Seeking to work without pretension

From my friend Philip…

Thus when we used to make our constructions, we produced “pure truth” without pretensions, without tricks, without malice. What we did then had never been done before; we did it disinterestedly, and if is worth anything it is because we did it without expecting to profit from it. We sought to express reality with materials we did not know how to handle and which we prized precisely because we know that their help was not indispensable to use, that they were neither the best nor the most adequate. We put enthusiasm into the work, and, this alone, even if that were all that there were in it, would be enough: and much more than is usually put into an effort — for we surrendered ourselves to it completely, body and soul. We departed so far from the modes of expression then known and appreciated that we felt save from any suspicion of mercenary aims.

Pablo Picasso, reported by Jaime Sabartes in, Picasso: An Intimate Portrait, New York 1948

Good food for thought, especially when working hard and fast…

Ken Thompson’s New Book: Bioteams

Kens BookI have a copy, but haven’t had time to read it, but those of you interested in collaboration might want to take a look at Ken Thompson’s new book, BIOTEAMS which brings together Ken’s tips and wisdom into a single volume. His blog is rich in ideas, but it is always nice to have a book to pass on to an organization or team that can use a bit of advice. 😉 (As if we all can’t stand to learn how to collaborate better!)

Tweetstats, bursts and bubbles

I’ve been helping launch a global online workshop this week, support a massive proposal development and get ready for a F2F conference. (My session on integrating visual practices in whole systems change process has notes here.) Oh, and nurse my husband through knee surgery. So I’ve been silent on the blogging and Twitter front. I had not watched my blog stats much until I installed WordPress and, as is totally obvious, when you don’t blog, your traffic drops like a stone. Makes sense.

Same goes for Twitter. If you don’t tweet, you don’t get tweets back!  Beth Kanter pointed me to TweetStats :: for NancyWhite and help me get a great visual of my Twitter patterns since I first signed up in November, 2006. I don’t tweet when I’m really busy.

Nancy’s Tweet Stats

pickinjavas bookmarks on

Pickinjava’s bookmarks
Late last month I picked up a trackback from a user, pickinjava. Pickinjava is exploring social networks on This morning I went to find a bookmark and could not resist clicking on the “my network” link. Visiting this page for me is like a time/world travel hole into which I love to slip — and usually lose several hours.

At the top was a bunch of bookmarks about Africa from Pickinjava. I started clicking on links, going back to the list and seeing what tags were there, and who else had bookmarked the link. Now I think I have a tiny taste of why Pickinjava is doing this exploration of bookmarking networks. It is addictive.

It is fascinating is to look at someone’s bookmarks and for a moment, try and imagine what they are looking for, what they are interested in, why the bookmarked any particular link. A novel full of ideas spring to mind. It is like a nano-second of slipping into someone else’s skin. Not long enough to really KNOW anything, but a ghost of a sense.

I can’t explain it, but it is touching me deeply this morning. So Pickinjava, thanks for noticing my tagstream which led me to you.

Haiku as Conference Capture

SXSX Image from Honoria StarbuckBill Anderson adds to the repetoire of conference capture techniques with Haiku Notes from SXSW

PRAXIS101: SXSW 2008 Reflection: Free association as a note-taking practice.

Your social footprint.
Or your ghost on the network.
You have to choose one.

Of course, to complement the text, I’ll grab one of Bill’s colleague’s visual efforts, an image from Honoria Starbuck!