The Best Home For Your Words

To my hyper-connected New Media writer colleagues: Watch this wise video from the always-awesome Chris Brogan. In it, he talks about spending gobs of time on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and how that investment may pull folks away from other, more important endeavors.

My takeaway from Chris' video is a brass-knuckled buzzkill for Twitter-enamored wordherders, but it's one worth considering: Every sentence you post in the fleeting ether of Twitter and Facebook is one less sentence you're dedicating to your creative work. If you're serious about writing, completing, selling and publishing stories, the best home for your words and creative energy is always your work in progress.

Your creative project will have a permanence, meaning and impact that those tweets and status updates never will. Tweeting about writing isn't writing. Tweeting critiques about others' fiction doesn't put more words on your own pages.

Social media networking sites do indeed provide wonderful places to converse about creativity -- but don't let their cozy, comfortable confines become a lullaby for your own creative efforts.

If you're serious about completing your creative work, publishing it, and getting paid for it, now's a good time to recommit yourself to those goals and funnel your words into the best home for them: your work in progress. The most resonant writing doesn't have 140-character limits.

--J.C.

"In the Nick of Time" - Free 300+ Page Holiday Sampler of Bestselling Books!

Books make terrific holiday gifts, but finding those perfect books for friends and family is always a challenge. If only we could flip through those books’ pages on our schedule. If only if the bookstore could come to us.
That’s the idea behind this In the Nick of Time! holiday sampler PDF. Inside are excerpts from a dozen new novels and nonfiction books by New York Times bestselling authors, successful entrepreneurs, and wickedly talented storytellers, including:
Laurell K. Hamilton -- Divine Misdemeanors
Seth Godin -- Tribes and an exclusive excerpt of Linchpin, out next year
Joseph Finder -- Vanished
Cory Doctorow -- Makers
Chris Brogan & Julien Smith -- Trust Agents
Robert J. Sawyer -- Wake
Mitch Joel - Six Pixels of Separation
Cherie Priest -- Boneshaker
Tara Hunt -- The Whuffie Factor
Scott Sigler -- The Rookie
Seth Harwood -- Jack Wakes Up
J.C. Hutchins -- 7th Son: Descent
If you spot a great gift opportunity, you can order from online retailers directly from the PDF. You can also print the order form at the end of the document, and present it to your local bookseller. Helpful staff will find what you’re looking for.
From high adventure to savvy business advice, you’ll find something special for the special someones on your holiday list -- including you. You're also welcome to share this free sampler with friends and family. Refer them to this web page to download In the Nick of Time! -- http://JCHutchins.net/hoy .

I'm delighted by this project, which I coordinated -- and am honored to have worked with the amazing authors who participated...

Books make terrific holiday gifts, but finding perfect books for friends and family can be a time-consuming challenge. If only if the bookstore could come to us.

That’s the idea behind this In the Nick of Time! holiday sampler PDF. Inside are excerpts from a dozen new novels and nonfiction books by these New York Times bestselling authors, successful entrepreneurs, and wickedly talented storytellers:

DOWNLOAD THE IN THE NICK OF TIME! HOLIDAY SAMPLER

Spot a great gift opportunity? Order from online retailers directly from the PDF, or print the order form at the end of the document and present it to your local bookseller. Helpful staff will find what you’re looking for.

From high adventure to savvy business advice, you’ll find something special for the special someones on your holiday list -- including you. You're also welcome to share this free sampler with friends and family.

Click here to download the In The Nick of Time! holiday sampler -- and have the happiest of holidays!

HEY, EVERYBODY #024: Chris Brogan

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In this episode of Hey, Everybody!, J.C. chats with blogger/new media ninja Chris Brogan about Trust Agents, the book Chris recently co-authored with Julien Smith (another new media badass). It's a terrific conversation, and in addition to sharing some terrific insights from the book, Chris more than proves his geek cred, as he makes nerd-pleasing pop culture references to icons such as...

  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • The Matrix
  • Soylent Green
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Video gaming
  • And more, including a hat-tip to Limp Bizkit, just for shock and awe

In short, Chris Brogan is one of us, peeps. He speaks YOUR language. Enjoy the interview!

NOTE: As J.C. explains in the episode intro, the interview's audio quality is ... troubled. Hutch did the very best he could to remove as much distortion from his side of the conversation as possible.

The anthem for Hey, Everybody! is "Chip Away" by Jane's Addition, distributed freely via BitTorrent and the Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction tour site, Ninja2009.com.

On trust, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

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Long before I met Chris Brogan, I felt like I knew the guy. I'd read his blog for years, and followed his tweetstream. I interviewed him for my podcast. At every turn, the man appeared genuinely enthusiastic about the wild, blossoming frontier of social media, and -- more important -- genuinely enthusiastic in hearing what others had to say about it. I finally met him at South By Southwest 2008, and the dude was as kindhearted and enthusiastic in person as he is online. I shook hands with a dozen-dozen social media "superstars" that weekend, and Chris was one of only three who treated me as more than another damned hand to shake. There's a difference between being confident and drinking your own Kool-Aid; Chris Brogan is a sterling example of the former.

Through his experience, ever-growing expertise (and willingness to share that expertise) and good humor, Chris Brogan earned my trust. What he says has value, and he made it clear to me and thousands more that what we say has value to him.

Trust -- more than the dollar, the yen, or the euro -- is the world's most important currency. Without it, productive relationships and transactions simply cannot happen. Without it, there is no valuable "signal" to what people say, or to the products they offer. There is only brain-wracking noise.

trust agents

Chris wrote a book with Julien Smith. It's called Trust Agents. It was released in bookstores today. It's about using social networks to help businesses succeed ... though I'm certain its core principles of trust-building can be applied well beyond the cubicle. I haven't read a word of the book, but I've already purchased two copies (one for me, and one for my employer), and will likely buy more in the weeks ahead.

You may not know Chris and Julien's work, but you know and probably trust me ... and you know that I rarely share such earnest endorsements. I'm no sycophant; I'm a person who quests for rational, relevant, resonant information. For years, Chris and Julien have delivered, and I trust they have delivered in this book.

Purchase a copy of Trust Agents. Help support the work of Chris and Julien. You'll learn something about the priceless value of trust, from two people who have earned mine.

--J.C.

UltraCreatives Interview #9: Chris Brogan

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This week, author J.C. Hutchins interviews social media expert Chris Brogan. Chris has been a blogger for the past 10 years, is well-respected in the blogging and social media space, and is renowned for his accessibility, excellent writing, and ability to connect with his audience. Chris often evangelizes about social media trends -- and we get into that in the interview -- but J.C. also asks about Chris' personality and world view, and the philosophies that power his daily life and adventures in social media.

The recording is a little noisy; through the miracle of Skype, J.C. chatted with Chris while Chris did some work at a coffee shop. The cheerful ambience adds to the listening experience. Enjoy the conversation!

Sites mentioned in this interview:

Subscribe to the free UltraCreatives Interview Series podcast -- and J.C.'s free sci-fi podcast novel trilogy, 7th Son -- by visiting the Podcasting Primer page. Be sure to watch the short "C2G (click, click, get)" video for easy-peasy instructions on how to quickly subscribe to this award-winning content.

This week's episode of UltraCreatives is sponsored by Audible. Begin your free trial today -- and receive a free audiobook -- by visiting AudiblePodcast.com/UltraCreative.

J.C.'s intro chatter includes:

  • A big "thank you" to listeners who are spreading the word about Scott Sigler's novel INFECTED, and its April 1 debut in bookstores everywhere. Continue to evangelize! Let's get Scott on The New York Times bestseller list!
  • Thanks to your feedback, J.C. will post informal "audioblog"-style updates in the podcast feed. Expect these to focus on his creative projects.

Promos:

Killer Content: "Fun Anymore" and "Unquiet Desperation"

"Killer Content" is J.C. Hutchins' unpredictably scheduled, ongoing series about cool creators in the online space. This post is partly prompted by a friendly online challenge by writer Chris Brogan, in which he asked his readers to suggest "hidden gems" in the blogosphere. Two men of many talents immediately sprang to mind, and they more than qualify as "Killer Content" creators.

Evo Terra and Chris Miller are gifted writers and communicators. They're also collaborators: Terra and Miller are largely responsible for keeping the site Podiobooks.com up and running smoothly. Podiobooks.com in itself is a hidden gem on the 'Net -- it provides free serialized audiobook hosting and distribution for DIY-spirited authors (such as myself) and their work. Podiobooks.com is a daring, disruptive service, and I'm confident that mainstream publishers will soon examine its model as -- like the recording industry -- it turns to digital distribution as the only true sustainable means of profit and survival.

But beyond Podiobooks.com, Evo Terra and Chris Miller are accomplished bloggers in their own right.

Evo Terra, a former podcaster and co-author of two "For Dummies" books about podcasting, is known for his intelligence, wit and snark. His blog, Fun Anymore, showcases an expert's perspective of social media far from the blogosphere's feel-good echo chamber. He chimes in on social media services, marketing and advertising. Shorter posts are often rabbit punches on well-known topics, while longer writings illustrate his practical views on new media and content quality.

To the uninitiated, Terra's tone may come off as curmudgeonly ... and that's probably fine by him ... but look beyond the barbed sarcasm, and you'll find many thought-provoking opinions. Recommended for social media types, especially those who appreciate a spike of zero-BS snark.

Chris Miller, in addition to being a podcaster and self-proclaimed "codeshaman" (and as someone who's worked with him on technical issues, the title ain't no lie), crafts a blog called Unquiet Desperation. Miller's interests are far-flung, as is his writing: he may blog about Cleveland weather one day, and coding the next. Topics also include science-fiction, religion/spirituality, podcasting and more.

What makes this personal potpourri so interesting and entertaining is Miller's writing itself. Thoughtful and carefully crafted, there is always a nugget of "bigger picture" truth to his posts. While I may not be able to fully understand his writing about coding, for instance, I always take away a personal insight into the man's life, or something that applies to my own. Recommended for codemonkeys of all stripes, fans of new media (mostly podcasting), and those craving glimmers of personal truth in each post.

Find Evo Terra's Fun Anymore here. Find Chris Miller's Unquiet Desperation here.