It was Rupert Murdoch who invented the modern media empire. Now his reach includes two thirds of the Earth’s population. In this revised and updated edition, William Shawcross brings Murdoch’s story up to date. “Of all the biographies on Murdoch, this is the most comprehensive and balanced and comes closest to explaining a bundle of contradictions.”–Edwin Diamond, New York magazine.
Higher class of corporate denizens absolutely love metaphors, buzzwords and doublespeak. Corporate conversations are sometimes a bit similar to the way that Mr. Helpmann speaks in the movie Brazil:
“Bad sportsmanship. A ruthless minority of people seem to have forgotten good old-fashioned virtues. They just can’t stand seeing the other fellow win. If these people would just play the game… “
“We’re fielding all their strokes, running a lot of them out, and pretty consistently knocking them for six. I’d say they’re nearly out of the game.”
“All I can say is don’t fall at the last fence. The finishing post’s in sight. See you in the paddock… keep your eye on the ball. ”
Although Mr. Helpmann only uses sports metaphors, they usually come in a much wider variety as chronicled at jennypeters.com.
For some reason, public transportation in a form of a bus became a symbol of “quick corporate death” as in “you need to document this project for the “hit by a bus scenario”” or “what if Joe gets hit by a bus tomorrow?”. There’s even an expression “bus number” – a number of key people in a company.
Yesterday I’ve encountered the actual “hit by a bus” scenario:
Apparently some old lady got run over by an MTA bus and lost a leg. My favorite cop quote from the incident – “Hey, you better get onto the sidewalk, especially in light of what happened here.”
Back when Al Gore took the initiative in creating the Internet, this dude named James Parry figured out an interesting promotional trick. He built a homegrown Usenet search utility and tirelessly trolled it for the mentions of his own nickname, “Kibo“. When he found some, he would join the conversation. This feat of persistence gained him thousands of fans and even a homegrown religion, Kibology. I don’t think anyone has figured out a finer way to waste time, especially considering that commercial application of search technology in the past tended to mint millionaires and billionaires.
I have a special folder in my Bloglines accounts that holds a set of very popular, but surprisingly unreadable blogs. Remembering Kibo today, I think I understood why Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble has so many readers. He’s the Kibo of bloggers! Look (and this is just one page):
Joey is 10x the guy I am
Rick Segal debates my impact
Alfredo asks what Wired’s top 40 list says to me
And this is just the first page! The quick pitter-patter of Scoble’s posts is filled with references to other people’s posts about him! Can Scoblelology be far behind? So far no hits.
Still, this does not explain why people read Joi Ito’s blog. It could be more properly described as “Where in the World is Joi Ito”. It’s all “Off to Japan“, “Off to SF“, “Off to Japan“, “Off to Australia“. I get it, he’s a world traveler.