I've invited Mike Arrington to join the Gillmor Gang based on his appearance on this week's show. For some time now, I've struggled with the internal dynamics of the group, beginning with Mike Vizard's slow but steady conversion from (as Dave Slusher so aptly put it) a "CB Radio" trivializer of the RSS wave to co-host of AttentionTech. Indeed, I first pulled The Gang off the air after Dan Bricklin's appearance on the IT Conversations first seasopn of the show because Vizard was tipping so dramatically into the RSS koolaid that the Gang's center was reminiscent of the famous Steinberg New Yorker cover.
Then there's been the success of Attention, which has validated Esther Dyson's instinct for fundamental changepoints and created a platform for a series of startups, Attention gurus, and the sure sign of traction, trolls. I was grateful to Arrington for failing to quibble with my assertion on the show that all current startups are in fact attention plays. Though Udell will continue to ignore me on this subject, the presence of an ally (however begrudging) lightens my load and, more imprtantly, helps create a platform for the next phase of the conversation (gestures.)
I also find it amusing that Arrington apparently received a healthy number of congratualatory IMs and emails about his Gang appearance, given that in fact I am gaming his star rather than the other way around. But if you listen to the show, you'll hear why I'm so pleased by Mike's participation. After a slow and tentative start (courtesy of Mike's Redmond Search Champs brain rinse) something happens. I haven't listened again to the show (though Dan Farber apparently has) so I can't call out a time stamp, but I know it's there. Wait, I know what it was. I had hoped to somehow get into the Pixar deal (my stealth topic focus) and all of a sudden there's Arrington talking about the deal as a former participant in some earlier incarnation.
Nothing too profound was said, but it just felt right--when it works, you can hear the Gang thinking, even if we're really not. From then on, we were in the pocket. And being in the pocket is why what's going on right now is no bubble folks. We're in a glorious moment of time, one where time stands still while we stretch our minds and play. And there are many players--all great, all young and old enough to know how special this is. I'm blessed to be part of this and so are you.