Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Marketing Now sneak preview #1 - Sharon Crost (iJumpTV #52)

Sharon Crost is one of the international social media specialists visiting Wellington on April 15th and 16th for the Marketing Now conference. Sharon's all about unleashing your inner superhero, and her session at the conference promises to be extremely interactive! We had the pleasure of talking with Sharon direct from her backyard organic farm in San Francisco.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Want to share our office space?

Our former office mates have made their trip to Melbourne, so we're on the hunt for some more cool, creative, like-minded people.

We've got 3 spaces available for freelancers or creatives who want to be in one of the best, friendliest locations going.

The details:

The office is at Level 2, 228 Queen Street, Auckland. There's also entry through 3 Lorne Street.

The cost is $150 + GST per week per desk. This includes:
  • fast internet
  • electricity
  • a desk and mobile drawers
  • good company (if we do say so ourselves!)
  • ambience
  • use of shared kitchen including microwave, fridge, hot water, etc.
  • a secure office in a secure building

And in the area:
  • About a zillion cafes
  • Almost 10 art galleries
  • Two great bookshops - Jason Books (on the same floor as us) and Parsons Books
  • Albert Park
  • The Library and Academy Theatre
  • AUT and Auckland University
About the building:
  • About 100 years old, the HB Building is a bit of a creative hub. These are the hallways where you'll meet print and online publishers, web developers, graphic designers, branding people - and some really interesting financial people too.
Interested? Email simon@ijump.co.nz or marie@ijump.co.nz or give us a call on (09) 379 5421.

You can download a higher-resolution version of the poster here.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Raw thoughts on "The Cult of the Amateur"

I stopped reading Andrew Keen's Cult of the Amateur
because it got too repetitive and annoying. Keen is expert at pointing out (quite amusingly, at first) that the glass is half empty, but his steadfast refusal to offer any kind of solution bugged me.

What was good, though, was that it made me wonder why it bugged me. And why I got similarly frustrated with Lee Siegel's Against the Machine

Here's why:

The biggest hole in Andrew Keen's argument is that he says web 2.0 actually leads to greater groupthink, while (presumably) indicating that the old world didn't do this, or at least it was easier for genuinely creative voices to be heard.

So how does that work? Would an Einstein or a Bob Dylan struggle to be heard more or less in the web 2.0 world than in the worlds they grew up in?

If you look at web 2.0 as an amorphous mass, a monoculture, yes, it's hard to be heard over the roar. But that's a mistaken way to look at it, a way of looking that comes from not actually participating or understanding the subjective experience of web 2.0.

Keen (and Siegel, for that matter) are not seeing the wood for the trees. As self-appointed guardians of man's destiny, they're doing one of two things, they're either:

1) Projecting their own personal tastes and preferences onto the rest of the human race (elitism)
2) Forgetting to enjoy the subjective, personalised experience of the web that they can tailor to their own interests (and therefore understand how it would work for others the same way) and instead taking an abstract, "objective" view because they feel they have to.

More on this later. If you're good.


You've been good. One more thing. Neil Postman does a good job of arguing against the information revolution, by actually suggesting something instead. Of course, a lot of his arguments are outdated and his concerns may not be so relevant to right now, but hey, Andrew and Lee, get a clue from Neil!

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Friday, 13 March 2009

How does a consultant prove their value?

A lot of people are up in arms about Facebook's design changes, despite the facts that

a) Facebook is a private company and can do what they want
b) They've been notifying users of changes for over a week on their homepages.

But it brings home the point that when you create a space and ask people to make themselves at home, they will. And they'll fight any changes you make to their home, because you've succeeded in making them feel at home.


It makes me think about any business based on Intellectual Property, particularly consulting and teaching.

If a teacher is successful, the knowledge becomes part of the student. The student absorbs it and feels as though they've discovered it themselves. The successful teacher actually makes himself invisible after a time, introducing the student to the knowledge and setting them free.

Or you could be a dysfunctional, codependent teacher, crippling your student and making them dependent on you for correct interpretation of the facts.

And that's kind of the way business has been in the last hundred years or so, hasn't it? It's also kind of the way, dare I say, that the church has been for much longer.

But if success means invisibility, how does the teacher/consultant prove their value?

I don't have an answer, I'm thinking out loud here. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Where managers and entrepreneurs live

The manager occupies the world of the known and quantifiable.
The entrepreneur walks the unknown path, the hunch, the instinct.

The manager despises risk and failure, because it hinders efficiency.
The entrepreneur flirts with risk and embraces failure, because it will yield up precious lessons.

And we need both.

Here Comes Everybody book review - iJumpTV #51

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky is full of stories, statistics, theory - and iwth all that, it's an easy read too.

It'll help you understand how social media changes the way people get together - and what this means for your business, cause or idea.