Tag Archives: technology

Alanis Updated the Lyrics to ‘Ironic’ – & It Was Amazing.

Been a minute since I’ve updated the ol’ blog here. Such is life. Without making this overdo silence a ‘thing’, let’s cut to a video all of your 90s loving hearts will more than appreciate. It’s laugh out loud before coffee good.

Enjoy.

 

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Skydiving > Tightrope Walking: A Visual, Life Centric Metaphor

Thanks to Advertising Week for publishing this puppy. Take a look at all my contributions.



It seems, all of a sudden, we live in a world of tightrope walkers, tiptoeing high above our lives. We glaze over all that is difficult, passively stroll by conflict, evade intimacy, and avoid confrontation at all costs. We live and act based on our perceptions of other people’s realities – and not on reality itself.

Did I just blow your mind a little? Let me back up.

I’m not saying that there aren’t those who have the ability to comfortably communicate thoughts and feelings. I am though, saying that people today – perhaps to the fault of modern technology and subsequently, the evolution of society as it stands- are spread more thinly across numerous channels than they once were. Certainly I mean in social media and text land, but more importantly, I mean in person. If you’re forced to maintain relationships via text, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, over the phone, AND in person, certainly the nature of those relationships will change by the medium. I accept that. The difference though, is that arguably, the only real one… is the one that takes place at the end of the day – in person. If we’re so accustomed to communicating digitally, where you have the time and bandwidth to strategically craft who you are and how you want to wish to be perceived… what happens when you’re face to face with someone and have to go deeper?

The simple answer, so far as generalizations are concerned, is that people don’t.

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People aren’t straight with each other- and we’re all guilty of it. They read too far into text drag times, unreturned phone calls, flakey bailouts, and eye contact aversions to create their own version of reality… one that is simply a product of their perception of other people’s realities, and not on reality itself. We rarely communicate things that matter or that are true with people we don’t already know well and when we do, at least for me, it’s very memorable.

Our social lives are a game – one that we play daily and aspire to win, but what does winning really look like? We plot and strategize our way through an endless list of portals to what? To…. develop meaningful relationships with other people? Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is the end goal, isn’t it?

I realize this is a lofty topic to discuss – frankly it’s one I have a hard time wrapping my mind around – but it all goes back to a point my Mom drilled into me growing up. She always said, “Honesty is the best policy”. She and I recently had another conversation about integrity and I think it’s relevant here. Integrity says everything about you. Do you do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it? Are you the same person you appear to be? Will you be there when I need you…or only when you need something from me? At its core, integrity is who you are; it’s your brand.

<insert professional marketing metaphor here>

I build brands for a living. I tell stories. I strive to breathe life into the imaginary person that sits behind a brand’s identity. If I’m not consistent across all channels, honest, transparent, responsive, push the envelope… you get the idea, the success of my brand is doomed to spiral into a whirlpool of archaic complacency, only to arrive dead as a doornail at the status quo. Harsh yes, but in the case of brand building and marketing in modern business, it’s true.

The same goes for you.

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In marketing, brands are perceived, praised and ripped to shreds based on how, where and how fast they communicate. The same is true in our lives. Your integrity… your brand, is all you have- and it’s on the chopping block every second of every day. The way you communicate should be consistent no matter the outlet. Like brand guidelines are to a brand, make sure you stay true to who you are in everything you do. How -and if- you respond to a text, the way you handle an uncomfortable situation, your punctuality… all these things play into who you are in the eyes of well – everyone. There will always be the unknown ‘y’ (#mathreference) you can’t predict. You can’t control the reality other people create based on their perception of you and what you do, but it’s important to be aware that that process is indeed happening – whether you like it or not.

What are the takeaways from this lofty social commentary, you ask? Do what brands do: Be honest. Be consistent. Be bold. Be direct. Take chances and shatter complacency. It’s easy to hide behind a barrage of communication channels and not deal directly with your life. If our ultimate goal though, as it always has been, is to live a life of integrity we can be proud of and to create deep, meaningful relationships with people through our lives… how can we not accept and push past these roadblocks to the life of awesomeness we all deserve? The greater the risk, the greater the reward, so skydive face first out of that metaphorical plane and plunge deep into your life – for your life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Cost benefit analysis says yes – and so should you.

 

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The New Rules: Part 1 of Many

The following post is from my first ever guest blogger, the one and only Evan DeMarco. See what he has to say about texting and what he sees as the tragic death of personal connections. 

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Thou Shalt Not Text

Many many years ago there was an amazing invention in the business world. It was the Skytel pager. A simple device by today’s standards- but a revolution for those of us wanting to stay in constant and CORRECT communication with co-workers, clients and prospects. The Skytel pager was the precursor to the texting revolution. By offering up a few pre-programmed commands like “In a meeting, call back soon,” or “will email that shortly,” or “be home in 30 minutes,” people across the world were able to communicate essential bits of information pertinent to day to day survival.

Fast Forward 15 years and now we are neck deep in the digital communication age, and quite frankly, it’s a shit show. Now before all you iPhone addicts go berating my observations as the defunct thinking of the some by-gone generation, let me introduce myself. My name is Evan DeMarco, I’m the CEO of a 45 year old sports nutrition company and I am 34 years old. I am a product of the Nintendo generation. I am a fan of technology and am as glued to my smart phone as most in this world will ever be. So where then does my intolerable hatred of the text message come from? Glad you asked.

Reason #1

The dating World – If one more of my single friends refers to a text message as a form of communication in getting to know a possible date, I’m going to scream.

Do any of these sound familiar?

I think he likes me- he sent me text right after we met.

He texted me about possibly hanging out next week.

He asked me to come over last night via text.

If some variation of one of these statements are something you have uttered recently, you are part of the problem. Does anyone remember the boiling frog analogy? Put a frog in a pot of boiling water and it will jump out. Put that same frog in a pot of cool water and slowly raise the temperature and the frog will sit there and boil to death. To many people are frogs in a pot slowly increasing in temperature. So many people don’t realize that they are in trouble, they think the status quo is the norm and completely acceptable. WRONG!

The essential process in getting to know someone, romantic or otherwise, cannot be done on tiny bits of information sent over data transmissions. It can only be done in the process of engaging someone in a real conversation, by asking probing questions, by actively listening to that person. It is only through this filtering process, a process which has taken a huge evolutionary step backwards in recent years, that we really get to understand people and determine whether or not they are worth spending any of our valuable time with.

Your challenge over the next week until part two of this series comes out – is to treat your phone like the Skytel pager and transition as many would be text conversations into actual conversations.

Respond to a text conversation with something like “I’m super busy right now but can I call you at 7 tonight?” You’ll find out real quick who your friends are when you take texting as a sole means of communication out of the equation. This is a good thing people. At the end of your life, are you going to look back and think, Gosh – I wish I would have had more text conversations?

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Why Blogging Matters

Tis the season for checking annual analytics and check them I did. I thought I’d take a look at the numerical proof in the pudding from December 2011 until now. What I found was pretty darn interesting if I do say so myself and as such, I thought I’d share it with you all.

Generally speaking in web analytics land, we expect the top 2 referral traffic sources to be, you guessed it, search engines and Facebook. I’d expect a third and fourth for me, to be Twitter and Pinterest, as those are really they only ways I push out content. To my surprise I found the following:

#1. Facebook with 3,829 referrals

#2. Search Engines with 3,398 referrals

#3. ChaCha.com with 587 referrals

#4. Twitter with 353 referrals

#5. Pinterest with 238 referrals

#6. LinkedIn with 20 referrals

#7. thepensblog with 19 referrals

Chacha.com, a site I’ve never heard of, posted the following picture earlier this year.

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They sited me as you can see in the top right and in doing so, referred nearly 600 visits to my site in less than 1 year.

Obviously a pretty solid drop, but still significant is thepensblog.com. Someone I don’t know posted the following in a comment thread of an unrelated post.

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Mind you, 20 isn’t a huge number but for someone I don’t know to copy and paste my url into a comment thread (when they could have just stolen & posted the image) and thereby inform 20 brand new people about my site, is pretty awesome.

Also noteworthy is the wonder that is Pinterest. I’m lucky in that I have a lot of active friends with similar senses of humor on this wildly addicting site. The list of my site’s pin referral traffic is too long to take a screen shot of – but know that Pinterest is a blogger’s dream. Want people to see your stuff? Make it good, not self promotional and relevant. Your friends – and your friends friends – and your friends friends friends will take care of the rest.

In closing, I’ll leave you with the inspiring possibilities that come with the idea of actually trying to market your stuff (because what I’ve done is the bare minimum). Imagine what would happen if you set aside 2 hours each week to create content. What if you implemented even a basic SEO strategy? Could you increase your traffic if you tweeted more, pitched your stuff to local or even national bloggers, started an email newsletter? The possibilities are endless.

Be inspired.

As originally posted on the JT Creative Blog.

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The Kobe I Used to Know: A symbiotic fusion of social media, pop music, and sports fanaticism

A symbiotic fusion of social media, pop music, and sports fanaticism for you sports freaks, parody lovers, and viral video aficionados out there.

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Klouchebag>Klout. I said it.

As posted on the baller Jacob Tyler Creative Blog

I happened upon this entertaining Tom Scott website on this fine Friday and thought I’d share it with you all. It’s called Klouchebag and it mocks Klout while measuring your ‘Asshattery’. Yes, I said ‘Asshattery’ – he sounds like he’s from London.

According to Mashable, ‘Klouchebag judges your tweets based on four criteria: Anger (“profanity and rage”), Retweets (”please RT’s, no or constant retweeting, and old-style”), Social Apps (“every useless checkin on foursquare or its horrible brethren”), and English Usage (“if you use EXCLAMATION MARKS OMG!!! or no capitals at all, this’ll be quite high”).

The 0 to 100 scale is modeled after Klout so the lower your score, the less of an ‘asshat’ or ‘douchebag’ you are.

Scott apologizes to all you high scoring tools out there by saying, “Sorry. Don’t take it personally. This is about as scientific as Klout’s own measurements — which is to say, it’s pretty much a crapshoot. You’re probably a lovely person. Although you might want to cut down on the swearing a bit.”

To give you a sense of where you might fall on the scale, take a look at the following personalities:

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Pretty funny that Scott himself is one of the two people to have a 100 Klouchebag score. Who is the other, you ask? Piers Morgan.

He also responded to me on Twitter… which makes me famous.

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Crap. I’m kind of a douche.

…but Jake is even worse… than Biebs.

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Surviving and Thriving at SXSW

By Nicole Fletcher as posted on the JT Creative Blog

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You know when people hype up places, speakers and events to lofty levels they have no hope of living up to? Yea…Southby is not like that.

Captain Les, First Mate Jonesy and I ventured into the wild blue western yonder of Austin, TX over a week ago to explore the wonder of SXSW… and oh what a wild yonder it was.

From the flurry of people hustling around the lobby, streets, bars, parties and Convention Center at ALL hours of the day and night, and the ease of networking, to the inspirational talks we both listened to and partook in and the infectious energy of the entire thing…. I’m hooked.

Long winded gushing aside, SXSW is a nerd’s dream. With Interactive, Film and Music elements of this festival, it’s an information overload to say the least. Interactive kicked off the week with talks given by tech masters including CEO of Mashable’s Pete Cashmore and CEO and Cofounder of foursquare Dennis Crowley, in addition to inspirational actors like Arrested Development’s Jeffrey Tarbor (btw, they’re making a movie) and Bruce Springsteen . We talked about the social space and its role in fashion, new innovations in apps and geo location based services (most buzzed about ones included highlight, Path, Grandstand, and Instagram- which in my mind isn’t new- to name a few)  followed by open bar parties by Google, Mashable, Fast Company, (wait for it) MYSPACE (they’re still around?) and a ton more I couldn’t begin to list. **Future blog posts will delve into the things I learned, the things I think, and the things I will now weave into my nerdy tech life after leaving the best trip of my adult life. No exaggeration there.

Staying a full week at southby requires supreme stamina, concentration, hydration, and of course, your iPhone charger surgically implanted into your hand. If you don’t have the last, you’ll be able to plug into this foxy lady (pictured below)… or any of a number of re charging stations sponsored by AT&T and Chevvy.

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Not nerdy enough for ya? There are blogging lounges, blogging chairs, and branded pedi cabs galore (best of which is Uber shoutout RG). Nerdy swag comes in droves (see below 1: ‘Chase’ lounge by Chase), QR codes run a muck, your plans are driven by foursquare and where your friends are checking in, new beta apps drive conversations, owls dance on owl shaped buses (see below 2- Hootsuite), Flash mobs break out in the middle of the street (see below 3)….the list goes on. You take a picture, run it through Instagram, Tweet, Facebook, Path, Foursquare and Highlight that sucker all while sipping a cocktail and fishing in your pocket for your business card. It’s a flurry of awesome, a nerdy net-worker’s dream.

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That’s the first of a number of posts… don’t get bored just yet. Hope you enjoyed the quick recap and I hope to make you a SX convert by 2013.

Cheers to SXSAwesome.

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