Tag Archives: marketing

Lost poster for season one

Weekly picks for April 6-12

I’ve been doing little else but – OK that’s not quite true – I’ve been doing a lot the last week. A team of superb health-care professionals knocked me out safely, grafted a piece of ligament from my shin onto my torn ACL, fixed the torn meniscus, and closed me back up. I was sent home that same morning.

Lost poster for season oneWhen my daughter couldn’t get there right away they seemed impatient to get me dressed and ready for when she did arrive to get my groggy butt out to the car. I guess they needed the bed for someone else? Anyway, still very loopy from the anaesthetic, my daughter and I stopped by a pharmacy to get my prescriptions filled. While we waited she took some (I imagine) hilarious video of me which she has promised not to share on any social network.

No worries, I recuperated at a friend’s place on the Island for a few days, then Ken drove me back home to Vancouver, where I’ve been trying to do my exercises and get rid of the need for medication that makes me foggy. Mission accomplished on both counts. No, I can’t bear all my weight yet, nor walk more than a few steps. But I’m working on it. And I’m onto Tramacet only, soon to be Tylenol only for pain relief.

Huzzah modern medicine.

While I’m on crutches, you’d think I’d be reading a lot, right? Well, yes. That and binge-watching Netflix. But here’s what I have been reading:

Frequently Asked Questions following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Surgery (PDF), Rebalance MD. 

Here is the only motivation I need for doing my icky, painful exercises. According to the FAQ: “In general, between 80-90% of people are able to return to their pre-injury level of activity after a primary ACL reconstructive procedure.” And it’ll only take 6-9 months!

So I’ve graduated from the seemingly endless wait, despairing of ever being able to run again, to the work of learning now to walk again. I get stronger every day, and I expect to ditch the crutches in another week or two. Hoo. Ray.

The Psychopath Inside, by James Fallon.

A funny thing happened when Dr. Fallon, a brain researcher, compared a bunch of brain scans as a favour for a colleague. He asked the colleague, who was studying Alzheimer’s disease, to mix in scans from Dr. Fallon’s own family, and make all the scans anonymous (Because science!). Fallon found the scan of a psychopath mixed in with all the others. Odd, because he thought all his psychopath brain scans were in another study, another pile. Turns out (spoiler alert!) the scan was his own, shaking his idea of what makes a psychopath, what makes people violent criminals, and the role of nurture versus nature in socialization and personality development. It’s a pretty interesting read, but gets a little bogged down in self-aggrandizing detail at times. But then, what did you expect from a narcissistic scientist with psychopathic tendencies?

Prepare to be Shocked! What happens when you click on one of those “One Weird Trick” ads? Alex Kaufman, Slate.com

I’m just endlessly fascinated with what makes people do what they do, and make the choices they make; or rather how others get people to make the choices they make. I guess it’s part and parcel of my profession. The One Weird Trick marketers know their audience, is what it comes down to. And it isn’t you or I.

Here’s what I’ve been listening to, watching:

LOST 

OK I admit it. I’ve listened to no podcasts in the last week. Ken and his daughter urged me to watch LOST so I could share in their fandom. (No, I never did jump on the bandwagon while it originally aired.)

So, still on pain meds and drugged up the wazoo, I started watching. Now I can’t stop. Sayid, what were you doing with Shannon in the first place? You like ‘em shallow and dumb? I expected more from you. Kate, get over your daddy issues and go for the good guy for once, will ya? Jack, you can’t save everyone, and quit running off into the jungle and leaving a settlement of 40 people behind, you’re their only doctor for crying out loud! Michael, you should have drowned Sawyer when you had a chance, and I’m sorry about your boy.

And Locke. John Locke. The very first episode sent me running for my old philosophy textbooks (oh right, individualism, natural rights, no absolute monarchy, we’re all free, etc). By the third episode, Tabula Rasa (!), I was thoroughly hooked. I imagine there have been graduate papers written already about the significance of this character and what he represents in the human political psyche. I’d look them up, but I have several seasons to get through first …

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The first rule of online marketing

Never, ever, ever, never, ever, EVER, I mean EVER “throw something online just so I can say I have a web site.”

EVER.

Your web site is your face to the world. Do you really want just anything up there, just because it’s the thing to have? Even if you haven’t thought it through, or researched your options?

These are things I ponder while still awake after Social Media Camp has ended for another year, and have just spent a couple of hours re-jigging a dear friend’s web presence. It’s something every presenter at the conference left unsaid, because we all thought it didn’t need to be said. But it does – oh indeed it does need to be said: the first rule of online marketing …

It’s better to have no web site at all, than a bad web site.

“Something” is NOT better than nothing.

Truth is, you don’t have “nothing” just because you don’t have a web site. A web site and a social media presence are just tools – many presenters the past two days said that, including closing keynote presenter CC Chapman.

You DO have your professional and personal reputation, built over years (even decades) of hard work and hard-won experience. You DO have a solid network of contacts.

A hastily thrown-up web site that doesn’t reflect your strengths can drag down that reputation within a nanosecond of a prospective client laying eyes on it. A bad web site is a vortex of lost opportunities.

Let’s say your reputation is a highly-tuned Ducati humming along at optimum speed, able to take any corner with grace. You are a rider, but not a mechanic. Something goes wrong with your Ducati’s engine. Do you try and get back on the road with chewing gum, twine and a piece of duct tape you picked up at Canadian Tire? No, you might wreck that expensive gear, costing thousands of dollars and time lost. Your precious moto is worth trusting to a professional who understands what makes that distinctive Ducati hum.

If you have “something, anything” online right now that is not portraying the best of who you are (i.e. has not been edited or polished by someone who knows their way around a content management system) then your best bet is to take it down before any further damage can be done. Then call a professional who can get your reputation back hugging the curves again.

 

 

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Oh yes, I will remember

I keep losing my poppy – I think they’re designed that way so you have to keep putting a toonie or a loonie into the cadets’ tray to get another one this time of year. That’s OK by me. My grandfather, a veteran of World War II, is long since passed away but I still remember.

Besides that, right now soldiers are returning from Afghanistan in coffins, maimed, wounded and suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Over the past 65 years since WWII our soldiers have been returning from Rwanda, Cyprus, Somalia and countless other peacekeeping missions that resembled only in varying degrees the meaning of that term.

On my reading list, for instance, is General Roméo Dallaire’s new book They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children. He says Canada is losing its moral soul internationally, evidenced by our non-action on child soldiers, our participation in failed “peace” keeping missions like Rwanda.

The issues of war and peace still need our attention; what better time of year to pause for a moment and think about the whole thing.

Except you won’t get any help on that score from Canada’s biggest retailers. According to them, Christmas started weeks ago. Remembrance Day? What’s that? Such a somber holiday is not very conducive to sales I guess. They don’t even have to close their doors for Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) any more. They suffer the young cadets and Legion volunteers to sell poppies outside their doors, but inside it’s all Christmas trees and holiday “music.” On the television it’s started: the heart-wrenching ads designed to give you that warm nostalgic feeling for Grandma’s home baked cookies and hot chocolate.

I say enough. To me every one of those ads, all the Christmas music (it’s not even Advent, if you’re so inclined to follow a Christian calendar) infusing the stores already – it’s an insult to the day we’re being asked to observe this coming Thursday.

I say enough by refusing to shop at stores where they’ve already started the unending  (until Boxing Day) vomit of Christmas marketing. Last night, horrified by a schmaltzy Canadian Tire ad, I Tweeted:

I’ve decided to #boycott stores that have #ChristmasAdsTooEarly starting with Canadian Tire.

That started a barrage of ReTweets and conversation, at least a dozen replies within a half hour of my post.

I’ve decided I’m on to something, and it’s more than #ChristmasTooEarly (my hasty hashtag). I think it’s a marketing fatigue – a feeling of hopelessly getting sucked into the Christmas Season Vortex of Expectations. I’m going to write about it in further posts, but for now I want to make this post about Remembrance Day and about starting my own boycott of the disrespectful retailers.

Meantime, I’m going with my daughter to the Remembrance Day parade here on Thursday. I’ll write about that. Then I’ll write more about my conflicted feelings around the holidays, and further on why I’m remembering to boycott the following shops for Christmas:

  • Canadian Tire
  • Zellers
  • La Senza
  • Leon’s

Any more that you’ve noticed? Any other thoughts on starting Christmas too early?

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