Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thug Style Seems to Work

Classes start the 2nd week of January, 2015, but God has already taken me to task and is preparing me for my journey.

The first validation came in the form of a rare and challenging moment. It was in the midst of my attempting to acquire seats on a flight after having paid $1,100.00 for airline tickets to Roanoke, VA. Being a software developer, I understand systems go down at routine intervals for maintenance and such, thereby leaving websites unavailable to provide services. I also appreciate the alternative option of picking up the phone and calling the number provided in order to finish my transaction and ensure a product with which I will be satisfied, namely, a flight with assigned seats which will allow me to travel beside my companion and love of my life.

This was my ordeal while attempting to access the telephone version of whatever system assigns seats at this particular airline:

Airline recording: Please state your confirmation number using words in place of letters, such as C as in Charlie or P as in Paul. 
Diane: G as in God, B as in Boy, D as in Dog, K as in Kelly, 2, 5. 
Airline recording: I'm sorry, your answer is confusing. Many words sound the same. Please distinguish your letters and remember, C as in Charlie or P as in Paul. Please state your confirmation number. 
Diane: G as in Good, B as in Boy, D as in door, K as in Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, 2, 5. 
Airline recording: I'm sorry, your answer is confusing. Many words sound the same. Please distinguish your letters and remember, C as in Charlie or P as in Paul. Please state your confirmation number. 
Diane: How about F*** OFF?!!!! 
Airline recording: One moment while we transfer you to someone who can further assist you.

Further assist? You haven't assisted me AT ALL. You've only managed to waste my damn time!


THIS is why I chose the Communications Program...in the name of progress, of course. It's in my purpose statement, I promise. :)

Do you find this form of open-ended communications a waste of time? When is it appropriate to provide some human intervention?


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Monday, December 8, 2014

Word of the Day - Security

Word of the Day

Security

noun
1.
freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety.
2.
freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; well-founded confidence.


Tim and I walked out of Walmart this evening with a handful of purchased goods and the security alarm went off. I was like, "Screw it. I'm running to the car." And I did.

I know this seems childish, but I'm tired of those things going off because some lazy cashier didn't swipe to deactivate the magnetic strip on my new PC game. That's right, it's mine. I paid for it. As definition number one states, I have the freedom from danger, risk, etc. Why? Because I have a receipt that says the product is mine. I am free from the danger of going to jail for shoplifting.


Last I checked, running is not a crime.


Walmart folks probably know they have a loose policy because human error almost always accounts for 99.9% of false alarms. So when these devices go off, nobody cares. And you know what? Nobody came after us either, and then I wondered why.

What if they had come after us? They would have checked our receipt and discovered, yet again, their security system is flawed.

Staff policy enforcer asks, "So, if you were innocent, why were you running?" 
"Because your fat ass was chasing me!"

Um, yeah. I think I did.


So why even bother to have this system in place if you're not going to run after us and check our receipts, or only do so discriminately? Sure it would be embarrassing to cause such a ruckus in the parking lot, but if you're using the alarm system as a deterrent, then you have to police a little better than this, right?

The funnier matter is watching the alarm go off on other folks who haven't gotten fed up just yet. They look around all astonished, turn back toward the store workers, hands and bags in the air hoping for assistance, and all the while, they have shock and disgrace written all over their faces.


WTF!? I paid for this shit!


A worker then walks toward the victim, who has now attracted the attention of every single person in the store, and says, "Oh, that's okay. Someone probably just forgot to swipe the security strip on a product you bought." They wave at the customer and motion for her to go ahead and leave, as if that customer had been officially detained somehow.

This is an example of the second definition of security. The store worker has the freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt; well-founded confidence. She's confident that something didn't get swiped. How so? Because, SHE forgets to do that shit all the time!

I wonder if you can sue major businesses when their security policies cause undue embarrassment and emotional duress like these stupid false alarms, because if you don't enforce properly, this becomes a bullying mechanism at best.


What security systems baffle you due to their uselessness?




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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Social Analytics and Your Story

Have you ever wondered what your impact is as a start up author or publisher, especially if you don't have big business behind you? Stephen King and Dean Koontz don't have to ponder such things because someone else is doing that grunt work. This leads to a very popular question among new authors and publishers in today's digital world, because "sales numbers" are not as important as influence. At least, not at first! We're trying to establish a base and haven't even considered sales. How do we gain traction from the beginning?

We are coming into an age where information is freely available and people out there are proving that this data is more important in gaining power and influence than are sales numbers. Information is freely provided because it is acquired at less cost than past methods. As with drug addiction, if you peddle the product for free and if it's good stuff, they'll come back in droves!




You save money and effort while using today's freely acceptable modes of pushing your data. Facebook is free, Twitter is free. You have all these avenues of marketing potential. But, what do you sacrifice by navigating in the dark with no direction? Your time! And, with little feedback.

What's missing? Analysis and decision making are lacking. All this data means nothing when the other guy is using theirs to make decisions which beat you out in the market place. They know what the data means and they know how to produce more content via reviews and conversational feedback, which in turn allows them to target in a way to maximize on the knowledge they gained by analyzing the mined data they have accumulated. Say what?




Simple terms. What do they have that you don't? Direction and a budget, sustained by years of branding and accumulating that base you're trying to establish.

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself when promoting your product.

Brand: What is your message?

Stephen King: I can produce horrific stories that will make you lose sleep at night.

Mission: What goals have you established which will live up to your brand?

Stephen King: I will write 3 novels that will creep you out!

Scope: How will you reach your goals without diluting your brand?

Stephen King: I will write from my heart and not listen to all these folks who give feedback saying that I should do something other than write 3 novels that will creep you out.

Feedback: What feedback will you utilize to reinforce dedication to your brand?

Stephen King: I will not wait for feedback in the form of fan mail and gratuitous visits to my estate. I will go out into bookstores and institutions who invite me to speak and I will listen to my consumers, the readers of my books. If they're not happy, it's time to change my brand or the execution of my message.

What is your message to your audience?


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Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Humility in Making Progress

When success feeds into your humility rather than your ego, you will naturally attract the energy from others who also desire success as a team.

This is not a regularly scheduled blog post, but I wanted to share the profoundness of what's been missing in the world I'm viewing.

"Be that change you want to see in the world."

I saw this quote somewhere and it became my favorite, so short and sweet. But I recently found that it's not really a quote by Mahatma Ghandi, but evolved from a quote more attributable to the great leader and shared by BRIAN MORTON in his article Falser Words Were Never Spoken, Published: August 29, 2011:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.”

Be kind to one another and work toward the best tomorrow you can conjure for yourself and others.  :)  Pass it along in the Blogosphere. This one-minute, inspirational video says it all.





What is your favorite inspirational quote? Share it in the comments below.



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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Your First Post - Blog Hop

I'm sharing my very first blog post on this site, my only blog site, because I think it's an awesome concept to share the "why" behind your original motivation for exploring and creating. Mine wasn't to promote my individual writing progress. It was more to discover what blogging had to offer for our communications division where I work.

More than 5 years later, here I am. I'm part of this fascinating community of like-minded folks who love to write and share.

Will you take the time and sign up for this blog hop and link your very first post?




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