Recently, I’ve focused on the creative craft of language and communication. Knowing what to say is important, but knowing how to say it and what not to say is also crucial. It can be the difference between informing and inspiring. Along this kick, I’ve mentioned writing at multiple levels and sources of inspiration.
Now, I want to share some short insights from some people I solicited in the Twitter community:
Good writing is…
is that which delights, annoys, inspires, impassions, entertains, challenges… or otherwise demands a response.
is clear communication of thought with flair, artfulness, heart, good grammar, talent, and skill
Rob La Gesse
…is like one of those wooden 3-D puzzles that fits together sequentially and tightly, locking together into a perfect whole.
They were limited to 140 characters or less. In the comments below, feel free to expound, rebut, reclassify, or answer the question in your own manner. Good writing is..?
[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, communication, writing, language[/tags]
Here’s what we’ve been able to determine so far:
We don’t know exactly what precipitated the collapse, but it appears that he had complete blockage in two arteries. Surgery coming to remove those.
At one point, he was on nine different medications to keep him alive; slowly, those are being reduced. He’s now down to 6 different IV drips and three machines, including cardiac assist and a ventilator.
We still don’t know why there was an initial pronouncement. Who told Patrick? How much time elapsed before he did find out? Apparently, he did recognize and respond to Patrick, so there is hope for some type of recovery. Medicine has come a long way, but please — don’t take moments for granted.
My cousin Billy died yesterday.
And then he didn’t.
Billy was out walking the dogs at his home in California, and collapsed right after walking in the door. His partner called the EMTs immediately, and the paramedics couldn’t revive him. Pronounced him dead on site.
Then, somehow, they managed to revive him on the ambulance on the way to the emergency room. I’m not sure how much time elapsed before Patrick was told that Billy was still alive.
That’s the last word that we had from Sunday afternoon. I’ve been quiet, because there’s still been no update, other than Billy remains in the ICU. No updates on prognosis, other than it doesn’t look good.
We still don’t know what precipitated the collapse. He’s 42 (four years my senior), and seemed to be in reasonably good health. I hadn’t seen him in years, but he had no family history of diabetes or obesity that would indicate any of the usual suspects. Could have been a congenital heart thing. We just don’t know.
Life is short. Spend it wisely. Start today.
South by Deep South won’t be my first foray into unconferencing. It will be my biggest, though.
Years ago, I’d made some friends in an online forum for broadcast journalists. One of them, Randy Steinman, was coming through Birmingham on the way to the beach, and thought it would be neat to have lunch. He’s the sports director for the CTV affiliate in Toronto, and his family has a place on the Gulf Coast. It was September of 2001.
Yeah, that September.
The RTNDA was having its national shindig in Nashville that year, the 14th-17th. Needless to say, news management types had their hands full, and the convention was cancelled. Randy and his fiance were already committed to coming, so the two of them met me, my wife, and my sister at a Cracker Barrel for lunch. And thus was born “RTNDA-Not.”
A Larger Party
The next year, a few folks had heard about our un-gathering, and we opened it up a bit. When Randy and Sheryl came through the next year, we had a total of 17 people there for a weekend of eating, drinking, and fellowship. Lots of war stories about life in the news trenches. Jessica flew in from Houston, John drove down from Cincinnati, Carolyn from Louisiana – about half of the crew came from out of Alabama. A great weekend, any way you slice it.
2003 was an experience. We decided to bring some professional value to RTNDA-Not. (And that’s how it was known, long before the “un-conference” became the hip thing for the bloggerati.) I got four television stations to kick in some sponsorship money, and we brought Wayne Freedman from KGO-TV in San Francisco to lead a storytelling seminar. Wayne only had 40-something Emmy awards at the time, and is considered one of the premier storytellers in news.
We booked him, took over a donated hall at Samford University, and let him do his thing. We had more than 60 people from at least a dozen states who drove in for RTNDA-Not. And we didn’t charge a dime. It was the first time in years that Freedman had done a presentation where there was no cover charge. The informal breakout meetings were a blast, as was the weekend.
Then I got out of teevee, and there was no RTNDA-Not for 2004.
I’ll dig up some pics when I get around to it. SxDS is going to be off the charts in comparison. Go visit and offer to help. I’m begging you.
[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, sxds, south by deep south, RTNDA, Randy Steinman, Wayne Freedman[/tags]
Sometimes, things just spill out of your mouth and take on a life of their own.
Like South by Deep South, for instance.
I got tired of hearing about all of those going to South by Southwest (SxSW), and Blogger Social, and TED, and any of the other big conferences where people pay big money to think big. So I created SxDS. And enough people are actually interested in such an animal, that it looks like we’ll actually have to do it.
So… if you have any interest in meeting up with some really fine communicators and thinkers (many of whom lack a drawl), then drop a note over at the SxDS website. We’ll post thoughts and work out the logistics to bring everyone together for an unconference for the ages!
[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, communication, marketing, SXDS[/tags]
I don’t have as much time as I used to. None of us do.
I just had an article pop in on one of my subscriptions: “72 tips for safer computing.”
I don’t have time for 27 tips, much less 72.
Experts aren’t valuable because they provide a more exhaustive list of advice. Experts are valuable because they give you the advice you need, when you need it. Experts are valuable when they distill their experiences and philosophy into accessible bits.
If a self-described “expert” creates value for himself by creating complexity, then run away. Experts make things simple.
[tags]Ike Pigott, Occam’s RazR, communication[/tags]