Robert Scoble, Tom Peters and Me

I have been trying to decide for a while about how best to write on this blog about my reactions to Tom Peters’ great new book, Re-Imagine!. Peters is a management guru I’ve enjoyed, thought about and relied upon for many years. He’s an author who seems to either enthuse or infuriate readers, with little or no middle ground.
I’m a big fan. Re-Imagine! is the book I read in 2003 that has had the biggest impact on my thinking and my approach. In fact, some of the new things I’ll be doing in 2004 are direct responses to things Peters says in Re-Imagine!
However, I’ve found the idea of blogging about the book to be a little daunting. The ideas seem a little too big to discuss in the blog format. I haven’t yet decided if I will take on that task.
But, today, I was delighted to see that Robert Scoble of the highly-visited and highly-regarded Scobleizer Weblog, has a recent post, Tom Peters is My Guru,” that reflects the same “whack to the side of the head” feeling I got from the book. I recommend reading Scoble’s post and I look forward to seeing more from Scoble as he suggests that he will be showing influences of Peters in his blog.
I also must agree with Scoble that Peters’ chapter called “Women Roar” is one of the most important chapters any business owner could read and ponder, especially for those who think in terms of new year’s resolutions and goals for 2004.
His chapter on education is also significant. In it, he poses more questions than answers, but points to some ways to think about education issues. Interestingly, the approach taken by my daughter’s school, The College School, provides many answers to the questions that Tom Peters raises about the next directions for education.

GiveLists, WishLists and Giveaways – Tangible Rewards for Bloggers

I’ve been intrigued lately by the innovative ways bloggers have used to support their efforts – from pledge drives to tip jars to Amazon wishlists and other options. This phenomenon is cool and shows one of the many creative techniques that bloggers have developed, often by applying existing tools to new uses.
It makes good sense to me and I can’t wait to jump in.
I was fascinated to hear about WhatGoesAround.org and the variation on the wishlist idea they have developed to allow people to donate funds to your favorite charities. This approach, too, also makes sense in the context of ways that readers of blogs can do something to support their favorite blogs.
So, if you like what I’m doing with this blog and want to help support it, here are four things to consider doing:
1. Make a donation to one of the charities on my GiveList and, in particular, to The College School, the amazing and innovative school that my daughter attends.
2. Send me something on my Amazon WishList.
3. I have a growing collection of cool tech giveaway items (you know, like the logoed giveaway items you get in exhibit halls). If you are doing some cool new giveaway items for 2004, you can add me to your recipient list.
4. Help me learn about cool tools by sending me review copies of software, gadgets and the like.
Of course, there are also the traditional options of sponsoring a portion of my website or buying my services or products.
Best wishes for 2004!

Back Home and the Light of Day

We’re back after a break to visit my parents and family in Indiana, a good trip in many ways.
Waiting for me on my return was the new issue of the Springsteen fanzine, “Backstreets.” In the issue, they mention the collection of Springsteen cover versions by various artists called Light of Day. The proceeds from the sale of this CD set go to benefit research on Parkinson’s Disease.
I mention this because my Mom has had Parkinson’s Disease for about seven years. She’s done well with the medications, with the occasional ups and downs. It seems that researchers are getting closer to finding some things that will really help those with Parkinson’s. Every little bit helps. If the music or the cause interests you, please consider buying this CD or targeting a part of your charitable giving to this cause.

Blawgspace is a Generous Place

Nearly every time I’ve spoken about the Internet over the last seven years, I always end by saying something to the effect that “I’ve found the Internet to be a helpful and generous place. There have been many people who given me great advice and many kindnesses over the years, and, as a result, I’m always happy to try to help people out, if I can, so that they can also experience some of the good things I’ve found in my Internet experiences.”
I like to use the example of how in my earliest days of e-mail, I sent an e-mail to document assembly guru Marc Lauritsen and he quickly responded with a detailed and helpful response. I’ve always tried, not always successfully or promptly, to take the same approach.
I noticed two things today that re-emphasized to me that the world of legal blogging, at least in its current early history, embodies that same sense of generosity.
In part, the reason for this is that some of the same people who were in the earliest groups of lawyers with web sites are also in the earliest group of blawgers. But, it is more the case that the earliest group of blawgers (the “First Ones”) also have been very generous and helpful to new blawgers. As just one example, Ernie the Attorney, Tom Mighell, Denise Howell (I still owe her a belated congratulations on the baby and look forward to working with her on the IP Memes newsletter in 2004), and others have gone out of their way to mention new blawgs and give new blawgers a bigger audience and more recognition at the start than they could ever have imagined. By the way, I was talking with Ernie on the phone today and I still feel like I’m getting the chance to speak with a major celebrity.
So, today, I noticed that Jeff Beard at the LawTech Guru Blog said some extremely nice and generous things about both Ron Friedmann and Michael Arkfeld. Not that that suprised me – Jeff is one of the truly good guys.
Second, Internet-for-lawyers guru and regular writing partner of mine, Jerry Lawson, is doing a set of posts that show his great generosity and readiness to build communities.
And here’s the cool part. When I watch lawyers on the news talk shows, there always seems to be so much bitterness, divisiveness and polarization – all those things that give lawyers a bad name.
As we near the end of 2003, it is so cool to see how blogs have not only brought back the enthusiasm and energy of the early days of the web, but also provided a medium in which lawyers can show that the TV picture is not the only picture, that lawyers can be creative, generous and help in creating communities.
With that, I salute those who have created the blawgosphere in 2003.