Friday, November 27, 2009

Epiphany of purpose

Why manipulate, why
push and pull?
Or play games?

When -

Why the power struggle,
the point scoring
the vindictiveness
for vindication?

When you can -

Why compromise your integrity
or settle for bitchy
jumping on a slipped word
pressing your point
just to win?

When you can love -

Why even try to win
the struggle of me versus you
the do-what-I-want

When you can love
and achieve far more
than mere winning.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mums and content relevance

Responding to Grant McCracken's Invading The World Of The Mommy Blogger:

I recall Clay Shirky mentioning that mums are the ultimate test of your website or service, because they have no time for things that are not ultimately useful.

The same reason underlies usability studies finding people unwilling to waver from their "click, hunt for relevance, click, hunt, back" behaviour. People (and particularly mums) are very goal-oriented, and until you provide something that helps them, they don't care about you (thanks Kathy Sierra).

So, you need to pull your target audience in with the application of your book/theory - what could a mum change about her day-to-day routine that would show the theory at work? Mums will read that, looking for a nugget that will help them. If they agree and it works, they will come back for the rest of it. But calling something "Chief Culture Officer" does not suggest a resource that will get better-mannered children and free up some of their time to see their friends.

In essence: identify your audience, find out what their problems are, work out what one theory application will have the most impact for them, and package that up for them. People will come back to the source of good advice.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Does the hill level out? [The difficulty of discipline]

Every day, every moment,
I face a choice.

Step up the hill
against the gradient,
Eastward, towards
activity, discipline,
doing the right thing.
This way lies achievement
I'm told.

Or relax,
Let fall the strive
and roll
gleefully, unfettered,
to the little ditch.
But here only frustration
I've seen.

keep I upward.
Push I, by force,
But I, striving
so I waver.

Does the hill level out?
Can I trust that the toil
will one day yield
at least a shallow slope
or greater muscle to overcome it?

Were I truly lazy,
I would have no internal motivation.
Nothing would push from inside
and in that ditch I would be
But in it I am not.
Not happy, that is,
but frequently there I find me,
entertained by an endless stream
of little amusements. But inside
my spirit darkens with self-hate.

So in a spirit of reluctant agreement
I make another pact
with the inner striver
and turn to face the hill.

And then some days I wonder
is this the wrong hill for me to climb?
Or would I better push
knowing that that rock hides
a treasure easily
worth the climb?

Perhaps the ditch merely reflects
my fear of the unknown.
Beyond the rock, over the ridge,
perhaps I fear I will not make it.

Save me, self-deception,
from facing it all.
Your ditch I know.