Archive for the 'Rants ‘n’ Such' Category

Read This Post. Or Don’t. I Really Don’t Care

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014


In psychology, desensitization is defined as the diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative or aversive stimulus after repeated exposure to it. It also occurs when an emotional response is repeatedly evoked in situations in which the action tendency that is associated with the emotion proves irrelevant or unnecessary.

Don’t believe me: Read all about it on Wikipedia.

Here’s the point, though: I’m sick of media screaming to me. Every headline is jam-packed to bursting with insistent superlatives. The Huffington Post is a particularly horrid case study, as evidenced by just a few of today’s headlines:

“This 3D Printer, Capable Of Building A House In A Day, Could Change Construction Forever” (Forever? Really?)

“This Guy Will Forever Change The Way You Think About The ‘Friend Zone’ ” (Forever? Really? Oh, and WTF is a friend zone?)

“The Way We Watch Video Will Soon Change Forever” (Forever? Really? What, we’re gonna watch through our sphincters?)

My email inbox is another irritating case study:

“This changes everything!” (It’s an ad for the eM14 conference in San Francisco. Nothing changes.)

“Super-charge your logo with this awesome techie gift” (It’s an ad for portable USB chargers. Yawn.)

“Clarity 2.0 – The Best Advisory Board Ever Created” (It’s an ad for … oh, never mind.)

Then there’s all the articles on my LinkedIn feed:

“Best way to get a job nobody’s using” (Really? Nobody’s sharing passion?)

“5 Free Apps No Salesperson Can Survive Without” (Really? I bet plenty are.)

“Will Link Building Soon Be A Thing Of The Past?” (Really? You have to ask? No, it won’t; don’t be a dolt.)

Let’s not leave out my Twitter feed:

Facebook pokes holes in Princeton research with a hysterical parody (Sorry, it’s really not that funny.)

10 Examples of Amazing Viral Marketing Videos (Sorry, a couple of them are okay, but amazing?)

An unbelievable marketing resource! (Sorry, it’s actually quite believable … and relatively common.)

Everything everywhere is screaming READ ME! READ ME! READ ME! The problem, of course, is that the imperative reason stated for having to read the content in question is virtually never fulfilled.

Sorry, HuffPo: Your article will not change my thinking forever. Sorry, advertiser, your event or product will not change me forever.

Collectively, this sort of messaging hurts everyone. Readers, as a whole, are becoming desensitized to the idea of headlines having any meaning whatsoever. The rhetorical arms race is rendering language ineffective.

I fear it will get a lot worse before it gets any better — but in order for it to begin to get better, communicators need to unilaterally disarm by shelving the extreme superlatives.

Takeaway for marketers: Enough, already, with over-promising and under-delivering. Don’t you get pissed off when you’re on the receiving end of that one? Try under-promising and over-delivering … and think for a minute how you feel when you’re on the receiving end of that one.

This Blog Is A Failure

Sunday, April 14th, 2013


Search Engine Journal has posted 6 Pillars of a Successful Blog. It’s a pretty good read. LOHAD observes one of them. Maybe. It really boils down to a matter of personal taste.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this blog and whether to keep it going or not. It’s not a blog that gets a lot of traffic or comments, it tends to be an inconvenience to make posts, the back-end software often makes a 5-minute task take a half hour or more … what’s the point?

Well, the point I keep coming back to is the point I started with so many moons and a coupla thousand posts ago: I’m not blogging for anyone other than myself. I’m not trying to turn myself into the next Chris Brogan. I’m not trying to hustle new business. I’m not trying to get into the “thought leader” game. If you like some of the stuff you see here, cool. If not, no biggie — there are 147 bazillion other blogs out there.

So why bother? I like the structure of it. I like the daily routine and the fact that posting once a day every day is a kick in the ass to check the worlds of marketing, advertising, SEO, technology and social media to see what’s going on. It’s something that prevents me from looking up one day and saying, “Crap! I’ve been so busy playing Mafia Wars I haven’t paid any attention to what’s going on in the world of online marketing!”

Of course, many days there’s not a whole hell of a lot going on, anyway. Ya gotta love those days, when all the tech and social media blogs have to report is something like Facebook changing the hex color of some background element somewhere — and, inevitably, 20 minutes later there are 19 white papers out there about “How You Can Use the Facebook  Hex Color Change to Super-Charge Your Lead Generation.”

So … yeah, I’m not in that race. I’m just trying to keep an eye on what’s goin’ on in the bigger picture, the stuff that’s likely to matter in the longer run. (Which is why i’m so intrigued by 3D printing; that’s a game-changer right there.) So I guess I’ll keep on keepin’ on and posting once a day, every day.

At least those videos on Wednesdays and quotes on Fridays make the whole process a little easier.


Monday, April 1st, 2013


April Fool’s Day really sucks. You can’t believe anything you read online or receive in email. It’s gotten ridiculous, and most of the “jokes” suck harder than a factory full of vacuum cleaners. Bring on tomorrow.


Follow the Thought Leader?

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013


Social Media today had me at their headline: “Don’t Tell Me You’re a Thought-Leader: Just Be One.”

It’s one of the fundamentals of marketing — or if it isn’t, it should be — that it’s not up to you to make value judgments about yourself, it’s up to your audience.

For example, when you’re marketing to tweens you’re not going to tell them, “This is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen.” If you have to describe yourself as cool, then you’re not. It’s for the tweens, not for you, to make that determination.

That’s how it is with thought leadership. If you have to call yourself a thought leader, you’re probably not one.

Same goes for gurus, though that’s a word that ought to be stricken forever from the marketing lexicon.

Endless Loop

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013


I was happy to see that CNETnoted feedly in its list of six must-have Android apps, so I wanted to comment on the article.

To comment on the article, one needs to register. CNET conveniently offers an option to “quickly sign up” with Facebook, so I did. Or so I thought.

I sign in with Facebook, then I’m taken to a screen that asks me if I’m new to CNET. I am, so I tick the box that says I’ve read the terms of use and privacy policy (which, of course, I haven’t) and click the “New CNET Member” button … which takes me to a “Thanks for signing up” screen which, when I close it, takes me back to the “Join CNET” screen, which, if I close that window and try to comment on the story (since, after all, I’m now signed up), takes me to a screen that asks me if I’m new to CNET.

Rinse and repeat.

C’mon, CNET — you’re a techie site. You, of all sites, shouldn’t be delivering this sort of endless loop to users.