“When we were all in it together, the key was to be first. Now we’re all grazing in different locations, stumbling upon things, and what might be new to us is actually old, but does anybody care?” – Bob Lefsetz
the magnitude of the information deluge is hard to grasp. humans have been creating information since the beginning of time. but only recently have we become capable of manifesting virtually every dimension of experience and imagination in a disembodied time-and-place agnostic physical form on a mass scale.
video… text… words … bytes… the sheer volume of “stuff” flowing out of our daily existence is startling … and we’re just at the tip of the iceberg, the very start of the digital revolution. to put it in context, from the beginning of history through 2004, four exabytes of content were created. since 2004, four exabytes of content are created every three days.
shared frames of reference are becoming more scarce — and therein more valuable. if professional media companies, whose entire business is built on getting people’s attention, are challenged to break through the clutter, imagine the repercussions for other organizations and institutions. the tower of babel is growing higher each day. i, quite frankly, love it because it makes my skills more valuable. but it’s a big problem for society in general.
transparency is becoming less of a “nice to have” and more of a “need to have” in order to compete. in the old guard, companies assumed that details about internal workings were valuable because they were secret. caginess gave you the upper hand; if you kept your next big idea to yourself, people couldn’t steal it. but now, with a few rare exceptions like apple, you’ve GOT to be out there sharing if you want to foster and benefit from the best thinking.
applying transparency on a personal level is where it gets tricky. how much do you share without giving away the farm? how open ought you be to strangers? how much do you want to make available to people who do know you but who
– may not like you
– may misunderstand your musings or take them out of context
– may judge you or use information against you?
there’s always a cost/benefit to communicating. risk is unavoidable, and when you have a strong personality, it’s inevitable that some people will dislike you. in the case of this blog, i put myself out there as a way to express myself and to connect with others. i’ve enjoyed tremendous benefits from blogging: friendships, gifts … i even got an apartment out of it once! occasionally i freak out about being overly-exposed in this space. but for the most part i love blogging, and the ways it’s helped me maintain and deepen connections with the people in my life.
and while we’re talking self-disclosure, i give you erykah badu’s new release: “window seat” :