Zynga’s CastleVille: Cheats, Tips, Freebies, and Add Friends

November 30, 2011

CastleVille: Cheats, Tips, Freebies, and Add Friends

2014: Currently playing Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Read about that here.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna plays Castleville

Does the Gloom overshadow your kingdom?

Zynga, the Facebook game partner, released a new game, CastleVille, just before the days of turkey coma and, perhaps, to keep 10’s of millions entertained beyond Thanksgiving through the winter holidays and Christmas – if I dare to publicly name the Christian holiday which marks the birth of Jesus Christ. And I do – in case you didn’t know. [grin]

Below you will find here my insights about how to get your game on. CastleVille – in other words. My insights have been reviewed by 100s of players and I’ve received quite a lot of positive feedback so far. Level zero to eight – that’s what we’re talking about. Cheats, tips, and tricks by any other name. And nothing to do with roses!

Or, we can call them by more modest terms, insight and illumination. Or to be more colorful, over turning turtles.

Yes, setting turtles on their back would be a reference to the dialogue in David Milch’s daring, western-style HBO series Deadwood – and reminiscent of Shakespeare! You can read up about Deadwood and it’s three short seasons here. Read the rest of this entry »


Blog Soup 2011.11.21 Day Dreams of Days After Turkey and Leftovers

November 21, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.11.21 Dreams of Days After Turkey and Leftovers

Scary stuff is days-after turkey and the leftovers. Some have likened me to Homer Simpson and his big sandwich.

Must eat the leftovers! 

Will the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole hold out until the Turkey is finished? That’s ever the big question in my mind when I go to the fridge after the big day.

About Blog Soup

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. Nicole Humphrey CookThe Idiots Guide to Triberr Tutorial

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

I intend to write pithy, poignant comments that may help you truly rediscover yourself through the blog posts of friends and strangers. In terms of your journey of self discovery, the destinations are not as important as is your own personal negotiation of the questions, answers, and confusions which you may discover by following a link, reading a blog post, poring over comments, and making a comment. On the other hand, this is our community and, yes, community is all about our commitment to the community, conversations, consensus, disagreement, participation, and, yes, to each other.

I will fail often in this endeavor, but I can, as Booker T. Washington said, keep on keeping on. Will you humor me?

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

2011.11.21

Happy Thanksgiving!

George Winston, Thanksgiving Music

Featured

The blog posts that I commented on in this blog soup:

1. 5 Keys To Online Debate: It’s OK To Disagree by Daniel Newman

2. How to think creatively by Tony Schwartz

3. Create a Culture of Greatness by Jon Gordon

4. China: Photo Captures Plight of 58 Million ‘Left Behind Children’ by Oiwan Lam

5. Commit Yourself to the Process of Blogging Progress by Mattias Gronborg

6. 10 Ways to Improve Relationships with Kindness by Harleena Singh

7. How Fanta destroyed everything by Jens Berget

Blog Soup

My unabashed comments:

1. 5 Keys To Online Debate: It’s OK To Disagree by Daniel Newman

Daniel’s 5 Keys to better online debate:

1. Be Selective in your disagreements
2. Understand the context; get clarification
3. Don’t waste time bickering back and forth
4. Don’t count on closure or a clean win
5. Empathize as much as you can

My comment:

Daniel writes how he often disagrees with the things he reads on Twitter, Facebook, or blogs. Worse, he suggests, is the overwhelming number of indiscriminate agreements, compliments, and praise for stupidity, false insight, and lies.

As if those agreements, compliments, and praise do not reflect the stunning lack of intelligence of the commenters?!

Of course, they do! As John Garrett might add, there’s no better way to spot a stupid clown than in the comments.

Myself, I would like to see more honesty in the comments I’m reading across blog posts. Because there is a yawning lack of honesty going on. Or stupid clowning. Honesty, however, does not have to strikingly unkind, vicious, and disruptive – especially in the blog comments.

Myself, I do want to be encouraging, but I want to encourage others in good things, true things, and beautiful things. But I don’t always get the balance right when I contradict their suppositions. I know that and it concerns me considerably.

In the comments, Janet Callaway refers to Marcus Baker’s blog post, Would You Rather Be Right Or Happy?

Choose whether you would rather be “right” than happy. Choose whether you would be “right” than continue a relationship.

Is it that black and white, Janet?

I don’t know about that.

The one thing I’m sure about is that a relationship based on a dishonest kindness or indiscriminate encouragement is no relationship. Offline when a friend tells me bullshit, I may smile but I still call it bullshit.

Bruce Sallan writes:

Disagreement- when done with respect – usually creates the best dialogue and engagement.

And I have enjoyed disagreeing with Bruce about Occupy Wall Street. I understand, after all, that he has to tow the line that his listeners expect of him. And not just tow it but defend it to the teeth. But I know that he knows, I’m right. [grin]

Please don’t just agree to disagree and have nothing to say!

2. How to think creatively by Tony Schwartz

Writes Tony:

Ultimately, the highest creativity depends on making frequent waves — learning to engage the whole brain by moving flexibly and intentionally between the right and left hemisphere, activity and rest, effort and letting go. That’s also a pretty good prescription for how to live.

In the comments, Tony adds:

… intentionally cultivating more intuitive, metaphorical, big picture thinking will strengthen the capacity for creativity immeasurably.

My comment:

To have the capacity to move flexibly and intentionally between different modes of prehension would be a coup to count. I am not convinced, however, that it’s only about the brain. Furthermore, Schwartz fails to define the role of emotions and conscience in creativity. But as profoundly disappointing as the latter failure, I enjoyed Schwartz’s sally.

Tony Schwartz rushes, jumps, and leaps upon the challenge to describe creativity in a manner typical of a journalist. [big grin]

How many dragons have you tried to slay, today? Me? None, today. So Schwartz should get his Foursquare badge. Or something.

As Mark Foster observes in his comment, a better title for the blog post might be in order. I propose the following: Baby Steps to Doing Performance Art that Mimics an Understanding of Creativity.

Slightly unrelated to Tony’s focus, but more interesting to me is a comment by David:

The truth is that creativity makes almost everything better, more human and more meaningful… and more sensible…

Great societies are measured by their creative and cultural accomplishments. The rest, though empirical and pragmatic, is what we settle for in a so-called non-creative world… muscle-bound and hamstrung by these misunderstandings of what might have been.

3. Create a Culture of Greatness by Jon Gordon

Writes Jon Gordon:

To build a winning a team and a successful organization you must create a culture of greatness.

What I didn’t write:

The reasons for the decline of the Roman Empire are many and much debated. However, Rome’s fall to the Visigoths and Vandals is a lesson about greatness as a cultural force – a lesson for which few can stomach. Babylon’s fall teaches the same. And no one truly knows the wonder and awe of Babylon’s hanging gardens. The lesson is that greatness is not invincible; neither is it forever nor sure-footed upon troubled times. And, yes, Superman bows and crumbles before kryptonite.

Greatness may be spoken gently today in the hallowed halls of Apple, but I also remember Tom Peters, the guru’s guru of business consultants, remembering how he cringed at meetings where Steve Jobs roared like a lion – Job’s mouth dripping, foaming, and spewing insults and contempt for his people.

My chief concern, however, is not that greatness is unworthy of our hunger, ambition, and aspiration. For I am tempted by it, myself.

Greatness, triumphant greatness, is not a leisurely sport. It is the fighting and the kind of fighting that wins both the battles and the war. Greatness is neither in a four hour work week nor a forty hour work week, but many who have tasted even but a drop of glory will swear by the eighty four hour work week.

Writes the historian Edward Gibbon:

The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness.

Greatness, to be poignant, is 300 Spartans (and others) standing against hundreds of thousands of Persians, beset by all sides, and their families soon and inevitably to be raped and gutted – soon after they fall. They delay that horror to befall their loved ones by a day or two – if and only if they fight harder than anyone has ever fought before or after.

And they did.

4. China: Photo Captures Plight of 58 Million ‘Left Behind Children’ by Oiwan Lam

The photo shows a little girl cradling her baby brother in the classroom. The photo, Little brother wants to sleep ((弟弟要睡了), generated much online discussion in China last month as it reflects the long-standing social problem of children left behind in rural villages by their parents, the inhumanity of a culture dominated by authoritarian capitalism, and other things.

The Chinese government has attempted to block searches for the image to discourage further conversation and debate.

My comment:

While the rise of the Chinese Economy is of some abstract concern to the West, the West truly does not understand that the Chinese will to dominate global markets is driven by demons meaner and tougher than any fire we got in our belly. They may overcome us – sooner than later. This seems as inevitable (if divine intervention is withheld) as it would be forlorn.

In it’s decline, the Roman Empire did not produce many goods for export, they could not capitalize upon invention and innovation because there was no manner to protect intellectual properties, politics was owned by corruption, government was bankrupt, and the people – poor, proud, uninspired, and, arguably, unwilling to adapt to the challenges of the diminishing glory of Rome.

The much quoted philosopher and poet George Santayana had suggested that those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it. Apparently, the same fate ambushes those who have read and comprehended history but not by their hearts.

5. Commit Yourself to the Process of Blogging Progress by Mattias Gronborg

Says Mattias:

Hang in there. It can take time to see results.

My comment:

Mattias brings up a good point about how it can take 6 months from the hiring of a sales rep to seeing them sell. He doesn’t mention that a brick and mortar business likely has visibility, already knows who it is selling to, how to sell what it sells.

If you are new to blogging, six months isn’t realistic. Because no one knows who you are (online), you may not know anything about your online market (customers), and you may not know how to sell whatever you are selling, online.

Unless you have money or budget to advance your project ($12,000 or much more/year depending on your ambitions, problem solving skills, and, hopefully, a few super powers), think three years. Three years?

Three years, that’s what I’m saying. Of course, you could get lucky. But if you feel that lucky, go buy a lottery ticket.

In the meantime, consider Aaron Biebert’s encouraging shout out:

The future you fight for is forward.

6. 10 Ways to Improve Relationships with Kindness by Harleena Singh

Writes Harleena:

You are genuinely kind when your uppermost priority is to support the highest good of everyone.

My comment:

J.R.R. Tolkien once described the debt of kindness to which he owed to his dear and faithful friend C.S. Lewis:

The unpayable debt that I owe him was sheer encouragement.

It has been said that true kindness is a fruit of the spiritual life. Without a doubt, the lack of spiritual life often reveals itself through a poverty of kindness. How then shall we be kind when we are unable to receive kindness into our spirit?

Kindness is not based on matters of fact, duty, instinct, or eros (attraction). It cannot be exchanged, traded for another thing, or purchased. And if you agree, when do you last remember visiting kindness upon another. In other words, when did you give without expectation of any return AND for the sake of the other’s highest good?

It can be easily said that the Creator is kind. The generosity of creation is indisputable. But you? Me?

Without the spiritual resources to supply us with true kindness, we have only our natural inclinations and devices to exercise something like kindness. In other words, courtesy.

Courtesy is not a bad thing, however. In fact, as much as we want for kindness, I would argue that we want even more for courtesy.

Courtesy, therefore, I suggest, is what we need to apply diligently in our relationships. Because courtesy does not demand of us the things that kindness requires. Namely, spiritual gifts which most of us are deeply lacking of. Myself included, of course.

The Sanskrit word, daksinya, describes a kindness and consideration that is expressed in a sophisticated and elegant manner. This sense of kindness, however, does not address one’s highest good. It merely addresses one’s immediate need, comfort, or convenience in the sense of a thoughtful hospitality or charming behavior.

In this light, Harleena provides me with excellent check list of courtesies to work on.

7. How Fanta destroyed everything by Jens Berget

Jens is guest posting at Bill Dorman’s place.

Saying sorry and being kind will get you word of mouth recommendations. That’s what Jen is saying.

What I didn’t say:

Jen tells about two different pizza places. One screwed up his family’s pizza and went the extra mile to make up for their error. The other place didn’t do much to improve an unfortunate mishap of Jen’s daughter spilling her Fanta.

When I first came to Romania, I used to flip out over the bad service – especially if I was paying top dollar for the service. And they didn’t care.

In restaurants, I’ve had waiters bring cold food, forget to bring food that was ordered, and bring me the wrong food. And if I didn’t like it, I could pay and leave. If I didn’t pay, the police or their friends would be called to teach me better manners.

That’s not the worst of it, I have had waiters not return with the change, managers not believe that I had payed the bill, and, yes, I have even exchanged blows with restaurant security guards.

To be honest, the gorillas wanted to use fists, but I decisively and violently used a chair to even the odds and subdue them.

Things are a little better since Romania joined the European Union. But Jens might still hate it here in Bucharest – especially if he went off the beaten path.

My insight has also grown. I no longer complain about bad service. If I try a new restaurant, the burden of discovery is mine.

I understand that there is no culture of customer loyalty here. It’s not like back in the Washington, DC area where I am recognized and warmly greeted by restaurant owners even if they haven’t seen me for three years. They know that when I am in town and available to dine at their place, I’ll visit them at least once per week. Because I’m loyal like that.

But I also have to mention that my favorite restaurant in Washington, D.C. closed after some 50 years of excellence. And I miss my Cote de Boef. Contrary to marketing speak, customer loyalty does not function in every circumstance – apparently not on a bump or downturn. Ah- the misuse of euphemism!

So even if I show loyalty to a restaurant in Bucharest, I’m the exception and that isn’t meaningful enough to change how they do things. Exceptions are not rules – that’s why they are called exceptions.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to go out of your way to win word of mouth recommendations. But like most business owners do, be discriminating in choosing to whom you apply your courtesies. No business can afford to be so liberal in their generosity and courtesy that they can make every customer experience an exceptional experience.

In my opinion, a pizza place making the best pizza they can make at the lowest possible price they can sell it… is what the bottom line of the pizza business is about. And, yeah, most pizza places don’t even get that right.

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.

Stan Faryna
21 November 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Help me to do something beautiful! Click here.


Blog Soup 2011.11.18 What are you doing online? Why?

November 18, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.11.18 What are you doing online? Why?

What are you doing with your life? What are you doing online? What is your purpose? What is your function? Why?

You don’t know? Have you considered the advice of the Duchess to Alice (Alice of Wonderland)?

Be what you would seem to be — or, if you’d like it put more simply — Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.

About Blog Soup

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. Nicole Humphrey CookThe Idiots Guide to Triberr Tutorial

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

I intend to write pithy, poignant comments that may help you truly rediscover yourself through the blog posts of friends and strangers. In terms of your journey of self discovery, the destinations are not as important as is your own personal negotiation of the questions, answers, and confusions which you may discover by following a link, reading a blog post, poring over comments, and making a comment. On the other hand, this is our community and, yes, community is all about our commitment to the community, conversations, consensus, disagreement, participation, and, yes, to each other.

I will fail often in this endeavor, but I can, as Booker T. Washington said, keep on keeping on. Will you humor me?

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

2011.11.18

Caterpillar:

Who are YOU?

Alice:

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.

Featured

The blog posts that I commented on in this Blog Soup:

1. Don’t Skype your community away by Bill Dorman

2. Stop looking for success and happiness by Craig McBreen

3. Butthead Asking Dumb Questions?! Are You? by Akos Fintor

4. True Inspiration From My Most Popular YouTube Video by Adrienne Smith

5. The Only User Manual That You Will Ever Need by Marcus Baker

6. Why do I do what I do by Janet Callaway

7. Dad Bloggers Get Paid To Blog by Jack Steiner


The Crests, Trouble in Paradise

Blog Soup

My unabashed comments:

1. Don’t Skype your community away by Bill Dorman

Bill Dorman has been wondering what happened to the party. Where did everyone go? Was it the speedos? Or skype? Of course, this is Bill being tongue in cheek and charming.

My comment:

It’s not the Skype, Bill. It’s not the speedos. You’re a stand up guy. You’re likable. You’re sexy. Oops! There’s that word again. 

Everybody wants you at their party. And I’m not teasing you, Bill.

The problems are several. And I know you’ve been waiting for me to sum it up. After all, that’s what I do. I go deep and think it through because I can. [grin] Of course, I can try to dish it out with my own tongue in cheek. But I’ll never do it with your finesse, Bill.

5. High School Prejudice

Some people lack the professional culture to deal with people they don’t like. In other words, they haven’t graduated from high school. So if they see someone they don’t like hanging out at your place, they may stop coming by.

It’s their loss, Bill. I continue to contribute at several watering holes despite the frauds, fucktards, and stupid clowns that frequent the same.

4. Faking it is no fun

Most people just can’t fake it forever. They need to get off. [grin]

Being positive, encouraging, and kindly when your trudging through the bull shit can try anyone’s patience. Some do it day in and out without any hard evidence of tomorrow’s reward and they will pick up their toys and head home – sooner or later.

3. This Ain’t Easy Street

It just doesn’t work. Not you, Bill! Blogging!!! It’s not the game changer they hoped it would be. Because it ain’t easy. It takes work. Not everyone can succeed. And there’s no guarantees for success even for those that show promise. Granted, it takes the average Joe or Jane three to six months to figure that out. 

2. Boot Lickers and Suck Ups

It’s not obvious that you’re in the in crowd. Are you best buddies with 12 B-list bloggers and a minimum of three A-list bloggers?

Do they mention you, give you props, and throw you a link in their blog posts from time to time?

People need a reason to suck up and lick boot.

1. Where’s the Money?

You don’t have a weekly “how to” on how someone can easily move and improve it by an inch.

Bill, they need to pay bills. They have the need to succeed.

You keep doing what you are doing. Lift your allies with you as you level up. Give it three years and you’ll be an online authority. Perhaps, a sensation! Mark my words, Bill.

2. Stop looking for success and happiness by Craig McBreen

Writes Craig McBreen:

Self-help is for suckers.

My comment:

Amen.

Reading the statement, “I rock. I will succeed because I rock hard,” one hundred times will not make you successful. Thinking that statement one hundred times won’t do it. Writing that statement one hundred times won’t do it either. Because that’s not how magic and fairy tales work.

Life is hard.

That’s what James writes here.

Magic comes from killing dragons, demons, and all the things that own you through fear. Fairy tales are the stories of fears faced and conquered, virtues exercised in decision and action, and the triumph of the hero, heroine, or saint.

Don’t just do it. And don’t just do something. Do good, do it often, and do it well.

Awesome post, Craig!

3. Butthead Asking Dumb Questions?! Are You? by Akos Fintor

Ako’s Twitter Bio Statement:

Helping others to break limiting beliefs about success. One belief at a time.

Akos asks you if you are asking the right questions?

What can I learn from this or How can I turn this around?

My comment:

When the fuck does it get easier?

That’s what Frank Dickinson asks via a reposted guest post by @LisaMilesBrady.

It just happens that I have some thoughts to share.

I am personally acquainted with dozens of millionaires and former millionaires. A handful inherited their wealth. Most of them made their wealth by mostly illegal means. Only a handful of these acquaintances made their wealth by strictly legal, honest, good decisions, and hard work. Most of the latter have lost their wealth.

Having spent considerable time and intimate conversation with such persons, I can tell you that their successes had little to do with asking themselves questions, being positive, and doing the right thing. The most common answer, being in the right place at the right time, is a euphemism.

A euphemism is a substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensively explicit and scandalous.

Few are driven simply by greed, a will to power, and a want to make the world around them – their empire. Most are fueled by fear, hatred, and contempt, they do unspeakable things, they lack conscience, and they don’t get caught. They prey upon the weak, the weak-minded, and the poor of spirit (the cowardly) at every opportunity. They do not create wealth by being fair, generous, or conscientious. Nor do they keep wealth by such means.

I wish I could share an example with you of how wealth is hoarded and carved out of the souls and chests of lesser men. But anyone of them reading it would be so offended that I would rise to a top spot on their shit list. And that would be especially stupid to promote myself into the cross hairs. [grin]

So I leave it to your imagination to fill in the details.

4. True Inspiration From My Most Popular YouTube Video by Adrienne Smith

Writes Adrienne:

… no matter what little thing you do, you can still inspire and help others.

My comment:

As the troubles of this world grow, ever greater is our yearning for the things that fuel hope. Inspire, encourage, and lift others up.

Because at the end of the day (be it six months or twelve years), when you look back on what you did online, if you inspired, encouraged and lifted others up, you will know you did something that reflects the beautiful, the good, and the true.

And that may be worth more than the million dollars that never found its way into your bank account.

And then there’s Lisa Gerber who has some insights to share about  fundraising. Indeed, the Crowdwise motto is even something to consider beyond fundraising. It applies perfectly to social media.

If you didn’t give back no one will like you.

And writing that, immediately I thought of Professor Michael Schlesinger from the Atmospheric Sciences School at the University of Illinois at Urbana. He recently edited an important book on climate change and alarming estimates of the expected impacts which will devastate communities and regions, Human-Induced Climate Change.

Well done, Adrienne.

5. The Only User Manual That You Will Ever Need by Marcus Baker

Ask, Release, Believe and Receive

Explains Marcus:

These words describe in exact sequence the way to create your ideal life using the law of attraction…

My comment:

One of the problems that I often observe about those who recommend the law of attraction is the lack of true and unembarrassed commitment to the thing as truth. In other words, people talk about it but they don’t demonstrate it. And if it is a truth, it must be demonstrable. Just as demonstrable as pain or hurt.

And we all know that everybody hurts.

I propose that 12 of us make a demonstration. Each of us make a blog post, name the thing of our desires, ask for it, release it, believe it, and receive it within three months. It should be something that is out of our natural and ordinary reach, capacity, and competence. I further propose that Marcus lead us in this spiritual demonstration, guide us in the release, and finally, tabulate, announce, and analyze the results.

Count me in on this. Who else is ready to receive!

What say you, Marcus?

Awesome post, Marcus!

6. Why do I do what I do by Janet Callaway

Asks Janet:

Do you ever stop to think about why you do what you do?

Janet shares one of her favorite quotes from Katharin Graham:

To love what you do and to feel that it matters–how could anything be more fun?

What I didn’t write:

Writes @TheJackB:

One of the reasons I am a frequent visitor to your blog is because I like surrounding myself with happy people. You always have such positive energy it is hard not to smile.

Jack’s comment took me by surprise. And I’m still grinning. Or was that scratching my head?

Anyway, I often wonder if bloggers love what they are doing. For example, I hope Margie Clayman loves what she’s doing. Because I love what she’s doing. Have you seen her last blog post, Help Me Help Guatemala?

Writes Nic Wirtz about Guatemala:

In a country where half the population survive on less than $2 a day, you don’t have to go far to find poverty. Generally it’s already looking for you.

My comment:

The story of Judy and Ed is heart warming. Thank you for sharing that awesome story with us, Janet.

If only we were all so blessed with an opportunity to sell things that we believe in with the deepest personal conviction!

Myself, there are few things for which I can rave about. And not all of those few for good reason.

Anyway, here’s five:

1. Dr. Bronner’s Magical Peppermint Soap
2. The New American Bible
3. Harrod’s Earl Grey Tea No. 42 (I’m enjoying a mug of it as I type)
4. Certified Kona Coffee Beans (lightly roasted)
5. William Shakespeare’s Collected Works

My own doubts, however, can not compete with my hope that Judy and Ed will live long, happy, and love-strong lives with the least pain possible.

Considering again my doubts, I have to smile because I remember what Betsy Cross writes here:

Sometimes the facts lie.

7. Dad Bloggers Get Paid To Blog by Jack Steiner

Writes Jack:

I want to earn enough to support my family. I tell my children that they need to push to live their dreams and not dream their lives. I can do no less.

My comment:

I like what Jack is saying.

I am trying. I am pushing. I am asking for help. It is not easy for me. I don’t like doing it and I am not sure that I am asking the right questions but I am doing my best.

That’s what any of us can do, Jack. Own it. Do. Push. Ask for help. Keep moving. Just like Danny recently did. He moved on to Jugnoo, don’t you know! In fact, a good move. Corporate clients for social media seem to be drying up.

Keep on keeping on, Jack.

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.

Stan Faryna
18 November 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Help me to do something beautiful! Click here.


Blog Soup 2011.11.14 Do You Have Leadership Skills?

November 14, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.11.11 Do You Have Leadership Skills?

The next Blog Soup is planned for the next Monday. Things got crazy busy. Be safe and take good care of you.

About Blog Soup

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. Nicole Humphrey CookThe Idiots Guide to Triberr Tutorial

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

I intend to write pithy, poignant comments that may help you truly rediscover yourself through the blog posts of friends and strangers. In terms of your journey of self discovery, the destinations are not as important as is your own personal negotiation of the questions, answers, and confusions which you may discover by following a link, reading a blog post, poring over comments, and making a comment. On the other hand, this is our community and, yes, community is all about our commitment to the community, conversations, consensus, disagreement, participation, and, yes, to each other.

I will fail often in this endeavor, but I can, as Booker T. Washington said, keep on keeping on. Will you humor me?

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

2011.11.14

There is much to say about leadership. There is much need to think and speak about leadership. In the midst of the failure of leadership, we may be tempted to put up with false leadership, false journalism, lies, and what misfortunes that may befall us – especially the poor who are least able to bear untimely hardships and disasters.

I kindly remind you of the words of the poet, Dylan Thomas:

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Rage with love, service, and servant hearts.

Featured

The blog posts that I commented on in this Blog Soup:

1. Leadership Lessons from Joe Paterno and Penn State by Aaron Biebert

2. 12 Most Important Aspects of Having 100,000 Followers by Ted Coiné

3. A Short Treatise on Losing by Anthony Iannarino

4. Jay-Z’s ‘Occupy All Streets’ Shirt Vanishes from Rocawear Site Amid Controversy by Elva Ramirez

5. The Extremely Personal Post by Laurinda Shaver

6. Colin Powell: Occupy Wall Street Demonstrations Are ‘As American As Apple Pie’

7. Thoughts 4 Friday – Be Indispensable by Daniel Newman


Michael Jackson, Man In The Mirror

Blog Soup

My unabashed comments:

1. Leadership Lessons from Joe Paterno and Penn State by Aaron Biebert

Writes Aaron Biebert:

“Success with Honor” is Penn State’s motto. Now they have neither.

My comment:

Your post reminds me of some good advice. Thank you, Aaron.

Leadership is a gift given by those who follow.

That’s what General Mark Welsh, Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, says. General Welsh gave a speech about what leadership is about at the Air Force Academy. The video is here.

I mention General Welsh’s speech because he explains the why and how of leadership. Leadership is necessitated not simply by the objective or the how, it is also intimately about people and why. And you don’t need to be a genius to understand this. You just have to have a heart.

General Welsh speaks about leadership through stories and slides. He tells about the horror of killing and the fact that it has to be done. He tells us that the enemies that are killed by smart bombs are fathers, sons, and brothers too.

General Welsh tells us about the people who serve in the Air Force. About the people that made a difference. About the people that are making a difference.

Leaders are all about their credibility. Leaders look out for their people and they do what they say they are going to do – especially when it’s about taking care of their people. They look after the people that count on them. That doesn’t mean that leaders lie or cover up for this person or that as Aaron points out. Leaders have to keep their people on the up and up – that’s the kind of winning that counts most of all. If they can’t do that, they have no credibility.

Leaders pay attention to the details. General Welsh tells about a jet fighter pilot that died when he missed a zero point two of a second decision to pull up. Details matter.

Leaders know their people’s stories. You can’t look out for your people (and their families) if you don’t know their story.

General Welsh concludes:

Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. But you have to be worthy of it.

2. 12 Most Important Aspects of Having 100,000 Followers by Ted Coiné

Self-described business heretic and futurist gives 12 reasons he’s proud to boast about his 100k followers on Twitter.

1. He’s having fun.

2. He’s there for people.

3. He’s building an audience for his next book.

4. He’s being social.

5. He’s trying to do good things.

6. He appreciates his people.

7. He gets feedback.

8. He’s making friends.

9. He’s learning things.

10. He doesn’t need Klout to feel special.

11. His followers help him out.

12. He’s curating people.

My comment:

Let’s go for a big lagniappe!

13. Love, Serve, and Lead.

100k followers is a whole lot of people. As General Welsh explained, be worthy of the the gift of leadership!

3. A Short Treatise on Losing by Anthony Iannarino

It isn’t a failure to fight the good fight and to lose. It is a failure not to fight the good fight. It is a failure to do nothing in the midst of evil, terror, and great anguish. That’s what Anthony is saying.

My comment:

Leaders understand that it’s not winning a fight that counts, but fighting the good fight for all the right reasons that matter. Because a good fight doesn’t hold you down in doubt, fear, and despair. When you lose a good fight, you may have lost much more than just that fight, but you don’t have to lose the fight that is in you.

No German, for example, can savor the things done in service to Hitler and the Nazis. They can not enjoy the many German accomplishments in service to that dark cause. Because there can never be triumph when it is in service to evil.

The Germans stormed across Europe under the Nazi banner and made all of Europe tremble before them; they overcame tremendous force and people; they overcame impossible odds with technology, science, and discipline. And the German people must hang their heads in shame for a hundred years. Or more.

Likewise Penn State has been dishonored as Aaron Biebert points out in his blog post.

4. Jay-Z’s ‘Occupy All Streets’ Shirt Vanishes from Rocawear Site Amid Controversy by Elva Ramirez

When Business Insider asked Rocawear if any proceeds from Jay-Z’s Occupy All Streets shirt were going towards the movement, Rocawear issued a statement that Jay-Z’s t-shirt was not related significantly to the political movement. Accusations promptly followed that Jay-Z was trying to profit from the protest.

My comment:

The obvious irony is that Jay-Z’s apparent interest in cashing in on the Occupy movement represents the same kind of heartless capitalism, lack of humanitarian intent, and greed against which the Occupy movement protests.

The more obvious question to some is not if Jay-Z is selling out the people today, but if he was a wanna-be 1 percenter since the beginning?

Everybody hurts as Bruce Sallan reminds us in his blog post. Sometimes.

The 1 percenters hurt too. They cry. They anguish. They have fears too. It’s a shame that they often fail to identify with the pain, hopes, and disappointment experienced by the 99 percent. It’s not like they have to make a leap of faith about something outside their experience.

Jay-Z, like other hip hoppers and rock stars, received the mantle of leadership as a gift from their fans, but they often prove themselves to be false idols. They are not worthy of their celebrity as General Welsh would remind us.

They do not serve their people. They are out for themselves. And this is the problem of the 1 percent, be they bankers, politicians, or others who serve themselves at the expense of the world.

In Michael’s song, there’s a question for the 1 percent – a question that will eat away at their brains like worms feasting upon corpses. Michael’s question comes like the pained and whispered warning of the rich man in hell.

Who am I to be blind, pretending not to see their need?

5. The Extremely Personal Post by Laurinda Shaver

Writes Laurinda:

3 years ago I made the most difficult decision of my life. I decided to end my marriage of 7 years…

It went from a separation, to getting laid off, to my mom being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour, to her dying a year later, to my dad suddenly suffering from mobility issues.

She also had two young kids in tow.

3 years later, Laurinda can say, “I am the CEO of my life.”

My comment:

Laurinda’s blog post is a response to Janet’s Callaway;s blog post, How to be the CEO of your life.

Getting from there (surviving) to here (commanding) didn’t happen overnight, Laurinda tells us. Like Michael sings in his song, Man in the Mirror, Laurinda started with the woman in the mirror.

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways…

6. Colin Powell: Occupy Wall Street Demonstrations Are ‘As American As Apple Pie’

CNN’s Pier Morgen interviews former Secretary of State and retired four star general Colin Powell about the Occupy movement.

Says Powell:

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are as American as apple pie.

We need our political system to start reflecting this anger back into how do we fix it? How do we get the economy going again?

My comment:

Retired Four Star General Colin Powell is one of the few people from the political right that acknowledges a problem, the American-ness of protest, and the legitimacy of the Occupy movement. Regardless of whether or not you may agree with the man’s politics, the man’s leadership qualities stand up.

Compare Powell with Captain Margo Bennet of the University of California Berkeley Police Department who defended University Police officers caught on video for beating protesting students who were not showing violent resistance.

Captain Margo Bennet’s statement:

I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest.

I do not believe that I need to provide you with a historical description of the protests led by Martin Luther King, Jr. or Gandhi to establish how impoverished is Bennet’s definition of nonviolent protest. But I will remind you of the intentions upon which America is founded:

That whenever any Form of Government [i.e., local, State, Federal or international] becomes destructive of these ends [read: the free exercise of certain unalienable rights), it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (link)

Do note from the quotation that the Right to alter or abolish it belongs to the People – not government. Also that change shall be determined by the People and according to their prudence- not the government.

Just as Bull O’Conner was inadequate more than 50 years ago, Captain Margo Bennet should resign his post for the dishonor that he has brought to UC Berkeley. Obviously, Bennet’s gestapo mentality is inadequate to serve as a leader whose mission is to serve and protect people and, especially, to serve and protect the students of UC Berkeley.

Captain Margo Bennet is yet another false leader – unworthy of the gift which he has been given.

7. Thoughts 4 Friday – Be Indispensable by Daniel Newman

Asks Daniel of the employee:

What do you bring to the table that makes you indispensable?

My comment:

What people ask of a leader every day:

What do you bring to the table that makes you indispensable to your people?

Following Daniel’s line of thinking, four more questions come to mind:

1. Are you always looking for ways for your people to get the job done in a smarter and healthier way?
2. Do you take the initiative to identify and solve problems that stand as obstacle to your people making results happen?
3. Do you embrace learning about your people, how they do what they do, and why they do it the way they do it?
4. Are you willing to lead change? Or do you delegate that like a chump?

Like Michael sings it:

You gotta get it right, while you got the time
‘Cause when you close your heart
Then you close your mind.

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.

Stan Faryna
14 November 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Help me to do something beautiful! Click here.


Blog Soup 2011.11.11 Veterans, Epic Expectations, and Gnashing of Teeth

November 11, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.11.11 Veterans, Epic Expectations, and Gnashing of Teeth

Is there no end to the despair of social media! How many more will end their lives because their last best hope, social media, fails to change their material condition? How many deaths did not make it back to us as news?

And writing this, I know, that a blog post and a brief message will not deter anyone who searches to end their misery – once and for all. Pain is a test, a blessing, an oppressor, a teacher, and a tyrant – what it is to you depends upon your response. Your response depends entirely upon the things and people that are written upon your heart.

Today, I honor the men and women of our armed services who have given their lives, partly or wholly, for our nation. Regardless of whether their orders were right or wrong, they gave of themselves in service, duty, and discipline. That giving is to be honored. It is right and just to honor our veterans – those lost and those living.

When our veterans served us, they believed with all their hearts that there is more to life than wealth, fame, and power.

A tribute to our troops! This is not an endorsement of Oliver North.

If the bottom line for you is wealth, fame, and power – I grieve for you with all my heart.

There are greater things than these and the greatest of these is love.

But love must be fought for. Fight for love as if your life depended on it. Because in a very deep sense, your life and the lives of those written upon your heart, in fact, depends on it.

Read the rest of this entry »


Blog Soup 2011.11.09 Online Community, Reputation, and Great Expectations

November 9, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.11.09. Online Community, Reputation, and Great Expectations

I intend to write pithy, poignant comments that may help you truly rediscover yourself through the blog posts of friends and strangers. In terms of your journey of self discovery, the destinations are not as important as is your own personal negotiation of the questions, answers, and confusions which you may discover by following a link, reading a blog post, poring over comments, and making a comment. On the other hand, this is our community and, yes, community is all about our commitment to the community, conversations, consensus, disagreement, participation, and, yes, to each other.

I will fail often in this endeavor, but I can, as Booker T. Washington said, keep on keeping on. Will you humor me?

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. Nicole Humphrey Cook, The Idiots Guide to Triberr Tutorial

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)

2011.11.09

Writes C.S. Lewis in the Abolition of Man:

And all the time—such is the tragi-comedy of our situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive,’ or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity.’ In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful

Featured

Blog posts that are commented on in this Blog Soup:

1. My 7 Links: The Rules by Katie

2. Taking Action to Improve the Hustle: One Thing at a Time by JK Allen

3. The Myth of Privacy Online by Ameena Falchetto

4. The immiseration of the digital creative class by Freddie deBoer

5. This Is Why I Disabled My Klout Account by Robert Dempsey

6. I was Caught on Comments! by Christian Hollingsworth

7. Real World Experience vs. School Education by Harrison Kratz


Klaus Nomi, Dido’s Lament

Blog Soup

Just some of the blogs that I recently commented on:

1. My 7 Links: The Rules by Katie

The Tripbase travel blog is “for passionate travelers across the globe – whether you’re an eternal nomad or a flash-packer – if you love to travel then this blog is for you.”

Things has <sic> been slow, so Katie came up with a cute idea to build a community around the Tripbase travel blog: My 7 Links.

My 7 Links attempts to “unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.”

My comment:

I just learned about it at Eugene Farber’s blog, Reality Burst. But I was really surprised to hear that Paul Wolfe is doing it too. Now that I think of it, I had seen Paul Wolfe’s post, but it didn’t do anything for me at the time. Or maybe I was just put out because no one nominated me. [grin]

Ok, I’m not loveable. Interesting, memorable, and awe-inspiring at times. But not loveable. I get it. [cry]

The hook of My 7 Links is the opportunity for self-promotion without feeling dirty about it. Few have the nerve and fearsome disposition of Jack Steiner for community.

If you’ve been nominated by someone else for the 7 links, it would be careless and rude to not play along. Now you can resurrect some of your old content. And you have a blog post. And you threw a bone to some of your bloggers compatriots by recommending them. Good stuff! Clever. Phew! That was easy.

Suddenly, I’m writing this how Jack really wants to write it. And that’s scary! Because even Jack, the greatest dad blogger of them all, doesn’t go here! Perhaps, that’s why I’m unloveable. Because I can be an asshole despite all of my deep want to be a kind, humble, and inspirational no-lister.

Just a second…

My GF just messaged me that she loves me. I have five seconds to make the proper reply with a smiley face or Wold War 3 is on. And no one wants that!

Where were we?

Is the My 7 links thing going to build a community for the Tripbase Travel blog? Did Katie make an honest effort of it? Was it a meaningful tactic?

All three answers have nothing to do with what the bloggers participating in My 7 Links got out of it.

You can guess my answer.

And, yes, your answer is relevant to you. Because your answer and the insight that fuels your answer will determine whether or not you are capable of succeeding in business or your online strategy. Class dismissed.

Disclaimer:

I like Eugene Farber, Paul Wolfe, and Jack Steiner – if it wasn’t obvious. And I read their blogs every chance I get to do so.

2. Taking Action to Improve the Hustle: One Thing at a Time by JK Allen

JK was inspired by reading Rob White’s blog post, Atomic Action.

My comment:

Writes Rob White:

Michelangelo experienced Atomic Action while painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

I experience it when making chocolate chip cookies. I mix the batter, and shape the cookies, and toss them in the oven with a total feeling of completion with each action.

Rob White explains Atomic Action like this:

We are Whole Minded, and fresh and ready for the present moment when we let go of our failures and incompletions of the past. Atomic Action is a consequence of Whole Mindedness. Every level of the mind is focused on the action in the moment, and the result is incredible.

Note:

I’d like to point out that Michelangelo (whose work I can consider to be wonderful and inspiring) didn’t paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling alone. He had apprentices and servants to do most of the actual painting.

Where was I?

In his comment to Rob White’s blog post, JK concludes:

I don’t want my life to be based on past failures. I want my life to be based on unlimited successes. I’m willing to do what I have to do to make this my reality. I’ll begin with taking your advice seriously (the steps and the tips).

And JK is not alone. Brian Driggs, a Fortune 500 knowledge manager, for example, related to JK in his comment.

Rob even gets excited about JK’s comment:

WOW, you really added dimension to this post. I recommend that everyone read your comment and consider it part of the post. You offered another prime reason why so many folks fail to act with atomic energy; the reason is that they multi-task. You cannot be in the present, giving 100% of your energy to what you are doing, when you assign your mind several projects to attend at the same time. NICE. NICE. NICE. Thank you

Back to JK’s post.

In JK’s blog post, I read seven challenges to JK getting out of inaction. JK lists most of them himself. The last two are my observations.

1. JK keeps busy because he feels that busy has inherent and implicit value
2. JK feels that being extraordinary is about moving and making noise
3. The number of tasks that JK is engaged in relates to his understanding of how fast he is moving and how much noise he is making
4. The fear and disappointment of past failures pushes JK to apply even more madness
5. Priority, value, and patience are undeveloped and under-employed in JK’s game plan
6. JK is overwhelmed by his need to prove himself to himself amidst much present self-disappointment and failure in his now
7. JK needs to focus on accomplishing things that JK unquestionably recognizes as immediately meaningful and self-affirming

Do you face the same challenges to your reputation?

What I can write with full confidence is that JK’s self-honesty is a golden key to self understanding and, possibly, a beautiful life. And I think JK knows it too.

As John Sherry writes in his comment to JK, I second it:

Go for the burn, JK!

3. The Myth of Privacy Online by Ameena Falchetto

Writes Ameena:

There is no such thing as a FREE lunch. If you are not paying for a service or a product then YOU are the PRODUCT not the customer.

My comment:

I want to agree with Ameena. But to do so would be sinister and insensitive. Or, in C.S. Lewis’ words: without chest.

Klout’s use of information of people who are not subscribed to Klout or who do not want to be on Klout is an interesting problematic that will or won’t be settled in court (or outside the courtroom). If I had that kind of problem with Klout, I would try to resolve it as Robert Dempsey is trying to do. [grin] If that failed, I would sue them, lobby the state procsecutor, and write a few blog posts like this or this.

But there ain’t much to do after that. Not without community action.

Michelle Garrett gives good advice in her comment. And I love that Brian Driggs quotes Uncle Ben a la Spiderman:

With great power comes great responsibility.

4. The immiseration of the digital creative class by Freddie deBoer

Vast, life-altering consequences of the internet have been anticipated by online evangelists. It’s been going on since the 90s. And the same anticipation continues to fuel the great expectations of those just piling into the intertubes. But what is more interesting to Freddie is that the internet is a resentment machine – especially for “culturally savvy tastemakers who exert such disproportionate influence over online experience.”

Writes Freddie:

No achievement, no effort, no relationship can exist as an end in itself.

My comment:

Allow me to repeat Freddy’s revelation about what’s wrong with the internet and social media in general:

No achievement, no effort, no relationship can exist as an end in itself.

But even Freddy does not understand the importance of what he has written. Because he is unfortunately and mistakenly dedicated to his outdated Post Neo-Marxist nuptial vows. Just as Freddie is dedicated to an irrelevant, incoherent, and anachronistic metaphor about the Trans Am – a car that hasn’t been cool for at least 25 years.

There is no substitute for a Porsche, Freddie deBoer. Almost. The exception, of course, is a Ferrari.

I would deconstruct most of Freddy’s metaphors similarly and expose him for the Rip Van Winkle that he is (as are all Post Neo-Marxist Survivalists), but that would be merely good sport and blog soup is not a sporting event – though several of my friends wish it were and they denounce my positivity often, especially when they know I am capable of profound psychological insights that leave the victim raped of their intimate-most dignity.

I prefer to be a kinder and gentler critic.

The Budweiser Clydesdales honoring the loss of the people and towers of 9-11 is 10 years old, for example, and Freddy would not have mentioned it – if it had not brought unbid tears in his eye.

Or Freddy is a man without chest a la C.S. Lewis.

I love that commercial! It brought tears to my eyes. It makes me feel strongly.

Because I am an American. Because I am reminded that there is something about America which is worthy of my honor, admiration, and my highest hopes. And I appreciate the Budweiser people for strongly feeling the same way and sharing their strong feeling with me in solidarity.

Oh – did I mention that I am not a Budweiser customer. And Budweiser’s intention, I will argue, was to express their solidarity in sorrow, pride, and hope with their fellow Americans and not to loudly recommend their reputation. Disagreement on this point, of couse, is nothing less than fighting words. [grin]

Freddie deBoer is wrong in his presumption that the internet writ large is desperately invested in the idea that liking #ows, #occupyklout, farmville, or mafia wars, for example, says something of depth and importance about the liker. Freddie is again mistaken that likes, Googley plus one, Stumbles, etc. distinguish us from one another. In fact, these ridiculous disclaimers of identity are made to demonstrate similarity, common ground, and membership.

Everyone in social media, realizes that a “like” is nothing more than a ridiculous disclaimer. So much so that no one actually dedicates serious attention to exercising judgment when they do happen to like things, people, or even their friend’s comments. Were it as Freddie imagined, they would be a lot more poking, liking, etc. going on. And Freddie’s Klout score might actually begin to be meaningful.

Oh – Freddy doesn’t know about Klout yet. Or that, ding dong, the wicked witch is dead. Just give Freddy five years to figure what what the heck I’ve just written here.

Freddy isn’t all wrong, however.

Just as he is not completely right about anything in particular. Freddy’s failure of insight is a symptom of being an alienated outsider, his failure to contribute to an online community as a member and as a person, AND his self-enslavement to an academic, self-absorbed arrogance – a self-deception by which he himself attempts to distinguish himself from the unwashed users of the internet. This is a typical problematization (a la Foucault) of the Post Neo-Marxist Survivalist.

What Freddie deBoer is right about:

1. Criticism (rant) is rampant not as a means to solve problems, but as an art of self-expression. But the paradox is that the resistance to criticism, negativity, and strong feelings is equally rampant.

2. Pettiness is glamorized in aesthetic taste. Bit Rebels is a fine example for this criticism but even Freddie has no clue about Bit Rebels. And, again, the paradox: as wildly trafficked as Bit Rebels is, almost no one feels compelled to comment – despite the SEO opportunity of doing so.

Note: Yomar Lopez, Robert Dempsey, and … can explain SEO to you, Freddie.

3. Indiscriminate information consumption is neither creative, empowering, nor does it serve the winning, the succeeding, and the bagging of the bacon. The paradox of consumption is that people actually connect through comments, tweets, and chats about the silliest of things. Online communities are rising out of the shared experience of failure.

Freddie is unable to appreciate the paradoxes, however. Because he lacks the depth of the online experience that is shared by those for whom he has much contempt.

This has been an awfully long comment! Hasn’t it!? I know!

Some of you may be wondering why I didn’t write a separate blog post about Freddie deBoer, but it would be to my competitive disadvantage to reveal those kind of secrets about blog soup. [laughing]

I will admit, however, this comment was originally the first comment in today’s blog post and I moved it to the fourth spot just in case it’s length was so discouraging that you might give up and move on to somewhere else.

Anyway, the finish line to this comment is just a few paragraphs away.

At the start of my comment, I observed Freddy’s revelation about what’s wrong with the internet and social media in general:

No achievement, no effort, no relationship can exist as an end in itself.

If I was a profoundly cyncial man, I would have observed that Klout may have been the last nail in the coffin. Lucky for us, we yanked that nail out and tossed Klout back to the neck-deep shit pond in hell from which it was spawned. Even former champions of Klout are unsually quiet about Klout – some of whom I like despite their delusions of grandeur which they mistakenly hitched to the falling star called Klout.

Ville Kilkku’s photo with his Klout score is especially revealing about his former great expectations.

Klout has exploited our desperate need for a competitive pecking order, for the opportunity for pull ourselves up in that pecking order by our own bootstraps, and the opportunity to be loved, cherished, and honored for ourselves.

The tragedy which Freddy will not get is that true love, caring, and honor can not be gamed or won. They are the consequences of virtue – virtue a la Aristotle and Aquinas, for which Freddy also has contempt.

5. This Is Why I Disabled My Klout Account by Robert Dempsey

Robert Dempsey details the many problems of Klout as a concept and a service.

My comment:

Fed up with Klout? Robert provides links and instructions to quit Klout from Kat Caverly and Martijn Linnssen.

I really like how Robert boils down the abolition of humanity that fuels Klout. Hopefully, it is the undoing of Klout as Robert prays:

Mass is an outdated and dying notion. Quality and meaningful interactions is the future. If the Occupy Wall Street movement, Middle East rebellions against dictatorships, and protests around Europe have showed us anything, it’s that people want change, and are coming together to help make it happen. And there are people that are very much fighting against that change, be it with words or with force.

What that change will look like is anyone’s guess, but this much is clear – people do want change.

Klout is not change. Klout is more of the same – the same outdated and dying notion of mass.

ALSO, I loved what Jacqueline Zimowski (Founder of No Human Trafficking) wrote in her comment to Robert:

Never have I been so grateful to work with human slaves against human masters, instead of technological masters forging chains humans put on themselves.

Like Jacqueline, I too ponder something wicked this way coming in Klout. For I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’s warning in The Abolition of Man:

For the power of Man to make himself what he pleases means, as we have seen, the power of some men to make other men what they please.

6. I was Caught on Comments! by Christian Hollingsworth

Years ago, Christian used to use sock puppets to beef up comments. This was before Gravatars. Some of those comments are still out there but the kicker is that Christian’s Gravatar now shows up across all the comments of his sock puppets.

My comment:

Love your confession, Christian! And this post is the best way to deal with it. If someone ever calls you out on it, you’ll just slap this link down like a gauntlet, wink, and say, it’s been covered.

What I didn’t write:

I’m guilty too, Christian. I voted for my own podcast which Betsy Cross nominated for Arment Dietrich’s Top 25 Social Media Wins and Gaffes You’ve Never Heard Of.

Please vote for me so I know that my vote wasn’t the only vote. [grin] Vote here!

But wait, there’s more!

Just after publishing today’s blog soup, I found myself in an unfortunate misunderstanding with John Falchetto. I tweeted out the usual mentions for blog soup, but this one pissed off John:

Blog Soup 2011.11.09 Community, Reputation, etc. http://wp.me/pbg0R-v4 Featured Blogger: @ameenafalchetto #sexy #intelligent #privacy

John responded:

@faryna Sexy? uh? Do you know @ameenafalchetto ? Do you think it’s appropriate?

I read Ameena’s blog. Personally, I think it’s appropriate for me to comment on her and her blog posts. It is in the public domain. But I was hoping to demonstrate my naive and friendly intention so I responded in a friendly manner:

@JohnFalchetto Intelligence is very sexy. [grin]

John lost his cool. OMG! He went for the ad hominem attack. He responded:

@faryna How old are you? I’m not grinning, tweeting that you find @AmeenaFalchetto sexy is insulting, learn the meaning of words in English

I’m pretty sure that I understood some American English [grin], but I did check Google. The top result for my search for the definition of sexy was this:

1. Arousing or tending to arouse sexual desire or interest

2. SLANG Highly appealing or interesting

I hoped to cool things down, but failed with my response:

@JohnFalchetto When was a compliment inappropriate? Email me your concern.

At moments like these 140 characters is completely inadequate! This sucked! For me! For the Falchettos!

John was only seeing through angry eyes, because he responded with contempt and more ad hominem attack:

@faryna Do you know @AmeenaFalchetto ? It’s not a compliment and it says a lot about the kind of person you are, buy a dictionary

A few more exchanges and I tried to close the tweet out with this:

@JohnFalchetto If it was a serious concern, a polite email would have gotten a prompt delete.

Obviously, I didn’t intend to provoke John or Ameena as it happened to be. But I have to say that John and Ameena responded to their concern about my tweet in an unprofessional and unsaavy manner for social media experts.

Going behind my back on Facebook and attempting to rustle up a lynch party without any interest of resolving the misunderstanding sucks more for the Falchettos. I am told that there will be blog posts. And that Betsy’s defense was deleted from the conversation.

Of course, yes, I sucked too. And my poor attempt to resolve the conflict in a mature manner was rejected. [sigh]

One positive that could result from this is that maybe Ameena will reconsider her unflinching position about Klout and online reputation. Because you can’t control what others say about you online – well-intended or otherwise.

This video is my light-hearted peace offering to the Falchettos:

7. Real World Experience vs. School Education by Harrison Kratz

This blog post is not about whether or not formal education is relevant. That’s what young Harrison Kratz says. But then he mixes his message like a flaming cocktail at a frat party.

Initially, Krantz writes this:

Education is not synonymous with the time spent in college.

My comment with amendments:

Obviously, Harrison Kratz is not qualified to redefine education. I do not recognize any authority in a reckless opinion that marginalizes value with a sophomoric quip. [grin]

But I can overlook the faux pas, because Harrison is a hipster, after all, and his enthusiasm for professional training is understandable.

Myself, I am one that appreciates both a classical liberal arts education and the various professional training and experience that is needed to do our various jobs well and professionally. In a forthcoming interview on Christian Hollingsworth’s blog, I speak much on the value of a classical, liberal arts education.

As someone who has been doing various professional things online for 15+ years, I can speak about how it’s been a steep learning curve the whole effing way. And it keeps going and going.

Oh – the things I learned serving customers, selling, solving problems, resolving conflict, doing the work, getting results, managing people and mentoring, and supporting client success! Wonderful things! Terrible things!

But oh so much more oh-la-la for the things you can learn from illuminated reading of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Carl Jung, and Jacques Maritain to name but a few! And for that you need great and inspiring professors.

I understand Gini’s reluctance not to hire anyone without a college degree. When it comes to design, I wouldn’t hire a designer without a college degree in art or design. The fundamentals of art and design are rarely learned outside of the classroom.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t hire anyone just out of business school for anything. Period. [laughing] I love Raj-PB’s comment about the MBA: “Its like teaching someone to fish in a desert.” But Raj scares me. Who is this SEO ninja? He’s not Ben Clemons or Josh Fuller, but his Disqus doubley points to Ben and Josh’s Profit Blog.

Regarding programmers, I want to see experience and problem-solving, a degree doesn’t guarantee anything about one’s ability to architect killer apps, kill bugs, and scale it up for thousands or millions of simultaneous users. The most competent software architect-programmer-technologist that I have ever met studied architecture.

Neicole Crepeau also makes a strong argument for talent and results. And her recent blog post, Social Does Not Equal Dialogue, reveals how insightful she is – without a college degree.

Byron Fernandez’s comment that “Degrees are a piece of paper” is uncouth coming out of Byron’s mouth – even if the French philosopher and activist Michel Foucault once said the same thing. It suggests several things which I will restrain myself from spelling out. [grin]

Let’s go deep.

Reading Foucault (himself a college professor) suggests to me that universities have the reputation to be places where students receive socially desirable modes of behavior and sociable forms of knowledge so that college graduates may serve the world’s demand for self-regulated citizens, multi-disciplined assets, creative problem-solvers, and servant leaders.

Writes C.S. Lewis:

A modern nation needs a very large class of genuinely educated people and it is the primary function of schools and universities to supply them. To lower standards or disguise inequalities is fatal.

That fact that Foucault handed out diplomas on Paris trains was merely a PR stunt. Like anyone of us, Foucault wanted to be loved, cherished, and honored.

Growing discontent with the grind (workplace), the unbearable 9 to 5, and the insecurity of temporary employment (under five years) which is evidenced by the mass migration to blogging and other online activities which anticipate self-employment, financial freedom, and self-development, however, strongly suggests that the workplace cannot replace the university and its social functions as described by Foucault.

Even the most rare and enlightened employers do not practice anything like a university culture. Business does not seek truth, goodness, or beauty beyond coincidence. Nor does it function to support citizenship, democracy, or human culture beyond coincidence. Duh!

Of course, it’s normal that an aspiring young professional such as Harrison wants to game the system for his own private and selfish reputation, skip college, and collect $200 as often as possible. Unfortunately, if we allow it as a general- as opposed to a rare exception, we will put democracy, freedom, and human civilization at risk.

I want to also mention that if college degrees were really just a pieces of paper, why does Mr. Fernandez include the tidbit about having a BA in PR on his Twitter profile? [big grin]

If you didn’t learn anything worthwhile in college, you wasted your time, the time of your colleagues, and the time of your professors. In other words, you are responsible for that effing fail. Just saying.

Nonetheless, I wish you all peace and prosperity – if and only if by good means and to good ends.

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.

Stan Faryna
07 November 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Help me to do something beautiful! Click here.


Blog Soup 2011.11.07 Unbid Tears, Love, Hope, and Imagination

November 7, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.11.07. Unbid Tears, Love, Hope, and A Little Imagination

On the street I saw a small girl cold and shivering in a thin dress, with little hope of a decent meal. I became angry and said to God; “Why did you permit this? Why don’t you do something about it?”

For a while God said nothing.

That night he replied, quite suddenly:

“I certainly did something about it. I made you.”

– invisiblepeople

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)

2011.11.07

Allow me to share with you this poem by the American poet Raymond A. Foss, The Suffering of a Righteous Man.

May it take no more suffering of a righteous man
for us to see the error of the ways, the loss in
the coarseness of our land, the silver lining
may it shine, for all to see, heed its call
to reconcile to each other, seal the breach
the loss we all share, the responsibility too
to make the bonds anew in troubled times
reclaim that which was lost before he fell
the latest metaphor, the latest martyr
to a failed collective age
all about me no more for we cannot
will not understand the taking the pain
of innocent blood, holy blood shed
so that we might see, change our ways
act now act differently to one another
to each other, as the son gave his life
for our sins, may we acknowledge
the sacrifice just paid for what it is
a chance to change course
heal this city, reclaim it for our own
neighbor by neighborhood.

Brené Brown, Strong Feelings, and an Invitation to Do More than Imagine

Most of my readers will know of Brené Brown from her TED Talk about the power of vulnerability. Brown relates human happiness to human connection and whole-heartedness. Those who are most happy are those who live whole-heartedly, explains Brown.

More importantly, Brown explains that to live whole-heartedly means to feel strongly including strong feelings of compassion, sorrow, empathy, disappointment, shame, etc.

I mention Brené Brown because this edition of blog soup invites you to feel strongly. On a Monday – no less! This blog post invites you to struggle with strong feelings of sorrow, shame, and compassion. This blog soup is about human pain, suffering, and need. It invites you to share in feelings that are as wide as humanity and the world AND reach as high as heaven.

If you believe in God, I invite you to share in one of the most profound feelings that radiate from the heart of the Creator. For those who know anything about God, know that God looks upon us, into us, and through us with a constant sorrow and sympathy – not scorn!

If you do not believe in God, I invite you to share in a feeling that unifies the human family at it’s most profound and collective depth.

The invitation is not to a deliquescent, drug-like emotion to be tasted because it can be tasted and blow our minds. The invitation is to participate in creation, to realize our passion through action, and to make this a better world today, immediately!

This invitation is partly what social media is about. And if not at all, social media has been a waste of human effort, hope, and imagination.

Featured

Just some of the blogs that I recently commented on:

1. A Blogging Hiatus Till We Get This Done by Margie Clayman

2. Homeless Kids in Public Schools by Mark Horvath

3. Is your criticism based on reality? by Carey Fuller

4. Taylor and Mike via invisible people

5. Finding joy through The C.A.R.E. Movement by Christian Hollingsworth

6. A Matter of Trust by Nancy Davis

7. Love doesn’t have to cost anything by Bonnie Squires

John Lennon, Imagination

Blog Soup

Just some of the blogs that I recently commented on:

1. A Blogging Hiatus Till We Get This Done by Margie Clayman

Marjorie Clayman wants you to donate $12 to Luma Mufleh’s Fugee village.

My comment:

I was over at Amber-Lee Diddle’s blog and Amber-Lee insisted that we check out Marjorie’s blog post about Fugee village.

The good news is that Marjorie is going to blog again. She’s not going to continue with her blogging sit out until 400,000 people donate $12 each to Fugee village. The better news is that she helped get more than 60 people to make donations to Fugee village.

Some may suggest Marjorie is an impetuous drama queen, but I understand her want to do something epic for a good cause. I understand Marjorie Clayman’s urgent and deeply sincere want to see something happen right now. There is no reason we should hold Margie to the fire by her ankles.

After all, I am trying to give away some cool things to help Nisha Varghese. You can see it here. But it looks like I have failed to succeed to inspire people to give to Nisha’s cause. I can’t even boast being responsible for 60 donations of $5. And I won’t hold it against the world.

For me, it’s in God’s hands. I showed up. I did all that I could do. And so did Marjorie Clayman. She showed up and so did her friends: Amber-Lee, Nancy Davis, Eleanor Biddulph, Brandon Duncan, and others.

I appreciate you, Margie Clayman.

2. Homeless Kids in Public Schools by Mark Horvath

Mark Horvath interviews Marian Riner of the Fayetteville Public School system. Her office is a food and clothing pantry. They discuss the growing problem of child homelessness.

My comment:

Mark Horvath shows up for a lot of people in need. God bless him. Follow Mark on Twitter at @hardlynormal, he often throws out beautiful opportunities to help people in a number of ways.

As Marian tells it, things are getting worse. School Districts across America are trying to be there for families in crisis.

Though it may be difficult to imagine, there are currently 1,500,000 homeless kids in America according to Diane Nilan, Founder and President of HEAR US.

You rock, Mark! Keep fighting the good fight! Because there ain’t a better fighter than you.

3. Is your criticism based on reality? by Carey Fuller

Carey Fuller is a homeless parent in Seattle. She works two jobs and lives in a van with her children. In her video, Carey shares the common challenges trying to keep her family together – challenges which you or I have no idea about.

Writes one commenter who confirms the challenges that Carey speaks about:

Being homeless is exhausting in EVERY way imaginable. My schedule looked a lot like yours. Find somewhere to park > Try to sleep > Find somewhere to cleanup in the AM > Get the kids to school > Call places for help/look for a job > Pick the kids up > REWIND!

My comment:

Carey, I admire your tremendous courage and humility. My prayers are with you.

Reflecting on Carey’s struggle, I can hear John Lennon singing the words:

Imagine all the people sharing all the world. You may say that I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one…

Forty years ago, John Lennon’s Imagine hit number one on the UK charts. More about that here and here.

4. Taylor and Mike via invisible people

Mike and his six year old daughter Taylor live in a homeless shelter in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mike was hurt at work and without income they lost everything.

My comment:

The homeless have a story. Mark Horvath, Carey Fuller, and others allow their voices to be hear. In this video, Taylor and Mike speak from their heart.

Mike talks about the difference between the homeless and the helpless, the growing incidence of family homelessness, and how he wished he could find work.

Six year old Taylor can’t wait for them to get out of the shelter. “This is crazy!” she says.

5. Finding joy through The C.A.R.E. Movement by Christian Hollingsworth

Christian Hollingsworth interviews Al Smith of the C.A.R.E. Movement.

CARE is an acronym for; Communicate, Appreciate, Respect, Encourage. We offer Positive Attitude Solutions to improve morale and attitudes in the workplace and at home.

My comment:

As many of us bloggers have discovered, Al Smith found that he could share his heart, concerns, and inspirations with the world via blogging.

Good advice from Al:

Just find one thing to hold onto, when life is tough. I also have to agree with Al. That the first step toward serenity is gratitude.

This week, Al is hanging out with the Kellie Walker and Erika Napoletano and sharing the CARE message at TEDx Peachtree.

6. A Matter of Trust by Nancy Davis

Nancy Davis is guest posting on Al Smith’s blog.

Nancy writes about the challenges of overcoming a lifetime of mistrust, abuse, and violence.

My comment:

God bless you, Nancy. I’m praying for you. Hold on to hope, humility, and gratitude – no matter what happens. They will see you through when life is tough.

What I didn’t write:

I was surprised to read the comment by Ameena Falchetto.

Ameena writes:

I actually don’t trust many people.

I don’t know why Ameena’s comment took me by surprise. Because she was honest? Or because I didn’t expect an outgoing blogger like Ameena to feel that way about the world?

Trust, I believe, is a cornerstone of engagement, human relationship, community, government, business, civilization, knowledge, science, hope… and, yeah, everything beautiful, good, and true!

And yet I am intimately familiar with betrayal, abuse, violence, crime, disappointment, unfair competition, slander, etc.

It’s not all or nothing with me except for the most exceptional or unfortunate of cases. Forgiveness, for example, is an important decision that I cannot ignore in my response to others – even those who have harmed me.

So, yes, I continue to take risks in matters of trust especially in regards to friendship, love, faith, or compassion. Nor am I so agile, deft, or insensitive to avoid considerable and deep pain, disappointment, and deception.

Eye of the Tiger, Ameena?! [big hug] Who are you fighting, silly?

I’ve got a new, more powerful mantra for your consideration: All You Need is Love

7. Love doesn’t have to cost anything by Bonnie Squires

Writes Bonnie:

Money is tight for a lot of people these days. But that doesn’t mean the love has to stop.

My comment:

Bonnie describes 10 free or low cost ways to show up. To appreciate, to give thanks, and to be kind. It’s an old post, but a very, very good post.

As usual, Bonnie also links to good blog posts by cool bloggers such as Richard Bejah, Erica Mallison, and Gini Dietrich.

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.

Stan Faryna
07 November 2011
Bucharest, Romania

P.S. Help me to do something beautiful! Click here.