Without del.icio.us, I'd be drowning in a morass of bookmark clutter. Seriously, drowning. Every article I've saved for later, every YouTube video I've earmarked for repeat viewing, every cache of free MP3s, every (ahem) NSFW page I come across. It all gets posted to del.icio.us. It's truly a lifesaver.
Like many I'm sure, I watched the tributes to 9/11 last night. Behind the scenes a furore is bubbling regarding ABC's movie. According to the Holmes Report: "American Airlines offers a blistering response to Disney’s fabrication “The Path to 9-11” with a statement calling it “inaccurate and irresponsible” and Editor & Publisher’s coverage suggests that the airline might be considering legal action." It's stunning to me that any broadcaster could treat such a sensitive issue with this degree of insensitivity and lack or respect.
Meanwhile, apparently the Government's drug campaign worked in reverse. According to independent reports, "Instead of reducing the likelihood that kids would smoke marijuana, the ads increased it. Westat found that "greater exposure to the campaign was associated with weaker anti-drug norms and increases in the perceptions that others use marijuana." More exposure to the ads led to higher rates of first-time drug use among certain groups, like 14- to 16-year-olds and white kids." To assess the spend purely as an attempt to discourage drug use is to misunderstand the deeper motive in many Government advertising initiatives. Paul says it well:
"They are not designed to discourage kids from smoking pot; they’re designed to make sure kids know that smoking pot is WRONG. So the government sat on the results of the study for 18 months—spending another $220 million on ads it knew were not effective—not because it likes wasting money, but because the money wasn’t wasted. Its supporters, particularly those who believe pot smoking is immoral, want the government to lecture people about the immorality of smoking pot."
One thing that is clear to me as I scan blogs is that few are content originators. Most are what I call "content illuminators". These are people who take other content and cast a new light on it with thoughtful observations and commentary. The majority seem to be "content pointers" - directing readers to news and views of interest.
The BG piece seems to confuse, at times, plagiarism and content origination. There is a difference between pointing to and illuminating others work and representing their content as your own. Maybe I misread the piece. My rules are simple - where you exclusively became aware of something via another blogger, show a little link love. And, do unto others as you'd have them do to you - don't knowingly steal content.
And, there is the story on the front page of the FT last week (Lucy Kellaway's piece in the FT is worth the subscription price alone...) of the Raytheon CEO who's book - Unwritten Rules of Management - Raytheon distributed more than one-quarter of a million copies of. As the FT tells it:
"... a young engineer who spotted that 17 of the rules bore an uncanny resemblance to a book called The Unwritten Laws of Engineering published in 1944 by W.J. King. The young man wrote this up in his blog. From there, the story made it into newspapers." FT
Eventually his board nailed him by requiring him to forgo his pay rise for the year. It seems they have pulled the Rules, but here is a pretty good synopsis.
. . . this is the second problem with plagiarism. It is not merely extremist. It has also become disconnected from the broader question of what does and does not inhibit creativity. We accept the right of one writer to engage in a full-scale knockoff of another—think how many serial-killer novels have been cloned from "The Silence of the Lambs." Yet, when Kathy Acker incorporated parts of a Harold Robbins sex scene verbatim in a satiric novel, she was denounced as a plagiarist (and threatened with a lawsuit). When I worked at a newspaper, we were routinely dispatched to "match" a story from the Times: to do a new version of someone else's idea. But had we "matched" any of the Times' words—even the most banal of phrases—it could have been a firing offense. The ethics of plagiarism have turned into the narcissism of small differences: because journalism cannot own up to its heavily derivative nature, it must enforce originality on the level of the sentence.
Starbucks brilliant marketing and leadership covered in BusinessWeek. Schultz is the kind of guy any marketer would want to work with tomorrow AM.
"You either have a tremendous love for what you do, and passion for it, or you don't," Schultz told me. "So whether I'm talking to a barista, a customer, or investor, I really communicate how I feel about our company, our mission, and our values. It's our collective passion that provides a competitive advantage in the marketplace because we love what we do and we're inspired to do it better. When you're around people who share a collective passion around a common purpose, there's no telling what you can do."