Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

The other day I was reminded of a quote I love by the prolific science fiction Robert Heinlein. It goes like this:

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

I’m not sure when he said it, or where, but I just really like the Thoreau-esque notion of self-sufficiency. And the end, where instead of acknowledging that some people will become multi-disciplinarians and others specialists, he derides specialization as being for insects. None of this “free to be you and me” shiny, happy bullshit. Either you are with him, or you are an insect (or maybe you are neither, some unskilled idiot). I like that.

[writers note: I believe I can do 10 of those things listed above.]

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If you don’t know me—

Don’t ask me to connect on LinkedIn. I get that you want to grow your network, or sell me some new chotchke that your company just developed. I get it. I can see the value for you. But why do I want to open up my newsfeed to your spam, or my network to your requests for introductions?

If you want to talk to me, send me a message. Or tweet at me. Or post a comment on my blog. I’m pretty easy to find. I’m the only “Ezra Englebardt” in the world, if you try hard enough you could probably find my home address on one of the various social sites I post to regularly (but please don’t come to my house).

But blindly adding me on LinkedIn, when you for a company like AdSalesForYou or some other spam sounding company is NEVER going to happen. I’m more likely to help a deposed Nigerian prince get his family’s fortune back.

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Why Anti-Facebooks Won’t Work.

A couple years ago now, when Facebook was at the height of it’s privacy issues, a few young kids decided they needed to do something about it. They came up with an idea they called Diaspora. It was exactly what we needed at the time, a Facebook where you owned all your own data. They posted this video:

Kickstarter video

And the web went nuts. Kickstarter was new, relatively untested, unsure of what it would become and who would want to participate. But then these kids, and they were (still are) kids, completely blew the doors off their fundraising plan netting over $200K from over 6,000 investors donors.

People were hungry for a site that would deal with the privacy issues that they didn’t understand, that they media was over-hyping.

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The Social Media Nuclear Option.

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me tweeting about an unpleasant experience I had at a restaurant yesterday. In fact, if you follow me on Twitter, you probably see me talking to and about companies on a pretty regular basis. But yesterday’s incident got me thinking about whether it’s right or not. Is blasting out negative feedback at the first slight really the appropriate way to deal with a company? Read more of this post

The Blog Breakdown (courtesy of The New Yorker).

 

It’s funny because it’s true.

What is Google+ and why should I care?

I’m going to jump on the bandwagon of people talking about Google+ for a minute. There’s a lot of people who LOVE it (Matt Shaw – I’m looking at you). And there are a lot of people saying “I don’t get it.” There are also a lot of people saying “I sort of get it, but why should I use it?”

I’m still in the playing around with it phase and while it seems neat, I’m going to withhold passing judgement just yet. But if you want to know why you should play with it, or what it even does, check out this cool (and funny) video (thanks to Avin Narasimhan for sharing):

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