Stepping outside a niche, or creating a new one?

Below are a few items from my heaping Delicious collection of bookmarks on topics that range beyond journalism to take in career and technological change, entrepreneurship and creativity. This is how this modest blog seems to be evolving as it approaches its first year.

I’ve learned from forward-thinking former colleagues and other journalists eager to redefine themselves and what they do that breaking free from our own little world is absolutely essential. It’s taken me some time to fully embrace this notion, and there have been times when I wanted to cling to the past and the heyday of a big, sprawling newsroom that gave me tremendous opportunities to shine.

Those memories and friendships will always endure, but I’ve been re-energized by new opportunities to learn and grow and contemplate work I never imagined. And not just because it might be a financial necessity.

Perhaps I’m breaking a sacrosanct rule of blogging by stepping outside my niche, but I like to think I’m fashioning a new one as I open the door to new ideas and experiences from people outside my cloistered profession:

The Day My Industry Died: “We were fortunate enough to have a software product under development, so that when the Web consulting industry disappeared, we still had money coming in. Because if you can survive the death of your industry, well, you can survive just about anything.”

The Leaner Baby Boomer Economy: “As a boomer herself, Wang, 60, feels her generation’s pain. ‘You don’t have 30 years to reinvent yourself.’ “

The New New Economy: ” ‘Involuntary entrepreneurship’ ” is now creating tens of thousands of small businesses and a huge market of contract and freelance labor. Many will take full-time jobs again once they become available, but many others will choose not to. The crisis may have turned our economy into small pieces, loosely joined, but it will be the collective action of millions of workers hungry for change that keeps it that way.”

The New, Faster Pace of Innovation: “Genius is born from a thousand failures. In each failed test, you learn something that helps you find something that will work. Constant, continuous, ubiquitous experimentation is the most important thing.” (via BBH Labs)

First, Break All the Rules. Then, Enforce Them: “My worry is that this shift in the thinking of the powerful cripples the creativity of the organizations that they oversee. The quest for creativity, freedom, and results seems to have become the exclusive domain of those climbing the ladder; once people get to the top, they only worry about staying there.”

Journalism was an adventure, but now it’s time to write: “He agrees that journalism was a different world now from when he entered it, perhaps the last generation to be able to enjoy that Scoop-style chaos and liberty. He will miss the excitement, he says, but he won’t miss the writing. ‘Journalism and writing are like methadone and heroine – they fill the same nerve receptors in your brain, but one of them is more powerful.’ And for him, it’s not journalism.” (via Mark Luckie)


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