Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Thanks Ashly for sharing this. You can watch it above, but I'd recommend watching it on full screen, HD. I'd love to know if people were touched in the same way I was.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Why didn't I think of that

Seth Godin already makes half a million a year on this idea, an aggregator of internet chatter about brands. For $400 a month, a brand can "curate" its page; otherwise, it's a raw feed on your brand. Ad Age calls it 'brandjacking,' but 100 brands have already signed up.

Definitely a strong whack-myself-in-the-head vibe to this story, like the guy who sold ads on his million pixel website for a dollar a piece, or the URL squatter who bought every dictionary word -.com in the early days.

Not sure what sort of value it creates? Not sure who visits it? But if you're Heineken or Home Depot, what's 400 bucks a month? They can dig that out of the marketing director's couch. Huzzah, Seth Godin!

Still, doesn't quite feel like the the thing, yet. I don't know what thing I am talking about exactly. Where this all heads? How social chatter and connection and brands creating value, and what "value" even means in this complex world - how we stitch it all together to create an economy where we are all fed and housed... I think that's what is on my mind.

I am astounded by all the cool sh*t happening online, all the creativity, all the energy, and the possibilities, but I keep having to reach down to find the ground sometimes. Purpose. How does all of it come together into a story that moves us forward?

The question is too much though. I believe that's what must happen and will happen, but the only way to click into is to create your own value personally and enjoy the ride. This sort of feels like the addendum to that speech the other night.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I haven't marveled over this in a while

We Feel Fine
by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar. Still beautiful, amazing.

Nice things today

Finished the Oregon Humanities films and got to share them.
Left my computer at home so I got to focus on some real work.
Jeremy told me about a new photocopy place and on the way I found another one.
They made a mistake on my copies so they gave them to me for free.
Fred coming over later to work on Wikipedia with me.
Found a super greasy and delicious breakfast sandwich with ham and egg and cheddar on english muffin bread for only 3.50.
Found an inspiring article about John Maynard Keynes.
My wifey drops computer off on way to school.
Read a lovely post via Twitter.
Connected with old partner Steve Luker and found out that he and the Mutt boys are thriving.
Reconnected with a couple of friends via Facebook, though not all over happy news...
Lisa Simpson makes my parking ticket funny and ironic.
Enjoying new connections to many lovely new people - designers, geniuses, artists and the like.
Planning to see the swifts tonight with extended family.
In looking for a link to the swifts, found this awesome video.

The power of a new idea.

Here's the first in a series of short films we made for Oregon Humanities. Their new website (by Pinch!) says more about the people in the film.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


It's coming up on a year since I've been out on my own and I can feel it somehow. It feels like a cycle is ending, with many events seeming to mark it. I am speaking tonight at an AIGA event about my favorite topic, story. The Oregon Humanities work is launching. We're finishing up with three, or six, short films, and they came out very nice, I think. Simple, thoughtful little films about the power of ideas, how new ideas lead us forward. I may show one or two tonight. Tomorrow I am going down to have a meeting with the Wiki dudes about a very exciting idea. In two weeks my friends from IDRI are coming down to Portland to hear an idea, the culmination of six months of work. It's an abundant time, and I'm appreciating it, all the way.

The most wonderful thing about the last year has been the how and the why as much as the what. I have gotten to apply some 12 lessons out in the world and darned if they don't hold up. The relationship with "clients" has been transformative. I feel uncomfortable even calling them clients. Partners? Part of the team? I know, ick, sounds like something on a brochure, but it's real: I traded the rectangular table for a circular one and that has made all the difference.

As far as the why, if one of my realizations from the last year is that I am a storyteller, the other is that it only works if I have a good story to tell. My work has to be in service to a vision or purpose, or it's no good. More details on that tonight at the AIGA thing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chinatown art update

David and Howard, my landlords, built a giant frame in the lobby of the Goldsmith Blocks for a new mural each month, painted right on the wall. That's cool.

I love the installation on the new Max Green/Yellow line at 4th and Couch.

Here's Reed contemplating the Greenman.

And the Church of Elvis has re-opened. Good stuff here. I got some great advice for a quarter.

Thanks Rob Heppler for this