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Well said, Olivier.
I have been watching this unfold and the vitriol and online harassment that's taking place with regard to several people in particular and I'll admit that I really don't get it. And I don't understand how you, or anyone, has the time or the energy or the need to devote yourself to this kind of pursuit, Howie. We've known each other for a long time and I've often really enjoyed your thoughts on various issues that we're both interested in. But I'm not a fan of this witch hunt that you and several others seem to be on - and it makes me sad more than anything.
Here's the thing. I, too, am a part of the IBM influencer program. And the Dell influencer program. And several other influencer programs. As Olivier so aptly states, I have NEVER been asked to do anything but write about things that I'm interested in, and to give my thoughts and opinions on those things. I have not been coached in any way. I have not been asked to say I like something I don't like, nor would I ever. I have not been asked to say that I use products that I don't use and I have never been asked to be exclusive to these brands or any other brand when it comes to the work I do or the things I explore and write about. My opinions are very much my own.
I have a relationship with brands that is legitimate, above-board, the basis of which is predicated upon being compensated for my time spent researching, and writing content (that I would and often do write anyway) that contains my thoughts mobility, cloud, technology, data -- and similar topics that the audience of these brands might find valuable or interesting in some way.
As Olivier states, I am not asked to promote, I am not asked to spin, I am not asked to lie. I am asked to write about what I think. Period. The programs I participate in are paid influencer programs. They are not advertising. They are not spin. They are not lies. And when I write content that is intended as part of an influencer program, I disclose that and disclose that I am compensated by the brand as part of their program.
Equally as integral to this conversation is the ethical side of the equation. I can't speak for all influencers, but my credibility and the reputation I've spent thirty years building is not for sale. If I didn't like the companies who hire me or believe they make products that are worthwhile and which deliver value, I wouldn't agree to work with them. I wouldn't take them on as a client of my marketing agency and I wouldn't take them on as a customer for purposes of influencer relations.
Are there unethical people out there? Absolutely. Just as there are unethical PR pros, and unethical lawyers, and unethical doctors, and plenty of unethical marketers.
But this crusade you're on and the folks you are targeting? They are not unethical. And it's sad to see this ax you're grinding that is clearly because of some personal issue continue to drag on. It's time to move on.
3 weeks ago on You Can’t Pay For Influence
I'll admit to bias here, Howie, as Daniel is both a friend and a partner. However, the day he plagiarizes anything? Well, that's just not going to happen. That is the antithesis of who he is as a person -- in every sense of the word. I would stake my reputation on that.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Monday Roundup: Conversations
Congratulations my friend, on your next great adventure. It sounds grand!
11 months ago on Change is in the Air at Inkling Media
Great post, Daniel. I think this is really nothing new. I, too, come from an agency background, and I have no wish for the agency model to fail. But their way of thinking is outdated. They are used to huge budgets and producing creative that wins awards but their thinking has not been focused on "what do we do to help this client get more leads, which leads to more revenue." I routinely look at websites built by agencies that suck, have conversations that show me that they're not paying any attention to SEO or to the importance of content or who aren't doing any of the things those of us immersed in the digital space have been doing for years -- like having a robust corporate blog, a legitimate presence in the social space, etc.
However, thinking that all clients want to take this stuff in house is, I think, also a misstep. In my experience "in the trenches" - with clients of all sizes and across all verticals, is they know only a tiny bit of what it takes to be successful in the online space. They hire junior level people and think they've "got" social media covered. They don't understand that content marketing isn't advertising. They are barely paying attention to the reams of data that could be at their disposal and they're not connecting all the silos. Yet. And the other thing? They're not really interested in budget allocations that allow for all of that expertise to live under their branded roof. Yet.
It will happen. For the brands who can get it and who will budget and execute properly. And agencies will wise up, too. Some of them. And the others? They'll continue selling services that are incomplete and/or doomed to be ineffective to people who don't know enough not to buy them.
It's just the way of the world.
1 year, 1 month ago on Digital Agencies Have Reached An Inflection Point
Spot on, Todd. Without question we made a difference.
1 year, 3 months ago on Did blogging challenge mainstream media?
@Danny Brown @ShellyKramer Good point - my comment there needs clarification. The fact that what that jackass did was deemed "funny" by his "audience" and that he likely made it up for attention, tells me everything I need to know about him. He's a loser. And a mean, attention-seeking (I almost wrote "whoring" there, then I realized that was mean that rewrote it - see how that works?) one at that. And there is never, ever a time when it's appropriate to say to someone, online, in writing or otherwise, "eat my dick" as a way of saying, "I don't like you, here's how much I don't like you." That just stinks.
1 year, 3 months ago on Social Media Bullying Is No Joke
Bullying is wrong. Not speaking up when you see bullying is also wrong. And that's been proven time and time again by people who've watched bullying, assaults, etc., and done nothing. I totally agree that the mob mentality that we see online is wrong. But one of the biggest problems is that people rely on their "friends" to provide full information, then sometimes swoop in to "defend" their friends, on the basis of little factual information, just friendship. I've seen this happen time and time again with my group of friends - and that, to me, is akin to bullying and mob mentality as well.
I think we all need to think before we speak (or write). And I think we need to focus on treating one another like humans - humans who can sometimes do stupid things and who WILL, without question, make mistakes form time to time. The airline story? Totally made up. What did people do to or say about the idiot who did THAT (obviously seeking attention) ... probably nothing. Because it was funny.
And people on our collective line of business, they're often waiting with collectively bated breath for the next crisis so they'll have fodder for their "lessons from" blog post and/or be able to show people how smart they are because they would've done something differently, etc., or because they want to drive their own brand awareness, traffic to their websites, etc., with newsjacking headlines.
These are sad times that we live in. And sometimes it's really exhausting. Good people doing dumb things. Good people doing nothing. Good people making judgments about others based on not enough information. Good people being mean-spirited. Good people siting around looking for examples of others doing things wrong so that they can capitalize on it. Exhausting.
Hopefully, at some point, we can do better.
Well, I already loved you. This? Makes me love you more. Thanks for sharing, Lindsay. And, like you, the constant criticism, bashing and negativity is just too much. I so much more love looking for (and seeing) the good. And I'll take the top magazines - I don't mind the germs. xo
1 year, 4 months ago on Truth, Lies, and Facebook Memes
@AmyVernon I feel the same way, and have talked about that ad nauseum re Robin Thicke and all that crap. Every time I hear someone call Miley a "slut" or a "whore" ... which happens all the time, I cringe a little. And when it's a woman, I cringe even more. This whole thing is so indicative of so many much, much larger problems in society and how women are portrayed (and allow themselves to be portrayed) in the media. Sometimes it hurts my brain to think of it.
1 year, 7 months ago on What if Miley Cyrus was punking us?
I think you've got a valid point, Amy. But I'm not buying it. I think Miley is young and trying to shed the "Disney girl" image and tired of being every little girl's role model. She's got all kinds of stuff going on in a relationship that's on again and off again and perhaps a fiance's family that's not all that crazy about her. I think she's experimenting with being wild, outrageous and punk. But I don't think she's doing it to punk anyone, I think she's just a kid and experimenting with growing up. And really? I think it's fine.
@bowden2bowden Exactly! And if people don't share our opinions, there's a chance they are wrong. Because we need to be right. I totally disagree with that thinking and can usually see many sides to every argument (a character trait that my family finds most annoying). And when something bugs me - online or off - I check out and focus on something that really matters. Life is too short.
1 year, 8 months ago on Social Justice: Have the Social Networks Failed Us, Or Have We Failed Them?
@AmyMccTobin @ShellyKramer And that is nothing new. That's why those magazines that are for sale in the supermarkets - right near the checkout - are so popular. They highlight the inane and the ridiculous - and people buy it. That's why shows like Honey Boo Boo and The Real Housewives' series and Swamp Boys and crap like that are so popular. We value them enough that we give them our attention. The same is true of the things that we see on social networks. We can rail against it or we can filter it. But really? If we think we're going to change people's proclivity in being interested in cats and Hollywood films and the like over what we personally define to be "what matters," well, then I think we're setting ourselves up for disappointment. Let's instead focus on the stuff that matters and effect change there instead of trying to effect change in people who aren't interested in changing. Social nets, "real life" or otherwise.
@Danny Brown @ShellyKramer @AmyMccTobin I realize that Danny, I read the post. You didn't need to come to her defense - I was just engaging in conversation via my comment. Everyone approaches life differently. When I read an article in an online newspaper I'm often astonished at the vitriol and ignorance (and anonymity) I see in the comments. If I gave them my time, energy and attention, I would be diverting it from something that does matter, so I choose not to. That was my greater point. And again, Amy and I are great friends - we have many conversations like this - and I don't think either of our views need defending. I don't leave comments when I've not read a post in its entirety!
@bowden2bowden @AmyMccTobin @Danny Brown @T_Burrows @Tinu That's what I do, too. And it works really well!
While I like your post, Amy, I truly don't see the problem. By that, I mean that I go to dinner with friends and discuss a variety of inane topics that we all get a laugh out of, then someone brings up sex trafficking or bullying or something else and while we talk about it for awhile, it's generally considered "buzzkill" so the conversation goes back to "safe" topics. Whether in person or online, I think that's often true. That doesn't mean social media is to blame, it's that in addition to in person conversations, we now have the ability to talk on the phone, on video and via the written word through social networks. Just like in "real" life, there are crazies, intelligent beings, political nuts, religious nuts, spammy salespeople, narcissists ... well, the list goes on.
Our world is changing constantly as do our means of communicating. People, however, they don't change. And we talk about as many asinine things as we do important things, depending on what we happen to care about at that particular moment.
I think there are a ton of examples of how social media (and other communication channels) regularly work to make the world less insane, but it's easy to overlook those when we're focused on the negative. Sure, there are cat photos and Affleck lunacy and other ridicularity, but there is so much good. Think of Jennifer Stauss's campaign to honor her dying mother with her SMAC Monkeys Against Cancer and how people all over the world rallied to support her and make her dream come true. Think of what Stacy Monk is doing with Mama Lucy and her kids and how people everywhere support them. And Andrea Weckerle and her mission for Online Civility. And Geoff Livingston and his missions and the campaigns to honor Jacob Weiskopf's honor. So much good - and all because of relationships that would have likely not otherwise happened but for social media channels and networking.
I think it's safe to say there will always be silliness when it comes to conversations, no matter the medium. And idiocy and hatred and all kinds of other bad things. But there will also always be people who are passionate about what it is they are talking about and who persist in making the conversations, wherever they happen, also be focused on important things. And really? A mixture of seriousness, activism, intelligent discourse and levity is part of what makes conversation interesting. I feel like I see that, on a regular basis, everywhere I look. I also see things I don't love, but those don't seem to be worth my time or my energy to even consider.
Better to look for the good. When you go down that path, it seems as though you're more likely to find it. At least that's the way I roll.
I love beets. It's a lifelong affair, really. And their color doesn't intimidate me - it makes me laugh. Like the next morning, when I go to the bathroom. Now THAT'S fun!!
1 year, 8 months ago on Do I Dare To Eat A Beet?
Great post, Daniel. We work with small-medium sized businesses all the time and teach these very lessons. Good stuff!
1 year, 8 months ago on Simplifying Small Business Blogging
Congrats. Soon I predict all things not related to this new adventure will go by the wayside (and you'll be focusing on that one thing that you really love). No rules that say any one of us ever has to do it all. Happy for you!
1 year, 9 months ago on Funny Things or Leaving Where You Love for What You Love
Thanks for sharing this important information, Sean ... the more we can do to educate parents, the safer we can keep kids!!!
1 year, 9 months ago on Attention Parents! You Need to Look and Listen!
Great post, Ken. I absolutely loathe the "I don't like it, so it won't work" mentality and try hard to keep an open mind and let things play out, test them, see what I think. Thank you for writing about it. PS Are you using a plugin that pulls related articles or do you curate those? I'd like to know what it is - I like it :)))
1 year, 10 months ago on Platform Killers, Game Changers, and Fatal Errors: Our Sad Rush to Judgement
JawBone is supposed to be awesome. I'd give that a try, Mick.
1 year, 11 months ago on Flex Frustrations
Congrats, Buddy. If anyone can help Sears, it's you.
1 year, 11 months ago on I’ve Accepted a New Job with Sears
Well said, Amy. Well said.
1 year, 12 months ago on Social Judge, Jury and Executioner: The Lynch Mob in Action
I hate writing on mobile devices, Ken. I don't write directly in Wordpress, as I find it cumbersome. I typically write in Word, including all hyperlinking, then upload into Wordpress. Then I fool around with styling and the like, inside WP. I'm a super fast typist and a keyboard composer and, today anyway, I don't enjoy typing on devices. I even have two separate keyboards for my iPads and I don't find they let me type as fast as I can while at my laptop, so for now, speed and convenience win. An interesting discussion, though and, as always, time will tell.
1 year, 12 months ago on The Mobile Blogging Experience
Great post, Margie. And as someone who has dealt with this issue personally, I'll mention that there are things you can do about it if you want to. Treatment, adoption, foster parenting, being a Big Brother or a Big Sister -- there are many children out there who need loving and you don't have to try hard to find them.
2 years, 1 month ago on A Letter To Those Of You Struggling With Infertility
What a great post! Aliza is a long time friend and while I know much of her story, it's lovely to see it shared here, Liz. She's the real deal.
2 years, 2 months ago on Reinventing Women: Paint with a broader brush stroke...meet Aliza Sherman
Congratulations one and all! So excited for this new adventure.
2 years, 2 months ago on Welcome to ArCompany
Love this Jayme, and this kind of thing happens all the time. Your tips are spot on -- and the fact that you got this kind of service makes me shake my head. Empowering the front lines to deliver great customer service is, more than ever, a crucial component of business success. Imagine how embarrassed you would be as a business owner to read this review of a dining experience at your restaurant? Actually, that's a rhetorical question--I know exactly how you would feel! Great post!
2 years, 3 months ago on Social Customer Service, Ruby Tuesday And Five Tips
I never really used LI answers, but for me it's really more about where I spend my time - and that was never on my radar screen because I didn't have the bandwidth. And for a long time I always felt like it was people trolling there looking for things to do, answer, etc., because they were looking for work, clients, etc. Which is fine, but I don't have time to do that, nor do I need to do it for business development purposes (and I very much know how blessed I am that that's the case). And I loved Quora, but again, it's someplace that I don't have time to spend my time, so its a community I never really engaged with, followed, etc., even though I have many friends (including you) who do.
So now, I'm taking a step back and seeing YOUR thoughts and the responses here and realize it probably IS a great tool and a great resource (and a trusted one, I suppose), so it makes sense. I'd love to know that the rationale on the part of LI is for killing this off. And really? I think more people go to, use and rely on LI daily than they do Quora or other Q/A forums, so I'm just not sure what the upside is for LinkedIn to kill it off. And as Judy mentioned below, what a HUGE, searchable, valuable database that must be. Hmmmm. Great post, Amy. Thanks for making me rethink this.
2 years, 3 months ago on LinkedIn Missteps: Killing LinkedIn Answers
@Frank_Strong You're still missing my point, Frank. I'm not suggesting, ever, that there's no leadership and that all departments run off and do their own thing on social. That would be idiotic.
2 years, 3 months ago on If Everyone Owns Social Media…
Actually Frank, Chris Penn's answer and mine are the same. Many people across an organization need social intelligence to help them do what they do better. And my post pretty clearly spelled that out. When we look at these issues through the glasses and tunnel vision imposed by virtue of our own area of specialty, it's easy to get sidetracked. Absolutely the PR team delivers great value and is well suited in many instances to part of what social and social intelligence delivers. So is your marketing team. And so is your customer service team and your sales team. That's the point of my entire post - the people who need to use social and social intelligence for their particular roles and responsibilities within an organization are the ones who should "own" social, with regard to their need. But to suggest that PR, across the organization, is and should be responsible for all data and intelligence that comes from social and application thereof throughout the business is, in my opinion, wrong.
Love this post Erica .... and it's something we tell our clients and prospects all the time -- it's not about US, it's about THEM. What they want, need, desire, what their pain points are, what they wake up in the morning worrying about, what they're looking for as they get into their car to go shopping -- it's ALL about the customer. Great job here :))) (oh, and the brain crush part ... made my day!)
2 years, 3 months ago on Psst...the Customer Owns Social Media
How did I miss this post???? And of course I completely agree!
2 years, 3 months ago on It’s time to put an end to siloed views of social media.
@Danny Brown @samfiorella Last I heard that wench Anne Weiskopf was involved too. In an unsavory manner. Not, of course, that I'd mention it to anyone.
2 years, 3 months ago on I Declare Open Season On Social Media Experts: Closed.
@samfiorella I give you crap and you're so nice to me I can barely stand it. Where o where is the Sam I know??? (and thank you for your kind words - I feel the same way about you, m'dear).
@Danny Brown LOL ... I cringed when I saw my name mentioned as a "social media expert" then I read the rest of your post. Thanks for the kind words. And you know I'm a huge believer in talking less about how great you are and how much of an expert you are and more about just doing the work and producing great results. But then, that's no different than the many conversations we have about this. On another front, whatever are you doing calling Sam "wise"???? Seriously.
Congratulations, woman. Let the adventure continue. xoxo
2 years, 4 months ago on When Life Happens
@douglaserice LOL ... agree!!!
2 years, 5 months ago on Things You Can Be On Halloween Besides Naked
2 years, 6 months ago on Times, They Are A-Changin’
Great stuff, Justin. Far too many people focused their sights on social media without realizing that it's just a tool - and one of many for integrated marketing (or corporate comms) success. Great post here to get people headed in the right direction :))
2 years, 7 months ago on From specialist to strategist
Funny, I never thought of myself as a feminist until lately. Then I realized that if not me, who? I'm with you - not targeting women or doing it in a condescending way is just not smart marketing.
2 years, 7 months ago on Women Rule the Social Web and Your Sales
Damn straight I'm joining Team Brilliant. Thanks for sharing Patti and John with me.
2 years, 7 months ago on Wednesday Bubble: Team Brilliant
Great reminders, Ken. That's the number one thing we find missing and/or in need of attention with the small to mid-sized businesses with whom we work. And as you know, the website? Hub of all your business operations. Great post!
2 years, 7 months ago on It’s Website Tune-up Time
It's exhausting. I eat a healthy diet and exercise like a fool and still my midsection is ridiculous. It wears a gal down, I'll tell ya.
2 years, 7 months ago on Battle of the midlife bulge: diet+gender=
Margie, I love your heart. And like you, I tire of so many lists that are, essentially meaningless but to the person who created them. This? Filled with so many wonderful people that I'm blessed to call "friend" .... is truly an homage to them - not linkbait. And the fact that you were kind enough to include me is an honor beyond measure.
Thank you, my friend, for being smart, kind, ridiculous and sassy -- and for always spending your time lifting others up -- just as you do, once again, here. You are a gift.
2 years, 8 months ago on 100 People Who Don’t Get Enough Credit Online
I'm like you (in so many, highly frightening ways) and also think it's cool. And I like deals. Marketers, regardless of what your personal feelings are, should be paying attention.
2 years, 8 months ago on Facebook’s Facedeals McCreepy or Super Cool?
I think a lot of these things are annoying. But really - if people hate the Facebook experience, they can always quit using it. Sure, the mail changes, the pulling of images for advertising (mostly because people don't know or care about knowing more about privacy settings - so they can control this), Timeline (which ROCKS), editing posts (which is also a good thing, imo), and Seen By (is this really so bad? not if I'm a group admin, it's not, and not if the group has a purpose, which then allows me to know what content is resonating and what isn't).
Seriously, the complaining gets tiresome. And you know I love you. But really? If people hate Facebook so much, I think they should make themselves - and everyone else happy - by not using it. It really is that simple.
And no, Facebook doesn't care about what you (or I) think. They are in pursuit of their own ends - and what business isn't? Does your bank ask you what you want before they make changes? No. Does the grocery store ask you when they remodel and rearrange things, making it harder for you to know where things are to buy them? No. Does the highway department ask your opinion about detours and rerouting when maintaining roads? No. And if you don't like any of that you (1) change banks (2) shop somewhere else (3) take a different route or move to a different city. It really is that easy.
And if you don't like change, participating on ANY social network is going to be a problem.
2 years, 8 months ago on Exposing the naughty bits: 10 new Facebook features nobody was asking for
I love this post, Ken. And you are spot on! Business as usual isn't enough. And the businesses - large and small - who realize this sooner rather than later will, most definitely, reap the benefits of so doing.
2 years, 8 months ago on Business as Usual Won’t Cut it
I just said this :) Agree.
2 years, 9 months ago on Marissa Mayer: Why Are We Still Having this Conversation?
"Embrace the day, don't race the day." Very sage advice, Miss Margie. Very sage indeed. Thanks for sharing your story. And oh, btw, as a runner who used to run 25 miles minimum a week (and who has two rebuilt knees probably as a result), you don't need to run a marathon to prove anything to anyone. Especially to yourself. Just being fit - which is what you've accomplished by your training, is plenty. You and I can sit and cheer the marathon runners on :))
2 years, 9 months ago on Slow Down, You Move Too Fast