Friday, September 23, 2005

The Rise of Knowledge Networking

I had started this post yesterday with an Insyte that joyfully sprang from one of those great "A-HA" moments but did not get to finish it. Last night's TechCrunch BBQ / Meetup only further cemented the ascendance of this meme like trend. (Photos of event on Flikr)

Lacking a better term for the nature of these events, I like to call them 'BrainJams' - kind of the Web 2.0 replacement for all those out of control parties of the dotcom boom. Rather than focusing on business development and manufactured press releases though, BrainJams focus on the meat of the matter - an open source sort of collaboration manifested in the real world. Andy Smith and his amazing group of friends who created BarCamp deserve a lot of credit for kind of launching this significant social shift.

The format is definitely the best part - kind of loose and self organizing, with a few directed elements of structure that make all the difference. To the point I debated to semantic concession last night with Jonathan over at Mosuki there are some very primary forms of structure that make all the difference when applied within a system. In this case the influence of a basic open presentation format coupled with the directed interests of the group makes this a knowledge networking event more than a social networking event (aka shmoozefest).

Much as I believe the shift in the naming of Insytes to replace Comments is a powerful deployment of linguistic intention, I believe calling these form of events BrainJams focuses the energies and intentions of the participants towards the right sort of knowledge sharing and networking that will indeed make this world a better place by sharing our best practices and Insytes wtih one another for the benefit of everyone. Perhaps it is time to re-read Tim Sanders' Love is a Killer App and re-visit some of those principles with this new context.

Are these the first signs of a return to the Salons of old with a new twist, or is it just a typical sign of the resurgence of passion amongst technologists, enterpreneurs and venture capitalists? I think this time is quite a bit different...

Influenced by the general principles of open source, people are more openly sharing their knowledge with each other - and that is the single most important facet of the Web 2.0 - open collaboration across multiple disciplines and across the boundaries of organizations. This is largely driven by the desire to "do it right" and make a difference by more effectively collaborating with people who utilize the technology, with partners and even with potential competitors to a certain degree. In other words, the actualization of the long promised benefits of the Internet and Interactive communications in general.

It certainly seems like a lot more events like this will be happening much more frequently so I went ahead and registered the domain and created a Wiki over at JotSpot where we might be able to talk about this more and work on a centralized calendar of events.

Movie Marketing: Some Interesting Developments from Serenity

I was watching some Sci-Fi channel last night when I got one of those Tivo interactive thumbs up commercials - where an icon appears on the screen during a traditional 30 second spot and by pressing the green thumbs up button, it pauses live TV and takes you to a longer commercial which has been pre-downloaded to your hard drive. This is something I have seen before, mostly for automotive ads, though I did see a pretty cool extended trailer for Stealth (waiting for Netflix on that one). This time though, it was a move called "Serenity".

I often click through to the ads not because I am interested in the material in so much as I am interested in supporting Tivo and making sure they stay around - that and I am just waiting for something innovative to be done with the technology. This ad was more interesting for the content than the technology. I have seen the Serentity trailer on TV for the last couple of weeks and honestly thought this movie was just a dog - after seeing the extended commercial I am not yet convinced otherwise, but I am intrigued.

The Stealth trailer, and other ones that use the Tivo extended format are often just typical trailers. For Serenity however, they emphasized the excitement of those who attended the pre-screenings and showed very little of the movie. Apparently the storyline for this movie is an extension of a cult favorite TV show called Firefly that was cancelled after only a dozen or so episodes several years ago. The pre-screenings all sold out around the country in just a few minutes, driven by a net campaign to the core fan base - some of whom apparently drove hundreds of miles to get to a screening.

The Insytes provided by the movie goer during exit interviews after a screening is something we have seen for a long time, but this felt different. It has long been my contention that the exit interview is a form of blogging in which the medium of distribution becomes either a trailer or part of the nightly news via television. It is also one of the strongest ways to get on the radar screens of the core parts of the targeted demographic - the logic is simple, if I am a 30 something sci-fi geek who likes Renaissance Fairs (disclaimer: I am not) and I see someone like me on TV who I can identify with, I am more likely to take their word or reccomendation and therefore be influenced. In the 2 minute extended Tivo commercial, we saw 20+ people who are perfect specimens of the core audience divulging their core Insytes as to why they loved the Firefly series and this movie. Surprisingly though, there were more pre-movie interviews that post. Still, I expect the campaign will be one of the most effective ever on Tivo in terms of its impact on first week ticket sales.

The most interesting thing in the whole commercial for me was what the writer/director Joss Whedon had to say about his writing:

"I do this not to make things that people like - its only to make things that they love. I write for a moment when you just go - 'oh god, I needed to see that'."

-- Joss Whedon

Wow, what a great driving force - this is a philosophy I plan on adopting in many aspects of my personal and professional life and perhaps one reason I will end up seeing the movie in theatres if any of my friends ever want to see it... but then again, most of my friends are probably not interested so I will look forward to adding it to my Netflix que in a couple of months.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Katrina: Mayor of Gulfport a true leader

I wish more people in the south had this (or find this) cando attitude:

"We were literally fending for ourselves," Warr says. "Sitting in a well complaining because no one will throw you a rope is not going to get you anywhere. Instead, you climb out. You hope someone gives you a hand and pulls you. But either way, we're getting out of the well.

Katrina: Nagin proving us right - one crazy cajun

Is there anyway the people of New Orleans can do a recall vote on this guy? Someone please help the city out and get this guy out of office. I saw a short portion of his comments this afternoon and am just amazed at the silly things this guy says and does. A few examples here on MSNBC.