Last week, Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief for Wired Magazine and author of The Long Tail and Free, took a trip to the Dark Side. In doing so, he introduced a 689354_27523471_gothic_stairs_royalty_free_stock_xchng_300cavalcade of fascinating concepts, revealed an insider’s secret fear and scared the you-know-what out of a cadre of faithful fans. What did he say? More importantly, why did he say it? Most urgently, does this portend a change no one wants to see?

Speaking at RIT’s “The Future of Reading” conference, Anderson offered no apologies for the apparent decline in the publishing industry – he pointed out Conde Nast, his employer, had sales growth in 2009 despite the record industry downturn. Further, he added these two choice morsels: “books still work” and “the web FAILed.”

Actually, in the case of the latter, Anderson referred to his own magazine’s site, which generates precious little cash flow for his company. You could envision him shudder as Continue Reading “Has Chris Anderson Crossed to the Dark Side?”

Sex Doesn’t Sell! (But it Does!) – Book Review of David Ogilvy’s Ogilvy on Advertising

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ogilvy_on_advertising_250Ever since Bewitched I always fancied myself an adman. The glamour. The excitement. The rush of adrenaline as the client smiles and accepts your big idea that just oozes with creativity. The beautiful wife who summons up your every delight with an alluring twinkle of her nose. Ah, what a life…

I never did end up in the field, but I’ve spent the better part of my life marketing one thing or another. You have to do that whether you’re an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur, whether you’re working in a non-profit or for-profit organization and, most especially, if you volunteer for a community organization. So when the man hailed by Time Magazine as “the most sought-after wizard in the advertising business” published a virtual how-to book on the subject (indeed, six of the first ten chapter titles contain the phrase “how to”), you just know I’m buying it and absorbing every single word.

Continue Reading “Sex Doesn’t Sell! (But it Does!) – Book Review of David Ogilvy’s Ogilvy on Advertising

Day 28 – December 11, 2009 (Fri): Create a Second Timeline

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 156 Followers: 147 Listed: 9

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 27 – December 10, 2009 (Thu): Have Fun!

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Do you love watching classic movies? I mean movies that have withstood the test of time. Made more than 25 years ago (that would be 1984 for all you Orwellians in cyberspace), you can still view them in their entirety to this day and still not notice the ravages of time. Perhaps you’ve seen a particular magical scene over and over, but its message resonates as if eyed for the very first time. Wouldn’t it be great to pass these moments on to the next generation? After all, whether we admit it or not, these cinematic features have framed our lives. They’ve become a legacy for us to will to our young.

But, what do adolescents think of classic movies? Without the benefit of our years of living, will they take away the same meaning? Will the aged reels of celluloid unwind the same emotional response in them? I’ve finally figured out a way to discover this once and for all. Would you like to me to share it with you?

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A Spoonful of MSG – A Review of Seth Godin’s Tribes

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Somewhere in the middle of Tribes, Seth Godin writes of the blog msg150.com (under the heading “Three Hungry Men and a Tribe,” pages 62-63 in my 2008 Portfolio (Penguin Group) 10th edition). As the author puts it, “This blog is obsessively chronicling every restaurant in a sixteen-block square of Seattle.” Leaving aside the unnecessary use of the passive, let’s focus on the meat of this particular reference. It turns out, most of the restaurants covered by msg150.com carry Asian cuisine. And you know what they say: Chinese food fills you up quickly, but, a half hour later, you’re hungry again.”

I can think of no better epitaph for the book Tribes, the eleventh book by the bestselling author of Purple Cow and The Dip.

Tribes CoverNow, don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to disparage the book. Far from it. I consider Tribes a must read for reasons I hope to make clear. More to the point, I’m not going to begrudge someone born five days before me, possibly even in the same hospital. Quite simply, I’m merely going to follow his instructions (“Fear of Failure is Overrated,” pp 46-48) and offer some constructive criticism.

First, if you’re new to the whole Web 2.0 and social media thing, Tribes represents perhaps the easiest entrée into the embracing concept behind this innovative world. It’s easy to read. I finished it in just a few hours despite the many interruptions and distractions of a relatively free Saturday (let’s see, that would include one Boy Scout Training class, Saturday Mass and my daughter’s high school drama production). The book contains very little jargon – or at least very little of the kind of jargon that might scare neophytes away.

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