Disruption occurs at the intersection of unanticipated consequences. Last night my wife woke up to find me Rojoing at 3am. "What are you doing?" "Things are really getting intense now," I replied. "Why?" "Guess," I said. "People are starting to smell money."
Yup. Certainly the tone has shifted in the blogosphere. Finding and maintaining friendships will be sorely tested in the coming weeks and months. Great care must be taken to avoid misunderstandings, and sometimes, understanding all too well. It's a time for leadership, not brinkmanship.
It's always nice when we can fly under the radar, avoidng the messy details of who gets the money and how. I've been doing this with attention, building coalitions, evangelizing the obvious, wheeling and dealing. Recently I've stopped all that, partly because others have picked up the banner and mostly because I'm sick and tired of it. I've tried to explain why I'm no evangelist, only to come off sounding like I'm evangelizing the idea.
Bill Claxton is a wonderful leader in the Singapore technology community. I met him when he contacted my brother thinking he was me and inviting him to speak at a conference last month. Bill was trying to triangulate the transformation we're all experiencing in the syndisphere, and brought together Steve Wozniak, Simon Phipps, Mike Hawley, and myself to translate. Since then, he has kept in touch on Skype, peppering me with advice disguised as praise. He's persistent, and well-meaning. Google him if you want to see how he's triangulated me--I won't link to it. By the way, Michael Gartenberg, not linking is at least, if not more, important in many cases. In the world of attention, it's a more significant gesture.
Many do not agree with what I just said. Bill doesn't like that I have taken to ending the Gillmor Gang episodes by asking detailed questions to put Gangmembers on the record, and the spot. This is not an original idea, stolen like Letterman steals Stump the Band from the best: Capital Gang and McLoughlin Group. Analysts hate to be pinned down; commentators want to be funny, not necessarily right. And don't get me started about what the audience wants--they get what they need. I still don't like the Number 9 "song" from the White Album, but who cares what 75% of the listeners think anyway, Adam. More reverb. (No, it's good now.)
Daring to be wrong is part of the job of leadership. Bush won reelection by being loud, confident, and wrong. The media ran from Dean because he was loud, confident, and right. We got what we deserved in John Kerry. A good man, but not the right man. Many won't agree with that either. Lord knows, it's just an opinion. But what happens when someone says something that alters how you look at things? Does it matter who that person is? Out of the mouths of babes...
So here's today's thought: when somebody tells you there's no money in RSS, get out your pickax and start panning. What they're really saying is: there's no money--for you.