I just finished reading “The Inheritance,” a new book by New York Times foreign correspondant David E. Sanger. It’s a lucid, thoughtful look inside the Bush foreign policy legacy, with a strong focus on the challenging global security situations in North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan that the Obama administration must contend with. Sobering and worthwhile.
- The Mediocre Multitasker – NYTimes.com
- Multitasking doesn’t work.
- TARP could have cost taxpayers $700 billion. Now it looks like it might break even. – By Daniel Gross – Slate Magazine
- TARP looking like it might be a pretty good deal for taxpayers. That’s good news.
- Too Much Cash For Clunkers?
Molly and I have been working on a little “skunkworks” project that we’re delighted to bring out of “stealth mode”…
Age: 12 weeks
Gender: Tadpole or chicken, we’re not sure yet
Expected launch date: March 14, 2010
Parents: Brimming with joy, anticipation and mild panic
- Cool Tools: SunRun PPA
- Solar Financing for Home Solar Power – SunRun
- Interesting solution to the problem of financing solar power. CA, MA, AZ only (for now).
- John DeRosa: A review of “Plone 3 Theming”
- scottberkun.com » Calling bullshit on social media
- Far more eloquent than I could hope to be.
- The Final Numbers on ‘Clunkers’ – Wheels Blog – NYTimes.com
- Fascinating. Hardly surprising. U.S. carmakers need to raise the level of their game.
Stumbled across an interesting, resonant paragraph from Vinnie Mirchandani that worked best for me out of context:
My concern with Social CRM is we will build better antennae and pick up even more… signals. But unless we have passionate (and empowered) employees who can follow up and do something about it, we will gradually turn off our advocates. And go back to traditional CRM – hope our marketing and PR dollars drown out the non-advocates.
Speaking and listening are both essential parts of a conversation. The trick is the balance.
Some interesting thoughts from Gerald Marzorati, the editor of the New York Times Magazine (highlights are mine):
Q. Thank you for answering questions. I believe that the Magazine is one of the great weekly publications for in-depth, intelligent reporting on a wide variety of timely issues. The New Yorker comes to mind as another print source in this genre as well. Do you think this kind of reporting can survive in this day of Internet blurbs and sound-bite news? I have to admit that I face less and less time to be able to sit down and read entire articles as I scramble at work and at home with busy schedules and an overload of information.
A. Dear Mr. Langs: My short answer is, Maybe. Long-form journalism might have a future, both in print and online. Last spring I gave an address on this very subject to a gathering of editors in San Francisco, and you can read it if you want here. But I will summarize:
— Readers still want long-form journalism — despite information overload and hectic schedules and so on — and the numbers prove it. It’s the magazine’s longest pieces that get the most page views each week, often more than a million. (Are they reading it on their monitors or printing it out? Good question.)
— Long -form journalism is expensive: The Magazine is publishing a 13,000-word piece on Sunday (it will be up online earlier) that we did in partnership with ProPublica, the independent, not-for-profit newsroom. One of ProPublica’s editors and I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation yesterday of what the total cost of the piece actually was, figuring in several years of reporting and nearly a year of editing. Estimate: $400,000.
— So: The problem is NOT that contemporary readers getting more and more of their news online don’t want or read long-form journalism, despite what my friends Jacob Weisberg and Michael Massing continue to say (see “The News About the Internet,” New York Review of Books, Aug. 13, 2009). The problem is that very, very few Web outlets can begin to afford it. And the the handful of print magazines devoted to long-form journalism that have a Web presence (The New Yorker and The Atlantic most prominently) don’t really make money. Who is going to pay for long-form journalism? That’s the question. Maybe we need more ProPublicas. Maybe you and other readers drawn to long-form need to pay for online content.
- Neighborlogs | The hyperlocal reason Seattle dumped its mayor: Information, not snow
- Seattle’s snow crisis was really an information distribution crisis. The solution: build more information distribution capacity.
scrapes and re-presents Federal Register information with more user-friendly front end
- Political calculus
- I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking this.
A somewhat rambling post from Lee at HorsesAss had this gem stuck in at the bottom:
While the people whose paranoia far outweighs their ability to grasp complex issues continue to show up at town halls and scream their heads off, I still hold out some hope that enough Americans are taking the same thing away from the spectacle that I am, that we’re really not doing a good enough job in this country of treating the mentally ill – and that’s just another reason we need to improve our health care system.
… or at least that’s my theory.
I think it would be very interesting to take a truly random sample of nonprofits (any ideas on a good methodology?), and do some online research to find out how many of these nonprofits are actually being talked about “organically” online.
My bet: under 10%.
This thought occurred to me because so many social media consultants seem to be saying something to the effect of, “Hey people are talking about you online whether you want them to or not.” With the implied followup, “So you’d best hire me to help you figure out how to listen and engage.” I’m not so sure.
Research suggests that too much social networking reduces innovation, disruptive thinking. Interesting food for thought