Monthly Archives: July 2009

Why Big Business Will NEVER Get Social Media

Excursion TrainWhy don’t they just throw up their hands and give up? Honestly, if the Horizon Realty fiasco (Can a tweet cost you $50k? Maybe, if you get sued like this woman: (via @ColonelTribune)) is any indication, big business will never get social media. They’re still working on the old assumption that a market is profitable only when it’s controllable, but social media is something quite different. It is open source technology in action where people are the code that connects and creates a new reality, no matter what input or large infrastructure is already in place.

It’s Kind Of Funny To Watch…

I admit it, I was immensely amused by Horizon Realty’s online debacle. Who wasn’t? A big company sues a little Twitterer with at most 20 followers for an off-the-cuff remark about some moldy apartments.  What’s in the suit? A claim for $50,000 dollars in damages for one tweet with an exposure of 20 people on an inactive account, no less.  Regardless of whether the defendant “started it” as Horizon Realty suggest by wanting to sue over the issue first, the point is that social media is about the dissemination of information, whether accurate or not.  You can’t target one Twitterer in the hopes of controlling information on the Internet, it has a tendency to highlight these offensive attempts as “censorship” and they get widespread attention by way of “The Streisand Effect.”  What would have led to 20 people being told now has become a case of instant Twitter stardom with Horizon Realty placing number four on trending topics on July 28, 2009. Unfortunately, what they got with that stardom is permanent association with the company’s spokesman’s quote: “We’re a sue first, ask questions later type of organization.”

I’d Be Running Scared Too, Right About Now…

Big business is trying very hard to control places like Facebook, Twitter, and any type of social media that is taking the profit out of their pockets. The newspaper and magazine industry is collapsing because of the ease of information access via the Internet. Iran is having trouble squelching rebellions because of one pic tweeted across the globe of a girl named Neda. The establishment has lost control of the framework by which it tells us what it wants us to believe and how it shapes public opinion. What’s next? Are we going to demand that industry create jobs, products, and services that actually create value in society, instead of exploit it? What will happen to the profits then?

That’s Okay, They Have A Solution

And, that solution is to join up with what they can’t control, and infiltrate the new “system” so that at some point they have a handle on it. That’s why people who were previously canned for saying nasty things about their companies online are now being courted as social media gurus with an audience that can be harnessed for good publicity, not just bad. Now, they actually want people who are on Twitter and Facebook and the larger the audience, the better, even if on the surface it appears very hypocritical. They want to know how many Twitter followers you have on your resume because that’s just the type of person they want to hire, right? Once you’re on their payroll, they have control of that voice and they have a bigger share of that market to create profit, and not losses. They’re going to control the Internet, not by controlling the technology (which they clearly can’t do), but by controlling the voices that access the technology. That’s the thinking, anyways, and it’s completely misguided. They still don’t get it and they aren’t meant to get it. Social media isn’t for big business, as it stands now. It’s for the individual, and they should just get out of the way and let us do our thing before they get run over. In order for big business to truly get it, they have to revamp their companies from the bottom rung to the topmost CEO, and that’s just not going to happen by grabbing a few Twitterers or Facebook stars on their side and putting them on the payroll. Every voice is just as powerful, whether it has 1000 followers or 20 followers, as the Horizon Realty example clearly shows. That’s the concept they clearly don’t get, and that they aren’t going to get any time soon.

Dear Arnold…

Dear Gov. Arnold,Saint Arnold's Brewery

I have a business proposition for you. You see, it’s come to my attention that California is 24 billion dollars in debt and suffering badly. I have debt on my ledger too, and I know how painful it is to be short of money, especially for needed services. It also came to my attention that you are planning on handing out IOUs to your suppliers and vendors, students, and some needy individuals and social service programs.  I feel really bad, you know, because I was born in California and I want to help you guys out.  At any rate, I think it’s a brilliant plan and you are on the right track, especially as banks in the state are on board to take those IOUs as payment, like real dollars from what I hear. I just think you haven’t taken this idea far enough. That’s why this business proposition occurred to me. We can help each other. You see you’ve solved the problem that’s been plaguing me since this recession started. I can’t pay off my debts in full and now some of my debt, in credit cards, is at 30% even though I wasn’t late when they hiked the rates. But, that’s neither here nor there. The point is, we both have a golden opportunity now to get America back on track.

Here is what I propose:

Instead of cutting back on purchases, you go whole hog on buying up everyone’s debt around the country that has exorbitant interest rates tacked onto it that in any other day and age would be called “malicious usury.” I mean, really, what’s a few more billions when you’re already 24 billion in the hole, right? That’s right, anyone and everyone who has a predatory lender on their tail – you promise to buy their debt. In exchange, for that service, we will pay you instead of the bank at the maximum rate that you have set for your IOUS: 5%. Then, you turn around and buy out the debt contract from the bank using IOUs, transferring their monthly income to your balance sheet, with no appreciable cost to implement. It’s a win-win-win. You get instant income of millions (maybe even billions) of dollars EVERY MONTH for many months – from outside the state, all over the United States, in fact! You’ll be inundated with grateful debtors and might even be canonized as Saint Arnold by the Catholic Church (okay, maybe not!).  We get a simple interest rate that allows us to pay back our debts while still making a living wage. The banks get their money in IOUs and balance their ledgers, and there are no extra expenses on your balance sheet until October! America is saved!

Please let me know if this is a reasonable proposition and at what time we can go ahead and get this show on the road!



America’s Do Nothing Culture

DurbanIt’s amazing to me to come across so many people in today’s society that think that just showing up is sufficient for me to fork over my hard-earned money to them. Whether it’s someone I hire to do something for me, or a customer service representative, a salesperson, or even a family member. While I appreciate the company, you know, I am not the only person with a brain and two working hands. When I say I want “support” it’s not your emotional shoulder I want, it’s your work ethic. That appears to be sorely lacking in this country where the “do nothing and get paid for it” ethos wins the day.

I Always Thought It Was Because I’m A Single Mother

I used to think it was because I was a single mother, and we tend to work harder, longer, and have to pick up after every one else. While we may get tons of sympathy, no one feels obligated to do any baby-sitting, send over a casserole, invite me for dinner, or even mow my lawn for free.  I noticed that while everyone else had spouses (which they bitterly complained about) who did their lawn, changed their oil, and fixed their appliances, that I had to pay for those services, sometimes quite a lot and got very little in terms of actual quality work from these people. They want my money, all right, but they don’t necessarily think they need to deliver a quality service, or any service at all sometimes to receive payment. At any rate, I can now say it’s not because I am a single mother that predatory promisers of good service abound. I think now it has more to do with the do nothing work culture of America. I can expect it whether I am single or not.

Classic Examples

  • A Do Nothing Sales Person – I went into a health food store and requested a brand name allergy herbal remedy. I had money in my hand, but they only had the larger bottle and not the original bottle that cost what I wanted to spend. When I complained that I didn’t want that many pills and that I only had so much money, the sales person abruptly left me on the spot, saying “Fine!” to tend to some other person. I ended up going to another store, buying a different brand for the right price, and I haven’t returned since to that other store. Why? Do nothing sales people who can’t even turn a sale when a customer walks in with money in their hand knowing exactly what they want, that’s why. What would it have cost her to actually listen to my needs and recommend a different brand? Instead, I get the “I’m too busy to help you, and I must go elsewhere where I can go get paid to do nothing” ethos.
  • A Domain Registrar – I tried this weekend to get a domain registered with They said they accepted PayPal payments, but didn’t specify how.  Something happened right away upon my sales request, and the password was different than I had set up, so I couldn’t get into support to find out how to make a payment. Did they notice the payment wasn’t made? Oh, yes – IMMEDIATELY.  The do nothing and get paid culture always notices when a payment doesn’t show up that they believe they’re due for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING yet.  They finally send me instructions on how to make payment and the payment goes through. There I am sitting and waiting for the domain to propagate and after seven days, I figure something is wrong. It’s still not showing up in my browser. I contact them again and they tell me they never registered it. Sure, they admit to taking my money, but they never registered it. Why? Maybe because that’s the standard way to make money in America. Sit on your fat *SS and do nothing! When I requested a refund for the period of time that they essentially did nothing and had promised delivery, I was told it was my fault because I didn’t notify them I had paid them and their system didn’t tell them they were paid. Holy Cow! I am now responsible for making sure people who take my money know they have it or I won’t get any service.  I canceled my account on the spot. I don’t do business with do nothing companies or do nothing customer sales people. I requested a FULL refund instead of a partial one. No work – NO PAY. How many times do I have to say that before someone understands me? Meanwhile, I’m getting the full sympathetic shoulder from a do nothing customer service rep as if that’s what I’m paying for. I’m paying to register a domain, not for some retarded double-speak and excuses. If the domain isn’t registered and they have my money, I want a refund for the work they promised that they failed to do. What’s so hard to understand?
  • An Expensive Employee – I have a friend who had 13 employees who were very well paid, very highly educated too. One of these employees said he had “12 years experience” and could do all manner of things. At any rate, he was sent out on a simple job for a client and when he reported back, he told this friend that he thought they could “do nothing” for this client. He was fired on the spot. It turned out to be a simple 15 minute fix, but the owner reasoned that the man was either lazy, didn’t want to be bothered, or simply didn’t have the knowledge he claimed to have to fix the problem. Either way, he wasn’t worth the salary. Here’s a helpful hint: When a client comes to you with money in hand and they want their problem fixed, “do nothing” is not a good response to generate business. If you think your boss isn’t noticing your lack of action or your lazy attitude, think again. If you have a job in this tight economy, my advice to you is to do what you have to do to keep it – like actually doing your job.  If you are a struggling company, here’s a tip for you. Actually deliver what you promise, when you promise it. Is that too much to ask in America anymore? My friend thinks so. He says in all the years he was in business he found that none of his employees had the work ethic that people outside the country have. The suppliers too were not that great about doing what they say will do either. He’s thinking maybe he’ll go overseas and start a business there instead. He’s tired of pampering overly educated, highly pampered, do nothing Americans.

Will Blog For Food

Sandwich BoardI was startled to hear a recent story about a top executive who lost his job saying he’d know things were bad when he started drinking “wine out of  a box.”  While it may come close to snobbery, food choices do hit very close to home and having to make sacrifices in this area is probably where it hurts the most. In fact, I was smugly laughing at the ex-executive’s comment until someone pointed out to me that I also have “given up” certain favorite foods for this recession and I complain I miss them every now and then.  It almost made me want to put on a sandwich board and stand out on the street corner panhandling with a sign that reads “Will Blog For Food,” but only, of course, for those forbidden treats.

A Fair Trade?

That’s when I thought it might work on the Internet. If you are a business owner who wants some free marketing, heck, send me some food. No need to find some extra cash (which I know is just as hard for you to find right now). I will accept food in lieu of payment as my way to stimulate this economy and get your business needed Internet exposure. Of course, it has to be hard cheeses, fine wines, stuffed olives, shrimp, or any other delicacy that I simply can’t afford any other way during this recession. I will do my part and savor and enjoy your little care package for all it’s worth (and before these items hit their sell by dates and you can’t sell them anyways!) and then I’ll blog about how much I enjoyed it and mention your brand. 🙂

Isn’t the Internet grand?

Are You Organically Wealthy?

"Expresso"This question doesn’t require a look at your recent bank account statements, instead it takes a bit of introspection. Organic wealth is more about community and self-sufficiency than it is about dollar signs. It’s about what you value and whether you are appreciating the value of your life. It is about learning how to feed yourself first with values that promote well-being and life happiness, and having gratitude for each experience. It is about taking life as it is, no added fertilizers, no harmful pesticides, and just seeing all natural goodness, no matter what happens.

The Top Wants In Life

Most people in the United States are exorbitantly wealthy, whether they make a low income or a high one. It is far easier to cultivate organic wealth in the United States than elsewhere because we’ve met many of the subsistence values that other countries still struggle to meet economically. Life is so abundant that few people notice it, until they visit a different country and realize what they have. Many countries struggle simply to provide these subsistence values to their citizens: shelter, food, and water. To progress out of subsistence, one needs energy and education to create industry. Those can also be in short supply in many places, yet the ability to get an education or create your own business is a pillar of our society. After our basic needs, the top wants in life are: money, relationships, and a sense of accomplishment (work/career).  Yet, money, in and of itself, is not the only variable that determines how wealthy you assess yourself. Having the basics of life and the opportunity to create money, relationships, and industry (a condition that most Americans enjoy) is having way more than most in this world. Yet, we don’t understand how rich we are because we haven’t experienced different.

Learn To Appreciate Your Organic Wealth

It’s only when people get sick, that they realize that they had much when they were convinced they were poor. The body image in health mirrors our organic wealth, through imbalances in the ability to house, feed, or nurture the soul. Diseases are often “gifts” to people to help them to relearn how to balance their internal compass of physical, emotional, and mental wealth. It helps the person who is sick to begin appreciating what they have lost, and that resets the internal compass in the right direction. Once they see that they really had the basics they needed to be happy, it can be a great motivator to return to that physical state and make the most of it from now on. It’s when our life values are not the ones that we are seeking to fulfill that a feeling of poverty creeps in and immense dissatisfaction with life, and a potential for disease enters. Yet someone in the same position might see you as being immensely blessed to live your life if it were them. Learn to value what you have and you are organically wealthy, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. There is always something to appreciate in life, no matter how small. Once you cultivate that deep appreciation and gratitude with life, you will generate more and more of what you want through the power of like attracts like. You will be a producer of value, not an exploiter. You will appreciate things and nurture them into creating more value for others because you are so wealthy it only makes sense to share with others.  You will be rich, born into a birthright of organic wealth and happiness. You will feed yourself, and you will feed others too, creating huge value that eventually gets reflected in all areas of life.