CREATIVE LEADERSHIP
2013  March 16

Is Working

I was reading about how Twitter has enabled the ability to download one’s entire archive of tweets, and so I went ahead to take advantage of this new feature. I’m currently at my 3933th post on Twitter, which I made on July 13, 2008 at 1:51PM. It was a two-word post on the fact that I was working ... which we all seem to be doing nowadays, so that was really nothing novel to post. At the time, I resisted posting about my lunch ... which wasn’t easy as the peer pressure was enormous.

I vaguely recall that the user interface of Twitter was designed as something more to the effect:

@johnmaeda is [ blank box for text input]

so I was inclined to say “is (( doing whatever ))” ... and then I soon realized that the “is ” was eating up three characters out of my 140 character allocation, and the free “is “ went away. So I switched styles, like everyone else was doing.

Before starting to post on Twitter, I blogged a lot on my “simplicity” blog at the MIT Media Lab ... which unfortunately no longer exists for security reasons. It was sitting atop some really, really old build of Wordpress so it had to get taken down -- blogs were scarce at the Media Lab back then. Mine was one of three or so blogs in the early 2000s ... along with my buddy and colleague¬†Chris Csikszenmihalyi. Losing all that text made me unhappy, but luckily I had written a little book on simplicity based on that work entitled, The Laws of Simplicity, so I don’t feel completely sad. Thank goodness for printed books! And for MIT Press!

I got busy pretty quickly around the time I started using Twitter -- as it was around when I had just been announced as the 16th President of Rhode Island School of Design -- so the medium has suited my lifestyle much better. As a professor I had a lot more time to blog; as a president I simply don’t. There are random swatches of 15 minute blocks that fall from the sky that I use to post here ... and it’s always a treat to get to do so.

Reading over the few thousand tweets thus far, I find it important to note that some things never change. @johnmaeda is (still) working. :-). And happy to be doing so here in 2013. Wishing all of you a great day, and life, of working ...! And also taking a quick peek at my Spring Counter as we begin to approach a new spring in this hemisphere of the world. -JM

Working can take all kinds of forms -- the hard kind is the best kind when performed at the right time.

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