And That’s All I Have To Say About That.

Forrest GumpForrest Gump got a lot of things right.

When he decided he wanted to buy a shrimp boat, he got one. When he wanted to run, he ran. When he felt like mowing the lawn, that’s what he did.

Maybe more importantly, when he felt like he didn’t want to run anymore, he stopped.

I’m not stopping so much as changing direction, I guess.

But the long and short of it is that this is the last post you’ll read on Brass Tack Thinking.

BTT started in 2008 as Altitude Branding, and I wrote about branding and communication and the web. Then a couple years later, it became Brass Tack Thinking, with a bigger shift toward social media, social business and more specifically the change that came along with all of that.

My work over at SideraWorks still encompasses a lot of that, and 2014 is going to be a pretty pivotal year for us. So as we move forward, you’ll find my posts about corporate culture, organizational transformation and all that stuff over on that blog. If you’re still interested in those topics, I’d encourage you to subscribe over there and stay on top of the exciting announcements we’ll have in the upcoming months as well as content on business strategy.

In large part, because of my big investment in our business and the growth of our firm, I just don’t want to write “business stuff” in a bunch of different places.

I’m also very much missing a writing outlet on the web that’s distinctly me. Amber. Not a brand, not a “content strategy”, not something that’s striving for authority or rank or lists. Just a blog that’s kind of a hodgepodge of career stuff and random things I find on the web and funny life stories and introspection and whatever moves me in the moment.

I’ve had too, so that domain will redirect over to the new site (I have weird rationale for why I’m not keeping that as the main destination but that for another time).

The last five years here have been nothing short of rewarding and frustrating and immensely personally and professionally valuable.

One could argue that this blog helped me get my book deal as demonstration of that elusive online “platform”. I’ve certainly been able to build a voice and some level of industry influence through my writing here during my independent consulting days and my time with Radian6.

But those things are really part of my firm now, and that’s where I want to concentrate my effort on the professional front.

The rest of me needs somewhere else to go.

Because frankly, whether everyone works this way or not, I find I like to have a place to think out loud online, to express emotion and share the highs and the lows stumbling through life. That encompasses a lot of topics. It has nothing to do with being a “personal brand” as I’m willing to wager I’ll have  a fraction of the readership I’ve enjoyed here over the years and I have no intention of doing anything remotely resembling a ‘newsletter’ or adhering to any kind of content calendar.

The new site is over at I hope you’ll join me over there for what’s sure to be a fun and eclectic adventure.

Brass Tack Thinking will live on here as kind of a permanent archive of all the content. Much of it is still relevant and hopefully useful, and there are plenty of links out there that I don’t want to break. I’ll be sure to link to it from the new site too. There just won’t be any new posts here in the future. I’m sure someday, when it’s all dated and irrelevant, I’ll quietly take it down and buy it a beer. But for now, you’ll be able to find the last five years of content right here.

For all of you who have been a huge part of the Brass Tack Thinking community over the last years, I really don’t have appropriate words. “Thank you” seems like not enough, but gratitude is very much what I feel.

You’ve challenged me, supported me, participated in rousing dialogue and laughter, called me out, lifted me up, and perhaps most importantly, supported each other. I know you’ve taught me much, and that the folks who were lucky enough to be part of this community learned stuff too.

I know this is the right thing for me to do at this moment. It’s just time for me to stop running. Here, anyway.

Maybe I’ll buy myself a new tractor to go with the new site. That seems like a pretty nice evolution to me.

Thank you again for everything. I’ll see you around the ‘webz, you misfits, you.

The Best Kept Secret in Community Building

The Best Kept Secret in Community Building - Brass Tack ThinkingIt’s the thing to do.

Build a community, I mean.

Individuals want to do it. To support their project, get a job, find clients, to build their reputation, to sell their book, to connect with like minds and find new friends.

Companies and organizations want to do it. To find their advocates and fans, to find new talent, to raise money, to showcase their innovation, to improve their products, to connect their work to a greater cause or purpose or affinity group.

If you’re trying to build community, whether online or off, the very best thing you can do is the most analog, straightforward thing on earth.

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The Practice of Easing Into Your Day

The Practice of Easing Into Your Day - Brass Tack Thinking

Most of us draw a pretty clear line between "work" and our "personal stuff". Whether that's organizing the calendar for the kids' school stuff or ordering those shoes from Zappos or calling to make those long-forgotten appointments, we clearly ...
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The Truth About Attention Spans

The Truth About Attention Spans - Brass Tack Thinking

It's not that we have shorter attention spans. Many of us will sit and binge watch episodes of our favorite show. Play Candy Crush for hours on end. Or read a book from cover to cover. Watch video after video online of amazing things, or TED ...
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My Crazy Productivity Secrets

The secret is this: I don't have any secrets. Largely, I think the productivity holy grail stuff is a bunch of BS. In fact, I think that more people get in trouble trying to build some magic system to manage their stuff instead of just buckling ...
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Why Professional Martyrdom Is A Shitty Career Strategy And How To Fix It

Why Professional Martyrdom is a Shitty Career Strategy - Brass Tack Thinking

One of the hardest parts of professional development is learning to look in the mirror. So many professionals want to look outside themselves for the factors that are holding them back. A crappy boss. Working too many hours. Not enough ...
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