Silicon Prairie News

Seth Godin’s ‘Linchpin’ highlights work of Silicon Prairie News

Omaha September 14, 2010 by Jeff Slobotski

We have some amazing news to share with the Silicon Prairie News community!

One of my all time favorite thought leaders, visionaries, authors and all-around inspirational individuals, Seth Godin (left, photo from, has chosen to highlight the work we've accomplished over the past two years at Silicon Prairie News in his most recent bestselling book, "Linchpin."

Godin's latest release of "Linchpin" is in the Vook format. A Vook is a digital book that combines video, links to the internet and text into one application that's available on the web and as a mobile application.

This opportunity would not have been possible without the hard work of one of SPN's greatest friends and fans, Don Davidson (no relation to Dusty Davidson).

I've asked Davidson to share with the readers the process which brought us to where we are today:

On May 12th I was catching up on my online reading and this post – Will you miss them if they leave? (Call for linchpins) – on Seth Godin's blog caught my attention. Big Omaha 2010 was about to begin and I thought Jeff and Dusty would be ideal candidates for what Seth had in mind. Knowing the list of submissions would probably be endless, I sent off the following email: 


Hi Rachel,

No doubt your inbox is probably busting at the seams now in response to Seth Godin's post.  There are two Linchpins that I want to bring to your attention who fit Seth's criteria: Jeff Slobotski ( and Dusty Davidson ( from Omaha, Nebraska. 

Both are the brains behind Silicon Prairie News (siliconprairienews.comand the Big Omaha conference ( Through their work these guys are overcoming the conventional wisdom that the Midwest is simply "fly-over" country. Stealing from the Big Omaha description, Jeff and Dusty have assembled a tribe of the region's best and brightest to motivate, challenge, excite and connect with one another, and in turn raise the bar on the level of work that everyone producing.

These guys just aren't leaving a dent; they are making a crater. I'm sure you are receiving many outstanding candidates but I hope you give a moment of consideration to Jeff and Dusty.

One of your authors, Gary Vaynerchuk, had this to say after speaking at last year's Big Omaha conference:  "Big Omaha is amazing! The heart and effort of the peeps that put this together = rad!" Gary knows Jeff and Dusty well. :)

Also, if selected, I would be available to appear on camera at your studio.

Don Davidson

Days went by and I had not received a response.

Then on May 20, I received this in my inbox:

Hello Don,

Thanks so much for your submission of Jeff Slobotski and Dusty Davidson as Linchpins for us to profile in Seth's upcoming Vook. I think they look great and would love to talk with you more about how we might shoot a video featuring their outstanding work. I know this is somewhat dependent on when you will be in NY to shoot the interview with us. Are you available by phone to talk today or tomorrow?

Thanks again - look forward to talking soon.


Stacy Waters

Vook, VP of Content Development

After sharing the news with Jeff, we did some brainstorming and decided that rather than simply me going to the Vook studio to shoot the video, we should create a video using the local talent we have here and incorporate some of the highlights from Big Omaha. That's when Jeff reached out to Mike Malone and his team at Malone & Company to set the stage for the creation of the final video that was submitted to Vook.

The video, which Malone & Company created, is now a permanent reminder of the amazing support and inspiration our community has shown not only us, but one another, as well. After reaching out to Mike, I worked closely with Malone's Sally Nellson Barrett in crafting the most effective way to tell our story in context with the chapter in which we're included, "Chapter 10, The Culture of Connection." The overview for Chapter 10 says: "Linchpins don't work in a vacuum. Your personality and attitude are more important than the actual work product you create."

Humbled doesn't fully describe the way we feel to be included in the work of an author such as Seth Godin. If you have an iPad, check out the latest release of "Linchpin" in the iTunes Store: If you purchase it, please take the time to leave a review, as well.

A huge amount of gratitude goes to Mike Malone and his outstanding team who continue to produce amazing work and walk alongside us in the journey as friends and supporters!

Lastly, thank you to the Silicon Prairie News and Big Omaha community for bringing us to where we are today! Without you, this wouldn't be possible, and we hope that you celebrate with us!

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Blown. Away.

Sep 14, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Congrats!! well deserved!! downloading now!! Btw, did I tell you guys that you rock? Keep up the awesome work SPN!

Sep 14, 2010 at 10:37 AM


Sep 14, 2010 at 10:44 AM

We now must Jeff in Godin's yellow glasses for the next Weekly Wrap up.

Huge props to Malone, it's a beautifully produced video

Sep 14, 2010 at 10:57 AM
Dave Andersen

Well deserved. Congrats!

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:06 AM

WOW!!! Great work all! Well deserved and what an amazingly positive representation of what you are doing for us in Nebraska and the Midwest. Keep it up!!!

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Amazing! Congrats guys!!!

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Congratulations everyone! Well deserved.

Nice work making this happen, Don.

The video looks fantastic.

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Way to go guys! We're so proud to be a part of this wonderful community!

Sep 14, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Great positive exposure for Omaha thanks again to Jeff & Dusty and exceptional work by Malone & Company! Awesome work fellas!

Sep 14, 2010 at 12:07 PM

This is so cool & so well-deserved. Congratulations to Jeff, Dusty, and Danny, and thanks for all you do.

Sep 14, 2010 at 12:50 PM

AWESOME just doesn't cover it! Congratulations to all of you :)

Sep 14, 2010 at 12:54 PM

So proud of you guys!!

Sep 14, 2010 at 02:53 PM

Freaking awesome, guys! Way to go! (tear)

Sep 14, 2010 at 03:26 PM

Killer! Congrats all around!

Sep 14, 2010 at 06:11 PM

Simply amazing! Congrats times 100!

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:37 PM

Eek, what a surprise to see my scary mug in this video! :)

It's no surprise that you guys were featured by Seth - you're doing such amazing things not only in supporting and inspiring entrepreneurs in the Midwest, but throughtout the country and the world, too. Keep up the awesome stuff. People are listening!

Sep 15, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Amazing stuff guys! Congratulations! Sorry I couldn't make it this year!

Sep 15, 2010 at 02:17 PM

To the SNP team, three cheers for your hard work, creativity and humble gracious attitude doing it!

Sep 22, 2010 at 11:57 AM

That would be SPN:)

Sep 22, 2010 at 01:48 PM

Congratulations to SPN!

Sep 23, 2010 at 12:11 PM


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