Tuesday, March 06, 2007

An inkling of Global Neighborhoods

I see that Shel Israel of Naked Conversations fame has finally posted the "Overview" for his new book, Global Neighborhoods. The overview is in three parts:

  1. The legacy of Boomers
  2. The Online Generation
  3. Culture Blending & World Peace

Nominally, this is version 4 of the overview, but somehow I missed or skipped over the first three versions.

I see that Shel remains conflicted as to whether to go with the "u" in Neighbourhoods. In the post titles for parts 1 and 2 he omitted the "u", but he included it in the title for the third post. My vote: Drop the "u", because it is trying to make a fine point in too weak a manner. My suggestion: Simply translate the phrase "global neighborhoods" into two dozen languages and make that the point, and maybe even the basis for the cover art.

It is now 11:00 p.m. and past my bedtime (I get up at 5:10 a.m. to head off to The Evil Empire), so I'll refrain from making any half-baked criticisms that I would regret after a few hours of sleep. But just one...

I'm not convinced that the generational distinction is airtight. I know that I never related to "my generation." Sure, I don't relate to "Generation X" either, but I relate to somewhere in the middle. Shel talks about "The Online Generation" as "They don't read newspapers, or watch much television. ... Onliners have a Teflon ® resistance to traditional advertising and marketing.  They don't much trust authority and celebrity endorsements rarely move them", but those same words fit me to a "T" as well. So, Shel has a choice to make: focus on the "Onliners" as an age demographic and ignore the onliners who also happen to be "Boomers", or focus on the qualities of the onliners and acknowledge that they are not age-dependent.

I am intensely relieved that Shel refrained from using the Friedmanesque "flat" even once. Bravo. But, I suspect that eventually that improper metaphor will find a way to sneak into the conversation. I like the "global" metaphor as it implies "well-rounded", whereas "flat" implies an intolerance for differences.

At least I now have some meaty food for thought.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 9:36 AM EST , Anonymous shel israel said...

Thanks. This is useful. A couple of comments. The "U" omission is an oversight. I am using the "U" because I could get no decent URL that did not include it. Second, I published three versions of the overview back in january. I got lots of encouragement from bloggers, but the professionals told me I was covering too many topics and needed to narrow my focus. That is what has been hard for me. Finally, I have published only three parts of the Overview. There's more to come. Good luck at Microsoft today.


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