Episode 157 - Alan Moore on Renegotiating Power Relationships in the Globally Networked Society
It was said that Alan Moore sounded like a character from a Guy Ritchie movie at his SXSW keynote.
Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton, and on today’s show you’re going to get to meet Alan Moore. Alan’s the founder of a company called Engagement Communication Consultancy, and I’m going to ask him how pronounces this, small, medium, large, extra large or mistlelicksle. I met Alan when I was part of the Traveling Geeks contingent last Summer when we went to London and Cambridge. Alan lives outside of Cambridge in a little village called Over, o-v-e-r – and I’m sure he has some funny comments about the name of his town. He is a really interesting man. He’s written several books including his latest and favorite called Communities Dominate Brands: Business and Marketing Challenges For the 21st Century. Alan was recently a keynote at South By Southwest, talking about this subject, and he said that someone compared him to sounding like a character in a Guy Richie movie and that it was one of the biggest thinking keynotes ever at South By Southwest. I think you’re really going to enjoy him. We have a lot of great conversation, so lets welcome him onto the show. Welcome Alan.
Alan Moore: Hi there. Nice to be here Susan.
Susan Bratton: Well you and I met – oh, I wanted to ask you that actually. We had dinner together – unfortunately not sitting together, we met each other right after it – at this most marvelous part of Cambridge University. What was that building that we were in? Do you remember?
Alan Moore: It was either Pembroke College or Peter House. I think it was actually Peter House, it’s one of the very old colleges. You’re going back sort of 600 years or something…
Susan Bratton: Yeah, it was built in the 1200’s, right?
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, it was a beautiful thing and we had this gorgeous dinner. It was pretty much candlelit, right, the dinner…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: we were kind of by candlelight in this really beautiful old building. That was a fun evening. Did you get to sit next to one of the geeks or near one of the geeks?
Alan Moore: Yeah, I can’t remember who I – well I kind of muscled my way into the event and Howard Rheingold and I are quite friendly and…
Susan Bratton: I know, you and I are both Howard Rheingold devotees.
Alan Moore: Yeah, and he had mentioned that, you know, you guys were coming, so I actually got sat on the edge of a corner. But yeah, kind of got to talk to some nice people, so… There was a lot of people I spoke to that evening. But yeah, sadly we didn’t get to sit next to each other at dinner.
Susan Bratton: Well we’ll have to fix that sometime soon.
Alan Moore: I’d love that.
Susan Bratton: So I want to start with No Straight Lines: Advanced Living For The Network Society.
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: That was really the fundamental piece of your South By Southwest keynote, is that right?
Alan Moore: Absolutely…
Susan Bratton: So tell us the story. Give us the kind of, you know, the mini DishyMix version of your keynote, the points you made.
Alan Moore: Okay. So the argument goes like this based on a lot of research, which is we are at the what I call the toxic tail end of the Industrial Revolution. Our industrial mass consumer society has done some wonderful things for us and we’ve built some very big things as a consequence of that, but the sad thing is that humanity has paid a very high price for that, for living in that industrial sort of system. And unfortunately what its done is it’s deconstructed humanity almost to the point of deconstruction. What we’re witnessing therefore is in fact a revolution, but it’s not actually something that’s manifested itself over the last 10 to 20 years, but one that’s gone on for at least about 100, where we as people, as a humanity are trying to struggle with this relationship between us as individuals and us as people. And so I would argue that there’s a sort of, a kind of renegotiation going on at the power of relationships between us as people and the organizations and systems which mentally we ourselves have created. And of course, the tools that are doing that are communication tools. But beyond that it’s actually enabling us to rethink completely different ways in terms of the types of business we create, the costs of creating those businesses, where our audiences are, how we share revenues, what our revenue models are, and actually how as we as people kind of work, live, play and even educate ourselves. So that was kind of like broadly the topic in the story. I mean the reality is I think that there s a great opportunity for us here to grasp, and its taken me about ten years I think to kind of get my head around what it all means. Don’t ask me why I wanted to do that, but I felt a bit like Shrek, you know. In Shrek, Donkey asks Shrek, you know about ogres, and he says “Well, you know, ogres are like onions, they’re layers”, and in many ways No Straight Lines has been a project, which is definitely a bit onion in it’s nature in terms of you uncover a layer, you come across another layer, it intrigues you enough to go into it. I suppose in a sense what became my calling card and the mission here was that what I see is just lots of people like to pain small portraits about business or technology or whatever, and there’s a great quote by Proust, which is, you know, “The real voyage of discovery is not to seek new landscapes, but to look upon the world with fresh eyes”, and so what I was trying to do with the South By Southwest thing and the No Straight Lines project is to say here in fact is a panorama upon which you can start to understand some of the things that are perhaps happening to you or to us or to your organizations that perhaps can enable you to make more sense of what is happening. Because I think that for example the frenzy over social media, the frenzy over digital, the reality that, you know, you can’t even sort of, I don’t know, open a newspaper, a magazine, listen to anything without the word ‘social networking’, ‘social media’, you know, dripping off of peoples lips like you used to see a 60 second TV spot ten years ago. And yet I challenge people as to why that is. In fact, I say do you think that something, you know, Facebook is kind of accidentally kind of got us all into or do you think there might be something a little bit more deeper behind that rationalization? And of course people don’t have the answer.
Susan Bratton: It seems to me Alan – and I want to tell you how much I appreciate the fact that you just quoted Shrek and Proust in the single breath. Thank you. I love them both, as you know I love them both. I love Proust, ‘cause I ask you about it, but it was funny that you quoted Shrek ‘cause I’m a Donkey lover. So…
Alan Moore: I am a Donkey lover actually.
Susan Bratton: I’m a Donkey lover. I love that Eddie Murphy. So what my sense of what you’re framing here is the idea of being proactive in creating the kind of connected economy that we can now, I want to say not rot, but, you know, like hammer in, you know, that’s maybe lightweight, you know – clean, green, whatever that might be. No pillaging and burning of the Industrial Revolution mentality conscious, taking into consideration the differences between us at a, you know, global human level, and globally connected, which is what I think the social media piece, why it drips off our lips like honey is that you’re in over in England and I’m in Los Altos California in the U.S. and we’re having this conversation super easily…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: And so where do we go from this ability and how do we do it the right way? How do we hammer in the right frameworks so that we’re not the slash and burn of our…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: ancestors.
Alan Moore: Yeah, I mean it’s interesting ‘cause I think that absolutely, I mean… A number of things however I would say is we bumped into each other accidentally as we left the pizza house together if you remember correctly and we started chatting…
Susan Bratton: It was meant to be.
Alan Moore: You know, you’re a chatty type of person, as am I, so we had a really nice chat, be it brief, and we kept the communication going, so I had something really, you know, a strong sense about who you were as a person and I was very interested in what you had to say. And absolutely, I think that, you know, I’ve been talking a lot to this guy called Jay Burton Rogers, who is the founder of Local Motors, and I actually, it was completely reverse in that I was fascinated by his business, I was fascinated by what they were doing, and I reached out to him, you know, digitally. But in fact actually we happened to meet face to face at South By Southwest, which was just fantastic. What I think is important is that the No Straight Lines book actually I describe as a work of practical philosophy. Now the reason why I say that is this back to (unintelligible), you know, what do we build, what do we create? How do we migrate from, you know, the cold glinty-eyed industrial machine to something that is more, you know, akin to what makes us truly human through the power of social connection, which is absolutely partly what this is all about. And so I think we need a kind of new language, a new framework. For example, at South By Southwest and with the project I use Local Motors as a specific example because I felt that talking about a car company at a digital conference, you kind of get people to pay attention. Also the Americans understand the car and that the car is a physical object. But Jay certainly could not have done what he did without in fact using some really cool, you know, powerful communication technologies and platforms and capabilities combined into the reality that they still need to make and build cars. So for example, so I told that story in a kind of more sort of perfunctory type of way – this is how it worked, this is what they did, these are the benefits – but then I started to dig into it, which is what I do with all the kind of sorts of things I look at and I say, you know, for example, you know, this company is built out of an economy of scope, not an economy of scale. It’s built out of a blended reality to the design and build of its entire business, to its entire communications. And I make the point therefore, so when you get people sitting in a company saying “Well what’s that digital strategy?”, you understand that they’re still within the mental silo of an industrial machine and a machine where thinking about it rather than understanding it, they can do all sorts of things. So for example, you know, Jay famously said, you know, talking about the design and build of their first car, the Rally Fighter, which took 1.5 years, which usually takes a car company about 5, he said, “You know, people start to ask me ‘Well, when are you going to start marketing the car?’” And he said, “Well actually we’ve just been engaged with about 45,000 people around the world building and developing this car over the last 1 and a half years; I think our marketing has already started, thank you.” And I talk about the fact that it’s not social media, but it’s embedded sociability, where in fact every single aspect of that business has a socialness, a conviviality, which is sort of, you know, way beyond just talking about, you know, ten top tips to be successful on Facebook or, you know, etcetera, etcetera. And he’s really understood the power of that. So what we call things is really important, you know – is the motorcycle I ride a great fast machine to have lots of fun on or is it a deadly weapon? It can be both. I choose to think about it in a certain type of way, which is not a deadly weapon but it means therefore that how I drive that machine, how I work with that tool, I frame it in a different type of way. And so for me No Straight Lines is absolutely about unpacking that language against real life examples of the way that people are really truly thinking about sort of next generation enterprise and what it means.
Susan Bratton: I know you call it a blueprint for advanced living…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: in a networked society.
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: I think that’s a good one-liner for what you’re doing – using examples like, what’s it called, Local Motors?
Alan Moore: Local Motors, yeah.
Susan Bratton: Local Motors…
Alan Moore: It’s a U.S. based company, and I just think they’re extraordinary…
Susan Bratton: Yeah. I’ve never even heard about them. Right, they have 45,000 built-in customers just from getting them involved in the get go. That’s a great story. Are there other companies that you think are starting to begin their thought process of how they’re going to be in business based on this new global network society, other companies you think? Uh huh?
Alan Moore: Yeah. I mean, I think the other interesting thing just before we move on from that is the other thing is that Local Motors understands is that, well in fact they think globally or super globally, but they also think hyper locally. They understand it doesn’t have to be one or the other, but it can be combinations of, depending on what specifically you’re trying to achieve in certain areas. There’s another company that has really inspired me called Grow VC, Grow Venture Community.
Susan Bratton: I know you’re apart of them…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: You’re a special advisor to Grow VC I think.
Alan Moore: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, we’ve sort of discussed what title they would like to give me, but – and it’s in this area around vision, vision and strategy. But, and I spent some time working with one of the particular individuals, Yoko, on some other projects. But, you know, it’s fascinating watching what they’re doing with Grow VC, the idea of you know, a completely different model and system of how entrepreneurs can reach out and find people that will be interested in investing with them. I mean, it’s described by Tech Crunch as the key of the VC community. And it’s interesting because, you know, if you work with a lot of VC’s, you know, they’re not all bad. I’m not saying that. But I think the whole nature of venture capital is fundamentally changing. And I’ve also seen the fact that venture capitalists will also apply their own short-term agenda onto companies and are quite capable of destroying huge value in businesses for a number of different reasons. And also I was told by a VC in the UK only recently that in the UK VC’s are saying “We don’t want to invest in social media”, in parentheses, “because we don’t really understand it.”
Susan Bratton: Are you seeing that in London, in England, across the board with VC’s there, because that, in the last 2 years most of the funding that’s come out of the Silicon Valley has been in the social media…?
Alan Moore: Yeah, well I think that you guys kind of understand the network society in a different way. I mean, I think you only have to look at the fact that, you know, Last FM is one of the few companies that’s been able to punch its way internationally that’s come from Britain but had VC backing and their story is, you know, is an interesting, it makes for interesting reading. So I think that the idea that Grow VC can actually, you know, completely sidestep those problems and just sort of built a parallel universe in the same way that Local Motors have kind of gone, well there’s no point, you know, trying to go down the same road. It doesn’t make sense on so many different levels, so we’re just going to build a parallel universe. So I think that the whole idea about entrepreneurs and how it thumbs itself is extremely interesting. There’s another company which actually comes again from the U.S. founded by a guy called Nathan Eagle called Text Eagle, which I just think is, one, again the most interesting business ideas I’ve seen, which is he set it up in Rwanda and Nigeria and it works like this: Text Eagle receives a piece of work from a client – it could be anywhere in the world – and what Text Eagle does is break that piece of work down into micro tasks that can be completed on the simply mobile phone. And for some people you don’t even need to be able to read, ‘cause actually what you’re doing is you’re listening to something and then you’re speaking back into the phone as a recording and sending it on. A guy or a person in a village in Rwanda or Nigeria receives that micro task, it can be translated as piece of text into your local dialect or something else which they’re going to be competently capable of doing. They complete that task, they send it back to Text Eagle, Text Eagle reconfigures that task, makes sure its complete, it’s done properly, and sends it back to the client. The person in the village will earn $2 to $3 dollars for that piece of work. For me it completely changes the whole paradigm of where a workforce it, where a workforce is situated, the nature of work, do we need to work in building anymore, the idea that money can flow around the world into regions that previously would not have been possible. And it kind of in a way is fascinating because it kind of connects with that whole idea about where funding really works or how money flowing into regions really works in terms of regional development or new jobs. It’s very rarely from the top down and it’s most often from the grassroots upwards. So for me, you know, that is a fascinating example of a completely different way of how you think about the nature of work and business.
Susan Bratton: Alan, we have to go to a break to thank my sponsors, and I want to have you check out a company that’s similar to Text Eagle called Odesk.
Alan Moore: Okay.
Susan Bratton: They are I think one of – they and Amazon Turk are two companies or two services that are redefining how we parse out global work to bring costs down and empower more people, and I think you’ll enjoy looking at that. But lets go to a break and when we come back I want to talk a little bit more about social networking with you. You told me that we live in a network society, we’re in the process of renegotiating the power relationships of who owns what, who has control and how that control is used. It will transform how we work, workforce organization, business, society, the law, pretty much everything. And so I’d like to go out to the future a little bit with you on that when we come back; sound good?
Alan Moore: Yeah, lets do that.
Susan Bratton: Awesome! All right, we’re with Alan Moore and he’s the author of Communities Dominate Brands: Business and Marketing Challenges For The 21st Century. He’s also currently working on his next project, which we’ve been talking about, No Straight Lines. You can find him at his website, which is small, medium, large, extra large, smlxl.com. Is that right? Did I get that right?
Alan Moore: No, it’s, unfortunately it’s not. It’s smlxtralarge.com.
Susan Bratton: Okay, thank you. I’ll make sure that that link is posted, you know, on Alan’s page on personallifemedia.com so you can find him, or you can just Google Alan Moore. It’s a-l-a-n m-o-o-r-e, and I think you’ll find him that way too. All right, we’re going to go to a break. We’ll be right back and talk more about the social networked societal future. Stay tuned.
Susan Bratton: We’re back and I’m with Alan Moore. And we were talking to Alan before the break about this kind of evolution of social networking. It was funny, this morning I saw a Tweet from someone and it said, it was a link to a blog post that talked about how Mark Zuckerberg has said that there really is no privacy in Facebook and essentially people know that all their connections are in Facebook, everything they upload to Facebook Facebook owns. You can’t export your contact list from Facebook. I mean it’s really a walled garden where you’re putting all of your private and personal information in and you have no ability to get anything back out. That’s certainly one of the biggest issues about living in a networked society. When you think about social networking and you apply it to this enterprise level business next generation future, where do you see it going?
Alan Moore: Very good question. I think that the way I see it going is in a number of ways. So first of all, you know, if you’re thinking about your business you’ve got to think about your business proposition. If you’re starting up or even as a business, you know, what value are you truly bringing to the world? I still that’s a really important point, and for 10 years I’ve argued that. Particularly in a network society however, you as a business has to be one of three things. You have to either be life enabling, life simplifying or navigational. You then need to sort of think about, you know, what sorts of tools you might want to use in that network society to allow you to build a far more lightweight adaptive and flexible business. I think this is something that’s sort of starting to come to the fore. You need to think very hard about how do you – There shouldn’t really be a, you should not talk about people as being consumers and producers, but as co-creators, people that help you determine your products and your services, because actually 70 percent of all purchase decisions are sort of driven by word of mouth, so, you know, advocacy is extremely important. But the whole idea about understanding how you embed trust and transparency into your business – in fact, I was seeing a link the other day which was one that in Singapore, businesses are being built for $50,000 dollars or less by the way they look at the whole nature of how that business burns its cash. And on the other hand, Zappos is actually now streaming internal meetings online. You don’t have to do all of those things, but I think that also then if you think about, you know, do we need a building, do we need to invest in infrastructure, you know, how do we work with the best and the brightest of people? Do we necessarily need to be face to face? Or actually could our businesses be designed in such a way that, you know, we could once a month business meetings but we’re going to have it in Costa Rica and every month we can fly first class, because the way that we’ve engineered the business allows us to do that. So I think these are some of the things that, you know, one has to look at, and I also think business models are very important in terms of where does a revenue flow from – is it a hybrid business model? Are we going to share with that? And I think also the other area which is extremely important is the whole area around IP and innovation. You know, Local Motors works under a creative common open source basis, and there’s a lot of research that shows that companies that are prepared to work in an open source model innovate much, much quicker and much, much faster than those who try to innovate in a closed system.
Susan Bratton: Absolutely. I talked to Tim O’Reilly when I interviewed Tim. We talked a lot about open source, especially for government and even NGO’s. He has a new show called Gov 2.0 and a new conference, and, you know, he’s really pushing for governments to bring the open standards and also open management. Have you heard about open management, this concept? I first became aware of it in interviewing Ted Shelton. He’s the CEO of The Conversation Group. He’s actually pretty active in Cambridge and London. You might’ve run across him. Do you know Ted Shelton yet?
Alan Moore: No I don’t, so if you could stick us together that would be fantastic ‘cause we do talk in No Straight Lines a lot about the relationship between a, you know, a more open innovative or innovation based upon open source is absolutely, you know, vital to being able to accelerate the speed of innovation.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, Ted says that his concept of open management supports multi-dimensional collaboration using social platforms, like social network and open API’s and prediction markets, and he has this other thing he calls an ideagora – you know, like an open market for ideas…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: Interesting ways to access information assets within an organization and also with vendors and customers, you know, essentially opening your platform of your business to all of the stakeholders. And Dave Evans, I’ve interviewed him a few times. He wrote that really good book, Social Media and Marketing: An Hour a Day, and…
Alan Moore: Oh I know Dave very well…
Susan Bratton: You know Dave. Yeah. So he’s now thinking about the enterprise, the networked enterprise and its applications, and he’s been busy in India. He’s going back and forth to India a lot, and that’s of course a mobile internet economy, you know. So I think there’s some really good information afoot if you’ve talked to Ted, talked to Tim, talked to Dave, talked to you; it’d be great to get the four of you in the room having the conversation about the possibilities of this and almost a recommended best practices. I could see that becoming a really valuable conversation.
Alan Moore: We should do that. I think that would be a great idea. I’ve spent a bit of time with Dave Evans actually and I have huge respect for the man, extraordinary integrity.
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Alan Moore: And absolutely, one of the things that we’re working on out of the book is actually two things; one of them is I’m going to make a film. I’m going to make a feature length film with a company called Scrambler TV, which is about networks, you know, audio/visual production, and that looks pretty interesting. But the other thing I’m working on is a service, so that what could happen is whether you’re a business school or university, regional development area, whatever, but we can take you through this kind of practical philosophy around next generation enterprise.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, explain it to people. Explain the tools that are available and give them examples so they can have a framework for their own business to quickly accelerate it.
Alan Moore: Yeah, we were drawing it up yesterday actually in the office, so, you know, that whole idea about, you know, how lightweight we make our business. You know, the understanding of are we going to use open source, is there stuff already available to us? You know, what role does data play in all of this, and what’s our position on data? You know, can we bring in data features, mashups? Is there a way of using open API’s to allow people to actually kind of go away and work on stuff that’s relevant to us? You know, we talked about some of the things about business models – do we build a (unintelligible) business model? Do we have a kind of, you know, hybrid business model? How do we incentivize people? You know, how people use crowd sourcing around RMD design marketing. How do we harness collective intelligence if we need to do that? You know, what’s the way of really developing a hugely innovative fast moving and effective and efficient sales force without having to, you know, go through some of the heavy costs that are currently happening? And these are the sorts of things I think that we kind of need to be looking at. But then on top of that is the idea of what someone called the moral economy, and of course one of the things that is definitive about a network society is the role of, you know, ethics. In many ways, you know, whether it’s the MP’s expenses scandal in Britain, you know, the banking crisis, you know, the fall of Enron, whatever. You know, we see across the world what has happened with the idea of purely unfettered capitalism. And so a lot of what is talked about within the network society does actually come back to the idea of having moral anchors, ethical things, which are part of that business. Something that, you know, a number of these companies I’m looking at are really into and see as a fundamental part of what it is that they do, but it’s not an add-on. It’s not like talking about CSR – you know, corporate social responsibility. Well you should be socially responsible because you’re a human being. You know, it’s a sort of a matter of fact, and these are the things we can help people sort of understand as they sort of build and design the process going forward from end to end, the way that they end up looking at the problem and thinking about the solution that maybe created that problem is kind of reframeworked by looking at some of those tools and processes and perhaps more softer things that some people think aren’t important but are actually critical to what is going to happen within a networked society over the next 20 years.
Susan Bratton: What do you think is the probable outcome that is unsustainable for you if we don’t have a conscious thoughtful global conversation about how to apply what I’m going to call open management? You call it a, you know, the network, the next network society…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: What’s going to go wrong if we don’t get involved and make sure that we’re lightweight conscious, etcetera…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: about this new way we’re all interconnected?
Alan Moore: Yeah, I mean I think it’s a very important question. I mean in some respects I see a convergence of perspective. So obviously my journey has come from working and being very successful in, you know, building global brands, launching global brands, working at global brands, working in advertising, being a creative director. So, you know, all of that, my work comes from, you know, being an entrepreneur, understanding media, understanding communication. So from that perspective what we already see, as a friend of mine who’s a clinical psychologist says that, you know, there is already a ghost army that exists in the world. The rise of fundamentalism of all types and creeds, ‘cause it’s not specifically unique to the Islamic world, is a consequence and a reaction to people from an identity perspective feeling very fearful and uncertain in a world that just seems to be consumed with constant change. In an area that – so I think that, you know, we just end up destroying humanity even further and as a consequence of that we do terrible things to each other. So that’s a huge danger. I think that the reality is, you know, the world is a finite resource. And looking at the work of Amery Lovens in Natural Capitalism, you know, where he sort of talks about the fact that, you know, the way that we’re consuming, that we put no value, in the industrial society we put no value on raw materials in fact until they’ve been processed to a large degree. And I don’t know a great deal about the science of climate change, nor the rest of it; but the reality is at the moment we’ve only got one planet and I think that, you know, there is only so much coal, there is only so much gas, and the reality is also that, you know, walls will start to rise but we’ll have another resource. You know, we’re already fighting over oil. We’ll start to fight over water as it becomes more unpredictable. These are the challenges I think that face us.
Susan Bratton: I want to, now that we’re thinking about the world and all of the great places in it and how important it is to consume what we have, I’d like to talk about your bucket list. I thought your bucket list was really fun. I’m switching channels on you.
Alan Moore: Yeah, I’m not all serious.
Susan Bratton: I know. You want to go to India and China.
Alan Moore: I’d love to.
Susan Bratton: You haven’t been yet.
Alan Moore: No.
Susan Bratton: Where do you want to go in India?
Alan Moore: I just want to, I don’t want to go to any one specific place, I want to travel through it…
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Alan Moore: I think that I have been fortunate to spend a lot of time traveling through the U.S., traveling a lot through Europe and parts of, you know, Europe into Eastern Europe and things. And when you travel slow and when you travel light, a bit like my friend Ralph Potts who talked about vagabonding, you see the world and you understand the world n a different perspective, and I think that I’ve already been blessed in seeing human nature in different cultures in many different contexts already, and I just want to just see where, you know, my nose takes me and to just immerse myself and feel the power of those places and continents and those people.
Susan Bratton: Traveling light sounds really good, really romantic; I can’t do it. Because I have to take so much, so many gadgets with me. I have to have my cameras and my lenses and my monopod and my Mac Book Pro and my extra hard drives. My god. And you know what, I wouldn’t have as much fun traveling light as I would if I could capture the images that I love to capture, so I’ll go traveling light through you.
Alan Moore: Fine. You can take one, you take one high definition camera that, you know, that function both as a camera and as a – or am I talking to a real uber graphic geek here now?
Susan Bratton: No uber, no, still a novice. Although, have you seen, I know you and I share one thing I common, we both have a passion for imagery. As a matter of fact, I just really have to compliment you on the PDF you sent of No Straight Lines.
Alan Moore: Thank you.
Susan Bratton: The images that you selected for that book and the layout are extraordinary. And is that something that anyone can have access to? Do you sell that? Was that a comp for a printed book that you sent me? What was that?
Alan Moore: Yeah, it was a sort of really part of a sort of storyboard for thinking about the film, a way of articulating my ideas. Hopefully at a certain point we will turn it into a picture book. But yeah, you know, I mean in a way I suppose from the years of training as a creative director and an art director working in advertising - and in fact actually I started off being a book designer, designing lots of really illustrated heavy books, you know – you end up obsessing about this stuff.
Susan Bratton: Well is that something that you send to people if they want it or is that something you just shared with me privately.
Alan Moore: No, I’ve sent it to quite a few people actually…
Susan Bratton: So if somebody would like it, if somebody who’s listening to DishyMix would like a copy of it, would you send it to them?
Alan Moore: Yeah, I’m happy to share that.
Susan Bratton: That would be awesome.
Alan Moore: I mean they have to understand it’s nearly a gigabyte of information, so…
Susan Bratton: Oh we don’t care. We’re marketing…
Alan Moore: It’s not coming in on the email.
Susan Bratton: Oh no, we’re tech geeks. We know about FTP.
Alan Moore: Yeah, and like I said, I can certify that. But yeah, I mean it’s…
Susan Bratton: How would you like people to connect with you about it if they’d like to…?
Alan Moore: Just send me an email and set up an interest in, you know, who they are and all the rest of it…
Susan Bratton: Which email address would you like them to use?
Alan Moore: If they send it to [email protected].
Susan Bratton: Great! Okay, good. And then, oh yeah, that’s what I was going to tell you. So have you seen the Annie Leibovitz documentary?
Alan Moore: I haven’t actually.
Susan Bratton: Oh my god, I just rented it on Net Flix, so it’s something you can get at, you know, it’s a rentable movie…
Alan Moore: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Susan Bratton: You must go get it. It’s full of her imagery, but here’s the interesting thing about it. I had an epiphany when I saw this movie. So what she does is you know how she sets up these tableaus, she calls them picture stories…
Alan Moore: Uh huh.
Susan Bratton: where she’ll set up a, she makes scenes. She’ll set the scene – she’ll dress people the way she wants, she’ll put a set or a backdrop or, you know, she’ll literally create a scene and then that’s what she photographs. That’s why her images are so powerful. Very few of them are just the person she’s taking the picture of. She’s a portrait artist obviously, but she’s taken portraiture to the next level by creating these scenes she calls picture stories.
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: Well I never really thought about that as an option. I mean I’d always been drawn to her imagery, you know. I’ve always loved Richard Avedon’s portraits…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: but I’ve always preferred Annie Liebovitz, and I never understood why that was until I realized that what she does is create a scene and put people in it and take that and she creates a picture. And I think you will love this movie, and it almost, it suddenly empowered me to understand that I really don’t like the photo journalism news capture, like you’re the photographer but you just have to take pictures of whatever’s presented to you. I really like the concept of having control over creating a scene with the people and the props and the things that are there and getting that image instead. And that suddenly, seeing that movie empowered me to believe that I have the ability as a very amateur photographer to go beyond just capturing what’s presented to me, but instead to ask for what I want, what my mind and eye want to compose. And I feel like I’ve just hit this new level of possibility in my work.
Alan Moore: And I think that the, you know, and I completely sympathize with that and understand it because as a – you know, what people may not understand about me is my background as being, you know, hugely creative and the idea ultimately that a creative person wants to bring something unique into the world, how do I take this tool, this camera, whatever it is, and how do I wield it to my creative will and vision? And so therefore, you know, that’s one of the most powerful things that a storyteller does. And I completely agree with you; I think that she’s an extraordinary photographer. I’ve looked at so many images in my life, you know, and you have an ability to read them in a different type of way. And so therefore the effort that goes into the construction of those stories – I mean I think Maple Thorp in some respects is, you know, is also an incredible…
Susan Bratton: Exquisite.
Alan Moore: you know, incredible painter of light and stories, maybe not as rich in a way that say Leibovitz would do it, but I just think about, you know, some of the things that he’s done and he’s an extraordinary artist, but that comes out of spending a long time thinking about what it is you want to say and how you want to say it and how that’s really going to kind of manifest itself, you know. And I think that – there was actually somebody that I kind of thought about back into the whole thing about sort of networked enterprise or the network world and the rest, but they’re actually creativity and how you kind of create the stories and construct those stories and all the rest of it, becomes so much richer when you have a different type of architecture in which you’re working. And so you for example, you feel this huge sense of liberation now and possibility that you’re powerfully drawn towards because you sense that something great can come out of kind of looking at the world in a different type of way.
Susan Bratton: I do. I want to go back to your bucket list ‘cause we don’t have much time left too.
Alan Moore: Okay.
Susan Bratton: You wanted to go to India and China. You want to take your band to Glastonbury. You want to fly a spitfire. You want to own a vineyard in Australia. And, this was brilliant, you want to die in your sleep. I have never heard anybody put that on their bucket list, it’s a really smart one. It’s kind of like your insurance policy one on your bucket list. I…
Alan Moore: It’s just so cool, isn’t it?
Susan Bratton: Totally.
Alan Moore: I just, unfortunately I’ve seen, you know, I’ve seen a few people die from, you know, cancer and all the rest of it…
Susan Bratton: I know you have, yeah.
Alan Moore: And I just think, you know, what an elegant way to leave this world.
Susan Bratton: Well I want to talk about the vineyard in Australia, because…
Alan Moore: Okay.
Susan Bratton: I have been to Australia, I’ve gone to a lot of the wine tasting regions and to me – so I live very close to Napa, Sonoma. I mean I’m in California. I live in the middle of wine land, you know.
Alan Moore: Lucky you.
Susan Bratton: And, I am lucky, and part of the reason I live in California is because I wanted to be close to our vineyard growing areas because there’s not much that I can think of that’s more fun than spending a day in the wine country tasting and buying wine…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: with a good group of friends and then going out to a boozy lunch and a boozy dinner and, you know, collapsing in your bed and getting up, eating some Tums and collapsing in your bed and getting up and doing it all over again.
Alan Moore: I’m your man. I’m there. Just let me know when it’s going to happen.
Susan Bratton: Just come on out. Lets do it in the Fall. October’s a really good time. It’s after they’ve brought in the harvest and they’ve done their first crush and they’ve got all of their, you know, their harvest in the bellies of their, you know, their cooperage and their casks and everything and there’s this like satisfaction that sets over the wine makers and all of the business owners where they’ve brought their crop in and it’s starting its fermentation and they’ve got a sense of what they have, and for the most part they feel really good, so there’s like a buoyancy to the people. October’s the time. You’ll have to come.
Alan Moore: Okay.
Susan Bratton: So where do you want to have your vineyard in Australia and what kind of grapes do you want to grow?
Alan Moore: Well I think it’s Shiraz.
Susan Bratton: Oh you like Shiraz. Uh huh. Yeah.
Alan Moore: I’m a big, I’m a real sucker for a grape, you know, big tasty. Shiraz, my uncle actually, he’s a very famous barrister. His story’s interesting. He got shipped out to Australia as a boy of 12, started off working on a sheep farm and ended up becoming a very, very famous barrister in Australia and bought himself a vineyard and when he started to come over he would bring these big Shirazes which initially used to blow my head off. But I just love the fully body texture, so, you know, Margaret River would be a good place to kind of hang out, maybe the Barossa Valley would be a place that’s, you know, I could think about. Orange County would be appealing. And I just love the whole kind of thing, and in fact my wife’s father, you know, my wife’s father, we’ve got a couple of acres where we live in (unintelligible) and we have vines that he planted in the back of the garden. It doesn’t take like Shiraz though unfortunately.
Susan Bratton: I like Shiraz and I also, I like the Barossa and I also like the Mclaren Vale. Those are my favorites. I’ve not been to Margaret River yet.
Alan Moore: Yeah, that, it’s great.
Susan Bratton: I didn’t love the Hunter Valley. I could’ve taken or leaven the Hunter Valley in the grand scheme of things…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: But I like the area around Adelaide the best I think.
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: And that’s a beautiful little town with some unbelievable restaurants in it. It’s really, really great. But I like a Shiraz Cab blend. I like a blended wine almost always, and I like it when they’ll dump a couple things in there. They’ll put some Shiraz, some Cab Franc’s, some Cab or, you know, anything. I really like that…
Alan Moore: Yeah. It almost makes me very nervous though unless I’m going to taste it first, to be honest with you.
Susan Bratton: It doesn’t, it doesn’t make me nervous. I like the softer blends than the, jus, you know, muscley kind of Shiraz.
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: But they’re all good. Listen, I’ll drink them all. Really no problem at all. Anything that you want, I’ll have it with you. It’s no problem. And I like the Yalumba Valley, I’ve never been there.
Alan Moore: Okay. There’s sort of a bit hit and miss, the Yalumba Valley actually. I had a bottle the other day from there and it was actually priced at 20 pounds and reduced to 10 and I thought I’d give it a go. Actually I thought (unintelligible) was probably what it was worth rather than the billing at 20 pounds in the first place, so…
Susan Bratton: Yeah. That’s why I like to go tasting. I like to taste my wines before I buy them if I can.
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: That’s the best, isn’t it?
Alan Moore: Yeah absolutely. Absolutely. Unfortunate – although we actually had quite a few vineyards in England, you may not know that. And there are actually, there are wineries here that could use some really tasty white wine.
Susan Bratton: What’s the grape?
Alan Moore: Off the top of my head I can’t remember. There is a place called Chapel Down that makes a thing called Flint and another one called Backus, both very lightweight grapes actually, so you’re not into Chardonnay territory. And the one’s very fruity, especially you got to move on to a sort of Pinot Grigio type of thing and the, but the Flint one I’m not too sure of to be honest with you without checking.
Susan Bratton: Yeah. I’m sure you don’t, you probably don’t drink a lot of that. It’s just nice to be able to say you have some vineyards.
Alan Moore: Yeah, well actually it’s sort of feel like really clear cut of the pallet white wine, this Chapel Down Flint is actually really tasty…
Susan Bratton: Nice.
Alan Moore: It’s really nice.
Susan Bratton: I like a flinty wine in general, Sauv Blanc as being the flinty wine and I do like those. Although I have to say I’m totally sick of the New Zealand Sauv Blanc’s, like just sick of them. Never want to drink another one.
Alan Moore: Yeah. No, there’s actually, there’s an Australian Chardonnay called Ten Minutes By Tractor. And it is just fantastic. And I’m with you, I don’t drink a lot of Chardonnay – I don’t drink a lot of white wines to be honest with you – but this is actually a really tasty drop of white wine, so Ten Minutes By Tractor people. I strongly recommend it.
Susan Bratton: My favorite name of a wine – ‘cause the Australian’s do do an awesome job naming their wines…
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: And I know we’re totally running long here and we’re just a couple of wine dorks talking about wine, so probably all of our Dishy – you DishyMix listeners who are still with us, god bless you. But I have to say this: I like a winery out of – I don’t exactly remember where they are but they’re, it’s called Two Hands and…
Alan Moore: Yes, yes.
Susan Bratton: And they have marvelous labels, marvelous stories, their wines are beautiful, their tasting room is totally hot and sexy. And my favorite name of one of their vineyard designates is Narly Dudes. Narly Dudes by Two Hands, it’s such a great name.
Alan Moore: I think I’ve had some Narly Dudes actually.
Susan Bratton: You have to have it. It’s just, and it’s good. You’re always pleasantly surprised, they are super high quality. Well…
Alan Moore: Yeah, they are and that’s a really good winery.
Susan Bratton: Vineyard. So I think we have a date Alan. You’re coming out in October and we’re going wine tasting.
Alan Moore: I’m looking forward to that. Well I’ll be heading back that way ‘cause actually I’m doing a 6 city tour of Latin America.
Susan Bratton: Oh wow.
Alan Moore: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: Great!
Alan Moore: In the latter part of the year, so October could actually be perfect…
Susan Bratton: There you go.
Alan Moore: I think I’ll round it off somewhere…
Susan Bratton: Maybe we can get Dave Evans and Jen to come up from Austin. We can get Howard and his wife to go…
Alan Moore: I think we should do that.
Susan Bratton: That’s what we should do.
Alan Moore: I’d love to do that.
Susan Bratton: And then we should drink some wine and then we should talk about open management and enterprise social networking and record that… I don’t think so. I think we better do that before we go wine tasting. I think we have a date. It was terrific to have you on the show. I’m so sorry I didn’t make it to South By Southwest to see your keynote. Thank you for offering up your book No Straight Lines, the one gigabyte gorgeous lush PDF for us who love social networking and beautiful imagery and the future story of what our business will be like. It’s been really fun to talk to you. Lets do it again.
Alan Moore: I’d love to do that.
Susan Bratton: Sounds great. All right, so if you’d like to connect with Alan Moore you can send an email to him, at [email protected], and you know you can find it on personallifemedia.com, I’ll have all the links and all that good stuff for you. And I of course am your wine besoughted host, Susan Bratton. Have a great day and I hope you’ll connect with me next week. Thanks so much for tuning into DishyMix. You know I love it when you do. Thanks. Take care.