Monthly Archives: April 2008

can i have your attention, please?

What creates value: scarcity. Professional content is becoming a commodity in the age of digital. The volume of data is growing faster than our ability to capture and use it. According to Forrester Research, the world’s data doubles approximately every three years. TV shows, movies and newspaper articles are now competing for our attention with email, text messages, homemade videos and Flickr albums. Communications in all aspects of society ─ business, politics, education, non-profits ─ will have to get a lot better in order to be heard amid the din. Cranking out press releases and getting coverage in papers that not that many people read anymore is becoming increasingly ineffective. The economics of attention are becoming increasingly important.

Here’s another interesting thought from “Gin, Television, and Social Surplus” by Clay Shirky

Media in the 20th century was run as a single race–consumption. How much can we produce? How much can you consume? Can we produce more and you’ll consume more? And the answer to that question has generally been yes. But media is actually a triathlon, it ‘s three different events. People like to consume, but they also like to produce, and they like to share.

And what’s astonished people who were committed to the structure of the previous society, prior to trying to take this surplus and do something interesting, is that they’re discovering that when you offer people the opportunity to produce and to share, they’ll take you up on that offer. It doesn’t mean that we’ll never sit around mindlessly watching Scrubs on the couch. It just means we’ll do it less.


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and you thought YOU were burnt out?

Now, This is Campaign Fatigue by Jonathan Weisman
The Washington Post
Sunday, April 27, 2008; Page A01

The Clinton campaign has sent out 1,572 news releases since the beginning of the campaign in 2007, the Obama campaign 454.


“Not surprisingly, I think, you have the tiredness setting in, with people doing the exact same assignment they’ve been doing for a year, day in and day out,” said an Obama campaign adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, since other campaign aides would attest only to how spry they are all feeling these days.


The campaign has been punishing. On March 3, Clinton left her hotel at 5 a.m. to greet workers changing shifts at a Jeep plant in Toledo. From 7:30 to 8:40, she conducted interviews with Ohio and Texas media before she traveled to the University of Toledo. After her rally, she jetted off to Beaumont, Tex., for a 1:30 rally, then flew to Austin to tape a segment for “The Daily Show” at 5:15, then held a town hall meeting at 6:30, then a rally at 8:15, before flying to Houston, where she reached her hotel just after midnight.


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monday morning dance party!

I Can’t Wait” by Nu Shooz


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Do French women really get French manicures?

Will there ever be NEW superstars ever again … the kinds that we all know about? Would it be so terrible if there weren’t?

Does personal media mean people will live more … when they shape the worlds themselves instead of taking a package handed to them? When they live the movies and make the movies instead of just watching them?


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my balls!

phyll and i are seeing chris rock friday night at madison square garden. and i agree — if the beat’s alright she’ll dance all night.

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what’s an executive?

a few months back i was in an office with three alpha males under 40 … they nipped at eachother’s ears like frisky little puppies … it was exhausting to watch. the PR guy called the New Media guy an “executive,” to which the New Media guy took offense.

I’m not an executive!

labels matter. and over time i’ve come to the conclusion that New Media guy is a hollywood wannabe. a banker who wishes he were some sort of creative producer/director/shot caller. no one wants to be perceived as the type of heavy that inspires Medellin director Billy Walsh to wear his infamous tshirt. but we all want the dough and the ‘safety.’

Liz Lemmon goes Corporate


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do the dance

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” ─ Jerry Seinfeld

Public speaking can be terrifying. I sympathize with the speakers I work with … and understand why they get so nervous before speaking at a big event. When you go out there live and in person, you are vulnerable. You don’t control everything, and you can’t brute force your audience into agreeing with your point of view. You have to seduce them, and respond to their energy.

People respond favorably to speakers who are present, authentic, and authoritative without being arrogant. And to be authoritative without being arrogant, you have to prepare. Preparing requires thinking and reflecting on what you hope to achieve with the event, and what you want to convey. You also have to understand how the audience sees the world … and how they see you. Regardless of whether their perception is “accurate,” it’s the framework you have to work within.

Even if you have the best prep in the world (i.e. having col on the case), there are wildcards that can derail your best laid plans. In those cases, the best thing you can do is stay in the moment … go with it … do the dance.

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