ouroboros

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Six years ago I was a fresh college graduate just getting started in the online marketing world. The average person didn’t know what a blog was, Facebook was restricted to university students in the U.S., and Twitter had yet to be invented. And the web was just starting to be respected and understood by mainstream marketing firms and teams.

Today, bloggers appear in commercials and social media is a key part of the marketing mix for brands both large and small. Finally, some respect! That said, I still see companies struggling with the connectivity, the immediacy, and the transparency of the web, and how it is all integrated into their organization. It’s an interesting problem, and one that I’ll continue to write more about on this blog.

Unrelated and relevant only to fellow Chicagoans – my agency is hosting an event at Social Media Week on social engagement and content creation – RSVP! It will be a great chance to gain some expertise, network with your fellow members of the media, and generally have a fabulous time.

Check out the winners of Copyblogger’s Twitter Writing Contest – their short (really short – Twitter messages have to be 140 characters or less) stories proved that sometimes creativity flourishes with tight constraints.

 

The Knight News Challenge, which I wrote about way back in September 2007, recently announced the winners ($5.5. million was awarded to sixteen projects around the world). 

Check out the winners here.

Congratulations to them all!

From Grant McCracken’s 2008 PSFK talk:

“Paul Allen, the Microsoft cofounder, has a yacht that is 416 feet long.  It cost something like a quarter of a billion dollars.  It carries two helicopters.  It’s so large it cannot dock anywhere on the French Riviera.  (That’s why it needs those helicopters.  They are the only way to get to port.)  The “Octopus” seems to be a perfect example of way-too-much.  Possessions of this kind act like barnacles that slow movement and limit freedom.  “Going for a sail” must seem to Allen like something that requires him to mobilize a third-world country, an event so wearying that it must seem better, most of the time, just to leave the thing be.  Allen’s Octopus is really an Albatross.”

There’s more to the idea than just a Fight-Club-esque sentiment – it’s the notion that “just enough” is actually just about perfect; that it is better to be small, mobile, and independent than anything else.

“In the case of an entrepreneur, “just enough” is about control.  Staying small(ish), staying private, supplying your own capital, all these mean calling your own shots.  Venture capitalists and Wall Street can drive someone else crazy.  The just enough entrepreneur can take his or her own chances.  When it comes time to choose between interesting and profitable, you can go with interesting.  Just enough in this case is about control.”

In fact, this applies to me (as well as many other writers and entrepreneurs I’m acquainted with) – by keeping my lifestyle streamlined I can work with the people and companies I find interesting/valuable/challenging.  Also, as one of the commenters on the original post pointed out, small firms (perhaps ones that focused on local goods and services) and the whole concept of striving for “just enough” – as opposed to aiming for billions and worldwide acclaim – seems much more sustainable and environmentally friendly in the long run. 

Read Write Web contributor Bernard Lunn (who I tend to agree with in general) says that creative types are the new “masters of the universe”.

The internet is breaking down walls that used to exist between artists, musicians, writers, and other creative people and the public – they no longer require publishers, record labels, and other businesses to interact directly with their potential audience.

And I quote:

 “I was going to just say “entrepreneurs”, but it is broader than that. Creative people – whether they are developers, musicians, actors, scientists, writers or (insert creative type that I have annoyed by omitting) – are the next Masters of the Universe. Entrepreneurs who tap the rise of the creative class will do well, but the trend is a deeper one that makes creative people into entrepreneurs.

This has huge disruptive and destructive implications for big companies which today act as the toll booths, through which creativity has to pass.”

Click here to read lots more.