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"Where there's nothing, you can do anything."

2 weeks ago on Gin and Topics: Shimmy P Goes Job Hunting

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No Lufthansa dog?  I want to cancel my subscription and get a refund for the unshipped issues.

3 weeks ago on Gin and Topics: Haunted Houses and Poked Hearts

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My web cam setup is the bottom part of a plunger stuck to my glass desk, and some PVC piping screwed into it that rises up about 26" to just above my 24" widescreen monitor.  There, my Logitech camera is jammed into a pvc 3/4" tee.  It allows me to easily move it up and down, side to side -- and, if I want, pick it up and go anywhere.  It's a good 8" above my eye level so at least 2-3 of my chins are hidden.  Lighting comes from two windows in my office, one large floor lamp with a white shade that bounces light off the white walls and ceiling, and two clamp lights used on rainy days or at night.

(Yes, I used to take pictures for a living.)  (Yes, I am compulsive about images.)

Next week, I'll tell you about my exotic boom mike setup made from the bottom of a swing-arm lamp from Goodwill.

3 weeks, 4 days ago on DIY Video: How You Look Matters

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Been having a bad case of "why do I bother" for quite a while now.  I needed this.  Thanks.

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Why Dreams Aren’t Bullshit (a “welcome back” post from Erika)

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One of the steps I had to make as an instructor was to realize that it was ok if I didn't know all the answers.  Most of us start out thinking the goal is to be able to answer every student question, describe every button or function, and be the "one who knows everything".  I used to love reading evaluations where my students would say "Dick sure knows a lot."  Part of success as a teacher is the journey to understanding that it doesn't really matter how much I know, but how much the student can leave my class able to DO.


Some teachers/trainers never make that step.  But if you do, it's almost magically freeing.  I'm now perfectly comfortable saying "I don't know".  Usually, that's followed by "How should we find out?" or "Where do you think that answer might be?"  But when you teach at a really effective level, it's not at all uncommon to NOT be the smartest person in the room.


And it's like that in life.  If you're only willing to be with people who aren't as good looking, or who can't sing as well, or can't run as fast -- well -- you're going to be pretty lonely.

2 months ago on The Part Where I Was Naked in Front of 11 People (and it was okay)

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@ginidietrich @DickCarlson Oh, yeah.  I glue my fingers to a keyboard every night, and get about 10,000 words produced by morning.  Poppa Hemingway did something very similar with a whore and a Sharpie...

2 months, 3 weeks ago on The Magic of User-Generated Content

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Gini -- I think you need to do a "Stupid/Wealthy" matrix for men.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Gin and Topics: Babies Singing and Puppies Snuggling

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As I have aged, I, too, have developed a "hearing impairment".  And over the years I've tried a variety of hearing appliances (they should come in huge cardboard boxes) and don't really like them.  Because when I put one in, I suddenly hear all that noise and commotion that I don't have to normally put up with.

I will admit that my wife views this in a somewhat different light.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Amber Turner

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I tried the "writing things down on paper while sleeping" thing with the same result.  So I put my little digital voice recorder on the nightstand.  Had a great idea, recorded the whole thing, and it was just "blah blah blah" and made absolutely no sense at all.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on The Magic of User-Generated Content

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That's a really nice video of the dog playing catch.  Where'd you get it from, again?

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Gin and Topics: Kid Calls 911 for Help with Homework

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@ginidietrich @belllindsay As soon as I got my copy of "Spin Sucks" from Amazon, I signed it.  I read that signed copies are MUCH more valuable.  And -- who the hell really knows what Gini's signature really looks like, anyway?


3 months ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: C.C. Chapman

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The irony of this is that I know you're learning improv.  I've spent a lot of years learning (and teaching) improv, and it's all about saying "yes".  That's one of the hardest things for beginners to learn.  When someone tells you that they are a monster from the planet zoid, and asks if you want a ride in their ship, you say "yes".  If someone comes up and says they've just killed everyone on the ship and need your help to steer, you say "yes".  And if somebody says they're lost and can't find their mommy, you say "yes".  Once you can always say "yes", you're well on your way to being able to embrace improve.  This turd will be very happy on the West Coast.  Trust me, I lived there for 25 years.  He'll be in his element.

3 months, 3 weeks ago on How to Accept a Gift or How to Not Be a Jerk When Someone Gives You One

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You've nailed it.  We're all a work in progress -- and improvement looks a lot like failure.  "GAME OVER" is just an indication that you've added one new information point and you can now move forward.  As I design education, this is a critical shift -- very difficult for "traditional" educators to understand, very easy for younger learners to embrace. http://www.techherding.com/general/im-busy-failing-dont-bother-me/

4 months, 3 weeks ago on How to Be Good Enough OR Why I Suck at Making Cornbread

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Amazing to find out you're friends with all of these people who's books I've read and liked, and who's keynotes have resonated so much.

5 months, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Jay Baer

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Y'all may be missing the major part of the story, here.  Vic Gundotra is a major brain. (Used to be Scoble's mentor back at MSFT.)  Very, very savvy guy about communities and customers and content.  The fact that he pulled the ripcord (and didn't choose to move elsewhere in the company) speaks volumes.

And I've got to say -- as a mere user -- G+ has got to be the buggiest, least reliable product in it's class.  I cringe when someone tells me they want to use it for a meeting.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Google+ is Not Dead. Long Live Google+!

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As someone who has THE LARGEST EGO IN THE WORLD(tm) I can sympathize with your problem.  (Well, I like to think of it as a "problortunity", as I actually heard one idiot once describe something once.)  Those of us who are chronically insecure would form a support club, but we're afraid we'd be rejected for membership.

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

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Fellow INFP here.  I'm beyond shy.  I usually stay in that cocktail party shredding a napkin for 20 minutes, then pretend to see someone out in the hall.  But I've made my career presenting, teaching, and showing OTHER people how to take control of a class of people from the front of the room.  I'm known as a clown, a big-mouth, and a performer who's always got a quick comeback and a snappy line of patter.


After I escape the cocktail party you'll find me either having coffee with one or two really good friends, or  snuggled in my room eating room-service and watching tv while reading a book and surfing.


Shy.

7 months, 2 weeks ago on One Thing You Don’t Know About Me

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@LauraPetrolinoIn my world -- learning development -- it's the offshore developers who need this book.  I'm deluged with very nice people from India who email me, friend me on FB, try to connect with me on LinkedIn, and keep stalking me constantly looking for "partnerships".  (I'm a one-man consulting shop.  The chances that I'd hire you are right up there with finding Vishnu pulling Slurpees down the street in a 7-11.)  But no matter what I tell them, they keep on pitching.


8 months, 3 weeks ago on Media Relations: Why The Economist Thinks We Have it Wrong

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@Erika Napoletano I could already hear them talking about me to the next guy.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on The Bitch Slap: The Myth of the “Grown-Ass Man” and Other Dating Fallacies

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Um, yeah.  I spent seven years as a middle-aged-bachelor listening to first dates regale me with stories of what creeps their ex-husbands, boyfriends, and dates were.  On our first coffee-meetup.  Every once in a while I'd ask, sotto voice, "Who picked them?"  But they were usually going on so loud they didn't hear me.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on The Bitch Slap: The Myth of the “Grown-Ass Man” and Other Dating Fallacies

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I want to be next Friday's "Pretend Hire"!  And I want to be "Director Of The President's Cowboy Boot Collection".


I work for Tequila.

10 months, 3 weeks ago on #FollowFriday: Our New Paid Media Manager

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Whenever I hear this discussion, I think to myself "how much more meaningful could Hemingway and Hunter Thompson have been if they'd ONLY had emoticons?"  Then, I chuckle -- in that way that I have, like a ripe berry just plucked from a thorny bush shaded by a dilapidated shed that desperately needs paint -- and sigh softly though my flaring nostrils.

11 months ago on Learning Styles: What Emoticons Can Teach Us

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@ginidietrichThere certainly may be "learning preferences".  But if I told you that I had the winning lottery numbers available in a video -- even though that's not your "learning style" -- I bet you'd be able to learn them and claim the prize.  That's the important thing to remember.  People will consume information in a variety of form factors throughout the day -- visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and coated with chocolate. Our job as content developers is to make information available in multiple forms for easy consumption.

11 months ago on Learning Styles: What Emoticons Can Teach Us

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Sadly, the idea of Learning Styles (as was taught to me and many others in our Ed Schools) turns out to be a myth.  There's no evidence to back it up.  http://thinkneuroscience.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/the-myth-of-learning-styles/

11 months ago on Learning Styles: What Emoticons Can Teach Us

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@ginidietrichWell, it depends on what the meaning of "better" is.  We'd get pitched by the Agency's "A-Team" and they were great.  But the folks who actually did the work were much further down the totem pole.  They rarely understood what we were doing, our market, or even how to do their own job.  So it wasn't "better" for us -- we ended up going through round after round of revisions.

But -- as others have said in these comments -- when the functions are brought in-house, staffing is rarely increased to a level to cover all the work that needs to be done.  So that's not "better", either.

Best model I've seen is creating a "fake" internal agency, so at least you get the commissions and can use them to hire people to do the work.  Shhhhhhhhh.


11 months ago on PR Agencies: What the Visa Shakeup Could Mean for the Industry

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I count myself as very lucky that I no longer work "for" somebody.  When I was part of a 70,000 employee organization, the pressure not to say anything wrong was intense.  And with millions of people watching our company, it's pretty much assured at least a few of them would be offended by almost anything you said.

Now, I pretty much just say what I think.  I'm well aware that probably 50% of the world is offended by what I share and say.  And I click the "unfriend" and "block" buttons pretty often.  I just don't have the energy in my life any more to deal with the name callers and people who can't speak in a civil manner to those they disagree with.

As an added benefit, I no longer see a Psychiatrist every week or have to take pills to control excess stomach acid.

11 months ago on Three Common Social Media Fears and How to Overcome Them

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This sort of stuff happens in the content development world as well.  Microsoft used to go through cycles of developing in-house and then paying external vendors (ad agencies, PR folk) for those services.  And it often DID amazingly seem to sync with a new SVP arriving on site.

You can make good arguments for both models.  As an external, I really LOVE to work with a client just coming off having to do everything themselves.  They're much more appreciative, considerate, and understanding. <g>

11 months ago on PR Agencies: What the Visa Shakeup Could Mean for the Industry

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I, Dick Carlson, really like your post.  It makes a big difference to me, Dick Carlson, that you understand how important SEO is to people like me, Dick Carlson.  So many people (not like me, Dick Carlson) just don't get that.  If it wasn't for people like you, people like Dick Carlson (that's me!) just wouldn't get the kind of links to their pages that they deserve.

1 year, 1 month ago on On-Page SEO Tips for PR Pros

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I've always said that the clients I get AFTER they've had the "low-price special" experience are much easier to work with than the ones that come to me first.  There's a reason that I'm not a Cheap Charlie -- it's not my first rodeo, and I build in enough money to my pricing to make sure that I'll be able to service your account, not just GET your account.


When I used to hire vendors at MSFT, I'd often take a low bidder aside after the awards and tell them that there was no way they could possibly have done the job for that much money, and that savvy managers just weren't going to take them seriously.  They thought I was nuts.


1 year, 2 months ago on Business Lessons Learned: Remember to Watch Your Step

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So -- I guess this means you're not to speak at my "Aging Redheads And The Men Who Adore Them" Symposium this fall?

1 year, 4 months ago on Making Space

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@belllindsay I think you made a very important statement when you said "*ALL*" your online time was work time.  Because the majority of what I do isn't something my clients can watch, it's important they understand that they're paying for me "knowing where to hit the pipe". (Obscure story about a brain surgeon hiring a plumber.)

I've also learned to discuss with clients whether or not they want access to me on a scheduled, office hours basis or a "whenever" basis.  When they hear the price for "whenever" it's amazing how many are willing to wait for our next scheduled meeting.


1 year, 4 months ago on The Client Service Issue in a Virtual Workplace

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I'm finding, more and more often, that the best people available are just not interested in any kind of gig that involves coming to an office.  When I get a project bigger than I can handle on my own, I just start adding friends out of my contact list from around the world.  Through Skype, GoToMeeting, G+ and email we're probably more connected than if we were in a single building.  And there's a lovely digital paper trail of every thought and discussion.

Don't tell me about Gen Next.  I'm old enough to be their GrandPa.

1 year, 4 months ago on The PR Firm of the Future

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You should probably realize that 2/3 of Mr. Carrey's followers are fake, if you're going to be using those kinds of stats with your clients.  http://fakers.statuspeople.com/Fakers/Scores

1 year, 6 months ago on The Three Things, Edition 27

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There is no amount of writing you could do that would convince me that "success" for anyone is having to look at Mark Zuckerberg every morning.  None.

1 year, 6 months ago on Get Out: Why I’m Exhausted With Sandberg’s “Lean In”

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10.  Write to ONE person.  Don't write a blog post like you're making a speech to an audience.  Write as though you're speaking to a single person sitting in front of you.  Then read it back, out loud.  If you sound like a pompous ass, well -- you are.  As Elmore Leonard so famously said, "Try to leave out the parts that people tend to skip."

11.  Real people use sentence fragments.  Contractions.  And start sentences with "and".  Many of them have never seen the AP Style Book.

12.  If you're worried that you've included something that's too personal, you're finally getting the hang of blogging.

1 year, 6 months ago on Nine Tips to Write a Great Blog Post

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When I was younger, I used to try to "help" potential clients who weren't ready to hire me.  I'd teach them how to write goals, I'd educate them on how to purchase services, I'd spend time with them to show them the pitfalls of taking shortcuts and going with the lowest bidder.


And then, most of the time, they'd leave me for someone who operated like a real business when they were ready to pay money.

1 year, 6 months ago on Seven Reasons You’re Not Ready to Hire a PR Firm

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 @KevinVandever  @ginidietrich So glad to hear there's a firm, hairy hand gripping the tiller.

1 year, 6 months ago on Website Content Every Organization Needs

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 @ginidietrich I had no idea.  But my friend Jamie had a similar experience.  http://www.copyblogger.com/james-chartrand-underpants/

1 year, 6 months ago on Website Content Every Organization Needs

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"11. Who the hell is 'Arment'?"

1 year, 6 months ago on Website Content Every Organization Needs

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The most important WP advice I can give anyone is to find a very, very competent WP guru and make them your friend.  When you start out as a "muggle" you make little bitty mistakes that are easily corrected.  As you get more confident (I found), you start making much bigger mistakes that are far more difficult to correct.  Sort of like working on your own car.  It's hard to get in too much trouble changing your own oil, but once you start plugging in new performance chips, watch out!

1 year, 7 months ago on WordPress Wizardry for Muggles

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Call me a curmudgeon (to do so, you'll need to get in a very long line), but the only reason that Livestrong's balloon rose so high was their association with a hugely awful person.  And as many have said before me, he gave off very noticeable vibes of "ish" to those of us who never even met him. So I feel that it's quite appropriate that their balloon sinks back to ground level when the truth comes out.  This will provide a cautionary tale to other groups who hitch their wagon (or mix their metaphor) to a sports figure, a celebrity, or a politician -- it might be a good idea to take a very long, sober look at your hero and see what his feet are made of.  (Triple Metaphor Score -- 92 points.)

1 year, 7 months ago on LIVESTRONG Lessons: Recovering from a Crisis

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"And acting on emotion, no matter how smart you are, always gets you in trouble. Always."  If I were ever to get a tattoo, this would be it.  Or possibly just carved into the granite on my tombstone. <br>  I do have to admit that pretty much anything written by a NYT reporter falls into the "questionable" column for me.  But he could have done a much better job by just letting his Telsa Tribe take on the guy.

 

 

1 year, 7 months ago on The Risk of Earned Media without a Communications Professional

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I'm at a point in my career that if I have to "sell" you on working with me, I don't want you as a client.  Because, in all likelihood, you're not ripe.  You're not really ready for what it is that I can do for you, and I'm going to be spending a lot of time arguing with you about choices, options, next steps and how the journey will work.I wish I knew who I stole this metaphor from, but it exactly describes where I am right now.I'm on an airplane.  The pilot has informed me that the engines are out, and we're going down.  There's no hope of restart, and it will be a horrible crash.  But we have good news -- there are parachutes enough for everyone on board, and he wants me to make sure everyone gets out.I go back to the cabin.  There are two groups of passengers.  One group is standing in line, quietly waiting to be handed a parachute.  The understand the value of parachutes, WANT a parachute, and are willing to listen to me tell them how to use it.The other group is hotly discussing parachutes.  They want me to convince them that parachutes are the best idea. One has a nephew that makes hang gliders, and he told his uncle that parachutes are not safe.  Another is concerned that the parachute might muss up her dress.  A third wants me to test the parachute with some sand bags first and give her the results.I DECIDE TO SPEND MY TIME WITH THE GROUP READY AND WILLING TO PUT ON THEIR PARACHUTES.If there's any time left before the crash, I'll talk to the others.  At 500 feet, I'm jumping.

1 year, 7 months ago on To Sell is Human: A Communicator’s View on New Business

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 @ginidietrich I'm told Eva had a huge fear of blenders.

1 year, 7 months ago on Content Idea Generator: A Magical Tool to Help You Write

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Simple solution to ending up with similar posts.  Just add "...in bed." at the end.  Or "..like Hitler." 

 

"How Public Relations is Better Than Sex In Bed With Hitler."

1 year, 7 months ago on Content Idea Generator: A Magical Tool to Help You Write

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 @ginidietrich Sorry, I don't do interviews. I have people for that.  But you can take photographs of my nipples if you'd like.

1 year, 7 months ago on Gin and Topics: The Obamas Take to Video

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I would suggest that you give ALL your clients a shot before their big interviews.

1 year, 7 months ago on Gin and Topics: The Obamas Take to Video

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I've read Matt Cutts' stuff for years.  But if I was a big dog at Google, and wanted to obscure how our algorithm worked, I'd print the FUD in Matt's blog.

1 year, 7 months ago on Do News Releases Have SEO Value When Distributed Via a Wire?

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I eagerly clicked "show photos" in my email, and was QUITE disappointed that all I got was a picture of Einstein.

1 year, 7 months ago on Redhead Down! Or…Revisiting Einstein

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100% of people have heard news through the traditional media that has turned out to be false.  Since "Dewey Defeats Truman" we've had many examples, exposed and hidden, of the MSM not getting the facts right.  So it's a straw man that Social Media is the source that can't be relied upon.

 

In fact, you can pretty much rely upon the traditional media to have hidden biases -- where Social Media folks wear them proudly.  The HuffPo is obviously a liberal rag, and the Drudge Report conservative.  So when you use them as information sources you can easily filter what they say.  But the New York Times persists in the fantasy that they're "neutral" and unbiased, as does CBS.

 

It would be nice if infographics, even this one, told the complete truth. Especially if aimed at children.

2 years, 2 months ago on Social Media vs. Traditional News [Infographic]

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