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Top Posts of 2010

2010 December 29
by Greg Satell

I’d like to thank everybody for their support in 2010, Digital Tonto’s first full year in existence.

80,000 of you visited the site, far more than I ever expected. (When I started, I was pretty sure about my mother, but that was about it). Many of you were also generous with sharing insight and expertise, which was very much appreciated.

Here’s a list of the posts that you most liked to read, tweet and comment on. Feel free to click on any that you might have missed.

6 Ways to Spot False Gurus

Although I posted this back in March, it continues to get a fair amount of audience and is still one of my personal favorites. It got a lot of feedback. One nice lady called me a “hater.” Gotta love that!

The Next Really, Really, Really, Big Thing

To be honest, I’m not quite sure why this was such a runaway success, but it became something of a web phenomenon. It was viewed more than 15,000 times in a single week, far, far more than usual.

If you missed it, here’s your chance to see what all the fuss was about.

5 Reasons Why Traditional Media is Making a Comeback

This has been a constant theme over the past year. In what was a classic case of post hoc ergo propter hoc, many mistook a cyclical downturn during the economic crises to be a permanent structural change. It wasn’t and this post explains why.

The New Marketing Paradigms: Social Networks, Chaos and Memes

Although traditional media and marketing are still going concerns, things are changing in important ways. These forces are powerful not because they are completely new, but because they are changing the way we think about what we already know.

This was also a recurring theme over the past year, but I probably said it best here.

Small Acts of Courage and Revolution

I was particularly proud of this post, which I think is probably the best I’ve written.  It was mostly a reply to the ridiculous argument that broke out between Malcolm Gladwell and Biz Stone about social media’s role in revolutions (they were both wrong).

Having spent a significant amount of time in some of the world’s rougher places and experienced a revolution myself, I felt compelled to weigh in.  It was much more personal than my usual post and therefore difficult to write but, even in retrospect, I’m glad that I did it.

Crappy Innovation

We like to think of innovation as sophisticated and cool.  The truth is that it is usually crappy.  That’s why we often ignore  new things that we shouldn’t.  Here’s an overview of what to look for when what looks crappy might become important.

6 Things Marketers Should Know (but often don’t)

This was mainly an overview of things I talked about in earlier posts.  I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic when I posted it, because there was very little new here, but was pleasantly surprised when it really did well.

Pithy, it seems, often trumps profound.

The Power of Synthesis and The Problem with Experts

While we tend to pursue expertise in one particular field, great discoveries are usually made by synthesizing knowledge across various domains.  This has a profound effect in the real world and might be why  R&D spending doesn’t correlate strongly with innovation (Apple, for instance, has a relatively small R&D budget).

I give examples and explain why here.

Stupid Strategy

In our quest to be highly intelligent beings, we often miss the obvious.  Meanwhile, many of those we consider geniuses had fairly average IQ’s.  While we would all like to be smarter, there is often value in being dumber.

As G.H. Hardy wrote, “For any serious purpose, intelligence is a very minor gift.”

How to be the Dumbest Guy in the Room

In a similar vein, many managers want to be the smartest guy in the room.  This inevitably leads to mediocrity.  If you’re the boss and you can hire whoever you want, you should be the dumbest guy in the room.  Anything else is truly moronic.

Why Adding Followers Alone Won’t Build Your Community

I was pleasantly surprised that this post did so well, as it went into a fair amount of depth regarding network theory.  I think it resonated because it substantiated what many suspected:  blindly building followers in social media is a waste of time.

It also explains why, in my sordid youth, I probably would have been better off in the city than in the suburbs.

The Passion Economy

I’ll probably be developing this theme further in the year to come.  While enterprises used to seek efficiency, passion is becoming more important.  It is, I admit, an optimistic notion, but developments do seem to substantiate it.

Thanks again for making Digital Tonto such a resounding success and please feel free to leave any suggestions for next year in the comments.  Hope to see you all again in 2011!

– Greg

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