Photo courtesy: Remember.gov
Don't get me wrong. I'm a proud veteran. Among other missions, I served proudly in the U.S. Navy (Naval Air) during the first Gulf War. My friends smile endearingly when I tell them that I do, in fact, still get a little choked up EVERY TIME I hear the Star Spangled Banner. (No, really! That's a no-shitter. Ask me sometime of my story about the last day of my SERE school training and I'll tell you the exact moment that this involuntary reaction started for me.)
I'm a proud U.S. military veteran, I love my country, I've fought in support of the freedoms she represents, I will do so again if called, and understand that dying is a possibility in the act of performing my duty... But, just for the record, I take issue with the idea of charitably "giving" my life for her.
Rather, what I can say I and my vet-colleagues will do / have done, is to do our duty. And to do it with a commitment to the underlying values and principles that our duty-bound responsibility supports. But to "give" our life? I can't help but feel that that's somehow trivializing the job description.
While part of the military code of conduct does state, "I am prepared to give my life in their defense...", the wider context is a military professional who "...will never surrender of my own free will...while (I) still have the means to resist."
In fact, fighting and resisting is an obligation to be pursued until the point of futility.
So, the distinction I'd like to ask during this time of remembrance is that we also be mindful of a difference in giving as in a charitable act, versus giving as in the form of willful commitment to the performance of duty.
But, just for the record, we don't charitably give our life. In fact, we have an obligation to resist and live. We do our duty. We do it for our country, for freedom and our way of life.
"...All real heroes are not story book combat fighters either. Every man in the army plays a vital part. Every little job is essential. Don't ever let down, thinking your role is unimportant. Every man has a job to do. Every man is a link in the great chain. What if every truck driver decided that he didn't like the whine of the shells overhead, turned yellow and jumped headlong into the ditch? He could say to himself, "They won't miss me -- just one in thousands." What if every man said that? Where in hell would we be now? No, thank God, Americans don't say that! Every man does his job; every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important to the vast scheme of things. The Ordnance men are needed to supply the guns, the Quartermaster to bring up the food and clothes to us -- for where we're going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man in the mess hall, even the one who heats the water to keep us from getting the GI shits has a job to do. Even the chaplain is important, for if we get killed and if he is not there to bury us we'd all go to hell..."
~General George S. Patton, Jr.
To all my friends. Especially those with whom I had the pleasure of discussing social media topics with last Thursday. Here's an example of how NOT to make a first impression on Twitter.
Don't do it.
Today's article was written entirely by my friend Jonathan Farman. Jonathan is 13 years old who, in addition to enjoying video games, drawing and reading, also enjoys thinking through business strategies. If Jonathan is any indication of the quality of thinking exhibited by today's Millennials, then I have to say that I'm very encouraged of what's to come. :) Rock on, Jonathan!
As I sat eating at Wienerschnitzel one day, I wondered if there was an iPhone application for the restaurant. I found that there was and, upon viewing it, an idea came to me. This small and simple app was brilliant marketing on their part and convenient, easy, and helpful for their customers.
Right: Offer a base product and stem products (free) that entice and lead the customer to the base product, offering exclusive products that can only be attained through the stem product, using it as an advertiser!
Wrong: Do not offer a base product but make the stem products the focus. Do not make a stem product that actually costs customers, it will detract from the appeal and lose your customers as well as advertisement avenues!
Wienerschnitzel has a free iPhone app that gives the location of any nearby restaurants, a menu, and even coupons! Marketing like that will surely draw in customers, since it is free, exclusive and conveniently benefits the customer. Compare that to a similar attempt at marketing from Carl’s Jr. They offer an app that merely shows restaurant locations for an astonishing $1.99! Comparing the two marketing variations, Wienerschnitzel held on to, or may have even attained, additional customers from their welcoming marketing while Carl's Jr. may or may not have kept their customers and could have even lost some with their not so smart marketing tactic.
I am thirteen years old and am about to graduate the eighth grade. I enjoy conjuring up business strategies. My hobbies include video games, drawing, and reading. I am an artist and have been taking art classes since I was eight. When I grow up, I want to work at Blizzard Entertainment as either a game developer or a conceptual artist. Visit my website at www.jonathansroom.com.
I had a great time participating in this Social Media Panel in February with my friends Eric Stegemann, Loren Nason and Jacob Swodeck (moderator). (With all the activity around launching MindBridj and JaraUniversity, it was only recently that I was able to start cutting all the tapes from that well-attended day-long symposium on topics ranging from real estate short sales, regulations, trends and, of course, social media.)
The entire panel discussion from which this video was pulled, was a 30-minute give-and-take on a wide range of social media topics including:
In the excerpt above Eric Stegemann, Loren Nason and I focus on answering questions mainly related to cultural awareness and brand building. Three highlights from the discussion to keep in mind, especially if you're new to social networks and new media, are:
This is especially important if you're new to a social network. Take time to observe the dialog in the network, lurk, get a lay of the land and a feel for the "group norms" and member behaviors. The idea is to become aware of the group culture in the network before jumping in with both feet.
My reference in the video to "that guy" is a nod to an article I first came across on Shannon Paul's blog about the metaphorically hapless noobie who runs around shouting their message about things they'd like to sell rather than actually listening to those in the networks they participate in. In a nut..don't be "that guy."
Even if you decide to fast-forward past my monologue, I'd recommend stopping to take a listen to Eric's take about not falling into the trap of believing social media to be synonymous with lead generation... it's about brand building. That is, focus on activities that helps to build your brand as a trusted advisor. Be the person that people remember as someone who offers really great, useful/helpful information.
[Update: May 10, 2010: Offer expired.]
This is the third in the series from my videoBook on JaraUniversity's website. The videoBook is based on the Social Media Field Guide For Real Estate Professionals, which I wrote last year. The whole videoBook series is available immediately with a free registration on JaraUniversity.
In this video, I present the section from our book that walks you through the transition from "social networks" to "social media". In the second half, I talk a bit about the social web's culture of trust, openness and transparency, as well as the importance of working within that culture in order to effectively engage customers via social networks.
This is an excerpt from Section 1.2 of the videoBook I published for JaraUniversity. It's based on the Social Media Field Guide For Real Estate Professionals, which I co-wrote last year.
The video above actually follows on the heels of Section 1.1 - Social Web's Connectivity Revolution, which I posted back in November. In Section 1.2 above I pick up where I left off and continue with a whirlwind of some of the major players in "Web 2.0" (and how's that different from "Web 1.0," anyway?) as the transition in the social web was switching from broadcast type media to social media.
Of course, in some of the downstream videos (coming later?), I drill down closer to some of the tools, platforms and efficiency behaviors that have emerged as "best practices" (which seems to be a continuously moving target, huh?) that we and others in this space have found to be really helpful.
If you don't want to wait for the slow unveil, by the way, then it'll help you to know that I'm making the entire videoBook series available for free on our new new-media training and support site at JaraUniversity.com. Click here. Register for free. And let me know your thoughts about additional topics you'd like to see on the site.