On mattering

I went a while there where I really didn’t matter. Weird to say, but true. I was stuck in a job that demanded my silence, and as a result my personal profile faded. Sure, my work mattered to the company’s bottom line, but my craft ceased to be viewable outside my office. A decade of personal brand-building, participating in a vibrant community of my peers, went into partial stasis.
On top of that, I spent the last two years focused on personal things–buying an apartment, having a baby, dealing with a baby–and as a result everything else became secondary. I was too busy to be on the radar, and I slowly fell off it.
The evidence is in the public domain. My website design hasn’t changed in four years. I haven’t done any public speaking since 2006. My poor dog’s photo gallery is atrophied and sad. My wife’s online portfolio is 18 months overdue for an update.
The good news is that era has passed. When I came to Alexander Interactive, I was pleasantly tasked with raising the company profile. I’ve been blogging for Ai on business topics and begun publishing opinion articles for iMedia Connection, and I’ll be a panelist alongside our principals at the Internet Retailer Design ’09 conference in January. We’ve got whitepapers and other projects planned to continue the activity.
So I’m amending the raised-profile plan to include my own. Blogging at Ai, which has been a once-or-twice-a-week endeavor, is going to become a daily habit. The Ideapad will continue its run and a half-finished redesign will go live before year’s end. I’m going to look for additional publications in which to participate, organizations to join, public speaking engagements to forge, teaching opportunities to claim.
I’m refreshed, invigorated and excited. Let’s light this candle.
(Note to self and others: This is the kind of blog post that I often choose not to publish, which means I don’t write it at all, which helps no one, most [least] of all me. So I’m throwing it out there. I’m back in the proverbial game and stepping onto the field.)

links for 2008-09-15

Seven years ago

I don’t terribly enjoy re-commemorating 9/11 on an annual basis, but there seems to be a greater focus on it today than last year, and I’d be remiss not to solemnly nod in assent.
This page was and still is a destination for people seeking individual stories about the event. There are two:
My blog posts about the event, September 11-23, 2001
Adam Oestreich’s first-person account, September 12, 2001
Adam’s story still receives thousands of page views annually.


Twitter from the Cradle in today’s New York Times, editorializing mine:
“A host of new sites, including Totspot, Odadeo, Lil’Grams and Kidmondo, now offer parents a chance to forgo the e-mail blasts of, say, their newborn’s first trip home [yes! no more “I’ve shared photos at the Gallery”] and instead invite friends and family to join and contribute to a network geared to connecting them to the baby [what?] in their lives.”
I have the same problem with this as I do with sites like Dogster. It’s not about the baby–it’s about the parents. It’s not like my friends and relatives are going to set up Totspot accounts; they’re going to create ersatz online identities for their kids (those who have kids) and role-play. And that’s where it loses me.
I could, for example, make a Totspot page for Nate, or create a linkroll on his site to Stella and Mack and Olivia, et al. But what does it mean when Nate doesn’t even know the dog’s name yet, much less his “friends”? Or that he hasn’t even met Stella in person?
I love my son’s baby blog. It is already a great keepsake and chronicle of his early life. As for the social network, I’ll let him forge that for himself.

links for 2008-09-08

links for 2008-09-05

links for 2008-09-04

  • I love that a real estate blog whose stock in trade is "new construction 33% windowed!" posts has half a dozen classifieds listings for $5 million-plus apartments
    (tags: blogs)
  • "Perhaps the most misguided, dispassionate and lackluster professional sports logo produced in recent time." Kind of what you'd expect from an owner who is redefining buying a pro sports team as his toy
    (tags: sports)