Roundup: March 21 – June 16

Here is a quick review of the 27 articles I posted between March 21 and June 16. I have given up trying to be regular, let alone frequent, with these roundups. And to think, when I started this blog about a year ago, I thought I’d be doing weekly roundups. Ha ha. So expect these roundups when you see them (at least until I can afford to hire a regular editor, or somebody volunteers)!

The usual request — please forward this roundup to people you think would like an introduction to ribbonfarm, and digg, stumble etc. The previous roundup, for January 17 – March 20 is here. If you sign up for the email newsletter, you can get these roundup posts through the email newsletter, a good way to keep up if you aren’t the RSS or regular-bookmark-checker type.


Okay, even I can see that 27 articles (especially 27 of my articles, which average around 1300 words) is too much to be called an ‘overview.’ So if you want to cherry-pick a few to read, here are my own top 5 selections.

  1. A Map of the World 2.0 canon: A post that got some attention, attempting to do a meta-overview of “2.0” writing.
  2. The Evolution of Work-Life, my best pure-graphic post so far: I am getting slowly better at this whole viral thing.
  3. Art for Thought, on Amy Lin’s Art: If I lived near more museums (as I soon will, when I move to DC), I’d do more of this sort of thing.
  4. The Founding Fathers of Technology: A piece on mid-twentieth century events that led to the creation of most modern technological infrastructure. Among my better pieces I think.
  5. Panels One, Two and Three of my short-lived comic strip (okay that makes it 7 rather than 5, but these 3 are really like 1)

The Full List

In reverse chronological order:

  1. A review of Groundswell, verdict: pretty good
  2. A guest post on the nature of genius by creativity consultant Michael Michalko
  3. Continuing my series on work-life balance/blending, a piece on context switching
  4. Some dangerous work-life blending in this post, advertising some jobs I am helping recruit for, at Xerox
  5. Exploring the idea of innovation by people outside the formal institutions of innovation.
  6. A somewhat clumsy piece, I admit, but a good first stab at a pet passion of mine: thinking about information with the metaphor of food.
  7. A pure-graphic-post,The Evolution of Work-Life on work-life issues. Very yin-yangish. Literally.
  8. A review of Megacommunities, one of the few super-positive book reviews on ribbonfarm.
  9. A review of Marshall Goldsmith’s “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” which is an awesome treatment of self-sabotaging behaviors on the career fast-track.
  10. A look at Amy Lin’s wonderful dot art, and the trains of thought it sparked for me.
  11. A review of Tom Hayes’ “Jump Point” — a cheerfully chaotic, yet effective overview of emerging technologies
  12. Three installments of my short-lived experiments with a comic panel gag on ribbonfarm, titled Sage of Ribbonfarm. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep it up, unless you guys can find help me find a volunteer artist. Panels One, Two and Three.
  13. An extended riff on Freaknomics segues into musings about the economist Ronald Coase and the future of the firm, in this discursive piece.
  14. A mega-overview and visualization of all the literature on social media and 2.0 technology, A Map of the World 2.0 canon.
  15. Probably incomprehensible to non-Indians, a little essay about three games popular in India, and what they reveal about Indian culture and the Indian psyche.
  16. The coming triumph of the strengths movement, a look at Strengths psychology from Gallup and elsewhere.
  17. Continuing my longest-running series on virtual geography and the sociology of ‘social media,’ a piece on Richard Florida’s work on creative capital, in The New Location, Location, Location.
  18. Another short-lived experiment, rather like the comic. — a business case study. I thought you guys would enjoy mini-case studies, a la Harvard Business Review. Apparently not; or my story-telling sucks. Oh well, live and learn.
  19. A review of Generation Blend, by Rob Salkowitz, about how to manage the coming decade of four generations in the workplace at once. Great read, especially for those unfamiliar with the Great Demographic Debates of America.
  20. The review of Nick Carr’s The Big Switch in the last roundup window is followed up by a brief note on a Slate article about the same topic (i.e. Matrix like technologies).
  21. A quick note on Inventoritis, with particular emphasis on the Grabowski Ratio, a clever way of looking at innovations and their probability of being successful.
  22. Quickie on the NAE Grand Challenges of engineering.
  23. A piece on the history of 20th century technology, The Founding Fathers of Technology.
  24. And finally, a review of Johnny Bunko, the bestselling Manga style comic book career guide from Dan Pink.

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About Venkatesh Rao

Venkat is the founder and editor-in-chief of ribbonfarm. Follow him on Twitter