So Long Sam Johnson, Hello Hashtag Hal
Welcome to my new web site!
www.halcalbom.com is a more straightforward statement of how I work, who I work with, and what I can do for a host of potential collaborators and partners. What this represents to you, I hope, is an emphasis on what’s essential in today’s noisy communications environment. As never before, successful individuals and organizations are dependent on thoughtful, curated content, influential and fruitful relationships, and innovative communications.
And that’s where I operate: editing, amplifying, producing and publishing compelling content.
The Noise Challenge. Although Content is King – in all its mediums – it’s a monarchy threatened by noise, proliferation, meaninglessness, triviality, hype and propaganda. Ironically, I end up faced with the very same communications challenges facing my clients and colleagues: getting seen, getting read, getting business. To meet these challenges, I’ve taken up time travel: jumping from the 18th Century to the 21st. I’m leaving the foggy streets of literary London, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub, the esteemed company of all those authors and books on my shelves, for a laptop, cafe and a latte.
Zounds! Egad! My Word! I’m a blogger. So what took me so long?
Therein lies a tale. It starts with one of my favorite aphorisms (and I am a relentless collector of aphorisms) from Dr. Samuel Johnson, the great English lexicographer and critic:
“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”
Free Stuff? Since I’ve made my living writing over the past thirty years, I always took Johnson to heart: you simply didn’t “give it away”, despite the demands of demonstrating your wares and the steady undertow from a generation who insisted, “Content wants to be free.” I disagreed with that notion for three reasons: first, things that are free are usually perceived to have little value; second, free stuff is often crappy stuff — dashed off, dumped in, inaccurate, slanted, manipulative; and, finally, it’s hard to build a business when you’re giving your product away. So, I’ve resisted the notion of producing “free stuff” using online services for years, and yet now, it seems, I’ve had a change of heart.
Creative Conversations. To move the needle in today’s discourse, one must contribute to the conversation – and in this age that is in both physical/interpersonal and virtual/online mediums. While I haven’t walked away from cherished interpersonal relationships and human-to-human transmission, I am augmenting my world with a “Community of Content” that lives in the space we call “the web.” I want to help model, build, and facilitate an inspired, influential community, founded on the three cornerstones of powerful narrative storytelling, meaningful relationships, and discriminating editorial judgment. All of us, no matter what our affiliation or organization, need to be able to offer thoughtful, compelling communications that will justify the precious time spent reading them, watching them, listening to them.
Call me a blockhead, call me a blogger: I’m jumping headlong into this conversation, aimed at improving its quality, and I hope you’ll join me there.
Welcome to the Relationship Age. So long, Sam Johnson, hello Hashtag Hal!