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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.
2 years, 2 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.
2 years, 2 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...
2 years, 2 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.
2 years, 2 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 :-)
2 years, 3 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
2 years, 3 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 :-)
2 years, 3 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.
2 years, 3 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.
2 years, 3 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.
2 years, 3 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 :-)
2 years, 5 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
2 years, 6 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 :-)
2 years, 6 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.
2 years, 6 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.... )
2 years, 6 months ago on You Can’t Automate Common Courtesy
This really isn't about baseball, is it? :-) Well-writte.
2 years, 7 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.
2 years, 7 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.
2 years, 7 months ago on Social Media Smart But People Stupid
@margieclayman Highly qualified or just plain drunk and called the number to see if anyone would actually answer :-) But you're right, to draw that kind of conclusion from the limited activity seems like overreach to prove a conclusion they already drew rather than letting the data tell the story.
2 years, 7 months ago on Irresponsible Advice
It's kinda funny that in the wild, most people think that you should be grateful when they send a lot of traffic to your website regardless of whether or not the traffic converts. If the traffic does not convert, it is an expense and is a negative ROI.
Asking people to dial a phone number on a SuperBowl Sunday from a 30 second commercial is like offering free ice cream to all elephants who visit your shop on Tuesday. Stupid, silly and designed to fail. Whatever agency that advised this company that that was a serious measurement should be fired.
I'd like to put in for a diamond-studded collar from Zales.. Now that Valentine's Day is over, that commercial won't be running again until Christmas (Sweetest Day? October? Does the insanity ever end?)
2 years, 7 months ago on The Blogger Hugs Back
I would gladly send any Indianapolis blogger who was not chosen to be part of the Super 46 a sheet of DogWalkBlog stickers for free as a consolation prize. There are five different sizes. If you stick the large one on your belly, take a picture and send it to me, I will post it up on my blog where it will be seen by 18 real live human beings. But, the biggest benefit of all is you will feel extra special, especially when you go out walking your dog and proudly show off your sticker-encrusted belly.
2 years, 8 months ago on Klout, the Super Bowl, and Our Addiction to Shooting the Messenger
I just sent you a DM with my comments about this post :-)
Ok, not really but I have gotten DM comments on posts I've published, mostly from people who want to comment but don't necessarily want to be bullied back because of their comment. I've sent a few DMs because I wanted to comment on a post but I just didn't want to invite trolls onto a post, especially if it was a sensitive subject. (I think I even sent you one once) I use DMs when I discover a typo or grammar mistake as a shoulder tap and whisper to the author. I've DMed specific people who have influenced or inspired a particular post (again, you have been on that list!) Mostly DMs for are a really lazy way to send email.
But I'm almost always oblivious on gender though. It does not surprise me that women send DMs to bully other women. And that is something I probably should have just DMed you on :-)
2 years, 8 months ago on #WomenWednesday Incoming! The Direct Message
@margieclayman Ah, so subtle a distinction, but so massive the meaning. I had forgotten I had written a post on just this distinction way back. I hope you find it as relevant http://www.dogwalkblog.com/celebrate-your-win-not-your-opponents-loss-2.html
2 years, 8 months ago on Sorry, but I’m not taking sides
Two cultural shifts contribute to this in my opinion. I am not a Sociologist nor qualified in any way to make any claims except I am a dog and I watch things carefully.
1) Soccer Trophy Mentality: Everyone is getting praised, everyone is a winner, never say no. What this style of parenting has produced is not the intended "self-esteem" but an entire generation (some would argue two) that simply does not know how to deal with frustration and the lack of attention. These folks are now having kids and they have no idea that it is their turn to step back and gradually let the next generation take the lead. They don't know how. They are still being told (or hearing it in their head) that they are the star, they are the backbone of the team, they are, they are...
2) The Omarosafication of America So named for reality tv notable Omarosa Manigault. She was the first really to go over the top for the sake of drama which invited everyone else to go over the top for a greater share of tv time. We're even now seeing this in the GOP primary race where the craziest and stupidest candidate gets the bulk of the tv time. This is absolute insanity that we are choosing the leader of the United States of America by the Omarosa Scale! You see this behavior every day in real life too. Simple interactions get all blown up by people threatening to sue even before 911 is called or simple confrontations over who is next in line in a grocery store. Up and in your face seems to be the only acceptable reaction to anything nowadays.
It is sad.. very, very, very sad. And I want none of it, online or offline. Life is short enough.
You forgot the best line, "As you wish!" which is what most "experts" eventually say to clients. It is like pushing a blind man in front of a bus. http://www.dogwalkblog.com/pushing-a-blind-man-in-front-of-a-bus.html Aw, crap.. did I just do #5 on your blog?
2 years, 8 months ago on Some Social Media Observations Via Princess Bride
@NicoleFende@margieclayman Hubby or hubs is fine.. it shows a cuddly layer of endearment that most men secretly like but would never admit in public :-) Conversely, though, wifey or the wife is NEVER wise to say.. ever... except to tell men to never say it.
I don't think we are being oversensitive. I think we are just all trying to find a common level of respect for each other while also trying to find the right words to describe what we mean specifically. Language is such a slippery thing and always has that huge bag of culture attached to it. Who knows, in 50 years, hubs might be the most offensive thing you can call anyone. But for now, it makes us kinda gooey inside.
2 years, 8 months ago on #WomenWednesday Who Loves Children More Than Women?
I have all sorts of opinions on this, but just two I want to share. I see a lot of women refer to their stay-at-home partner as a "manny" or muse on social media channels that they want a manny, i.e., male nanny. It find the term incredibly offensive and derogatory. The other issue that chaps my bottom is the use of DH (Darling Husband) in social media channels. I understand characters are at a premium (140 or fewer) but DH is a back-handed, passive aggressive term. Even if you don't mean it to be, it is. Sometimes it is women who are perpetuating the stereotype of a "unmotivated" man more than any other group.
2 years, 9 months ago on #WomenWednesday Who Loves Children More Than Women?
Margie, Wow! Two posts of mine that made the list? You know I'm just barking recklessly out in the back yard, right? Thank you. I don't know how you keep track of all of this and still write as much quality yourself as you do. I can barely remember what I had for breakfast -- and I'm writing this at 8:20 am! When the world all goes to crap, we need to save the librarians, copy editors, artists and writers or we will never make sense out of how to rebuild.
You always leave me a bit flustered when you put me on one of your lists. Not only do I think I don't deserve to be there, but it humbles me even more when I realize someone else is reading my thoughts and think they are good enough to share. It reminds me of that no matter where we are, we are all sleeping underneath the same big sky, wishing on the same bright star.
A very warm (and somewhat teary right now) happy holidays to you Margie.
2 years, 9 months ago on Margie Clayman’s 100 Favorite Blog Posts of 2011
Part of the responsible thing to do is make arrangements for your online space as well as all your in real life stuff. I have written my last blog post (and revise it from time to time to stay current) and all my passwords and accounts are on file with my last will, banking records, life insurance policies and safe deposit box keys. Things will get triggered by this last "qualifying event." Folks will know when I am gone.
2 years, 9 months ago on The Ghosts of the Online World
I know a lot of people who comment on posts simply to get interaction from the "cool kids" of which Chris Brogan is one. The rare times I comment on Chris' blog (or yours for that matter :-) ) is he/you write something that bubbles something in my brain that maybe others (or he/you) might want to think more about. It's a nice feeling when it gets a reaction, but entirely unnecessary for me, though it does reinforce to my agent that she has not backed a losing dog :-)
What worries me more is when others kinda glom onto me and mistake an interaction for a relationship, a kindness for something more than exists in the social media space. I worry about helping those I have never met in real life becasue I can't "see" or "feel" the vibe of the interaction. I can't imagine how people like Chris Brogan deal with "fans" who think they have a personal relationship with him. Maybe he doesn't do it well? I dunno. My solution is to back off, get scarce.. a fear of social media intimacy :-) (though once I meet someone IRL, it becomes different...) @susangiurleo is probably a better expert than me on something like this...
2 years, 10 months ago on Beware. Social Media Is A Drug.
I love The NeverEnding Story. My favorite character is Falkor, the LuckDragon. Maybe there is a post in your brain about him? :-)
I think we have been conditioned to react that way, though I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people in my redneck of the woods who look into the mirror and say "You look fabulous!" before heading out to the local Kroger when they really should say, "Man, my butt looks way too fat to be wearing these jeggings in public." But more power to them! They go into the world with all the self-esteem God and a lying eye gave them! Sometimes, you just need that.
Your new avatar on the twitter looks FABULOUS, but your words on the page here look even more fabulous. Keep looking into your mirror. THe bits of soul you reveal always makes me think.
2 years, 10 months ago on The Mirror Is Not Your Enemy
@gidgey@dogwalkblog :-) a leash works both ways...
2 years, 11 months ago on The Lost Art Of Cheering Someone Up
Sometimes other people just want you to listen. With good friends, I've gotten into the habit of asking if they want me to listen, solve or coach them. 90% of the time, they just need to talk through stuff in a safe place. They need someone to listen.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield has got to be on that list as well.
2 years, 11 months ago on 12 Most Game-Changing Books for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
I refer to this as the Omarosa-fication of our culture. Being assertive now means getting in someone's face, grabbing every advantage whether you need it or not. You see this behavior all the time on the freeway. That guy did not need to cut in front of you or not move over when you needed to merge -- but he did becuase he could. To back down or let you in would have shown weakness.
You wrote a blog post way back and now this one that caused me to remember this. http://www.dogwalkblog.com/what-do-you-want-from-me.html
Kindness does not make you stupid. Other people taking advantage of your kindness makes them stupid. Where is Omarosa today? Who takes her calls?
2 years, 11 months ago on Being Kind Doesn’t Make Me Stupid
Who cares if Klout scores are inaccurate and unfair? Who cares if FICO scores are inaccurate and unfair. Oh, wait; potential employers, banks, car dealers, insurance companies... Klout -- like FICO -- WILL be applied blindly as authoritative in ways they were never intended. We should care about Klout Scores simply because they are being applied to measure what they were not intended to measure... or were they....
3 years ago on Why Critics of Klout Are Missing the Big Picture
@JayDolan Or one dog too dumb to know otherwise :-)
3 years ago on White House Creates Crowdsourcing Site
I think that by making the threshold 5,000 signatures, you basically tell that one puppy barking out into his back yard that his idea ain't worth a damn unless he gets a bunch of others to bark with him. So much for telling our kids that one voice can change the world. I hear stuff like this and think "that's a nice way to tell us only the majority matters." Meh.
Yes, #1 is really #1. Every blog post should have an abstract written in 160 characters or fewer summarizing what the post is about. This is so critically important but often ignored by writers who are mostly trained that if you can't say anything in fewer than 1,500 words, the thought is not complete. I blame college freshmen composition TAs for this :-)
#13 if I may: Not having your @twitter handle right next to the content you want curated or passed along. I am big into attribution and if I can't find your @twitter handle easily, I am less -- far, far less -- likely to retweet, curate or pass along.
3 years, 1 month ago on 12 Most Probable Reasons I’m Not Curating Your Posts
The first point kills the blog nicely. The other nine are just emptying the magazine out of rage :-)
3 years, 1 month ago on How to Kill Your Blog in 10 Easy Steps
I meant ! not ? Damn Ajax commenting crap :-)
3 years, 2 months ago on Does the Great Gatsby Live on Empire Avenue?
Sweet? the ROI of a liberal arts education is the ability to make a metaphor on The Great Gatsby to social media experts. Love it!
This isn't just a PR-industry thing; it is a cultural thing. About 8 years ago, I was sitting in a diner in Philly having lunch with my crew that was manning the booth at a show (soccer, furthest thing from PR, SoMe) and one very educated, very smart woman in the crew said, "But we're at war!!" at a remark I made about Iraq. "No, WE are not at war," I said. "The ARMY and their families are at war." And with few exception, this country is simply not at war. We are unaffected in our day-to-day lives about what is going on "over there."
This FB/Google/PR/Whatever stuff has the same effect on people. They are not affected at all because they have very little ownership stake in any of this. If Google, Facebook and/or Twitter went away tomorrow, sure there would be anger and ranting and the media would be all up in it, but after a week, nobody would care. It would be a collective shrug and we'd be off doing whatever. The tech people would hang onto it the longest, just like the media and Beltway is hanging onto the wars longer than the American people out here in the homeland.
The majority of the general public is just simply "not at war" like the minority of tech/PR/media people are.
3 years, 4 months ago on Who cares? Not the public
I wouldn't tweet or blog my health (who needs that emotional crap), but I do have my final blog post written (I edit it from time to time) and my final tweet in case I die before Twitter does and becomes something else. Also Facebook updates and that's pretty much about it. I think at least that is the responsible thing to do. Why trust a relative who may have secretly hated you in charge of your obit? At least lawyers can be trusted to execute a last will and testament :-)http://www.dogwalkblog.com/someday-i-will-be-dead.html
3 years, 12 months ago on Tweeting from the hospital: yes or no?