Best Blogs of the Week

I’ve been ignoring my feed reader lately, so I’m spending the morning going through the many (many) posts that have been written since my last review. Lots of great stuff. Here are my favorites from the past week or two:

Forrester CEO George Colony crowd-sourced development of his social media panel at Davos next week. This is a great way to find out what people are interested in learning about right now – I’ve used this myself to generate panel questions. He got some interesting and thoughtful responses.

Two of Nick Carr’s recent posts were thought-provoking. Most recently he brought readers’ attention to William Deresiewicz’s article “The End of Solitude” in the new edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education. I love the line, “Loneliness is not the absence of company, it is grief over that absence.” Carr doesn’t say much about it himself, but reader comments are interesting.

Carr’s previous post, “Sharing is Creepy,” reflects on the psychological and social consequences of social networking (do you feel remorse when you don’t put yourself out there? when you do? maybe both?) and points to a recent Wired article by Steven Levy called “The Burden of Twitter.”

John Halamka, CIO at CareGroup and Harvard Medical School (and about a dozen other things), evaluates Gartners Top 10 Predictions for 2009.  He agrees or partially agrees with most, but his reasoning adds nuance and relevant context from a man who published his personal genome on the internet, has been implanted with a chip containing his full medical records and is having a Cisco telepresence setup installed in his home.

If you’re interested in social media, Chris Brogan is worth following on a regular basis. Two recent posts stand out. One I personally need to act on is his review of Leo Babuta’s book “The Power of Less.” Babuta advocates that you do one thing at a time, don’t multi-task, focus on one thing and nail it. In my multi-tasking, easily distracted world, this is a book I need to buy.

In Are You Important to Me, Chris experiences the neighborhood-bar-like feel of an Applebees for the first time. “We like to feel known. We like to feel wanted. We like to feel like we belong to something. It’s part of being human,” he writes. He then goes on to apply that insight to social media and how it lets companies create more of a 1:1 relationship with customers. He equivocates in his conclusion, saying this can’t scale but insisting companies need to use these tools to let customers know they’re important.

Seth Godin’s “The goals you never hear about” calls out the fact that too often, our unstated goals are negative – don’t fail, don’t screw up – rather than to actually do something. Being conscious of this makes it easier to change.

Jeremiah Owyang, a senior analyst at Forrester, publishes a weekly digest of the Social Networking Industry. Definitely worth subscribing to if you care about this space.

After reading these and other posts today, I realize a couple of things:

We are just at the beginning of the social media wave. The work companies are doing now is crude but incredibly important, the groundwork for the future.

There are far reaching implications – commerical, social, psychological – in all of this.

It’s human nature to want to avoid risk, embarassment, failure. But if we let those trump our positive goals, we risk even more.

There is A LOT going on – a virtual firehose of trends, developments and ideas that it may or may not be important for you to pay attention to. It’s essential to create space to filter, analyze/reflect and act (whatever your own form of action might be).

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