Clay Shirky is one of my favorite thinkers & presenters and his recent Web 2.0 presentation on the cognitive surplus has helped me immensely. Lately I’ve been struggling to keep all that’s in front of me in focus – a cognitive bender if you will.
I don’t watch a lot of TV and I don’t read a lot (at least not for pleasure.) The latter being more of an occupational hazard as a result of my day job — my feed reader is in a perpetual mode of edit as I try to parse my ever growing lists of feeds. As for the former, I’m not much interested in most of what the broadcasting community has to offer. Its been ~47 years since Newton Minnow, delivered his famous “wasteland” speech to the National Association of Broadcasters — IMO, not much has changed.
Shirky’s presentation made me think about my current situation and after a long hard look I realized I was falling prey to dogma. I found myself floundering against what was expected of me from various points of view (family, friends, colleagues, etc.) not that all of these things were bad mind you, its just that for the most part, I was feeling “trapped” by other people’s thinking and that isn’t always the friendliest of places.
My cognitive surplus was actually a deficit. Shirky presented the challenge in a way that allowed me to think of my predicament in a new way. It was the inspiration I needed to think through my situation and devise a plan to divest myself of what was burdening me and focus my new found time on the opportunities that would keep me motivated and productive. Where you find the time is a personal endeavor — I hope Shirky’s insights inspire you in a way that helps you find the time.
World Team Tennis (WTT) anyone? We’re fortunate because my family and I can walk to the event in about 7 minutes (that’s a good thing) The bad news — it was 94 degrees outside (34.5 C for the rest of the world!)
Unbeknownst to many, Delaware has its own team the Delaware Smash , its owned by Billy Jean King herself. Tonight the Smash are playing the Kansas City Explorers an its presented in such a intimate location — the parking lot of the DuPont Country Club!
Advanta, whom I’d like to thank, makes WTT possible as a national sponsor. They even provide free tennis racquets for all the kids that attend. I don’t know how many years we’ve been going to see the Smash play — the crowds are into it, the players have a lot of fun and while you haven’t probably heard of many of the players – they are all incredible athletes!
Some are even exceptional like Liezel Huber (Delaware Smash) – Ranked #1 in the world in women’s doubles and has won 27 career doubles titles, including Wimbledon and the Australian open or the Bryan Brothers (Kansas City Explorers) – these guys have won every men’s double title in tennis! Other players you may have heard of:
- Venus and Serena Williams
- Lindsay Davenport
- Sam Querrey
- Anna Kournikova
You get the idea — world class tennis in your own backyard! Doesn’t matter which team wins or looses — the point is — its a blast! One big disappointment this evening was that Liezel Huber was a no show again this year. Last year she was busy playing and ultimately winning the women’s doubles championship at Wimbledon — gotta cut her some slack on that one.
Mid way through the match the Bryan Bros. posed for some pictures with some of their fans. I was lucky enough to get them to pose with my kids while still on the court. As soon as they send me the photo I’ll update this post with what will likely be one hell of great memory for my kids. Update: They never sent me the photo…
Here are a few photo highlights of the evening:
Well, its been a long time since I’ve written a real post. To say I’ve been busy doesn’t even begin to describe the past couple of months. Some things have gone well — other’s? — not so good! The quick view.
In the GOOD Column:
- SAPPHIRE’s: Orlando & Berlin. There’s a lot of pre and post work that goes on to pull off events of this size and scope – two events on different continents in less than three weeks is no small effort; but, the view was well worth the climb!
- We invited a number of new faces to the SAPPHIRE Bloggers’ Corner this year and from my perspective they were a tremendous asset to the success of the event!
- The incorporation of several live streaming video segments and the use of @eventtrack were really productive and beneficial. We’ll incorporate them again into the TechEd schedules (if were lucky maybe even sooner) but either way we’ll up the ante with something completely unexpected. I can’t wait!
- Lots of interest from bloggers I haven’t met or worked with in the past. The more the merrier!
- Finally got my boat in the water.
- I work with a great group of people!
As for the NOT so good?
- Two days after I put the boat in the water we had bad Nor’easter (in May no less)
- Got sick and didn’t use the boat for a month.
- When I finally got to use the boat — I had to put gas in it!
- Well, let’s just say my all expenses paid (by me) vacation (in the hospital) wasn’t exactly one of my planned activities. I won’t go into the details because it really doesn’t make for interesting reading. I will say that it wasn’t/isn’t life threatening; although, it was/is exceptionally painful. The net-net is, I’m in need of some surgery (August 4th) and if all goes according to plan — I’ll be as good as new by September!
- The fact that this medical situation has put me so far in the hole on a host of important items means that I’m burning the candle at both ends to get caught up. Worse still, when I get caught up, I’ll be out again for the surgery and behind yet again!
- I’ve been struggling with my WordPress install and Windows Live Writer for close to three months! When it works – its the best! When it doesn’t – well you know — its kind of like that feeling you’ve had lately regarding Twitter. Hat tip to Chris Heuer for the technical assistance — YOU ROCK!
So, I’m getting back to normal and will begin to pick up the pace on posting. I have a few draft posts about the Media industry and the notion of communicating with various “influencer” categories that I think need to be discussed or at the very least, I need to get them off my chest. I think its time to knock some of the rough edges off those drafts and get them published. A while back I wrote about a social media training curriculum that I was developing. While its almost complete — I certainly have enough content to start posting. Finally, Chris Brogan has inspired me with some great ideas that I think will make for some good posts during my recovery from surgery; since after the surgery, I’ll be pretty much just laying low.
Well, that’s the high level anyway. So, to get back into full stride here are a few links that I thought you may find interesting – I did!
- The Art of Conversation – Thoughts and Observations
- Will Social Media Force Spending Up or Down?
- How Social Media will Change Marketing
PS. I guess the newest version of WP or perhaps Live Writer doesn’t like “bullet points”. Anyone know how to fix that?