Friday, September 17, 2010

Using crowds to communicate and innovate

Three pieces of information came together today, they merged and managed to spark some ideas in my prefrontal cortex.  First, a note from the organizers of "Landscapes into rocks" conference, which I will attend next week, asking for my permission to record the talk and post it online.  This took me by surprise, and of course the first thought was "what a nice and progressive idea".  Followed by the next thought "what if I have a stomach ache and give a lousy talk? It will remain forever posted on the web,  and I will be forever embarrassed!  I better prepare!"
Then, I stumbled upon a blog post by Seth Godin with an insightful title - "Rehearsing is for cowards", where the basic idea is that a well rehearsed talk/presentation will protect  "against the downside, the unpredictable and the embarrassing" but will not allow for a potential leap forward. Seth states in his post:
"A well-rehearsed performance will go without a hitch. An explorer seeks the hitches, because hitches are the fissures and chasms that help us leap forward."
The third and final piece that made my day was a TED talk by Chris Anderson on Crowd accelerated innovation.  This talk emphasized how internet video allows the communication of ideas beyond the audience that attended an event, and also how it creates a cycle of improvement, through the feedback and the recognition a video post receives.


  1. I suppose if glitches and hitches traveled alone, it might be true that they help us leap forward, but sometimes they cascade upon each other. Then we begin to tumble.

    Back in 1987, I gave a talk at a regional GSA meeting in Tucson, AZ. I had the flu and the medicine the doctor gave me didn't make me feel better, it made be feel drousy.

    I needed two slide projectors for my talk and for some reason, the remote for the left projector was on the right side of the podium and the remote for the right projector was on the left. Perhaps there was a reason for this, but I have yet to figure it out.

    For about 80% of my talk, things went well, until I advanced the wrong projector and sometimes reverse doesn't work well on slide projectors. It being 23 years ago, I don't recall if I got back on track or if I just "winged it", using one projector for the balance of the talk. Fortunately, it was one of the last talks on the last day, thus there weren't too many witnesses.

  2. on-the-rocks, the GSA talk makes for a good story now, but I am sure was not fun at all at the time. Thanks for your comments. m


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