Hey, it's great to be back in the saddle. For some reason, the network connection between GoDaddy and my ISP, Optimum Online, was glitching out somewhere, and as a result, I couldn't access my blog for a while. At any rate, here's the latest: On June 9, I'll be speaking at the CT Business Expo in Hartford. On June 14, I'll be speaking at the MarketingProfs B2B conference in Boston. It would be great to see you there!
Yesterday we drove up to New Haven to see an exhibition of portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence at the Yale Center for British Art. The exhibit and the paintings were absolutely amazing. The power of his artistry is even more impressive when you're standing directly in front of the paintings. Even if you don't have a chance to go, I recommend reading Sylviane Gold's excellent review of the exhibition.
Dave and I will be leading a workshop on B2B social media strategy at this excellent event in Boston next month! We look forward to chatting with you in person! And let's not forget beer! We look forward to having several beers with you!!!
If you're a diehard Rangers fan, check out this clip with footage from the 1971 Stanley Cup playoffs ... amazing!
My friend Hunter Muller has just launched a new blog, The Transformational CIO. The blog supports and extends the content in his new book of the same title. I urge you all to read the blog, and buy the book! If you're interested in corporate information technology strategy and operations, the book and the blog will definitely provide lots of useful insight, ideas and information. Enjoy!
For some reason, HBO was offering "Looking for Richard" on demand for free tonight, so we watched it, and of course, it was wonderful. It helps if you're a fan of Shakespeare's "Richard III" and you enjoy watching actors like Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey and Vanessa Redgrave talking about the play and acting scenes from it. Which got me thinking: Wouldn't it be great if there was a movie like this for every Shakespeare play? And why stop at Shakespeare? There should be a movie like this for every play or novel that's difficult to read or understand without someone (or a bunch of people) walking you through it and explaining what's going on.
And this, I suppose, gets to the heart of my beef with high school education: It's ridiculous to teach plays and novels that are beyond the reach of most students. If a high school kid is required to read "Richard III," or "Henry V" or "Moby Dick," there better be a qualified teacher on hand to explain the plot, the context, the author's intent, the stylistic nuances, etc. There are plenty of books that high school kids can read, such as "The Secret Life of Bees," "A Separate Peace," "Animal Farm" and "The Great Gatsby." But asking them to read practically anything by Shakespeare is almost guaranteeing an unpleasant experience -- unless the teacher has the ability to guide the kids through the play, scene by scene. Asking them to read a novel like "Moby Dick" is really asking for trouble, since most adults can't even get through it. I waited until I was 58 to tackle "Moby Dick," and I'm glad I did. It's a genuinely great book -- but I would never ask a teenager to read it. Or a twenty-something, for that matter.
And that's why I'm nominating Al Pacino for a MacArthur "genius" grant -- so he can make another movie like "Looking For Richard," and then another, and another ...
The new book has earned some great reviews in the past two weeks. Here's a quick overview of recent commentary: Tom Webster in Social Media Explorer, Alison Bolen in Conversations and Connections, and Jennifer Leggio and Rich Harris in Social Business (a ZDNet blog). There are also six highly favorable reviews of the book posted on Amazon. It's always nice when people say nice things about a book you've written. I guess that's the real reason -- and maybe the only reason -- that we keep writing!
Here's a great post by my old friend Mike Minelli that appears in GigaOM. Even if you're out of the dating game, it's still fascinating to read about how and why people choose dating partners, find romance, and all that good stuff! Happy Valentine's Day to all!
Now reading The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu, who makes a good case for the cyclical nature of communication markets. First you have invention, followed by anarchy, followed by increased control, followed by even more control, followed by monopolies, followed by new inventions that overturn the monopolies and launch the next cycle. I routinely tell my clients that now is the time to leverage the potential of social media -- not because social media has reached a perfect state, but because it's still virtually free. Give the network providers another couple of years and they'll figure out how to charge you for blogging. Now is the golden age of free social media -- make the most of it while it lasts.
Well, we put the new curtains up in time for Thanksgiving, and now we're slowly rolling through the rest of the holiday season. Fortunately, I have an adequate supply of my favorite single-malt Scotch on hand, and I look forward to welcoming the new year in a genuinely mellow fashion.
As some of you already know, my new book with a very long title, "The Executive's Guide to Enterprise Social Media Strategy: How Social Networks Are Radically Transforming Your Business," is due out in January. If you find it readable, please buy a copy for a friend. If you find it excruciating, please don't tell me.
At any rate, I'm just beginning a new book project on cloud computing. I promise that it will have a shorter and catchier title. And my name won't be on it, because I'm ghosting it for a very nice client. If anyone out there wants to add his or her two cents to the book, please contact me at your earliest. I look forward to chatting with you!