Are we blogging yet? Confessions of a WordPress Creep. Part 1.

October 31, 2012

Are we blogging yet?

Confessions of just another WordPress creep.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Characters

Bill Dorman seems ready to throw in the social media towel. He seems to be asking, What’s the point? Of blogging.

Jack Steiner might suggest that there is no point, he writes because he must. Is he also saying, don’t write – if the words do not demand to be written?

John Magnet Bell labors over the hors d’oeuvres – obsessed with bite-size, tasty, ornamental metaphors that might possibly excite, titillate, and arouse you. To start your novel.

Myself – just another online… creep seeking beauty in myself, in others, and out there in the world.

More importantly, I am just another creep who uses more snark than is necessary, who stumbles and falls face-flat over the minefields of irony, happy facing, and ambiguity, and who unabashedly embarrasses himself in reiterations of a persistent and spectacularly naive (gawdy?) sincerity.

Radiohead, Creep

Plot

The four named characters have each publicly expressed a strong and compelling desire to write and publish separate novels that search for answers, coherence, and lucidity about each’s individual destiny, soul and experience. They consider that blogging and social media may serve this ambition (and other ambitions). None, however, are truly intoxicated by blogging. None blog in innocence – the kind of innocence that publishes every blog post with a bloody smile (to borrow an expression from Milan Kundera).

They have yet to apprehend the art of the blog (let alone the novel) nor do they own the blog post like a rodeo star who rides an incensed bull to the cheers of the audience. Like everyone else (A-listers included), they are caught up in the mad toss of rushing streams that come and go like flash floods. And in the absence of torrential rainfall, there is always despair, doubt and/or the fateful walking in ellipses – as apparent servants to an unfortunate Euclidian Geometry (not as masters of their own fate).

Questions

What is blogging? Is it art (the 21st century’s answer to the novel) or flimsy counterfeit (21st Century Kitsch)?

This question, above all, promises to release our characters and, perhaps, millions from the tyranny of unforgiving axes – major and minor. 

Is a blog lyrical, epic or both?

The lyrical is self-revelation. The epic is a discovery of the self in the contents contained out there in the world.

Does blogging serve Destiny?

The thing for which we are but shadows; that divine form which is ourselves, perfectly, and reminds us that, today, we are incomplete, unfinished and paltry.

If you, yourself, are a blogger, can you answer these intimate questions in a manner that speaks to Beauty and consoles (or uplifts) the human heart? If so (or not), I welcome your answers and contribution in the comments.

Stan Faryna
31 October 2012
Bucharest, Romania

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The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Part Two

October 31, 2012

A science fiction story about the end of the world, love, suspicion, betrayal, murder, and everything else.

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Episode One: The heart of a hero
Episode Two: Love hurts
Episode Three: God speed your love
Episode Four: Two hands ain’t good enough
Episode Five: Part One: Rape of the Sabine Women
Episode Five: Part Two: Rape of the Sabine Women
Episode Six: Everything counts in large amounts
Episode Seven: Love Never Fails
Episode Eight: Princes of the Universe
Episode Nine: Technobohemian Dreams
Episode Ten: It’s getting kinda hectic!
Episode Eleven: Part One: The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Episodes and/or related writing are published on this blog – most Mondays and Wednesdays. Please subscribe to this blog to get a reminder when the next episode is published.

Subscriptions are free.

The Prodigy, Breathe

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The Book of Carrot

Book One: Principal Virtues

Chapter One: Love is a battlefield

Episode Eleven: Part Two: The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Audience: Adult

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Read the rest of this entry »


Are You Epic or Epidemic or [bleep]? And other social media DOHs

October 30, 2012

Are You Epic or Epidemic or Just Talking to Yourself?

And other social media DOHs!

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

A lot of people talk to themselves. Twitter helped that along more than anything I know. But blogging is right up there. And, duh, social media in general.

If anything proved The Dunning-Kruger Effect, it was Twitter and, maybe, Justin Bieber. So the last laugh is on Dunning and Kruger because they never saw that coming. Or recognized it – after the train came and went.

Where was I?

Oh yeah – talking to yourself in public is now socially acceptable behavior. Corporations and brands are doing it too!

Isn’t that crazy?!

Ingrid Michaelson, The Way I Am

Read the rest of this entry »


The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Part One

October 29, 2012

A science fiction story about the end of the world, love, incest, murder, suspicion, and everything else.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Episode One: The heart of a hero
Episode Two: Love hurts
Episode Three: God speed your love
Episode Four: Two hands ain’t good enough
Episode Five: Part One: Rape of the Sabine Women
Episode Five: Part Two: Rape of the Sabine Women
Episode Six: Everything counts in large amounts
Episode Seven: Love Never Fails
Episode Eight: Princes of the Universe
Episode Nine: Technobohemian Dreams
Episode Ten: It’s getting kinda hectic!

Episodes and/or related writing are published on this blog – most Mondays and Wednesdays. Please subscribe to this blog to get a reminder when the next episode is published.

Subscriptions are free.

Awolnation, Sail

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The Book of Carrot

Book One: Principal Virtues

Chapter One: Love is a battlefield

Episode Eleven: Part One: The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Audience: Adult

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Read the rest of this entry »


Does Design Matter? And other social media DOHs

October 25, 2012

Does Design Matter? And other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Fellow blogger Ralph Dopping asks if design matters when you are buying a toaster. Read it here:

Does Design Matter when you are buying a Toaster?

The higher cost of a well designed product, Ralph suggests, deserves a second chance – even if the price tag stabs you in eye. Because there’s a chance that the functionality of the design may represent benefits (for you) which may or may not be immediately obvious and useful to you.

All of which reminds me of a frequent and recurring conversation that comes up when someone new visits with me in my home office.

The conversation usually begins like this:

Them: I like this chair. It’s [interesting, cool, and makes a statement]. Where did you get it?

Me: It’s made by Poltrona Frau. The company that does the leather upholstery for Ferrari – among other things. It’s called a Hydra armchair.

Them: FERRARI?! It must be expensive. How much was it? $1,000?

Me: $5,000. Each.

At which point, the person recognizes that their curiosity about the price was inappropriate.

Or, if they lack tact, they say that they would never spend that kind of money on a chair, that they could never imagine having the kind of money that would allow them to make such a purchase decision as I have made, OR they ask me if it’s the best fucking chair in the world.

My favorite armchairs for sitting, however, are not the Poltrona Fraus. They are also “design” products – leather upholstered, cubic in form, but they cost about $500 each. They were made by a currently bankrupt, no name company in a bad neighborhood of Bucharest. Those well designed arm chairs are in the living room and they have resisted  heavy wear and tear for ten years. And, I suppose, they shall go another ten years. Or longer – if I rehabilitate them.

I once put a Poltrona Frau Hydra armchair in the living room – it did not take kindly to wear and tear. It was yellow and the color of the leather faded on the arms in two years. In three years, the leather began to wear noticeable in places. And, then, that poor thing suffered from the affections of my then toddler son.

Johnny loved the Poltrona Frau – a testament to the proposition that good design, like art, can appeal to all ages regardless of prejudice.

The Poltrona Fraus in my home office, however, serve different purposes. These armchairs inspire and provoke the imagination, they are fire starters to passionate conversations, and they make an authoritative statement. About design, mostly. But, perhaps, the Poltrona Fraus also tell a compelling and interesting story about me, what I know, what I have done, and what I can do.

Perhaps. Function and value should never be overstated.

The question, however, does design matter?, is an important question – especially to those of us interested in a successful online strategy – online presence, online advertising and marketing, websites, blogging, ecommerce, etcetera.

Good design matters. It goes beyond the first impression. It goes beyond the look and feel. It is an end to end matter. Good design, however, is not perfection.

Regardless of your design insight (or lack thereof), your own resources will determine how and when you can apply design solutions to the various present or impending challenges at hand.

Too often, the lack of resources which we (you or I) bring to the design of whatever we are doing – will, unfortunately, overstate the following:

  1. who we are not
  2. what we have not done, and
  3. what we can not do

That sucks…

What’s your junk saying about you, your business, your product, or your services?

Stan Faryna
25 October 2012
Bucharest, Romania

Other quick meditations of online strategy, social media, design and everything else:

Professional brand (yours) and other social media DOHs

Sustainable Failure

The Future of Blogging is Hot Magenta


It’s getting kinda hectic – episode ten of an epic sci fi story

October 24, 2012

A science fiction story about the end of the world, love, money, blogging, technology, and everything else.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Episode One: The heart of a hero
Episode Two: Love hurts
Episode Three: God speed your love
Episode Four: Two hands ain’t good enough
Episode Five: Part One: Rape of the Sabine Women
Episode Five: Part Two: Rape of the Sabine Women
Episode Six: Everything counts in large amounts
Episode Seven: Love Never Fails
Episode Eight: Princes of the Universe
Episode Nine: Technobohemian Dreams

Episodes and/or related writing are published on this blog – most Mondays and Wednesdays. Please subscribe to this blog to get a reminder when the next episode is published.

Subscriptions are free.

Snap, The Power

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The Book of Carrot

Book One: Principal Virtues

Chapter One: Love is a battlefield

Episode Ten: It’s getting kinda hectic!

Audience: Adult

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Read the rest of this entry »


Professional brand (yours) and other social media DOHs

October 22, 2012

Professional Brand. And other social media DOHs.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

The consideration of personal brand here reminds me of a question that I often revisit.

What makes a professional brand exciting to me?

And admittedly, I often get to the same chicken and egg conundrum.

Where is the priority? Existing relationships or value proposition.

This is not either/or – success and results demand both. Seemingly, equally.

Existing relationships can be a powerful indicator of recognized, proven value.

Value proposition invites and sustains connection, interest, and engagement.

When I consider a potential employee’s or business partner’s online presence, I want to see shares, reach, connection, engagement, and contribution (professional and otherwise). Buzz – not so much.

But I also want to see something that sets them apart and represents their intelligence, curiosity, character, collaborative capacity, and, for lack of a better term, humanity.

The later are the best indicators of the real value and resources they can bring to an organization or project(s).

For example, I would hire or work with Jack Steiner in a heart beat – if the results demanded that collaboration. And not just Jack.

Need a list?

Breakthrough professional insight – is awesome, but breakthrough insights are as rare as Osmium.

Independent thinking – irreverent opinion and skepticism is often mistaken for independent thought; the substance of rain-making, critical, independent thought, however, will never resemble molecular acid.

On the other side of the coin, pink bunnies and strident positivity never proliferate as measurable advantages, added value, or results. In fact, the pink bunnies have an uncanny pattern of trending toward death marches, failure, repeated failure, sustainable failure, and/or a high casualty count.

Creativity – but don’t bring your crayons or the naiveté of the grade school artist to the table. There is no vacant space on my fridge, thanks. If it doesn’t address or solve my (or our) problem, keep it on your fridge and do something better.

Passion – not to be mistaken as a license for licentious self-expression, unending self-defeat, or exhibition of behavioral issues that will get in the way of our collaboration. Be real and, sometimes, be the fool that battles windmills – this will recommend your courage and sincerity. But do not drool.

Vulnerability – as in own up to your mistaken opinions and failures, say your sorry, and give honor to those who deserve your recommendation. As often as you can! But do not paint a self-portrait that suggests you are a ticking time bomb. Or just another zombie.

The later only invites head shots – if you didn’t know. [grin]

Stan Faryna
22 October 2012
Bucharest, Romania