Seth Godin on What Marketers Are Getting Wrong

I have read this once or twice and wanted to close the page…. and move on.   But I can’t. I keep re-reading certain lines.  Thinking about how this applies to the JibberJobber user experience.

Godin is a genius.  And this article needs to be reread regularly: Seth Godin on What Marketers Are Getting Wrong

Take that, social networking!

Social, including blogging, has evolved so much since I seriously got involved back in 2006.  Eight years ago.

First we saw comments go from a blog post go to Facebook… and Twitter… and all of the sudden the blog felt like a cold, lonely place.

Then, we saw people giving up their blogs and moving to Facebook or whatever they thought was better.

During the eight years I’ve blogged regularly, on multiple blogs… but especially my JibberJobber blog.  It is refreshing to see an email from The Publicity Hound (Joan Stewart) that includes this:

–People are becoming fed up with Facebook, and
online marketing experts are recommending that you
blog more, Facebook less.”

I never thought blogs were going away, and there are a few things they are better at than social networks (and a few things social tools are better at than blogs).

I see them all as tools… why not use the right tools to do the jobs needed, instead of one tool to try to do all jobs?

Definition of Charity, from LDS Humanitarian Services

Charity is a funny word.

In the U.S. our culture has us define charity as giving something (money, clothes, food) to people in need.  No one wants to be a “charity case.”  People want to give charity, but only when it is safe.  For example, many people at church give money to people in need (usually considered to be giving charity), but when a person in need shows up, what do they do?  In this article you can see that giving charity in an envelope is easier than being kind, Christ-like, etc. when a person in need is in front of you: ‘The congregation was besides themselves’: Mormon bishop dresses as homeless man to teach flock a lesson

I’m not saying that people should have flocked to him, opened their wallets, or hugged him all day long… remember, this is the same area where Elizabeth Smart was abducted by a homeless person.  Coming from an FBI family I have been taught to be skeptical, etc.  What I’m saying is that “charity,” especially this worldly, traditional definition, is a lot more complex than it seems.  Especially with articles like this: Undercover video shows panhandler turn donations into drugs

Contrast all that skeptacism with the idea that we are supposed to be charitable… so what does that mean, and why?  How do we do it without being conned, or supporting things we don’t agree with (or can’t afford ourselves)?

In LDS scripture you can read what Mormons are taught about “charity” (reference):

45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

That’s pretty good stuff, huh?  How is this put into action?  Here’s a wonderful quote from someone who works in the humanitarian offices of the LDS church.  Aside from the definition from scriptures above, and the idea of charity as giving things to othesr, she goes to the heart of WHY (reference):

“Charity is more than aid,” said Sharon Eubank, director of Humanitarian Services and LDS Charities. Referring to a story about the church’s humanitarian efforts after World War II, she said, “It emphasizes dignity, human worth, cooperation, unity, sacrifice and the assurance that no one is too poor or too disabled or too marginalized to contribute something of value.”

I love the “it emphasizes…” part.  Charity is not just about a bite to eat or clothes to wear, although those can be lifesaving and critical.  Charity emphasizes:

  • dignity
  • human worth
  • cooperation
  • unity
  • sacrifice
  • and helping people “contribute something of value.”

This list of whys is really quite empowering to the human soul.  Empowering one human can touch so many lives.

I love what I’m learning about charity, both as a “pure love of Christ,” to the core of who I am, and as a “giving” to empower people.  What a great list of reasons to give.

Calling from skype outside of the US

Last week I had a call from my U.S. office to a Germany phone.  At the scheduled time I pasted the number in and hit call… and it didn’t work!  Nothing!  Error!

I did a search and found that I needed to put 011 before the number.. this time it worked like a charm.

While I like this safeguard (so my kids can’t accidentally dial internationally and rack up long distance charges), it would be nice to figure out how to do this easier.  Here’s the post I found the info from. Note the first answer was not what I was looking for :)


This was funny: real life conference call

Four minutes is usually too long for me to look at a funny video, but I kept seeing reference to this Youtube video and it was flat out brilliant (and worth the time to watch it):

One thing they under-showed was “multi-tasking.” I’ve been in the room with people on conference calls where they were there but they weren’t there… know what I mean?

Looking at taxes a “new” way

Maybe this isn’t a new way at all.  I saw this exact text on a comment on a local newspaper website but lost it before I could share it.  I wasn’t too anxious to share it because I’m not convinced this is exactly what is happening, and not sure about the accuracy of it all (and the conclusions).  The end did remind me of Atlas Shrugged, though. It is a comment on this blog post.

Before you read it, I want to share something I learned about the Boston Tea Party. You know, the famous one where people were tossing tea into the harbor?  Do you know the percentage of tax increase that the Americans were freaking out about was?  3 percent increase.  Or wait, was it a small DECREASE?  Anyway, the issue wasn’t about a big percentage…

Let me know what you think about this analogy… is this accurate, or is this propaganda?

Here it is the story/analogy about who should pay what taxes, and what the consequences might be:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing
The fifth would pay $1
The sixth would pay $3
The seventh would pay $7
The eighth would pay $12
The ninth would pay $18
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59
So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20″. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

The bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!” “That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Walking and Woodpeckers

I’m trying to get back into walking this year.  Last year was a walking dud.  About six months after the emergency surgery… so about June or July, I was winded just walking 1.5 miles.  This year I’m not sure I’m going to set a firm SMART goal, but I’m going to try to get back into it.  This week has been excellent so far, with three days in a row.

A highlight was coming upon one of my favorite animals….. a woodpecker! This is exactly what it looked like (I didn’t take the picture), and I was probably four or five feet away from it for a while as it pecked the tree to death for about five or ten minutes.  It was really cool, especially considering most of the animals haven’t been coming out for a while :)

iPad and iPhone Tricks

I don’t use my iStuff enough to feel like I’m optimizing all the gadgets and tricks… this article on BuzzFeed lived up to it’s title: 19 Mind-Blowing Tricks Every iPhone And iPad User Should Know

Of note (things I would use – all of the tips are cool to know about):

My iPad somehow got into thumb mode, and I never would have guessed I would like it, but I do… unless I only have one hand to type.  Then thumb mode is a pain.  I learned how to switch back and forth.

Did you know how to charge your phone twice as fast?  I hope this works on my iPad… very cool tip.

My kids play games on the iPad and I HATE HATE HATE the ads they accidentally click on.  Did you know about Guided Access?




Best Shipping Confirmation – I should do this on JibberJobber

When you interact with someone, do they feel special?  Check out this AWESOME shipping confirmation from Woodworkers Source. I’m going to include the text here in case the original blog post goes down:

“I have some great news, Joe.

Our team of 107 hard working (and exceptionally good looking) employees has – with great care and attention – selected, packaged and shipped your order #XX629 on this beautiful day.

I wish you could have been here to see all the action. When I handed the order to Robert, our master packager, he looked at it, smiled, and slid a pair of Italian leather gloves onto his hands.  As he selected your order, he placed it all on a satin-lined chariot to move it to the packaging center.  And there’s more . . .

Everyone gathered around, held a candle, and watched with hushed awe as he wrapped the entire order in the finest gold-laced cardboard that money can buy – you could have heard a pin drop.

In the end, the guys were so thrilled that they wanted to throw a party just for your order.  We’re talking about a big fiesta with live music and good food. All the action stumped the UPS driver when he showed up.  He thought he was going to pick up the packages like normal, but instead we picked *him* up carried him down the street on our shoulders while the band played.  You can imagine what happened next, right?  Our neighbors came outside to see what the fuss was all about, and when they saw your beautiful order they all waved ‘Bon Voyage!’ to your package, and patted Robert on the back.

Someone must have called the local TV stations because the next thing I knew I had six interviews to handle for reporters who asked, “What does Joe Smith intend to make?”  But don’t worry, your secret’s safe.  I told them, “I don’t know.  Maybe world peace?”  Man!  If only woodworking could do that!

Anyway, the guys hope to see pictures of what you make so we can have another party (I know what you’re thinking . . .).  I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at Woodworkers Source.  We enjoyed every minute of it, and we’ve named you “Customer of the Year.”  That gets you a pretty good parking spot right out front if you ever come see us.  I gotta tell you, though, we’re pretty exhausted.  And we can’t wait for you to come back to Woodworkers Source.”

I think I can adapt this for my JibberJobber upgrades, and I’m thinking a job seeker could adapt it for people he communicates with (within reason).

Growth Hacking: Awesome Article

This article is a keeper… awesome and inspiring and thought-provoking: Meet the Growth Hacking Wizard behind Facebook, Twitter and Quora’s Astonishing Success

This talks about a role within a company that I hadn’t heard about before, which is to get massive growth in signups and/or users.   It’s worth the read… :)