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

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.

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)


Lyrics of Unconditional Love by Glen Campbell:

Here’s to the people who gave me life

And then showed me how to live it

And taught me that you measure love

By how freely you can give it

And the gift I give to you

Is the lesson that I learned

That when a love is true

It has nothing in return

Unconditional love, that they gave to me

It wasn’t mine to keep and I knew someday

I’d hand it down to you and hope that I can be

The one who makes you see

The importance of unconditional love

And there were times I know I let them down

But never once was I rejected

And when I stood alone to face this world

Somehow I still felt protected

That’s the common bond we share

And it will last through the years

And you can trust that I’ll be there

Through the good times and the tears

Unconditional love, that they gave to me

It wasn’t mine to keep and I knew someday

I’d hand it down to you and hope that I can be

The one who makes you see

The importance of unconditional love


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

1. The Wooden Toy and the Real Life Boy by Margie Clayman

2. Leading Change: 6 Signs that tell you might be dealing with Compliance rather than Commitment by Aad Boot

3. The Trick To Finding, Watching And Winning Facebook Sweepstakes by Jessy Troy

4. Social Media and Your Reputation by Shane Barker

5. Warning: Self Deception and Manufactured Fame Kills “Online Entrepreneurs” by Tommy Walker

6. Meet Jay, homeless disabled man by Carey Fuller

7. It’s Never Too Late For Success Even in Your 40′s by Benny Hsu

Glen Campbell, Unconditional Love

Blog Soup

My unabashed comments:

1. The Wooden Toy and the Real Life Boy by Margie Clayman

Margie says that she’s dialing down her social media.

My comment:

Pinocchio is a wonderful metaphor for our journey of self-discovery and re-discovery, growing up, and becoming more truly ourselves. The online adventure, which started for some in the 90s and for others it has just begun, is replete with wonder, terror, imagination, risk, and, yes, even maps that promise undiscovered pirates’ treasure.

Like Pinocchio, we are all in search of our humanity, our destiny, and home. We are all tempted by tales of pirate treasure told by the puppet master (aka the authoritarian capitalist). And I have wondered sometimes if the Internet is just a little too much like Paradise Island at times. Making us all into stubborn, noisy beasts of burden. Asses, in other words.

A few named boss monsters come to mind. But unfortunately for boss monsters, failure is in their DNA and design. “Uh-huh,” as Nietzsche’s donkey often said. [grin]

In the story of Pinocchio, the road home is through the belly of the beast – just as it is for the Prophet Jonah. So I too must wonder if you are going nowhere, if you have come to the end of social media’s dead end street, and you find yourself in a seemingly endless dark night, is it because you refuse to completely accept your humanity, your destiny, and home-coming?

2. Leading Change: 6 Signs that tell you might be dealing with Compliance rather than Commitment by Aad Boot

Aad describes six indicators of compliance (the counterfeit of commitment):

1. Action-oriented behavior

“I’ve done my task. Success is all about doing it. Results will follow. And what others are doing is not my concern.”

2. Disinterest in the bigger picture

“I focus on what I do without general regard for the mission, vision, and strategy. I live in the now, baby! Oops!”

3. One-sided conversations

“Let’s only talk about what I want to talk about. If you have a problem with me, we can talk in my office. Everything else is your problem.”

4. Clean shoe policy

“I stay out of trouble, why do I have to jump into the mud with you? I don’t answer calls to 911. It’s not my job. “

5. Lack of opinion

“I’m doing what you asked, why are you asking me how it’s going? Are you saying you don’t know about what you asked me to do?”

6. Unable to make or meet deadlines

“I’m doing things. Or I’m doing things the right way. That’s what matters! It’ll be done when it’s good and ready.”

My comment:

Good list. Allow me to suggest number 7.

7. No new information is very good information. Things can go on as they are going.

“I can’t deal with the problems on my plate as it is. New information just adds to my growing pile of sexy. I like the company I keep.”

What I didn’t write:

These seven problems (listed above) just happen to be the most common problems in social media, blogging, and small business. This is this week’s social media DOH for you. Savor it.

Shall we? Let’s go deep. 

As some of you know, I have been thinking about online community and leadership. In this regard, I have been thinking much about how leaders can transform common interests, opportunities, and needs into commitment to online community.

Ironically, getting compliance out of those who voluntarily participate may be much more difficult than moving from compliance to commitment. Or so it seems.

In this light, I have been considering the polite argument in the blogosphere about whether or not reciprocity is a valid signal for engagement. Engagement wants to be defined abstractly as commitment, relationship, and not merely interaction. As I argue regarding the economics of friendship, I strongly feel that lack of reciprocity and compliance correlates to a lack of commitment and relationship. I also strongly feel that resistance to reciprocity and compliance is a signal of certain unwillingness to make commitment.

Do you believe you have a relationship with someone if there is no (or very little) kindness, honesty, caring, reciprocity, or compliance?

In other words, do you believe you have a relationship with someone who does not respond to you as a gift that you are? OR if they don’t make any substantial to be a gift, a blessing, and a boon to you?

What do I mean by gift?

Bill Dorman is a gift. Not just for me, but also for a whole lot of people. In his comment to Margie Clayman’s blog post about Pinocchio where Margie explains that she’s dialing down on social media, Bill writes:

I enjoy coming here and I like having you around; let’s find a way to make it work for both of us, ok?

Another gift is Christian Hollingsworth. As I mentioned before, I received a card in the mail from him. He writes:

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

Your friend and brother,
Christian Hollingsworth

Want more examples of people that light up my online community?

Betsy Cross, Amber-Lee Dibble, Marcus Baker, Janet Callaway, Bonnie Squires, Gini Dietrich, J.M. Bell, Yomar Lopez, Nisha Varghese, Carolyn Nicander Mohr, Marianne Worley, Jayme Soulati, Kerri Jaehnig, and Eugene Farber – to name just a baker’s dozen. I could go on and on!

3. The Trick To Finding, Watching And Winning Facebook Sweepstakes by Jessy Troy

Jessy Troy is guest posting on Kris Olin’s blog.

Jessy provides a small number of web destinations that lists facebook sweepstakes.

What I didn’t write:

The subject is what it is and that’s not a dig on it. The purpose of this blog post, I believe, is all about SEO. In other words, it’s designed to get traffic here for the simple purpose of logging visits. And in that regard, I imagine the subject serves its purpose. Actually, I appreciate it for what it is.

Perhaps, I am mistaken about it’s purpose.

My comment:

I visit this blog post now because Kris Olin is in one of my Triberr tribes and I feel strongly that this community will not hold together if we don’t bring some civility and service to the table. For example, courtesy suggests to me that community-minded members visit each other’s blog once per month, leave a kind comment, and like-plusone-share it if we deem a post to be interesting, memorable, and awe-inspiring.

I know that at least five of my Twitter followers that will enjoy Jessy’s blog post and find it informative and useful.

I also wanted to thank Kris for approving my blog post links via Triberr. I appreciate his continued support in the face of Triberr having gone manual. And I reaffirm my commitment to support his endeavors as a blogger as much as I can.

Thank you, Kris and Jessy.

4. Social Media and Your Reputation by Shane Barker

Shane shares his powerpoint presentation on Social Media and Your Reputation including social media “facts”, key questions, best practices, and strategy to protect your brand and reputation.

My comment:

The presentation is a general introduction to the basic risks to online brand and reputation as well as a starting point to discuss how social media strategy can negotiate these risks. I liked it.

I would have really enjoyed to hear the talk via podcast or video, Shane. Maybe, next time?

What I didn’t write:

I’m reminded of Bruce Serven’s blog post about Things people said they would never forget. As Greg points out in the comment, the problem is not about remembering. If there is a problem, the problem is people, brands, and companies not caring enough.

And that’s how I’d bring the talk to a close.

RIP Bruce Serven.

5. Warning: Self Deception and Manufactured Fame Kills “Online Entrepreneurs” by Tommy Walker

Tommy’s blog post is a guest post on Digital You, a blog by Rachel Gogos. Rachel seems to suggest that Tommy’s blog post is a hard look at the great depression (economic, psychological, and sociological) that’s devastating the online community.

Tommy makes a strong example of the problematic via the Homicide-Suicide of social media expert Bruce Serven:

On October 23rd, 2011 Bruce Serven shot his 22 month old son in the chest, then himself in the head, after an argument with his wife.

Tommy compares Bruce’s Facebook Page description with local media commentary:

Bruce’s Facebook Page:

I am an entrepreneur who strives to make a difference in the lives of people around me by helping them and their businesses to attain success. Amidst my other projects, I am also a blogger & I write at: On Twitter at: @BruceServen

Local Media:

On the internet, he portrayed himself as a maverick entrepreneur with his own motivational blog and Facebook fan page, but in real life, he was a man who had been unemployed for months and had recently taken a job as a forklift driver.

My comment:

I found my way to Tommy’s blog post via Margie Clayman’s strong recommendation of it on her blog post about Pinocchio. Margie cites Tommy’s blog post as a strong explanation for why she’s dialing down on her social media.

Lots of bloggers are dialing down their social media as Bill Dorman bemoans. See also Erica Allison, Kaarina DillaboughStacey Herbert and Brad Holland. Most of us saw the billboard message when Trey Pennington committed suicide:

Social Media, Life, and the Universe is not about fans and followers.

Just as sky pulse media suggests on his website.

Despair is Trending

The stampede to blogging and other online activities that was driven by the yearning for self-employment, financial freedom, self-development, connection, and authenticity is a symptom of epidemic proportion. It is a symptom of our great expectations, the failed promise of the Enlightenment, and the profound test now put to human civilization. A test to which the #OWS cry responds.

What’s going on represents nothing less than the most profound existential crisis yet on the timeline of human civilization and culture.

I admit that I was reluctant to call myself a blogger because professional blogging is still considered by many in the online industry to be an errand for professional fools. It just isn’t sexy. Myself, I have been “blogging” for 10+ years as a pleasantry and that’s fair by all accounts. But even though I recently came out as a blogger, I also must admit that I did so in solidarity with those who want to blog as a career, lifestyle, and or pleasantry like myself. It has nothing to do with any expectations that it will pay bills, fuel success, or make me more sexy than Bill Dorman.

Blogging for me, however, remains but a complement (however fascinating!) to my professional interests and, yes, also the engine by which I, as an individual and human person, deeply connect and make community with the world.

Just Business

Entrepreneurship is about riding full out on the edge of your seat. But that may be where the comparison starts and stops between entrepreneurship and social media. Because entrepreneurship is about riding a good horse hard – a horse that has a good chance of getting you somewhere.

The destination of the entrepreneur is not the coffee shop, the online lounge, or glee club. It may start in those places or in a basement, but it’s headed for customers and fist fulls of cash.

Oh – any opportunity that is widely accessible, obvious to all, and requires little knowledge, art, or reputation (like blogging) often prove to be more problematic and expensive than profitable. In other words, the odds are against you and you still have to pay through the nose in time, money, or both. The odds of a free online lunch are something like ten million to one. Or worse.

A lottery ticket is a better investment – if you are foolish to consider that a lottery ticket is an investment.

One more highly commented blog post is not going to do it for you. Maybe not even 200 more highly commented blog posts with 400+ comments per post as Marcus Sheridan suggested here.

Treating your LinkedIn Profile Like a Website may be savvy today but it isn’t likely to be the golden key that opens all doors to opportunity.

Hanging out on blogs with the cool kids won’t pay your utility bills. Reading a blog post is unlikely to change a decision to end one’s life. As much as we all believe in faeries (or not), the next blog post you read is unlikely to change everything for you.

Good advice

Take care of you and yours. Appreciate friends for the gifts that they are. Love strongly. Smile when you can. This is meaningful.

The internet is the yellow brick road to use the metaphor of Dorothy’s adventure. And most of you know that the yellow brick road leads to a frightened charlatan hiding behind curtains. The journey, of course, has it’s own merits and rewards.

If and only if humanity would choose to thrive in online communities and users make the necessary commitments to such communities, that will be something epic, awesome, and sexy. Oops! There’s that word again.

That is something to throw yourself at. That is worthwhile. That speaks to all that is truly beautiful, good, and true.

6. Meet Jay, homeless disabled man by Carey Fuller

Jay is a wheelchair bound, homeless man. Most shelters, however, will not allow him to stay due to their fear of liability.

My comment:

To borrow a phrase from a dear friend, you are a lady in shining armor, Carey!

The video interview is heartbreaking – if you still have, as C.S. Lewis would say, a chest.

Tears poured out of my eyes when he spoke of his wheel chair. Prayer rushed from my heart and lips. And I want to do more to help Jay.

If I send $50 to you Carey via your paypal account, can you share half of it with Jay? Please reply to me by email: stan(dot)faryna(at)faryna(dot)com

Once Nisha’s water project has met it’s goal, I will be focusing on lifting up the voice of the homeless. Please also think about how I can help you get the message out AND help you in your awesome work.

Elsewhere, I read that there are now nearly 10,000 homeless people on the streets and shelters of Las Vegas.


Did you know that John Paul Dejora, the face of the Paul Mitchell hair product, was homeless on more than one occassion?

7. It’s Never Too Late For Success Even in Your 40′s by Benny Hsu

Benny profiles five people who didn’t make it until their 40s: Steve Carrell, Samuel Jackson, Darrell Hammond, Mark Pincus, and John Paul Dejora.

My comment:

Benny’s enthusiasm is unstoppable! It’s sexy! Oops! There’s that word again!

Ironically, Mark Pincus is the only internet-related guy featured in this mix of awesome. And what about bloggers? Are there any 40+ year old bloggers out there that rack up a million or more per year after taxes?

Out of 150 million bloggers in the world, there has to be at least fifteen 40+ year old rockstar bloggers out there! [grin]

Find them, Benny. Give us their story. Give us hope!


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
11 November 2011
Bucharest, Romania

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


10 Responses to Blog Soup 2011.11.11 Veterans, Epic Expectations, and Gnashing of Teeth

  1. Betsy Cross says:

    I had to stop at “Meet Jay…” What else matters when you are touched by something like that?
    I’d just finished researching a lot of family in Pierce County, Wa. in the early 1900’s. I guess that made it more poignant.
    Thanks for sharing. Deeply humbling.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      “My chair is my life. My chair is… if it breaks down… to be honest, I’m screwed.”

      Those words replay in my head like a song. A hard song. A song for hard drinking.

  2. Thanks for the kind mention Stan, very much appreciated.

    And I can say I have honorably served my country and gave Uncle Sam 3 years of my life and it helped make me the man I am today. Yes, let’s hear it for the vets and all the freedoms we enjoy.

    Very creative post; well done my friend.

    Hope you have a great weekend.

  3. Stan Faryna says:

    Heck Bill, I like you enough to do this:


    Business moves fast. Are you ready?

    Since its inception in April of 1941, Lanier Upshaw, Inc. has worked tirelessly to establish itself as one of the premier independent insurance agencies in the southeast. Within Lanier Upshaw, we have six core areas of expertise: Commercial Insurance, Non-Traditional Risk Financing, Risk Management, Employee Benefits, Private Risk Management, and Financial Services.

    Learn more about Lanier Upshaw


    Thank you for your service, my friend.

  4. Stan, you are a marvel. The words pour out of you like liquid treasure, and I’m captivated by all you write. I really don’t know where to start, so I’ll simply start with…thank you. For being a friend I’ve never met in person, but someone I admire, and whose words I drink in like fine wine.

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately reflecting on the “why” of online…what’s my purpose here? What significant, beneficial difference am I making in the lives of the people with whom I’ve come to know and admire, and to the many that may never comment, but have perhaps dropped by, smiled at some of my words, and carried on. Each and every one is valuable.

    My favourite line? “…we are all in search of our humanity, our destiny and home.” That just pierced my heart with resonance. Thank you, my friend, for making me think, smile, pause, reflect and breathe. Cheers! Kaarina

  5. I’m with Margie and I’m “dialing down” my social media too. I’m meeting some really wonderful people, but I’m also getting caught up in a lot of trivia and superficiality which don’t sit well with me. It’s time to do some reprioritizing and some restructuring. Great blog as always!

  6. I’m so happy to be named in the group of individuals that light up your community Stan. It really means a lot to me. Given how much you give to the community at large, I hope that I can give a fraction of that back to you.

  7. KW says:

    I spent a year in Afghanistan as a civilian. The soldiers I met there were awesome human beings – the best that America has to offer. That’s my long-winded way of saying I liked your Veteran’s Day post!

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