Blog Soup 2011.10.31 Happy Halloween

October 30, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.10.31.Happy Halloween

Lots of treats. Maybe a few tricks. All we can be sure of is that winter is coming.

I read a lot of blogs. Maybe, too many. I comment on a lot of blog posts. Maybe, too many. If you are a Triberrati, you do too.

A Triberrati is a blogger that stands out in the Triberr community. Triberr is a web app that connects bloggers and helps them to curate each other on Twitter. You can learn all about Triberr by reading any of the following posts about it.

1. James St. JohnTriberr: They Want To Change The World

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

Gary Portnoy, Where everybody knows your name (Cheers theme song)

Read the rest of this entry »


Blog Soup 2011.10.27 A Blogger’s Digest

October 28, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

I read a lot of blogs. Maybe, too many. I comment on a lot of blog posts. Maybe, too many. If you are a Triberrati, you do too.

A Triberrati is a blogger that stands out in the Triberr community. Triberr is a web app that connects bloggers and helps them to curate each other on Twitter. You can learn all about Triberr by reading any of the following posts about it.

1. James St. JohnTriberr: They Want To Change The World

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

Gary Portnoy, Where everybody knows your name (Cheers theme song)

Read the rest of this entry »


What is Occupy Wall Street? And other social media DOHs #ows

October 27, 2011

What is Occupy Wall Street? 

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Elvis Presley, Amazing Grace

Often, I do not spell out the social media lesson. I treat my blog posts that do illuminate social media DOHs as parables. The parable here is especially elusive and I allow it to remain so. Because we must accustom ourselves to the reality that the heart will know things long before the mind can comprehend.

Some of you may know that I have recently made several comments on Bruce Sallan’s blog post, The Value of Money and Occupy Wall Street, and to the comments there. However, the most important of those comments, perhaps, is the one I publish here. I understand that it reproduces poorly here out of context – at least at it’s start. Because I begin my comment by addressing a comment that attempts to analyze the OWS movement according to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy on civil disobedience and non-violent protest.

At the end of my long comment, I answer the question, what is Occupy Wall Street about.

I may be wrong. And I may be mistaken about many things. It is my intuitional opinion and it being an opinion and an intuition, it is neither necessarily right, wrong, worthwhile, nor useless. It just is.

You be the judge of whether or not my opinion speaks loudly to your heart or not. Because you alone are responsible for what you accept into your heart as a compelling instance of the beautiful, the good, and the true.

Read the rest of this entry »


Murder will not silence us. A guest post by @Soulati.

October 26, 2011

Freedom of Expression in Mexico or Decapitation 

By Jayme Soulati

Johnny Cash, When the Man Comes Around

Foreword by Stan Faryna

There are three things that make life unquestioningly interesting, memorable, and awesome: the Beautiful, the Good, and the True. Our experiences of these three things may differ, but when a person or community feels these things to be under threat, our sympathy reaches across borders, cultures, and distance – so long as we still heave hearts. Some of us are even willing to put ourselves at risk in order to speak out. To be sure, there is a power in words spoken from the heart.

Maria Elizabeth Macias spoke out against evil. And she was killed and beheaded for speaking directly to evil. But her voice continues to ring with hope – long after her death. Murder will not silence truth, goodness, or beauty. Nor do gulags, concentration camps, or prisons silence them.

Jayme Soulati and thousands of others carry Maria’s voice in their hearts and they share her story with others. Maria’s voice grows more powerful. It has become a cry to heaven and a call to action. I hope that you too will carry Maria’s voice in your heart and join us in beseeching heaven for justice to come rolling down like thunder. Everywhere. For all.

Thank you, Jayme.

Stan Faryna
Bucharest, Romania
26 October 2011
Read the rest of this entry »


Blog Soup 2011.10.24 A Blogger’s Digest

October 24, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

I read a lot of blogs. Maybe, too many. I comment on a lot of blog posts. Maybe, too many. If you are a Triberrati, you do too.

A Triberrati is a blogger that stands out in the Triberr community. Triberr is a web app that connects bloggers and helps them to curate each other on Twitter. You can learn all about Triberr by reading any of the following posts about it.

1. James St. JohnTriberr: They Want To Change The World

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

Gary Portnoy, Where everybody knows your name (Cheers theme song)

Earth Date 2011.10.24

Just some of the blogs that I commented on this week:

1. Frank’s #FollowFriday: Christian Hollingsworth by Frank Dickinson

2. Libya: Celebrations as Gaddafi Confirmed Dead by Amira Al Hussaini

3. I’m Going On House Arrest Until I Have 100,000 Twitter Followers by Christian Hollingsworth

4. The Walking Dead Lunchbox Now Available For Pre-Order! by Nicholas Teri

5. Inspiration, Horses and Alaska Chick by Amber-Lee Dibble

6. 3 Sure Ways To Never Be Happy by Anne Egros

7. You Cannot Change What You Do Not See by Danny Brown

8. Reclaiming my love of the online world by Margie Clayman

9. I Realize Blog Comments are NOT a Business Model by Marcus Sheridan

10. Why Occupy Wall Street Media Coverage Is Superficial by Donald Mazzella

11. Facebook Privacy Complaint: A Complete Breakdown by Ian Paul

12. Social media scandal and seasonal social media satire! by Peter Masters

13. The Writer’s Relationship by Barry Morris

14. Can social survive without me? by Bill Dorman

15. Howard Gardner on The True, the Beautiful, and the Good 

Christina Aguilera – Beautiful

Moveable Feasts, Scooby Snacks, Etcetera

1. Frank’s #FollowFriday: Christian Hollingsworth by Frank Dickinson

Frank writes:

“Christian Hollingsworth is an online POWERHOUSE! He’s everywhere, doing everything with everybody.”

My comment:

Christian Hollingsworth brings many good things to how he does social media:

1. Energy
2. Passion
3. Curiosity
4. Wonder
5. Friendliness
6. Commitment
7. KINDNESS

Does Christian sleep? Or does he fold time and fit 48 hours into a day? One wonders in awe.

2. Libya: Celebrations as Gaddafi Confirmed Dead by Amira Al Hussaini

After hundreds of thousands of tweets and guess work between news of him being captured, wounded, killed, or all three together, the National Transitional Council (NTC) has finally confirmed that Libyan dictator Muammar Al Gaddafi is dead.

My comment:

Gaddafi’s murder provokes questions and, perhaps, a new look at politics. It is a murder – not a death as journalists and everyone else seems to want to describe it. The world, generally speaking, wanted the man dead. Gaddafi’s death is not an accident. He did not die of natural causes. His murder was pre-meditated, prayed for, and executed with great ambition, intelligence, and force.

Are we uncomfortable to admit to the dark side of the human heart? Of our own murderous hearts?

I do not dispute the reasons which motivated the murder. Nor do I dispute the reasons which motivate the celebration of Gaddafi’s death. Gaddafi, himself, is said to have given the order to kill specific individuals and communities (men, women, and children) which opposed his Libyan rule. And I am reminded of the old saying, he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. But this does not mean that Gaddafi’s blood is not on our hands.

I do not believe Gaddafi would have surrendered himself to Libya or the world for judgment and humiliation as did Christ. Certainly, Gaddafi was given considerable opportunity to do so and he politely and not so politely declined. But even if he was the one-eyed kind in the kingdom of the blind, he was not a lunatic until we said that he was a lunatic.

The Gaddafi that fought for his life, family, and rule until he was struck down – he was the same man that was previously received warmly as a leader, statesman, and businessman by world leaders, statesmen, and businessmen. But if the world could be said to be naive, tongue in cheek, then the Arab world is rampant with polite lunatics for Gaddafi may have been the boldest of all the arab leaders of the twenty-first century.

Certainly, he was the only one to face the so called evil West with outrageous impunity.

Gaddafi represented all of the pride and prejudice of the Islamic empire, Arab nationalism, and the “Oriental” soul. The sound and the fury!

Saddam Hussein, we all know now, was nothing more than an angry American muppet and, unfortunately for him, a pretense to reassert European (British and French) interests in oil production. Funny thing about that. The most cynical of Americans thought it was about American interests in that same oil production and how very mistaken they were and continue to be. So why did America do the dirty work for the Europeans when Europeans all along have been plotting along to abandon the dollar and force America into a long, dark night of despair?

Gaddafi represented all of the pride and prejudice of the Islamic empire, Arab nationalism, and the “Oriental” soul. The sound and the fury!

Osama bin Laden? Another angry American muppet (aka fattened calf). Little did he know his retirement in Pakistan was not a long retirement.

But like Stormbringer says to Elric in Michael Moorcocks’ Elric Saga – so the black sword (oil) said to Gaddafi: “Farewell, friend. I was a thousand times more evil than thou.”

What I have written is merely wild-eyed conjecture and speculation. Science fiction, perhaps. Any correlation to truth or any likeness to reality is merely coincidental and was intended by the author as entertainment of a mature audience.

Notes:

My comment was apparently rejected.

3. I’m Going On House Arrest Until I Have 100,000 Twitter Followers by Christian Hollingsworth

Christian says that he wants 100000 Twitter followers. Presently, he has 84,351 followers. Is he serious? Or does he just need a little attention?

My comment:

I understand the need for speed. I understand the need to do epic shizz. My call to action, motto, and self-description on my calling card or business cards have always stated this strongly.

1. Miracles on Demand
2. Do amazing things
3. Fortune Maker

My sophomore year in college, I drove “non-stop” from Los Angeles to Earlham, Indiana (about 4,000 miles if I remember correctly) in 40 hours. Of course, I had to stop for gas and when I did, I did all the other things too.

Also in my twenties, I used to do overnight powerpoint presentations for leading McKinsey and Anderson business consultants for their next morning presentations with Fortune 100 C-Suites. I ate the impossible like a snack and I was well paid for it.

And I kicked off my first start up with a proposal to use online marketing to capture a niche market for APC that I had identified myself. It opened up an international market worth tens of millions per year. I don’t think I slept more than 20 hours/week for three months to make that happen.

Um, I didn’t intend to write about me in this comment.

I see you (Christian) killing yourself to be a social media rockstar. I honor your yearning for greatness as I mentioned on Frank’s tribute to you.

But I do want you to think deeply about where you are going with all this awesome. Because I care about you.

1. Do you want to make a lot of money?
2. Do you want to change the world for the better?
3. Do you want to serve God?
4. Or, perhaps, all of the above?

You don’t need all the answers right now. But you do need the questions that your heart may search them like uncharted seas.

4. The Walking Dead Lunchbox Now Available For Pre-Order! by Nicholas Teri

A walking dead lunch box for $12? Zombie fans unite!

My comment:

I just rented Season 1 of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Saw the first episode just now. Looking forward to knock down the rest of the season tonight.

But I have to wonder what is it about zombies that has such magnetic appeal? Ok, vampires can be sexy, powerful, and forever. But I don’t think most people want to be a zombie. They smell really bad, they are ugly, and most of them are just way too slow for the dance floor.

Part of the appeal of zombies, perhaps, is the want to kill zombies. Is the appeal relevant to our unavoidable existential struggle with death and dying? Or is it as simple as killing our problems without entertaining the moral questions and emotional confusion that unsimplify our reality?

Perhaps, zombies represent life’s challenges, others, and our humble fears. Slow moving target, often and apparently lacking intelligence, and somewhat predictable. They only come as a crowd if you make too much noise. If only all our problems were just head shots and easy targets!

In his blog post, Why zombies?, Tobias Buckwell says that zombies work because…

1. Guilt free mass killing
2. Zombies represent larger societal fears including invasion, consumerism, government secrets, and weapons of mass destruction
3. Social criticism

Whatever works about the zombie genre, I must observe that the zombie problem does not suspend our own questions about good and evil, morality, goodness, and, perhaps, also truth…

In fact, the drama of the zombie brings us back to the most basic questions of being, morality and truth.

To be is good. To be alive is good. There is certain objective truth about the goodness of being and life – however, primary and elementary. To fight to stay alive is good – generally speaking.

To live, to love, and to know – all human good is founded upon these three things. In a manner of speaking, they are the natural law from which all moral and legal questions are based.

Do you like the zombie genre? Why?

5. Inspiration, Horses and Alaska Chick by Amber-Lee Dibble

Amber-Lee gives with gratitude. Not like a duty, but as a delight. Like the natural, uplifting song of wild birds in the morning.

Amber-Lee gives thanks to Janet Callaway, Margie Clayman, Steve Bloom, me, Marcus Sheridan, Danny Brown, Lisa Barone, Gini Dietrich, Bill Dorman, Mark Schaefer, Christian Hollingsworth, Aaron Biebert, and many others.

My comment:

It’s ironic that the last scene of The Walking Dead’s first episode of Season One had Altana’s zombies feeding on a horse. Because the next blog post I read was by Amber-Lee. And the title, of course, mentioned horses.

Since there’s a population of eight or so in Chisana, I don’t think there is ever going to be a zombie problem in Chisana. I’m glad about that because I think grizzlies, cold, and silence is a big enough challenge for them up there.

Amber-Lee’s story of the two horses is a wonderful parable of a world of we a la Dr. Jack King. I recommend that you read it, today.

To live, to love, and to know.

Amber-Lee’s parable speaks indirectly to the natural law, our life, and our destiny. And if you remain unclear about what it means to know, to know is to receive, eat, and drink the Beautiful, the Good, and the True.

The light of God, in other words.

For some, this is most certainly the splendor of truth that shines from the cross.

And be transformed, thereby.

6. 3 Sure Ways To Never Be Happy by Anne Egros

Anne says that three things will make you unhappy:

1. Not knowing what happiness means to you

2. Doing things you don’t like to please others

3. Blaming yourself

My comment:

Yes!

1. You should discover an understanding of happiness. Physical sensation, feelings, conscience, intuition, reason, spirit, and good authority are TOGETHER good indicators of whether or not a thing serves or prevents joy.

Be on guard against false happiness, however. For they do not fulfill you. They consume you.

2. Pleasing others for no other reason than to please others is imprudent to be sure. Likewise, displeasing others for no better reason than to contradict them is equally problematic.

Because we were meant to love one another and lift each other up insofar as we were meant to give selflessly of the Beautiful, the Good, and the True which is mirrored imperfectly through our selves.

3. The blame game is when you blame yourself without any sincere endeavor to face, fix, and avoid repeating the problem, mistake, or offense. It’s an easy trap that catches us up when we avoid responsibility, love, and humility.

Shame and anger are not virtues, but they can serve our conscience. And conscience, however fallible, ever serves as the personal and intimate revelation of the divine, the sacred, and our own humanity.

7. You Cannot Change What You Do Not See by Danny Brown

Value is difficult to appreciate – especially if it is not obvious, intense, and related to the things that matter to people. Creating obvious value in a highly competitive market often requires taking a deeper, longer look at what you are doing and what your customers want.

Danny tells the fantastic story of Nintendo’s comeback with the Wii as a parable for reinvention.

My comment:

I can’t help but think of the millions of little business bloggers being like fry in an ocean. In other words, food for bigger fish. Can any value that they create make a whale of a story? [grin]

Marcus Sheridan’s recent post, 10,862 Comments Later, I Realize Blog Comments are NOT a Business Model, suggests to me that little business bloggers may only ever be. Fish food – that is.

And so it may be that Christian Hollingsworth should be shooting for 5 million followers in five months! [grin] Because the funny thing about 100k may be an unfortunate joke on him.

What say you, Danny?

8. Reclaiming my love of the online world by Margie Clayman

Margie was disappointed by how some responded to Trey Pennington’s suicide. It made her question her enthusiasm for online community.

My comment:

What hit me hardest about Trey Pennington’s suicide was the paradox of him having 100,000+ followers and 5,000 Facebook friends (not to mention considerable admiration among social media celebrities) and still feeling so alone and overwhelmed by his problems that he killed himself in a church.

Depression is a disease. I get it. But that does not preclude further feeling, thought, and prayer on the variety of questions and problematics that his or any other suicide may provoke.

Presently, tens of thousands of Japanese people are walking that line. They are thinking about suicide. Because the tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown has devastated their lives, family, and belief in a better future. I don’t think meds are going to save them all – if the meds were available for free. And the meds are not available to most of those Japanese people trying to negotiate one day at a time.

Like you, I believe that we can and should lift each other up – that we can use the internet to do beautiful, good, and true things. We must choose to do so. Yet I understand too that it is not easy to choose to do so each and every day. I also understand that we do not all agree on what is good and true.

Suicide, for example, is a problem with many sides. Even as a subject for discussion. For example, some feel that suicide (of a stranger or someone closer to the heart) is a personal insult and offense to their life, difficulties, and decisions. Others respond with sympathy for the dead or the family and friends of the dead. Disagreements will abound if we are honest with each other. How we negotiate such disagreements will vary.

How will we negotiate disagreements about the things for which we feel strongly and passionately (for and against)? Do we hang out only with the people that agree with us? Do we bite our tongue in the public square? When can we protest, argue, and negotiate a wider understanding that includes all of the sides of a problem without bias?

These are the questions I would like to add to your own questions about how we can make the online world shine. I hope you don’t mind.

9. I Realize Blog Comments are NOT a Business Model by Marcus Sheridan

“Over 10,000 comments and not a single customer,” reports Marcus Baker.

If you need validation, go for the comments. But if you want engagement, it’s the emails and phone call that count. That’s what Marcus seems to be saying.

My comments:

In a comment to Danny Brown, Leon Noone quotes Mark Twain:

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

10. Why Occupy Wall Street Media Coverage Is Superficial by Donald Mazzella

Donald writes that the media has failed to bring the protest into perspective. Journalists aren’t thinking about or investigating what’s happening in America that is fueling the inarticulate concerns of Occupy Wall Street. We just get 20 seconds on the evening news.

My comment:

Zuccotti Park, in fact, seems to be more of a small circus freak show than protest. I’m not surprised by editorials by Aaron Biebert and Eugene Farber regarding Occupy Wall Street. However, if one looks to all sides of the problem without bias, the incoherence of Zuccotti Park actually represents the breaking down of American society and life.

The reality is that nothing makes sense anymore. There are no answers and solutions. There are only more and more problems.

What’s wrong with America has become so vast and deep that it fuels intuitive and existential apprehensions which can only be understood by the protestors within their own subjective ponderance of personal problems that they immediately comprehend and experience.

In other words, Americans feel strongly that the shit has hit the fan, but they don’t understand how their own personal problems belong to a widespread failure of systemic proportions. The ship is taking on water at multiple points below deck. The intellectuals and experts, themselves, seem to lack the imagination and courage to speak honestly.

Fear is thick as fog. And visibility, consequently, is reduced.

It’s very much a need to know thing that’s going on. Between government offices as much as between government and financial institutions, government and the people, and mainstream media and the people. Some will even suggest that the freak show at Zuccotti park is allowed to go on with the show because as long as no one addresses, thinks about, and comprehends the bigger picture, apprehension will not become outrage. Myself, I find it unlikely that editors and bureau chiefs have caught a bad case of stupid.

The truth, however, will set us free. Not better marketing and political maneuvering as some might suggest.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness… this is not a campaign slogan. It is a sworn and inalienable guarantee. But if you don’t take it seriously as a citizen, no politician will either.

11. Facebook Privacy Complaint: A Complete Breakdown by Ian Paul

The Electronic Privacy Information Center and 14 other consumer protection groups have lodged a formal complaint against Facebook with the Federal Trade Commission.

At issue are Facebook’s Instant Personalization feature; the inability of Facebook users to make the ‘Likes and Interests’ section of their profile private; and the fact that Facebook discloses user profile information in certain ways even if a user has elected to keep that information private.

The full compliant is here via PDF.

My comment:

Yomar Lopez sent me a link to this article via Twitter. So I checked it out.

Facebook has long gamed privacy. That we know. Sometimes, Facebook is doing questionable things because it is in Facebook’s business interest. Sometimes, it does them because that’s where we need to be headed in terms of the social web. And, yes, that is also in Facebook’s business interests.

The sharing that happens with instant personalization, likes, interests, for example, is not inconsistent with the vision of a semantic web in which relevant information can be easily shared across independent communities, networks, and platforms. We all want this – more or less.

On the other hand, when you can view the private chats of your friends on Facebook, no one will agree that such a “feature” advances the quality and relevance of online life and community.

Obviously, Mark Zuckerberg lacks the maturity, conscience, and sensitivity to lead an organization such as Facebook. And that’s the bottom line.

12. Social media scandal and seasonal social media satire! by Peter Masters

Asks Peter:

“What’s happening over at Empire Avenue? Where’s all the social media love and affection gone?”

My comment:

The times they are exciting in social media as Peter observes. Empire Avenue and Klout have shaken, stirred, and unmasked the stupid clowns as John Garrett would say – if he had a mean bone in his body.

13. The Writer’s Relationship by Barry Morris

Writes Barry:

I am in a thriving relationship. I’m in relationship with my writing.

My comment:

I noticed the link on John Garrett’s Twitter feed.

I understand Barry but I am also concerned about the consequences. A great loneliness awaits Barry – when Barry’s teenage son grows up and leaves the nest. It’s not so far off, in fact.

I have always been passionate about my work – whether it is a start up, online strategy, design, writing, etc. I can devote myself to it with single-minded, intense focus. And with fierce loyalty.

But I have sometimes considered that the work does not give back like I give to the work. Nor does it keep me warm under the sheets through a long, winter night.

The work does not bring me a mug of steaming Harrod’s Earl Grey No. 42 when I am chilled. Or a tall glass of iced sweet tea on a hot summer day. Or a kiss to seal my sleep with peace.

Perhaps, the thing to do is learn from one’s love of the work and bring such passionate dedication to the one who’s kiss can seal your sleep with peace. Or inspire you to grasp the stars with a bare hand. In other words, to do the impossible.

14. Can social survive without me? by Bill Dorman

Bill Dorman is back.

My comment:

Good to have you back, Bill. You’ve been missed. I had noticed your absence and promptly informed Klout that you’ve been slacking. But never you mind about the klout foolishness.

Congrats on your hole-in-one!

You’ll be back in swing just as soon as you make your rounds and leave 100 comments at all your favorite blogs. [grin]

15. Howard Gardner on The True, the Beautiful, and the Good 

In this MOMA (Museum of Metropolitan Art) lecture, Howard Gardner reflects on the concepts of Truth, Beauty, and the Good in a postmodern, digital age.

My comment:

It is often remarked that my comments are unusual. Sometimes, intimidating. I’m not from outer space. At least, I’m not willing to admit to it.

Throughout my commentary, however, some may notice that I have reference points. For example, the Beautiful, the Good, and the True.

Greatness, virtue, the dignity of the human person, and God are also things to which I often refer. There are other things too! love, hope, and faith. Friendship. And other social media DOHs. [grin]

Yes, I want also to be interesting, memorable, and epic.

This MOMA lecture is interesting to me and I’m sharing it with you to give you a sense of my own gravity – a gravity which may be misunderstood through my comments as contention or, worse, contempt.

Note:

Comment color 237bdb

Feedback

If you think that this blog post sucks, let me know in your comment and don’t forget to include a link to YOUR favorite blog post.

If you think this blog post rocks, tell me why it rocks in the comment. “Awesome,””Great post,” etc. works for me. Don’t forget to include a link to YOUR most recent blog post.

If you’re in the mood, stop by my party and wish me a happy birthday here.

Stan Faryna
24 October 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Help me to do something beautiful. More here.

More Blog Soup

1. Blog Soup: 2011.10.06 http://wp.me/pbg0R-r7

2. Blog Soup: 2011.09.22 http://wp.me/pbg0R-pF

3. Blog Soup: 2011:10:10 http://wp.me/pbg0R-rO

4. Blog Soup. 2011:10:13 http://wp.me/pbg0R-s9

5. Blog Soup. 2011.10.17 http://wp.me/pbg0R-sq

Faryna Podcasts

1. Why do I blog: http://wp.me/pbg0R-kX

2. If Tomorrow Was Your Last Day: http://wp.me/pbg0R-la

3. Money Can’t Buy Happiness: http://wp.me/pbg0R-lv

4. The First Duty of Love is to Listen: http://wp.me/pbg0R-lO

5. Are You Ready for Love? http://wp.me/pbg0R-lX

6. Reading The Desiderata. http://wp.me/pbg0R-mr

7. What is Love? http://wp.me/pbg0R-mw

8. Confessions of a Freak-Geek-Misfit. http://wp.me/pbg0R-nJ

9. Do you love strongly? http://wp.me/pbg0R-nY

10. Empty-handed, Less Traveled Roads. http://wp.me/pbg0R-on

11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU

12. Do Not Be Afraid. http://wp.me/pbg0R-p9


Blog Soup 2011.10.21 For and About Bloggers

October 21, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

I read a lot of blogs. Maybe, too many. I comment on a lot of blog posts. Maybe, too many. If you are a Triberrati, you do too.

A Triberrati is a blogger that stands out in the Triberr community. Triberr is a web app that connects bloggers and helps them to curate each other on Twitter. You can learn all about Triberr by reading any of the following posts about it.

1. James St. John, Triberr: They Want To Change The World

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

Gary Portnoy, Where everybody knows your name (Cheers theme song)

Earth Date 2011.10.21

Just some of the blogs that I commented on this week:

1. What Should a Business Blog Look Like? by Jon Buscall

2. Are You Missing Out on the Real Value of Social Media? by Anthony Iannarino

3. Jack, The Deer Hunter Kills Blogs and Animals by Jack Steiner

4. Post Cards In A Digital Age by Murray Lunn

5. Who Owns You by Janet Callaway

6. The Ferarri of Tomorrow is Beyond Insane by Richard Darrel

7. Who wants to be first? by James St. John

8. All Together Now: Everyone Say FOCUS! by Stacey Herbert

9. Just for Today by Sandi Amorim

10. 7 Tips To Keep Blog Content Fresh by Jayme Soulati

11. Create An Online Conversation by Gini Dietrich

12. How I became the Freddy Kreuger of Blogging by Danny Iny

13. Is Your Startup Story Worth $10,000? by Lisa Barone

14. Suck Less, One Step At a Time by Michael Schechter

15. The power of visualization by Seth Godin

The Philosophy of Beauty, Part One

Moveable Feasts, Scooby Snacks, Etcetera

1. What Should a Business Blog Look Like? by Jon Buscall

Jon seems to be complaining that blogs look terribly similar.

My comment:

What is the purpose of a business blog? What is it’s function?

Common sense will say that the purpose of a business blog is to do business. Depending upon the business to be doing, a business blog seeks to present it’s service(s) or product(s) to more than one buyer. To be noticed among other offers (complementary, competitive, or otherwise, a business blog must immediately stand out from all those other blogs in one way or another. This immediacy shall not be dictated by words (which take time and attention to evaluate). Thus the design decision to be made whether to offend (stab you in the eyes) or please the senses in some approximation of the Beautiful.

An excellent example of an offensive, modern business blog design is Penelope Trunk’s blog: http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/

I am not saying Penelope’s blog design is bad design. In fact, I find this blog design to be clever, effective and powerful. It solves some of the most common blog problems with the same abrupt, hard, and shocking visual style that echoes Penelope Trunk’s editorial style. In my humble opinion, Penelope’s blog design is a successful execution of online brand.

Unfortunately, I have not yet come across an equally powerful example of a beautiful design for a business blog. But I think these blog designs are going in the right direction and they are not spending big bucks.

1. Keri Jaehnig’s blog

2. Rob Duncan’s blog

3. Jeffrey Zeldman’s blog

Despite all the enthusiasm and talk about brand, UX, and the importance of social media and blogging, the unquestioned trend is for business bloggers to cheap out when it comes to blog design.

What should I infer by you cheaping out?

1.That you’re not serious about your business and/or your customer.

2.That you don’t know how to do business?

3.That you don’t know what you are doing?

4.That you don’t have the resources to do business?

5.All of the above?

Most of the people who will come to your blog, however, do not have an informed opinion about brand, design, marketing, and business in general. That doesn’t mean they won’t have an subconscious response to your design. Or lack thereof.

A wow-ing blog design could cost you from twenty thousand to a million dollars if done by a reputable design company. If your blog brings you six digits per year ($100k/year), best practices recommend that you spend about $6000/year on blog design and layout.

Some of you may flinch at that number – especially since blogging and DIY seems to go together like a hand in a glove. But when’s the last time you showed up to a million dollar contract signing in pajamas made by your own hand? Or your sister’s friend’s grandmother? [grin]

Are you dressed for success? Or a sleepover?

That said, I know of several young, professional designers that would be happy to help you totally redesign your blog for $1000-$3,000 on a payment schedule. Email me if you want me to connect you with them: stan(dot)faryna(at)gmail(dot)com

Note:

Disqus was not accepting comments at the time of my comment.

2. Are You Missing Out on the Real Value of Social Media? by Anthony Iannarino

If you are living behind the screen and not going out and meeting the people with whom you are friends on social media, you are missing out on the real value.

The real value in social media isn’t measured in your Klout score, the number of followers you have on Twitter, or the number of friends you have on Facebook.

That’s what Anthony Iannarino is saying.

My comment:

Anthony is not wrong to recommend that we should meet up with the people with whom we connect with online. If the opportunity presents itself, meet ups will strengthen and deepen your online connections.

On the other hand, I do not believe that online connection must be as shallow and superficial as Anthony Iannarino might be suggesting them to be. To paraphrase Nietzsche, online communities are dead – if and only if Anthony is right.

While it would be naive to think that all of your followers on Twitter and all of your friends on Facebook consider you with intimate concern, I find myself deeply engaged with 20 people that I only know through online connection. And, perhaps, 100 in all.

The question has come up often across the years: Can online people be friends? Can people work together never having met face to face? Can they inspire, uplift, and serve each other? Can online communities have impact on the world?

The overwhelming beautiful, good, and true answer has been yes.

If there is a line between online and offline relationships, it is the line you have drawn in the sand. In other words, you have divided your own heart.

Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty. Hosea 10:2

And when a line is drawn in the sand and the cannons are fired, the only appropriate response of gentlemen and ladies is El Degüello – of course.

3. Jack, The Deer Hunter Kills Blogs and Animals by Jack Steiner

Jack wants to spiff up his blog design.

My comment:

The blog design bug seems to have bitten our friend Jack Steiner. And not just him. The bug is going around.

This all takes me back to 1996 when web design was in its awkward infancy. Browser standards were just a pipe dream. DIY was all the rage. And since there was so much bad design going on out there, people weren’t embarrassed to put it out there much like what happens in a nudist colony.

That is not a dig against Jack or anyone else. Ok, I admit that I’ve always been entertained and amused by the DIY design movement, but I understand very well the want for beautiful solutions. For beauty ever points to even greater things – the good and the true, namely.

Bottom line: you either have good taste or you don’t. And it will show.

Beyond good taste, things are happening so fast on the social web. Technology is changing. Can you keep up? The DIY designer often doesn’t have the fundamentals of design (or information design) down – complementary colors, visual path, etc.

Can you also think beyond the desktop? Design is about solving problems. It’s about crafting beautiful solutions that anticipate and respond to your users’ needs. How does your DIY design respond to the various array of devices, browsers, and technologies?

I can recommend Ethan Marcote’s book, Responsive Web Design, if you really want to tumble down this rabbit’s hole.

The problem with multiple blogging platforms (like the previous lack of browser and html standards) is that development and design comes at a premium price. Not because developers and designers are greedy and evil per se, but it really takes them a lot of hours to figure things out and make it all work. This, of course, is all the work that goes beyond their education and experience as developers, designers, and UX architects.

Anyway, at the time of publication of his blog post, Jack had a very simple, white layout going. And I thought that was acceptable. I recommended that he increase the font size to 16 pt. Readability is one of the top five priorities in blog design.

That’s all I’m saying. Unless we’re going to talk business. [grin]

4. Post Cards In A Digital Age by Murray Lunn

Murray is delighted when he gets a postcard from Davy of GhostBloggers.net – an online business that he has done business with in the past.

My comment:

Post cards and cards are an awesome way to strengthen the online connection! I can’t recommend them enough!

My address is as follows (hint, hint):

Stan Faryna

Stirbei Voda Nr. 71, Ap.4,6

Sector 1

Bucharest, Romania 010105

Did I mention that my 42nd birthday is coming up? October 22nd, in fact.

Oh – I’m looking at a card right this minute. It’s from Christian Hollingsworth.

Christian writes:

Thank you for being a defender of all things good in this world, Stan.

Your friend and brother,

Christian Hollingsworth

You rock, Christian!

5. Who Owns You by Janet Callaway

Janet asks important questions. Are you ready to be honest?

Do your possessions own you?

Does social media own you?

Do insufficient funds own you?

My comment:

Here is an answer from my heart: http://wp.me/pbg0R-sv

What I didn’t write:

But I also hear this answer whispering to me from the depth of beauty:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Exodus 20: 3-6

Note:

I do not present this citation as a dogma to simply embrace or reject, but as gentle meditation on what owns us, why, and how.

6. The Ferarri of Tomorrow is Beyond Insane by Richard Darrel

Richard gushes over the Ferrari design proposal by korean students Kim Cheong Ju, Ahn Dre, and Lee Sahnseok of Hongik University.

My comment:

Ferrari captures, inspires, and fuels the imagination. If there were ever a modern adaption of Homer’s Iliad, I imagine Achilles kicking up dust across the Trojan plain. In a Ferrari.

Imagine that with me for a moment. Ah! Do you see that awesomeness? The beauty?!

Can you tell that I am a fan of Ferrari?

But I also think of Janet Callaway’s blog post, Who Owns You, and my complete answer. Everything considered, a Ferrari may be a unicorn, but it does not end world hunger or thirst. It does not roll down like Justice from heaven. Nor does it fall like Mercy – blessing both. Those who are merciful and those who receive mercy.

And with sadness, I have to consider that the imagination and ambitions of young men and women are wasted on unicorns and not the love for others that a humble man once asked of us – a man that was crucified, died, and resurrected for our salvation.

Now you have deeper insight about my birthday wish.

7. Who wants to be first? by James St. John

Christopher Columbus was a man of great patience, fortitude, and courage – not only imagination. The homepage of my previous company told the story of Discovery. Columbus suffered much and, in fact, the discovery of America was a failure for him and his investors. It was not a triumph. I imagine that the Admiral died feeling great loneliness, despair, and with a heart torn to a thousand pieces.

Few would follow in such footsteps. For bold footsteps as those are a poor imitation of the heavy, trembling steps of Christ carrying the cross. To his crucifixion!

They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. John 19:17

I don’t contradict you, James. When I say imitation, I have much admiration for the imitation. But as much admiration as I have fear for it too.

History is a handmaiden of God and her affections are not purchased cheaply.

That said, what shall we do first, my friend! For there is some solace in fellowship. Let us inspire the world to love, joy through love (not pride), hope through love (not envy), and much more.

8. All Together Now: Everyone Say FOCUS! by Stacey Herbert

Stacey has been missing in action for the longest time. But she’s back. It’s a comeback and she’s mixing up commerce with community.

My comment:

It’s great to have you back. I was worried about you.

In my opinion there’s nothing wrong with mixing commerce and community. Commerce is essential to real world communities – even villages.

Myself, I’m developing a project for rural poverty that proposes to mix commerce, community, and culture.

http://www.changemakers.com/citizenmedia/entries/new-entry-137

If you would leave an encouraging comment regarding my changemaker project, I would be grateful.

9. Just for Today by Sandi Amorim

be who you BE.

That’s what Sandi is saying.

My comment.

This blog post is dripping with joi de vivre. Even @TheJackB was moved! Now that’s something!

But why is it that I’m the only one that “liked” your awesome blog post? [grin]

Celebration cannot just be fleeting smiling of the heart, true celebration must animate us to joyful and self-giving action. Like clicking the “like” button! [smile]

10. 7 Tips To Keep Blog Content Fresh by Jayme Soulati

Jayme is saying, don’t be lazy. Don’t rehash or repurpose the content of other bloggers. Put some elbow grease into your blogging.

My comment:

These are good strategies for building content for your blog posts.

It’s good to have you back, Jayme!

If I restate your 7 points in blog soup – is that a bad thing? Forgive me for asking, but I grow old and oh how some questions are not so easily answered. Not by this rabbit. And not questions like these.

For the quarrel of spirit and nature , as C.S. Lewis write about, makes a din that shuts out Prufrock’s songs of mermaids – the same songs to which Prufrock is also deaf.

I grow old. I grow old… I shall wear my trousers rolled. T.S. Eliot 

The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock  is here.

Disqus didn’t take my comment. It turns out the Disqus’ servers are a bit too impatient. They drop requests like a pigeon… [sigh]

11. Create An Online Conversation by Gini Dietrich

Stories give people a reason to care about you and your business. If they care, doing business with them becomes a possibility. That’s why you need to create or drive the online conversation with stories, recommendations, and compelling narratives.

I think that’s what Gini is saying. Gini?

My comment:

Gini Dietrich is such a pro, she makes it sound easy. Pros do that. They do or say things so well, it looks easy. Whether it’s PR, marketing, writing, design, etc., anyone awesome at what they do, makes it look like what they do is a no-brainer. That would be the furtherest thing from the truth.

If you can afford it, I recommend you go to Gini and get all the juicy details.

12. How I became the Freddy Kreuger of Blogging by Danny Iny

Danny has received comments like:

“Wow, Danny, you’re like the Freddy Krueger of blogging – wherever I turn, you’re there!”

My comment:

Danny, I love your writing style. This may have been my first visit to Firepole Marketing…

And I have to suspect that your awesome writing skills had a lot more impact in building your guest blogging venues than shooting off an email on a whimsy. Actually, it sounds like there was nothing whimsical about what you did. I’m not convinced that all of your readers understand that.

Then we get to your strategy for creating presence within micro-networks (aka community infiltration). Again, there’s nothing whimsical about that either. You got a whole lot of madness and method going on – especially if you are charting it on Excel.

This will be a sensitive topic for some. But it is almost exactly the same strategy employed by some of the more savvy corporations, governments, and top PR professionals.

13. Is Your Startup Story Worth $10,000? by Lisa Barone

Lisa Barone is spreading the world about Hiscox’s MyStartUpStory Contest.

My comment:

I would like to see Yomar Lopez and James St. John take their NJAB podcast story and go for the 10Gs. But there’s a lot of good people out there with awesome ideas. Don’t not get in on this!

14. Suck Less, One Step At a Time by Michael Schechter

Michael Schechter elaborates on Cody Fink’s blog post, Keep it Memorable, Stupid.

http://www.macstories.net/stories/keep-it-memorable-stupid/

My comment:

Cody’s post provides considerable insight. He’s thought long and hard about these things – whether or not he admits to it.

Michael’s digest is great for those who’s attention span grinds to a halt at 250 words. That’s not a dig at Michael. Summarizing Cody’s rambling style is a service.

Sucking Less, One Step At a Time has real pith and bite to it. Thanks, Michael.

15. The power of visualization by Seth Godin

“Data is not useful until it becomes information, and that’s because data is hard for human beings to digest.”

My comment:

I like to poke Seth Godin with a stick. Because he throws out no-brainers – not powerful insights. Great insights illuminate, reveal, and explode the truth a la Foucault.

But since we started this blog soup about blog design, Seth Godin gets the last word this time.

Honestly, I just wanted to talk more about my previous blog post and give away. I wanted to think outloud about the possibility that people may not get excited or inspired by what I’m doing for Nisha.

If you haven’t seen it, check it out.

Luxurious decorations for your castle or estate http://wp.me/pbg0R-sv

Anyway, a link to Seth Godin’s blog post came floating down the brown Danube and I had that prescient and uncomfortable feeling that Seth is going to grab the 15th spot on this edition of blog soup.

Writes Seth:

“We repeatedly underestimate how important a story is to help us make sense of the world.”

What Seth didn’t write:

We repeatedly underestimate the role of design in helping us tell a story, making it memorable, and punctuating the take aways.

Does your blog design help your reader visualize your story as a blogger and the stories that you tell?

Feedback

If you think that this blog post sucks, let me know in your comment and don’t forget to include a link to YOUR favorite blog post.

If you think this blog post rocks, tell me why it rocks in the comment. “Awesome,””Great post,” etc. works for me. Don’t forget to include a link to YOUR most recent blog post.

If you’re in the mood, stop by my party and wish me a happy birthday here.

Stan Faryna
21 October 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Special Thanks to Bonnie Squires for her kind words about me in her most recent blog post.

More Blog Soup

1. Blog Soup: 2011.10.06 http://wp.me/pbg0R-r7

2. Blog Soup: 2011.09.22 http://wp.me/pbg0R-pF

3. Blog Soup: 2011:10:10 http://wp.me/pbg0R-rO

4. Blog Soup. 2011:10:13 http://wp.me/pbg0R-s9

5. Blog Soup. 2011.10.17 http://wp.me/pbg0R-sq

Faryna Podcasts

1. Why do I blog: http://wp.me/pbg0R-kX

2. If Tomorrow Was Your Last Day: http://wp.me/pbg0R-la

3. Money Can’t Buy Happiness: http://wp.me/pbg0R-lv

4. The First Duty of Love is to Listen: http://wp.me/pbg0R-lO

5. Are You Ready for Love? http://wp.me/pbg0R-lX

6. Reading The Desiderata. http://wp.me/pbg0R-mr

7. What is Love? http://wp.me/pbg0R-mw

8. Confessions of a Freak-Geek-Misfit. http://wp.me/pbg0R-nJ

9. Do you love strongly? http://wp.me/pbg0R-nY

10. Empty-handed, Less Traveled Roads. http://wp.me/pbg0R-on

11. The Economics of Friendship. http://wp.me/pbg0R-oU

12. Do Not Be Afraid. http://wp.me/pbg0R-p9


Happy 42 to me! And other social media DOHs.

October 19, 2011

Happy 42 to me!

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Rush, Time Stand Still

This 22nd is my birthday. I’ll be 42. My heart trembles – but for no good or bad reason. Read the rest of this entry »