Blog Soup 2011.10.13. Because soup is good food.

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. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

2. Jason YormarkTriberr: How I Increased My Reach to Over 300000…

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

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

Earth Date 2011.10.13

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

1. Is the desire to be great, really a mistake? by ChopperPapa

2. A New Directory For Locating Quality DoFollow Blogs by Adrienne Smith

3. Undercover Boss _ What I Learned About My Office by Dr. Claudia Anderson

4. Staff Performance: Stop Blaming People, Start Fixing Systems by Leon Noone

5. Jesus and the Tijuana hooker by J.R. Reed

6. Dad is Over the Moon for his Kids by Lee

7. Profit Like A Ferengi Without Acting Like One by James St. John

8. Crash Accidents, Risks and Consequences by Samantha Bangayan

9. Dare To Dream Big: From Illinois Slave to Renowned Educator by Sandra McLeod Humphrey

10. Hypertransitory Monday Comics #6 – The Commander Series by John Garrett

11. The Lie that is Online Transparency and being True to Self by Marcus Sheridan

12. How To Kick Your Blogging Mojo Into High Gear by Martha Giffen

13. How to write an Opening Sentence that will Captivate Your Audience by Marianne Worley

14. Choose to Live an Epic Life by Benny Hsu

15. Day 393 by Nisha Varghese

Moveable Feasts, Scooby Snacks, Etcetera

1. Is the desire to be great, really a mistake? by ChopperPapa

Chopper Papa writes about greatness. He examines the question of whether or not greatness is a true good through Shannon Sharpe’s acceptance speech at his induction into NFL’s Hall of Fame.

My comment:

What is greatness? To stand above others in accomplishment and be honored for such. To feel oneself above all others – even if for but a fleeting moment? Is that a temptation or is it virtue?

Is that what we want? To stand above others like a god? Or do we seek to be honored, respected, and cherished by every man, woman, and child who comes into our presence?

Must be stand above others, to be honored, respected, and admired?

Must we demonstrate what no other (or few) have done so that our sense of dignity is unassailable to insult, injury and unkindness?

Is the individual who yearns to stand above others so sick? Or are we sick (all of us) because the individual feels compelled to stand so high above us in an achievement because we fail to treat each other as we should?

You have inspired important questions by this blog post – questions that I have long ignored. Thank you.

2. A New Directory For Locating Quality DoFollow Blogs by Adrienne Smith

Adrienne shares her enthusiasm for Christian Hollingsworth’s new community-based directory for DoFollow blogs.

My comment:

DoFollow sounds like fun. If Christian is doing it, it’s going to be worthwhile.

Christian’s blog post about Do Follow Blogs is here:

The Do Follow Directory is here:

3. Undercover Boss _ What I Learned About My Office by Dr. Claudia Anderson

Claudia discovers a deep and true appreciation for her receptionist.

My comment:

You should have seen the face of one of my UX designers when I told them about how I got smacked down by a giant.

I had just unloaded pepper spray into the giant’s face because the giant was coming after me. I expected the pepper spray to slow him down enough for me to make my get away and call the police. Instead, the giant got really angry – like the incredible Hulk. He outran me and knocked me down. That’s all I remember. I woke up the next morning where I had fallen. It felt like I had been hit by a truck. I didn’t report the event because I knew my supervisor would take me off the beat – a wealthy neighborhood in Palos Verdes and a $60k+ car or two in every driveway. I liked the place. But it wasn’t always easy being a security guard.

I walked my beat with a copy of Dante’s Purgatorio in my pocket. Or Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra. I read C.G. Jung’s Collected Works by flashlight. Or Freud. Or Eliade. My colleagues were ex-convicts, gang members, or illegal immigrants. My supervisors were all former (undercover?) Israeli military or intelligence officers.

That’s how I passed most of the nights of my last two years at college.

It wasn’t the story that shocked my designer. It was the fact that I had worked as a security guard, a dishwasher, a construction worker, a taco slinger, a telephone marketer, etc. “How could someone as well educated as you do that kind of work?” he asked. “You are a CEO. A leader. A mentor. It just doesn’t make sense.”

“If we are diligent, lucky and we make good use of our blessings, we grow into a leader, a mentor, or a CEO. It takes time.” I replied.

“If I hadn’t done my time in suckville, I wouldn’t have an understanding of the challenges that people face when they work for me. Maybe I could have been a CEO without all that, but I wouldn’t have been a leader or a mentor.”

4. Staff Performance: Stop Blaming People, Start Fixing Systems by Leon Noone

Poor performance is often the result of a poor system. When people fail often and repeatedly, they fail because the system isn’t working. That’s what Leon says.

My comment:

Systemic failure tends to be in the blind spots. There’s a tendency to not go looking in those blind spots because it seems easier to “fix” an attitude than overhaul a process or reinvent the culture. Because change is a bear.

Not all of us are change-makers but as Leon observes, it’s a good idea to know something about that bear before you try to corner it.

5. Jesus and the Tijuana hooker by J.R. Reed

Anyone who uses, “Who’s Your Daddy?” as a motto in their identity is going to be… interesting. Anyway, J.R. tells a stupid clown’s account of a tailor named Jesus who doesn’t show up for work.

My comment:

Honestly… how the hell does Jack stomach you?

You are brutal and unkind in your prejudiced and heavy-handed description of Jesus, his disability, and his girlfriend. That’s your happy place: putting down others because you lack self esteem and honor. It’s called suckville. And I think it’s important that someone tells you that. Wow does it suck that it has to be me.

You remind me of a stupid clown from John Garett’s awesome How to Deal With Stupid Clowns!

But J.R., you don’t have to be the stupid clown of suckville. You can change. It’ll take time. But you can change and be a better man. One kind day at a time.

Give for alms those [unclean] things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you. Luke 11:41

I’m reminded of a friend who once confided in me that he beats the shit out of prostitutes after sex. I listened to him tell me a few dozen of his “war” stories over the course of a few hours. When he was done, the grin was still on his face.

I was calm when I told him that if I ever hear of him doing it again, I will terminate him. He was surprised. “Dude, I pay for it,” he protested.

“No. You haven’t paid. Yet,” I replied. “You’ve been given a second chance. Don’t fuck it up. Because the last thing I want to do is kill someone that I love.”

You might wonder why I would continue to be friends with such a monster. Some might imagine that I have compromised my honor because he is wealthy and powerful. But I consider this: who will keep the accounts – if not me?

6. Dad is Over the Moon for his Kids by Lee

Lee describes an evening of star gazing and moon spotting with his daughter, Ella. It is a story that will move your heart. In the right direction.

My comment:

I’m still thinking about J.R. Reed’s post about Jesus and his girlfriend from Tijuana. I’m thinking about how J.R. Reed never stopped to consider that Jesus’ girlfriend was once a little girl with dreams as big and magical as Ella.

May Lee and Ella be blessed with friendship, wonder, and love, all of their days and all of their nights.

7. Profit Like A Ferengi Without Acting Like One by James St. John

James takes me back to episodes of Deep Space Nine, one of the tv spin off shows from Star Trek the Next Generation. He does this to remind us that we don’t have to be Ferengi’s to do business.

My comment:

If there was anything endearing about Quark, it was his rare and occasional failures to live up to the Ferengi code. That didn’t redeem Quark. But it might have given us hope that even a bad man can do good. Or, possibly, change. Not really – but we can hope. [grin]

James encourages us to serve our customers in our business. To give value in our services and products. To make a difference in our customer’s experience. To be different.

James encourages us to focus on serving our customers as opposed to lie, cheat, steal, and exploit others on a heartless path to success and greatness. In fact, the destination is not guaranteed by what evil means you may employ (well or badly). Nor is that destination achieved by evil means come without much fear, worry, and further evil.

Those who hope to succeed as internet marketers will do well to consider James’ appeal. Because on the social web, pricing and value are contentions where so much service is given “freely” – Twitter and Facebook for example. Nor does time or resource define value as they once did. In fact, pricing and value is increasingly being defined by reputation, results, and, most of all, the demand for results.

8. Crash Accidents, Risks and Consequences by Samantha Bangayan

Samantha tells the story of Percy Rosales Sosa, someone she knew, who was killed by a taxi in Peru.

My comment:

While I have to agree with Roy there is some distinction between risk and foolishness, I don’t imagine that Percy calculated risk or seized upon a foolish derring do when he ran out to negotiate the traffic. I imagine it was reflexive, automatic, and, yes, unfortunate. I presume that he had done it hundreds or thousands of times.

And that is something to think about. That death took him without notice. That is shocking to me – regardless of the circumstance. We can loose ourselves, others, and things without notice.

Percy was doing what he always does and quite unexpectedly, he was hit. I suppose he didn’t even know he was dying as he complained about his headache on the way to the hospital. I will even suppose that the doctors that delayed to give him treatment were not aware of Percy’s urgent medical condition.

There is also something else to think about. We can remove much danger and harm from our path by laws, traditions, and customs. But we do so at certain cost to our freedom, our identity, and, perhaps, our joie de vivre. Sometimes, we will pay the price and not count the cost. Sometimes, the cost seems too great a price.

I admit that am annoyed to go the extra steps to cross on a crosswalk. And, worse, to take those extra steps when there is not a car on the street. Actually, I don’t take those extra steps in the latter case but I know I have upset people by doing so. After all, the law is the law. It demands a vigilant respect and strict obedience.


And third, there is Percy Rosales Sosa who is mourned by family and friends. I feel badly to hear of their loss. Your loss. My prayers go out to the hearts broken by this tragedy.

9. Dare To Dream Big: From Illinois Slave to Renowned Educator by Sandra McLeod Humphrey

Sandra tells the story of Booker T. Washington, an American hero who rose from slavery to be an advisor to American presidents, a business leader, and a prominent educator.

My comment:

Booker T. Washington has been an inspiration for me ever since college when I read his autobiography, Up From Slavery. I even went to see the one room cabin where he was born. Actually, the original cabin is long gone. But going there was a spiritual pilgrimage and I was awakened to beautiful things.

One of my favorite quotes from Booker T. Washington defines success in an unusual manner. I believe it to be worthwhile  share with you.

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.

Thank you Sandra. Thank you for reminding me of Booker T. Washington, his struggle, and his success. He was a tirelessly good man. A better man than I.

Thank you for your wonderful works. You are an educator. You do amazing things. I celebrate you and your good works. A gazillion thank you’s just for you, Sandra.

10. Hypertransitory Monday Comics #6 – The Commander Series by John Garrett

It’s a dog eat dog… galaxy. With stupid clowns.

My comment:

Stupid clowns in space. With disguises. I like it.

That reminds me, did I tell you how awesome your e-book is? How to Deal With Stupid Clowns rocks, John!

Get the funniest e-book ever here

11. The Lie that is Online Transparency and being True to Self by Marcus Sheridan

Marcus Sheridan tackles the big question: to be [true] or not to be [true]. Swearing, telling it how it is, and embracing your weird, Marcus argues, doesn’t behoove your online business.

My comment:

Profanity can punctuate like nothing else. It brings existential emphasis to that which can not be adequately expressed in kinder words. Or it forcefully substitutes for better words that may be absent from your vocabulary. Profanity can convey a great emotion like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud.

But does it belong in your writing?

Marcus Sheridan reminds us that we naturally use different editorial styles when communicating to different audiences. Most of us tend not to use profanity when speaking with children, the elderly, or persons of honor and responsibility.

To those who say they are not being true to themselves when they refrain from using profanity in their writing, some of us must wonder if they lack self-control OR vocabulary and expression. [grin]

I have self-issued license to tease like that because I too have used profanity here and there. Sparingly. But profanity nonetheless. And every time that I did use it, I did weigh the matter in my conscience.

I would also argue that profanity is not the most sinister and terrible use of language. For example, very few expressions would be worse than a simple death threat. I know. Because I have received them.

Marcus Sheridan reminds us that if we want to serve as professionals (or be considered for an opportunity as professionals), we must act like professionals. Professional attitude and customs inspire trust, confidence, and buy. Nor must they be insincere. Professional attitude represents the consistent best that we can be in our relationships.

To those who say they do not need professional attitude and customs to inspire trust, confidence, and buy, they move the emphasis of their relationship to the results. If you can help me make me $1 million in two years with an investment of $1,000, I don’t fucking care if you come to our coffee shop meeting in gaudy drag and every third word out of your mouth is French. [grin] The fact remains, however, that I’m going to need to be hearing from everyone that you really did it for other people… before you ever see my first $100.

Maybe, you are not a professional. Maybe, you don’t aspire to be a professional. Maybe, horse trading works for you. Or cons. If that’s the case, why the heck would you be worried about being true, authentic, and real? Because if you are a horse trader or a con artist, those are the last things that you care about. Think about your happy place and you keep on doing what you do. This is not a judgment against you. I’m just saying.

On the other hand, if you are writing as a writer, write what you want to write and any way you want. As John Magnet Bell has told me, embrace your weird. Your audience will decide what is and is not appropriate for them.

But don’t confuse writing as a writer (pulp fiction, porn, or otherwise) with online marketing. Such confusions will not help you figure out what you’re going to do when you grow up. [smile]

12. How To Kick Your Blogging Mojo Into High Gear by Martha Giffen

Martha Giffen knows how to keep her blogging mojo on. That’s what she says. And she wants to share some of her new found secrets with you.

My comment:

There’s two kinds of blogger’s block. There’s the blogger’s block when you don’t know what to blog about today. Martha has some good ideas on how to hump through those days. Then, there’s the blogger’s block when you don’t know what to blog about today because blogging is not doing it for you. You’re not making money, you’ve got bills to pay, and nothing is working.

So why should you keep blogging?!

That’s the blog post for you to write.

You’re welcome. [smile]

13. How to write an Opening Sentence that will Captivate Your Audience by Marianne Worley

Start with a dramatic, forceful sentence – no longer than four or five words. That’s what Marianne says.

My comment:

So I looked at some her blog posts for concrete examples. And she really does

For example, this blog posts begins like this:

It’s a simple technique.


Readers have become scanners.

Yet another:


How will you start your next blog post?

14. Choose to Live an Epic Life by Benny Hsu

What is an epic life? Benny says that an epic life is doing what people wish and dream about. It’s doing the impossible. It’s that much more difficult but the rewards last a lifetime. You’re in the top 1% of the population.

My comment:

I love Benny’s enthusiasm. He’s got a joi de vivre going on. And the comments pop, foam, and bubble with excitement. That’s awesome.

Benny’s definition of epic is problematic to me, but I am reluctant to be a buzz-killer on this one. In fact, I like to see people in their happy place from time to time. Even if its just a party but not place that we can call home.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m all about epic! I have been living EPIC all my life. Not always successfully. But, occasionally, successfully and totally epic.

I’m stalling right now for kindness to inspire me. I’m waiting for that inspiration that allows me to move on from this comment without killing the memory of the party. Because the party is over. The post is months old. And the last comment too.

Did I mention that I like Benny? He’s a good kid. He deserves a break on his honeymoon…

15. Day 393 by Nisha Varghese

Nisha writes that sometimes you’ve got to do things the hard way just to know that you can.

My comment:

It’s not easy, Nisha. Hang in there. Making a difference isn’t easy. I know you’re disappointed. But it’s ok to do what you can do, one day at a time.

The thing is that the people who give, may not be able to give today. Or they may have given to another cause. Maybe, you can help them plan to make a gift to your fundraiser.

Maybe, you can get people to pledge $5 at Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. Ask them if they can pledge $5 and then follow up a week before the pledge date with a reminder.

I’m thinking out loud here. If you like the idea, we can think about it some more.


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.

AND if you could do me the favor of tweeting out the message below, I would be grateful to you.

A Fan Letter to Penelope Trunk and her farmer by @Faryna cc: @penelopetrunk

Stan Faryna
13 October 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Your $5 can make a difference. If you can get 10 of your friends to give $5 too, you will make an even bigger difference. Please help Nisha to help others.

More Blog Soup

1. Blog Soup: 2011.10.06

2. Blog Soup: 2011.09.22

3. Blog Soup: 2011:10:10

Faryna Podcasts

1. Why do I blog:

2. If Tomorrow Was Your Last Day:

3. Money Can’t Buy Happiness:

4. The First Duty of Love is to Listen:

5. Are You Ready for Love?

6. Reading The Desiderata.

7. What is Love?

8. Confessions of a Freak-Geek-Misfit.

9. Do you love strongly?

10. Empty-handed, Less Traveled Roads.

11. The Economics of Friendship.

12. Do Not Be Afraid.

14 Responses to Blog Soup 2011.10.13. Because soup is good food.

  1. nisha360 says:

    Thanks for the mention Stan 🙂

    Yours truly,

  2. adrianklein says:

    Awesome stuff, thank you Stan for sharing, your blog is great place to discover new stuff.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Writing humble blog posts after doing awesome podcasts with you on production and sound concept is a bummer.

      Somedays, I don’t know why I continue blogging. [grin]

  3. Betsy Cross says:

    I haven’t read them all…but the one by J.R. Reed ticked me off. All I can say is what goes around comes around…and hopefully not too hard!
    Tried to sign up to “dofollow”. Wouldn’t take…maybe it’s too much right now?
    Thanks for the leads!

  4. John Garrett says:

    Hey Stan!

    Thanks for mentioning me, you are definitely a good friend!

    Boy do you get around! I’ve said before that I approach round-up posts such as these with a little trepidation because I know I’m going to find yet more good material to read and thus take up even more of my time lol!

    I don’t ever think I’ve seen a round-up post quite like this where you display your comments for us. quite innovative. I suspect we’ll be seeing this sort of thing around more.

    Anyway I hope all is well and we’ll talk soon!

  5. alaskachick says:

    (I’m working on a proper response, but before I forget- one of my core values is based on this:)

    “All evil needs to flourish, is for good men to do nothing.” ~Edmund Burke.

    You ARE a good man.
    (I’ll be back!)

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Big hug to you Amber-Lee.

      I wish that I were a saint. Because I really do. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon. And not without miracles on the scale of walking on water. [laughing]

      And one more thing is needed. Something they seem often to say in Chisana… weather permitting.

  6. Thanks Stan, I’m honored you chose to add me to the list.

  7. It’s always a pleasure to see you over at my place Stan. I always enjoy hearing what you have to share and piping into the conversations. It looks like to me you definitely enjoy that and I’m happy to hear that. I enjoy visiting a lot of blogs myself. I learn so much and meet so many wonderful people, you included.

    You always take the time to leave a genuine comment and I know I appreciate it so I have no doubt everyone else does as well.

    Thank you for being you Stan! Have a wonderful day and a glorious weekend.


  8. Wow, Stan! I really appreciate you featuring my post here and sharing your meaningful response. I could relate to a lot of what you said, especially the tradeoff between safety and our freedom/identity. It was exactly this incongruity that I wanted to express in my blog post, but I often can’t find the right words to say what I feel. =P

    What a great idea for a post, by the way! =)

  9. First of all, thanks for the links on Triberr. I’m in, but have a loooong way to go.

    Liking the blog soup mix.

    I read you’re Penelope Trunk post/letter and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did listen to the podcast (there went an hour) and not completely sure how I feel, still. I had mixed emotions about the entire thing, honestly. Anyway, very interesting post, Sir.

    I appreciate you visiting my humble place too. Thanks.

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