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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

April, 2009

Mud Rooms, Red Letters, and Real Priorities

Thanks to my funny, literary pal, Jason B. Jones, today, I'm visiting lovely, warm Connecticut to do some talks and whatnot at CCSU. I mention it because I'd started typing this little post mid-way through the long eastbound flight that delivered me here from three fun (but very long) days doing a comedy thing with You Look Nice Today and Jordan, Jesse, Go! over on that other, top-left, edge of our nation.

So, I was tired. Really tired. The kind of tired where your wallet hurts your butt, and coffee tastes weird, and you try super-hard to sleep, but -- well -- you're just too tired to sleep. And, I was fine with all that. Who can complain about being sleepy from hanging out with Adam and Scott? Exactly.

Except. The lady in the seat directly behind me was having grave problems with her "mud room." Big mud room problems. I know this because she talked about it for several hours in excruciating detail.

I'll spare you the nuts and bolts of the numerous and surprising ways that the room in which wealthy persons remove their shoes might contribute to causing a carefully-coiffed, 60-year-old woman to come unglued over "priorities." Suffice to say, fixing this problem was a "high priority" for her. So, she said, repeatedly, as I shifted my wallet, let my coffee go cold, and balled the little blue pillow under my neck.

"Priority! Mud room!" I audibly mumbled, just loud enough to be heard exactly one row back.

read more »

No Tech Tapeworms Here! We Update Voices Policies on All Things Digital.

April 20, 2009
by Kara Swisher
Writer, All Things D

Kara Swisher As of today, we have made important changes to the All Things Digital Voices section, which should be of interest to some (and not at all to others).

Why? Well, a few weeks ago, ATD was caught up in a bit of the controversy that broke out due to louder-than-usual complaints by several traditional media companies about how their content is treated on the Web.

Without going into a long explanation: They expressed displeasure that some sites were misusing their content via aggregation.

In fact, Robert Thomson, Dow Jones editor-in-chief and also The Wall Street Journal managing editor, was widely quoted in an interview in The Australian saying, “There is no doubt that certain websites are best described as parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internet.”

Read the rest of the post

TOPICS: Parody

Free as in "Me"

This unbelievably long article is related to (but not necessarily about) a discussion that I and several other people have been participating in online over the past few days. It's about (and not about) the increasingly popular practice of re-publishing someone's online work on another site without the attribution, formatting, and linking that many bloggers regard as standard, ethical, and fair.

It's admittedly a polemic (which is what people who think they're clever call, "a rambling rant"), but what may seem to many to be a childish and ungrateful pout about trivial status and self-esteem beefs turns out to be a kitchen table issue for me. Because, how people decide to reuse and attribute my work directly affects my career, my livelihood, and my ability to thrive based mostly on giving things away for free. I know. Paradoxical, right? Believe me, I know.

Anyhow. To get up to speed, please read these in order: Matt said something, Josh said something, I said something, Andy wrote this awesome post, Jason responded, then, Anil responded. For extra credit, and to get you in the mood, go back and re-listen to Gruber's and my talk from this year's SxSW.

I will wait here. Please read them all. This will take a while, and you should only continue if you're okay with that. As ever, it's kind of the whole point.

[Time passes, and then:]

read more »

Posts, posts, posts.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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