29 April 2006

Mainewebreport blog sued by Warren Kremer Paino Advertising.

What a disgrace! Mainewebreport blog is being sued by Warren Kremer Paino Advertising. The firm CEO is a man of the name of Peter Kremer, who according to his corporate profile, "a rare combinaison of intensity and congeniality, Peter as a way of making even total strangers feel welcome".

Here is what Lance of the Mainewebreport says

"State Contractor Files Federal Lawsuit Against Me
Warren Kremer Paino Advertising has filed a 3 count multi-million dollar federal lawsuit against me for the reporting I’ve done in this blog. They are claiming defamation, libel, and copyright infringement.
Getting the sheriff to deliver the suit to me, in front of my kids and neighbors, is the latest freaked-out situation this Office of Tourism has put me in. I have to say this has disrupted the Dutson household a bit, that’s what happens when someone files a crushing lawsuit that, if successful, would utterly destroy my life.
So here I am, one man against the state and its contractors, put in the position of shutting up or being pounded by their deep pockets and a wild misconception of what the court system is supposed to be used for. One person who has exposed a cavalcade of incompetence and who has to choose to allow it, or face an onslaught of personal attack and legal action."
This is crap, total crap and I’m not going to fold, not at this point. They’ve already screwed with me and my family so much, and I will not be bullied into discontinuing my work here. This state agency is wasting money, telling stories, and paying subcontractors who seem more focused on spending their time and money bludgeoning critics with legal threats and lawsuits rather than working to promote Maine tourism.
This is supposed to be our biggest industry, but it’s being run like a trailer-park daycare on its 3rd notice from the Human Services people.
Here’s the ad they’re suing me for showing, an ad I pulled from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development website, that features a phone sex number instead of the real number to call for Maine tourism information"

Read more.

28 April 2006

Mind Mapping

In a comment to an earlier post, Claire Tompkins wrote: "I've tried mind mapping a little bit but I got lost quickly in a forest of lines and words. I found it difficult to keep the map organized enough to remember what I'd written and where. Could you give a brief explanation of how you do it? Thanks!"

I think having a look at Tony Buzan website, www.mind-mapping.co.uk and better still reading his book The Mind Map book, would be a great starting point.

I use mind maps for three main things:

  • Firstly, my implementation of Getting Things Done. This was initially using FreeMind, but at the moment I am beta testing MindManager for Mac.
  • Secondly, to take notes on specific issues. For instance on I may synthesize an important book I am reading, as part of my research, in the form of a mind map, or I might prepare over a period of time a synthesis on a specific theme as a mind map. In this case, I would normally follow closely Tony Buzan guidelines, creating a mind map based on individual key-words. This forces you to reformulate the content material in your own word. I very strongly recommend this to my students, as a good way to prepare for their exams.
  • Thirdly, I may prepare the plan of an article or a book chapter, or prepare a lecture, as a mind map. In that case in it more a matter of one liners rather than single key-words.

A few screenshots

1. Six weeks ago I set myself a challenge, in the spirit of Eric Mack's paperless challenge. Mine involved getting up to date on Contemporary China by making a commitment to read every day at least one newspaper article on China. Here is a shot of part of the mind map. A larger version is available on www.flick.com. Please click on the picture to see it.


2. Another screenshot from work in process. This is part of a mind map about the work of American leading Sociologist Randall Collins on Geopolitical Theory. A larger version is available on www.flick.com. Please click on the picture to see it.


19 April 2006

How to avoid office politics

The Slacker Manager has a very good piece today on How to avoid office politics. A must read.

Higher Education: ... the missing link?

Two blog posts have given me thought for thoughts on what I believe to be an important issue.
The first is a post on David Allen's blog, published on 17 February 2006, Can we get to the kids?, in which, he quoted from a message received from Tim Noyce, a senior ING consultant in Amsterdam who commented on his experience of having given a couple of talks on Getting Things Done at a secondary school in the Netherlands.
The second is a more recent post by Jason Womack: Creative thinking...some assistance please. There the David Allen Company star blogger, who had been asked at a recent seminar to provide a short-list on productivity in the workplace, listed Tony Buzan, Edward de Bono, Roger Von Oech and Evelyn Wood.
I must say that the book, which has had the most influence on my personal productivity is indeed Tony Buzan’s The Mind Map book.
I, in fact, discovered it through a trial version of MindManager available through a computer magazine around December 1999 and was immediately conquered. I immediately purchased the book and my daughters very kindly soon offered me for my birthday a copy of MindManager 2002 (Educational Licence). As a result my productivity was considerably enhanced and I never looked back. I use mind mapping virtually everyday.
After nearly twenty years lecturing, I often reflect on how such vital skills as mind mapping and personal organisation have had so far so little impact in higher education and are nearly always completely absent from the curriculum .
Why aren’t such essential skills systematically taught to students?

14 April 2006

New versions of NovaMind and Inspiration mind-mapping announced

Inspiration is announcing today a new version of its mind mapping software, Inspiration 8. So was yesterday NovaMind, which is incidently with great humility branding itself as "The Most Powerful Mind Mapping Software Available Anywhere", with the long expected NovaMind 3.0 for Mac OS.