At least when it comes to the numbers.

Another post that arises as a result of me catching up on my writing backlog. For reference, have this in your mind as you read the rest of the post. Back at the end of last year, I listened to a reporter breathlessly describing how cyber Monday will break all records 1 – with the expectation that $6 billion of revenue will result from this single event. Note – that is across ALL retailers in the US. I was reminded of these words that I wrote in November 2017, to a small group I belong to.

Alibaba raked in over $8 billion in sales in the first hour of its made-up marketing holiday, “Singles Day”. with a 24 hour total of $17.8 Billion … and that was 2016 – numbers for 2017 are around $23 billion … prime day in 2017 hit $1 billion … and Black Friday this year accounted for $5 billion – including $2 billion through mobile … in other words total sales in the USA for prime day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday across ALL stores in the country amounted to slightly more than 50% of what a single company achieved in China over a single day celebrating an ‘invented’ holiday (the very one, in fact, that gave Amazon the idea for Prime Day to begin with! OK – China’s population is 4 times that of the US, but still – now we begin to understand where the money is.

It’s a scam that needs to be rejected

Somewhere a while back I wrote a post (or maybe it was a comment when someone else was rambling on about ‘content’), that went something like …

“book, novel, short story, article, white paper, promotional piece, advert, painting, sculpture, song, opera, photograph 1 … please … anything … anything but ‘content’

Why?

Because as long as ‘we the creators’ fall into the trap of using ‘their’ words to describe our work, our soul, our passion, our beliefs as ‘content’, then our work will continue to be viewed as ’free – to – cheap – to – low – cost’, as ‘homogenized, non differentiated, interchangeable fodder’.

.. and if that is the case, then the resultant payment for your art will continue to race to the bottom. It is not in our interests to allow that , so why allow their interests to define how we think?

Content is a horrible, generic, cheap, anything will do kind of word. Which is why ‘content has no value. It is in the best interests of buyers of our sweat, labour, thought and time to keep price down. But our costs are not kept down. So our earnings suffer. And they are suffering badly.

It isn’t in the interests of buyers to change their behavior and vocabulary. So we should. Starting now.

Bottom line – artists are never content. They are always striving to improve. So why be content with content. Call it like it is …. you do so everywhere else!

I just discovered this snippet and wanted to capture it properly in my newly emerging archive of ‘words wot I writ’ (sic)

Cancer – and my name is Larry

… sad to say, these are real words. Real lyrics. Well, real enough to have hit Top of The Pops in the UK! It goes on … verse by painful verse.

Aquarius and my name is Ralph
….
Libra and my name is Charles
….
Leo and my name is Paul
….
Cancer and my name is Larry

For the longest time I have argued that despite the continued insistence of many that ‘Millennials are different’ – as are ‘GenX, Boomers, GenY et al … they are not.

In fact my usual reply is ‘poppycock’ and even wrote ‘Generational Categorization Akin To Astrology’ a few years ago to express the frustration.

Needless to say, it changed nothing, and I still read about people who are positioned as ‘millennial experts’, and companies continue to target people by their ‘age category’. It is flawed thinking.

So when Stowe Boyd’s newsletter arrived over the weekend 1, it caught my eye, because he referenced researchers (at PWC no less) reporting that;

the real surprise: Non-millennial employees wanted exactly the same thing.

Seriously – the only surprise to me is that PWC makes a living out of this. The assumption of differences because of age is flawed band-wagon ‘thinking’. And yes thinking is specifically in ‘quotes’.

People are people. I know 20-year-olds that behave like 60-year-olds and 80-year-olds that think like 30-year-olds. And that is just the start.

Put People First … truly try to understand people.

As I wrote in the excerpt for this post …. please stop talking about, categorizing and yes – judging people based on their age – and I do mean judging. It is absolute nonsense and yet we continue to talk and think and communicate in this shorthand because it suits lazy people in corporate marketing departments as they attempt to build personas that purportedly understand us so they can better target their ‘content’. And yes it is – just content. Homogenized, bland, insipid content that drives people along their customer journeys and through their engagement funnels.

Question … If we object to the factory farming of animals as part of our food chain …

… why on earth do we put up with it when exactly the same thinking is applied to ourselves?

Stop with it already.

Can you handle it?

The Truth About Sales is an interesting post from the inimitable Steve Martin (not that one), making the case for why we shouldn’t dislike sales and sales people. To be fair, I generally do not dislike them – heh some of my best friends are in sales but the kind of people I tend to mingle with are a bit like Steve’s …

That said, the post is essentially an ad for the new Salesforce movie – The Story of Sales

Added to my watch list … in the ‘sometime’ bucket.

But back to that thought of what we dislike sales people …. my experience is that we too often are sitting on the wrong side of spam, cold calls that are badly informed, the endless calls re buy buy, no understanding of me and what I need … you know the stuff. Isn’t that why we don’t like sales people?

They Really Are Important!

Nice article I stumbled across in Forbes I have taken the opening of each of the points made by the author Martin Zwilling, and then provided a click through to read it all in his words. Enjoy.

Sales revenue.

Sales is simply defined as income from customer purchases of goods and services, minus the cost associated with things like returned or undeliverable merchandise. Of course, everyone is happy when the numbers keep going up, but the data needs to be mined constantly for ….. READ MORE

Customer loyalty and retention.

Customer loyalty is all about attracting the right customer, getting them to buy, buy often, buy in higher quantities and bring you even more customers. You build customer loyalty by treating people how they want to be treated … READ MORE
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Another Year Over
And A New One Just Begun

… John Lennon

I don’t often do this kind of post …. but 2017, well – what a year it was … and sadly 2018 is not going to be much better. (Don’t let the New Year’s Eve’s Blue Moon fool you!)

This is not to regurgitate all of 2017 – plenty of people out there that will do that for you – but rather a time for reflection on the future.

For me it will be one word – FOCUS.

focus

 

I started that halfway through last year – but the culling continues.

My focus has – and will continue to be – driven by the ‘People, Passion, Platform’ trifecta. What hasn’t happened is the removal of all of the other crud that fills up what little time we all have.

People – will continue to be framed in my volunteer work for Defy and UC Davis – but is actually at the core of People First and the related projects such as Lost Identity – an initiative driven out of Mei Lin Fung’s People Centered Internet. We are also looking at developing an app in conjunction with one of our partners.

Passion – writing, connecting, sharing, talking, presenting … which will emerge in the three blogs below as well as white papers, presentations and books supported by sponsorship, patronage and good old contracts.

Platforms – Merchant23, Ada and RAL are just three of the platform companies I am working with there are others that need to be either embraced or removed.

… and that trifecta will be drawn through three web properties …

And Another Thing is one year old, launched last year in conjunction with my colleague Graham Watson as an experiment to see if we could write a joint blog. After 340 posts, I think we can safely say that yes – we can keep up the flow the challenge for this year is to work out how to broaden the readership.

Beyond Bridges, where you are now and the oldest of these three sites, will be used to offer point/counterpoint argument, observations that surround boundary conditions – such as posts like this which I promised to come back to … though I  wasn’t really expecting it to be a full blog transition.

Example topics that have emerged just in the past week include Border Towns, Poverty In California, The Salton Sea and Lake Havisu, Prisons, Beer  – these and others like them will roll in the next couple of weeks.

I think as these and similar posts emerge, it will become clear as to what the connections are.

People First which we launched in 2017 will continue in its current format and focus …. after all, we are only just getting started there.

On a final note, what of Social Media?

I pulled out of Facebook over three years ago. Not one regret. No action needed (unless I go back to develop a wider audience for the work described below. All the other social platforms where I have a presence with the exception of Twitter sit there like ghosts in the ocean. No time sink there. 

But in Twitter land, there is definitely room to cull. So, as of today only the following accounts will be monitored and grown.

And Another Thing@AndAn0therTh1ngwww.andanotherthing.co – a couple of chaps riffing on the peculiarities of the world.

Beyond Bridges@JGPhilpinwww.beyondbridges.net – this site has been up and around for a while. The first post came in September 2010 and since then has taken many different directions – both in topic and appearance. The content focus is changing again. Going forward, for now, the posts will be a celebration or commentary on ‘difference’, ‘commonality’ and ‘connections’ … you will get the drift.

In terms of appearance, nothing different for now, I recognize that some of the CSS is broken in places and as that gets discovered it gets fixed. The big change will likely happen when Matt Mullenweg pushes the button on WordPress 5 and specifically Gutenberg is released. – hopefully in the next 3 months (ever the optimist).

People First@TheBusEquation (it used to be @All_ElseFollows – but the business equation has emerged as the FOCUS of the initiative, so much so that a couple of books have emerged in my mind, with one already in progress.) – www.people-first.net

Fractals@Fractalswww.philpin.com Stuff just gets auto-posted into these spaces and curiously the following at @Fractals is 3 to 4 times that of my other twitter accounts!

I am suspending these :

The Taxi Chronicles – the anti-Uber thread – if people don’t understand why Uber is bad for them – why should I care? I just will never use them. Nor should you. But we live in a free society.

Just Good Music – self-explanatory

The 50th … an experiment that was centered on Hawaii … just seems that Hawaii wasn’t interested.

Comments on all three of these topics will occasionally be posted into one of the three core posts ( primarily @AndAn0therTh1ng )

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You Got To Be Kidding.

He started 2017 with about 40% of the country with him, and ends 2017 with about 40% of the country with him.

He started 2017 haunted by Russian interference in the election, and ends 2017 haunted by Russian interference in the election.

He started 2017 with elected Republicans skeptical but compliant, and ends 2017 with elected Republicans skeptical but compliant.

He started 2017 with virtually every elected Democrat disliking him, and ends 2017 with virtually every elected Democrat disliking him.

He started 2017 at war with the mainstream media, and ends 2017 at odds with the mainstream media.

He started 2017 with accusations that he sexually harassed women, and ends 2017 with accusations that he sexually harassed women.

He started 2017 talking tough but doing little to China, and ends 2017 talking tough but doing little to China.

He started 2017 with a lot of top Republican talent not wanting to work for him, and ends 2017 with a lot of Republican top talent not wanting to work for him.

He started 2017 on Twitter, and most certainly will end 2017 on Twitter.

Jim VandeHei – Axios