About the Author:

With a career that has spanned advertising, production, technical services, and project management, Michael is able to articulate the wide range skills and professions that make the Internet work. This eclectic understanding and his desire to shine the light on those hiding behind techno babble has brought success to a wide range of projects.

Twitter @bissell

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Past Postings:

Using Dissent To Enhance Your Social Influence Online

Industry Profile - Author

Industry Profiles Full Time Employees - Professional Writer

Some Thoughts On Freelancing

Building Your Online Brand

Marissa Mayer and the Change in Yahoo's Remote Workforce

LinkedIn for Professional Writers

Fake Republican Twitter Accounts

"Did you mean?" -- Google's chiding nanny of search results

Branded Technology

Sharingspree.com -- Stealing more than GroupOn's Idea

The Internet Isn't Entertaining Enough

It's not your bank... It's Apple's and Amazon's

Violated by Madison Avenue

Google+ Scares Me

"We need to..." Internet Marketing Myths

Facebook's deal with the Devil

My cool new phone is a little too cool.

You are never alone

Promotion vs. Distribution... You'd think they'd know that one...

Publishing Industry Watch

Content for Social Media

Social Media Slot Machine

Anonymous vs Me

News from the Twitter Follow Campaign Trail

The art of Indiscriminate Twitter Following

The Cloudy Meaning of The Cloud

The Demand For The Loss of Creativity

Alien Technology and Government Conspiracies

Time for a New Reality

The Death of Email

Protecting Free Speech... Anonymously (and geekily)

Amazon Shouldn't Have Shut Down WikiLeaks

The Superpowers of the Hive Mind

Time for New Ideas

Comcast, Netflix and the Mystery of the Modem

The Great Technical Disconnect

New for the Sake of New

A Retail Store Built Like the Web

Disposable Personas

When did Google Start Policing the Internet?

Getting back to HTML basics, thanks to Apple

Inspecting my Navel Base

A shoebox vs. an online backup

Is Your "Resume" Website Recruiter-friendly?

iBooks -- Creative Epicenter or Gatekeeper?

The Failure of Success

The Economy is Going to Get Worse, but that's okay

Time lost on Twitter

Client Vendor Relationships

Twitter's back alleys and dark places

Social Media is NOT Advertising

Microsoft Courier

Form (designers) versus Function (geeks)

PDXBOOM -- The power of social media and the portland pipe bomb

China and Apple -- Different organizations, same management

The volume of screens


Google Adds Biking Directions to Maps


That magical little tablet

How your website can be in two places at once

Masterpieces created by sheer volume

Suing over lack of originality

A Primer on Internet Fame -- dancing babies, hamsters, numa numa, and more...

Checking my messages

Rules are made to be broken -- in a reasoned, systematic way

So many accounts, so few passwords

Who really uses Twitter? 60% of Twitter's traffic isn't on Twitter

The Web is a Jerry Rigged Kludge

Twitter: Asleep at the Mouse Wheel

Where regulation is good: Google Voice and Vonage

How Facebook is (unintentionally) forcing programmers to piss off users

The Twit Cleaner

Perfect Secretary's pitch for @Adbroad (and the Youtube API)

The Emotions of Text

The Shorty Awards Scandal -- Manual Spam is still Spam

Google Analytics, the cloud and missing numbers #fail

Helen Klein Ross & Michael Bissell Interview at Adweek's Social Media Strategies Conference

The Internet is the New 60's

Cougars from New Zealand (and I don't mean big cats)

Adding facts together, or why you can't charge your cell phone from wifi

Social Media and the Destruction of the World

Rabid Fans vs Passive Viewers -- The Coco vs Leno saga

How to tell someone to retweet (without using up your 140 characters)

You can't buy social media

A book unopened is but a block of paper

Building the LOST: The Final Season Sweepstakes

Holiday SPAM (or the lack thereof)

Archiving Twitter

Too Many Toolbars

Random Censorship with Google Adwords

Accessibility and Shopping Online

Twisted path to customer service

Flash: Shiny objects blinding your audience

Twollow and other gold rush scripts

GPS in a Laptop computer

Thinking outside the box... There was a box?

Twitter was designed for Text Messaging

It's not the corporations, damnit

Entrepreneur or Dreamer?

Adweek Social Media Twitter for Brands Presentation

Socializing is more than Social Media

Generational Marketing is a Myth (or Who's your Daddy?)

Social Media is Just the Way We Use the Internet

Twitter Followers Don't Matter (ask the porn sites)

The Internet is Gooder than Books

Sometimes you don't want your campaign to go viral

Best Twitter Branding Campaign

Like flies to crap, Spammy Twitter Followers don't really go away

iPhone SMS Security Hole

How Flipmytweet works

Cell Phones as Microscopes

Digg is not the Hijacker -- You Are

Steve Ballmer -- the walking dead?

Twitter as an open mic poetry reading

Automatic Social [un]Awareness

New York, New York

First splash for United Against Malaria

New Media/Old Media and the CLIO Awards

Interview at SXSW: Mad Men Twitter And Tracking

We've got an App for that -- it's called the Web

Understanding Google To Get Your Resume Noticed

Made it to SXSW in Austin

The trouble with Wordpress and other templates

Wayward Words with Baggage

Speaking at SXSW March 17th

The fleeting Memory of the Internet

It's okay to say 'I don't know'

Good Morning America, now Go Fight Traffic

More surreality in Portland

Nike Takes Over Conquent

Facebook owns this title

Excuses, excuses

A little on Social Media

Feeding on Content

Attack of the Bots

Irish Music in Oregon City

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier

Got Curry? And some bizarre art?

Web 1.0

Random Music and Random Life in Portland

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump

Flight Simulator

Cold night, hot fire, happy cat

Net Neutrality

Walking to work in the snow

A window into Moreland of the Past

Getting clever with data feeds

Big and Little Beirut

The Other Credit Crisis

The Broadband Inauguration

T-Mobile owns Magenta and Other Patent Stories

The Risk-takers, Doers and Makers of Things

The noise of 20,000+ Twitter Followers

Reflections on my DC Trip

Born Again American

30,000 feet, 500 MPH Suburban Strip Mall

Cellphones, toilets and the Inauguration

The wall of pissing

National Treasure/National Archives

My trip to DC so far

Everyone is insane

Getting ready for DC

The End of Days (of song): Microsoft Songsmith Example

The Very Model of a Modern Major General

Browser Bigotry

The Death of your Soul: Microsoft Songsmith

Creative Development or Developing Creatively?

Race to Witch Mountain

The Myth of Wikipedia (or the Wiki-1400)

Online/Offline Sales -- is it really that bad?

Is PayPal Tacky?

Old School Web Design Still Works

Domain Squatting

Christmas Fire

Green Chri$tma$

QA 101

Portland Snow

Get some return on that web traffic

I think they have a backup...

I'd love to have that problem

The [un]importance of statistics

Don't be a tool of viral marketing

CAT Scan!

Follow up to the shoulder injury

Emails, discussions, blogs, wiki and web content

Ironic Injury

On the Santa Monica Pier

You Designed for Print First

You let someone else register your domain name

You figured .biz, .info, .us would work fine

What's after the Integrated Circuit?

Intelligent life is out there (but it's bugger all down here on earth)

Subject Matter Experts Talking Other Subject Matter

The Totalitarian Regime of Apple

Oversimplifying how people work


Creative Services for the New World

Reverse Anthropomorphism

The End of Time

Oil prices and birdsong

Watching Starship Troopers AGAIN!

Better Living Through Twitter

Lessons Learned From Apple

It's the Brand, Baby

Business Architecture vs. Web Construction

On Truth

You can't build life

Accidentally Drunk in Portland

Al Gore the Winner

Intelligent life is out there (but its bugger all down here on earth)

Aussie Rules Football

Trip to Nostalgia Land

I am such an idiot

Long day of travel

Miami -- as far from Portland as you can go in the US

Inverse Peter Principle

Random Knowledge

I'm fascinated with modern plumbing

Leaving Seattle (or why you should keep your ticket close)

On the Rails

The Hive

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The Internet is the New 60's
2010-01-24 19:41:02

I got into an online conversation today with @Gennefer on the topic that the 60's social movement makes a great metaphor for the way we use the Internet today. It's not just the easy access to sex, drugs and illegal music, but also the way social networks are creating awareness of social issues and promoting art and culture outside the establishment.

As we tossed our 140 character comments back and forth, it occurred to me that the it's not the Internet that needs a metaphor, but the way communication and information changes society.

There have been a few really great communications revolutions that have been followed by huge sociological shifts. Sea travel, which brought not only goods from far away, but new ways of thinking and doing things (including the recipe for gunpowder) is often overlooked as a communications revolution, but it was the knowledge traders brought back that started the Renaissance much more than the goods themselves.

Not overlooked is movable type -- without the printing press to get his message out, Martin Luther would have just been another priest strung up to a wall somewhere and the Catholic Church would still be the only church for Christians, and a hugely corrupt power, at that.

We still romanticize the Pony Express, but it was really the telegraph that cemented so much of the North American continent as a future world power. And, of course, the telegraph was quickly followed by radio and then television rapidly making the world smaller, creating a more homogeneous culture with national advertising and even changing the way we talk by smoothing out regional accents and dialects.

What really made the 60's such a watershed time was a huge population of people all about the same age spawned from a post-war baby boom. Ironically, these kids were the first to be raised by TV and shared a lot of the same ideas and ideals and culture not from their families but from TV and the toys and commercial products they grew up with.

And they could find each other more easily than ever before. TV news was maturing and spreading the word about things like Woodstock or marches in Washington. It's not just that they could get their message out more easily (this was the dawn of self-publishing with cheap mimeographs and copiers coming on the scene), it's that they all spoke the same message and learned that message faster than their elders.

All of which is true with the Internet. The Internet is quickly helping to homogenize culture on a global scale, although it's not as if the "Internet" is a single medium -- television, movies, blogs, advertising, casual interactions online, and the fact we all use the same basic stuff every day give us common ground to start a conversation. And all these little interactions take us a step closer to a global culture, which is definitely one of the biggest revolutions we've seen.

Just as the stuffed shirts in the 60s tried to mimic or co-opt the "youth culture" stuffed shirts (and not so stuffed) are trying to do the same today. It's too big even with our multi-national global companies supplying so much of this revolutionary culture, it's not the things or even the individuals driving this revolution, it's just the unchecked speed of communication.

Mark: Re: The Internet is the New 60's
2010-01-25 04:50:36

I'm glad I followed the link from your tweet. I've been feeling the same way for a long time, a sense of wonder mixed with dread, but wasn't able to put a label so succinct as 'the new 60's' on it. No wonder we have so many old fools like John Hagee up in arms - it's the next wave in cultural evolution! Of course, the real question is, can we harness this new power and use it for good, or will we fall into the same patterns of abuse as our forebears?

Michael Bissell: Re: The Internet is the New 60's
2010-01-25 05:30:25

Mark: What I think is interesting with the the radical voices like John Hagee or Glenn Beck is that they are just part of the noise -- it's the fact we get to hear all the noise now that makes things different.

I'm optimistic in the long run although very cynical in the short term. Each of these revolutions I mentioned has left the world a little more mature, a little more aware of a bigger picture, and a little freer of the darkness and oppression that happens when people are clueless.

That short term though... yeah, there are a lot of beheadings, shootings and imprisonments on the way to universal enlightenment.

Helen Klein Ross: Re: The Internet is the New 60's
2010-01-25 20:56:43

Love the title, Michael. Great analogy. Agree that webz have contributed to mass homgenization, for better or worse. It's why you're now more likely to identify with someone of your "consumer class" half a world away than you might with others in your hometown.

Only quibble: illegal music wasn't half as easy to come by in the 60s. Vinyl albums were a lot harder to pirate. Most people had to pony up $3 for a new release. That is, if album was mono. Stereo cost a dollar extra!

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