Check out Arianna Huffington’s keynote speech at this year’s Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp. I was there and it was very well received by 1500 in the audience. I actually followed her on stage in Zellerbach Hall to lead a session on Real-Time Strategic Planning, talk about a “hard act to follow.” Arianna’s address was entertaining and inspirational. Check it out.
Archive for July, 2009
Several admissions right up front. First, I am a boomer. Despite my sprightly picture on the web site. I say, why retake head shots after age 40? It’s not like I am going to look any better. Second, I was very proud recently when Gabe, my tech guy, called me a “power user,” until he defined that as “someone who when the computer crashes tries to reboot before calling me.” Third, I was initially suspicious of social media use. I thought, I can’t spend enough time with my real life friends, so why do I need thousands of virtual ones?
Still, I began occasional blogging a few years ago. Then I opened a Facebook account. It is amazing what you can learn about your kids by reading what they and their friends say online!
Recently, I was inspired by a blog entry from my dear friend Carol Lukas, CEO of Fieldstone Alliance, in which she said she had opened a Twitter account under duress, never made an entry, yet was being “followed” by 100 people.
So I opened a Twitter account, have made a dozen or so entries, and have around 30 followers, all in about 4 days. I even linked my Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep everyone up to date in either forum. Full disclosure, I also have Plaxo, Linked-In and probably few others I have forgotten, but I never look at them. And just to be clear, I never had, nor would visit, a myspace account.
Now for a few observations from the Web 2.0 trenches. If you are under 35, this will seem incredibly lame (actually, if you are under 35, anything I say will seem incredibly lame) but if you are over 50, read on!
First, there is no line online between personal and professional. I intend my Facebook to be a forum for professional relationships and try to keep my updates on that side of the line, but then one of my kids uploaded a bunch of my baby pictures! Remember, what is public is private and nothing is private online.
Second, and this will come as no surprise, but there is a lot of stuff on these sites. I think some people on Twitter pretend to have day jobs but are actually institutionalized somewhere, allowing them to tweet 24/7. The sheer volume of ideas to consider, suggestions for web sites to visit, videos to watch, food to cook, and events to “attend” is staggering. You need a fine sifter to get to the gold, but it is there.
Third, I thought Twitter was perhaps the most useless of these tools, until it became an indispensible part of the Iranian democracy uprising. It turns out Twitter can let your friends know you are going to the grocery store, or it can organize a revolution. OK, Twitter is very powerful, I see it now. And I like the fact that the 140 character limit forces concise entries, unlike the one you are reading in a mere blog.
Finally, we don’t know where any of this is going. One of my colleagues recently mentioned Web 3.0 and when I asked what that was he said, “Well, no one knows, but it is coming next.”