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For a time, I was doing a lot of horse trade shows for a product we were launching.. way before social media killed off the trade show industry. There was a circuit of folks that sort of "banded" together just like a lot of the social media "experts" have done (that is not a new phenomenon.. surprised? :-) ) Anyway, it was really easy to get drawn into their circle and socialize during the show, then going out to drink afterwards, etc. forgetting we were there to sell a crap load of product to clueless show-goers. At about my third show, I figured out that there were two types in this group; those who never forgot why they were there and sold like mad and those who thought the job was staffing the booth and socializing with the other vendors. I suspect the second crowd eventually became many of the social media gurus we know today.. I wanted (needed) to be part of the first group.
That is cynical, but the lesson has never been forgotten. Those who are most successful are able to easily socialize with their peer group while never forgetting why they are there, That being said, what I think you did well during this time was to build a strong platform. There are a ton of marketers who are good at their craft but don't have a platform. Tons of writers, too. You now have both; a platform AND a body of work.
Enjoy the time away, but don't be too far away. Platform and purpose are intertwined.
1 year, 4 months ago on I've Been Doing It Wrong
I don't care one wit about her assertions about age or gender. I'm most offended that the University of Iowa gave her a degree in English despite her obvious sloppy writing style, overuse of clichés and fallacious arguments. She should have spent more time with writing tutors, perhaps a copyeditor or two. I hope she soon opens her mind wide enough to realize what she doesn't know she doesn't know.
1 year, 4 months ago on Why Millennials Can't Communicate
@margieclayman I guess it all really just stems from mutual respect. Either way, we are not on a good track...
1 year, 4 months ago on Keep the camera off - an experiment
My default state with any of my friends and family in any in-person interaction is "off the record." Period. When I do stray into stories that include them, I change some of the facts, I spin a little more but mostly, I ASK PERMISSION and they are always free to say no. And no means no.
When the meeting is specifically about social media, everyone is on board with the tweeting and the photos and that is ok. There is a common understanding that it is part of the meeting.
The larger issue is we are losing the art of discretion. Not everything should be made public to people who have no skin in MY game of MY life. That does not detract away from this bullsh*t of "transparency" even as you have all these "experts" saying it does. I want to be able to meet with someone without everyone knowing it. I want to be able to eat a fattening dessert and get away with it. I want to be able to have a business meeting with someone without everyone -- including competitors -- knowing what I am doing and where I am. If someone tweets I am having lunch or interviewing them without my permission, that is the last time I meet with them. Probably a bit harsh, but that is my price. And it is not negotiable.
If we are ever defeated as a nation, it will be because we tore ourselves apart from within. That is what I believe the old Soviet Union believed, which is what they were just waiting out during the Cold War. They set us up to argue with each other rather than fight hotly with them. That is what I believe our new enemies believe. Eventually, one of them will be right.
If you have patience in abundance, you rarely need guns.
1 year, 5 months ago on Thoughts on being American
Living in cause, not in effect. David Rich over at http://www.davidjrich.com says this all the time to me.. and lives it every day... he is a very frustrating man :-)
1 year, 5 months ago on Playing with Hate
Political advertising: Candidates for parties on the right should be on the right, for the left on the left. This from the French elections... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/09/world/europe/parliamentary-elections-in-france-closely-watched-by-hollande.html
1 year, 5 months ago on Why We Overthink Sex, Money & Power
Peggy is not coming back. It is against her nature. The only people who come back are the weak ones who can't grow bigger than SCDP. That is not Peggy at all! She will still be part of the show because Mad Men is more than just about SCDP http://www.dogwalkblog.com/happily-ever-after-why-the-dogs-were-humping-in-mad-men.html
Where is the plot headed? Where real life heads, into the unknown for no other reason that to continue to ensure the survival of the advertising industry. Eventually, SCDP will fold up as its purpose will have run its course and the characters will scatter into other things... it is a moment in time, a stop on the Hobo Rail Line for Don, the end of the line for Roger and where Peggy hops on board. The plot of Mad Men is just an excuse to explore meaning in the human condition. In other words, I dunno, but it will be closer to the soul of verisimilitude than most people feel comfortable getting :-)
1 year, 5 months ago on Agency lessons I learned from Mad Men, part three
People who talk, blog and comment in absolutes may make better television, have livelier comments and blog debates, but eventually, they end up getting caught up in their own ideologies as life does not live in the ends. It lives in the middle. It lives in the grays.
1 year, 5 months ago on Chopping Off Your Own Head
I like reading your blog. You don't bloviate or try to glean traffic from the efforts of others. You have your own opinions and that is pretty dang cool. I haven't checked my traffic numbers in months.. bust thanks to you, I just did. Meh.
1 year, 6 months ago on Are you sure blog numbers matter?
@DannyBrown And some don't have a strategy or purpose but keep using it because it is free? Is that like using a coupon for free dog food even if you don't have a dog? I do know some people like that, so I know that happens. But still irritates me whenever I hear SoMe experts say it. Being free is a bonus but should not be the reason to use something. I think. I dunno.
1 year, 6 months ago on 3 Simple Ways to Be Cleverly Quiet in Social Media
It bothers me when social media people say "The best thing is it is FREE!" Shouldn't the best thing be "It works"? If something is free but doesn't solve the business problem at hand, it is actually the worst thing about it. Just a pet peeve. We need to quit saying that.
LOL I know what you mean! I don't really have a thing either, which keeps me out of the book and pundit market. Everyone is breathing a sigh of relief on that one. Since birth, everyone has been trying to push me into some doghouse or other. In grade school, they try to weed those college-bound kids out from the trade-school kids, in high school it is all about college prep, in college, it is all about a major or study, then the career.. "What do you do??" Everyone tries to force a "Joe the Plumber" title on everyone.. it makes their world understandable... unfortunately for many, it limits their own view of who they are.. which is the sad side-effect
I have long given up trying to actually find a job. What are you good at? What does your career prepare you to do? "Well, I used to sell exercise bikes to paralyzed people." Surely that has to be good for something. Meh. You'd think, but there is so little call for that skill set out there. Who knew? Since I work with computers mostly and can sling code easily, people are shocked when they find out I have an English degree. I watch that look on their face as they are recalibrating their brains, trying to figure out why a geek has an English degree. Some get it; most don't. I'm just too old to care.
So, I mostly let other people be comfortable with defining me to themselves in their own minds. It makes them more comfortable. They need me to be in a "role" and that is ok. For those who really know me, they know not to define me. They are the ones who matter.
Ok, and now for something completely different, but still the same: A friend of mine @chriscelek is starting up this business video business and he asked me to be one of his guinea pigs. It kinda forced me to think a bit more about what DogWalkBlog is, but mostly I got to shoot a lot of b-roll footage.. which in an odd way, is kinda what DWB is. Anyway, we put this video together -- without any prompting from me -- about how he saw what DWB is.. kinda cool (and short!)
Sometimes it helps to have that "outside looking in" point of view. Now, buy my book :-)
1 year, 8 months ago on I don't have a "thing"
Big data gives people a false sense that they are in control. Being able to see what people "do" on social media channels as opposed to where they linger in newspapers, magazines, direct mail gives marketers a false sense that they know SoMe has more impact. Lack of evidence of engagement is not proof of a lack of engagement. This short piece on Lululemon http://www.iccds.com/lululemon-it-cant-be-that-simple.html summarizes a recent WSJ article on them. If you watch the video, you can see and hear the arrogance of the "experts."
When people talk about new technologies killing off old ones, it is a bit stupid. All they need do is take a look around them. Old technologies exist alongside new one everywhere.. Right now, I have a paper journal, a pencil, a few DVDs, a ZIP Disk (!), post-it notes, a MacBook Air and iPhone sitting on my desk a this very moment. I use all these tools. Go out into the world and you will see modern glass and steel buildings existing perfectly fine with stone buildings on cobblestone streets. Nowhere is this more evident than in older cities in Europe where buildings that have stood for hundreds and hundreds of years co-exist perfectly with cars outfitted with GPS units.
Here is the simple litmus test for why I think anyone who predicts the future or declares this or that old technology dead: http://www.dogwalkblog.com/how-i-know-anyone-who-predicts-the-future-will-be-wrong.html
1 year, 8 months ago on Myth: Killing anything that's not social media is advisable
What if you pretend to be a dog, but you are a really honest dog? Except for that whole "I'm not really a dog" thing... so conflicted :-)
1 year, 8 months ago on Don't lie
This is not limited to businesses, but non-profits and sports clubs where many people are volunteers. We manage a lot of soccer tournaments. We've have had to -- in more than one case -- help "rescue" their domains, social media accounts and even their entire web sites from volunteers who barreled ahead and set up stuff to the GRATITUDE of the club. Then, their kid gets cut and *blammo* Policies, strategy and account control; I keep hearing that over and over in my head.
1 year, 8 months ago on Three Ways to Avoid Rogue Behaviors
Oh, don't even get me started on the volume of shadow labor people expect you to pick up! From paying bills now online (setting all that up, validating accounts, etc) to scanning and bagging my own groceries to printing off my own invoices to a myriad of other small tasks. "You can just go online and look up our.... " "NO, YOU go online, find it for me and figure it out. I'M THE DAMN CUSTOMER" I find myself screaming in my head.
The New York Times had a good article about this last year.
Worth a read. (I'd click through for you, but.... )
1 year, 9 months ago on You Can’t Automate Common Courtesy
This really isn't about baseball, is it? :-) Well-writte.
1 year, 9 months ago on Keeping Score
I feel the same way about our small bagpiper band. I'm maybe the suckiest player in the group but that makes me practice harder in the off time because no way these guys are gonna make me quit! I swear I am further along than I would ever be if I had opted to get private lessons.
1 year, 9 months ago on Influence: About the Professional Company That You Keep
Yes, yes, yes and yes. Social media offered an opportunity for a lot of people to create careers out of very thin experience. Social media creates a lot of activity very quickly which translates to an illusion of importance and reality. Those who honed their social skills in the offline world and adopted social media into their world are doing just fine. Those who thought they could skip a step are living out a lie. With people skills, there are no shortcuts. Never have been, online or off.
1 year, 9 months ago on Social Media Smart But People Stupid