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 @Juan DCAutoGeek Barnett Yes, I do believe so. People are driven by two needs regarding their identity. The need to belong, and the need to be unique within that belonging - uniqueness makes us "valuable" to the community and secures belonging. Targeted ads make people feel they're predictable, and this annoys them internally. And following everything a friend does feels wimpy and needy.

 

Pinterest, unlike most other social networks, is about discovering and displaying one's personal style (establishing uniqueness) - as opposed to personal philosophy, politics, opinions, etc. -  while sharing it with others and getting social approval (belonging). 

 

To specifically address your question on Pinterest's randomness - this plays into the above in that one can discover something "new" without knowing they were looking for it. Many people don't know what they like until they see it. An interesting phenomena of Pinterest is that people seem to learn "who" they are and what they like through this process.

 

2 years, 6 months ago on The Most Overrated Social Media Metric

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Jay, this is purely anecdotal but I've heard people saying that they love Pinterest to find new products to, yes, buy. So it may very well be that Pinterest brings more traffic AND more conversions, but I suspect this is largely dependent on the type of product being sold and how well this is done once someone lands on the site (per the usual). 

 

I would be loathe to see every type of business try to make it onto Pinterest though. Really, products for the home and body are going to have the most success there. Products that are related to marketing, consulting, etc should stick to other "informational" channels. One area of overlap would be graphic and web design. 

2 years, 6 months ago on The Most Overrated Social Media Metric

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@jenzings@ginidietrich Oh, I agree. I hate hearing how someone got fired over a major PR/SM misstep, but unfortunately it does happen. I'm certainly not wishing for it.

3 years, 2 months ago on Blogger Relations: Know Your Audience

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And you just know some poor schmuck got fired over this. I mean it's easy for everyone here to say in retrospect, "tsk, tsk, shoulda better understood them bloggers", but for all we know they really thought they did but missed one very important factor. It's not so much "understanding bloggers" as it is needing to understand human behavior in different contexts and situations.

3 years, 2 months ago on Blogger Relations: Know Your Audience

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I'm going to be radically honest here (this will be long). I went to bed last night and woke up this morning with all-consuming thoughts that something needs to change in my work. True story. I was up until 3:00 a.m. sketching mind-maps in a notebook, making lists - looking to locate what needs to change and why.

(For those who don't know, I'm a marketing consultant specializing in understanding the behavior science behind marketing.)

Ever since I can remember I've been interested in human behavior - it's the key to everything after all. We continually make the mistake of operating from how we think people SHOULD behave instead of trying to understand how they ACTUALLY behave. This is true for politics, relationships, marketing, teaching, negotiating, work relations, and so on. So it was natural I would study cognitive psychology and neuroscience in college, but when life circumstances prompted me to delay grad school I fell into a job in web marketing. From there it was a natural progression to research the fields fo behavioral economics, decision science, and neuromarketing.

Additionally, I have strong views about our culture's relationship to money and consumerism and how these tie into so many of the things that lead to various neuroses. But money is necessary and the closest business model we have to a healthy relationship between generating income and maintaining social awareness is Social Entrepreneurship or Triple Bottom Line business.

So I'm finding that I don't want to help just anybody sell widgets to as many people as possible. I just can't feel comfortable in my own skin doing that. I know that I want to use my keen insight to help people balance business and social responsibility, but I'm still figuring out what MY model will look like.

I want to love my work. I want to wake up in the morning and be jazzed about what I do. I want to make enough to be comfortable and without worry when there's a financial emergency. I want to have plenty of free time within my work and outside of work to stay creative and energized and to spend meaningful time with people I love. And I really, most of all, want to leave my world a better place than I found it EVERY DAY.

3 years, 3 months ago on Perception, Happiness, and Getting Anything You Want

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@wagnerwrites Oh excellent. Hit me up on Twitter when you write that, I'd like to see it. :)

3 years, 6 months ago on Competing for Who Is Most Stressed

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Yay you!

But this concerns me in a more broad sense, and has been for a while. There's this lure, this promise, this hope that social media is a gold-mine for anyone that does it right, but what I see is a lot of people overworking themselves to the point of overwhelming exhaustion, burn-out, or mini-breakdowns. What is the solution? I don't know.

Back to your pledge to not gossip and complain. Several years back I worked and lived at a Buddhist meditation center. (It had it's own stressors, believe it or not.) Part of the Buddhist teachings is the Eightfold Path. They are similar to commandments, but also very different. There isn't the threat of punishment should you not follow them. They are instead the key to ending the cycle of "suffering" in life. #3 is "Right Speech" and in a nutshell it means to speak the truth, to speak words that will be helpful, and to speak kindly. Wrong speech includes gossip, slander, divisiveness, lies, and idle chatter.

Sounds reasonable, but I really came to understand what this really means through a teaching on the eightfold path where it was explained that when we engage in wrong speech we not only hurt others, we also hurt ourselves in subtle but pervasive ways. To engage in gossip, for example, plants seeds of insecurity. After all, if "I" am a good person but I talk about people this way, what are they saying about me?

On another note, when I worked at the meditation center, every office meditated together for 10 minutes or so, then we "bowed" in to show our mutual respect for one another, and then had a meeting. I recently read a study about the use of meditation before business meetings and the outcomes was that those meetings went better and were more productive. Food for thought. :)

3 years, 6 months ago on Competing for Who Is Most Stressed

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Right around the time my daughter was Aminda's daughters age, she never made any such announcement, but there was the definite shift of attention from me to her peers. I became the taxi driver and the ATM machine, while the laughter and touches were reserved for her "girls".

One day I was dropping her off at the library. She got out of the car with barely a good-bye, and melded into the gaggle of girls standing on the sidewalk. I didn't realize it, but I was lingering -- longing for something, sighing to myself. Just before I drove off, she turned around, looked at me smiling and mouthed the words, "I love you".

3 years, 6 months ago on Gin and Topics: Grab the Kleenex

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@ginidietrich I think I laughed even harder than you when I suddenly got an image of different Facebook cartoon bosses. "Which Facebook boss is yours?"

3 years, 6 months ago on Facebook Does Not Mean Private

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Gosh Gini, it just seems like we can't win! Either the boss is all, "Facebook what?", or else he's clicking the "like" button with feverish wild abandon. :P

Jokes aside, and kind of off topic -- it bothers me a little that I have to watch what I say everywhere. Not that I make it a habit of "drinking and tweeting" or being offensive, but simply because the purpose of social media has been kinda hijacked. If I can't share what I like on Facebook among friends, or drop some sarcasm or a joke without worrying that that school might reject my application, or that job might throw my resume in the trash, or that client might not sign the contract....argh!

When we live in a world where everyone can be "internet famous" in their own little corner, I guess that means we get to experience what was previously reserved for royalty and Hollywood -- no privacy and constant scrutiny and judgement.

3 years, 6 months ago on Facebook Does Not Mean Private

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Gini, as you know, it's all in how things are presented. So, awesome that Bob Parsons is feeding people, but taking video footage of the kill and skinning and all? The skinning footage backed by a rock song? Mmmm, not so much. Whatever good there is in what Bob is doing is tainted by the way he presents the message. It triggers something negative for people.

Personally I make it a habit to automatically boycott any business, social personality, or celebrity that has made their way by using provocative and shocking tactics. I do this for two reasons. 1) It's not that hard to be shocking so I don't see it as a sign of skill, and 2) when we buy into these tactics through our wallets and our clicks, we perpetuate things like Charlie Sheen being "front page" news instead of important issues that require a little more thought on our part. It's a personal thing, and I don't expect everyone to do it, but it's my way of being a little more mindful in the world.

3 years, 7 months ago on Gin and Topics: The Elephant Rise In Social Media

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@rustyspeidel @ginidietrich Is it really true that they "can't be bothered"? How we frame this is important. Many of us have opinions about how people "ought" to behave, and we're not alone. Philosophers, political theorists, economists have all had their "ideal" theories about how people ought to behave. Political theories from Democracy to Socialism all base their models on how people should behave, not how they actually do based on evolutionary and brain sciences.

If you look at new theories coming out of decision science and behavioral economics it is easy to understand how the "average" citizen is duped by these tactics, and more importantly how it is not a matter of conscious choice (or ignorance).

I think the average consumer CAN be bothered if given the right information to equip themselves.

3 years, 9 months ago on Personas Created to Attack and Smear

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@ginidietrich And any woman who demonstrates potent business and leadership skills such as you is at the top of my list. :) (I'm working my way there.) The only question is, Chicago or Massachusetts?

3 years, 9 months ago on Personas Created to Attack and Smear

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@ginidietrich Have you met the Koch Bros? They have a heavy hand in astroturfing. HBGary, Hunton & Williams, and the Koch brothers all have links. Here's an in-depth article on the Koch brothers. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=1

3 years, 9 months ago on Personas Created to Attack and Smear

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Startling, and it goes without saying, terrifying.

And yet, the premonitory warnings came long before the technology. Orwell foresaw the rewriting of history, the control of our media, while Huxley intuited our demise by entertainment with his essay on "Entertainment for the Masses" and the subsequent book, "A Brave New World", and alluded to in this quote:

"There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution."

It will take an ever increasing vigilance to ensure what we are reading is real or true. A vigilance that the average American citizen has no time for.

Ok, stepping off the soapbox now. :)

3 years, 9 months ago on Personas Created to Attack and Smear

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