Linchpindex: The missing index for Seth Godin's "Linchpin"
I like making indexes. I've done several books, including Groundswell. In the language of Social Technographics, I'm a Collector. So when I noticed that Seth Godin's Linchpin, a book I admire, had no index, I saw it as an opportunity. The results are at the end of this post.
In the terms Seth uses in Linchpin, this is a gift. Partly because I took a skill I had and put the results out there to help people, not to get something. Partly because I see this as a way to express myself. I'm not trying to get work as an indexer. I am trying to highlight the value indexers create.
This is not what a professional indexer would do. I know how to do that kind of index, but I thought, what the heck, let's have fun. So I included a lot more "passing references" than a typical index would. There are also some (how timely) Easter eggs in here. For example, under "jobs and industries" I listed every single job and profession and industry that Seth references. It's an amazing list, and gives you an idea of just how Seth was trying to be inclusive here, from actor to writer with everything in between. I also tried to capture every single name. You'll find some fun threesomes: Harper, Ji, and Spike Lee; Keith, Nicely Nicely, and Stephen Johnson; Julia, Monty, and Nora Roberts.
The object of a regular index is to help you find things in the book. The object of this index is, if you have the book and especially if you have read it, to help you find stuff you may remember and want to refer to. That's why there are entries for things like fear, gifts, failure, and obedience. Check what I put under "Laws."
Part of the reason I did this was to understand how Seth writes. Unlike Groundswell or my forthcoming book, Empowered, Linchpin is not neatly divided into cases, bits of insights, and concepts. Instead, he rapidly hits and weaves together themes, like a carillon player bringing bits and pieces of sound together. It doesn't make indexing easy, but it was quite revealing.
I also caught Seth's tendencies in action. There are many, many airline and airport examples; he talks about flight attendants in three places (travel much, Seth?). McDonald's is mentioned, mostly as a punching bag, in four places (I imagine because Seth hates conformity and corporate soullessness, not because he's a vegetarian). Salespeople get seven references, because he's passionate about how to sell well and how not to.
I enjoyed this -- how often do you get to study something in this way? If you read Linchpin, please accept this index and use it to get the most out of your book. If you haven't, maybe this index will help you understand what you might enjoy. You can view it or download it below.12 book-size pages on Scribd