Storytelling, Journalism, and a Brave New World

Guy Kawasaki justed tweeted about a “must read speech on the new journalism career.”

Guess what? It’s not just about journalism.

Here are some of the thoughts that struck me:

“I don’t think the communications revolution that we are going through is about some reinvention of storytelling or journalistic creed.

The way we tell stories has evolved over the years, but beginning, middle and end still works. Ethical and accurate information will still rule.

I think the revolution is happening because of access. Access to powerful tools and access to global distribution in an increasingly connected planet.”

“As old business models fail, I expect to see an influx of independent, purpose-driven collaborations. Small teams with passionate experts operating for the public good. The new world of open access makes this possible.”

“Marc Andreessen sent an email in the Fall of 1993 to only 12 people. Mosaic, the first web browser, spread virally and changed how we communicate with each other.

Connectivity is the new killer app.”

“It’s true that less people care about Congo than Britney’s belly button. For me, it’s not about reaching the largest possible audience; pandering to the lowest common denominator. It’s about reaching the right audience with a relevant message.

Today, there is a robust infrastructure in place to reach these specific audiences and to create real change.”

I firmly believe this is one of the most exciting times to be alive. We live far more connected than ever before, so our stories can have a far bigger positive impact than ever before.

Especially if they’re told well.

How will you be telling your story in 2009?

[Warning- the following is a shameless plug: If you work in a nonprofit, check out my fundraising seminar on nonprofit storytelling. It covers the basics of crafting effective stories, how to categorize stories to make collecting them easier, and how to help your board members and volunteers tell the stories you are. Good stuff! The shameless plug is over.]

Getting started on Twitter

I’ve been having a lot of fun learning to use Twitter for nonprofits and fundraising.

And I’m pleased that some folks from my local Rotary Club are getting into the game! Well this morning, one of those guys tweeted “I need a Twitter tutor!” I passed that on to some twitter stream. Here are some of the responses I got:

SCATJ @marcapitman for your friend @chrisgaunce: follow others for a while and jump in when you see something that strikes a chord with you

Bobbiec @marcapitman for your friend, Don’t judge, whole site not done yet

seanbohan @marcapitman start w/ tweetdeck – dashboard view of all/replies/directs & has search, can make groups, etc. .. and write 1 tweet/day minimum

Great advice!

Over a year ago, Chris Brogan wrote Newbies Guide to Twitter.

One of the most important things I learned from Chris Brogan is to use the same “identity” across platforms. For me, that meant I started using “marcapitman” for

…well you get the picture. 🙂

I even use “marcapitman” for fun sites like: Wordle and!

Personally, I think one of the best ways to get started on Twitter is to follow alot of people and see how they’re using it. Twitter user Mark Hayward has a great list of 97 suggestions in his blog post 97 Remarkable Ways to Diversify Your Network in a Down Economy.

And you can use tools like and Twellow. They’ll let you see who’s tweeting on topics of interest to you. Or find people in particular careers or in specific of the world.

I’m finding Twitter is

  • helping me as a development professional at the Inland Foundation
    • it’s much less expensive than actually going to some of the conferences people tweet from!
    • I get real-time feedback from people just like my hospital’s donors
    • I get alerted to the latest fundraising blogs and podcasts
    • I’m getting to meet hundreds of folks doing the same thing I’m doing and get real-time help
    • I’ve even received help doing database work and cost-to-raise-a-dollar analysis!
  • helping me sell my fundraising book
    • I’m getting to connect with readers one-to-one
    • and tools like TweetLater help me automate some Twitter actions so I can focus on those in the evening. (I also write my blog posts in the evening but publish them so they get tweeted during the day.)
  • helping me connect with really cool people in the media and other professions, and
  • even helped me do goofy things like name my beers.

Twitter is really helping me expand my network from right here in Waterville, Maine USA. I now am in regular communication with people all over the world. I was already talking to people around the world with my fundraising ezine. But now they get to talk back to me. During the Olympics I was even tweeting with the NBC folks in China! Sure made the games seem a lot closer?

I’m going to pass this on to Chris. I’m not exactly sure it’s the “Twitter tutor” he was hoping for, but it’s a start!

What would you recommend he do if you were his Twitter tutor?

Guy Kawasaki on entreprenuers

If you look up the definition of “entrepreneur” in the dictionary, chances are Guy Kawasaki’s face is right there with it.

So I immediately responded when I saw him tweet about the top 5 things he’d learned as an entrepreneur.

Really good observations. Here’s a sample:

4. Ignore schmexperts. Schmexperts are the totally bad combination of schmucks who are experts–or experts who are schmucks. When you first launch a product or service, they’ll tell you it isn’t necessary, can’t really work, or faces too much competition. If you succeed, then they’ll say they knew you would succeed. In other words, they don’t know jack shiitake. If you believe, try it. If you don’t believe, listen to the schmexperts and stay on the porch.