I have a pet-peeve, and it’s consultants. I don’t have issue with them as people, nor with the job they perform. I have a problem with the words “I am a consultant” (networking in Boston produces these words often). It’s a conversational road-block.
Consultant? Whom do you consult, and what do you consult them on? Mothers on baby-sign-language technique? Dog owners on proper grooming? Poorly dressed nerds on passable fashion? Jack Bauer on the latest forbidden interrogation techniques?
I suppose analysts analyze anything, laborers labor liberally, and programmers program precipitously.
No, I’d really prefer we weren’t casting ourselves as ‘verb-ers’; I think the world would be much more interesting, and descriptive, if we were ‘outcome-ers’. So if the product of your work is an actionable marketing strategy, then you are a marketing strategy consultant. If the product of your research is science pertaining to rockets, then you are, in fact, a rocket scientist.
I’d be happy to help any of my readers transform the action of their work into a non-conversation killing description of their contribution to society.
My philosophy with blogging, and the social web in general, is this: if you are one of the more interesting personalities in your peer group, then you’ll entertain an even larger group online. The math is simple: your probability of entertaining another human is already marginally higher than others, not everyone blogs but many people read multiple blogs, so given enough time, you’ll gain a following. (Incidentally, this is related to the pick your peers idea)
Thus, personal blogging requires a certain amount of self-love. We should embrace this, and we should expect that personal blogging will naturally include self-love in the form of personal pictures, personal triumphs, etc.
What we should reject is flat-out narcissism. Does your blog vomit forth numerous uninteresting photos of yourself? Does it include every minute & meaningless detail of your activity on the web? Your blog is not the place to capture that, Facebook is, and guess what? Facebook is smart enough to filter that autophilia out of your friend’s news feeds. Sadly, my RSS reader isn’t as smart.
So, to the several dear friends whose blogs I formerly read, you’re out. Sorry! No hard feelings! You can continue to love yourself online, the Internet is big enough for it, thankfully I can editorialize you right out of my virtual-social window.
Tonight I attended a small and interesting conversation entitled “Community Building in Boston: Leaders Share Their Stories”, which was hosted by the New Prosperity Initiative. [website to launch in January]
NPI is a new not-for-profit organization whose mission is to share the success stories of local leaders and organizations broadly; that by making these stories available across the Internet, other community innovators can benefit from the knowledge and triumphs of their far-off brothers & sisters.
Tonight’s conversation covered the history, and lasting impact, of busing in Boston, the current state of public education in Boston, and lessons learned from community organizing in Boston.
Of course, I see the world through the lens of the Internet, and in particular, I was trying distill the parallels between offline and online community motivations, and organizations. As it turns out, there are quite a few more than I imagined.
Is anyone aware of a ‘playbook’ for community management? A definitive guide for interaction patterns, and expected outcomes? I know Yahoo hosts a catalogue of design patterns and considerations for social websites, but I’m curious if there’s a broader resource that might apply beyond the web; one with deeper psychological roots. If anyone is aware of any helpful resources, I’d love to hear about them.
I think those designing social websites, and those enriching offline-communities have much to share.
I’ll assert that everyone in Boston is at most a second-degree connection away from one another. This claim is supported by vast personal anecdotal evidence. Tonight I met (& re-met) a few individuals by way of some incredibly crazy & coincidental relations. The “do-you-know-so-and-so” game has become a favorite social indulgence of mine.
“My son is nine years old. He absolutely loves getting on your site and making “cartoons”. The only thing he has asked for from Santa Claus is for a copy of his “cartoon” that was made on here to be burnt to a dvd. I do not know if this is possible, but would love any information you can give. Thank you so much.”—
Lori, we’ll help Santa out! Your email really made me smile.
“I’ve been looking for something free and simple for a long time, and DoInk looked perfect. It has been an amazing ride ever since. I love the community, the admins, and the fascinating and eternally unique array of talents showcased daily on the site. The program itself is a dream to work with: once I got the hang of it, it seemed totally intuitive. I’m glad I could be a part of its developing process. ”—