Monday, September 08, 2008

"All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions." George Bernard Shaw

"What praise is implied in the simple epithet useful! What reproach in the contrary." David Hume

"Life is like a game of poker: If you don't put any in the pot, there won't be any to take out." Moms Mabley

Today's image: Edge of the Earth by Zack Schnepf. Amazing. Thank you for sharing.

Let me bring two items to your attention. A must-see video by Malcolm Gladwell on hiring, here. The outstanding must-read piece in yesterday's NYT Magazine by Clive Thompson. I'm So Totally, Digitally Close to You...

“The current generation is never unconnected. They’re never losing touch with their friends. So we’re going back to a more normal place, historically. If you look at human history, the idea that you would drift through life, going from new relation to new relation, that’s very new. It’s just the 20th century.”

Psychologists and sociologists spent years wondering how humanity would adjust to the anonymity of life in the city, the wrenching upheavals of mobile immigrant labor — a world of lonely people ripped from their social ties. We now have precisely the opposite problem. Indeed, our modern awareness tools reverse the original conceit of the Internet. When cyberspace came along in the early ’90s, it was celebrated as a place where you could reinvent your identity — become someone new.

“If anything, it’s identity-constraining now,” Tufekci told me. “You can’t play with your identity if your audience is always checking up on you...“You know that old cartoon? ‘On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog’? On the Internet today, everybody knows you’re a dog! If you don’t want people to know you’re a dog, you’d better stay away from a keyboard.”

Read the entire article here.

Super-sizing sellers: Mel Taylor blogs about online revenue strategy for local media and he brings a wealth of practical experience to the subject. In his latest post Mel proffers the notion that you are better off with a team of "Super Sellers"...

"Competitors like Google, niche sites, directories and others, are looking to grow their local online share at the expense of Broadcast and Newspaper. Traditional media must leverage the assets that these players do not have at the local level: dominant reach, client relationships, sales force, marketing muscle, and a trusted brand."

Mel goes on to suggest a four point plan of action. Read Separate Web Sales...Or Super Sellers, here. Kudos, Mel. Well done. My sense is the most important point you make is ensuring that managers have the knowledge needed to lead the charge. In perhaps too many cases the managers don't know what they don't know. Accordingly, the first step in getting serious about developing multi-platform revenue is a rather radical one, learning to accept our ignorance. The second step is to foster experimentation. Give Mel's concept a go keeping in mind your focus should be on getting different not on getting better. Properly, the mission would seem to be one of changing your selling strategy rather than tweaking your current tactics of best practice.

HR is broken: Giving Mel credit for his approach, however, what will be required for his strategy to work is an investment in HRD (i.e., human resources development). As blogged here previously, media is not doing a good job of investing in training or development. The paradox is at a time when there is a great abundance of resources available there is a scarcity of dollars chasing those resources. I know of a smart station exec who is paying their own way through the RAB Digital course. This type of self-improvement investment tends to be the uncommon and rare exception. It seems to me that until the CEO recognizes and respects the critical importance of reinventing or at least rebooting HR and HRD making progress at the local level will continue to be be very difficult. Did you watch the Malcolm Gladwell video? The one mentioned above, first in today's post. You should. It's about hiring and will get you thinking. You should revisit your hiring process. What's your new hire batting average? If you really want to gain a sustainable competitive advantage invest in your people, especially now when others are not. The ROI is exceptional.

The job market, a new definition: PaidInterviews, a new site in the employment space, launches later today. Sarah Perez provides an advance overview here. Bravos, Sarah! She makes an excellent point that sites in the job vertical are boring. Just checked Monster for the first time in years and they're playing the same old tunes. Good luck to the PaidInterviews team.

Stay tuned: Katalyst Media, the Ashton Kutcher + Jason Goldberg venture, bows blahgirls. In the words of the Joker, Why so serious? Should one of the girls be smiling?

Bonus: 280 Slides - Create and share presentations online. Free.

Have a great week. Making something amazing happen!

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