Tuesday, March 05, 2013

"You shouldn't get attached to a feature set. You should get attached to a problem you’re solving." Caterina Fake

"If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original." Sir Ken Robinson

"If you are not prepared to be fired over your beliefs...you are working on the wrong project." Tom Peters

Today's image: This Little Banksy Bird Can Sing. By Thomas Hawk Great capture of a Banksy in San Francisco. You can view a Banksy set by Thomas, here. As always, thanks for sharing, Thomas.

Welcome back. So good to see you again. It's been too long since I first knew it had been too long.

Allow me to invite your attention to this must-see video. The Art of Asking, a simply wonderful talk by Amanda Palmer. Thank me later.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"The schism between content creators and platforms like Kickstarter, Tumblr and YouTube is generational. It's people who grew up on the Web versus people who still don't use it. In Washington, they simply don't see the way that the Web has completely reconfigured society across classes, education and race. The Internet isn't real to them yet." Yancey Strickler

"Entrepreneurs need to be reminded that it's not the job of their customers to know what they don't. In other words, your customers have a tough enough time doing their jobs." Mark Cuban

"We believe that America is at a major digital turning point. Simply, we find tremendous benefits in online technology, but we also pay a personal price for those benefits. The question is: how high a price are we willing to pay?" Jeffrey Cole

Today's image: An Eye for Art by Rich Miller Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Lot's of exciting things happening. Thought I would share some interesting things I've found on the way to finding other interesting things. First, this wonderful commercial for the Guardian's open journalism initiative which imagines how the Guardian might cover the story of the Three Little Pigs in print and online.

"Who decides what gets sold in the bookstore?" Seth Godin on what's happening and not happening in the book trade. He raises important issues that deserve attention and discussion. You may find the writing here and while you're there do click through and read his new Stop Stealing Dreams manifesto. Also recommended: INTERVIEW: Seth Godin on Libraries, Literary Agents and the Future of Publishing as We Know It, here

Two reads about the dead tree gang. The Collapse of Print Advertising in 1 Graph - Derek Thompson via The Atlantic, here. The latest findings from Tom Rosenstiel and team - Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism - are available. Read How Newspapers are Faring Trying to Build Digital Revenue here

Here are two good reads, I enjoyed both.

David Weinberger. Amazon info

Gary Hamel. Amazon info

I'm preordered and awaiting the new Jonah Lehrer. Amazon info

Bravos: The Flipboard team continue to do exceptional work, their iPhone app is tight and I highly recommend it. Slate debuts the Slate Book Review, a new monthly Dave Winer, the uber-cool ace of blogging (and other innovation including RSS) marks 15 years of Scripting News, here We can all learn something from Dave.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Paul Gallis
1924 - 2012

Paulie Gallis was an original, a charming bigger-than-life character, a force of nature. All who had the good fortune to know him would agree, Paulie was different, a remarkable personality like no other, he was simply unforgettable. He was the affable Greek endowed with street smarts from his salad days on the hardscrabble side of Chicago. A self-made man, Paulie's endearing persona conquered all. Smitten in his youth by the bright lights of the entertainment industry, he talked his way into show business. He got in the game working for tips, running errands and doing other valet tasks for performers, vaudevillians, that played the legendary Chicago Theatre. Serving others became his life's work. He earned a sterling reputation for his uncommon dedication to clients as well as the selfless hard work, persistence, and enthusiasm he invested in every project.

Perhaps Paulie's greatest gift was his great love of life. He loved people and could be counted on to find the pure joy in every day, the hidden good in every situation. Joie de vivre! It was within his power to change the climate of any room he entered, his ability to read and work a room was peerless. Moreover, Gallis engaged all unconditionally as equals. He was as comfortable in the company of strangers as he was with his superstar clientele. He treated the unknown pick up musician and the wannabe vocalist with the same grace, respect, interest and good manners he'd routinely shown Tony Bennett and his many other famous clients and friends.

In the too often brutally competitive, harsh world of record promotion Paulie Gallis was the outlier. Known for his always refreshing sense of humor and easy going style, Gallis got the job done but he did it his way. Ever the gentleman, he is remembered as "sweet" and "nice" rare qualities indeed in the music promotion trade. He cared seriously about the work at hand however he also cared deeply about the people involved in that work. Generous to a fault, Paulie Gallis gave his name and countless hours of work to projects which offered little if any promise of a return. Kind and thoughtful, he was a mensch, the class act that made a difference whenever he was involved.

An unabashed evangelist of all things Chicago, Paulie was an exceptional and vocal advocate for the unsung greatness of his beloved Third Coast, that so-called Second City. When a label head offered him a major executive post which would have required his leaving the flatland and moving to the west coast, the now famous Gallis rejoinder was "If I feel the need to look at mountains I'll buy a can of Folgers Coffee."

Of course, no writing about Paulie would be complete without his unique calling card - those little yellow stickers he placed on the black vinyl he promoted. Truth be told, those stickers are the subject of many a good story. From Billboard's Claude Hall discovering one that just appeared on the door of his Sunset Boulevard office to rival promoters finding a THANKS from Paulie plainly visible above the coin collection basket of their home exit on the Illinois Tollway. Truly, Gallis was a savvy world-class promoter.

I feel blessed to have known Paulie Gallis, honored and humbled to say he was my dear friend. I love this incredible man and miss him much. We'll not again see his like. Sui generis. Paulie would not appreciate this writing because it's all about him and over the many years I knew him it was never about him. He wouldn't allow it. What he enjoyed was talking about others, especially his family and friends. He invariably preferred the conversation filled with genuine concern, interest, curiosity and appreciation about what everyone else was doing. As he often said to me "We're here to help other people. Who have you helped today?"

Paul Gallis photo courtesy of Fred Winston

Monday, November 07, 2011

"It’s harder to imagine the past that went away than it is to imagine the future. What we were prior to our latest batch of technology is, in a way, unknowable. It would be harder to accurately imagine what New York City was like the day before the advent of broadcast television than to imagine what it will be like after life-size broadcast holography comes online. But actually the New York without the television is more mysterious, because we’ve already been there and nobody paid any attention. That world is gone." William Gibson

“Content is always shaped by the container.” Robert Tercek

"Productive paranoia is the ability to be hyper-vigilant about potentially bad events that can hit your company and then turn that fear into preparation and clearheaded action." Morten T. Hansen

Today's image: Afternoon sun by Fred Winston. Great shot. Thanks for sharing.

Welcome to the countdown. The waning days of 2011. The stage setting days which serve as the 2012 prologue. All the best to you, may you deliver your 2011 numbers and then some.

My thought is these are some of the most important issues for 2012. They deserve your attention, consideration, study, discussion and critical thinking. Thereafter, decisive action is required.

Revenue development
Metrics (Related: Dashboard Design)

In the coming weeks I'll blog about each issue.

On mobile, let me suggest too few media properties have made the investment required to create a solid mobile version of their website. In 2012, this is no longer optional, it's not a luxury or a nice-to-have, a mobile version of your site will be required for you to stay competitive. Having an app is fine, however, it is simply not a substitute for a great mobile version of your site.

This past week, Google began asking if you're "READY TO GO MO?" They've launched a mobile initiative that you may use to learn more about what it takes to be mobile-friendly and you may also test your site's mobility, here.

Believing it important to eat my own dog food, I was able, with Google's help, to launch the mobile version of N=1 this past summer.

Wanted: leadership in sales innovation and revenue development. Two recent exhibits of the ongoing revenue crisis in both donation-supported and ad-supported media. This round, it's broadcast television, public and commercial.

In harm's way: Ebert Presents At The Movies. Roger Ebert writes "Unless we find an angel, our television program will go off the air at the end of its current season. There. I've said it. Usually in television, people use evasive language. Not me. We'll be gone. I want to be honest about why this is. We can't afford to finance it any longer."  The show is cleared in all of the top 50 markets by public stations. Affiliates get the show for free. It's produced at WTTW in Chicago and distributed by American Public Television (APT). The catch? Roger is the only source of funding. They have been unable to attract the underwriting needed to cover costs. Tragic. Read Roger's column, here.

Sales Couldn't Sell "The Simpsons" by Fred Jacobs via jacoBLOG

Bonus: Radio programming ace, Mark Edwards blogs about the first tribe of wireless. Is Local Radio Dead? In Some Ways It Is, But Owners Don't Know It Yet, here

Monday, October 31, 2011

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions." Naguib Mahfouz

"Scientists are explorers, philosophers are tourists." Richard Feynman

"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." Steve Jobs

Today's image: Wet Tracks by Thomas Hawk. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

Happy Halloween! During my annual the doc told me I had to lay off the boos.

Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore?

With thanks to Carole King, let me suggest that in the massive, ongoing sea change that is digital disruption, few of us are staying in one place anymore. Consider this proffer: Your media consumption, your behavior, will be as different five years from today as your behavior today is from what it was ten years ago. Your media production, your acts of creation and those of everyone have been assisted, enabled in truly profound ways.

Let's take one of the moving parts: social networks. Facebook and Twitter are first generation platforms. Both have made a significant impact. Both enjoy global reach. Both are building a business, a brand, without the need to invest resources in traditional marketing channels (i.e., advertising). In fact, ad-supported measured media have been the aggressive, albeit unpaid, promotional partners of both. "We all need to spend more time on Facebook" opined Tom Webster, Edison Research's Vice President, Strategy and Marketing (and their resident social scholar). Of course, Tom's right. Last week, Jacob Media's Lori Lewis and Fred Jacobs issued a clarion call about social, Time Suck: "...it's time to adapt to a multi-channel environment and study the motivations behind each channel. Or simply get left behind..."

Nobody stays in one place anymore.

Occasionally I hear from folks kind enough to ask me why I'm not blogging any longer. It's a fair question given 200+ posts a year appeared in this space during 2006, 2007 and 2008. Recent years not so much. 54 posts in 2009, 13 in 2010 and, with this, 8 posts so far this year. The quick answer is I'm still sharing my thoughts but not in this one place anymore. For example, 3 years, 7 months and 15 days ago I began posting on Twitter. My guess is I'm sharing far more on Twitter than I was ever able to share here because I can tweet a real-time link to something just read. Moreover, I can do that on the fly without my laptop or desk top via a hand-held device. The sense of time and space has changed dramatically in recent years.

This is not to suggest blogs are dead or on the way out. Nonsense. My take: there are more and better blogs than there have ever been and I have a reader full of unread posts to prove it. The signal to noise ratio is also greatly improved because our tuning tools are better. As Nathan Jurgenson wrote just yesterday "Social media is like radio: It all depends on how you tune it." [Why Chomsky is wrong about Twitter] My sense is there's nothing wrong with the fire hose. Shirky was right. What we have is a filter problem.

Some might say I have over-shared on Twitter. 36,396 tweets and counting. Guilty, not every tweet has been a gem worthy of a retweet. Let me also say I love to blog and will continue to use this space to share thoughts that require more space and time. This blog isn't dead, yet. It has simply become only one of the places where I'm living out loud. Humblebrag: I'm told my smiling clown Twitter account ranks 107,373 out of the 10,999,157 scored by grader.com so I'm closing in on breaking into the exclusive five figures club.

While I'm not able to comment on the veracity of such rankings or grades, it's interesting to note Grader's Top 100 Twitter Elite includes only three American media outlets. Fox News at #14. Huffington Post Washington bureau at #18. New York Times at #76. The list is dominated by individuals. This seems to hold true across DMA after DMA. Media, broadcasters especially, should be doing a much better job. Congrats to Thomas Clifford, my Twitter pal from Appleton, Wisconsin. He's ranked #9 and lives by the motto "Find out what sucks and don't do that."

Want to gain solid insight into the emergent metrics of social? In my experience, the go-to-guy on social media data is the aforementioned Tom Webster. You may find his blog, brandsavant, here.

Doing business in 2011 without having some kind of personal digital presence (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog) is equivalent to trying to do business in 1990 without a telephone number or fax machine or claiming you're competitive in business ten years ago without having an email account. Table stakes. What's changing is not only the cost of doing business but the resources required to be and stay competitive in business. New devices are also changing consumer behaviors. Example: Amazon is offering a tablet which, it may be argued, is a personalized point of sale device. The prospective impacts of social commerce are magnitudes of net force larger than the changes brought about so far by today's nascent social networks.

Identity is being redefined

Who are you on the web? Used to be having email was enough. Now, Facebook, Google, Twitter and players to be named, are in a battle to own the so-called identity space. Twitter, being asymmetrical, gained an early edge over symmetrical Facebook but Zuck changed it up adding the asymmetric feature "Subscribe." It's the Wild West, no standards yet for "social authentication." It's an important issue. Stay tuned.

It's the dawn of this digital disruption. The best is yet to come. My suggestion is we'll look back on 2011 someday soon and laugh about how lame, crude all of these early platforms really were. But in the meantime, in between time, the conversation is happening with or without you so it's important to get into the game. Now more than ever, your assets must be digital, discoverable and ready to share. Be yourself. Have fun. Share.

Another example of being in more than one place. This is a must-read not shared here last month but via my posterous. Speaking at Social Media Week - Chicago, the great media critic Robert Feder said...

"...It's about engaging the reader and that's one aspect of it but it's an important part of the new media and the world that we're in and that didn't happen in old media, that didn't happen at the Sun-Times. We wrote our piece, we went home, that was it. It was a monologue delivered and that was the end of the process...people, younger people in particular, are engaged in all media they consume and that includes news and journalism and they want to be able to react, they want to be able to use it in different ways, and that's what we're affording them the opportunity to do. I'm just setting the table, I'm starting the conversation every day and what happens out there is up to the people who read it."

Emphasis above (bold) mine. Robert speaks of a fundamental change. From delivering a monologue to starting a conversation. The difference is engagement. Once upon a time print writers heard from readers when readers had taken the time to call or write a letter to them or the editor. Letters, delivered a day or so after, may or may not have been edited and published. We didn't get to read the mail of the newspaper writer. Today we do and find it odd if the ability to comment fails to follow an online writing.

Robert offered many interesting and important points during his talk, here's another:

To me, you should never take your eye off the quality of the content, that's what matters

The play's the thing. It was ever thus. Read more excerpts from Robert's thought-provoking appearance, here.

Refresh: The People Formerly Known as the Audience, written by Jay Rosen in the summer of 2006, deserves a fresh reading, here.

Cool, new, on: findings  chime.in  Pinterest

Bonus: Patrick LaForge on the new "Generation Gap" via Google+, here

Video: "Studies show that sketching and doodling improve our comprehension - and our creative thinking. Sunni Brown makes the case for unlocking your brain via pad and pen." I highly recommend her book, Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers [Amazon info]