Archives for category: social media

A carefully crafted press release is sent it to all major news outlets.  No one used it, the event, product or service did not get promoted as hoped. Why?

The press release did not get chosen because it was smothered under an avalanche of thousands of press releases. It never had a chance.

Imagine this scenario, the work day begins with email being opened.  There before the eyes of a handful of people are thousands of emails.  A dozen get chosen to move to the next round.  Those spots are reserved for drama.  High drama is possible.  Which means an event in which no one dies, gets hurt or causes some other commotion gets looked over.

What can the writer of the press release do?

More than likely they have a precious commodity at their fingertips, just begging for a chance to get noticed.

Contact info from the people she wants to reach.  Contact info from people who already use the product, service or event.

One idea the person could try is a carefully crafted email campaign.  After all a group of people entrusted her with their email address.  As long as she is careful and respects what has been entrusted to her, there should not be a problem with sending an occasional email.

All of us have an address book, we just need to tap that resource.

We also need to be ready to return the favor for those who have helped us.


For a while now I have been spreading myself too thin. I have been trying to write a blog, keep my Twitter feed full of witty links, keep up with connections on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, learn new skills, work a forty plus hour a week job, and give my family the time they should have. That’s not to mention all of the little things that I don’t feel like writing down.

I am not complaining. Having things to do is a big part of life. But I have come to a realization that not everything on that list is of the same importance.

One of the lessons I learned from reading The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, is to achieve the life I want, I must focus my energies on the most important areas and fly higher than I have in the past. What is important? My family, my faith, learning new things, work that provides joy and freedom.

It is not a big list nor a particularly long list but it is my list. To achieve the goals I have in those areas means I have to not do other things. It is the old economic problem of the fish and coconut. I’ve decided to build the net to catch more fish.

Here is what this looks like in real life at 20,000 ft:

Get up early work on the dream, produce art and ship.

Use lunch to further the dream.

Family time is family time, there is no need to try to multitask.

Focus on the family. There is plenty of time at night to read instead of watching television.

Make time to practice my faith.

The ground level view of working the dream looks something like this:

Focus on the areas of work that make the most difference. For most people that means less time on Facebook and Twitter and more time working on projects. It means you have to launch. I like to write and work with graphics. That is where my focus is going right now. Perhaps you want to launch a community project in your neighborhood. Do it.

We have a limited number of resources, so we must use them wisely. Why not use them to advance your dream? Why not use them to make art? Why not use them to connect?

Perhaps you’ve seen and heard the reprocessed major form of REM’s Losing My Religion  it certainly blew my mind when I heard it.  I think this might be a good example of purple cow with a l Tong tail.

Purple Cow

Seth Godin says if you are traveling down the road and see a bunch of cows you don’t think twice, because cows are boring.  But if see a purple cow you take notice. Therefore in business as in life you want to be a purple cow.

The Long Tail

Chris Anderson‘s book and the original article begins by telling a story of a book about mountain climbing called Touching the Void.  It did okay and then was forgotten.  A decade later another book about mountain climbing, Into Thin Air, comes on the scene.  Its success generates interest in the Touching the Void.  It turns out that the first book was part of Amazon’s recommendations to people who purchased Into Thin Air.

REM in major notes

The new reprocessed version of the original song is getting quite a bit of attention.  It’s a purple cow.  Anyone growing up when the song was released remembers the downer notes and somber feel.  The major notes change the imagery in the video.  It changes the whole feel of the song.

After I heard the new version I listened to the old version on my iPod.  I’m certain that I’m not the only one to do so.  What I expect to happen, is that people not familiar with the song or band will check them out.  It should be interesting to see if there is an increase in downloads for the original song.


While not to diminish the amount of work that went into this project, if you have a computer and access to some snazzy software, then you have all the tools to produce a purple cow.  The question is will you?

A recent glance at the job postings on any job board should be proof enough of the same old same old in the job market.  If you want to get that special job, the one you have always dreamed of, then you will have to start producing projects and sharing them with the world.

But you will have to produce better than good projects.  Mediocre simply won’t do anymore.  It’s not enough to show you are able to use the software and plug in cables.  You will have to shine.  You will have to take chances.  That means some of your projects may fail.  Failure is okay.  Failure is good.  Every failure has the potential to move you closer to success.

Now go fire up your Mac, download some way cool software and do something extraordinary.

Photo by Alan Witikoski

Photo by Alan Witikoski

Have you ever seen a young bird learn to fly?  They have to jump off a high limb.  Perhaps they are pushed by a momma bird.  Then they fly or fall.  So as you look around from whatever perch you’re on remember, if you or I are ever going to soar, we have to jump (or be pushed).

The competition was more successful because they take more chance more often and they didn’t wait to see what you are going to do.

The competition is more successful because they make their own opportunities. Sometimes they pay off, other times they do not.

The competition is more successful because they are doing the hard work everyday.

If you want to have the same impact as the competition; take more chances, make your own opportunities, do the hard work everyday.

Stop trying to do what they do. Play your own game.

The New York Times has a very interesting and somewhat sad story about the current state of newspapers.  It seems that they are way past the time to jump on board the digital train.  Many are doing that right now.  Or at least they are running beside it trying to catch the rail and hoist themselves inside.

Unfortunately their digital efforts will amount to little but a waste of time if the continue to post their newspaper online.  They must harness the power of the web if they expect to stay relevant.  The same can be said of broadcast television and radio.  Simply posting their main product online and pretending to be content providers isn’t really going to cut it in the future.  Sooner or later people will stop caring and look to other sources for information.

It’s time for all traditional media to be inventive.  Do something daring and original.  If it doesn’t work scrap it and try something else.

As I write this, it occurs to me that I’ve said this at least once before.

You can read the New York Times article here:

Photo credit: Henry Tseng

Throughout life we find ourselves connected to small groups of people. In my own life I’m connected to many small groups.  Some of the groups overlap and some never meet.  But each group is completely unique and is comprised of unique individuals with special gift and abilities.

However I’ve noticed that my time within any one group is limited.  The composition of the group changes as old friends exit and new friends enter the group.  The challenge is to recognize and harness the special talents and abilities that makeup each group and use that change our world for the better.

You never really know when the mix is perfect and how that will impact someone’s life.

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