I Am Thinking The Exact Same Thing Right Now

John Battelle is currently embarking on a new book, titled What We Have Wrought.  In it he is attempting to write a narrative of the perspective in 2040, a generation ahead who is looking back on the last 30 years of progress back to today.  As he describes our situation, I stumbled upon this and fully agree with him:

I believe we are in a critical moment in our civilization’s development, one where we will face a number of fateful decisions about how we interact with each other, with business, and with government. The decisions we make during this period will frame the kind of world we’ll leave to future generations. Who will control the data we create? What access will we allow citizens to the machinations of government? What kind of people will we become when every single one of us is deeply connected to a socially aware platform like Facebook? Are we building systems – in healthcare, energy, finance – that are too complicated for any of us to understand, much less control?

In short, can we handle what we are creating? Thirty or so years from now, will we be questioning ourselves – “Lord, what hath we wrought?” Or will we look upon what we hath wrought, and be pleased? I think the answer lies in exploring where we are, right now, and laying out the implications of our actions today.

A longer post from me on these thoughts will follow, but go ahead and ponder those words for a moment.

A Public Thank You to John Battelle

Disclosure: no one knows I am writing this, not even John.  It is not a stunt for attention, but a genuine thank you.

This morning, as I was glancing through FM Signal it occurred to me how much value John Battelle brings to this industry (and to my life).  It also occurs to me how hard he works.  Amazingly, he touches numerous industries – marketing, advertising, technology, the web, early stage startups, blogging, journalism, music and many others.  Even better, he is at the cusp of bringing together and connecting those industries, a skill I don’t see in many others.  I look forward to each day as he curates information just for my unique education.  And, boy do I still need it.  You should take note just some of the ways he adds value to our lives:

Federated Media

Started by John in a garage in 2005, FM was intended to create a business model for the best independent publishers.  I have always been impressed with FM and look for great things from them in the near future.  From their site:

FM develops programs and products that help brands engage in those conversations and host their own dialogues with current and potential customers. As we’ve grown to have offices across North America and represent a larger number of partners, that basic principle continues to describe our business.

Web 2.0 Summit

Each year in the late fall, the tech world convenes for one of the great rituals of the industry –  The Web 2.0 Summit.  Years ago, this was one of the first events to have a tremendous impact on me and the direction in my life.  Did I attend?  No.  But I did always download the audio files of the talks, burn them onto a CD and drive around listening to them on my way to work (it beats radio commercials).   Together, John and Tim O’rielly really helped a guy like me further my knowledge and get up to speed on things.  This year’s, called The Data Frame, should be more of the same great stuff.  I hope I can attend.

The CM Summit

The Conversational Marketing Summit is another event put on by Federated Media, focused on the intersection of Marketing and technology.  Arguably, marketing people need John more than we tech people do.  They need someone who can communicate in both languages – marketing speak and tech speak – to help nudge them towards more effective concepts.   The next one is June 6th in NYC.   Go here for all things CM Summit.

FM Signal

Each morning I am greeted with a collection of 8 to 10 links to very informative and educational articles.  I make sure I start my mornings with a review of the latest in the industry, so this is one of the first emails I open each day.  Coffee, check.  Music, check. Signal, Check.  Man, good stuff.  If you want an edge in this industry, you must get the Signal.  Go to the upper right hand corner on this page to sign up.

Influential Blogger and Author

In addition to FM Signal, John blogs at John Battlelle’s Searchblog.  He always has unique insights to a variety of topics, mostly around the web, technology, and conversational marketing.  Also very useful has been the book The Search, an in-depth look at how Google and search in general has transformed our world.

If you are in any of the above mentioned industries, use these resources from John.  They have no doubt changed my life.  Thank you John.