Friday, November 27, 2009

Charity As A Popularity Contest?

In 1989, there was an earthquake in San Francisco. I was 10 years old. I was and still am an Oakland A's fan, so I saw the whole thing happen on tv.

I sent two weeks allowance to the Red Cross, who had set up a fund for donations to help the relief efforts in the area.

To this day, I'm still not quite sure why I sent $10 to help the earthquake victims. But I know what didn't inspire me.

It wasn't Ashton Kutcher racing Oprah to a million followers and donating what he would have anyway. It's not Drew Carey inflating his follower numbers to donate to LiveStrong.

We get it, you're famous. Donate and we'd find out. We seem to find out everything you folks do.

Since when did donating to charity become a popularity contest?

Until now, two people knew that I donated what I did. Mom and Dad. I didn't go around starting a list and telling people I'd donate more if they signed up.

I donated because I wanted to. No matter who else knew, or cared. It felt good to do so, and that's why I did it.

This is charity, not high school. Helping people who are less fortunate is the one thing that does not need all the extra bullshit. Do it for yourself, not anyone or anything else.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Change Happens.

Things change. There's no way around it. Its life.

Sometimes change is good, sometimes change is bad. But there's no way to stop it. Sometimes its big. Sometimes its small. People thrive on change. People hate change. People want good changes, and want to stay away from bad changes. I could go on forever, but I won't.

Recently, Twitter made a big change. The retweet function was added as an option along with favorite and reply. When this was announced, almost everyone thought it would be a great change. Then the code went up as a random chance beta. People disliked it, and it was pretty buggy, and only those who had the new feature could see it. It was taken down in short order.

Then a few days later, it was back, going out to more random people, and apparently everyone has it now, sans bugs. People hate it. People like it. Its typical change. There are good arguements for both sides, which I will not get into, because this isn't about the validity of the change itself. Form your own opinions on it.

Twitter execs have included a link to send feedback on the new feature, which many people have used. Will it make a difference? Time will tell, as there has been no notice from either @ev or @biz or anyone else involved with Twitter in regards to anything.

So its up to time now. Will the new format for retweets on the Twitter website be New Coke? Or will it be Google?

I'll leave it up to you to make your decision... (hopefully below...*hint hint*)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bring Up The Past, Or Move Forward?

Almost every time I write, I have opportunities to mention past blog posts, past tweets, questions...whatever it may be. Sometimes I do, most times I d not.

Why is that?

I'm really not sure. But I think I have a good idea...

Have you ever seen a current advertisement mention one from the past? It happens very rarely, mostly because companies always want to move forward. When it does happen, it is always a company referencing or bringing back a great moment in their history.

Nobody wants to be reminded of what they did in the past that wasn't up to par, no matter who they are, no matter what they've done.

On the other hand, showing off your past let's people see that what you do has gotten better...or IF it's gotten better. It may open someone up to something they didn't know.

Is that worth the risk? What do you think?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Tipping Point vs Jumping The Shark

The Tipping Point, and Jumping The Shark. Gotta love pop culture, don't you. Explaining why things turn good or go bad is the oldest thing in the book, but its often such an interesting topic. I find The Tipping Point to be Malcolm Gladwell's best work, a thought that I know many people share. Plus, who doesn't jokingly know the exact moment when their favorite tv show or movie series jumped the shark?

The interesting thing is that as different as these ideas are, they're both the same. They're both created to show the exact point when a specific instance happens. Yeah, Tipping Point is a good instance, and for the most part Jumping The Shark is a bad instance, but they really do come about the same way. Often times, these two things can be indentical, or very close in timing. Some people have said that they are one in the same - the instant something tips and becomes popular, it has jumped the shark, and will never be better than it was previous to that moment.

The thing that links these two ideas is unpredictability. The examples given in The Tipping Point are some of the most random things I have ever seen, and there is no way I could have, or just about anyone could have predicted it. Jumping The Shark is rather unpredictable as well. Maybe you can see it coming, for instance if your television show hired Ted McGinley, but I digress.

Unpredictability. Its the bane of many a businessman's existence. How else can you explain the Pet Rock? Beanie Babies? Real Men Of Genius? Reality Television? Its a wonder all people who work in marketing or advertising haven't gone insane by now!

To do this kind of thing, you need to thrive on the unpredictable. Take everything you do as the biggest damn thing in the world, because you know what? It might be. You won't know unless you go for it.

Thanks for reading!