Community Action


Well it certainly has not been the holiday I expected. For those of you who have been wondering why there has been deafening silence here … it is NOT due to holidays, but rather to misfortune. Rather than recite the story, please visit here. But briefly, my father-in-law was involved in a very serious cycling accident … he is recovering slowly, but it has been a very emotional time (I am sure you can imagine).

I would like to thank all my friends and the many others who have left their best wishes — in particular, CK, David, Ann, Paul, Luc, Marcus, Tim, Gianandrea, Mack, Tammy (c’mon Tammy get a blog), Lewis, Greg and Cam.

Sharing Ze Santa Love

love & santa
Originally uploaded by joujoubee.

Mack Collier’s Z-Lister meme keeps going from strength to strength … it not only generates a lot of interlinking and connecting of networks, but is also unearthing some FANTASTIC blogs and interesting personalities.

I have been spending some time just tracking down the links to you all and have been so excited at what I have found. It just goes to show that more is MORE.

Of course, in the spirit of further sharing the love, Mack has consolidated as many of the links as he can and has asked for them to be reposted. So here they are (plus some more of my personal favourites that I hadn’t added previously).

Also hope you enjoy your holiday reading!

Creative Think
Movie Marketing Madness
Blog Till You Drop!
Get Shouty!
One Reader at a Time
Critical Fluff
The New PR
Own Your Brand!
Work, in Plain English
Buzz Canuck
New Millenium PR
Pardon My French
Troy Worman’s Blog
The Instigator Blog
Diva Marketing
Marketing Hipster
The Marketing Minute
Funny Business
The Frager Factor
Open The Dialogue
Word Sell
Note to CMO:
That’s Great Marketing!
Shotgun Marketing Blog
Customers Rock!
Being Peter Kim
Pow! Right Between The Eyes! Andy Nulman’s Blog About Surprise
Billions With Zero Knowledge
Working at Home on the Internet
MapleLeaf 2.0
Two Hat Marketing

The Engaging Brand
The Branding Blog
Drew’s Marketing Minute
Golden Practices
Tell Ten Friends
Flooring the Consumer
Kinetic Ideas
Unconventional Thinking
Conversation Agent
The Copywriting Maven
Hee-Haw Marketing
Scott Burkett’s Pothole on the Infobahn
Multi-Cult Classics
Logic + Emotion
Branding & Marketing
Popcorn n Roses
On Influence & Automation
Servant of Chaos
Presentation Zen
Dmitry Linkov
John Wagner
Nick Rice
CKs Blog
Design Sojourn
Frozen Puck
The Sartorialist
Small Surfaces
Africa Unchained


Marketing Nirvana
Bob Sutton
¡Hola! Oi! Hi!
Shut Up and Drink the Kool-Aid!
Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together
Community Guy
Social Media on the fly
Jeremy Latham’s Blog
SMogger Social Media Blog
Serial Thoughts
Exit Creative
Shake Well Before Use
Conformists Unite

Marcus Brown

Fabricating Online Memories

Happy Memories
Originally uploaded by doc18.

I remember seeing someone in a crowd and thinking to myself, “well I haven’t seen her for ages!”. So I walked over to her, smiling, catching her eye and attention. We were only steps apart and I can remember being happy … pleased to be reconnecting. I just couldn’t remember the LAST time I saw her …


The woman I was smiling at, who was smiling, strangely back at me was not a long lost friend, but a newsreader on TV. I quickly readjusted my line of vision, waved at the bartender directly over her shoulder and ordered a martini. BOY I needed a drink!

I have often wondered how this happens. Then I saw this great post by Helen … on the 5 things meme … explaining her inability to distinguish between blog reality and … well whatever world she lives in 😉 And then the answer turns up on Diana’s blog — serial thoughts — with some great research into the effectiveness of interactive websites. Check it out … it is fascinating!



The Book of Lost Books
Originally uploaded by IVSTINIANVS.

When I began seriously studying English in high school, I fell in love with the word onamatapoeia. It was a word that you could roll around your mouth … and its meaning … well I am sure you know.

My interest in more hardcore learning had been stimulated by a friend of our family … a woman who appeared to my young eyes, to be a cosmopolitan person of the world. Her house was filled to the brim with books on art and Chinese culture — sections of rooms were petitioned off with silk scrolls and her furniture was black lacquered wood. There were statues of buddha, Turkish rugs on the floor and the pervasive smell of cigar smoke. And when she stepped out onto the streets of my beachside suburb, she did so in patent leather high heels and jackets trimmed with faux fur.

She looked out of place in these bright, sun-drenched streets … and yet she was also part of them. You see, she and her family had been living in the neighbourhood for years — everyone knew her and loved her. She was fun and wielded her wicked sense of humour as if it was a sharp cane to beat the mediocre and mundane. In Australian parlance, she was known as "a character".

Each Friday I would arrive home from school to find her and my Nanna sharing a bottle of champagne or wine. They would be laughing and telling stories, trying on new clothes and prancing around our living room like queens. Sometimes, for a treat, we would order Chinese takeaway food and laugh into the night.

It is the sound of her laughing that I remember most … and her smiling eyes, but it is another sound that I am hearing now, as I write. You see, the world is a quieter place with her recent passing. I found out last night that she had died and been quickly buried. I was saddened to realise that I had missed a chance to say goodbye or "thanks" or to celebrate her life with others who loved her.

But most of all, I am sad to know that one story has drawn to an end, and that part of my own — a small part of my own life story — has also been lost. I guess that is the way of the world. But in writing this small remembrance of a wonderful woman, perhaps she will live, not just for me, but in the imaginations of whoever chances to read this.

Her name was Ona.

Standing out in a sea

Santa crowd surf
Originally uploaded by gdanny.

Everyone is blogging about the new credibility offered to us all by the TIME magazine "person of the year" cover story. Mack Collier counts 1300 — which is quite a sphere of influence! But Mack also has a great post analysing and questioning the outcomes of this new found profile. Now, I don’t really want to contribute to this debate as there is plenty already out there

But Tara over at HorsePigCow has an article that runs in parallel to this. She is talking about "getting in front of a parade", and while her post has a slightly different focus, this rang a bell for me in relation to TIME.

Indeed, it was the first few questions that Tara herself asked:

What does it mean to get in front of a parade? Why not just join in? Why not just watch from the sidelines, trying to understand the meaning of the march?

This is what TIME has done. They don’t seek to know or understand or really ENGAGE in social media — at this stage they do not need to. They are just providing some navigation aids for an audience who need it while having some blog love rub off on THEM at the same time. What that means is that TIME can stand out in that sea of red.

OK … I loved this photo and couldn’t resist using it!

Need Work?

Need Work?
Originally uploaded by Alistair Howard.

Matching job seekers with future employers must be challenging. Whenever I meet a recruiter I am always fascinated by them … they would require an interesting mix of skills, a dedication to sales and an ease with people that pushes, cajoles and encourages. They also need to be excellent networkers.

So it comes as no surprise to see Guy Kawasaki opening his own job board. But this is a job board with a difference. Guy puts his credentials out there for all to see right up-front — find out about his traffic, his audience demographic, and even get instant feedback from his audience via the comments. And, of course, Guy is hugely influential and could boast (should he want to) many leading business figures from the US and around the world, making this new job board an instant challenger in the recruitment market.

What I find quite fascinating (oh ok I know I am currently "fascinated" by sooo many things) is the way entrepreneurs such as Guy Kawasaki are using blogs to quickly spin-off and test new business ideas. The ones that are able to gain an immediate audience work, while others that fail simply disappear. It reminds me of the way TV channels promote their own shows … with good, connected and contextual linkage and targeted advertising. Now I am thinking "The Kawasaki Blog Reality TV Show" … starring … well you (and if you don't believe me, check a copy of TIME magazine — when do they ship to Australia?).

Searching for a Patent

You really need patience when searching for patents. It is fiddly, time consuming and, to be frank, quite boring. The same can be said for trade mark searching, company name searching and even Internet domain name searching.

Often, what looks like a “similar” invention on paper or in the headline can turn out, in the full view of things, to be something completely different. Hopefully, Google’s new patent search engine will make all our lives easier.

We live in hope!


Life Begins at 40 — Second Life at 20

Lynette has more clever thinking bouncing around Flickr … and I was drawn first of all to this one featuring Rupert Murdoch, but then found this other that captured my imagination a little more ruthlessly. The two quotes are conceptually related, and Lynette nails it with the explanation:

There used to be all this talk of the “digital divide” and it was between the haves & the have-nots in terms of what they could afford. But I think there is an even bigger gulf in mindset between the generations. It’s the difference between “digital natives” and “digital immigrants”.

Even those of us who are immersed or engaged with the Interweb on a daily basis are only first wave immigrants. We walk around with our online passports claiming early adopter status for Amazon, Yahoo, Google et al; we write blogs, MySpace pages and update our LinkedIn profiles. We think we have seen it all and know where it will go.

But the very fact that we know the NAMES of these devices and sites tells us that we are wrong — because our tired old twentieth century brains are built for obsolescence. The WAYS of thinking we have wired into our brains through the mishmash of culture, genetics and repeat patterning have ensured both our success and our future failure. Sure, we have been able to smash through barriers to innovation in the business and political worlds while opening new markets; we have seen the opening of China, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the death (but not trial) of Pinochet, the end of Apartheid … we had many of the right thinkers and participants just at the right time. But then, humankind always has done — we are always "of our time".

And this is precisely why people over 30 have a degree of difficulty grasping the fundamentals of digital identities — because, dear (old) friends, our time is past and passing. We are not of the present because our victories are already in the past. There may, of course, be other successes — perhaps grander than those of web 1.0 still due to us, and we may all be able to still have the times of our lives — but innovation for us now must focus around the application of knowledge and learning — even if that knowledge and learning points back to the foundations of postmodernism.

The fragmented postmodern identity that we have known and loved in its forlorn, empowered and schizophrenic manifestations is slowly, but surely, ceding its energy to the coming generation. Many will not mourn its passing while others will insist on its primacy — citing the role of history, the importance of "this" or "that" and the continual reassertion of the dominant paradigm.

Me? I think there may just be something in the Nintendo Brain Game … and opt for continuous learning. The sheer fact that I tried to iignore blogging, social media and Web 2.0 for years rings warning bells for me — but I am not yet ready to give in. They used to say that life begins at 40 … and while that may be uncomfortably close, I could easily have a Second Life who is 20. And while I may be virtually young again, I doubt I will again share in the reckless intelligence that made my 20s so much fun.


Walking Up Smart Street

Paul Street, EC2
Originally uploaded by Homemade.

I am fascinated by stories and by storytelling and I seek them out wherever I go.

When I meet new people I ask lots of questions … about who they are, where they are from, about their family and where they grew up. And the more questions I ask the more intrigued I become. But this is not true of all people … some of us are shy, or reserved, or just not comfortable in telling our stories.

And when you meet someone with a blog, whether online or off, one of the first things you do is take a look around. As with most things, first impressions count … what do they say, where do they hang out (who is on their blogroll), what are their interests, pet peeves or passions? In many ways you are walking around their neighbourhoods.

When I first met Paul I was impressed with his writing and his frankness. I was amazed at how he would seem to carelessly throw his words around only to find them hanging suspiciously with great ideas. And I loved his sequencing … like a storyboard — with pictures, art and ideas meshing to multiply meaning.

There are many aspects of Paul’s storytelling style that mark him out from the rest of us amateurs. He disarms his readers quickly, with sincerity and simplicity, he invites us into his story and flatters us with words and battered eyelids. And he slaps us, wakes us and cajoles us … and if that doesn’t work … shames us, into listening, swallowing and acting upon the ideas he gives away for free.

He has many great examples of this over at his blog … but if you haven’t seen it yet, Paul has an article over at BMA. He may not always be walking up Madison Avenue, but a tour of Paul Street is one you will come back to again and again. Congrats Smartypants!