Terry Heaton's Essays

  • Social Media Guidelines

    March 22, 2010

    March 12, 2010 -- Media companies of every stripe appear to be struggling with how to "guide" their employees in the use of social media. The core issue is management in a world that demands leadership, two very different approaches to running the show. The world of personal... more »
  • The New News Curator

    March 22, 2010

    February 14, 2010 -- My passion for the creative and my love for all things nature came from trips as a boy to the Grand Rapids Public Museum. I owe a lot to that place — especially the traveling exhibits that came to my schools — and I always... more »
  • The Hidden Disruption

    February 26, 2010

    January 11, 2010 - The best scene in the 1975 film classic "Jaws" is when Chief Brody first sees the shark. I know you remember. He's at the back of the boat laying a chum line when the monster comes up right alongside the boat, opens its enormous mouth... more »
  • The Four Opportunities of 2010

    February 26, 2010

    December 21, 2009 - Everybody goes though it, the process of grieving. My most recent experience was the death of Allie, and while I don't look forward to the next time I must grieve, at least I know I can get through it. Grieving is a process, I learned. There's... more »
  • The Order of the Web

    August 11, 2009

    August 6, 2009 -- Order is the essential ingredient in a modernist culture, where hierarchical authority is the skeleton around which everything is built. A century ago, Henry Adams wrote that "the way of nature is chaos, but the dream of man is order." However, order is really the dream... more »
  • The Processing Web

    July 7, 2009

    The Processing Web July 6, 2009 -- We have a new puppy in our house, thanks to my youngest daughter moving in a few weeks ago. Her name is Chibi, which is a Japanese Manga term meaning "a small person" or "little one." She is certainly that, a long-haired miniature... more »
  • Underestimating the Audience

    June 19, 2009

    June 12, 2009 -- The debate about how we, as a culture, are going to fund journalism in the future is lacking discussion about certain assumptions, core beliefs about journalism that simply must be challenged, if we are to truly find our footing in a networked and distributed media world.... more »
  • The Web's Widening Stream

    June 19, 2009

    May 22, 2009 -- Media companies attempting to reinvent themselves in the face of disruptive innovations must feel like they're playing cards with a 5-year old who keeps changing the rules to avoid losing. How we wish the bloody thing would just sit still for a minute, so that we... more »
  • Is the Mainstream Winning

    June 19, 2009

    April 25, 2009 -- In the Marketing Warfare world of Ries and Trout, there is a "rule" that the market leader can crush the efforts of all others, if it is paying attention and chooses to do so. So powerful is this concept that, in a period of challenge, market... more »
  • Using Free to Sell Paid

    June 19, 2009

    March 30, 2009 -- There is a misconception in the world of journalism that news has only one definition — one set of rules and guidelines — and that the demand for news, therefore, is limited to what those rules and guidelines can produce. Moreover, there exists an ancillary misconception... more »
  • We Don't Need No Stage!

    June 19, 2009

    February 23, 2009 -- As a child growing up in Michigan in the 1950s, our telephone was connected to elaborate circuitry known as switchboards. The "operator" connected circuits as calls were made, and the technology to automate all that was just coming into being. These operators were often featured in... more »
  • Advertising Loses its Balance

    June 19, 2009

    February 16, 2009 -- In his brilliant speech at the 2007 Supernova conference, former McKinsey and now Deloitte and Touche business guru John Hagel posed fourteen unanswered questions about business in the age of digital connectivity and information technology. The first was highly provocative: "What if there is no equilibrium?"... more »
  • Protecting the Stage

    June 19, 2009

    January 31, 2009 -- My two brothers and I played in a bluegrass band as teenagers in the early 1960s (that's me on the right with the banjo). We played at various coffeehouses, hootenannies, and gatherings around the state of Michigan. I loved the stage, and, rather than fearing the... more »
  • 2009: The Great Beginning

    June 18, 2009

    December 15, 2008 -- "Some of the worst things in my life never happened" is the lament of those whose imagination often leads to the elevation of life's molehills into mountains. Some people were born with the innate ability to get ahead of themselves, and while this has fueled creative... more »
  • Embracing the Disruption

    June 18, 2009

    December 1, 2008 -- When Antonio Perez took over as CEO of Eastman Kodak in 2003, it must have been a little like taking the wheel on the bridge of the Titanic. What has happened since is a story that will be told in business schools for many years to... more »
  • The First Law of Social Media

    June 18, 2009

    November 28, 2008 -- In the new HBO hit series True Blood, we're introduced into the fantasy world of vampires in Louisiana. It's a fun series, because the books upon which it is based give us a world where vampires have just won civil rights. Conflict is everywhere, and author... more »
  • Journalism's New Values

    June 18, 2009

    November 14, 2008 -- "Time is the new currency," Bob Jeffrey, CEO of J. Walter Thompson, noted in 2004, and it's no wonder. The amount of leisure time the average working American has is much less than that of previous generations. According to Roper, the average American worker had 26... more »
  • The Back End's the Thing

    June 18, 2009

    November 10, 2008 -- In David Weinberger's fascinating book, Everything Is Miscellaneous , he writes that the ability to sort information "on the way out" of a website beats sorting "on the way in," and that this is a core competency of the Web. This back door approach to organization... more »
  • Your Personal Brand

    June 18, 2009

    October 6, 2008 -- One of my large-market televisions station clients made an interesting discovery while developing a unique hyperlocal news and information portal covering the community they served. The station employed people to probe each community and make contacts to establish themselves in these, often small, suburbs. Along the... more »
  • Personal Walled Gardens

    June 18, 2009

    September 20, 2008 -- In Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, Archibald Craven sealed up his wife's walled garden after her death and hid away the key. Being inside was too painful, for the memories of his wife were too difficult to bear. To Mary Lennox, however, it was a... more »