I'm listening to Anil from Six Apart and Jim Coudal on the Blogging for Business conference call among some others. There are 163 people on the call at this moment. The number of curious people on the sidelines is enormous (maybe good tailwind for my Learning Annex class on Blogging for Success... which is on March 16th, btw... details to come soon, but save the date!).
Its interesting to see businesses feel out exactly how they are going to use blogs... since this medium originally developed around individuals and bubbled up as oppossed to trickling down from the big guys.
"... Blogs are an opportunity to demonstrate authority on a subject in a very personal way... blogs have personality." - Jim
Anil made a good point about blogs are transparency and how transparency helps build brand...
What really strikes me, as Anil is discussing it, is how positive a medium blogging is turning out to be. Instances of positive commentary, trading links, creating interesting discussion, etc. seems to completely dwarf negative instances of commentary, personal criticism, content spamming, etc. I think part of that comes from the fact that the medium tends to focus more on bringing like minded people together. Chances are, if you're reading a blog, you're already interested in a topic and have a similar perspective as the writer.
Content is definately king... "Blogs without good content are like a guitar in the hands of someone who can't play." - Jim
I got my RSS analogy into the meeting comments... "If web content is pizza, then HTML is like sitting down to eat it in the pizzeria, and RSS is like getting a pie "to go". "That's gold, Jerry... GOLD!"
Thanks guys... Great job.
I haven't posted in a few days, but no worries, I'm still here...
I'm reading the Bhagavad Gita right now... its a book I learned about when I took a class at the School of Practical Philosophy last year. I just started, but even the introduction is thought provoking. The gita is one of the central texts in Hindu literature, and without going into lots of detail, which I'm sure to follow up with during the course of my reading, it offers up a unique insight into the religion and its teachings about philosophy.
Anyway, the introduction answers the question "What kind of yoga (teachings) does the Gita teach?" with the following:
jnana yoga - the yoga of knowledge An aspirant uses his will and discrimination to disidentify himself from his body, mind, and senses until he knows he is nothing but the Self.
bhakti yoga - the yoga of devotion The follower achieves the same goal by identifying himself completely with the Lord in love. By and large, this is the path taken by most of the mystics of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
karma yoga - the yoga of selfless action The aspirant dissolves his identification with body and mind by identifying with the whole of life, forgetting his finite self in the service of others.
raja yoga - the yoga of meditation The follower of raga yoga disciplines his mind and senses until the mind-process is suspended in a healing stillness and he merges in the Self.
So the question is, what kind of spiritual aspirant am I? Do I seek the Self, which is really a conception of a higher power, through knowledge, devotion, service, or discipline?
hmm... I'll have to think about that. The tough part is, its not necessarily as easy as "What kind of person are you?" Its more like "When do you feel you are your truest inner self?"
I can't believe this story... this guy chooses losing a finger so they can save his wedding ring, and then the doctors go and LOSE THE RING!!
If I were him, I'd make sure I gave the doctor the finger after that.
When I was home for Christmas break in my freshman year at Fordham I remember reading a Time essay about this guy who kept these lists... books and books of all of these random lists. They were just things he noticed, of no particular value individually, but strung together the lists were fascinating. Words on the back of a truck on the highway. Items in a garage sale. Letters skywritten above. It inspired me and I went out and bought a little notebook to jot down random records, snippets of my life. At first, they were all over the place and like my blog, I had to feel out what I was doing with them. But, also like my blog, every now and then you get a gem, I think, and I managed to say something interesting.
Once, I accidently washed one of these books in a pair of shorts in the laundry. When I first discovered what I had done, I nearly cried. Some of the pages were washed out, but most of the writing survived. That let me to start scanning these pages so they wouldn't be lost. But that was a while ago and it was a clumsy process and I couldn't quite figure out what I was going to do with these scanned pages, so I stopped. Now, I think my blog is actually a very appropriate place for them. So, beginning today, whenever I get a chance, I'm going to scan a few pages from my "little books" and post them. I'll start with the ones I already had done.
I guess, in a sense, these were like little blogs, but I just wasn't tapped into the medium to promote it at the time. Also, some of the stuff was a bit too personal for posting. You can tell if you read my blog that I have a definate line when it comes to posting very personal things, but I think what's written in these little books has passed the statute of limitations, since they're about seven years old.
I'll pick out my own personal highlights. The rest might not always make sense or seem silly. I love the little pool diagram. The most meaningful, though, is my post about Patti. Patti was my high school girlfriend for two years, and we broke up in August right before I went to Fordham (I was a year older). I literally recorded the very moment that I could bear to hear about her with other guys and be reasonable about it... five months later. Now, granted that was just hearing about it... I didn't have to see it, but that was a big thing for me. I have no recollection at all who Mike Melia is, but apparently, I thought she was dating him. That was a big step in the healing process there... red letter day.
So my computer decided to mysteriously restart in the middle of my previous attempt at this post.... very frustrating. I'll try not to make any sudden movements this time around. I think the worst thing you can do when you're retyping something like this is to attempt to recreate what you just did. It will never come out flowing as nice as it did the first time, because you're bound to leave out one clause that sets the whole paragraph off. Better to just start all over again.
So, last night I went to the Union Square Ventures "Holiday" party. It was really interesting to be surrounded by so many people tied to the New York venture scene. The tone of the conversations was very different than those I've had in California. People in New York are much more directly focused on the deal at hand. There's definitively less smalltalk and people always have a deal on their mind. Conversations tend to stray a lot more on the West Coast.
I have this bad habit of asking people where they're from at these things and expecting a certain type of answer. At GP meetings or ILPA, you're always "from" somewhere... representing an institution like Case Western or the Alaska State Pension Fund. Last night, my, "So where are you from?" questions got answers like, "Westchester"... or... "I know Brad." Not everyone there was so "institutional." No one seemed to care where I was from either, which is nice, because anytime I go to the Private Equity Analyst conference, whenever I answer General Motors, I might as well paint a big bullseye on my face. "Hey everyone... look... its a big LP that puts out lots of money. Get him!!"
The funny thing at this party was that I'm sure that a good number of the people there were probably writing blogs that I read. I got into a conversation with Matt, the CEO of Return Path, who is a really personable guy, and I couldn't remember whether or not I read his blog. Turns out that I did... he writes OnlyOnce. It was also great to meet the GothamGal (Fred's Wife) although she chose to show up as her alter ego, Joanne, so there was no cape involved. I think that anytime a significant number of people in a room are invited by Fred, they should be required to wear, "Hello, My blog is..." nametags, so we can match the person to the postings. I'm sure they do that kind of thing at BloggerCon.