Tempo Interview on ‘Smart People Podcast’

I am now officially a “smart person,” since I’ve been interviewed on the Smart People Podcast.

It’s a half-hour interview where I talk with Chris Stemp and Jon Rojas about TempoKinda fun, since it’s the first time I’ve talked about the book in an audio interview format.

Check it out here.


Motifs, Mascots and Muses at Refactor Camp, 2012

On Saturday March 3rd, I am organizing a barcamp style event at the San Francisco Zoo: Refactor Camp, 2012. It is a small event, with a few scheduled speakers (including me of course) to get people thinking and talking, withe rest of the time left open, to improvise a barcamp-style agenda on the spot.  Use the promotional code EARLYBIRD to register before 10 PM, Thursday Feb 16th, and get $10 off the $40 general registration.

You can find out more about the theme and inspiration behind the event in the announcement post on ribbonfarm.

If you enjoyed Tempo, the event should be of particular interest, since it is largely inspired by themes and open questions in the book. Narrative, archetypes and design thinking all feature in the developing agenda.

My own talk will build on the ideas on archetypes and cheap tricks in the book: “Motifs, Mascots and Muses.”  I am developing the talk for a general audience, but those who have read the book should be able to peel back more layers in the ideas.

Tempo Now Available on Kindle

Tempo is finally out on the Kindle.  The link is to the US version ($9.99), but it is available on all the international Kindle stores as well.  In case you weren’t aware, you don’t need the Kindle device to read a Kindle book. You can use your smartphone or PC (just download the appropriate free reader app from Amazon). You can also give Kindle books as a gift (hint, hint!).

Curious factoid I thought I’d share: I now have the Kindle device, as well as apps installed on my iPhone, iPad and laptop (PC). Since the apps all synchronize, I often find myself reading a book in small or large bursts across multiple devices and reading sessions. Surprisingly, I get a lot of the reading done on the iPhone, since I always have it with me, and often have a few minutes here and there (while waiting in line at the post office for instance). The tempo of my reading habits has changed.  I now finish most books via a series of 5-minute sessions rather than a few 2-3 hour sessions. It is somewhat more inefficient, due to the switching costs and getting back into the flow of the book. I suppose I’ll be thinking about this new behavior of the book medium a lot more with my next book. Maybe design it to be coherent at both the 5-minute burst level and the extended-session level.

I’ll get to other readers (Nook and the rest) shortly. I’ll also be sending out the promised free copies to those who played the pass-it-along game with the early beta edition.


The Tempo Road Trip

A big claim I have made in Tempo is that I hope to help readers develop a new perspective from which to view the world. When I finally released the book, the question that immediately occurred to me was this:  how could I demonstrate the value of the perspective? What if, I asked myself, I grabbed a camera and microphone an iPhone and went around interviewing readers and actually trying to look at different things with the lens I am selling others?

And the answer popped out at me: Road Trip!

Here is the rough route (click for larger image or here for the live Google Map) and dates. I will be liveblogging the whole trip (mainly video and photo blogging) right here on the Tempo blog.

The first leg starts next week. Between Tuesday, May 3 and approximately May 24, I will be driving zig-zag from Washington, DC to Las Vegas, NV, which is going to be my base for the next few months. I haven’t yet decided whether to start out going North and looping through Canada, or heading South.

Later in the summer (late June/early July), I’ll be doing the second leg: driving in a loop from Vegas, up the West Coast to Vancouver, and back.

If you want to meet me…

So if you live somewhere near the planned  route, I’d like to meet you.  The primary purpose is to really stress-test the Tempo perspective, but I’ll also be opportunistically looking for fodder for my other writing venues, and continuing my normal work for my consulting clients. I am open to anything interesting, including, but not limited to:

  • A quick 1:1 coffee
  • A group meetup if there are enough readers in an area
  • Doing an informal talk about the book at your workplace or a local group you belong to
  • Having you show me something interesting in your area
  • Having you ride along with me on a local side-trip or just to enjoy a good chat

If you are up for it, simply post a comment on this post mentioning what you’d like to do, and include your location (city, state). If someone from your area has already posted a comment, please post yours as a reply to theirs. Please use your real name, and if possible link to some sort of profile (LinkedIn, Facebook or a blog for instance) in the URL field. If you’d rather email me privately, you can do that too, but I’d prefer a comment here so I can see all the information in one place and make sense of it. If I decide to pass through a particular city/area, I’ll email all the readers in that area and arrange the logistics.

Quality of experiences, rather than quantity, is the criterion, so I am more likely to drive 100 miles out of my way to meet one person who I know well through ribbonfarm, or someone new who can show me a landfill or container-port than stop at a dull place to meet someone with whom I’ve never interacted before. I may spend several days on a 10-mile stretch and zip through 500 miles in a day depending on how interesting things are. The tempo of the trip is going to be highly variable.

I will also be slumming it a bit to save money. I plan on experimenting with Couch Surfing (my handle there is ribbonfarm) and Airbnb. If you’ve got a couch or spare bed you can offer me, please mention that in your comment (and I’d prefer to do that through the couchsurfing.org site).

I plan on posting several times a day, and this short format, high-frequency multimedia format will be very new for me (if you are a ribbonfarm reader, you know that my normal comfort zone is 2000+ word posts once a week).

And don’t forget. If you’ve finished the book, please post a blurb for me on the Reader Reactions page.