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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Keef Curator

I’m reading Keith Richards’ Life. A powerful book on many levels.

Recommended by a client, I was like his wife Patti, saying that everyone knows the Rolling Stones, just don’t know who they are.

Keef became credible for me early on when when he explained his fascination with 5 string open guitar tuning. He explained why he liked it, why it is useful, but then acknowledged where it came from...1920’s, American South, Sears Catalog, Gibson guitars, banjos.

With that one example he became my credible guide, taking me through a lot of new territory about the advantages of drugs(?), government abuse, the creative process, parenting, who wrote Chuck Berry's songs, and the skinny on maintaining a top performing best-in-the-world organization for over 40 years.

That is a lot of territory, mostly new ways of thinking for me, and he kept his credibility by backing up his conclusions with personal observation and including other pertinent information...curation.

Last week, Doc Searls wrote how media outfits are no longer linking to original sources. My original thought was, “Prezackly why I don’t believe them.”

Doc had an explanation from middle management: We want to be stickier, keep people on our site. That’s how we justify plagiarizing other people’s work.

Great! Justify your actions when you don’t know what you are doing. Another example of incompetent hierarchy.

I’ve given up on any newsreader knowing what they are talking about. After reading Keef’s unconventional scholarship, I realize that with the flood of information easily available now, a key skill becomes finding the real information, beyond some airhead’s dramatic misreading of a press release’s headline.

It’s perfectly all right for a media outlet to not acknowledge sources. There is no approved book of rules. The uses of the internet are increasing, the users of the internet are increasing, and how people use the internet is changing.

I just hope readers will develop the habit of verifying sources, and frequent the writers curating useful knowledge.

Come to the Capital Technology Management Hub, June 14th, for Sales Lab Rainmaker #6: ‘Networking - Are You Being Served?’ 



  1. Dick, You should copyright "incompetent hierarchy" since I believer you coined the phrase. However, if I were you I'd go a step further and define it as "when the Peter Principle overtakes the whole enterprise!"


  2. An old high school friend told me he'd noticed that I was the only one who ever cited sources in my comments on our high school alum email forum. I'd never noticed but didn't understand why everyone didn't cite facts to support their opinions.