Keep it simple

Just learned via Twitter from someone who reads my blog that text instances of the Sociable social bookmarking links were piled up at the end of each of my posts as displayed in Google Reader. That’s nust not very poetic. Does anybody ever actually click through one of those bookmarking icons or links? I’m not convinced.

I turned all of that stuff off, as well as the Zemanta tracking pixel added to my posts via Scribefire. The web’s complicated enough; I’m making my presence as simple as possible and focusing on producing great content.

(If you’re reading this on Google Reader or some other news aggregator, and you still see something wonky, just let me know.)

Realtors are thinking about social media

I gave a social media talk to some realtors yesterday. They were attentive, energetic, and really seemed to get what I was telling them, which (briefly, but of course it’s more complicated) was to focus on relationship-building narrative. As I told Jay Drayer on Facebook, best question I had was from a woman who worked mostly with investors,
and was concerned how casual her online persona could be without
potentially turning investors off. We discussed the importance of
authenticity, and balancing professional with personal online. Broad agreement in the room that authenticity is important and it’s okay to reveal your “secret identity.”

Realtors are thinking about social media, and they totally get that overt advertising is inappropriate in a social media space. They’re social all day long, and they generally know how to expose their expertise without flashing the real estate banner. Their challenge is to find time to be social outside their business-focused conversations, building relationships that won’t necessarily lead directly to business. It takes time and exploration to build an authentic presence, a social life online, that’s also business-relevant.  Even experts in this space are still getting the hang of it, still learning.

David Levine

I literally grew up with David Levine’s caricatures; it never occurred to me that he was flesh and blood and would die someday. That day has come, and and like many, I’m mourning his death, who produced who knows how many hundreds of caricatures for The New York Review of Books and the New Yorker. The former publishes as a tribute John Updike’s note about the artist, written 30 years ago:

“Besides offering us the delight of recognition, his drawings comfort us, in an exacerbated and potentially desperate age, with the sense of a watching presence, an eye informed by an intelligence that has not panicked, a comic art ready to encapsulate the latest apparitions of publicity as well as those historical devils who haunt our unease. Levine is one of America’s assets. In a confusing time, he bears witness. In a shoddy time, he does good work.”

The Times has a slideshow of some of Levine’s color caricatures here.

The Hurt Locker

When “The Hurt Locker” screened at SXSW, I thought it was one of the better films I’d seen in years, and Jeremy Renner established himself as a world-class – not just actior but presence. While Katherine Bigelow has always been a sklled action director, she’s never quite had story and actors equal to her ability. In “The Hurt Locker” she shows the other side of post-traumatic stress. Renner plays a detonation pro who embraces, is almost addicted to, the stresses of modern war experienced through his job, one of the most dangerous in today’s field of battle, defusing bombs planted in and around the streets of the city. Even inside the citizens, as we see in one literally gut-wrenching scene. Put this film at the top of your list – one of the year’s best.


Jay Rosen made a rich Tumblr post about mindcasting and Twitter. Mindcasting is Jay’s term for his posting style – where his goal is to have a high signal to noise ratio… and he’s a very active conversation engine. This post has notes on the form… e.g.

The act of building an editorial presence in Twitter by filtering, processing and structuring the flow of information that moves through the medium using one’s follow list, journalistic sensibilities and individual right to publish updates.

Also “It’s true that mindcasting is a pretentious term. People have always told me that certain things I do are pretentious. Every occupation has its hazards, right? What saves mindcasting from being totally so is that it’s an alternative to an even more pretentious notion: lifecasting.” He ends with a great Julian Dibbel quote:

It may begin as just a seed of an idea — a thought about the future of online media, say — tossed out into the germinating medium of the twitterverse, passed along from one Twitter feed to another, critiqued or praised, reshaped and edited, then handed back for fleshing out on a blog, first, and then, perhaps, in a book. It’s not that tweet-size sparks of insight haven’t always been part of the media ecosystem, in other words. It’s just that Twitter now has given them a vastly more exciting social life.

Read Jay’s whole post, my excerpts here don’t do it justice. Just registering my affinity. I really like the idea of diving into the information flow and working it to accelerate its quality. (Wondering if I should add Tumblr as yet another venue for writing/blogging/conversation.)