Archive for the ‘story’ tag
There’s a lot of talk about promoting your stuff in social networks.
Then there’s the talk about the successful promotion of the stuff other people make.
There isn’t nearly as much conversation about making something worth promoting. (promotion of the writing you do about selling the stuff you have doesn’t count).
Then consider: where are your expectations? What does making it big mean to you?
Put specific edges on them, so you can work it.
Talking about promotion is much more exciting than working on your product.
The experience happens close to the product. That’s where differentiation meets value proposition — people come to you because you are the only one who meets certain criteria. They may even talk about their experience to everyone they know if you give them the opportunity to fill in their details and complete the story.
Does this story lead somewhere worth my time?
That’s where business increases its relevance. It’s where your relevance is higher, too.
[image courtesy of Seth Godin]
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.
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Forbes has a story, which Google confirmed on Google+ of a new benefit that makes me go absolutely wow.
If a Google employee passes away while employed at Google, Google will continue to pay the family 50% of the Googlers salary for ten years…
Isn’t it always?
Actually, the long stories are the good ones. About how you found that great job, or discovered this amazing partner or managed to get that innovation approved.
If long stories are so great, how come we spend all our lives working for the short ones? The very act of seeking out the shortcut and the quick win might very well be the reason you don’t have enough successful long stories to share.
Yesterday Twitter suspended UK journalist Guy Adam’s account for tweeting negatively about NBC’s coverage of the Olympics, including tweeting an email address of the NBC executive in charge. Today we’ve learned that it was not NBC that initiated a complaint, but Twitter that took the surprising step of proactively informing NBC.
The assumption yesterday, unwritten but certainly thought, was that NBC had complained to Twitter. And that was bad enough, raising questions about freedom of speech and appropriate uses for Twitter, which has become a significant global communications utility, with 500 million registered users.
But today the Daily Telegraph revealed that actually, Twitter contacted NBC about the tweets, not vice versa. At least, according to a letter from NBC vice-president of communications Christopher McCloskey.
And that puts an entirely different complexion on things.
Up until now, Twitter has felt like something of a neutral party: If corporations or individuals complained about a tweet or an account, the company would investigate. And, if the terms of service had been violated or other violations found, Twitter would take action.
But it’s an entirely different matter to proactively be reviewing tweets and sending companies notifications about potential problems. Those are the actions of a publisher, not a communications utility. We’d expect to see that kind of move from a traditional movie or music industry organization, not our modern darling of geeky social news.
Bad form, Twitter. Seriously bad form.
It’s even worse when you consider that NBC and Twitter had a partnership to tell the story of London 2012 via tweets. That makes Twitter look like it has skin in this particular game … like the company was not a neutral party. Already some publications are stating quite openly that Twitter censored Adams because of the NBC partnership.
While that’s going too far based on the facts on-hand, one thing is for sure: This has really, really, really bad optics.
Suspending the journalist’s account was obviously — obviously! — a horrendously stupid idea. Anyone with even the smallest amount of media sense had to know that this would blow up. That Adams’ paper would publish about it. That the technology press would pick it up. That it would become a big story.
In fact, it’s the trending auto-complete on Google right now:
The smart way to deal with it was to not deal with it. The journalist in question, Guy Adams, would have continued to tweet, and most people would have continued to not notice.
But now it’s a big story, and Twitter has huge egg on its face.
Image credit: Nito/ShutterStock
According to Dictionary.com, censor means, “An official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military or othergrounds.”
And now the “etc.” has extended to Twitter.
A critic of NBC and it’s coverage of the Olympics has had his Twitter account suspended…with no update on when it might be reinstated.
The Back Story
Like many of you, Guy Adams, a writer for The Independent in Great Britain, but resident of Los Angeles, took to Twitter to criticize NBC for its tape delay of the opening ceremonies, subpar reporting, and silly policy that won’t allow us to see the games in real-time, though (by the time we see the coverage) we already know what happens.
He was relentless in his tweets, but didn’t say anything (in my opinion) I haven’t seen from my friends all over Facebook and Twitter.
Am I alone in wondering why NBC Olympics think its [sic] acceptable to pretend this road race is being broadcast live?
Matt Lauer: ‘Madagascar, a location indelibly associated with a couple of recent animated movies.
Adams encouraged Lauer “to shut up” and called out Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics, as the “moronic exec behind the time delay.” And he said Zenkel should be fired.
During one of his tweets about Zenkel, he tweeted the NBC executive’s email address and encouraged his followers to send him a note.
Twitter Account Suspended
This tweet was what created the account suspension.
Adams said he filed a story with The Independent and, when he went to Twitter, discovered his account was gone.
When working with Twitter support, he was told:
But Adams insists Zenkel’s email address is easily found on Google so he didn’t, in fact, violate the Twitter terms of service.
Censorship or “Rules”?
The suspension generated speculation that NBC has been involved in the decision from Twitter because they are partners during the Olympic Games.
NBC released a statement saying:
Whether or not the relationship (and complaint from) with NBC had anything to do with the suspension, this feels very much like censorship to me.
While there isn’t an official reading through tweets (as according to the formal definition), the objectionable parts of Adams’s Twitter account have been suspended.
If Adams had tweeted Zenkel’s home address and phone number, I can understand the suspension. But an email address that is easily found with a Google search?
What do you think? Deserved suspension or censorship?
Today on Google you will find a Google airplane logo to celebrate the life of Amelia Earhart. Today is her 115th birthday and Google wants to remind the world of her accomplishments.
Amelia Earhart is a story every American child grew up reading about…
Remember the viral video about the old man in a nursing home who almost literally comes alive when hearing music? The video went viral in April this year, with more than six million views in four days.
That short clip is part of a documentary film, Alive Inside, which shows how personalized music can completely transform non-responsive, uninterested, almost vegetative seniors.
In Henry’s own words: “It gives me the feeling of love … romance!”
In fact, famous neurologist and author Oliver Sacks – if you’ve ever watched Awakenings, the movie with Robin Williams and Robert de Niro in which inmates of an asylum go quite astonishingly sane, you’ve seen his story — concurs, saying Henry has been “quickened, brought to life.”
By music? How?
“I saw that iPods were ubiquitious — everyone has one — but that there were none in nursing homes,” Cohen told me when we spoke last week. “We talk about digitally bypassed people, sometimes, but old people are the extreme.”
In fact, there are about 18,000 retirement and old age homes in North America, almost all of which have basically no computers, no iPads, no WIFI … none of the things that many of us who are younger and in good health take for granted.
On a whim, Cohen brought iPods into a care home.
“I personalized the music to what people like, or what they knew when they were young,” Cohen says. “Every couple of weeks I’d pull off songs they didn’t like and added ones they did.”
Eventually, residents had about 150 songs that they knew and loved on their iPods.
“It gives me the feeling of love”
Cohen was shocked at the results … seniors who had withdrawn into themselves became animated. Elders who didn’t speak started singing. People who became agitated and upset every evening calmed down. It was almost like dead people coming back to life.
He started telling others about the program.
The Atlantic Institute of Aging in New Brunswick, Canada tried music therapy and confirmed Cohen’s findings. They started giving personalized music to seniors and, Cohen says, found that with music, “seniors who don’t talk, talk. People who don’t move, start moving. And seniors who are depressed get happier.”
According to brain experts, there are actually multiple things happening when seniors seem to “come back alive.” Music we hear between the ages of 10 and 16 becomes associated with the events of that time: puberty, hormonal changes, first loves, best friends, and more.
Music is unique in the brain
“That’s what’s different about music in the brain … and it’s unique. It’s not located in one spot,” says Cohen. “That’s why they use music for people who lose speech … they can’t speak but they can sing.”
One example is American congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head and lost the ability to speak. Music has helped her regain the ability to sing and then to speak … by training the other side of her brain to talk.
And music has multiple impacts, brain researchers and neurologists have found. One of them is reducing blood pressure.
“Alzheimers often causes agitation around sundown,” says Cohen. “That’s why families put them into an institution — they can’t cope.”
But music, because it reduces blood pressure, reduces agitation. And elders can then stay home with their families, which is beneficial for caregivers as well, Cohen notes.
A graduate student helping out in a Tulane, Louisiana care home tried music therapy with 15 dementia patients and found that every one, uncommunicative before, starting talking to her.
“In fact, they were so talkative that when re-tested for dementia, they could not be scored: the dementia had receded so much,” Cohen told me.
MP3 players: not isolating
One of the criticisms of portable music systems since Walkmans is isolation: kids who don’t interact with their peers or families anymore. Music & Memory faced the same concern.
“When I started doing this, people were annoyed, saying that I was going to isolate seniors even more by putting headphones on them.”
Running an experiment with a foundation that gave iPods to a 200-senior test group, however, proved quite the opposite. The feedback from the professionals included not a single report of increased isolation, and a flood of stories of increased socialization, memories returning, and more conversation.
Music & Memory foundation
Early results were so encouraging that Cohen started a foundation, Music & Memory, to bring music to more elders.
The mission is to improve the quality of life for the elderly through personalized music. 40 or more care homes are already running music programs, created with the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function.
But cost is a usually a problem:
“A thousand dollars for medicines — that’s no problem,” Cohen says with a trace of a smile in his voice. “But one $40 music player … that’s a problem.”
So Music & Memory runs iPod donation drives, accepts shipments of people’s old iPods, and solicits cash donations to buy music players.
But one thing did more to raise the foundation’s profile than any other effort: a clip from a movie documenting the effects on music on aging people. The Henry clip, in fact, that went viral, with six million views in four days.
“In some sense Henry is restored to himself,” Dr. Oliver Sacks says in the clip. The music helps to “animate, organize, and bring a sense of identity back to people who are out of it, otherwise.”
Alive Inside and Kickstarter
Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennet is producing the documentary, Alive Inside, that this clip comes from. The movie follows the story of Cohen and his patients … and the effects of music on formerly quiet, almost vegetative seniors.
When he showed an early version for senior officials of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the response was incredible. The corporation, the largest municipal health care organization in the U.S., almost immediately decided to pilot the music program for 3000 patients.
To finish the film, however, Rossato-Bennet needs $50,000 … mostly for music rights to use the songs that patients revive to. So he’s started a Kickstarter project to raise the funds.
Currently the project has eight days to go, and still needs $30,000.
When finished — and Cohen is adamant the film will be finished, Kickstarter success or not — the group will take it on a film festival circuit.
Because, in Henry’s words, “right now the world needs to come into music.”
Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is the topic of Wired’s August cover story as the popular publication investigates how the tech guru’s management style affects industry leaders.
In an airy studio on a high floor of the London College of Fashion, featuring a long conference table, white walls, and a view to an adjoining patio—where, a sign warns, bees are being kept—the hues you will see in two years are being divined by a pan-European group of colorists.
“What do we say about blue?” asks David Shah, a British-born, Amsterdam-based designer who heads the meeting on behalf of Pantone, the quietly ubiquitous American company that maintains color standards for publishers, designers, and the fashion world. “Blue took so long to come back. It came back last year in a watery story, it’s here this summer in an indigo story—what are we doing about blue?”
“A good navy,” says a French woman with short blonde hair, “is going to fulfill the role that black used to fill, because black is now launching into another dimension.”
“How do we see black now?” Shah interjects. “As a dynamic color?” There is excited chatter. Black has shed its cultural baggage as a negative color. The Italians “did a big statement” about black. The big Yohji Yamamoto retrospective down the road at the V&A. The noncolor that is all colors. Exciting new materials that help black transcend its blackness.
So the new black is … black? Leatrice Eiseman, a color consultant and the sole American at the meeting, (the sole “pragmatic American,” as she describes herself), speaks for the first time. “What I fear about making a general sweeping statement about black is that we know we’ve been there—who doesn’t know about black? What’s new about it?” Animated conversation ensues.
Twice a year, in some European capital, in a room purposely chosen to be drab and sparse—so as not to influence the color mood—Shah gathers a stable of colorists, each of whom works with his or her own country’s national color groups (who traditionally have worked with textile companies and others to set color standards), as well as consulting with companies ranging from Airbus to Zara to Union Carbide. Where the rest of us see black, these are people who talk about the “family of black.” Over two days, they will each pitch a palette concept, organized roughly around a theme that has been chosen in advance (this time, it’s “unity”), that they believe will be dominant in Spring/Summer 2013. The results are published in Pantone View, a $750 publication that is purchased by companies across a broad consumer landscape, from fashion designers to supermarket chains to the floral industry. (“Everybody’s into white flowers at the moment,” Shah tells me, “there are definitely movements, even in flowers.”)
While the Pantone meetings are traditionally secret, I was invited to the Summer 2013 meeting on the condition that I not reveal the colorists’ identities. (Shah and Eiseman’s names are real; I’ll refer to everyone else present at the meeting by their nationality.) And so as to avoid influencing the discussion, I have been asked not to reveal my own identity as a journalist. Instead, I am vaguely portrayed as a functionary of X-Rite, the corporate parent of Pantone.
The meeting is a high-concept show-and-tell fused with a cultural anthropology seminar, with Shah alternately playing the role of interlocutor and air traffic controller. Like novelist William Gibson’s trend-hunter Cayce Pollard, Shah can unleash a torrent of cultural memes on command. Expounding in one instance on the “unity” theme, he riffs: “We’re talking a lot about community, neighborliness, moving from macro to micro economy. The whole ‘rurban’ thing—local food, local chocolate. At the same time, the simplification of things, reducing complications. Don’t make any instruction manuals—things should be intuitive. Computers that will think for you, read your gestures, actually tell you when to go shopping. You go into Gap, it starts suggesting products for you, connecting your friend’s taste to your taste. It’s all about choosing together.” He pauses, a quick intake of breath, before firing: “How many people use Twitter here?” “Oh, God,” retorts the Frenchwoman.
” - Tom Vanderbilt, Pantone color forecasts: Are they accurate? – Slate Magazine Vanderbilt describes a hush-hush meeting of color mavens, convened every summer by Pantone, to decide what will be the colors of the following season. The paragraph about David Shah’s stream-of-consciousness cultural dissection made my head hurt, but in a familiar way. This is the proof that getting deep into any niche of culture means that you have to get more connected to everything that niche touches.
- Tom Vanderbilt, Pantone color forecasts: Are they accurate? – Slate Magazine
Vanderbilt describes a hush-hush meeting of color mavens, convened every summer by Pantone, to decide what will be the colors of the following season.
The paragraph about David Shah’s stream-of-consciousness cultural dissection made my head hurt, but in a familiar way.
This is the proof that getting deep into any niche of culture means that you have to get more connected to everything that niche touches.
I have a question. Why are so many journalists and bloggers writing with advice for Marissa Mayer?
Risking the fact that you might be tired of the “women rule” trip I’m on lately, I really want to know what the heck is going on.
If this were a 37-year-old man whose wife was pregnant, we wouldn’t be talking about this. In fact, it would be a non-story, other than the fifth CEO in five years has joined Yahoo! and Wall Street is paying attention.
They might wonder why he hadn’t attended the earnings call on his first day. That could have been a story. And, certainly, coming from Google is a story.
But it wouldn’t be about his gender, his age, the fact that he and his wife are expecting, or even how he feels about burnout and whether or not it’s naive.
No one would give him advice, as it compares to Carly Fiorina’s “failure” at HP. No one would be talking about the “glass cliff” he’s on (do you know this term? It’s going to make you angry). No one would be giving him advice about taking leave after the baby arrives. And certainly no one would be putting the work/life balance discussion squarely on his shoulders by saying,
Women and girls the world over are looking to you to inspire, set trends in the workplace, and establish what it means to be a young working mom helming a Fortune 500 company.
Is this really 2012? Or have we stepped into a time warp?
Yahoo!, the once Internet darling, isn’t faring so well, and it may take longer than five years to undo what her predecessors have left in their wake. There may be some sour apples that interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn, didn’t get the job. And, according to reports, the culture is in dire need of fixing.
All of these things would be there no matter who took over the helm.
I wish her the best of luck in her new job. I hope she’s not on a glass cliff, but has success at Yahoo!.
That’s the conversation we should be having in a year – what she’s doing to turn around the company; not her age, her new baby, or her gender.