Category Archives: People

Internet Addiction – Why You Need To Break the Cycle Before It’s Too Late

My name is Jim and I’m an internet addict.  There.   I said it.

That’s the first step in a 12 Step program.  Admitting you have a problem.  Which is great, except for one thing.  How do you admit you have a problem if you don’t really know you have a problem?

Until last week, I didn’t realize I had a problem.   Like most people,  I’ve joked about it.  I used to refer to my Blackberry as a “crackberry” in jest.  I’ve checked email far too frequently on my iPhone.   But if you would have said I had a problem, I would’ve merely laughed — pretended to have my hand shaking as I went through the withdrawal of not checking my phone.

I’m not laughing anymore.

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Dear Dad…Here’s what I’m not going to tell you

I’m about to call you to wish you a happy Father’s day.  I talked to you just a few days ago – it was your birthday – so I won’t have a lot to say on this call.  I will have a lot that I could say.  I probably won’t say all of the things that I’ve been thinking.

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140 Characters Of My Life That I’ll Never Get Back

I stopped following you today.  You probably didn’t notice.

Nothing personal.  It’s just life.

Why?   As I said — life.  An amazing thing happens when you get over-committed as I have in recent months.  You finally make real decisions on priorities.   When you have too much to do, you do what’s most important — what will cause you pain if it’s not done.   The metaphor I use is juggling.  You can juggle one ball, two and even, if you practice – three.  I guess it’s possible that if you really work at it, you could juggle four.   Maybe there is a Zen juggler who could do five things.   But ultimately, it doesn’t matter, each of us has a limit, no matter how much we want to focus, practice or will it to be different.

So if you can juggle four and life gives you five — guess what?  No matter what happens you are going to drop one.  So what do you do?  You pick.   How?  Well, like most people, I presume that you try not to drop the thing that is most likely to break.   You try to make the drop as painless as you can.

We all do this every day.  More and more we are like the juggler trying to take on more things that we can truly juggle.  And what do we do?    We drop something.   What do we drop?  The thing that will hurt us the least.

Unfortunately, that thing was – you.

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The Nobility of Digitial Community – A Different Look

Community.    It’s a word that we throw around a lot.  But what does it actually mean?   And why do we care?

Let’s start with the last question.   Why do we care?

In an age obsessed by the idea of community, I’m surprised to see that the idea is so poorly understood.  Yet community is one of the the most important words of our era.

One of our greatest desires is to participate in a community.  We need the interaction with others.  We crave the recognition of our friends, our families, our — communities.  In many traditions, the greatest punishment that can be meted out is banishment, ostricization – forced removal from our community.

Our attachment to community is primordial, a driving force, something we crave in at the most basic levels of our existence.

Some would claim that this craving for community is at the root of the force that we all call “social media”.  I would claim that we don’t really understand this –and if we did, our social media approach and behaviours would be vastly different.

Three events converged this week which pushed me to reexamine the ideas that I had about community and social media.  Continue reading

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The Mile High Club

I got your recent email.  The chirpy tone and bringing me up to date with what was happening made me feel strange.  Didn’t you know that we’ve broken up?   Didn’t you get the message?

When I stopped coming around, didn’t you ask why?

Now, how do I say it?  Let me try this.

Get lost.  Scram. Get out of my life.  Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

It’s sad that things have come to this.  We used to be so close.    I was your number one guy.   You remember the pet name you called me?  Elite.  I simply called you Air Canada but I did it with such affection.  Continue reading

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Filed under Organization, People, Strategy

Will Read Your Blog For Food

There’s a guy who panhandles for change outside the 24 hour drug/convenience store in our neighbourhood.  His name is Al.  Al had been doing this for as long as I could remember – he was a fixture. Day in and day out, he’d stand by the front door holding an old paper coffee cup, bumming for change.  I first talked about Al in a series I did last year.  He appeared in the story entitled “Buddy Can You Spare a Tweet”  As improbable as it seemed, Al had started up a social media consultancy run from his Blackberry.

After that,  I hadn’t seen Al in a while.  Nobody had.  I had asked about him. Weeks went by.  No sign of Al.  Then tonight, I saw him again, in his old familiar spot.  He had his old familiar paper cup which he pushed out as people walked by.  But there was something new.  Now he had a sign.  When I stopped to talk to him I looked at it.  It read…

“Will Read Your Blog for Food” Continue reading

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Cutting through the clutter — Curation and the new 3 Rs of content.

Two-thirds of tweets are either “so-so” or not worth reading at all.  So says a study from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, MIT and Georgia Tech.

There is a delightful irony that I found this little gem in a tweet.  I read it on a feed from Chris Zane who runs Zane’s Cycle.   I interviewed a few months back for “The Customer Experience Show” a podcast that I host.   I follow Chris on Twitter because he is truly one of the great experts in customer experience.  What he has to say is worth listening to.

If truth be told, I had an little extra incentive to review his twitter stream.  I got a notice that Chris had mentioned me in one of his tweets.  When you get someone who you respect like I do Chris and THEY think that you’ve said something intelligent, you want to know what it was you said.

I — like so many others — say and pass along a great deal of information.   If this study is correct, about a third of it is worth saying.  Despite the source, I don’t believe it for a second.

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