Rives at TED: It is not a question of if you can, it’s do ya?

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/03/21

The TED conference videos are some of the most amazing pieces of free learning I have ever seen. While working out last week I was going through the que of them on my iPod when I came across this 4 minute piece by spoken word artist Rives — a riff on “If I Ran the Internet”.

Amazing — I watched it over and over again for 40 minutes on the eliptical.

As some of you know, I aspire to geek spoken word, and this, I think is the pinnacle of that admittedly narrow genre. Choice quotes —

  • “It is not a question of if you can, it’s do ya?”
  • “We can make ‘you’ve got hallelujah’ the national anthem of the cyberspace every lucky time you log on.”

Here it is from YouTube —



Creating Passionate Users: Face-to-Face Trumps Twitter, Blogs, Podcasts, Video…

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/03/16

God bless Kathy Sierra.

Over the last few months I’ve found myself trying to explain the deepening (and real community) aspects of meatspace interactions that my wife Jen and I have been drawn into as a result of participating in online community.

Ruthie's Shoes at Northern Voice 2007

Usually we are trying to explain to business colleagues or friends or family or members of our church that, yes, indeed — online community is a part of real community and not the equivalent of social cheese-whiz that some describe it to be.

But, yeah — as I’m working to explain it I often see eyes begin to glaze over — and I can tell that folks are either not buying it or I’m not communicating very well.

Which leaves me — searching for ways to compellingly relate how online community has become real community for us — looking for the stories and patterns that engage both the emotion and the intellect.

Enter Kathy Sierra.

This morning I read her post from yesterday describing her keynote at SXSW. The post is called Face-to-Face Trumps Twitter, Blogs, Podcasts, Video… and is full of great passages on how all this social web software drives a deeper desire for face-to-face community.

My favorite quote —

…all our globally-connecting-social-networking tools are making face-to-face more, not less desirable. Thanks to the tools y’all are building, we now have more far-flung friends–including people we’ve never met f2f–than ever before. We now have more people we want to connect with in the human world, often after years of electronic-only contact.

Nice insight — sticking that pattern in my bag of tricks — something tells me the “online community isn’t real community, is it?” questions aren’t gonna stop anytime soon — this stuff is continuing to disrupt everything.

Did I mention that my mom who just got her first computer for Christmas is now IM’ing all the time — the world really is getting flat.



Medicine is magical and magical is art…

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/09/01

Our friend Zoe goes home today from her heart transplant. Wow. All I can think of are those words of St. Simon

These are the days of miracle and wonder…
Medicine is magical and magical is art…



Berkun on ‘How to detect bullshit’

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/08/14

From Berkun’s latest ‘How to detect bullshit’

White lies are the spackle of civilization

That is awesome.



Chris Pirillo says TechMeme has been hacked

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/06/30

Chris Pirillo says TechMeme has been hacked.

Who knew?



‘Enthusiasm’—en theos—a god within

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/04/12

Here is a cool quote from Louis Pasteur found in the new book “Exuberance: The Passion for Life” by Kay Redfield Jamison

The Greeks bequeathed to us one of the most beautiful words in our language—the word ‘enthusiasm’—en theos—a god within. The grandeur of human actions is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a god within, and who obeys it.

(found via Tom Peters — more quotes from the book are in this .pdf)



Kathy says ‘Reducing guilt is the killer app’

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/03/14

Over on Creating Passionate Users, Kathy Sierra posted that ‘Reducing guilt is the killer app’.

I buy it — how about you?

Can’t tell you how easy it is for my eLearning and design efforts to get stuck in the mud because the system just doesn’t give users the feeling of ‘You can do it!’ (to quote Jaime Escalante who I saw speak once when I was in college — he was amazing — all he said for 20 minutes was that phrase — over and over — “You can do it!” — with a Cheech Marin accent — inspiration comes in many forms — some stand and deliver more that any visio diagram ever will — how can we create systems that, through their UX design, say this?)

Kathy nails it by identifying the emotional stress of not measuring up to all of the stuff people don’t know but that seems within reach (a kind of knowledge proximity, as it were).

And here’s her choice quote on what to do about it —

Help users revolt. Help them realize that perhaps their problem wasn’t their fault. Struggling to learn these tough technical topics? Maybe it isn’t you. Maybe it’s the way these topics are taught (or rather, the way they are not being taught). Part of our mission with the Head First books is to let learners off the hook! To say, “It is not your fault. Traditional learning experiences (including many text books) are usually not designed for the best interest of your brain…”

More on this later regarding Seth Godin’s recent talk at Google. I finally got my video iPod setup the other day and watched the video of it — some very important ideas in there — distilled very nicely.



Vista ‘Porn at Bay’ (aka pBay ??)

Posted by bryanzug - 2006/01/09

Best tech quote from last week comes from Andru Edwards at Gear Live as he covered the CES show in Vegas. In a post on parental controls built into Microsoft’s Vista operating system —

…Vista has big plans for keeping Timmy’s future porn habit at bay.

That’s funny (and, unfortunately, oh so true)



They Say I’m Extreme

Posted by bryanzug - 2005/11/16

Went to Barnes & Noble over at U-Village a couple of days ago (near the University of Washington here in Seattle). Had been having a bad day and needed some time to clear my head — decided to wander the store and explore — which usually does the trick.

These days I’ve got so much past due (on every front, all the time), that I rarely wander aaround and shift gears to discovery mode — so it was a nice couple of hours.

Came across a cool little ‘explode your world’ book by Seth Godin called “The Big Moo”.

It’s a collection of essays by 30 people who would best be described as ‘change catalysts’. Godin serves as editor for the collection and it’s chocked full of nuggets (all of which are not credited to a particular contributor — that’s interesting).

One of the essays is called “They Say I’m Extreme” and it knocked me on my ass.

It was exactly what I needed to hear on that particular afternoon. I’m passing a few quotes of it along here (you can find the full version around if you google) — hope the copyright police don’t mind (and if they do, I hope they recognize the attention exchange as worth it).

If this inspires you, replicate the DNA by passing it along and buying the book (it’s a non-profit thing and all proceeds go to charity — bulk orders info available on The Big Moo site).


Here’s the first exceprt that got me…

They Say I’m Extreme They say I’m extreme. I say I’m a realist. They say I demand too much. I say they accept mediocrity and continuous improvement too readily. They say, “We can’t handle this much change.” I say, “Your job and career are in jeopardy; what other options do you have?” They say, “What’s wrong with a ‘good product’?” I say, “Wal-Mart or China or both are about to eat your lunch. Why can’t you provide instead a fabulous experience?” They say, “Take a deep breath. Be calm.” I say, “Tell it to Wal-Mart. Tell it to China. Tell it to India. Tell it to Dell. Tell it to Microsoft.”

Here’s another…

They say, “Happy balance.” I say, “Creative tension.” They say they favor a “team that works and lives in harmony”. I say, “Give me a raucous brawl among the most creative people imaginable.” They say, “Peace, brother.” I say, “Bruise my feelings. Flatten my ego. Save my job.”

And another…

They say, “We see Harvard M.B.A.s.” I say, “I seek certificate-free ‘Ph.D.s’ from the School of Hard Knocks.” They say they want recruits with “spotless records”. I say, “The spots are what matter most.” They say, “Integrity is important.” I say, “Tell the unvarnished truth, all the time…or take a hike.”

Last one…

They say, “Zero defects.” I say, “A day without a screw up or two is a day pissed away.” They say, “Think about it.” I say, “Try it.” They say, “Plan it.” I say, “Test it.”

Very nice bit of inspiration. A bit of googling this AM turned up an earlier version in a compelling visual form (.pdf). Amazing how Google can lead you right to the source with just a few bits of info.

Good stuff…



Ambrose Bierce on Zeal

Posted by bryanzug - 2005/10/03

Picked up a nice quote on zeal from David Allen’s blog this AM. Great note to folks like me who, shall we say, brew over with passion from time to time.

It’s by Ambrose Bierce —

Zeal, n. A certain nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced. A passion that goeth before a sprawl.      When Zeal sought Gratitude for his reward      He went away exclaiming: “O my Lord!”      “What do you want?” the Lord asked, bending down.      “An ointment for my cracked and bleeding crown.”      — Jum Coople — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911

David posted part of the quote. I was able to google the full thing and the source.

(Have I mentioned that I’m a huge fan of David Allen and that I’d stalk him if I had the time?)



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