Matthew T Grant


Tall Guy. Glasses.

A Quick One on “Content Strategy for Marketers”

Doing some research on content marketing and how companies source or buy content and came across this concise (don’t let the slide count fool you), thorough overview of the steps involved in the creation and management of a solid content strategy:

It was produced by Melissa Rach at Brain Traffic. I like it because it introduces the skimmer to the doable nitty-gritty stuff demanded by the content strategy process while giving the aforementioned skimmer a healthy sense of its (almost) overwhelming complexity.

Good work, comrade!

Getting Serious about #onewordwednesday

I launched the incredibly successful Twitternet phenomenon, #onewordwednesday, in May 2009, at least by my reckoning.


The fact that on every subsequent Wednesday (and sometimes earlier) the hashtag has seen action, and not just due to my own fervid zealotry, I consider one of the few real achievements of my adult life.

Nevertheless, I fear that I have been lax to the point of wishi-washiness on what constitutes proper observance of #onewordwednesday. Among other things, my wavering spirit has led some to attempt a #onewordwednesday takeover, albeit it in the interest of your eternal salvation.

Today, however, I’m drawing a line in the sand and stating clearly and definitively, that true, devout observance of #onewordwednesday calls for limiting all Tweets that day to ONE WORD.

“But Matthew T. Grant, what about retweets or the sharing of links?”

Gosh darn it! OK. Fine. As Buffy Saint-Marie once sang, “I was an oak, now I’m a willow, now I can bend.”

  • You may retweet other contributions to the #onewordwednesday experience until the 140 character limit has been achieved.
  • You may also share links if and only if the Tweet consists of nothing more than one word and a shortened URL.

Look, I’m not asking that everyone across the Twitterverse adhere to this standard of observance. I simply want to provide those interested in truth, purity, and righteousness a guiding light and a clear sign that they may better find their way on the path to (#)one(wordwednesday)ness.


Little Hands of Silver

I once blew the mind of a friend when he asked if I could guess his favorite guitarist and I responded, correctly, “Manitas de Plata.” Of course, that was just a lucky shot in the dark, but Manitas de Plata was an incredible guitar player in the flamenco style. Apparently, Picasso was so taken with him that he drew on his guitar.

I found this video of the maestro playing for Brigitte Bardot in 1968. The lovely Ms. Bardot seems likewise taken with the French Romani’s fleet and silvery fingerings.

Epistemology versus Ethics

A local, recently gender-reassigned nanny drove a car which featured the following bumper sticker:


While sympathetic to the sentiment expressed, believing, as I do, that reality, taken in the totality of its sordid, mundane, and astonishing details, is nothing if not outrageous, I felt nevertheless rankled.

Said rankling arose from my even stronger belief that the unstated logic of the proffered statement – “If you are not responding in a specific way, then you are not perceiving reality as it truly is” – serves as the logical underpinning of political, ideological, or religious fundamentalism in every form.

My work on Germany’s Red Army Faction (aka, The Baader-Meinhof Gang, a much cooler name, IMHO) led me to rebel against and reject “the unassailable logic of the next step,” as Norman Mailer called it in The Armies of the Night, insisting instead that there is no ethical norm inherent in the physical world, including, and this is the real scandal, the human world in all its perplexing complexity.

It is one of the benefits of being human that we can simply observe. While sense stimuli – a flashing light, a gunshot, an electrical shock – do indeed provoke hard-wired responses, and the body may involuntarily behave in a specific way based on the type of stimulus, this becomes less and less the case as we consider more involved levels of cognition.

Sunlight reflecting off a passing car may make us squint; recognizing the driver as our mortal enemy could make us cry out in fury or turn away or remain impassive. Conscious, attentive perception, thankfully and sadly, does not produce an automatic, programmed, and necessary response.

Still, to a certain way of thinking, the true outrage is human freedom.

The Conet Project: Acht Neun Null

Very strange recordings of shortwave radio messages apparently used by intelligence agencies during the Cold War but introduced to a broader audience after becoming an object of obsessive interest for hipster dad-rockers like Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. Check it out:

Audio Courtesy of Irdial and

Rev. X Brings the Spirit of Truth

Can anyone tell me what ever happened to this guy? (WARNING: NSFW – but totally safe for eternal salvation)

Can anyone answer the question, “Am I high and lofty?”

Time, Enough, and Afghanistan

Obama is upping the troop levels, as everyone has heard. He’s also added a timeline: draw down to start in July 2011.

Conservatives applaud the increase but deride the deadline. Their argument that it will give “our enemies” a chance to lay low and wait us out rings hollow to me for no other reason than that, if we and our allies are able to improve security and support much needed development work over the next couple years, this will actually be worse for said enemies than a prolonged, virtually endless armed struggle.

At the same time, I can’t help but think of the words of Rory Stewart who says that, development-wise, Afghanistan is “20 years behind Pakistan and India is a distant dream.” He advocates a decades-long commitment with a relatively small military footprint (around 20,000 troops) and an intense focus on humanitarian projects to build local infrastructure.

Given that, I’m less concerned about how long we’re going to have boots on the ground and more concerned about how much time we’re willing to invest in modernizing one of the poorest nations on Earth (and not just because we want to control the global heroin trade).


12115758_844bca287b_mThe fact that I was grooving on Andrew Hill, coupled with the fact that I decided to check out  his Andrew!!! (literally, I got the cd at the library) because I saw that John Gilmore, longtime collaborator of Sun Ra, played on it, makes me a “jazzhole.”

Likewise, the fact that I would say, “Everyone knows Point of Departure cuz Dolphy was on it, but I prefer the stuff Hill did with Sam Rivers,” makes me a “jazzhole.”

Nevertheless, if digging the esoteric masters of the art is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Image Courtesy of Max Sparber.

Ragged Glory and Wild Virtuosity

3932469704_e3910d712b_mI just got back from the symphony whereat I heard Joshua Bell play Brahms’ Violin Concerto.

Though I’ve always been a rock guy (the first album I ever bought was KISS Destroyer, and, indeed as I write this, I’m listening to Jimmy Page live with the Yardbirds from 1968), I have been “into” classical music, which my mother referred to as “long hair” music, off and on since I was a kid and, as it turns out, actually listened to that concerto fairly frequently at one point.

Why was I listening to it then? Because I had become obsessed with a violinist, Henryk Szeryng,  and, having sought out his recordings, one day lit upon his interpretation of Brahms’ masterwork done for Mercury’s Living Presence imprint in 1962.

How had I become obsessed with Szeryng? I went up to Canada in December 1993 to attend the MLA Convention in Toronto and was staying near Georgetown, Ontario with the family of a Canadian acquaintance.  We were hanging out with his next door neighbor’s grandson, David, who played viola in the string quartet at Indiana University South Bend (I believe this is David today), and that guy put on Szeryng’s recording of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin.

I had never heard these compositions before nor had I heard a violinist like Szeryng, whose tone was exotically rough hewn and absolutely entrancing. I felt drawn into the sonatas, invited to inhabit them. When David mentioned that Szeryng had been a morphine addict, I was hooked.

I had never really thought of classical musicians as characters, let alone madmen and junkies. This was my mistake. Although others who knew him later confirmed to me that Szeryng could in fact play beautifully even when exquisitely wasted, I soon discovered that beyond that he had led an incredibly colorful life which included, among other things, emigrating to Mexico with a host of Poles fleeing the Nazis and eventually becoming a Mexican citizen out of gratitude to the nation which had so graciously welcomed him and his compatriots.

Long story short, I heard exceeding virtuosity in Joshua Bell’s performance – that young man sure can play the fiddle – but I did not hear anything ragged or wild in it. And I missed that.

Image Courtesy of mint imperial.