hugh macleod

You are currently browsing articles tagged hugh macleod.

Here are the web links I’ve found for 28 September 2008 through 01 October 2008, posted automatically and covered in badger fat.

Hugh MacLeod stylised cartoon of a twittering bird

TechCrunch has some figures on Twitter usage. It seems my own Twitterings at 16+ a day makes me a “heavy” user.

March 2008
Total Users: 1+ million
Total Active Users: 200,000 per week
Total Twitter Messages: 3 million/day

What’s most interesting is the rabid Twitter usage by active users — they send an average of 15 Twitter message per day.

My Twitter stats show that my usage is spread across my waking hours right across the week. Yes, Twitter has become a core communication tool — though I’ve said that before [1, 2]. Maybe you should follow me.

[Credit: Cartoon Twitter-bird courtesy of Hugh MacLeod. Like all of Hugh’s cartoons published online, it’s free to use.]

High MacLeod cartoon Twitter logo: a stylised bird of some sort

In just two months, Twitter has become one of my core communication tools. Non-Twitter instant messaging and Facebook have all but disappeared from the mix. Here’s why.

Actually, before that… If you don’t use Twitter, or if you’ve taken a look but don’t “get it”, watch this 2.5-minute video Twitter in Plain English from those wacky Canadians Common Craft. Love their style.

OK, back?

Like the character in the video, I was sceptical about Twitter. Why do people need to know every little detail of my life? Who cares? I said as much to Perth’s Twitterati late last year. But then I actually tried using it — and I “got it” immediately.

Read the rest of this entry »

I enjoy writing (and talking about the things I write about) far more than I enjoy farting about with technology. For me the technology is a means to an end, not the end itself. But do I really want to be a writer full time?

Sometimes I do. Especially on days when things haven’t gone so well with clients. Then on other days I read stuff like Hugh MacLeod’s piece the quiet life of a writer yak yak yak. Explaining how he loved Hemingway and Graeme Greene, he says that even though their books were very different their daily routines were pretty much the same.

Basically, they’d live somewhere cheap, quiet and relatively conducive to getting a lot of writing done. The Florida Keys and Cuba in Hemingway’s case, the South of France in Greene’s.

They’d get up early each morning, then write diligently till noon.

Then they’d head for their local café, drink gallons of booze for hours on end, and stagger home late at night.

Then they’d do the same thing the next day. And the next. And the next. For years on end. Women came and went, friends came and went, children came and went, money and fame came and went, but the daily writing-booze combo remained the great constant.

I’m not sure I like the idea of staggering home drunk every night, but as somebody who likes to write, likes his beer, and likes the simple life, I can’t say I find their overall Modus Operandi unappealing.

On a sunny Friday morning in Sydney, in the city’s most beautiful time of year, I think I agree.

And now, back to reading a company’s office manual so we can build them a CRM system…

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when thinking about social media is that it’s all about the tools — that if only they choose the right software they’ll be a success. That’s about as sensible as thinking your retail business will be successful if only you buy the right bookkeeping software.

Yesterday a client asked:

My friends at [some business] wish to create a social networking section as part of their site, with home pages or profiles for each user. Do you recommend any third party apps for this or a currently operating system?

No, I don’t recommend the tools until I know what the job is.

That question is like being asked, “I want a motor vehicle, can you recommend one?” Before you could answer you’d need to know the requirements. How many passengers? An answer of “6” means a people-mover, not a sports car. An answer of “40” means you need a bus.

Does it have to go off-road? Land Rover time! Does it have to carry 3 tons of bricks? Well, you need a truck, not a car. Do you need to make a social statement with your vehicle? Then maybe you need a Rolls-Royce. Or a Porsche. Or a Ferrari.

Or a packet of Viagra.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is blog post number 801. It’s time for something special. Time for an extended essay encapsulating several trains of thought which I’ve been following for some time.

We are the 801,
We are the central shaft
And thus throughout two years
We’ve crossed the ocean in our little craft (Row! Row! Row!)
Now we’re on the telephone,
Making final arrangements (Ding! Ding!)
We are the 801, we are the central shaft

Cover from Brian Eno album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)

So sang Brian Eno in the song The True Wheel from his 1974 album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy).

Eno says he wrote the lyrics while visiting New York:

I went to stay with this girl called Randi and fell asleep after taking some mescaline and had this dream where this group of girls were singing to this group of sailors who had just come into port. And they were singing ‘We are The 801 / We are the Central Shaft’ — and I woke up absolutely jubilant because this was the first bit of lyric I’d written in this new style.

Yes, apparently in the 1970s a musician wrote a song while under the influence of hallucinogens. Who’d have thought.

Society generally frowns upon people who make important decisions while under the influence. (By an odd coincidence, Hugh MacLeod posted some vaguely-related thoughts only yesterday, in dying young is overrated, revisited.) However the more I look, the more I worry that we’re governed as if our societies were hallucinating. And even worse, it’s as if they’ve forgotten how to remember the lessons of the past.

I’m worried that we’re governed by Hallucinating Goldfish.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gaping Void cartoon: If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face.

If 2006 was the year of Web 2.0 then 2007 is the year of social media. For individuals anyway. Australian businesses and politicians generally don’t “get it”.

Social media is mainstream. Two million Australians have Facebook pages and 3.5 million read blogs. MSN Messenger has 7 million users here, and even Ja’mie King says “I’ll MSN u 2nite” without explanation.

But few businesses use social media. Why? I suspect there’s two reasons, apart from an endemic inability to adapt and change. One is about the tools, the other is about business culture.

Read the rest of this entry »

Exhausted. Long day. Dying server repaired. Annoying client’s website almost finished. Still wide awake. I’m afraid that blue LEDs are dangerous. Billy Law (who I wrote about the other day) did a cool photo of ’Pong. He’s good. A friend’s blog posting about Acid-Base Karaoke disappoints: not a great night out, just some thing for teaching chemistry to kids. At least my video of The KLF arrived from England. I have got to start work on my song idea. And I haven’t even written anything about David Hicks’ sentence or the NSW Election. At least Hugh MacLeod is more bitter than I am.

Oh dear, Zhasper tagged me with one of those “tell us your 5 favourite feeds” memes. At least it wasn’t “5 things you may not know about me,” or I’d be forced to emulate Hugh MacLeod’s sarcastic reply. OK, here we go…

Read the rest of this entry »