Thursday, October 22, 2009

Geoff Livingston: "Now Is Gone": Social media replace one-way self-publishing


Geoff Livingston was one of the panelists at the “Social Media Outlook” forum at Tysons Corner Va. Oct. 14, sponsored by Potomac Tech Wire, and he mentioned his book “Now Is Gone: A Primer on New Media for Executives and Entrepreneurs,” published in Laurel MD in 2007 by Bartleby, with ISBN 978-0910155731. The book runs 194 pages, with an attractive “Milwaukee Road” yellow and black cover, paperback. The website for the book is this.

The transition from “Web 1.0” to “Web 2.0” roughly marks the development of a duality: the Web moves from being a one-way publishing platform (especially for self-publishing) embellished with the kernel of e-commerce, to a public interaction forum that restructures not just social meeting, but the whole functioning of a market economy, with public relations and marketing.

My own experience is instructive. I started by writing a book focused on trying to lift the ban on gays in the military, and found that I was developing a whole paradigm to understand the tension between individualistic and group or family-based ways of looking at moral issues. Once the paradigm is published and becomes known, it is difficult for special interests to maintain a grip on the debate, because it is “always there,” available through search engine for anyone. I maintained “running footnote” files as flat web pages to supplement the book (and put the book online). But in 2006, I basically replaced the “running footnote” maintenance with the blogs that you see today.

But the Web 2.0 approach to repealing “don’t ask don’t tell” would support the “special interest” way of doing things: you use social media to find and grow like-minded people, raise money (organizations call this “development”) and make your cause socially, rather than just intellectually, compelling. Indeed, the social aspect of this problem (DADT) is in practice much harder than the intellectual part (it’s pretty easy to knock down the old arguments for the military ban, that is).

Indeed, the media has presented many ways in which the Web is used for charitable giving and organizing volunteer and relief efforts (as after Hurricane Katrina).

When I wrote my book and first created my site in 1997, I regarded my “work life” and “expressive life” as separate, the latter as almost my “private life” (even despite my Minneapolis television appearances in early 1998). Social media, however, force “unification” of one’s “online reputation.”

The book includes an introduction by Brian Solis, and some “Best of the Buzz Bin Interviews” with Shel Holtz, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Derfen, Brian Oberkirch, Laura Ries, Kami Watse Huyse, and Scott Baradell. It’s interesting to me that the Additional Reading Lists gives Rebecca Blood’s “The Weblog Handbook” but not Nancy Flynn’s American Management Association guide “Blog Rules: A Business Guide to Managing Policy, Public Relations, and Legal Issues" (006).

1 comment:

Toby said...

Bill - thanks for the mention of my interview in Now Is Gone. Similar to what you've experienced, my life in social media overlaps both business an personal. Sometimes it's a challenge but at the end of the day it's all about who we are and what we are comfortable sharing 'in the now.'