Archive for October, 2009

Blog Etiquette – How To Write About Someone Else

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

My mind is in online etiquette (netiquette) as I’m finishing up my netiquette book.

This morning in my Google Alerts I found out about a post someone wrote that referenced my book.  I have had the post up in a tab for a few hours trying to figure out how to handle it.  I was going to put a link to the post and a screenshot but I really don’t care to “out” this person… since it might be embarrasing to him.

I do, however, want to voice the issue, and share some blog etiquette 101, as I know a few people follow my blogging stuff.

There are specifically two things that this person did wrong.  In fact, as I think about what he did, the words “gross negligence” comes to mind.

Why?  Because he might have tried to write the post to get on my radar (not to be presumptious, but some people do that kind of thing (including ME))… but the reality is once he got there I was, as an ego-driven blogger, OFFENDED.

Okay, maybe all caps is too big.  But still, fixing these two things could have left him with a strong post and had me think highly of him.  Here are the two things:

  1. Link back to my *stuff* I say stuff loosely because he could have linked to my professional speakers site, or my LinkedIn book site, or my LinkedIn DVD site, or JibberJobber, or even the Amazon page for my LinkedIn book.  I have plenty of stuff for him to link to but not once did he link out.  He appears to be a new blogger (although a seasoned business person), so I’ll take this as a common mistake.
  2. Not include so much of the content from my book. His post takes the main points of an entry in my LinkedIn book’s appendix and lays it all out there.  This can be good (all publicity is good, right?) or bad (he didn’t ask permission to put all of that stuff there… I wonder if Seth Godin would like me to include one full page of his book text without permission?).  If nothing else, asking for permission would be all I needed… or linking to my book site would be good, but all I see here is my ideas on his blog with little attribution (he attributes me and the book, but no links).  It seems like that is just too much info to put in the blog post.

For point #2 I would suggest (if he were a blogging client) that he puts 2 or 3 or 4 points, and then says “to read the rest of Jason’s ideas, check out his book on Amazon or on his book blog.”

I try and do that all the time – quote a little bit of stuff from someone but point the readers to the original post (or source) for more.

Lesson to anyone using blogs as a business or marketing tool: respect others.  Stroke egos of bloggers.  Do that and you can create an army of evangelists for your stuff.

Health Insurance Tracks Cost Of Medical Care. BS.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Check out this quote I saw on CNN this morning (story: Crush of cancer, medical bills snares family):

“Health insurance premiums track directly with the underlying cost of medical care,” said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, which represents 1,300 health insurance carriers in the United States. “As the cost of providing care increases, premiums increase accordingly.”

My first thought was THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE LIE.  Okay, now that I”ve settled down, it is not a lie.  It is the truth.  A warped truth.  Let me share my thoughts.

Everyone knows that the spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans is going to, indeed HAS TO, talk about things in a light that is positive for America’s Health Insurance Plans.

Understand that that is some kind of organization (association?)  that represents insurance carriers.  Lots of them.

Don’t read it wrong – this is not an organization for for AMERCIANS, it is an organization for the insurance carriers.  These are the same carriers who are essentially screwing hundreds of thousands of Americans, like the family in the CNN article I got it from.

Got that?  Okay, had to get that straightened out, lest we think America’s Health Insurance Plans are the good guys.

Having said that, let’s go back to the quote.  He says “health insurance premiums track directly with the … cost of medical care.”

That was what I thought the lie was.  Based on my summer, with a birth and a surgery, I could not believe the overhead and price inflation caused by insurance companies.   You can read about it on my JibberJobber blog, but understand that the hospital bills for the birth of my kid were about 60% discounted because we were self-pay, and we paid up front.

In other words, because we bypassed the health insurance system we were able to avoid 60% of the cost.  Unbelievable.

This alone helped me understand why medical costs are so high.  Not because of the fancy/expensive GE equipment, not because of the Dr.’s Porsche collection, but because the health insurance system is sooooo screwed up.

Let’s go back to the statement: “health insurance premiums track directly…” Okay, now I realize this is not a lie.  This is 100% accurate.

Why?

Let’s change the sentence and add one concept:

“health insurance premiums track directly, with a factor, …”

In other words, they have to put their profit in there.  Unfortunately, we the people have to pay for the inefficiencies.  Ask anyone who is involved in medical billing, or office admin, in healthcare and you can get an earful of such inefficiencies.

So perhaps the cost of health care is this:

medical costs (Dr, hospital, supplies, etc.) * (Insurance company Profit + percentage of gross inefficiencies introduced by insurance model)

Thanks for the great quote Mr. Spokesperson.  I wish, instead of defending your constituents lame position, you could help work on fixing the inefficiencies before the gov’t does it for you.

I’d really like for insurance companies to clean themselves up.  We’re good with you making a profit… no problem there.  But Oh My Flipping Gosh (OMFG), do you have to add so much cost to my medical procedures?  Seriously – 60% of the cost of my wife’s hospital stay?

That. Seems. Criminal.

I wager that health insurance companies won’t be able to fix it (except the rogue ones, the small, nimble ones, hopefully).

I hope that Obama can move enough things forward so this gets fixed (and not replaced with another nightmare of a problem).

Otherwise, my future major medical expenses will be taken care of outside of the United States.  Not because I want to, but because “the system” prevents me, and millions of others, from getting appropriate health care.

Affordable Outplacement

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

It’s official – a new branch or division of JibberJobber offering an alternative to “traditional outplacement.”  You can see the Affordable Outplacement website here, and you can see my announcement on JibberJobber here.

What I wanted to share on this blog, since many entrepreneurs read it, is the SEO goodness we just got – I don’t know how long this will stay at the top (competition could easily snatch the #1 spot), but check this out:

affordable_outplacement_google