Saturday, September 15, 2007

Two short bits of interesting thinking, one for each side

...of your brain.

First, one for the Listen For It side:

The other day I got back in contact with an old friend (and former employer, in fact), someone I knew as a near-total gearhead, but who these days is blogging quite amusingly at the eponymous Brent Noorda's Blog (with it's concise tagline of, "Anything sufficiently vague shall always ring true"). We were talking about favorite music in our exchange of mail, and he related this:

"We were in Africa (mostly Burkina Faso) last year, and ran across a guy who was a Yes fan and had lived quite a while in remote regions, where he played much of his music collection. He said that their 'Tales from Topographic Oceans' was the favorite music of the locals, who would say something like,"

"Play that one with the sounds that go all over the place for a long time."

Its famous cover art by Roger Dean

Then, one for the Make It Happen side:

A widely quoted statement attributed to Charles Roberts Buxton (1823-1871), an English brewer, philanthropist, writer and Member of Parliament.
"You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it."
(Like, for example, becoming a member of Parliament, creating classic albums with exquisite cover art and lengthy sounds that go all over, or putting together totally unrelated pairs of blog posts.)

Paying the price of iMpatience

On all these stories of the outrage of the first buyers of the iPhone over the recent price cuts -- oh, puh-lease!

In case you spent the last week in a wireless cold-spot, it was reported all over the Web that Apple cut the price of the $600 iPhone by $200 (with the Holidayshopping Season coming up), and early adopters went ballistic. So Apple offered existing users a $100 credit -- in any Apple Store.

This along with the news that they'd beat their sales forecasts for this next evolutionary step in Gadgetdom, with that phenomenal ultra-touch-sensitive interface. “One million iPhones in 74 days—it took almost two years to achieve this milestone with iPod,” said Steve Jobs, their CEO (Chief Embodiment & Oracle).
Oddly enough, I couldn't find any word on Apple's site about that coupon offer -- so I found Job's Sept. 6 letter "To all iPhone customers" through a Web-wide search. There he explains, "Details are still being worked out and will be posted on Apple's website next week."

But my point is this:

"Early adopters" should be observant enough to understand that they're paying for the privilege of being the first one on their block with the new toy. They don't call it "the bleeding edge" for nothing.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Love Is A No-Brainer"

Here, certainly, is the most off-topic entry yet for this humble weblog -- it's an axiom that occurred to me almost a year ago, and its accuracy has just recently been brought home to me again, even though it needed no further proof. (Of course there's a story behind it... which you'll be glad to learn I'm not going to share. In the immortal words of Stan Lee in Marvel Comics, " 'Nuff said!")

I love this phrase, though, because it's a highly useful reminder to us all, and contains the required multi-level meaning. We all understand the popular term "no-brainer" to indicate an obvious choice; but this goes that extra step further to explain that where love is concerned, your brain is not involved.

Remember this point; it might come in handy some day. ; - )

Friday, September 07, 2007

What I'm learning about blogging

(Or perhaps it's more accurate to say, what opinions I'm finding I've developed about it:)

The following ideas started life as a prospective style note to my bloggy brothers at Idea Champions' "Heart of Innovation," on which I'm happily toiling these days, after Mitch Ditkoff, the company's President-for-Life and our Captain Kirk (unless he's prefer Picard), e-mailed the other writers this admonition about a particular topic:

"We can revisit this idea a number of times on the blog. Don't need to nail it all in one posting."
I happen to think this is a Mighty Principle where webloggery is concerned, and wanted to spill about it briefly. As I said, of course, it's just my own BFO (Big Fat Opinion).

At this point in time, 'blogs are more of a minimalist art form, like e-mail. People surfing the web and spilling onto your page momentarily want to be fed a tasty but bite-sized bit, and if they like it they'll hang out for awhile and sample your other menu items.

Not very hungry just now? Put another way, then, it's not the book or even a chapter, it's the dust jacket copy. The accumulation of passing comments eventually winds up as a complete statement, whether by ear, in print, or online. All of your points will be made, in time -- patience is still sometimes a virtue, even in these hyper-driven times.

It is excellent to have an Extended Entry capability (The Heart of Innovation is produced with Movable Type; Blogger, here, hasn't evolved to that point yet). Extended Entry, aka "MORE," means you can go into some real depth, while offering just a maybe five-six paragraph opening bit that expresses your complete thought.

If you have enough to say, it can become a series of posts on a given topic. The next stage of development is that any topic can evolve into an article. But in general, when blogging, Cut To The Chase -- everybody's real busy these days.

Team Blogging
It's really just out-and-out, major Fun to be working on a blog with a team of like-minded (and -spirited) writers, and on such an intrinsically exciting topic. "Innovation," after all is really based on open-mindedness, awareness, whatever you call that elusive quality of really being present and paying attention to Life, as it is happening.

And the synergy -- I'm really enjoying the different styles and levels employed by each of the writers. For me, every new entry is a different version of "Wow!" This can't help but get you up for your own next offering.

Mitch, for instance, is the jazz musician, the sax player blowing these wild and crazy licks that make you sit up in your seat and go, "Yeah!" (Very Kerouac, here in the 50th anniversary year of "On The Road.")

The rest of us, Val Vadeboncoeur, Tim Moore, Farrell Reynolds and I, so far seem to be more into various degrees of working through the lines of reasoning, carefully link-annotating a wide range of reference points, in pursuit of the Comprehensive Statement. So a big part of my role has been to keep exhorting the troops to stay in touch with that modern feeling that Less Is More.
(You'll notice, if you read this far, that my theory far exceeds my practice. But we soldier on, trying to follow our own advice. And ain't that the way it so often is? But damn, do I wish Blogger had that-there extended entry thang.)