Make it easy for me to buy what you’re selling

I don’t watch anything on television. I watch shows, but not right when they air. I am not organized enough for that. I don’t want to chat with my friends or strangers while I’m watching a show, guessing what might happen next, or discussing the impact of what just happened.

I guess that makes me not-the-target-audience for second screen apps, but just because I’m not talking, doesn’t mean I’m not engaged. I’m rarely more than a foot away from at least two additional pieces of technology while I’m watching something. Doesn’t that seem like an opportunity?

Things I know about me: I am easily influenced to buy, I’ve got a reasonable disposable income and I want to turn my brain off for 20 to 40 minutes of uninterrupted entertainment, this is not the time to make me work for something.

I can’t make it through any show without hopping on my phone. I’m looking up locations and trying to figure out what clothes the characters are wearing. Every time I do this, I think to myself, “Why are you making it so difficult for me to spend money?”

Am I the only person that thinks this? Based on Banana Republic’s “Anna Karenina Collection” I know that I am not. So why are networks and advertisers so keen to get me to use my second screen only to drive me back to the first screen (tweet using #showhashtag so your friends know they should be watching this too)?

Why don’t more companies and advertisers use the second screen to get consumers to take out their credit cards and buy stuff right there? No matter what I’m watching, I should always be able to find out what the characters are wearing and buy it, or something similar to it. Same goes for what they are eating, drinking, interacting with and where they are.

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Is there a reason this isn’t done? Is it done already and I just don’t know how to figure it out?

 

*note: fairly lame picture to use as I know this is Tom Ford, but as soon as I saw it, I knew there would be a conversation around Bond’s ensemble. 

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Why every community manager/ social media manager should have a puppy

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As I’ve been out strolling with my puppy at odd hours, I’ve been writing this post in my head. Low and behold, the smart and funny Maggie Fox posted a t using the same analogy. Social media and puppies? Practically the same thing. Here’s why:

5.You have to be nice to everyone. The people least likely to come up to you and ask to pet your puppy are the people most like you. The people most likely to come up to you and ask to pet your puppy are: homeless people, young punks that look like they might shiv you, the old people you were scared of as a child and crazy people of all ages. You learn pretty quick how to interact with a wide variety of people you normally wouldn’t give more than a passing glance to.

4. There’s no such thing as 9 to 5. Puppies need constant attention, I think this statement needs no explanation (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please don’t get a puppy). Communities need constant attention as well. A social network probably won’t eat all of your shoes if left alone, but you still need to nurture it, guide it and provide discipline to help it grow.

3. Disaster preparedness. Puppies are unpredictable. You can’t have every day to unfold as expected, you need to be ready for anything. Community management is much the same way. Anyone can say nice things on the Internet. What separates the really smart people from the “gurus” is the ability to stay calm at all times and swiftly handle incredibly horrible situations.

2. Everyone believes they can do your job better than you can. Walking down the street with your puppy, minding your own business? Surprise, someone will tell you what you are doing wrong and what you should be doing next. The same is true for community management. No matter what your strategy is, people will disagree. Knowing how to handle those opinions (or “helpful” pieces of advice) can make a huge difference in your job.

1. It’s about listening, not talking. When you have a puppy, everyone stops to talk to you. The thing is, they don’t want to hear about your puppy, your puppy has reminded them of a story that they immediately want to share. Online communities are no different. No one joins a community to sit back and take what you are selling, they want to share. They want to be a part of something.

*Photo of Chill Winston Lang, genius puppy.

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A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!

“We’re going to Panama!” 

…every time I told people this, there was a long pause and a confused look in reply. I guess Panama isn’t a typical honeymoon destination. Now that I’m back, I want everyone to go to Panama and experience it, we had so much fun! Here are 5 things that really stood out for me:

5. Panama City looks like Miami, only every building cycles through a rainbow selection of lights to light up their buildings in the evening. The Old City looks like a movie set, full of Spanish Colonial architecture, restaurants and great places for a glass of wine on every corner.

4. Panama is a great place to visit if you want to see sloths, poisonous mini-frogs and upside down jelly fish. Panama is also a great place to experience fruit you’ve never tried before, including raw cacao (who knew that the fruit-y part actually tastes kind of like Sweet Tarts and looks like slime?) and custard apples (they look like brown spikey things on the outside and taste like/look like apple flavored custard on the inside CRAZY!). 

3. If you go to Panama in June, the weather will be amazing (minus an hour or so of rain every day) and everything will be empty. Honestly, at one place, we had an entire resort to ourselves with one other couple (with a young daughter named Jenny that kept everyone entertained). Have you ever been to an entirely empty resort? It was pretty cool, you can run from pool to pool, without really caring about how you look in your bikini. Also, we were lucky enough to be at Tranquilo Bay for a few days (you have to, need to, must go to Tranquilo Bay), with only one other couple as well. We felt totally spoiled. 

2. Panama Hats are actually from Equador. Totally lame. Everyone in Panama uses Blackberrys. Yes, Blackberrys. Totally lame. 

1. Air Panama serves Funyuns. So yeah, best airline ever.

…and sorry, we didn’t take any pictures. Mostly because I’m a forgetful photographer but also because it was our honeymoon, hey-oh! 

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Hospital decision making doesn’t belong on social media

I read Shael Holtz‘s blog post (and am reading the series) on hospitals and social media with interest. I really appreciated how he didn’t champion social media, but rather, he clearly laid out the facts. The entire idea has left me with a million questions, and I would love to know if others feel the same way.

To start, what is the goal of getting hospitals to be more engaged online? Are we trying to make them more approachable? Are we hoping they help educate the public when doctors make decisions we don’t fully understand? Is it purely for customer service and image?

When I think of social media, I think that it is a place where I can communicate directly with organizations and have my voice heard. A place where I can affect change. Should social media be able to change the way doctors and hospitals make decisions?

Doctors have four years of college, four years of medical school, seven years of residency (ok, the one I live with does, I don’t know how long others do) and often go on to do a one or two year fellowship after that. I have one year of high school biology. Even though I consider myself a smart person, I am not in a position to know better about any medical situation.

Doctors have years of training to expose themselves to every medical situation, every option and every possible outcome. They weigh each option based on a laundry list of variables and the percent chance of a favorable outcome. They need to do all of this, without getting emotionally involved. Social media thrives on just that, emotion.

In the examples Shael gives, both seem to come down to two things: fear and money. Fear makes everyone do irrational things, I think that’s clear. Money, however, seems to be a confusing topic when it comes to medicine.

Are hospitals to pay for every case that tugs at the heart strings of the Internet? Where does funding for this come from? Do people think hospitals have unlimited resources? What will then outcome be for the patient? Will their quality of life be such that they need expensive medical equipment to keep them alive? Full time care? Who will pay for that? Does that come from the hospital as well?

If hospitals went online to discuss some of these things, to teach us more about why and how decisions are made, I would be fascinated. However, if we encourage hospitals to go online solely for the purpose of pressuring them into making poor decisions based on emotion, I’ll question my entire career choice.

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Song lyrics o’ the day – Fujiya & Miyagi

I look through transparent things and I feel okay
Litter bugs, singer songwriters

 

This line from Fujiya & Miyagi’s Transparent Things makes my life. 

 

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