September 29, 2010
September 27, 2010
September 26, 2010
September 25, 2010
September 24, 2010
While we love photography, we don't generally review cameras here. However, there's a new camera that is "in a class of its own". Fortunately.
Several manufacturers offer small digital cameras with fast (large-aperture) prime (fixed focal length) lenses. These small cameras have image sensors that, while not as large as a "full frame" sensor, are larger (and thus more sensitive) than those typically found in pocket-size point-and-shoots. Examples include the Sigma DP2, the Leica X1, and the Ricoh GR digital. The idea is that by giving up zoom, you get a (somewhat) faster lens & a (somewhat) bigger sensor. And, it seems, because these are considered "prestige" cameras, the manufacturer gets a bigger profit.
The newest member of this family is the almost-released Fuji Finepix X100. And it has one "feature" that's just wack. Namely, it has a built-in non-removable neutral density filter.
A neutral density filter is a piece of grey glass. Like sunglasses. Sometimes (if infrequently) called "smoked" glass.
Now, why would you want to put sunglasses on your camera? Well, suppose you were shooting in bright daylight, and you wanted to use a large aperture, to achieve a very shallow depth-of-field, in order to isolate your subject by blurring the background. Doing so might require a shutter speed much faster than the camera was capable of. So, under those conditions, adding a neutral density filter solves that problem, allowing the use of large apertures in bright daylight. That's why many photographers carry neutral density filters, to use under such conditions.
September 23, 2010
.... A tank rolled over to us, and the nine first-class Americans instinctively raised our hands. The tank stopped short; a single soldier in T-shirt and shorts popped out of the hatch and planted a highway sign next to it, black letters against an orange background:IT IS FORBIDDEN TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXISTENCE OF THIS VEHICLE ("THE OBJECT") UNTIL YOU ARE .5 MILES FROM THE SECURITY PERIMETER OF JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. BY READING THIS SIGN YOU HAVE DENIED EXISTENCE OF THE OBJECT AND IMPLIED CONSENT.– American Restoration Authority,Security Directive IX-2.11"Together We'll Surprise the World!"
September 22, 2010
- Announce yourself each time you speak. Not all listeners will remember the association between your voice and your name. People may have joined the call since you last spoke. And this simple, gracious act draws attention to what you are about to say.
- Summarize your points after you make them. Most likely, listeners will be multitasking, and offering a summary focuses their attention. It also provides a strong conclusion to your communication.
- Summarize the information to which you are connecting your point. For example, "Earlier, Jane said x. I am going to build on the idea of x by adding..."
- If you are facilitating, take the time to summarize the ensuing conversation throughout the call.
- Provide examples. Say, "Let me give you an example..." Research shows that listener attention is sparked by the announcement of a forthcoming example.
- Share stories. Short and simple stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
- Think radio. Good radio broadcasters paint a picture with words. Provide sensory details so that your listeners can picture what you are talking about.
- Stand up! Again, think radio: you need to convey energy through the phone lines, and the best way to do this is to bring energy into your voice through your body. Stand up, move around. Invest in a good headset.
- Smile! A smile conveys energy and passion. Try it: say "Hello" while smiling, and then without smiling.
- Look at yourself. Catch your reflection on your computer screen, or in your window. Are you relaxed? Do you look like someone with whom you would like to speak? Provide your listeners with the same level of bodily engagement that you would if you were meeting with them in person.
September 21, 2010
"Philosophers have often looked for the defining feature of humans – language, rationality, culture, and so on. I'd stick with this: Man is the only animal that likes Tabasco sauce."
September 20, 2010
The hardest part to sharing an engaging story is to find the proper balance of details. If you share too many details, your listener gets distracted, and perhaps loses an understanding of your plot. If you get sidetracked and share an abundance of inconsequential details, you may find yourself confused, and lose sense of both the path and the message of your story.
Think of the details of your story as synaptic sandbags. If you are sharing your story strategically, that is, as a tool for helping your listener better understand and engage with specific information, then you want your story to trigger select experiences and memories for your listener. The details you choose to share are the sandbags that help create a path of discovery in your listener’s brain: too few sandbags, and you risk tributaries, or your story being washed away. Too many sandbags, and you dam up your information, restricting the path that your listener needs to take through connections in their own mind, in order to join you at the close of your story.
Story is not a commodity, to be taken from someone and given to someone else. Often, I help people find and share their stories, so that they can better share their stories or the story of their organization. I call this “listening in the service of telling” – as opposed to listening to better understand and craft solutions to organizational problems, for example. This kind of listening presents unique ethical challenges. I’m hoping to explore these challenges in greater depth at an upcoming panel, Ethical Storysharing for Social Change, at the South By Southwest conference. In preparation, I’ve been thinking about the following:
- Sometimes, the opportunity that you, as the story facilitator, are presenting to the storysharer may be his or her only chance to be heard.
- You are the sharer’s microphone.
- You may have more knowledge of the possible repercussions of a story being shared than the sharer does. You have an ethical obligation to protect the sharer.
- You must be clear as to whether there are any differences between your goals and the goals of the storysharer.
A story is a structure for delivering information. A story has a beginning, middle, and end. Usually, something happens to someone and something changes as a result.
Recently, a professional media relations specialist was bemoaning the fact that a newspaper journalist “did not get the story” that the specialist was attempting to relay. When I pressed the professional communicator, it became clear that he was delivering a message to the journalist. He had not offered the journalist a story, with a beginning, middle, and end, let alone characters, action, challenge, and resolution. He had not thought about how to make his message concrete or his complex data meaningful, or to provide a context for the message, all of which could be delivered through a structured and strategic story.
The journalist may not have reported the precise and desired message. But he did not fail in reporting the story, as he was not offered a story on which to report.
- Knowledge Sharing
- Change Initiatives
- Project Evaluation
- Product Introduction
- Values Transmission
- Conquering Complexity
- Communicating Vision
- Understanding History
This list is by no means exhaustive.
Sometimes, you first need to identify the underlying narrative, and then go about finding the small stories that support it.
Sometimes, you need to examine lots of small stories in order to find the underlying narrative.
September 13, 2010
September 12, 2010
September 11, 2010
"… [a] systematic decrease in randomness … would certainly in principle be possible … But somehow it seems that [suitable] initial conditions … never actually occur in practice."
September 10, 2010
September 9, 2010
September 8, 2010
September 7, 2010
September 5, 2010
"Where is my jet-pack?""Where is my personal heli-car?""Where is my robot dog?"
September 4, 2010
September 3, 2010
September 1, 2010
Here's an excerpt:
Everybody wants to be a hero. Smart leaders and organizations know that. You also know it's natural for people to align themselves with solutions rather than to associate themselves with problems. You want the audiences for your stories to relate as much as possible to the protagonists in the stories you choose to share and to empathize with the protagonist’s heroic journey.Here's an example...
- ► 2014 (44)
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- 29 September 1547
- Heart, Head & Hand: An Advanced Approach to Persua...
- "... help create the fact"
- on the air
- I was wrong.
- wonders of the marketplace, continued
- What were they smoking?
- "deny & imply"
- Presenting via Conference Call
- "the defining feature of humans"
- "bar soap", "conventional oven", "film camera", an...
- Synaptic Sandbags
- Ethical Storysharing
- Story is a Structure
- The Narrative Organization
- And the answer is...?
- Identifying Narratives & Finding Stories
- All of 'em!
- "Never"? Hardly.
- Good news!
- ...and he should know!
- Hooray for the Harbor Tunnel!
- Baltimore Grand Prix 2011!
- The future is here, now.
- Up to 200 MPH, in the middle of downtown!
- what kind of threat?
- Everyone wants to be a Hero
- ▼ September (29)