Modernizers, Preservationists and Innovation | By Tim Kastelle & John Steen

In contrast, the Modernizers embrace dynamism:

Dynamism, by contrast, requires ongoing leaps of faith since we must continuously embrace, or at least accept, the fundamental uncertainty of social / technological change. I love the scene at the end of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” [clip below] where Indy has to make the “leap of faith” and step out onto a walkway that doesn’t appear to be there at first. It’s a useful way of thinking about how we must sometimes approach life in the Digital Age.

Finally, he explains why he sides with the Modernizers:

It’s just amazing how fast disruptive innovation unfolds on the digital frontier. Again, no one knows what lies around the corner next. But if we were to adopt the “preservationist” mentality, we might never find out. We have to continue to be willing to take little leaps of faith each day. It’s vital that we embrace evolutionary dynamism and leave a broad sphere for continued experimentation by individuals and organizations alike…

Anuncios

By Tim Kastelle & John Steen
http://timkastelle.org/blog/2010/10/modernizers-preservationists-and-innovation/

Adam Therrier wrote a terrific post today exploring his ongoing major theme comparing internet optimists and pessimists. He has written a series of very interesting posts assessing the arguments of the pessimists that think that the impact of the internet on society is generally bad (e.g. Nick Carr, Andrew Keen, Jaron Lanier), and the optimists that think that the internet is transformational, and positive (e.g. Clay Shirky, Kevin Kelly, all the Cluetrain Manifesto guys).

In today’s post, Therrier quotes some ideas from Rob Atkinson, who builds on Virginia Postrel’s ideas about dynamism and stasis. He describes the Preservationists this way:

From their perspective, evolutionary dynamism is undesirable precisely because we can’t preserve some of the things which they feel made that previous era great. That something could be a specific form of culture, a particular set of institutions, or any number of other things. The key point is: The don’t like the fact the technology is fundamentally disruptive and that is dislodges old norms and institutions. What is familiar is more comforting than that which is unknown or uncertain. That’s the security blanket that the stasis / preservationist mentality provides. Leer más “Modernizers, Preservationists and Innovation | By Tim Kastelle & John Steen”

Social Media Reinvents Social Activism For Strong Relationships: My Critique Of Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker Article

Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker states that the new tools of social media have failed to reinvent social activism. He wrote a long piece explaining why he believes that relationships formed within social media are weak relationships, and used examples from the Greensboro sit-ins, and the crisis in Moldova and Iran to support his position.

He argued that without real commitment social activism cannot exist because there’s no real commitment to other individuals involved in a cause, and without that commitment in the face of the higher costs of getting involved people will drop out of a cause.

High Stakes Require Strong Relationships

Gladwell uses the sit-ins from Greensboro, NC as an example of social activism where high stakes were involved, people had to make strong commitments to the cause because the consequences of being involved were as high as physical danger and even death. And that those most involved in the sit-ins were supported by small networks of people who were connected through close relationships. Gladwell argues that because relationships formed online are loose relationships those relationships are not highly committed relationships, and any real requests for social action will fail because of the weak relationships formed within social media between people and organizations.

I agree with Gladwell, he was right, social media can be a medium where your ties to people are weak, but I also believe he misses an important factor with the use of social media. Most people have strong ties with a small group of friends, colleagues and family within their social networks. Those relationships are just as important today as they were in 1933 in the depths of the Great Depression, or in 1960 during the Greensboro sit-ins.


My Photo

Posted by John Cass | http://pr.typepad.com | © 2003-10 John Cass

Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker states that the new tools of social media have failed to reinvent social activism. He wrote a long piece explaining why he believes that relationships formed within social media are weak relationships, and used examples from the Greensboro sit-ins, and the crisis in Moldova and Iran to support his position.

He argued that without real commitment social activism cannot exist because there’s no real commitment to other individuals involved in a cause, and without that commitment in the face of the higher costs of getting involved people will drop out of a cause.

High Stakes Require Strong Relationships

Gladwell uses the sit-ins from Greensboro, NC as an example of social activism where high stakes were involved, people had to make strong commitments to the cause because the consequences of being involved were as high as physical danger and even death. And that those most involved in the sit-ins were supported by small networks of people who were connected through close relationships. Gladwell argues that because relationships formed online are loose relationships those relationships are not highly committed relationships, and any real requests for social action will fail because of the weak relationships formed within social media between people and organizations.

I agree with Gladwell, he was right, social media can be a medium where your ties to people are weak, but I also believe he misses an important factor with the use of social media. Most people have strong ties with a small group of friends, colleagues and family within their social networks. Those relationships are just as important today as they were in 1933 in the depths of the Great Depression, or in 1960 during the Greensboro sit-ins. Leer más “Social Media Reinvents Social Activism For Strong Relationships: My Critique Of Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker Article”

Personalized Google News – Will That be on the Test

By Michael Gray

For a moment, I’d like you to think back to high school. Remember how there was always that one kid who would raise their hand and ask the question “Will that be on the test?” Now, thanks to Personalized Google News, we have the answer.
… If Google News was limiting the news sources I read I never would have seen that article or had that idea …

Last week Google announced they will be bringing personalization to Google news. I have no love of Google’s personalized search, but I understand that Google thinks it gives them a POD (see point of differentiation). The problem with this personalization is that if you limit your news only to sources you agree with, you’re missing the whole picture. Like that annoying kid in high school, you’re so focused on passing the test and getting a good grade that you’re missing the bigger picture and the opportunity to think and learn.

Since I got the iPad, one of the things I’ve started doing again is reading the news via newspaper apps. They expose me to ideas and concepts that I wouldn’t see if I read only SEO blogs and forums. Hopefully they make me a more educated and well rounded person, but I know they allow me to be more creative: I take things I read and use them as starting points for the projects I am working on. For example, this article about the Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town car being discontinued gave me the inspiration to write a social article about the Prius and other “green” cars becoming taxis for an automotive website I work on. If Google News was LIMITING the news sources I read, I never would have seen that article or had that idea.
… by limiting your input you limit your perspective and your ability to better understand an issue …


Post image for Personalized Google News – Will That be on the Test

Michael Gray

By Michael Gray

For a moment, I’d like you to think back to high school. Remember how there was always that one kid who would raise their hand and ask the question “Will that be on the test?” Now, thanks to Personalized Google News, we have the answer.

… If Google News was limiting the news sources I read I never would have seen that article or had that idea …

Last week Google announced they will be bringing personalization to Google news.  I have no love of Google’s personalized search,  but I understand that Google thinks it gives them a POD (see point of differentiation). The problem with this personalization is that if you limit your news only to sources you agree with, you’re missing the whole picture. Like that annoying kid in high school, you’re so focused on passing the test and getting a good grade that you’re missing the bigger picture and the opportunity to think and learn.

Since I got the iPad, one of the things I’ve started doing again is reading the news via newspaper apps. They expose me to ideas and concepts that I wouldn’t see if I read only SEO blogs and forums. Hopefully they make me a more educated and well rounded person, but I know they allow me to be more creative: I take things I read and use them as starting points for the projects I am working on. For example, this article about the Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town car being discontinued gave me the inspiration to write a social article about the Prius and other “green” cars becoming taxis for an automotive website I work on. If Google News was LIMITING the news sources I read, I never would have seen that article or had that idea.

… by limiting your input you limit your perspective and your ability to better understand an issue … Leer más “Personalized Google News – Will That be on the Test”

How to Handle Information Overload

The Internet holds a wealth of information on virtually any topic one could think of. With a simple search, you can gain access to knowledge about almost any subject out there.

In fact, you can often get so much information returned that it’s a little intimidating even knowing where to start. Information overload gets more and more common as ever-growing amounts of information go online.

At its worst, information overload can be paralyzing. Too much information can leave us feeling overwhelmed and unable to make decisions. It can leave us more confused than if we’d never had the information to start with.

The good news is that information overload can be dealt with. It doesn’t require disconnecting from the Internet or anything extreme, just some prioritization and organization on your part. Read on for a complete guide to dealing with information overload.


The Internet holds a wealth of information on virtually any topic one could think of. With a simple search, you can gain access to knowledge about almost any subject out there.

In fact, you can often get so much information returned that it’s a little intimidating even knowing where to start. Information overload gets more and more common as ever-growing amounts of information go online.

At its worst, information overload can be paralyzing. Too much information can leave us feeling overwhelmed and unable to make decisions. It can leave us more confused than if we’d never had the information to start with.

The good news is that information overload can be dealt with. It doesn’t require disconnecting from the Internet or anything extreme, just some prioritization and organization on your part. Read on for a complete guide to dealing with information overload. Leer más “How to Handle Information Overload”

Link Round Up


AuthorLindsay

We wanted to try something different this week.

Every day we come across dozens of inspiring, insightful, or just plain entertaining links. Here’s some of our favorites we wanted to share.

flame_link

Flame

Holy wow. This experiment created by Peter Blaskovic has left us with mouths ajar. He’s created a painting program that allows users to create their own flaming masterpieces! Check it out –try your own and be sure to check out the Flame gallery.

Should Managers Know How To Code?

It’s a common debate amongst the management-side and the ones in the trenches. Scott Berkum explores this topic in a recent blog post.

Project 15

Fifteen rules I live and design by” as declared by our Creative Director’s alter-ego Dixon Garett. My favorite is 12: Those who see the glass as half-full or half-empty aren’t seeing the whole picture.

Making Magic

Mike Arauz explains what makes magic – when tricks and storytelling combine. Take Rick Jay for example, a great slight-of-hand artist. He’s equal parts storyteller and equal parts trickster, making him one amazing magician.

The Shirky Principle

Wired’s Kevin Kelly builds on the observations of NYU professor, Clay Shirky. “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.”  When is it time to let go of the problems we’ve grown so accustomed to solving?

Mark Twain on Writing

A link passed on by our Copywriter, Faelan: Nothing helps me write good copy like reading the advice of a master. Almost always the same rules apply (both of us are telling stories after all), and they make me stay focused and keep my message clear.

Come across anything shareable? Feel free to post it in the comments. Have a great weekend!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

But it’s better than TV


Posted by Seth Godin

At the local health food store lunch buffet, they offer stir fried tempeh.
I never get it. Not because I don’t like it, but because there are always so many other things on the buffet that I prefer.

That’s why I don’t watch TV. At all. There are so many other things I’d rather do in that moment.

Broadcast TV was a great choice when a> there weren’t a lot of other options and b> when everyone else was watching the same thing, so you needed to see it to be educated.

Now, though, you could:

  • Run a little store on eBay
  • Write a daily blog
  • Write a novel
  • Start an online community about your favorite passion
  • Go to meetups in your town
  • Volunteer to tutor a kid, in person or online
  • Learn a new language, verbal or programming
  • Write hand written thank you notes each evening to people who helped you out or did a good job
  • Produce small films and publish them online
  • Listen to the one thousand most important operas
  • Read a book or two every evening
  • Play a game of Scrabble with your family

None of them are perfect. Each of them are better than TV.

Clay Shirky has noticed the trend of talented people putting five or six hours an evening to work instead of to waste. Add that up across a million or ten million people and the output is astonishing. He calls it cognitive surplus and it’s one of the underappreciated world-changing stories of our time.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/03/but-its-better-than-tv.html

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

5 Key Insights from SXSW


AuthorBrian
SXSW isn’t over.

But even at the halfway mark the event has been jam-packed with insights and ideas that will propagate brands to success in our always-evolving medium.  Below are five key insights from my first two days.

1. Sell less. Give more.

Clients hear this and they freak out.  But don’t give away, give back; Give people information they can use and share and they will come back and build your brand.  Remember that consumer’s chase their passions and interests on the web – you can either facilitate them or be irrelevant.

[Apologies to the audience member who brought this point up so eloquently in the “Design Thinking to Save the World” panel, I did not write down your name.]

2. Spend more time on the edge.

“The brands who are going to win are not the ones who sit back and wait for platforms to hit critical mass before investing.  The brands who will win are those who identify the right partnerships for their brands and help push the platforms to critical mass,” Bonin Bough, PepsiCo Director of Global Social Media.  Added FourSquare co-founder, Dennis Crowley: “If brands are willing to experiment with us, we’re willing to experiment with you.  We like when brands call us with crazy ideas.”

The Internet has never been about reach – it’s always been about engagement.  To succeed, brands must be nimble and fearless enough to invest in emerging platforms that can engage their users.  Waiting for mass adoption is just asking to become irrelevant.

Investing in a developing technology certainly carries a certain risk, but Brands are just out of practice.  Just as brands 50 years ago helped develop television by investing in and  developing innovative programming to engage their consumers (see: P&G’s soap operas), we’re entering a period where brands need to take an active role in shaping the growth of the Internet.

3. Keep It Simple, Stupid

“You have to dumb down design so people understand what they’re getting.”  Designers need to simplify the mental math for consumers.  Use powerful tools like analogies to drive understanding.  Choose words and images carefully to evoke meaning and emotion.

A great example: the trash bins here are labeled “Compost / Recycle / Landfill.”  That last word makes all the difference, forcing us to think of the end result of our behavior.

[Again, apologies to anonymous audience members whose thoughts I used here.  You are brilliant.]

4. Sharing Will Save the World

There has been no shortage of panels and individuals preaching the value of collaboration, open-sourcing, and collectivism on the web.  But no one makes the point quite so eloquently as Clay Shirky.

According to Shirky, evolution has conditioned us to share information freely.  When you give away information freely, it does not diminish yourself but it does improve the well being of the other person.  Evolution conditions us to engage in this kind of sharing freely, intrinsically rewarding us with positive emotions and social rewards.  After all, he notes, we have a word for people who willfully withhold information: “spiteful.”

As the Internet continues to transform goods and services into information (see: dictionaries, music, software, medical advice) we are rapidly transforming industries of scarcity into industries of abundance.  That is to say, the value they sell has become so freely shared that it has been completely devalued. Abundance is far more disruptive than scarcity.  Our economic model, after all, is built on scarcity.

The result has been a sea change in the way society and groups can operate and the influence they can create.  Examples abound, including Pickup Pal, an innovate ride sharing service that is giving local buses cause for concern, Patientslikeme that is upending the culture of medical care, or Nisha Sheehan who effectively used Facebook to fight for social justice in India.

“Used to be, you could do little things for love, big things for money. Now you can do big things for love, too.”

5. Restructure for “New” Marketing

One of the biggest pain points for digital marketers is the inability of their clients to engage in social media.  This ineptitude is not from lack of desire, but, often, from a lack of organizational structure to support it.  Social media requires “marketing” to leverage the resources and capabilities of the entire organization including PR, Guest Relations, Operations, Customer Support, R&D and more.  Engaging in social media means being able to respond to social media – a two way street that not only lets your brand affect consumers, but also lets consumers affect your brand.

On the agency side, digital and legacy marketing shops are struggling to incorporate the two sides of the marketing spectrum into their thinking.  Traditional shops tend to focus more on demand generation, trying to create groundswells of demand around products and brands.  Digital shops are more comfortable satisfying customer needs (the social, emotional and business needs of increasingly multi-screen digital consumers).  Both types of agencies will need to become more adept at straddling both sides of the marketing landscape to truly lead brands into the future.

That’s all for now.  Onto the second half of SXSW!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]