Oh, grow up!

My, how you've grown this year!

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In many ways, the holistic e-trinity of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook is starting to gel with users of each and share resources. App makers are paying more attention to joining all of the myriad of social tools available into a more seamless social web terrain…and it’s working. Social tools are starting to overshadow the big boys of the internet that we all thought were untouchable. The numbers on Facebook’s overtaking of Google in terms of raw daily visits are staggering! Facebook was not that long ago still too much of a MySpace to be taken seriously by Fortune 500 companies, much less thinking people.Now it’s vying for top social media tool in the minds of many–myself included. 

How did this happen? My take is the untoward publicity on Facebook’s privacy issues may have actually sparked more debate and discussion and thinking about the private vs. the public by setting the stage with a starter discussion on setting permissions. Meanwhile, Facebook was busy integrating with other apps that allow interaction of accounts with popular social networking tools. Certainly there have been an onslaught of new innovative apps that sew together user experience across platforms that formerly saw each other in more competitive terms. This cooperative spirit has led to more cross-platform communicators demonstrating new potential just on the fringe of what is currently materialized. People are, in short, doing real Web 2.0 on a more grand scale. Companies are becoming more adaptive to “black swans“, the events that shake up and sometimes make or break a company or group. Things are, in short, speeding up, evolving. 

I think we also have to credit the recently emerged FourSquare and Google Buzz to some extent, for simply stirring the pot in significant, game-changing ways. We also can’t forget the iPhone, which has really pulled together the idea of bringing the social web to life as a compact do-it-all personal accessory. Not the just ability to pull it together, but the branding savvy and ability to get adoption on a mass-scale has forced other phone makers to predictably follow suit. Oddly enough, only Apple has actually topped the iPhone, but making a tablet that will probably exceed all other tablets before it. 

The social web consists of overlapping conversations within an inherently open-ended forum, not "marketing messages" and not exclusively "chat messages" like previously. As everyone seeks a role an expanding conversation with rapidly expanding participation from outside itself, the conversation takes on a different, more "not final" aspect. And social media marketing players will in the future likewise consist increasingly of niche partners providing value to the public (and private) domain of the social, not "competitors" grasping for "limited" market share.

 

In reality, however, I think each new player, each new alternative is becoming a niche provider of unique opportunities in contradistinction to the others that can’t grow without the others. Sort of like covering angles and omitting investiture into already-branded areas. The market has always had this principle at work, of course, but now the innovation curve is speeding up fast enough to make the principles of branding your niche much more of an inescapable realization. 

As things begin to cook, I wonder how personalities will play out in this more integrated social web that sees not so much competitors, but instead of emerging cooperating niche  partners? For now it seems that there are a lot of talking heads but the leadership structures are still forming and changing around, with few visible mega-movements actually affecting the culture at large. There have been a lot of emerging movements-to-be being kicked around. The Linchpin Way is one tiny but serious example of such a little movement trying to take make a big difference. In the end, I think they are a step along the way to what I called in a previous post, a sense of appreciation and awe at the idea and goal of community-at-large: the desire to serve an open-ended sense of community, rather than one particular enclave (for example, “me and my friends/company/partners/family”, etc.). It’s simply the idea that since the market is actually becoming global even at the local level, that it should think in a way that recognizes itself as a single interconnected all-tribe, made up of legions of smaller tribes. 

Books by Seth Godin, Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuk (can you believe Brogan doesn’t have his own Wikipedia page yet?) have sparked discussion and inspired groups and projects, and of course, entire movements within marketing and social media as a region of thought. While such movements may be in many cases still in their infancy, this is an interesting development for me, because I can for the first time see people sacrificing more than just the time to blog for 5 minutes about something that popped up on Twitter. If people actually start changing their schedules, they start to refocus and change their lives, and then they may be more open to some of the more open-ended movements like The Linchpin Way, or say, even community-at-large (a phrase which I think actually does have a uniquely functioning meaning beyond reducing it to “good marketing” or “widening market-reach” or even “spirituality” or whatever). 

Whatever turns it takes, I think that the unstoppable Hegelian dialectic of social and cultural movements inevitably requires us to grow up along with the tools we us in the social web as it has in areas like nuclear war/energy, the environment, and the prospect of unending nation-building in unstable parts of the world. Social media will require that we grow up a little socially (not just technologically) by making us bump up against one another, via and outside of our own tribes, even despite our own tribes. Perhaps the term ought to be “social technology”, since it refocuses us on the nature of how technologies shape the world, us and the very notion of the social, instead of faintly promoting the lingering delusion of a “fair and balanced” or democratic media with no shaping function. 

However you look at it, we’re now able to literally rub shoulders with virtually anyone with a smart phone with wireless capability, including actual heads of state (in some limited cases) and thought-leaders from every sector and part of the world. Perhaps the mind-blowing reality of the” social” in social media will be when homeless start becoming power-users via libraries and cheap cellphones with universal wireless connections. What would you say/tweet to a homeless person? Would it be the type of thing you’d tweet to others? How would the whole “living large” mindset of the upwardly mobile play out as the internet opens up to the far reaches of the rural areas of the so-called “third world”? How do modernized people look to those outside that parameter? And finally, would your social media movement shrivel a bit at the prospect of a truly universal world-wide web? If not, could it grow to meet the challenge? 

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Comments
  1. Amy Celine says:

    I want to think this way. And maybe you’re right. Maybe technology is nudging us to evolve into something beyond tribes/twibes/clans/”mine”. Maybe this is really just a widening of our own circle, after all. I’ve thought for a long time that thinking in terms of “competitors” seems somehow…unproductive.

    • Mark Brimm says:

      It has amazed me how the market has demanded smaller, more community-flavored products and thus gives local a more global appeal. You see it in music, food, clothes, and content within and outside of traditional news media. Local is unique, and thus more valuable in a market where value slides dramatically as production strategies struggle to push profitability as high as mathematically possible.

  2. jckh says:

    We’re experiencing a hyperdeflation in the cost of bringing products and services to market. The money that used to be spent on advertising and other mass-marketing techniques will be redistributed towards search engine marketing (now a multibillion business), social marketing (really a re-branded form of customer service / PR).

    Those methods are far less expensive than advertising used to be. The money will be redistributed towards research & development, improving product quality, customer service, and potentially acquisitions.

    Can companies like Proctor and Gamble continue to sell commodities at a markup thanks to branding? Doubtful. If it can be manufactured, it can be knocked off and sold at a tiny profit. In the US, it might be unsustainable to sell products at tiny margins, but in Cambodia/India/China/etc. those pennies buy mansions.

    Newspapers, magazines and others have repeatedly disparaged Facebook, Google, blogs, etc. because they threaten their purpose and position of power. I read an article recently about a former Conde Naste editor who used to have a personal hair stylist. Now, she works from home running one of AOL’s properties. No more stylist, no more assistant.

    Properly understood, marketing and media serve the purpose of allocating attention and capital. If HGTV runs a show called “Flip That House” it allocates attention capital to that practice.

    For example, P&G used to make huge profits with Tide because they could occupy a portion of the brain-space of their target audience throughout their lives. A tiny portion of the brains of your average 1950s housewife was labeled “Tide,” and it influenced their decision making process.

    As the audience becomes more fragmented and more heavily influenced by social networking, it becomes almost impossible to achieve that effect.

    Print media is still something like a $30 billion business. There’s plenty of milkshake there left over for alternative marketers to drink.

    • Mark Brimm says:

      True, it seems the future of the brand is the micro-brand as economic forces erode the former hegemony that the big brand used to be able to leverage in terms of market-share and consumer-branding “brain-space”. Bigger companies also have shorter life-spans now. Investors can more readily bank on a short return and legitimize an investment based on a startup with 5-10 year climb that will begin to level off as a saturation point is reached and expansion of market share decreases. Smaller, niche, alternative become from this view economic necessities inherent in the logic of free market forces playing themselves out.

  3. I’m kind of reeling at this…don’t think I can comment quickly, except to say that you’re thinking way deeper about social media than anyone else I can currently think of. But I see the logic of it from a social media and marketing standpoint. It’s actually quite logical.

    I’ve read the people you quote, and I’ve read a few others, and I still can’t quite think of anyone who goes here. Seth Godin comes the closest. Nice.

    • Mark Brimm says:

      I see this line of thinking as a kind of continuation from where Godin leaves off with Tribes and Linchpin, definitely!

    • jckh says:

      The issue is that so many think of “social media” in terms of cliche. They think it just means tweeting, setting up a facebook fan page, or whatever.

      Here’s what social media means: no minimum wage, effective access to a global labor pool, outsourced taxation, global market reach (with the caveat that culture & language are tough problems to breach), reduced pricing power, and serious difficulties in “controlling the message.”

      This is very tough for many people to understand, especially those whose paychecks rely on their continued denial of reality. Think real estate brokers in Arizona circa 2006.

      Perhaps we should be glad that this is so poorly understood – otherwise the social change would be too wrenching. I have a hunch that things will change very slowly and then all at once, as it usually does.

      • Mark Brimm says:

        Jack, I like how your input is always somewhat framed in the terms of exploitation, master/slave, historical power struggles, and classic economic perspectives. I think it’s valuable to keep these perspectives in focus if we want to more creatively address (some might say “subvert”) the corporatist forces that spawn the massive exploitation of the weak and “inspire” others to follow their model, the very things you mentioned. And I also think that subverting, upon closer inspection, even for good, feels a little too close to deception and that deception is not good for the relation between the corporate world and that part of the world that would like to make positive change. And intellectualism, while useful between those who know the lexicon and have that energy, is often exclusive of those who don’t (perhaps that is a pity beyond all, but it is the product of specialization and thus a product of survival itself). I also think that the face of evil does not go away (at least not in this world we inhabit). It’s part of the evolutionary chain itself that keeps the whole thing going. For this reason above all others, I think there is a certain kind of relation to evil required for those who want to do good in the world.

        Ultimately, I prefer the engaged, playful dialogue between the two sides (the corporate and the individual, taken as adjectives) where neither is forced to take a defensive position, but rather is inclined to engage and play, come up with new solutions that meet the real needs of both. I think that exploitation is one thing, and willing, awakened and skillful service to something you can see positive, tipping-the-scale potential in is another. I think that if we attempt to forge this dialogue carefully, we can both improve AND benefit the power structures that benefit us if we simply by engageing them in a respectful and supportive way. I don’t know if I can do it, or if everyone together can do it, but I do know that I want to make it my native habit to try that balancing act whenever I engage in a public way. I can’t stop wanting to try, or wanting to be a person who wants to try to appreciate (not propel) the other side of every argument. I think this is the only way to effectively engage power structures. Especially when I see that, yes, those at the bottom of the educational spectrum are going to get hoodwinked and their power diluted without someone speaking up somewhere, somehow. I don’t think it’s useful to come up with “final solutions” to these problems, but rather to commit to staying real with them and thus open to resolving them as they arise.

        I think in a big way the “message” and the “controlling the message” are open spaces where some interesting things can happen, personally. “Subversion” to some, but intelligent play to others.

  4. Deep stuff, Mark–a pleasure to read. One of the things I think you’re touching on here are the ways that information control has been a part of (dare I say it) hegemony (though you brought Hegel into it!). It’s the things that postmodern discursive theory would talk about as privilege–in terms of who can say what to whom and at what times. Social media is utterly upending that. I am more impressed by the day at how profound a change it really is. But think about what the printing press did–and now think about everyone owning today’s equivalent of a printing press. I mean, the kid in rural Pakistan with a $20 Nokia can launch a message on Twitter that can be seen within a heartbeat alongside Tweets from the New York Times. It is intensely democratizing. It will be interesting to see what the growing pains are! Lots of us who don’t think we feel privileged may quickly realize just how used to it we really are.

    Great post, Mark–you really are finding the nerves in all this mess.

    • Mark Brimm says:

      Thanks for the constructive input, Will. Always full of insights and perspective.

      I would have to agree that social media is unpending the rules of who can say what and to whom and when (you sniffed out my college minor quite effortlessly). These tools are forcing us to get past a lot of…crap…and engage, if only in little bursts. And, of course, only in a studied way, mostly. A way that reinforces an image that is concerned mostly about a lurking fear of it’s own demise. There is that line between “amateur” and “pro”. I love the fuzzy area in between those where creativity actually tends to happen. I think this may be one area where the “amateurs” will perpetually have a lot to teach the “pros” who have made up their minds.

      Someone once remarked to me that there is no such thing as a dumb question, and my reactive mind immediately conjured up the infamous punch line to that joke: “only dumb people (i.e., lil ole me for asking it, right?)” The amateurish aspect of social media has the capacity to free us from that pro-amateur flase dichotomy. The pros can engage respectfully with the amateur, thereby teaching by being taught about the utter tentativeness of their expertise.

      Thanks for giving your support to this little experiment. I think it was well spent and will be well received.

  5. […] The Linchpin Way is one tiny but serious example of such a little movement trying to take make a big difference . In the end, I think they are a step along the way to what I called in a previous post, a sense of appreciation and awe at …Continue Reading […]

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  7. ThinkingFox says:

    Mark

    I think that it’s interesting how many Fortune/FTSE 500 companies who blocked Facebook for their employees use during the day are now unblocking access because they want a piece of the social media pie… and of course they are now getting their own corporate pages on there and it wouldn’t do if their own people couldn’t access this during the day would it 🙂

    One of the other sea-changes that we’re seeing is the ownership of contacts. In the good old days companies owned the contact you had or made whilst you were employed with them. Google has reference points for sales driven companies taking legal action against employees who left taking databases etc with them. Now of course, contacts are added to our social networks, outside of the corporate control of Outlook Contacts, LinkedIn being a prime example. Again the corporates seek to block LinkedIn, then open it (hey you can get great leads from that LinkedIn thing you know?!) and then finally realising that actually they own nothing but simply rent the services of their employees and their networks.

    If this continues then what does the future hold? perhaps companies will simply rent a portion of the “hive-mind” rather like the old days where they rented data processing space on other people’s mainframes.

    interesting article by the way

    Rob

    • Mark Brimm says:

      Good points, Rob! I think renting “hive-mind” would be far more productive in the long run to exploiting talent and employee creativity–if the power dynamics can only adjust to it. Renting rather than owning is ultimately in the best interests of the company in my view. It may seem that you can duplicate talent and imprint it upon a fresh-faced, empty-headed teenage workforce, but you really can’t. Experience is valuable, just as talent and the ability to network and build useful connections. This idea of expendable talent is, in my view, the death-knell of an era of management thinking. It’s either going to bankrupt every economy, or it’s going to demand reform of corporate management and demand a re-evaluation of the term “human resources”.

  8. Mark Brimm says:

    The original title of this article was “Is the Social Web Growing Up?” I changed it unwisely to something I thought was more appropriate momentarily and published it. Then I changed it back. Sorry for any confusion I may or may not have sparked there. I didn’t really detect any, but I’m just saying.

    I may try to focus a little more now on concrete problems within social media and marketing in this blog going forward. I wanted to establish a feeling for the center that I’m working from so as to not seem completely unintelligible to all while attempting to stay with concrete problems as my usual course. Not sure if that’s ultimately doable or not. I guess we’ll see.

    Great points, all. Anyone else who wants to offer thoughts, feel free. There is no last word as far as I’m concerned.

    With respect,
    Mark

  9. Michele says:

    Validation! At least that’s how I feel. I’ll admit, when I first heard about Facebook, I thought it was MySpace for 40-somethings. Then I got a profile…that’s all it took…I started to really delve into this whole “social media” phenomena until I couldn’t stay away! I’m still taken aback, every single day, when I’m sitting in traffic and see a JC Penney semi roll past, for example, with its Twitter and Facebook profiles advertised on it! Social Media is becoming a bona fide grown-up and I love it! Hence the feeling of validation…when you’re sitting in front of your computer for hours, devising SM strategies and calling it work, you tend to think….”Really??”…LOL…but yeah….really. Excellent Mark! You’ve done it again with another provocative piece that gets the brain cells humming..

    • Mark Brimm says:

      Thanks for the insight, Michele! I must admit it is interesting to see big, older companies jump aboard increasingly and begin to think about what kid of discussion it has going with customers. Those companies are finally listening in real time, not just through public relations crises, but directly! This is our chance to steer a conversation about how they can serve us better. Now, if only the credit crunch could be maneuvered in such a way! Hmmm. Maybe it can? Guess we’ll never really know until we open a dialogue. I think its an interesting thing when the President himself has a Twitter account and is posting videos on YouTube in a self-reflexive way. That says it’s a whole new ballgame in terms of how we think about the importance of engagement with the public.

  10. jckh says:

    The big risk for these companies comes from employees being too open. Management practices are often *so* cruel at these huge corporations with hundreds of thousands of employees that it can be nearly-impossible to control their message.

    Even an anonymous blog posting like “EA-Spouse” from the early 00s can lead to a massive social media kerfuffle. This places a strong pressures on big companies to respect employees – a huge social shift. The silence from certain companies will become deafening, so to speak.

    Now, I like to think that companies like Electronic Arts have changed their structure to better facilitate independent studios, respecting talent – and it shows.

    I like this because it gives ultra-light entrepreneurs a massive PR/marketing advantage. Just my orientation.

    • Mark Brimm says:

      I like the new-found openness, too, but even more importantly, I can appreciate how it makes possible an opportunity for the individual to see the world differently, if only for the few brief moments it takes to get “re-oriented” and settle back into routine.

  11. In the comments – these wonderful comments, I want to touch on a few things. The Conde Naste editor that works from home to the kid with the $20 Nokia in Pakistan to the the companies now unblocking Facebook and Linkedin on their networks to all of us here on this blog post.

    We are re-wiring how we communicate. The world is shrinking because of tiny electronic windows like the one your are staring into right now – your monitor, your laptop, your iPhone, you TV via your xbox etc. And on top of the tools (those tiny windows and their connecting devices) we are learning and re-learning how to communicate. We are learning a whole new form of relationship building, a new way to “buddy up”, a new campfire to sit and share stories around. We do this all on our blog (or your blog), on facebook, on twitter, on forums, in The Linchpin Way community and many others.

    50 years ago, you talked to your family at home at the dinner table, you talked to your pastor at church or maybe at the grocery store by coincidence, you talked to your girlfriends at the hair salon and your boyfriends at poker night, and a handful of others at the watercooler at work. We had small pockets of people to talk to and we had many many unspoken rules to what we talked about (and did not talk about). And if you broke those rules, you were a trouble maker, a liberal, a conservative, a sermonizer or a rebel. Not anymore and not those small pockets of people with only a few places to talk.

    Now, we are encouraged to share more, show more, tell more, give more because the open arms of the internets is vast and ininite always willing to take more of what you’ve got to give. I’d say we are now encouraged to break the rules, but what rules? We really don’t have any now – its 2010, not 1960 and the rules have all evolved.

    TV, Radio, Newspapers, traditional advertising agencies who want to control messages are all being forced to recognize we (us) don’t want that and really never did, but we didn’t have a say in the matter – no alternatives, so we got in line nicely. These guys no longer create the lines we all stand in.

    So now we have a new class of leaders, artists, intellectuals, and communicators who are empowered with technology, those tiny windows, and their own independent thoughts all being granted the PERMISSION to meetup online – to create a new line to stand in or join a line they believe is right. Social Media is permission to speak and we are all being re-wired to discuss it in keystrokes, in videos, and mp3’s. I would urge us to consider that Social Media isn’t exactly growing up, we are. We are learning how to use it (right).

    Best,
    Justin
    twitter.com/leader4hire

    • Mark Brimm says:

      Good to see you enter the fray on this one, Justin. I like the thoughtfulness of your comments. So much that I want to slow down my answer and attempt to do them justice.

      If you’re restricting yourself to the comments purely, I can’t speak to that and thus you may want to consider all that follows as a side dish. If this is meant to tie in directly to the gist of my post, in that case I’m seeing apples vs. oranges on this one. Here’s why:

      My argument is that people are shifting the *why* significantly from “me” to “we”. And also, that the concept of leadership is coming under closer scrutiny by those who are dealing with lots of followers or an expanded network. Leaders emerge from that based upon the why, I think, rather than the how. And I think the leadership issue is fundamentally tied up to the *why*. My point is that the why is bigger than technology-shift that makes it possible. The technological shift just happens. Then we have to respond to it, make new choices about *why* before we will actually act.

      I think McLuhan students and media students could talk a long mile about how the technology transforms our opportunities and choices on how we’re going to interact, and I would be fascinated to hear what anyone might have to say on how the *how* of technology affects the *why*, which is the heart of this blog post. This part is not clear to me and I don’t see a direct causal relation as yet. I know it creates the opportunity, but it seems to me that nowadays technology shifts do not have this affect on us. It’s hard to shake us up, “blow our minds”, bypass habit long enough to look afresh at old issues about why we choose what we do. Is it going to be survival, or is it a little more complex than oldschool survival of the fittest biology. We don’t switch sides when a groundbreaking new technology comes out and a paradigm shift takes place. People don’t change their politics that readily, for instance, nor anything else in the realm of beliefs. They remain in place in terms of who they are. In this regard of little personal change actually taking place, I would say that social media is “growing up” in terms of setting up the issues for us, but perhaps we really aren’t growing up with it, so much as being pulled rather begrudgingly behind it at a safe 2-missippi distance. I personally see status quo written all over everything in exciting new writing pens (“social media”, “Twitter”, etc.). So I disagree with the idea that learning how to use the tools equates to us growing up. I think it means we’ve learned to use some new tools. The *why* still isn’t covered in the learning. Does that make sense? This post/reply is in the end not directed solely to Justin, it’s kind of an address to the discussion in progress. And I’m hoping that it doesn’t come off too heavy and is self-reflexive enough to see itself while proposing.

      I’m attaching a clarification of part of the post I identified as it’s/my “center” below and as a separate post just in case future “commenters” (no good spelling for that according to spellcheck…) want to address it head-on.

      With respect,
      Mark

      ————————–
      I’ve located what I could identify as the “center” of this post for anyone who wants to pin me down more easily on that (see below):

      “…If people actually start changing their schedules, they start to refocus and change their lives, and then they may be more open to some of the more open-ended movements like The Linchpin Way, or say, even *community-at-large* (a phrase which I think actually does have a uniquely functioning meaning beyond reducing it to “good marketing” or “widening market-reach” or even “spirituality” or whatever).”

  12. Mark Brimm says:

    (Justin’s comments inspired me to respond to him and then to clarify my position in this blog post…not sure if this is how the “big boys” do it, but I guess it’s how I am doing it for now…I hope it helps someone at some point.)

    ————–
    I’ve located what I could identify as the “center” of this post for anyone who wants to pin me down more easily on that (see below):

    “…If people actually start changing their schedules, they start to refocus and change their lives, and then they may be more open to some of the more open-ended movements like The Linchpin Way, or say, even *community-at-large* (a phrase which I think actually does have a uniquely functioning meaning beyond reducing it to “good marketing” or “widening market-reach” or even “spirituality” or whatever).”

  13. jckh says:

    This is a wonderful thread. I’m looking forward to future posts on this theme.

    I’ve been using the web since I was eight years old. I’m 23 now. I started working online at 21.

    Now that the web is composed of a far more diverse set of demographics and has become a more viable platform for commerce, it’s now beginning to have a more disruptive effect.

    The flow of cheap credit through the economy frankly blinded most people to the potential to the medium. It was far more profitable to buy granite countertops on credit than it was to innovate.

    Now, we’re left with few choices but to use the best tools at our disposal to build a market that meets human needs at far lower cost.

  14. Just wanted to say great comments from everyone, especially from Justin and Jack. Loved this post.

  15. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Social Labs Media, Mark Brimm, Mark Brimm, SocialMichele, Mark Brimm and others. Mark Brimm said: Delving considerations on social media's impact on the work culture from @Leader4hire and @jckhewitt http://bit.ly/dBx5OI […]

  16. Wow. Awesome. Mark, I’m admittedly a technologist–I think human beings were born when Prometheus smuggled fire out to us in the fennel stalk–so I do think the how and the why are intertwined. I’d argue that technology has for the first time made possible communities of choice–communities of like minds–rather than communities of coincidence. That’s not a new idea, I know. Maybe Howard Rheingold?

    In any case, I think the how and the why evolve together. We invent or adapt technology for the why, but then re-evaluate our whys based on what the new possibilities are. After all, could we even be having this conversation this way without the technology? It’s a necessary precondition. We’ll never be able to say what we would have concluded in the absence of the technology.

    So that’s the side dish. On the main point, it would seem you’re talking about a very old philosophical problem. Your approach to me sounds somewhat Eastern–a way of looking at the world that sees all of its parts as interdependent. The Dalai Lama is Tweeting now (or at least his helpers are, but he’s a big fan of technology). Maybe we’re just taking the long way round to something we’ve known all along. Love it–best discussion I’ve seen on the Internet in years. Way to go!

  17. Mark Brimm says:

    Thanks, Will!

    Interesting how the word “Eastern” pops up whenever Western people come across something messy and strange to them! The early Christians of Rome (like the vegetarian Seneca) with their focus on personal morality, the early American Shakers, Tolstoy’s Christian reformist idealism–all seem pretty “Eastern” to our contemporary American eyes today.

    That aside, I think the intention behind the why that evolution of how/why of human technoliogy produces is my point here. In every conventional “why” there is either a vacancy, an assumed principle known by heart or in in part, OR a principle that a person can live. That’s where I am on this. I think it makes a difference to go ahead and put that “community-at-large” intention into my private narrow little projects. It’s what I recall before I go to work on a project for a client and it’s what makes me excel. And if I don’t excel, I can typically locate the lack of inner steam there. This is the origin of where I want to work (and blog) from. Okay, so we’ll see in future posts how that works out when I’m addressing concerte marketing issues. Crossing my fingers…

    With respect,
    Mark

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