Judgment Day

December 31, 2011

Judgment Day

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Christian Hollingsworth

I’ve been trying to write a blog post to wrap up the year. It’s not coming easily to the keyboard. My mind is distracted by pain. I am surrounded by it in a manner of speaking. My stomach, my bowels, my back, my legs, etcetera. I have several challenges to overcome and my recovery from salmonella is slower than I like.

The one human being that stands out this year. The one man that stands above all others for me. The one young man this year for which I am most grateful of another’s service to me is Christian Hollingsworth. His Week of Faryna rocked my world, his very generous donation to Nisha’s water project rocked my heart, and his personal card of encouragement that I received by post -it lifted me up.

Not because the Week of Faryna is fresh on my list of people and things for which I am grateful!

The timing, however, is perfect. Because it was a difficult year set with many challenges and, yes, even traps and petty conspiracies. Nonetheless, it is good to end the year overwhelmed with gratitude. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 2011.11.11 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 2011.11.06. Entrepreneurship, Start Ups, and Babes

November 6, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.11.06. Entrepreneurship, Start Ups, and Babes

I miss brunches. One of the many reasons that I was bummed out today because people don’t brunch in Bucharest. It’s expensive. $50 at a fine hotel. Because the restaurants don’t do brunch. It’s not a part of the culture. Sundays, generally speaking, are for hangovers.

I shouldn’t mention that any business man (or women) in Bucharest knows that $50 can buy them an hour with a beautiful young woman (or man). For chatting, petting, or whatever.

Sadly, Sunday is passing…

Yo – Triberr is on full manual. [grin] You’ll need to approve each tweet from your tribe members – if you want them to keep loving on you. I’ll be repeating this message for a few more blog soups for the obvious reasons.

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)

2011.11.06

Today, I was reading from the Book of Wisdom.

Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates. To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding, and he who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.

And then from Matthew where Christ replies to the unprepared maidens knocking on his door at the last hour:

Truly, I say to you, I do not know you. Matthew 25:12

Anyway…

Making blog soup sometimes reminds me of Misery Bear preparing for his date. Do you know Misery Bear?

Featured

Just some of the blogs that I recently commented on:

1. Debunking Rock Star Entrepreneurship by Lee Downen

2. The Blog That Never Was by Jack Steiner

3. She’s Back by Betsy Cross

4. Is Your Business Prepared for Prime Time? by Marti Barletta

5. How Brands Can Effectively Connect With Female Bloggers by Stephanie Holland

6. Top 25 Young Entrepreneur Success Stories by Nicholas Tart

7. Winter for Alaska Chick! by Amber-Lee Dibble

Dires Straits, Money For Nothing

Blog Soup

1. Debunking Rock Star Entrepreneurship by Lee Downen

Young Lee Downen wants to share what he’s learning about the meaning of entrepreneurship. Recently, Master Downen read The Illusions of Entrepreneurship by professor Shane Scott of Case Western Reserve. He also notes being inspired by Tim Ferriss.

My comment:

Personally, I like the rock star archetype of the entrepreneur, Lee. Forgive me for contradicting you. But I believe the contradiction will provide you with a balance of information which will better help you discern your our path forward.

Behind the curtain of glamor, fans, cash, and attitude, rockstars work harder than most people. They eat pain, terror, and self defeat for breakfast. Every day. And when they don’t, they turn to drugs to keep it on. Because what they do is often the impossible, the unthinkable, and the unbearable.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating self-medication. [grin] I just want to speak with you about the difficulties, risks, and free falls, that every entrepreneur must face.

My friend Adrian Klein writes how he turns trouble into awesome:

Pain makes us understand who we are and what we are doing. Pain makes the vision clearer. Pain drives the work and the art.

You can read more about what it’s like to be a rockstar via the links below.

Grandma’s Smile by Adrian Klein

The Easter Bunny Kicked My Ass by Adrian Klein

How To Become a Rockstar by Adrian Klein

I’ll add that 99.98 percent fail to do something worthwhile- not 95 percent. But that 4.98 percent disparity refers to those who lost their hearts, shirts, who starved, who cried, and/or also devastated the wealth or savings of friends, family, and investors.

That’s not saying I don’t wish you success, Lee. In fact, I wish you everything good that your heart desires!

2. The Blog That Never Was by Jack Steiner

Writes Jack:

This is the story of the blog that never was. It is the true story of how three friends in the midst of a bad economy developed a plan to take control of their destiny by creating a dad blog.

My comment:

I’m reminded of my comment to Yomar Lopez’s comment about never finding the perfect business partner. Yomar was commenting on Laurinda Shaver’s blog post about writing a business plan.

I wrote:

There is no such thing as a perfect business partner. Because the perfect business partner is the business partner that doesn’t need you. Now let’s do some amazing things. All of us. Together.

My two cents is to get more daddy bloggers into the mix – with an eye on people who are already blogging. When you buddies are free from the divorce headaches and hangover, they can join in on the fun.

Heck, if you want a failing daddy in the mix, I’d be happy to oblige. [grin] And Yomar is also a daddy and grand daddy blogger too.

Two more cents of free advice for you and Lee Downen: Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems and moving forward. It’s when you slow down, stop, and scratch your head, it’s game over. Been there. Done that. More than a few times.

3. She’s Back by Betsy Cross

Writes Betsy:

Madeleine, cutting up paper and gluing right across from me said, “I liked when we had no power (the recent 3-day storm). You didn’t do family history.” That hurt!

“Want to know my favorite part of the 3 days we were without power?” I asked Madeleine. “When we cuddled in the chair under piles of blankets.” She smiled. She just wanted to know that I loved being with her.

My comment:

Betsy also writes:

Finding and maintaining passion are two different animals.

Obviously, I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts about business, entrepreneurship, start ups, and dreams, and I have to say that Betsy has defined the problem for most aspiring entrepreneurs and dreamers that can’t make it go. Daydreams are one thing. Finding passion is another. And making it go is something else entirely. As Janet Callway’s blog post about Dr. Seuss’ last book reminded me a few days ago, there’s a place called waiting and a lot of people get stuck there and, oh, with no other place to go.

Of course, Leon Noone has something to say about this:

Profit is a consequence, not an objective.

Writes the guru’s guru of management consulting Tom Peters:

Marathoners call it “hitting the wall.” You get to a point where you can’t go on. But you do. And, miraculously, you come out the other side and finish the race.

Truth is, damn little of merit, in a profession or a hobby, is accomplished without running through a wall or two.

More here.

4. Is Your Business Prepared for Prime Time? by Marti Barletta

Businesses that want to thrive in the decades to come are going to have to adapt to meet the needs of Boomers.

That’s what Marti Barletta is saying.

My comment:

Marti Barletta knows things. She doesn’t just blog about things. She’s a recognized authority on communications, marketing, sales, and recruitment. If you don’t come away with big take aways from reading her blog posts, the problem is you. Not her! [grin]

As the online audience ages, their interests are changing. They’ll be thinking more about family, friends, holidays, and of things past. Perhaps, family history too. It seems to me, Betsy, that this is your moment to work on how to capture that very large, online market.

5. How Brands Can Effectively Connect With Female Bloggers by Stephanie Holland

Writes Stephanie Holland:

Bottom line, connecting with female bloggers is much like connecting with your female audience. You need to not only know who they are, you need to understand and respect them.

My comment:

The beginning of that understanding begins in understanding what my friend Betsy writes in her blog post about sisters:

The world wouldn’t be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other. Every day, we need each other still.

6. Top 25 Young Entrepreneur Success Stories by Nicholas Tart

Nick shares the stories of 25 young entrepreneurs. Here’s three:

12 year old Adora Svitak

15 year old Savannah Brit

18 year old Stanley Tang

My comment:

Out of the mouths of babes…

Check out Adora Svitak’s TED Talk: What Adults can learn from kids here.

You’ll be impressed. Then you’ll feel stupid – if you are not a kid. I did. [laughing]

If these kids can do amazing things, why can’t you? Because you are special in that unfortunate kind of way?

Don’t be RIDICULOUS! You are not special in that unfortunate kind of way.

Of course, nothing is easy. Just as my friend Amber-Lee writes in a recent blog post:

It has taken me so long to come to understand what seems like I should have always known. It has taken an incredible amount of hard work and lots of pain and drama to become who I am.

Just because nothing is easy doesn’t mean that the difficult is impossible.

7. Winter for Alaska Chick! by Amber-Lee Dibble

Writes Amber-Lee:

The weight of the snow can cause some real problems, the least of which is the crust of ice that forms on the wings and takes HOURS to remove.

My comment:

I read your words a second time:

The weight of the snow can cause some real problems, the least of which is the crust of ice that forms on the wings and takes HOURS to remove.

And two things were stuck in my head in the reading your words. How this winter will be hard on business in general and, especially, entrepreneurs. Ice on the wings. Ice on the runways. AND how this winter may be hard on bloggers. Again, ice on the wings. The image of ice on the wings came to me again as you mentioned that Twitter has cooled down on the conversations.

I hope that I’m wrong. Bill Dorman said it best in his blog post about 10000: “People need to bump around, meet some people, and well, be social.”

Entrepreneurs, bloggers, and just about anyone for that matter.


Just as you yearn for snow fall, I too yearn for snow fall in Bucharest. Snowfall brings a certain peace to a place. People slow down. Crime decreases. People become more like people – if you know what I mean.

There is need for rest and more time for the ones written in our hearts. And I yearn for snowfall to bring these blessings sooner than later. Maybe Bill Dorman will even get a few thousand more Twitter followers closer to his 10,000 target.

Note to Bill:

Your content is Grade A. Stop sweating it, buddy. Reach (aka distribution) is the challenge that you need to overcome. And everyone else too. Even our buddy, Jack Steiner, faces the same uphill battle. But once he gets his 100k subscibers, we’ll know he’s in good hands.

Amber-Lee, I know you haven’t been feeling well the last week or so, but I’ve missed you. And your comments – especially since you were gone most of August and September guiding hunters to take down big game like Moose and Dall Sheep.

I so look forward to your forthcoming reflections, inspirations, and heart-warming charms.

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
06 November 2011
Bucharest, Romania

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


Blog Soup 2011.11.02 Blogger’s Digest

November 2, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Blog Soup 2011.11.02. Winter is coming.

What is the mindset of a gentleman or a lady? What are you doing with your life? Is it meaningful? Exciting? Are you making a difference? These are just a few of the things that bloggers are thinking about these days.

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)

2011.11.02

Today is Adrian Klein’s birthday. He’s the rockstar that helps me make podcasts – if you didn’t know. Happy Birthday, Rockstar!

Today, I made sarmala. It’s a traditional Romanian holiday dish. Everyone easts it at Christmas and Easter. Normally, it’s a meat and rice stuffed cabbage roll. I use an ancient recipe with spring leaves from the linden tree, seasoned beef, rice, red wine, and tomato paste. This is the first time I’m doing it unassisted. So, yeah, my fingers are crossed! Twice.

If you noticed, I’ve reduced blog soup down from 15 to seven featured blogs per episode. No more need for one or more pots of coffee to get through the soup!

Recently on my blog:

One Christian’s Letter to Occupy Wall Street Protesters

What is Occupy Wall Street? And other social media DOHs

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

Read the rest of this entry »


Blog Soup 2011.10.21 For and About Bloggers

October 21, 2011

Blog Soup

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

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

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

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

2. Yomar LopezHow Triberr Changes The Competitive Landscape

3. Neicole CrepeauFriday Fives: Tips For Using Triberr

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

Earth Date 2011.10.21

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

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

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

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

4. Post Cards In A Digital Age by Murray Lunn

5. Who Owns You by Janet Callaway

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

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

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

9. Just for Today by Sandi Amorim

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

11. Create An Online Conversation by Gini Dietrich

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

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

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

15. The power of visualization by Seth Godin

The Philosophy of Beauty, Part One

Moveable Feasts, Scooby Snacks, Etcetera

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

Jon seems to be complaining that blogs look terribly similar.

My comment:

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

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

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

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

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

1. Keri Jaehnig’s blog

2. Rob Duncan’s blog

3. Jeffrey Zeldman’s blog

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

What should I infer by you cheaping out?

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

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

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

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

5.All of the above?

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

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

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

Are you dressed for success? Or a sleepover?

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

Note:

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

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

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

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

That’s what Anthony Iannarino is saying.

My comment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jack wants to spiff up his blog design.

My comment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Post Cards In A Digital Age by Murray Lunn

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

My comment:

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

My address is as follows (hint, hint):

Stan Faryna

Stirbei Voda Nr. 71, Ap.4,6

Sector 1

Bucharest, Romania 010105

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

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

Christian writes:

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

Your friend and brother,

Christian Hollingsworth

You rock, Christian!

5. Who Owns You by Janet Callaway

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

Do your possessions own you?

Does social media own you?

Do insufficient funds own you?

My comment:

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

What I didn’t write:

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

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

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

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

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

Exodus 20: 3-6

Note:

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

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

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

My comment:

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

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

Can you tell that I am a fan of Ferrari?

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

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

Now you have deeper insight about my birthday wish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My comment:

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

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

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

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

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

9. Just for Today by Sandi Amorim

be who you BE.

That’s what Sandi is saying.

My comment.

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

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

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

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

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

My comment:

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

It’s good to have you back, Jayme!

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

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

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

The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock  is here.

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

11. Create An Online Conversation by Gini Dietrich

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

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

My comment:

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

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

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

Danny has received comments like:

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

My comment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

My comment:

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

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

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

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

My comment:

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

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

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

15. The power of visualization by Seth Godin

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

My comment:

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

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

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

If you haven’t seen it, check it out.

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

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

Writes Seth:

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

What Seth didn’t write:

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

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

Feedback

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

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

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

Stan Faryna
21 October 2011
Bucharest, Romania

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

More Blog Soup

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

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

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

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

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

Faryna Podcasts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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