At any given time, I am researching one or more books to write. Most of them never reach fruition. A short while ago, I was working on a project that could have become Conversational Healthcare. As it developed, I became convinced that here was indeed a book in the abundant information I found, except that I came to realize it was not the book for me. It did not incur enough of my passion, which is an essential ingredient in the books I write.
I wrote a chapter in Twitterville called Braided Journalism. It looked at points where citizen and traditional journalism are intertwining together in social media spaces. I used examples such as Janis Krums ferrying to New Jersey when US Air 1549 landed nearby. He took a photo and 27 minutes later that photo was broadcast on MSNBC. I talk about Mumbai and Gaza and about Casper Oppenhuis de Jong who was about to Skype his parents in Holland from China when the Szechuan Earthquake took place. The Iran Election took place on the day I finished Twitterville and that is where this new book will probably start--if I write it.
I've been telling audiences about this idea and they smile and nod as I bop around talking about Twitterville. But I cannot help but notice that no one is running up to me and pumpng my hand and telling me how much they want to read Braided Journalism and offering an idea or two for the book.
Meanwhile there is another topic from Twitterville, which I call "lethal generosity." I talk about it in my book presentations as well. It's the concept that social media is built on a culture of generosity. Those who use social media to give information, ideas and sometimes money to the community become the most influential. I talk abou how Jeremiah Owyang started a data storage wiki back when he was at Hitachi Data systems and invited cometitors to join in. I also talk about how Molson Canada donated $20,000 to keep Toronto trains running on New Year's Eve as part of their branded campaign of community responsibility. Then they invited Labatts, their leading competitor to join them in the effort. If Labatts declined, would they be supporting irresponsible drinking? If Labatts said yes, would they be following Molson's thought leadership?
Lethal generosity is using social media to screw your competition to the benefit of your mutual customer.
During my recent Canadian whistle-stop book tour, several people told me how much they loved the concept. My host, Joe Thornley said he thought that would make a better book than braided journalism. Since then, in a Twitter conversation with Eden Spodek she said she thought lethal generosity was a better idea, and then several other tweeter chimed in agreement.
Sometime in 200, I plan to start writing my next book. I have actually drilled down and gathered several anecdotes for Braided Journalism, have started to outline chapters and have placed a few more brushstrokes to what could become a book. I have passion for it. But I am not sure I have audience.
I also have more than a little passion for Lethal Generosity and it feels like more people are interested in this latter possibility.
Right now, I am just thinking out loud. More of my focus will remain on helping Twitterville get noticed. But I have a great deal of faith and respect for my social media crowd. So I'd like to hear your thoughts on this subject.