Posts Tagged chrisheuer

Wonder – a poem

And you often wonder why,
And you sometimes wonder how,
But you never quite find out.
Even when you reason with the mind,
Even when you feel with the heart,
Nought to you is ever revealed.
Though your quest began in earnest,
Though your path is paved with good deeds,
Never for a moment are you certain.
Yet you strive for even greater things,
Yet you fight the battle every day,
Because you have faith in spite of not knowing.
Neither natural disaster nor man-made mistake,
Neither purposeful malice nor accidental action,
Withdraws the whispering white wind from your sails.
Either you’ve developed uncommon resolve,
Through patience, compassion and hard work,
Or you already know the answers you seek.

– Written in late1995

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On a personal note…

Chris and Kristie and the Cabo ArchIt’s been a while since I blogged once again. Since pointing out how little I could trust American Airlines communications last month in talking about its broken promises I have been busy in mind if not on socnets (and they never did reply again to my follow-on communications, nor did the guy who worked on their Twitter account @aairwaves stay on top of it, or get back to me). But I digress and I give those airline people too many pixels as it is…

Since I haven’t been out and about a lot, I am getting the same questions over and over, so I thought I should at least take a few moments and lay out a quick personal update about life, health, work and the near future. The vacation with Kristie to Cabo (and the brief visit to Miami for my grandad’s 94th birthday and a few business meetings) was a great trip, but did not afford the time for reflection and plan development I hoped to find. No, instead I returned needing a vacation from my vacation. 12 days on the road is really way too easy for me now, but my body still feels the consequences. Regardless, I am here back in San Francisco for 2 weeks before heading to Montreal for Webcom where I will finally deliver my keynote on Serve the Market and run a session on community management with my wife and Social Media Club co-founder Kristie Wells.

My Health

So it looks like the health scare I had in Sweden was a result of a lot of bad things, but thankfully not an indicator of a bigger problem with my heart. While there is not specific diagnosis once again (UgggghhhhhH!) the trouble that seemed to be a minor heart attack was probably closer to a panic attack, caused by sleep deprivation, exhaustion, stress, not taking my blood pressure medication and perhaps an inflamation of my chest/rib cage known as costochondritis. Of course, I can always blame SxSW and the craziness that we had with the Social Media Clubhouse and particularly late night on that party bus 🙂

At this point, I haven’t had any chest pains in weeks, though it did last after my return for a bit. My blood pressure is now down to a more manageable 145/85 or thereabouts and getting better every day with the meds and workouts leading the way.  While traveling last month I lost almost 20 pounds which I managed to gain back after only a few weeks back in the states. Now I have to get all the way back down again, but I am working on it.  Chief strategy being curtailing drinking beyond wine with meals and one or two social drinks. That should go a long way to better health just in itself.

Work

I have a brilliant business idea I hit upon while in Sweden that I really want to pursue. Everyone, including angel investors I have pitched thinks its a brilliant idea, and I have a college buddy waiting for the plan who would likely fund it fully and many other friends in the venture business I could get behind it, but its still risky and I need to start making real money soon after postponing income for too long this past year and not picking up as many clients as I would have liked. I also still have a lot of commitments which aren’t making me any money at all right now, which I need to 1) finish with and 2) stop taking on.

Social Media Club is at a crucial point right now and the pieces are falling into place for a major change to how it operates that for too long has been waiting in the wings. In order to fully accomplish our mission, we need to generate more income for the organization, become more structured with our network of chapters and empower more people to address the core activities on a full time basis.  Hiring Justin Herman has been an incredible good fortune for us and the community as a whole, but we need more paid staff and that means its time to shore up our ‘business model’ and get to work. Which is what we are doing with the new site, but even that is a risk as I am sure the new model, despite its necessity and obviousness won’t be well received by all. Which means we have a real challenge in front of us that we will begin to address more formally on our local chapter leaders call next MON and thereafter with the launch of a real membership drive. (it was supposed to all happen at SxSW but our development team really screwed us over so we have to get a new team up and running right now and fix all the crap they left half finished and broken).

The bottom line though is we can’t keep doing this on a volunteer basis any longer. We need a real professional organization that is looking out for the community, not these psuedo efforts by people with for-personal-profit and self-aggrandizing motives. As I said during the Business Wire panel last month in San Francisco, the problem with Social Media douchebags is not going away, and someone needs to address it properly. I intend Social Media Club to serve this important role of community standards bearer. A compass holder if you will. Its more complicated of course, and its deserving of a longer post which I am indeed writing this month…

Then yesterday, GigaOm wrote about this executive search for a ‘Head of Social’ at Google and all the current thinking/planning was thrown into a kerfuffle. I mean, where else could I get a chance to make a real impact using all the intellectual tools and talents at my disposal. With a background not only in virtual community, but general web strategy, software development, organizational change, user experience, marketing, evangelism and community leadership, it would seem a perfect fit. More so when you consider that my vision in 2002 for The Noble Pursuit included an element I called ‘The Global Anthropologist Project” as an effort to harness what is now called the wisdom of crowds and has been manifested not only by Wikipedia but also by many of the social search functions Google has already adopted but which widely has not been realized as I had envisioned it yet. It would really be fabulous to take on the challenge, working with Bradley Horowitz, Chris Messina, Joseph Smarr and the rest of the Google team do social right. Completely right for the full golden triangle of user-service-advertiser (or the real USA as its also known 😉 The opportunity is huge and very enticing – it could also potentially mean a huge lift for Social Media Club… but most importantly, it would be a chance for many of the ideas of Insytes to see the light of day. I almost wish I wrote about them more often.

Life, the near future.

At the moment, I have my hands full fixing all the problems with the Social Media Club site and getting it relaunched, getting the Social Media Club business model ramped up properly, organizing about 10-20 events between now and the end of the year, wrapping up a client engagement, looking after my health/losing weight, investing in my relationship with Kristie and finding a way to do a lot of writing.  This post is a step in the right direction for all of it actually. So the near future looks pretty good.

I just need to keep finding my way to the keyboard, the gym and the conversations that matter most, which means being more proactive then reactive and focusing on the important stuff more and the urgent stuff less.  Life is really pretty good right now, just putting one foot in front of the other and not getting overwhelmed by all the big ideas about how things should be in the world in the face of how things actually are… it feels good to make the world the place of our dreams, especially if I get to play the role of George Bernard Shaw’s unreasonable man.

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Social London Week?


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Well its not an official event like InternetWeek NY was, but for me it is a great Social Media Week in London.  While I still have a few open appointment slots on Monday morning, the week is pretty booked up.  I hope you will be able to join me at some point and say hello and we get a chance to talk about all the ways in which social media is creating growth opportunities and changing the way we work.

  • TWEETUP!
    Thursday 25 June – 1700-1930pm
    Open to everyone
    The International Bar (near Charing Cross and Leicester Sq) 
  • Gov2Gov UK
    Friday 26 June 1600-1900
    Registration Required (sold out, but contact me if you really need to be there)
    Canadian High Commission Office
  • Tweetcamp
    Saturday 27 June 1000-1800
    Waiting list only now
    Richmond, Surrey
  • Geek Field Trip – Tate Modern
    Sunday 28 June 1100-1400
    Open to Anyone – Show Up at Main Entrance, Look For Me
    Bankside (on the Thames) 

So it is pretty much a Social London Week for me and I hope it will be for some of you who join me as well.

The reason I am coming over is for the Gov2GovUK event and all the other opportunities to get together and talk present themselves when you think differently about how to connect with a community.  We are really hoping to see Social Media Club take off again in London (Lloyd Davis was organizing Social Media Club events before starting Tuttle).

We are really excited about Gov2Gov as I think it will be the start of something very big, where we are bringing together an array of events to facilitate international knowledge exchange on social media between governments and amongst their citizens.  This is one stone that kills about 20 birds, as the outcomes from these sorts of meetings are filled with amazing potential.  Not only does it improve international relations and facilitate cross border knowledge exchanges, it creates opportunities for entrepreneurship, business development, new ways towards civic engagement and so much more.  Pay attention to the conversation around this as the next announcements coming later in the month are going to be very big… in fact, we will start talking about it on Friday evening, at the Gov2Gov UK event.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give out a lot of credit for this event to Lovisa Williams from the U.S. State Department who helped in so many ways from introductions to organizational support and Dominic Campbell of FutureGov Consultancy who (very humbly) has contributed his expertise, his network and so much more.  These are the sort of people that get me excited and make the work we do so much more fun. Am so glad I can call them both friends.

Of course, huge thanks to the High Commission of Canada’s office for hosting the event.  Of course, we have always known how great our friends to the north are (particularly Our Vancouver Crew) – I have now found that their representatives in Ottawa and in London are just as wonderful.

So I hope to see you in London sometime this week, if not at our Tweetup on THUR at The International Bar, or The Gov2Gov UK Event on Friday at the High Commission in London, or at Tweetcamp on Saturday, then you better come out on Sunday for our Geek Field Trip to The Tate Modern.

Or, if you want to meet with me independently, I have some time for business meetings on MON morning 29 June and would be happy to book appointments with you while I am in the UK.

Cheers!

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My New Space @ Citizen Space

Citizen Space LogoVery excited to make this other announcement today that I am going to be joining a bunch of my friends and colleagues at the local co-working offices of Citizen Space!

When we first secured our offices for BrainJams/Social Media Club in the LookSmart building, we very much wanted that to be a co-working space, but the facilities management policies didn’t allow for it to be a full co-working space.  Instead we sub-leased desks to Stowe Boyd, Greg Narain, Ujogo, My Currency, The Conversation Group and a few other friends.  It was like co-working, but not…

Fast forward to today and I am really happy to be a part of a real co-working space where I can spend my time in a multi-disciplinary environment, hanging with friends, putting on some more community events/salons and generally doing what I love, helping people out.  It is a real stroke of luck that this weekend I saw Tara Hunt tweet about the openings just as I had decided to move on from The Conversation Group – serendipity works in mysterious ways, and this time, in a very awesome way too!

Funny thing is that all my offices in San Francisco have been on 2nd Street, a few blocks apart from each other. I am looking forward to hanging out with Tara, Hillary, Ivan and all the other co-working folks and hopefully also contributing to the broader co-working community.  See you there really soon!

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