and I are organising an Improv on the Beach, on Monday 19th December,
currently planned for Elwood Beach 6-00 to 8-00 pm. Let me know
if you're interested.
Johnnie introduced me to Improv by way of cajoling me (remotely from the UK) on to a workshop run by ImproMelbourne.
One of the best things I've ever done, and they still run workshops and shows.
If you want to read a book on Improv, then Keith Johnstone's Improvisation and the Theatre, is one of the best books I've ever read, and it's more about life than Improv or Theatre.
We'll be doing a few Improv activities, and making it up as we go along!!
Kathy Sierra has (yet another!) great post, about (not) listening to users.
It turned out that most of the major changes they made to their program came
not from user requests and suggestions, but from the Parelli team's own
innovations. He went on to explain that their members/students/users had no idea what was needed to make better, faster, deeper breakthroughs. In fact,
many of the changes went against what their user feedback seemed to
suggest. In other words, in many ways the Parelli team deliberately did
not listen to users.
If I listened to every user, then I wouldn't have a voice or weblog,
and it would be pretty bland so as to cause offence to no-one. So
if you want to incrementally improve your product or service, just
listen to your users.
If you want to radically take a leap and make the big change, listen to yourself.
I was just looking at the Scoble video interview with Julie Larson-Green, and
demo of Microsoft's new Office12 replacement for Office 2003, and I
thought before watching, there's no way I'm paying for incremental
improvements, but having watched the demo, I'm saying WoW! Gimme, Gimme,
Gimme. They've taken a jump and changed the Office
interface. Of course they've listened to users, but it's what
they've done with their listening and taken a leap of faith.
This is all very Purple Cow, which I'm currently reading.
My good friend Johnnie Moore has run into some flak (via Steal This Brand), about something Johnnie did or didn't say at the Our Social World
conference. I don't know because I wasn't there, but if people
have misinterpreted what Johnnie said then it can only lead to one
thing......Alan Shearer, the most boring man in the world. Alan Shearer
may be a backstabbing conniving Machiavellian Prince, but on the TV
screen he's dull dull dull, and the kind of man whose public persona is
to go home and creosote his fence after winning The Premiership (I kid you not).
Why? Because he's learnt to keep his mouth shut in public, and
say nothing controversial or beyond his public 300 word vocabulary, and
just like most other public figures (especially sportspeople and
politicians (but not John Humphrys it would seem!)), to not have an opinion.
So Johnnie, after your experience with "Spider in a Jar" welcome to the world of Alan Shearer.
From now on Johnnie, please do not express an opinion in public, and
certainly do not use flowery expressions that could be misinterpreted
Stick to blogging in your bedroom and do not venture on to stage to
practise your in the moment Improv skills, because it will only end in
tears and foolish people misinterpreting you.
You have to admire people like Dave Winer, who gets right up people's
noses for expressing opinions in public and putting up with the
flak. That doesn't mean he's always right or goes about it in the
right way, but when I read about Johnnie's experience I realise why
every public figure will end up being like Alan Shearer (or Tony Blair, Johnnie
Howard, George W Bush etc etc) on TV.
What a great line, War on Error. I've
not commented on the Katrina storm, and at first I didn't take it
seriously, because it was yet another excuse for over-panic and placing
reporters out in storms to report about nothing. But this has gone the opposite way, with complete incompetence and complacency. These guys in power knew about the potential disaster and had fair warning. And now they just shrug their shoulders and make speeches.
Doc Searls' entry has prompted me to at least link to what he has to say.
In the War on Error, people will need to
take the lead. Governments will need to follow or get out of the way.
And what does Andrew Sullivan the ex-Bush supporter have to say on the matter? Rather a lot!
The reason I'm mad as hell over Katrina is precisely
because I'm a conservative and this kind of thing is exactly what
government is for. Bush in this sense is not now and never has been a
conservative. A man who explodes government spending but can't run a
war or organize basic civil defense is simply a fiscally reckless
incompetent. If this were a parliamentary system, we'd have a vote of
no confidence. Instead we have three years of more peril.
Today is a very important day for me.
A dream came true after 10+ years.
In about '94, I was asked by a therapist to close my eyes for a few minutes and describe what I see.
The image I saw was as vivid today as it was then.
I pictured myself holding two small children's' hands like chess pawns,
walking along a yellow brick road towards a Queen standing in front of
When I got home that day I attempted to draw the image, except I can't
draw, so it didn't come out very well. I still have the drawing.
As you can see, I've tried to recreate it (badly!) as an image.
Of course what I took the image to mean was my hope for a family of 2 kids and wife.
At the time I just couldn't see how that would be possible.
Even up until 2000, no kids.
And then I married and we had Georgia. But still the image wasn't complete.
Then we had Jay. But still the image wasn't complete because he wasn't yet walking.
But you know what? Today, on Father's Day, in a park, in Melbourne, I
walked along holding my two kids' hands, and looking towards Annie.
The picture was complete.
I just found the drawing I did all those years ago, and it's spooky to have created the image today.
Happy Father's Day!
They say follow your passion. My passion is sport, so I'll continue to write until someone reads!
Two great interviews online in The Observer today.
Both figures of hate whose image has been created by the media and it would seem by two of my favourite dickheads.
Firstly Linford Christie, who we sometimes forget what a great athlete and competitor he was.
I remember Christie as a gangly 200m runner well before he got his act together at 100m.
A cloud of drug taking hangs over him, which when you read his side of
the story, seem plausible. And yes the hand of one of my
favourite dickheads, Sebastian Coe, is involved yet again. Let's
put it this way, if I had to choose between that middle class toff Coe,
and his gritty rival Steve Ovett, I know who is the more honest athlete.
And then the Robbie Fowler interview.
Even reading about this Scouse, Citeh and Leeds scum makes my blood
boil, but reading his side of the story shows how much I've been
manipulated by the press, and of course the hand of that other
dickhead, Gerrard Houlier.
What I most remember about Robbie Fowler is George Best naming him in
his all time Great Britain side, well before Fowler had done
anything. Think about that. Of all the players George Best
played with and against, he chose Robbie Fowler as the all time Great
One of the reasons I'll never be a Top 500 blogger is exactly because I'm "random and quirky".
I mean who really cares about Sepp Blatter other than me.
Oh well, let's plough on.
Today's latest is Blatter encouraging England to bid for the 2018 World Cup.
This is the same bastard
who double crossed England over the 2006 World Cup bid, and several
other countries (including Australia), in order to secure votes for his
presidency at FIFA.
So gaining his support is a bit like getting a fox, a chicken, and a bag of grain, across a river!
It's probably Europe's turn in 2018, and there are 4 big European
footballing countries. Germany 2006, Italy '90, Spain '82,
England '66 (plus France '98) so it would make sense for it to be
England's turn, but when did common sense enter Blatter's brain?
Shit! Happy Blog Day?
I'd better get blogging again. Having blogged solidly for nearly
4 years almost every day, my contribution has been waning recently. I
think I too am suffering from Blog Depression!
There's too much to write about and read about.
And more and more I'm blocking what I really want to say about some things, for fear of causing a storm.
I have a new job. Do I link to the website of the company I'm
working for? Do I reveal some of the potential plans I
have? Do I convince the new company to have a weblog?
And the new job has taken me to Darwin this week, on the other side of
the Australian continent, so not much time for anything, especially as
I couldn't get more than a slow modem link working from my hotel.
The reality is that I have very little time to blog now. Get up.
Go to work. Come home. Eat. Play with kids. Talk to
wife. Answer a few emails. Read the news. Go to