Jolie O'Dell recently posted in Facebook that she sometimes has a difficult time understanding people on the phone. Her post sparked a lively conversation, and it reminded me of the strange way that our brains work. For example, when I was a child, the numbers one through twenty and most letters of the alphabet (and even some words) had distinct personalities, genders and colors in my mind whenever I saw them ... now I just see numbers, letters and words ... it's OK, but sometimes I miss my childhood ability to create vivid hallucinations around graphic images ... and around music ... on the other hand, I'm happy it doesn't happen while I'm driving or trying to finish a manuscript on deadline ...
Had a wonderful time at the CT Business Expo in Hartford. Enjoyed chatting with lots of very nice people who seemed really interested in learning about social media. A big "thank you" to the excellent sound techs who loaned me a laptop for my afternoon workshop on "industrial strength" social media strategy. The room was hot and the audience was tired, but the PowerPoint slides kept them awake. Sometimes PowerPoint is a good thing, after all!
This Tuesday, David B. Thomas and I will be leading a panel at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston. Should be fun!
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!