Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is there an app for that?

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 09:  Two men hold th...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

My 13-year-old fact-quoting Asperger's egghead has found an app called Cool Facts.
Which is just that: an unending collecting of cool facts.
Its the last things he needs. He is already a storehouse of arcane trivia, a Jeopardy champ in the making.
With the iPod Touch in his hand, he never shuts up.
What he needs - what all kids with Asperger's need - is as an app to guide them through reciprocal conversation.
Is there an app for that?
There's certainly a market.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

An educated consumer is our best customer

Minneapolis Farmers MarketImage by livewombat via Flickr

There's a discount clothing store in New York called Syms which advertises "An educated consumer is our best customer."

That's how I feel about the Minneapolis Farmers Market (MFM). I am fortunate to be working on a project for the Minneapolis Farmers Market. It's a project I love, and while I've come to enjoy the MFM, it wasn't until today that I fully appreciated it.

All it took was one trip to the neighborhood coop.

You see, in effort to be economical and "save on gas", I went to my neighborhood coop. It's 10 miles closer, so I thought it a sensible choice.

It turned out to be a foolish, expensive choice that left me feeling dumb, cheated and crappy.

Why? Because the Minneapolis Farmers Market has more variety. Less packaging. Better prices. More value. Not to mention fresh scapes, baby beets, sugar snap peas, all of it fresh picked today.

At the coop, I spent $2.99 for a plastic clamshell of "organic" strawberries shipped in from California. At the Market, the same three bucks would have bought me just-picked Minnesota berries. At the coop, I spent 7.49 for a giant plastic clamshell of "organic" baby greens shipped in from California. At the Market, that same 7.50 could have bought me twice as much, twice as fresh, totally local.

When these things are in season here, why does a local coop even ship them in?

I wasted 70 bucks at the coop. That would have bought me a fortune in good, fresh, local food at the Farmers Market. At the coop, it netted me two bags of overpackaged, overtransported, overmarketed mediocrity.

I'm done with the coop. I'm grateful for this one last trip, though, because it has made me an educated consumer. And Syms is right. An educated consumer is the best customer.

Once you've been to a real farmers market, there's no going back.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

To all the Bubbies out there

Bubbies 1953 Chevrolet Sedan DeliveryImage by Brain Toad Photography via Flickr

The real Bubbies.
The Sophies, Muries, Sylvias, and Ettas:


"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" have absconded with the word "bubbies" to describe their breasts.
And it's a shande.
Just today I read that Real Housewife Danielle Staub has had her bubbies done. Two times.

This you call a housewife? A balabusta she's not.

And exactly what she's done to the Bubbies? I'll tell you.

She's broken their hearts.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Old dogs, new tricks

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

As I've trudged through the mass migration from old media to new, I've trod many paths.

I'm a Facebook failure. Not popular enough.
As a blogger, others are wittier.
As for establishing a personal brand, I have none.
But twittering -- for others -- is a fit.

That's where my ability to clarify conversations shines. Taking useful content. Boiling it down to 140 characters. The years I spent writing ad copy for radio, shrinking messages from :60 seconds to :30 to :15 to :10 prepared me perfectly for tweeting.

For others.

That's the copywriting skill, as opposed to the original journalism or personal branding piece.

I don't have a brand. So my personal tweets have been bland.
But others have brands I can be passionate about. So I am the happy, useful voice of several brands. And that employs my writing, my judgment, my experience, my passion, my marketing, my talent for connecting.

And my sense of fun.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Land of the Lost

Any theater where people sit through this dreadful movie is, indeed, Land of the Lost.

No style. No coherent vision. Not much laughter.

My 13-year-old was elsewhere in the theater, so I sat through it in stunned resignation.

And Will Ferrell? His schtick has been funny in the past ("Anchorman"), but his moment may have passed. It doesn't carry this dreckfest.

Friday, June 5, 2009

MinnPost - Braublog: Mpls.St.Paul mag kills 'Lambert to the Slaughter'

Image representing AddThis as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

MinnPost - Braublog: Mpls.St.Paul mag kills 'Lambert to the Slaughter'

Shared via AddThis

Their loss. Somebody else's gain.

Brian Lambert provides great content: the most cogent media criticism in town.
Funny and incisive.
I'll follow him wherever he appears.
MSP loses. Somebody else gains.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Old Job Market

I'm at Career Conference with a different crowd. A crowd that looks like me.
Not the young, hip social media crowd. A mature, loose jawed, somewhat weary-looking over-50 crowd.

The keynote speaker was 63-year-old comedian, Susan Vass. Her material was not new, but the crowd loved her.

Now a panel of "Success Stories".
Barb Olson, who is now happy at the University of St. Thomas, told herself during her year of searching and rejection, "It just wasn't the best job for me."

Carol Curse was a VP at Target. She was there for a decade, before re-evaluating and setting up her own OD consultancy.

Jeff Smith says he was "on the beach for four months" after being laid off from Carlson, and is now at UHC. "Persistence" is what he counsels others.

Todd Schoolman was a Sr HR Generalist for the Tennant Companies and is now in HR for a division of Hallmark. "It just took time and persistence." His advice: "Enjoy the process."

All four of them did find work. Good work. Not desperation jobs. And none of them are young.

Final comments on the search:
Carol: Appreciate your inner circle
Jeff: Read Laurie Bowers blog, "Laid Off Laurie"
Barb: Find balance in 3 areas: job search, family, community
Todd: Try to enjoy it.