“I challenge you to watch Macbeth and not read Shakespeare!”

The above quote is just one of the many fantastic things Rick Rogers, president of NW-based company (PDX and Seattle), MyRocketBook.com said to me the other day on the phone. Pretty much, speaking with Rick, was writing down next year’s potable quotables.

Alex, give the man a call. Unlike Anton, I do believe this man could sneeze and hits will come out.


Example 2: “If you can’t get into it, you are going to dismiss it.”

Ok, where am I going with this (besides some type of man-crush)?

Didn’t you know the fall is coming? Fall, means school for many people (I’ve already started–go grad school!).

My friend Kristin, over at the AiPD turned me onto this company. * Rick gave the commencement speech a couple months back at our beloved Art Institute (oh, I’m sure the quotes were flowing). After hearing about this guy and MyRocketBook.com, I decided to call him up to hear about what they are doing. What they are doing is pretty amazing.

Remember the old days when you had to READ Cliffnotes. Those days are over for all you under-grads and junior-high/high-school students (what about us grad students Rick–I need the MyRocketBook version of this). At MyrocketBook.com, you watch or listen to those Cliffnotes. The thing is, it’s not about taking a short-cut though.

Remember, “If you can’t get into it, you are going to dismiss it”. Sure, there are going to be students using this (like we did with cliffnotes) to avoid reading. MyRocketBook makes that possible. For many of the rest of us though, we also (at least sometimes) used the cliffnotes b/c reading Shakespeare is hard. Ye Ole what? Please, speak English sir…oh, you do and you made it hot…ok, please speak our 21st Century American English….can’t do it–I’m off to the cliffnotes my friend.

So, here’s a couple things I really like (besides the fact that writing this might help me get the film version of that 300+ page “economics thriller”). Teachers write Rick and say that his site helped them have the “first decent discussion of (insert book ala King Lear) in five years”. MyRocketBook makes this stuff interesting to the kids–and then, like he stated–“I challenge you to watch (King Lear) and not read Shakespeare!”

Now, for me (tech-geek), the really cool part.

They launched a wiki-side to the site. Yep, that’s right. Remember when you would ask the person about the book and how they got an “A” when they wrote the report/presented it? Now, you can get that information from students, teachers, professors, etc from all over the world. Anyone who’s used a wiki knows the power (wikipedia anyone?), and this is where MyRocketBook (and anyone else doing this) has really revolutionized cliffnotes–let’s use the over-used cliche’ and call it cliffnotes 2.0.

Example from Rick:

“Classics are not dead. When stem-cell research is a big political topic, Frankenstein has modern relevancy.” The wiki makes that discussion possible, and I like it…yep, I like it…I like it a lot (please Rick, economics book?)

* I tried to reach MyRocketBook earlier today b/c I forgot to ask last time exactly who gave the commencement speech at AiPD. Rick just got back to me with this info: “Steve Emerson is the president of Rocketbook and he gave the commencement at the Art Institute. Don’t want to take credit for his work.”

2 Comments so far

  1. mr (unregistered) on August 28th, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

    My brain hurts trying to read this post.

  2. Julian Chadwick (unregistered) on August 28th, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

    yeah…too bad they haven’t mad a video of it so you wouldn’t have to read it :)

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