Since then, I have been kicking back more than I usually do, playing in my garden, with my wife, dog, cat and a few friends who I've missed during the reclusive process I require to write a book. It's nice to get out.
It's also scary, when I wrap up a project that took so much time and attention. There is a feeling that I have touched the top of a mountain and have stepped into a vacuum, a bubble where my work and focus have been excluded.
But I have a great number activities coming up. And for a three-week rest period, there has been a lot of planning and thing and doing.
First, I am going to do everything I can, and go everywhere that time and budget allows me to promote Twitterville. I feel good about the book. I think the stories I've told about the incredible people I've met in Twitterville are stories worth telling and sharing.
I'm planning a big party sometime in August. I have begun to invite people who are my close friends and people who are in the book. My friend Tatyana Kanzaveli has agreed to produce it for me and we are currently raising sponsorship, which we of course need before we can open the floodgates to the public. So far, Network Solutions and Intuit have kicked in, so we are well on our way. I'll tell you more about that when I have more to tell and I hope that will be soon.
Next, I am thrilled, THRILLED to announce that BurrellesLuce, the media planning, monitoring and measurement service for social media, online and print has signed up to sponsor this blogsite starting July 15, and I have agreed to pst at least once weekly--thus the title of this post.
This bog has served me as a sandbox, I play in it, try things out and watch how they develop. I allow myself to stray and wander to cover whatever interests me.
Since 2005, the core focus for me in this sandbox has been social media and how it is changing the lives of people and the structures of institutions. Essentially, what I do is I talk to people about how social media changes their work, play and cultures.
Over these past few years I have interviewed more than 400 people in 38 countries about how they use social media. A majority of these interviews have been in the section called the Social Media Global Report. Projects that start there have resulted in two hardcover books, Naked Conversations, Twitterville; The Conversational Conversations, a Dow Jones, eBook and contributions to BusinessWeek.com, as well as FastCompany.TV.
For a while, I'm going to play in the sandbox, interviewing people about social media. I am looking for interesting and useful stories. I am happy to hear any that you think are useful and interesting. am particularly interested in hearing those that are unique; that stretch the boundaries of social media. I am more interested in the human element, but I remain primarily a business writer. Please email me or leave a comment hear if you know someone or something you think I should cover.
I'm a sucker for a good story, so please tell me one.
At some point, a subject will come along that may lead to my next book. I certainly hope so and I am always searching for my next book. I will pursue a subject for a while and see if it fits for that topic, then either leap into it or move away.
For the past several months I have been talking to my friend Tom Stitt about a subject that has his passion and which invokes great interest on my part--the role of social media in healthcare. It's a great subject, and there are more than enough stories about cool people in healthcare who are changing the medical practice, respecting patient choices. There are also people like ePatientDave and Drew Olanoff who are using social media to share ideas and information and support.
But ultimately, I realized that a book we were going to call Conversational Healthcare, was not one I should help write. This subject greatly interests me, and I will write about healthcare and social media many times in the coming months. But it does not grab my passion as does another subject. Tom is continuing with the project and I have agreed to write the forward to his book which nw has a new working title.
What did grab my attention and my passion over the past few weeks is the role that Twitter has played in shedding light on the dark awfulness that has followed the Iran Election and I have little doubt that the hours I have spent following that story will be part of my next book.
If it had not been for Twitter, Flickr and YouTube the world would not know and probably not care about what as happened there. Social media let people everywhere hear and see what has been happening to a people who were fooled into thinking they were part of a democracy when they were not. People bypassed governments and traditional media to inform each other. Truth in Iran keeps bypassing those who would suppress it via handheld devices and it is a fundamental change in how people connect.
This story has my passion. Iran itself may not be my next book, but it is likely to be a component. It seems a direct descendant of stories I covered in Twitterville including Mumbai, Israeli-Gaza, Janis Krums and US Air 1549 on the Hudson.
At this point, the likely focus of my new book will be an extension of what I call "Braided Journalism," the title of my favorite Twitterville Chapter. It is the idea that news requires both the efforts of traditional news-gathering organizations as well as the feet on the streets of the world being covered by people with connected devices in their hands.
I am in no great hurry to start the next book. There is still a great deal of time and effort needed in support of Twitterville. But for a while, much of my focus will be directed at the points where traditional and citizen journalism converge and intertwine to make something entirely new and perhaps, better.
It's nice to be playing in the sandbox again.