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Here's the thing- beyond the rest of it- who would ever ever EVER want to book a place that even 'jokingly' threatened to fine for bad reviews? That clearly says to me: they get a LOT of customer complaints, and are really blatantly admitting that. It says a lot about a business that they have so many unhappy customers, it has become a running joke. 

1 week, 6 days ago on Crisis Communications 101: What You Can Learn from Union Street Guest House

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@belllindsay That's so funny. I, of course, love catching rain on my tongue, but I'm a water baby. I realized just now that this also touches on another of my...pain points? Sure. You took the time to write to them, personally, explaining your situation. They gave you a standard, auto-reply. Now, I NEVER use auto-reply for this exact reason- somehow, they have valued your time and attention as being worth LESS than that of theirs- to whit, you give of YOUR time (which is worth $$$), and they do not return in kind with an equal investment of THEIRS. Regardless of the outcome, they should have shown that they respect that your time has value and given you the personal response required, even if it did not change the outcome. So often, marketers and my own ilk, the sales person, place more value on their own investment in terms of money and time, and completely disregard the investment of the customer. The greatest gifts your customer can give you is their time and attention. To demonstrate that you do not value this is to demonstrate that you do not care for your customer at all. There is this phenomenal CMR article on Customer Rage- it is EXACTLY what happened here. They ignore you, talk down or not reply, and each step escalates your own upset. 

2 weeks ago on Brick Walls and Bad Social Media: Lessons from Jawbone

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Great post Ell Bee. You dry your face in the shower? Amazing! I've seen this happen with other companies, too. They seem to grow and forget what got them there in the first place. Really, the first step in any interaction with an upset customer should be...ok- first should be listen. But the second should be empathize! Even a simple "wow yes, that must be frustrating!" goes a long way. 

2 weeks ago on Brick Walls and Bad Social Media: Lessons from Jawbone

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@Eleanor Pierce What also really disturbs is that the very people who probably needed to have positive interactions, people who were depressed or struggling- may have both had their statuses (stati?) withheld for 'negative content' and therefore received no positive encouragement from their online peers, without considering that Face also may have flooded their feeds with more negativity. Also- wanted to thank you for seeking an academic opinion. Brings a solid perspective. 

1 month ago on Facebook Experiment: Why Mess With Our Emotions?

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@LauraPetrolino And indeed- addiction. It does go well beyond habit, I believe. 

1 month ago on Facebook Experiment: Why Mess With Our Emotions?

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Well thought out and researched. You've touched on some really key points that disturbed me the most about this. And yes- I want to know why the academics agreed to tactics they must have known were shady, to say the least. There is another aspect to consider, too- how Facebook and other social media operate on the same variable-ratio reinforcement schedule as slot machines and therefore breed addiction. So this experiment would have forced some people to go 'cold turkey' and other to get extra hits of notifications. Stepping away, therefore, only becomes harder... 

1 month ago on Facebook Experiment: Why Mess With Our Emotions?

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Bob! So great to see you here! IQ84 has been on my bedside table for years now...this is encouragement to deal with it. Thanks. And thank you for your honest answers here. 

1 month, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Bob LeDrew

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@Eleanor Pierce @RebeccaTodd @Howie Goldfarb No, I was replying to your comment above, and Howie's reply. Specifically, to support this line: "And view all homemakers the same and all worker providers equally regardless of sex." 

1 month, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@RobBiesenbach We must know- was that the girl you married? 

1 month, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@belllindsay Hah Lindsay, anyone who disagrees that money and support don't make life easier probably have a lot of money and support. 

1 month, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@Eleanor Pierce @Howie Goldfarb This is one of those "two wrongs" situations to me. Yes, there have been many historical inequalities. Are we making any steps to solving that by denying men their feelings on this? Pretending that this is not an issue for men is reinforcing the division between the sexes, when to me, we should be more inclusive in our conversations and realize- these aren't men/women issues- they are human issues. This doesn't mean I can't also believe in equal pay or the fact you poor Yanks don't get parental leave. 

1 month, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@Howie Goldfarb EXACTLY, Howie. I really have never understood why this is always a discussion about women. Is it because we expect, and conversely accept, that men make these trade offs? I find this upsetting on two fronts- are we still so fixated on men as breadwinners and women as baby factories? I also believe that the damage this must do to men must be astronomical. Imagine people not even acknowledging that you've made a choice not to 'have it all', let alone that that choice may be challenging and upsetting for you. 

1 month, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@ClayMorgan YES Clay. I often find this conversation confusing. By the traditional definition, then men rarely 'have it all' either. Is it because we all accept that men make decisions and trade off between personal life and career? Because I believe, especially for men like you, committed businessmen and family men, making these decisions must be just as challenging for a woman in similar circumstances. 

1 month, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@biggreenpen @jenzings @TaraFriedlundGeissinger Oh thanks for the tip on that book! Yes...my yoga practice saves me, even though I don't practice as regularly. I can practice on the road or even at my desk. Just having an increased awareness of my own body has done wonders. Please let us know if you do try, Tara! 

1 month, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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@annelizhannan Excellent point. Checking in with your personal goals and definitions of success is very wise. 

1 month, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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Once again you've dealt with this skillfully. We all make choices - take responsibility for your own. And the consequences of those actions. And most of all, let's stop imposing our own priorities on everyone else. Thanks G! 

1 month, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means

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Excellent story! I have deep respect when people take responsibility for their actions. And yes- the biggest response I ever got to an email campaign included an error, which most people were very kind to point out and offer help with. And- it was one of my busiest days ever and got something like a 75% reply rate- enough that I have contemplated placing 'errors' into future invitations.

1 month, 1 week ago on Crisis Communications: What Happens When You Swear at Your Customers

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Wait until you hear how Canadians say "PESO"... 

1 month, 1 week ago on PR Metrics: What to Measure in the PESO Model

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Well-written post raising lots of valuable points. I am mildly curious about these new apps, but I also believe that many of the registered users on big sites already do this. There is a whole, seedy underside of the Twitterverse where people have assumed identities and characters (A side note- why I often question the validity of "registered user" counts on many sites). The point you raise is apt- is this true privacy or "privacy theatre"?

1 month, 1 week ago on Anonymous Social Networks: Do You Whisper?

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Lovely post, Erin! I usually call it "Aloneness vs loneliness" - I really enjoy your use of "solitude". 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Loneliness is not Solitude

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@ginidietrich @Howie Goldfarb We've discussed this before, too, G. In teaching, we call this "design back planning" or "begin with the end in mind". And we also focus not on our goals, but what we want the students to do. Incredibly powerful way to plan and keep a focus on goals/strategy and not tactics while keeping firmly rooted in the customer. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Generate Leads and Drive Sales with These Tips

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Excellent post Laura! I would love to know if the blog post you experimented with for the customer- with the tips for trade shows and the schedule- helped encouraged customers to make the jump. I've been considering similar issues lately, so this is very timely. And to answer your question, we don't. We have a LI biz page, but that's it- we don't have any social at all. I love my in-person visits and the relationships they foster, but am seeking a meaningful way to keep that alive with a two-tiered customer base, one of which doesn't 'use social', the other of which does not make the purchasing decision, yet pays... This is getting saved for future use.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on How to Integrate Online and Offline Communities

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@biggreenpen Yes- I agree. There is a danger of breeding what I think of as 'false intimacy' over social. Consistency is key! 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on How to Integrate Online and Offline Communities

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Lovely post. I agree with so much you've said here, but I shall focus in on one point that is really very relevant: "If your retail team is measured by sales volume, you can’t also hope they’ll focus on customer satisfaction." There's GOLD in them there words! 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on How to Develop a Consumer-Focused Culture

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Fantastic post. I really like how you mapped PR and marketing on to the sales funnel. Definitely saving this post for future reference. 

2 months ago on Find the ROI of PR By Measuring the Value of Audience

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@CindyKing @RebeccaTodd That's a great way to contextualize it. It wasn't that I wanted to 'lose myself' in work, but that work was the one place where I continued to understand 'the rules' when the rest of life started to get kinda shifty...if that makes any sense at all. I like your concept of 'clear space'. I get that. 

2 months ago on How to Keep Working When Life Throws You a Major Curve Ball

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Incredible post. Thank you very much for sharing! I believe your process and tips can be used for overcoming anything life could throw at you. This part here "I focused on two things: Getting healthy again and working." really resonated for me. That's how I got through my divorce. Excellent advice, and I am so glad to hear you are doing well! 

2 months ago on How to Keep Working When Life Throws You a Major Curve Ball

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Great post! I had sales training that had a four point plan that spelled HELP. I can't remember all of them...but Hear was first (as you've mentioned!), then we went to Empathize. I believe it takes a lot for your customer to be honest with you. And I also believe they are offering you a wonderful service- they are giving you, free, the benefit of their experience and providing you with chances to learn and grow. FREE! So for me, after I Hear the initial issue, I Empathize- "Wow that must have been really frustrating, I am sorry to hear that!" tends to work in almost any scenario. I do not move to solution providing until we spend a moment or two on empathy. Darn but I wish I could recall L and P... perhaps another Swiss Chalet alum will recall...


I also appreciate your "objection to opportunity" approach. I can only imagine the customer loyalty you inspire! 

2 months, 1 week ago on Three Ways to Succeed With Second Chance Customer Service

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@LauraPetrolino @RebeccaTodd Yeah, you have to get into the rhythm of McCarthy. Leonard...the first I read was Pagan Babies. I think you'd love that. But Out Of Sight may be my top pick- you get to meet Mr Jack Foley. Nod to Killshot for being in Toronto. And I dig his westerns, too. The man could really write dialogue. Oh! And Maximum Bob was all about Florida. Basically- whatever the used bookstore has! 

2 months, 1 week ago on Summer Reading: Five Novels and One Business Book

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@Eleanor Pierce @LauraPetrolino Yeah, I tried Choke and couldn't do it. 

2 months, 1 week ago on Summer Reading: Five Novels and One Business Book

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@LauraPetrolino Oh yes Ocean was lovely! And I love Clancy- Without Remorse- amazing. No Country is a challenge- have you read other McCarthy's? I read The Road in one terrifying sitting. He's such a talent. You may also enjoy Elmore Leonard, Laura- your style I bet. 

2 months, 1 week ago on Summer Reading: Five Novels and One Business Book

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@Eleanor Pierce Oh great! I have not read that one! Thank you. 

2 months, 1 week ago on Summer Reading: Five Novels and One Business Book

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Awesome thank you! I'd not heard of any of those fiction books. I thought you usually only read book about murder in the summer... 


I've been reading different forms of fantasy novels since last fall...so probably not of great interest to you (related- do enough searches for fan art maps of Joe Abercrombie novels and google changes your ad profile to 'male'...). 


  I did read a memoir (not my usual, but stick with me...) from a British journalist who attempts to go into publishing in China...yeah I know- I couldn't believe someone had already written it! It's called China Cuckoo, and it is funny and touching and really, really well written. You don't have to have vested interest in the industry to enjoy it. I believe you would enjoy it for the quality of the writing and the way he provides really thoughtful insight into Chinese culture. 


  I often try for some sort of 'classic' in the summer...if you never read Margaret Atwood's Edible Woman, I believe you would connect with it. I feel I am ready for a re-read. It is SO well crafted...watch the tricksy narration perspective.


  Another Canadian must-read is Ondaatje's In The Skin of a Lion. Don't hold the fact he wrote English Patient against him!  His prose veritably drips off the page... top paragraph of page 17 is one of my favourite sentences of.all.time.


  I've not read a business book since Spin Sucks because I haven't needed to. x

2 months, 1 week ago on Summer Reading: Five Novels and One Business Book

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Oh Bob, only you could work my favourite Swift piece into something so funny and smart. Well played, good sir! 

2 months, 2 weeks ago on A Modest Proposal for Email Marketers

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The return of Tight Pants!

2 months, 4 weeks ago on Gin and Topics: A Memorial Day White Pants Phenomenon

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@amandalgant @jasonkonopinski @ginidietrich  The book is so great- goes well beyond the site. Made me cry a few times. 

3 months, 2 weeks ago on A Reading Assignment: Five Articles You Should Read this Week

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It’s ingrained in us from birth. It’s not something we’re taught. It’s instinctual.

To me, this para is a bit of a contradiction. I agree that it's ingrained in us from birth, but that is exactly because we are taught it. Our brains have evolved so far and we now know so much about neuroplasticity and neurogenesis that we know that our brains are not "hard wired" any particular way. We can grow and change and physiologically rewire the brain with conscious thought and practice. To write it off to "instinct" seem to suggest it is fixed and can not be altered, which is simply not true. You and Jeannie prove this, as do other wild and wonderful women we know. It truly does not have to be this way.

3 months, 3 weeks ago on Women Can’t Be Awesome: What’s Really the Root of the Problem

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I guess we’ll see!

Yes Joe- I could see myself using the annotation feature for my own notes, as I use the notes in Kindle or iBooks, but I do not see it contributing to an overall conversation with people outside of my own head. I also cannot seem to tag people to alert them I've mentioned them?

4 months ago on Livefyre Sidenotes: Super Cool New Feature

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Either scroll back to the top and write a sidenote about your thoughts on blog comments remaining open or being closed or come back down here and write a love note to someone in the community.

Aww and back atcha! But see...I wouldn't have found this unless you told me it was there. (PS in Chi soon! I would love to see you!)

4 months ago on Livefyre Sidenotes: Super Cool New Feature

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Sidenotes works in the same way…except now those notes live on the blog post and other readers can see – and respond to – them.

Also, I've received no alerts all day, which does not encourage discussion. To me, it is encouraging people to comment before digesting the piece as a whole. And the icons distract me. Overall- not a fan.

4 months ago on Livefyre Sidenotes: Super Cool New Feature

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Try it out by clicking the thought bubble you’ll see at the end of every paragraph.

Do they automatically appear with every hard return?

4 months ago on Livefyre Sidenotes: Super Cool New Feature

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They think readers are more comfortable responding to an individual sentence or paragraph than to an entire page.

Yeah- I hope that the sidenotes don't replace the end notes.

4 months ago on Livefyre Sidenotes: Super Cool New Feature

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@bobledrew @hessiejones Very eloquent, Bob.


I am also cursed with the ability to see intent- as you seem to, I usually detect the pain and sadness behind such dupes. I mean how sad and unconfident must you be to place such little value on the true you? 


Ultimately, I've learned to cut people out. As Bob says, I do not commit my energy or time to feeling angry towards them, just try to eliminate them from my mind. 


I really like what you've said here Bob- just because some people do fall short, I refuse to adopt the "guilty until proven innocent" mentality, even if it means I may get "burned" again. 

4 months, 1 week ago on Online Integrity: Are You Who You Say You Are?

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@bobledrew @RebeccaTodd  Please add your perspective, too! I see too much of this self-blaming. I don't think we should ever have to apologise for being optimistic.

4 months, 1 week ago on Online Integrity: Are You Who You Say You Are?

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Thanks for sharing Hessie! I will only dispute the notion that in any way this is a "shame on you" situation- I do not believe you've shown any negative traits here. It is never a bad thing to believe that the world, and people, are inherently good. Sure sometimes people end up not being who we thought they were, but this is a "shame on them" situation. I get frustrated as well at the duality between the online world and the real, but then I meet people like you, and I realize that the online world is also full of kind hearted and exciting people. 

4 months, 1 week ago on Online Integrity: Are You Who You Say You Are?

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Lovely! Thank you so much for revealing more about the elusive Ell Bee. 

4 months, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Lindsay Bell

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@mitchjoel @ginidietrich  Pants are for quitters. 

4 months, 2 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Mitch Joel

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Thanks for this both of you! I actually first followed Mitch, then through him found my way to Gini and Spin Sucks. So thank you for that, Mitch! 

4 months, 2 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Mitch Joel

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Well done! Me being me, I have a certain...distaste for conventional reviews. Love how you made this about a real issue and managed to demonstrate the value of the book. Well done DB! And as an aside...anyone who tells me they have a book coming out, and tweets using "u" as a word...ugh. 

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Why Your Brand Looks Foolish When You Don’t Walk the Talk

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