BostonTweetUp – An example of creativity through the combination of existing concepts

It has become nearly impossible to come up with a truly original idea these days, unless you have a PhD or some equivalent level of expertise and training in a niche area. Fortunately for us Jacks and Jills of all trades, there are an inifinite number of hybrid ideas – mashups of existing, time tested innovations and technologies – to keep us busy cooking up new stuff until the cows come home, which probably means never unless you live on a farm.

When it comes to media and promotion in general, nothing is older or time-tested than events listings. That’s probably because events listings are great content – they are timely, interesting, and offer practical information that people can really use. Events listings predate the printing press by thousands of years. In New England, ye olde Town Cryer made the rounds promoting upcoming events as far back as settements began. Go to The Boston Globe headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard in Boston and in the lobby you’ll see a wall-sized reproduction of a front page of The Globe from the late 1800’s that among other things promotes, what else, events.

Combine events listings with Twitter (itself a mashup of sms texting and blogging) and you get BostonTweetUp, which along with @BostonTweetUp on Twitter and a weekly videocast includes a highly accessible Google calendar interface, which I include below for your convenience.

BostonTweet is run by social media marketing strategist Joselin Mane. Thank you Joselin! 

Admiral Stockdale would have been a brilliant PR man

James Stockdale was parodied as a senile buffoon after asking what at least seemed to be an obvious question: “Who am I and what am I doing here? during the 1992 vice-presidential debate. But Stockdale was no idiot. He was a war hero in Vietnam and held the distinction of being the highest ranked naval officer taken as a prisoner of war there. The question he asked that night is as relevant to you or me today as they were to the late vice-admiral, and not as easy to answer as you might expect at first blush. Who am I, and what am I doing here?

My friend Doug Haslam has talked about the “Stockdale question” in the context of PR and I give him credit for doing so. Now that every concept or idea ever concieved is footnoted somewhere on the web, practically nothing seems original any more, so forgive me. We all now know that original thoughts are few and far between. Creativity is expressed mostly in mashups these days – combinations of existing technologies and concepts in exciting new ways. And that’s OK by me, because even if we’ve used up all the ideas once, the combinations are endless.

Who I am is a content enabler. I work with a short list of clients who I respect, I find out what they know best and gets them excited, and I help them tell their own stories. What I am doing here is talking about stuff I’ve learned over the years, months, days, weeks, and earlier today. In the interest of focus and in the context of my personal background and interests,  it’s about communications, media, social media and public relations. That’s who I am and what I’m doing here. How about you?