Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A reflection for life...

If you "seek" happiness, it will elude you.  If you "give" happiness your own happiness will result.  Yet we are all, after all, only human and humans are needy creatures.

To constantly give and never receive will eventually wear down even the most resilient.  Though we don't give with intention to receive - to receive provides the refueling every soul needs.

They say if you want to be successful, then surround yourself with successful people.  If you want to be happy, surround yourself with happy people.  But take heed, nothing in life is free and to every action there is a reaction.  If you are not willing to pay the price and do the work you will not achieve the results you desire.

It is not enough to merely surround yourself with what you wish you were.  You must also "be" what you wish you were.  For if you are not, then you will not be what others wish to surround themselves with.  Being surrounded by it simply makes it easier to maintain - whatever 'it' might be.

If you surround yourself with happy people - remember, they too wish to be surrounded by happy people.

If you want to receive, you must first learn to give. Then you can learn to give wisely and that's when you'll find you receive more than you dreamt possible.

If you give of yourself to the right people they will instinctively give back to you.  If they are the right people and if you are giving what they want.

The golden rule is often misunderstood: "Treat others as you wish to be treated."  In a primitive fashion this has made sense to us for centuries.  Yet many take it too literally.  In reality, to get what you want, you must give what they want.  To give what they want speaks of true understanding and connection - if they are the right people, they will then seek to connect and understand what giving back to you means for you, not them.

To "seek" to receive will never work, yet we all desire to receive. If you are a decent person and someone gives to you, you instinctively desire to give back. This is why giving is so powerful. In order to receive (or continue receiving) you must give, it simply can't work any other way.

If you think you are giving but never feel like you receive - you may want to first question if you understand what the other wants, second if the other understands what you want and third, explore if you are surrounded by the right people.

If you find that you often receive, you should be asking if, in return, you are giving what is wanted... literally ask.

If you want to surround yourself with happiness, make sure you are the happiness others wish to be surrounded by.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Missing the point

Saw an article today on Mashable about Google running a newspaper ad to promote online search advertising. Comical from several angles & perspectives. But most comical were the comments.

What slays me is that all the print vs digital arguing that goes on still completely misses the point of marketing!

It all has a value & purpose - but most of the 'copy' being used is crap & doesn't connect to the customer. A vehicle is nothing more than a vehicle - if it gets you from A to B it works. Some have more style and flare than others some run smoother than others. But no matter what the vehicle is, if it's got no gas it's useless.

An effective ad campaign that reaches the same sets of eyeballs repeatedly will work far more effectively even if only reaching a few people than an ineffective ad campaign that reaches millions only once each. And copy to marketing is like gas to a car.

Marketing 101 for those of you who seem to have forgotten or perhaps never knew. Love how everyone these days is an expert. Lol
Sent from my BlackBerry :)

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be

I've said it before, but it warrants repeating: just because technology enables us to do certain things doesn't mean that we should necessarily do them.

Each new generation brings new ideas. Some of those ideas are amazing and ground breaking, but some of them just plain suck - at least for certain applications.

I was raised by entrepreneurs to become one myself and it has oft been repeated & proven throughout my 20 years of experience that a computerized system is only as good as the manual system on which it is based.

Yet countless times I, like so many other hot-blooded raring to go youth (meaning pretty much anyone under 40 with drive & ambition), have spent hours trying to prove that theory wrong - only to crash & burn.... eventually. This is exactly what I see happening with technology all around us and especially within the media industry.

What concerns me the most is the number of seasoned experts who are stepping aside & letting it happen. Is it because they are lacking the fight & energy they once had? Are new techies simply more convincing that they are able to shake the beliefs these seasoned experts know to be true?

Surely the current state of circumstances surrounding Facebook must be re-opening some eyes? I'm not saying that progress & change are bad - not at all, I thrive on them as much as our society does. But where are the tried & true manual systems behind today's technology? In particular behind the digital drive of media?

Abandoning the facts of what we know works & thinking that something completely new can be born without any logical & thorough follow through is suicide for business & in this case an entire industry.

Media needs to be the leader they have always been. For content & for advertising. The current haphazard approach can only end badly. It doesn't mean utter extinction, but it does mean a whole lot of casualties & lost time & money until someone stops the runaway train and puts it back on track.

I'm rebuilding the track but I'll certainly need some help getting the train back on it.
Sent from my BlackBerry :)

Monday, 4 June 2012

My peeves about complaints without suggestions

So I have to admit that one of my pet peeves is when opinionated people feel the need to post thoughts about what is wrong with any particular topic, yet they never have any useful suggestions as to how to fix the problems they complain about.

Having said this, I find myself at cross purposes. 

If you've read any of my blog, you know I'm working on a large project that I intend to have massive influence on the media industry - both in print and digital.

None-the-less, it may occassionally come across as though I might be one of the very people that annoys me!  But in many ways my hands are a bit tied. 

I intend to discuss in more details the problems that media is currently facing - however - please note, that while due to confidentiality and rights protection I won't be publicly offering up what my solutions are, I most certainly do have a solution formulated for every problem that I will be referencing.

I pledge to you that I will never discuss or complain about any problem that I don't already have a solution either completely figured out or at least well under development.

However, if you want to discuss the details about any particular solution that I have, you will need to be willing to join my team on some level.  In particular we are currently in need of Advisors to help shape the project; Investors to fund it and Programmers to bring it to life!

Fortunately, I am a very approachable and personable person.  I may not always be the fastest to respond, but so long as you send me an email that is legible, with clear intent, open minded and friendly - I will respond.

And by the way - as more information is released on this project and as certain individuals ponder the idea of joining our Advisor team, please note - we DO want "devil's advocates" as well. Obviously some positive reinforcement is good, necessary and desired, however, progress does not come from everyone being completely agreeable.  But I warn you - do not tell me something won't work unless you have a better solution to present.  If we all play by these rules, we should get along just fine!

Ciao for now!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Warren Buffett’s Newspaper Purchase - my thoughts

The following is a rather long comment piece I posted on an article of Clay Shirky at: http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2012/05/warren-buffetts-newspaper-purchase/  regarding "Warren Buffett’s Newspaper Purchase".

But I cover a number of points that I think belong on my blog as well.  So here you go:

1)  Don't kid yourself commenters... Clay is right, Warren will unquestionably make money on this deal one way or another.  If you don't understand business and investing, I would suggest that you don't worry about it - what does it matter?

2)  Depending on which stats reports you read for which area, you will find that less than 80% of the North American population are counted as being "Internet Users" - http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

What these stats fail to tell you is what exactly that 80% are doing when they're online.  My 75 year old grandmother would check her email, look up some geneology and then get the hell out and if anything she didn't recognize came up, I got I phone call.... BUT.... she would be counted as an "Internet User" - but ask her where she would get her "news".... newspaper, TV and radio.

So this raises 2 points.  The first being - who the hell holds the right to say that the roughly 20% of the North American people who are not "Internet Users" should no longer have the right to read their news in print?  I mean let's face it, we're talking 20% of almost 350 million people... that's almost 70 million people!  But worse than that... out of the world population of 6.9 billion people, less than 33% of them are "Internet Users" - that means roughly 4.6 billion people shouldn't be allowed to expect their news in print?

Secondly, just because someone is declared an "Internet User" doesn't mean that they do everything online or that they are always plugged in.  Statistics have always been easily manipulated to paint whatever picture a person wants it to paint (even my numbers above - because let's face it, what are the percentages of those non-Internet-Users who are illiterate and can't read a newspaper or who are living in third-world countries and don't even have access to a newspaper or the Internet...) - but the point is, let's be responsible and look at this stuff from more than one set of eyes.  Furthermore, try talking to a number of "Internet Users" and ask them whether they get their news: online or offline? 

Another set of stats I've seen declares that 25% of Americans get their news online!  And it's declared as if that should be an impressive number!  Seriously?

3) Having said this - am I a bleeding heart, 'save the print' person?  No, I'm not.  I am deeply entrenched in a project that will massively change the digital landscape for media and advertising. 

Two of the things that this project will achieve (among many others) include: 1) it will bring an organization level to news and content never before seen publicly online and it will make embracing news online a source of enjoyment and pleasure for EVERYONE - even the non-Internet-Users of today.  2) it will redefine the print publication, free them of their struggles and allow them to stabilze.

Will print make a rebound?  I highly doubt it. 

Will it ever see the likes of its Golden Era again?  I highly doubt it. 

Can it be stabilized and once again turn a profit?  In some cases, absolutely it can! 

Will more print focused newsrooms continue to die?  In some cases, absolutely they will.

It is a rare ability to see the world through multiple eyes - but that's what is needed to get through the current state of media and the print industry.  Tunnel vision in any direction will be fatal.

Is Warren Buffett a fool for buyng up certain print publications?  I hardly think so!

New York Times Co. can't be saved.... I disagree

Quote from article: "Neither Bloomberg nor any other suitor owns a big enough magic wand to make the company’s problems disappear."  http://www.investorplace.com/2012/05/bloomberg-cant-save-new-york-times-co/

I strongly disagree.  It may not be a "magic wand" as that would imply not requiring any work... however, I do have the answer - not just for the NYT - but for all media, print media, newsrooms & journalists who care to step up to the plate.

The question becomes - who will listen? 

My weakness? I'm not already part of the "in-crowds"; I don't have a big name and portfolio to "wow" people with and I don't have the dollars to simply "make it happen" without help.

But let me ask this - so far, what earth-shattering, life-changing results have the "big names with portfolios and connections" actually managed to achieve in terms of long-term plans, results and sustainability?

Spend a day scouring Twitter and reading articles by the likes of Mathew Ingram, Jeff Jarvis, Clay Shirky - or the ones retweeted by these same groups of journalists and the only answer you can logically come to is that there has been no long-term plans, results or sustainability that will make a big enough impact on media and especially the print industry.

I'm easy to find if you care to look - between Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In and I'm the Publisher of the Gateway Gazette in Southern Alberta.

Who wants to take action with me to truly fix this global problem rather than spending so much time and money discussing what the problems are?


Monday, 7 May 2012

Get with the times or get left behind....

This may seem a bit random, but one thing that really bugs me is how new technology seems hell bent on leaving behind the people who are the very reason for our existence.

I'm a techie & I too am guilty of poking fun at my parents for just not "getting it" even if done with the most love possible ... It's something that's been done for generations regardless of the industry.

But really, if technology is so damned smart why can't it be designed to be easy & user-friendly?
Well the answer is it can be & in my world it will be. I would estimate that a good 40% or more of my time is spent helping non-techies adapt to a world that would leave them behind without a moments thought. Sink or swim seems to be the general attitude of many people leading the tech world.

Interestingly, a similar attitude also seems to be dished out to the print media industry. "Get with the times or get left behind" is the pretty clear message.

Perhaps it's my Libra traits driving me, but I believe there is a lot more opportunity to create a balance. We can move forward with technology & all the wonderful opportunities it creates but we can also do it in a way that helps the whole rather than serves the elite.

According to Roy H. Williams our society is about half way through a pendulum swing towards a zenith of "we" which will peak in 2023. If that's the case then perhaps we should be focusing just a little bit more on how to help our parents & grandparents survive this technological transition. If we're so smart how's about we find a way to "include" rather than "exclude" the very people who made our existence possible?

Sure everyone has the right to "figure it out" but it wouldn't hurt if we made it a little bit easier for them. Hell I know executives who are pushing "technology" or "digital" who don't even know how to use the very tools they are preaching about. Is it their fault? Perhaps a little bit. But at the end of the day it's the creators who have the ability & the responsibility to make new technology a tool that can be used by everyone.

And that is a huge portion of my mission!

Another interesting side note on Roy's pendulum theory is that the leaders in much of technology come from the time frame when the "me" cycle would have driven their most impressionable years. So it's really not that surprising that technology has taken on something of a selfish persona. However, the time has come for us to address this.

To the youth of technology & of the "me" era I say "get with the times or get left behind"... The next ten years are going to be about "we" not "me. And in the "we" era, no one likes a selfish brat.


Sent from my BlackBerry :)