I think Stowe Boyd's smart. I read Stowe, I like Stowe, and I never thought he'd notice this post which he calls my "Declaration of Independence." I think that's probably the most fitting thing to say, so I'm glad Stowe has said it for me. I thank Halley for the kind words, and Frank too.
Where I'm headed, I'm not sure, and that feels right. So many things, such a long year. I can't name what this time is, or what it feels like exactly, but I'm working on it.
The abridged version: I am back out on my own, doing work for some really smart clients -- some web 2.0ey fast companies like BubbleShare, with CEO smartie Albert "24/7" Lai, whom my blog-brother Michael O'Connor Clarke introduced me to when he heard I was once again a free agent. I'm also working with some more-offline-than-on clients, and some who are a little of both.
There are definitely scales of efficiency in working with clients that understand, appreciate, and want to participate in what's going on online. For instance, you wouldn't think that a click-and-tell photo sharing company like BubbleShare would have much in common with an company in the gum industry, like ElmiTaste -- except that both companies are led by people who understand that their markets are aggregating around areas of interest on the Internet. And that they can talk to them there, as long as they give a shit and don't just pretend to give a shit. That makes these companies smarter than many of their "industry" counterparts who prefer to focus and compete vertically, by industry, and horizontally, by product (or feature sets).
Word to the Web 2.0 Wise: Do not spend your bucks fighting the vertical-industry, horizontal-feature war. Unless you have So So So much money it doesn't matter. And, hey, if that's the case, well, I can help there too; I mean I'm just sayin...
Kevin is right that the net is not a tree. But it's not a grid either. And companies looking to get closer to their markets by interacting with people around the things that matter to them can't continue to view the marketplace primarily through the lens of their industry and product and how those variables align with their next closest competitor.
Life is officially way to webby for that.
It takes a new kind of filter to cut through the noise and really hear the heartbeats on the net.
The heartbeat, the cadence. Like listening to a little tiny baby in a mom's belly. That's where suddenly, every piece of what I'm discerning for one client somehow, often not directly but in a loop-de-loop, odd-meter sort of way, ties in with the other, and the other, and the other, lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub.
It's stunning to uncover these patterns, these rhythms. Sometimes it's electric, and there's no one home to tell, and so I call Chris, and I tell him, and the best part is I can tell him again the next time we talk, and he'll say wow, because it'll be new all over again, partly because of his short-term memory issues and partly because it IS new all over again. Familiar and new. Every single time.
At least to me.
The speed with which our stories are weaving themselves is, I don't know, surreal? And you now what--it jazzes me to no end. That lub-dub thing.
And you can tell me it's not true, that there's no heartbeat on the net, and you can make fun of all the people who've made themselves vulnerable here by laying down a record of who they are--when they're right and when they're wrong, when they're up and when they're so, so down--and you can even say, who cares. And you can even say, sure, go ahead and drink the kool-aid, girl.
And you know what I'll tell you?
I'll say, you pass me a cup.
I'll say, you pass me a damn cup.