Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Facebook changes impact on brand Fan Pages

Facebook has done it again. And we can certainly see that they aren't terribly worried about preparing their users for change. They like to just jump into it. And this is not the end of the changes. The f8 developers conference starts on Thursday, and more changes will likely be announced.
"All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven't visited Facebook for a while, the first things you'll see are top photos and statuses posted while you've been away. If you check Facebook more frequently, you'll see the most recent stories first. Photos will also be bigger and easier to enjoy while you're scrolling through." - A Facebook spokesperson

News Feed

  • Curates friends’ posts

  • Uses number of factors to decide whether they deserve top billing in News Feed

  • More prominently display pictures

  • New settings to give users post-by-post control over the feed


  • Real-time updates

  • Fewer email notifications

Facebook is deciding what's important for you to see.
“Just as we aim to show you the most relevant updates in your News Feed today, we use a variety of signals to decide whether a story might be interesting or important. For example, this may include changes about your employer, school, relationship status or city, as well as things like the number of likes or comments on a post. For example, if a friend's post gets dozens of comments or likes, it’s likely to be a top story.” - A Facebook spokesperson

Users can control what becomes a top story by interacting with their own feeds.

“You can click on a top story and tell Facebook that it’s not relevant to you, or you can mark a post a top story,”

Likely future changes

  • A media platform

  • More e-commerce integration

  • More visibility to Facebook Credits

  • May also include an HTML5-based mobile platform (access to video on iOS)

What does this mean for brands?

Honestly it's a little early to determine the overall impact, however, early analysis is that prominent appearance in the News Feed of fans will rely more and more on engagement with content. The more frequently fans Like or Comment, the more likely it is that more of fans and friends of fans will see content in their News Feed. This isn't new. What is new, however, is the placement. Will content be in the Top Stories or in the Recent Stories (below the Top Stories)? The change to Recent Stories is important because early indications are that everything to which a user is subscribed will appear, whereas prior to the change it users needed to update settings from the default, otherwise all they ever saw was Top Stories.

How can brands help push content to the Top Stories?

  • Ask for the "Like" or comment.

  • Post compelling calls to action or engage in conversation

  • Load more photos & videos

  • Don't over-post on a daily basis.

  • Post seven days a week

More information as it becomes available and as we see the impact of the Top Stories on brand pages.


Monday, April 25, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 25

Day 25: A picture of your favorite day

I've told this story over and over again, but my favorite day started as the scariest day of my life. January 31, 2010, the day Ingrid Arabella Eide entered the world and changed our lives. Every single day since then has been better than the day before because I've been able to have one more day with my girls.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 24

Day 24: A picture of something you wish you could change

In case you don't know, during her Junior year of college, Michelle was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Previously, on Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, I've written my story of loving someone with FMS. Every day, I wish I could take her pain as my own. Every day I wish I could remove this struggle from her life. No, it isn't something that causes her to be on disability or eliminates her ability to enjoy life, but when she's having a flare-up, even having the bedsheets covering her is agony. My biggest fear during her pregnancy is the affect it would have on her Fibro. I was afraid she would be bed-ridden, in so much pain that she wouldn't be able to overcome. I should've known better. My wife is the strongest, toughest and most determined person I know, but it doesn't make things any easier on her or us.

I wish I could change things to remove Fibromyalgia from my wife's life. I wish she never had to worry about not being able to sleep or that the weight of her clothing would cause her to be in agony or that she wouldn't be able to play with our daughter because getting down to Ingrid's level was simply too painful and exhausting.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 23

Day 23: A picture of your favorite book

This one is very easy for some people. Many folks have a book that changed their lives, a book to which they can go back over and over again and in which they can find meaning. I know someone who reads the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy every fall. Michelle can read Catcher in the Rye over and over again. I honestly cannot think of a book that has had a profound impact on me.

Honestly, as someone who loves to read, it make me sad that I can't come up with one book that I can go to as my favorite book. I mean, I've read a high percentage of the "greatest 100 books" list the BBC put together, but can't come up with one that sticks in my head.

So, I'm asking you, the public, to give me your favorite book in comments, and I'll begin my reading list from there. Help me out?

30 Days of Pictures: Day 22

Day 22: A picture of something you wish you were better at

I have no willpower when it comes to exercising and living a healthy life. Sure, I have the greatest of intentions, I start a "diet" and I begin working out or going to the gym, but allow life to get in the way.

I hate what I have allowed my body and my health to become, but I give up all too easily. I say "I'll just take today off" or "I'll go after Ingrid goes to bed" or "I'll cheat today and get back on the diet tomorrow" but what I'm really saying is "it's too hard and I don't see results right away so I'm going to give up because I'm pathetic and lazy."

I know I need to live healthily for Ingrid. I need to set a good example and I need to live a long life to be around for her and for Michelle, but honestly, I just have so much trouble sticking with it. I need someone to kick me in the ass and force me to take care of myself. It's just too easy to give up and buy fat pants and bigger shirts. I hate it. I have such great clothes that I can't wear and I miss being able to hit Theo Wirth and ride the singletrack for hours, but I'm just too lazy to get into good enough shape.

I need help. Badly.

30 Days of Pictures: Day 21

Day 21: A picture of something you wish you could forget

Fall of 1992. I was a preparing for my junior year at Anoka High School.

I was a singer, but not just any singer, I saw myself as the next generation of the East Coast Family. I listened to Boyz II Men, ABC, BBD and the rest. I was a fan of tight harmonies, four or six part a cappella R&B and my favorite groups and the seniors to whom I looked up were all firmly entrenched in the culture and lifestyle. That included wearing matching outfits with the rest of the members of the group. We took our cue from the groups we saw on MTV and frankly as a bunch of suburban kids we looked incredibly stupid.

I took it to a whole different level. I loved my cross colours. I had huge, baggy purple jeans, brightly colored Reebok Pumps, t-shirts and button-down emblazoned with the Cross Colours logo, and honestly, I looked ridiculous.

Fashion for fashion's sake was my ethos. I didn't realize until the next summer exactly what I looked like, and for some reason my parents went along with it. They enabled my poor fashion sense and never made a peep as to how dumb I looked.

However, the meaning behind the clothes was positive. It was about racial harmony and education and pride. Yeah, we were suburban white kids who wanted to be Boyz II Men, but we didn't deserve what we received. Catcalls at the mall, people calling us unprintable names, chasing us into parking lots trying to get us to fight. Yes, I looked foolish, but what I wish I could forget was how easily I allowed those idiots to change my behavior and quickly give up my look.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 20

Day 20: A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel
How can you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been?

After my sister graduated from high school in 2001 my aunt took her for two weeks to travel across Norway, visiting the land of our ancestors. She traveled from Oslo to Bergen to Solund (one side of the family's side) to Eide, the area of Norway from which my father's father's family emigrated. Meeting relatives, experiencing life of a rock in the North Sea, walking the lands our family left around the turn of the century, learning what drew the Norwegians to the Upper Midwest and feeling a connection to a land not our own.

It's the one thing in life about which I am envious of my little sister. She was able to experience all of this and has that connection that I lack.

I want that for Ingrid. I want her to know from where she comes. I want to take her to experience life in "the old country", visit the family, see the sights, get grounded. I want to be the one to help her see life, experience the past so she can learn and build her future.

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 18

Day 18: A picture of your biggest insecurity

This is really hard for me. Not necessarily because I fear being open and vulnerable in a public forum, but rather because I try to be open and vulnerable that it's tough to really find something that makes me uncomfortable.

That said, my biggest insecurity is one that I have been working on for a while. I have this deep-seeded need to make everyone around me happy and get everyone to like me. I know I shouldn't care if people like me or not. It shouldn't matter to me what others think, but let's be honest, it does matter. I'm weak, I know, but it matters to me. I just want people to like me. I don't want to be an outcast or the butt of jokes. It bothers me when people I know unfollow me on Twitter. It shouldn't. I shouldn't care, but I do. I wonder what I did wrong. Who did I offend? What can I do to make things right? Then I realize that it's not likely my issue at all. I shouldn't try to change who I am or censor myself (more than I already do) or put myself out just for the approval of others.

I have a set of people whose opinion of me matters. I know that aside from those people, I shouldn't concern myself. I mean, I'm not the kind of guy who goes out on social channels with a boorish, self-aggrandizing stream of crap being spewed (don't lie, you all know those people) and is pandering to people, sucking up just to get a follow or a retweet and sends passive-aggressive tweets if they don't get their way. I don't live and die by retweets or comments or replies or inclusion on lists or pats on the back and sulk if I don't get them. Instead I just internalize things, wondering what went wrong, when in reality, nothing went wrong. Sometimes you can't make everyone like you. So there's your mantra for the day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 17

Day 17: A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently

For 10 years, Michelle and I debated whether or not we wanted to have a child. Cost, change to our comfortable little life, the stress of raising a child, the impact it would have on our relationship, fear of failure, uncertainty of the kind of father I would be. I had so many concerns and insecurities, it was almost debilitating. Finally we decided to let fate play a role and stop trying not to have a baby. Sure enough, it happened almost immediately. Michelle came down the stairs while I was making dinner and simply stated "so, we're going to have a baby". I stopped, looked at her and said "ok", smiled at her, gave her a big hug and went back to dinner, talking with her about everything we needed to do, what the next steps were and not letting on that inside I was both excited and terrified.

But that's the way it is with any big change, both fear and excitement, right?

I burst into tears of joy the first time I saw Ingrid's heartbeat on the ultrasound. I was awash in this desire to take care of my wife and make sure everything went smoothly. There were times during her pregnancy that Michelle and I thought something was wrong, that this wasn't going to happen, but Ingrid's a tough kid. She made sure that she would take care of us as much as we could take care of her. Until ...

Five weeks early, Michelle woke me up and said "I think my water broke. It's too early. I don't know what to do." I immediately went into crisis management mode (as well as I could, considering that I was startled awake and don't really do well in the morning, let alone at 2:00), I tried to calm my wife, asking her if she was certain, then had her call the on-call midwife to make arrangements while I furiously packed everything. We weren't close to ready. We were going to pack and make our delivery list that very Sunday!

Arrangements were made and I packed the car while Michelle got ready. We then sped down 35W to St. Joseph's hospital, hoping that they wouldn't send us to St. John's where the emergency and high-risk births were held. Pulling into the hospital and getting into the maternity ward was otherworldly, but we finally got settled and I fell asleep in the chair while Michelle tried to sleep in the bed. Nurses came in and out, getting Michelle's and Ingrid's vitals, and our midwife was scheduled to see us in a few hours.

Finally it was actually day time and since we didn't have any preemie clothes or diapers, I rushed out to Babies R Us to pick up some essentials. I mean, we were prepared for an infant, but not a preemie. Not yet. I was close to finishing my list when Michelle called and said that I needed to come back now, she was getting close to active labor. I rushed back to the hospital just as things were heating up. This was all moving way too fast and Michelle needed me to be strong. Neither of us were actually prepared for the event. Before our midwife even arrived, Michelle started active labor and was ready to start pushing. We were expecting a waterbirth and a calm arrival for our little girl, but that entire plan went out the window. A resident was scrubbing in just as our midwife arrived and helped Michelle get through the pushing. My wife is a freaking rockstar. She pushed and pushed and without any drugs at all brought our baby into the world. I was simply amazed at what she went through and how strong she was.

Then little Ingrid Arabella Eide joined the world. I looked at her, picked her up and said "welcome to the world Ingrid. I'm your daddy and I'm going to always be here for you. No matter what." Michelle and I then cried and held our little girl for the first time. It was simply magical.

Unfortunately, she wasn't strong enough yet to eat on her own or regulate her temp, so she spent two weeks in the special care nursery, getting bigger and stronger and learning how to eat. Ingrid and Michelle couldn't nurse, so she was fed with a tube, then bottle. Small victories were celebrated and I somehow was able to instinctively care for this little girl. I was fearless. I'm still amazed at how easy everything seemed for me, especially in retrospect. I shouldn't have been that calm, but there I was.

Over the next year, watching life through Ingrid's eyes, I was amazed at how quickly she grew and learned and developed. I know that kids go through a lot in their first year, but when you experience it, it's truly remarkable. She went from not being able to eat to rolling over, crawling, standing, cruising, talking, gesturing, signing, walking and seemingly eating until she bursts.

To say that Ingrid has had a big impact on my life recently would be an understatement. The first time I held her, I knew my life would never be the same. Every time she gives me a sloppy, open-mouth kiss or hugs my knee or reaches out for me I melt. I want nothing more than for her to be happy, feel safe and loved and supported. Everything I do, I ask myself what the impact will be on her, but I realize that she has an even bigger impact on me.

I didn't know if my heart could stand another thing to love, but Michelle was right, I'm like the Grinch. On January 31, 2010 my heart grew two sizes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 16

Day 16: A picture of someone who inspires you

I was lucky to have been raised by two incredibly loving, caring, strong, intelligent, passionate, bright, witty, persistent, warm and deep parents.

I adore my father. He shaped me, pushed me, taught me how to grow to be a good man; a man who would do good works, be caring and strong and love my family.

But let's be honest. I'm a mama's boy.

My mother is the most intelligent, loving, driven, caring and interesting person I have ever known.

She was a senior at the University of Minnesota when I was born, finishing her degree while caring for an infant couldn't have been easy, but that was the plan. When she graduated, my dad was working for the YMCA and my mom was raising me. Dad was offered the executive director job at the North Miami Beach YMCA shortly after and we headed to Florida. Mom was the aquatics director there and I was raised at the Y, surrounded by a community who cared. My parents lived by this ethos, and still do.

My parents eventually moved us all back home and Dad continued his life of service in the non-profit field. Mom joined him, but this time at the Red Cross. I have to admit, it was my fault. I told her "go to work like the other mommy's so I can go to school" not realizing that even in 1980 it wasn't the norm. I was always fascinated by my mom's job. I mean, she was surrounded by these creepy half-bodies (Resusci-Annie), managed blood drives and the coolest thing ever was that my mom helped people during natural disasters. Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, it didn't matter. My mom was important because she helped take care of people when they needed it. Eventually becoming the branch manager, I thought it was so cool that my mom was the boss (sure, my dad was too, and his job was also cool, but Mom's dealt with blood drives and emergency kits) and I was proud of her.

Mom then took a job with the State of Minnesota in nuclear emergency preparedness. This was such a cool gig. I got to help out with the exercises, pretending to be hurt or contaminated by radiation, playing out my role but always keeping an eye on Mom and watching people take orders and listen to her. Even the National Guard had to listen to what my mom said. Eventually she moved into an assistant director role with Emergency Management and helped staff the Emergency Operations Center, doing conferences with FEMA and teaching classes and holding meetings and press conferences with the Governor. Going to her office was amazing for me. She taught me about public policy, emergency management, how government agencies work together and because of her, I wanted to work in public policy, helping those who need their government's assistance.

In fact, we worked together briefly when I interned as a hazard mitigation specialist during the summer and fall of 2000. I was in the EOC during 9/11, and watching my mom in action was powerful and moving. I saw her in a whole different light. Everything was chaos, but my mom was a rock, just like she'd always been for me.

Now she's the Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, leading Minnesota's emergency preparedness. I still get excited and proud when she's on the radio or TV or in the paper. In fact, Ingrid even noticed Grandma on the TV and reached out for her when she did a Sunday morning interview on the flood situation in the Red River Valley. I love that Ingrid has such strong female role-models in her mom and grandma. It means so much to me to see people to whom she can look up able to be driven at work and caring and soft at home.

That's the most inspiring thing to me about my mother. Sure, she's an incredibly important person and has to have the needs of the population of the state in mind, but she's more than that. My mom is an incredible chef, a foodie before being one was fashionable. She has an exceptional voice; a first soprano who was always at the center of any musical performance. She loves to travel and golf and read and always knows exactly what to say to help me with any situation. She was always supportive without being enabling. I knew she always ha my back, but wouldn't sugar-coat anything.

If I can be the kind of parent to Ingrid that my mother was to me, I will consider it a job very well done.

Friday, April 15, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 15

Day 15: A picture of something you want to do before you die

Ahh, the "bucket list" post. Sure, there a dozens of things I would like to see, do, achieve before I die and this past weekend, I was lucky enough to cross one off the list.

I was in Las Vegas from April 6-8 participating in Inc. Magazine's GrowCo Small Business Conference. While watching a concert in the Cosmopolitan's Book & Stage lounge I was introduced to a person who would make it possible for me to cross a major "must-do" off my bucket list.

That individual was Frank Wall, the publisher of Sports Illustrated. He and I had unknowingly worked together while he was in his previous role and we got to talking about his new job, my position and the strange circumstances that brought us together. At the end of the evening he mentioned to me that he had an extra pass to The Masters that Saturday and Sunday, and asked if I was interested in being his guest. Now, I had planned to fly back home Friday night, spend Saturday with my girls, then fly to Charleston, SC via Atlanta on Sunday for a meeting I had scheduled in Kiawah Island, SC. So ... I was heading to the Southeast anyway, and SI would help me rearrange my flights as well as put me up in the extra room in the house they were renting in Augusta.

I called Michelle, and lucky for me I have an incredible wife who said "this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, you can't not go." I immediately emailed Frank and he got me in touch with his assistant who handled the arrangements for me (thank you so much Lee!). She sent me my new itinerary, and at the end of the conference on Friday I was on a plane en route to Atlanta to then be driven to Augusta. I was absolutely over the moon. Pulling into the driveway at 2:30 AM on Saturday, I was exhausted but ready to go in a few hours to step foot on the course at Augusta National and watch the legend that is The Masters.

Saturday was a blur. We walked the front nine, following Ian Poulter, Ricky Barnes, Matt Kuchar and Martin Laird until we got to the tenth green where our folding chairs were waiting for us. This is one of many traditions that makes The Masters so special. If you set down a folding chair with your business card in the pocket, nobody will sit in it or move it. Your place is secure. I've never experienced anything like that. We then watched the rest of the field come in on ten before following Tiger Woods, K.J. Choi, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy in through 18. It was hot, I was exhausted and sweaty, but I didn't even care.

Sunday I had to leave the grounds by 2:00 in order to catch my flight to Charleston, but we spent the morning having lunch and cocktails in the clubhouse (did I mention that it was a clubhouse pass? Unreal), talked with some of the golfers waiting to take the first tee, walked the grounds around the clubhouse, did a bit of shopping then headed to watch Phil Mickelson tee-off on the first and a few groups come in on the seventh green before heading out of town.

The whole experience was unreal. The grounds were pristine. The crowd, knowledgable and polite. There were no hospitality tents or corporate branding. Even the sandwiches, chips and beer were labeled "The Masters". If you brought in seats or umbrellas or water bottles with corporate labels, they had to be checked at the gate or the label removed. No cell phones or cameras allowed (which I found disappointing, simply because I wanted to capture this experience for eternity). Everything was like stepping back in time. The people we met were as nice as can be. No drama, no rudeness, everyone was polite and just reveling in the fact that they too were at The Masters. Like No Other.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 14

Day 14: A picture of something you can never imagine your life without

EDIT: It was supposed to be "someone" not "something" but I'm not changing it.

Last weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to attend The Masters. It was one of the more memorable weekends of my life. Rubbing shoulders with the elite, glad-handing with celebrities, athletes and professional golfers. Simply amazing. I will never forget it.

All weekend, I was surrounded with opportunities to take incredible photos of Augusta National and the people I met. However, mobile phones and cameras are not allowed within the grounds of Augusta National. Imagine, a place on planet Earth where tens of thousands of people have no mobile devices. It's like a technology dead-zone. No tweets, no Facebook posts, no SMS or MMS messages, nothing.

I felt naked without my trusted iPhone. I was missing an appendage. I felt the phantom vibrating in my pocket all weekend. I wanted to call, text and take pictures and videos of the sights and sounds of The Masters, yet here I was without my iPhone.

To say that I cannot imagine life without my iPhone is putting it lightly. It's my work, my life, my connection to my family and the world around me.


Another Reason Why I Hate Political Pundits

You may recall my Day 11 post: A picture of something you hate.

This clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is an exemplary reason why it is that I detest the political pundits and what has become of the American political process.

When analyzing the impending government shutdown and the ramifications on the American public of the bickering over 0.19% of the total budget, did our nations journalists concentrate on the spending cuts and how they would affect day-to-day life of Americans? Did they look at the potential job losses or services that would be cut and how those affected would deal? No, of course not, that would take actual brain power. Instead, we get this ...

Yes Jon. I too hate them. Each and every one of them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 13

Day 13: A picture of your favorite band or artist

This is one of the easiest posts of the 30. In 1995, this sound entered my life and has never left. I was walking the halls of Dieseth Hall at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa when I heard the most glorious music eminating from one of the open rooms. I was so taken aback by the melody and the heartfelt lyrics that I had to pop my head in and ask who was creating the symphony echoing throughout the halls. The girl swung her head around and said "Oasis, they're English. Pretty good, huh?"

Pretty good? PRETTY GOOD? Oasis' Wonderwall changed my life. It was funny, I was certain that it was another Beatles track off the newly released Anthology. So raw, so emotional, so unabashedly inspired by the Fab Four, it was as if the hands of Lennon and McCartney imbued the brothers Gallagher with divine inspiration and an otherwordly talent.

I immediately sought out "(What's the Story) Morning Glory", purchased it and played it non-stop for a week. Then on this new thing called "The Internet" (thank you ISCA BBS) discovered their first album, "Definitely Maybe" and heard the single most gripping, raw, emotional, moving, angsty, dirty and powerful album of all time. While others in the dorm were rocking out to Hootie & The Blowfish, Rusted Root or Dave Matthews Band, I was immersed in all things Oasis.

Rock n Roll Star became my anthem. Up in the Sky would be pouring from my open windows, Cigarettes and Alcohol became a permanent member of our party mix, Don't Look Back in Anger and Champagne Supernova would calm my inner anxiety and emotional turmoil. I was an addict and my drug was Oasis.

Over the next 15 years, the sound would change, but the feeling never did. Every album would be in rotation, and Oasis still holds a place of permanence on my playlist. When I want to get up for something, I simply put their entire catalog on shuffle.

My one regret was never being able to see them live, then Michelle and I heard they were coming to town in December, 2008. She, being an amazing wife, snapped up two tickets as close as we could get, and we were in business! I was counting down the days until I could see my musical icons in person. I was simply holding out hope that neither Liam nor Noel would kill the other before the show date. The day of the concert was (until the following week) the worst day in my professional life, and I had absolutely no desire to do anything but wallow and pout and skip the show. Lucky for me, Michelle knows me better than I know myself and forced me out of the house. Right up until they hit the first note of Rock n Roll Star, I was bitter, angry and hated the world.

With that first chord, everything changed.

The next two hours were magical. They went from one song to the next, each like an old friend returning for a visit, picking right up where we left off. The memories and emotions all came flooding back and I was blissfully unaware of all the crap that happened previously that day. I was there, with my girl and the Gallaghers. It was perfect.

That show was a moment, frozen in time, which it appears will never be reproduced. The brothers have again split. Liam took the other members of the band and spun off a new group, Beady Eye, which is solid but lacks the one thing that made Oasis magical. Noel's words and tunes with Liam's piercing vocals and rock star swagger. I'm just glad they were around long enough to have an impact on my life and I was able to see them live and in person, larger than life and hold that with me. Oasis will Live Forever.

30 Days of Pictures: Day 12

Day 12: A picture of something you love

Anyone who knows me knows that there are two things in this world I adore: my family and Mountain Dew.

Ahhh, sweet nectar of the gods. Sure, it's not exactly healthy and tastes nothing like a fresh morning dew sprinkled over a mountain glade, but damn if it isn't exactly what hits the spot time and again. The invigorating citrus-inspired flavor of Mountain Dew never fails to perk me up.

Mello Yello and other impostors cannot hold a candle to the truth that is the official, one of a kind taste, of Mountain Dew.

The absolute biggest problem with international travel? No Mountain Dew anywhere to be found. I have known to go a week to 10 days without the refreshment of an ice cold Mountain Dew while venturing abroad. While I truly enjoy my experiences travailing the back alleys of Europe's grand cities and basking on a beach overlooking crystal waters of the Caribbean sea, I am yearning for an old friend.

I love you Mountain Dew. You are my rock, my solace after a hard day, and the best part of any 15 minute refreshment break.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 11

Day 11: A picture of something you hate

While many people consider me to be a curmudgeon, I have to continually convince them that this is not the case. I'm not a cranky, bitter old man. In fact, I'm actually pretty easy-going and jovial. As such, it's really hard for me to answer this question. What do I hate? Sure, the Wisconsin Badgers (and frankly, most Wisconsin sports fans) irritate me to no end, but it's not really that I hate them. Nor do I hate the TSA lines at the airport. In fact, I am more bothered by people who can't seem to comprehend how to easily breeze through security checkpoints than I am the concept of airport security.

No, what I hate more than anything on the planet is the bloviation of political discourse prevalent in American society today. As a political science graduate, and someone who worked in the Minnesota Senate and wanted nothing more than to work on campaigns and take an active role in our political process, I detest what it has become. A series of soundbites and talking points, reducing the level of discourse to screaming matches and vitriolic hyperbole is no way to engage in political conversation.

Billions of dollars have been made on the backs of these "pundits" yelling at each other and pandering to the lowest common denominator. It's patently offensive to the tens of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives to provide the freedom for these idiots to spew their drivel. I hate it and I hate what our political process has become. The new media and technology should have made it easier to become an educated voter and active member of society but these people have dumbed the process down, making us a society of hateful, spiteful, malicious idiots.

Monday, April 11, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 10

Day 10: A picture of the person with whom you do the most effed up things

Seriously? This one is stupid, and honestly I don’t do any “effed up” things. I don’t do drama, I don’t do parties. I don’t do late and crazy nights. I suppose this whole weekend was an effed up event, but in a “I can’t believe this is actually happening. This is one of the most amazing things ever” kind of way. But yeah, I’m boycotting it.


30 Days of Pictures: Day 9

Day 9: A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

Michelle and I have been together for 11 years. I have done a HUGE amount of growing and changing and have overcome life crises and teachable moments in those 11 years. When we met, I was adrift. She helped me find focus, realize my potential, showed me the world, then turned it on its ear. When something happens, either good or bad, she’s the first one I want to tell. She’s the first person I want to see every morning and the last person I want to see every night. She is my rock, my love, my best friend and my partner.

Michelle, I love you, you know.

30 Days of Pictures: Day 8

Day 8: A picture that makes you laugh

Every time I see Ingrid with her “whatchu talkin about Willis?” face, it just kills me. I love this shot.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 7

Day 7: A picture of your most treasured item

My paternal grandfather was one of the biggest influences on my life growing up. Unfortunately, he passed away when I was 15, and he was never able to see the man he helped me become. He wasn't able to meet Michelle or Ingrid, or see me get married. But that didn't mean he couldn't play a role in my wedding.

A wedding ring is often referred to as a "token of love" and I was lucky enough for mine to have a double meaning. My grandmother asked me if I was interested in using my grandfather's wedding ring, Michelle and I thought it would be a special way to honor my grandfather and always remember the impact he had on my life. We then used Grandpa Eide's ring as the middle in a three-ring stack, and engraved his initials on the inside along with the inscription Michelle and I selected.

On November 18, 2000, when Michelle put that ring on my finger, it was indeed a token of love.

Will it Blend's Tom Dickson blends at GrowCo 2011

YouTube phenomenon Tom Dickson performed live at Inc Magazine's GrowCo 2011 conference. I was lucky enough to sit front row and shoot this video.

And yes, it blended.

  • Blendtec sold over $520k by reaching out to social influencers at SXSW and publishing a half-price offer for 48 hours

  • Companies are paying Blendtec to have their products blended because of the reach of the videos. Blendtec's marketing department is revenue positive because of product placement.

  • "You can't make a mistake when you're viral, or everybody's going to find out!" - Tom Dickson

  • Blendtec does no print, no radio, no major advertising. Massive growth from the Will it Blend series

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 6

Day 6: A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day

I don't even know where to start with this one. I've never really sat back and thought "man, I'd really like to be someone else" or "I wish I had that person's life". However, there are fleeting moments of weakness where I look at someone's experiences and think "that is an incredibly lucky person" or "I'd love to do that." Increasingly I find myself saying that more and more frequently about one person.

Anthony Bourdain may have the best job on the planet. Now, I wouldn't exactly have wanted to go through all his kitchen experiences to get to where he is currently, but look at where he is. He gets to visit amazing locations, eat incredible food, meet amazing people and do so on his terms. I envy that in him.

Unlike so many travel presenters or celebrity chefs who are so caught up in the next project and the almighty dollar, Bourdain seems to be able to accomplish what so many were not able to. He has moved on from his celebrity chef life in the heat of the kitchen at Les Halles, used his ability to spin a yarn and do so incredibly vividly and parlay that into multiple New York Times best sellers and an Emmy nominated television show, all without losing who he is at his core.

That's the best part about what we see in Bourdain. He's gritty, he's real, he isn't afraid to show sensitivity or emotion or pain or even joy. Yeah, he's gruff and is a fantastic story teller, but at his core, he's a simple man who wants to spend time with the people he loves and enjoy the best that life has to offer. We're just lucky that we are along for the ride.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 5

Day 5: A picture of your favorite memory

I've been a very, very lucky man. I married a fantastic woman, we have a beautiful daughter and in our eleven years together have created a lifetime of memories. From European travel to Ingrid's birth to falling asleep holding hands on the beach, there have been a number of experiences upon which I look back fondly.

One, however, was a completely innocuous comment by a random individual that has had a profound impact upon my life.

Michelle and I had been dating only a relatively short time when, in the Fall of 1999, we joined my parents for a long weekend at Breezy Point Resort in Pequot Lakes, MN. We decided to go for a walk around the downtown area, holding hands and talking on a beautiful, crisp Fall day. Turning our way down one of the shop-lined streets of an American small town whose economy is driven by tourism dollars, we hear footsteps approaching from behind and we slide over to allow them to pass. A young teenaged girl walks by us at a relatively brisk pace and as she passes says "you two are the cutest couple ever, just thought you should know." Flummoxed and without words I look at Michelle and we stifle a giggle and thank her as smiles take over our faces.

Now, I'm never one to fish for complements, and was a bit confused as to this young girl's motives, but decided to take it for what it was, a random act of kindness that made our day. Did it validate my choice of a life partner? Not exactly, but it made me feel great that others could see how I felt about Michelle and one thing that always stuck with me was how my parents interacted as I was growing up. I was lucky in that my parents loved each other and us. It was clearly visible in how they behaved. I wanted to make sure that any children Michelle and I had knew exactly how we felt about each other and about them. I wanted to set an example for how adult relationships are supposed to work. I also wanted them to "pay it forward" with random acts of kindness.

Maybe some day Ingrid will make another newly in love couple's day by telling them how cute they are together.


Monday, April 4, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 4

Day 4: A picture of your favorite night

This was a fantastic night. I still remember it vividly every time I hear this song.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 3

Day 3: A picture of the cast from your favorite show

Growing up as a child of the 90s, I was beholden to Must See TV on NBC, Thursday nights. Sure, ER was good, Seinfeld had its moments and there were the other two shows that filled a slot, but the one television show I never missed, during its 10 year run was Friends.

Ross, Chandler, Joey, Monica, Rachel and Phoebe will always have a special place in my heart. They were funny, real (at times), went through many situations I had either experienced or would experience eventually and the mix of sarcasm, dry humor and slapstick was right up my alley. The Thursday night gatherings around the TV with friends and Taco Bell or Leeann Chin were something to which we always looked forward. Even now on Thanksgiving we watch the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends along with How I Met Your Mother. It's a tradition.

I was Chandler. I was dry, bitter, sarcastic and was the one who could always find a joke in any situation. No, I didn't have the same close-knit group of friends that he did, but I had my own support network and could rely on them in a similar fashion. None were as neurotic or obsessive or paranoid or manic as the Friends, but each had their own quirks. All of us growing up with Friends could find the one with whom we could relate.

Now, years after the show ended, I can always pop in my DVD collection of the full series run, pick my favorite episodes and have a cup of coffee with my friends at Central Perk.

Image copyright NBC.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 2

Day 2: A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest
"I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we're gonna hurt some people."

"Whose car we takin?"

- The Town

September, 1982. I was five years old and was spending my time at Adams elementary school in Coon Rapids, MN. During the first half of the first quarter of school I started going half of the day to kindergarten and half of the day to first grade for a few weeks, then jumping full into life as a first grader. I don't recall being nervous or scared or excited that first day with "the big kids" in first grade. What I remember was lunch.

In kindergarten, lunch wasn't on the schedule, so bringing my lunchbox with me was a HUGE deal that first time. I sat in the first grade class (I don't even remember the teacher's name), in a desk in front of a short red-haired kid. I was quietly taking it all in, then the teacher said that it was time for lunch. I pounced upon the opportunity to break out my brand new lunchbox and thermos. I took it out of my desk, cracked it open and heard from behind me, "hey, we don't eat at our desks, we eat lunch in the cafeteria." I wheeled around in my chair, wondering who was talking to me and what on earth was this "cafeteria" about which he was speaking. I answered "we eat where?" He replied "just follow me, I'll take you."

That began my relationship with Kirk Erickson. For years we were inseparable. He lived across the creek from me, but since the creek was a wooded place, and full of untold dangers, we saw each other sparingly outside of school. But in school, we were glued at the hip. He showed me the ropes of first grade, and I told him of my "leaving the class for reading and math." Then when we were getting ready to come back from Christmas break in fifth grade, I went to my class and Kirk wasn't there. I looked at recess and in lunch, but he wasn't in any of the fifth grade classes. My best friend had abandoned me. I had to branch out, find a new group. Sure, I moved on, and in the middle of sixth grade moved from Coon Rapids to Ramsey and started a new school at Sandburg middle school. Life went on.

When I started eighth grade I moved from Sandburg to Fred Moore junior high. I didn't think much of it. Sure, there were new kids but I still had all of my Sandburg friends. In the fall I decided to go out for the football team. During the first week of practice, after running the stupid 100 yard sprints, I heard a familiar voice from underneath a helmet. I looked at the tape across the front of the helmet for a name and saw "Erickson". I was shocked. I happened to move to the same school that Kirk was in. Karma? Kismet? Either way, it was as if time didn't even move forward. We picked up where we left off and were again inseparable.

When we went to high school, we didn't have many of the same classes, but it didn't matter. Eide and Erickson were still close and we had lockers just a few apart. Things were going to be ok. We were still there for each other, and have many great memories from high school.

Life moves on, things change. I went of to college, but whenever I came home we picked up where we left off. Then I moved back and we were again connected at the hip. Softball, the Monday Night Wars, PlayStation, ill-advised road trips to Bemidji, getting jumped by townies in St. Cloud, girl troubles, life troubles, car troubles, dealing with growing up; we did it all ... together.

Eventually I moved out, got married with Kirk as my best man, and began my "adult" life and he began his. I have my family, he has his. Jobs, wives, kids, life, we share it all and know from where each other came., And still, whenever we get together (which is never frequently enough) it's the same, it's as if time doesn't matter. We're still there. 29 years later, he's still the guy I'd call if I had to hurt some people.

Friday, April 1, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day 1

I don't remember where I found this, but I saw this list and thought it would be a great way to spark my blogging and keep me on task while I train myself to blog more heavily on my personal stuff. Sure, I write for work and I write (less frequently than I should, thanks Bryan) over at Hockey Wilderness, and I write a large amount of personal thoughts and such in 140 characters or less, but I haven't done enough here.

During April, I'll be participating in the 30 days of pictures. Essentially, each day's blog post will be a topic about which I need to find or create a picture (duh) and a paragraph or a list of thoughts around the topic. Honestly, for someone like me, it is going to take me WAY out of my comfort zone (I detest talking about myself *don't laugh it's true*), but it's a great exercise.

So here we go.

April 1: A picture of yourself with 10 facts (I'm assuming they mean about me, otherwise this would be easier)

  1. I was born on the coldest January 10th in Minneapolis history (Michelle loves hearing the Nathan birth story as told by my parents every year)

  2. I went to half-day kindergarten, half-day first grade for 8 weeks then skipped to first grade

  3. I love musical theater, and it was one of my many majors in college

  4. I broke my thumb playing softball when a guy slid into my glove but my mother didn't believe me, thought I was being a drama queen and told me to suck it up. I still bring it up to lay a guilt-trip on her

  5. I suffered from septic bursitis after having my elbow blown open playing adult league hockey

  6. I took my mother to Sing-along Sound of Music one year and loved every minute of it

  7. My sister had a Baby Alive that would talk during electrical storms and I was convinced that it was Chucky from Child's Play

  8. I'm responsible for saying grace in Norwegian at family holiday meals

  9. I have never ridden a motorcycle, dirt bike, snowmobile or ATV

  10. I cheered for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1987 World Series and the Atlanta Braves in the 1991 World Series just to be different from my father. I still feel shame

Ok, 10 facts about me. That was WAY harder than I was expecting. Now it's your turn. Post this on your blog and link to it in comments!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The stars at night are big and bright ...

In case you've never noticed, Texans are fiercely proud of, well, being Texan. Nowhere is that more evident than in Austin, capital of the Lone Star state. While yes, you'll see signs that say "Don't Mess With Texas" or "Texan First" or "Keep Austin Weird", the lone star mentality is apparent on every piece of government owned or built property. Yes, the stars at night are big and bright in Austin, but let's be honest, sometimes they take things a bit too far.

My top 12 stars around Austin. What are some things you notice seem to pop up over and over again around your town?

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Eating my way through SXSW

Aside from the panel discussions, fantastic networking opportunities and multiple parties, SXSW is a foodie's heaven. Food truck events, free samples, bbq, tacos, breakfast burritos, bbq, tacos, free drinks, desserts, bbq, tacos and did I mention bbq and tacos?

Austin is a fantastic food town. Trucks with korean bbq tacos (see a theme?), cupcakes, Shiner Bock, Shiner Black, Guero's taco bar, Torchy's Tacos, Salt Lick BBQ, Frito Pie, Amy's Ice Cream, the home of Whole Foods, and much, much more.

So with that, here are my favorite eats from SXSW 2011. What do you crave now that you're back home?

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Chrysler and New Media Strategies: How can we learn from their mistakes?

There has been a lot of navel-gazing in the industry around the New Media Strategies gaffe on the Chrysler Autos Twitter account, and whether the reaction by Chrysler to terminate its relationship with NMS was warranted. In fact, on the flight from Minneapolis to Austin for SXSW last week, I participated in a great Twitter discussion with a few agency folks, and even among them there was no consensus. Some felt that Chrysler acted too hastily in firing NMS, and that social media is a channel in which people should be allowed to make mistakes, and that in the end, Chrysler's brand was not negatively affected and in fact received more notice than they would have otherwise. Others felt that the role of an agency is to ensure that the brand receives positive sentiment, growth of community and that no matter the adage "all publicity is good publicity" there are limits, and NMS crossed them and was rightfully canned.

Personally, as someone on the client side of the relationship there are numerous factors in play here.

1. Chrysler should have never allowed someone else to speak on behalf of their brand.

I did not hold Chrysler responsible for NMS letting the F-bomb drop on their Twitter account, but my bigger issue with Chrysler is that they allowed NMS to tweet on their behalf. Strategy? Sure, there's no problem getting help there, but when it comes to the actual voice, nobody will love your brand like you do. Hopefully Chrysler takes the opportunity to learn from this and bring day-to-day management of their social presence in-house.

2. Scott Bartosiewicz made an astoundingly bad decision when he tweeted "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to ******* drive"

Ultimately the 28 year-old NMS employee is at fault. He showed poor judgment in tweeting what he did, even from his personal account. People know where he works. They know that NMS has a relationship with Chrysler and that Chrysler not only has a long-standing relationship with the city of Detroit, but that the city of Detroit is the backbone of the new brand strategy for Chrysler. Should he have really badmouthed the denizens of the Motor City when the connections can be made between him and Chrysler?

From the Star Tribune article, Chrysler contractor whose obscene tweet got him, agency fired is apologizing for 4-letter flub, "Bartosiewicz, a University of Michigan MBA student, blamed the mistake on a mix-up using a program that aims to help users juggle multiple Twitter accounts. "I've tweeted and posted on Facebook thousands of time before," he said."

Yeah, he screwed up using in how he used TweetDeck, but his mistake happened well before hitting send. Maybe he should read this article from Jeff Bullas - 30 things you should not share on social media.

3. New Media Strategies showed a major lapse in judgment with the way they handled the operational aspect of serving a massive brand in social media.

As Advertising Age pointed out, it ended up costing them a multi-million dollar contract - Chrysler Splits With New Media Strategies Over F-Bomb Tweet

Was Chrysler in the right? Did the agency deserve a second chance? How can NMS and other social media practitioners learn from their mistake?

My take, as a client, is that the biggest problem NMS has in not in their selection or training of employees. Their biggest problem is that they had no QA process. Sure, social media is a quick-fire channel. Things happen in real-time and as Ferris Bueller said "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." However, if you act too hastily, you may make a major mistake that can be easily avoided. So, QA in social. How can we solve the problem?

4. Why can't there be a QA process in place?

No tweet or Facebook update or blog post should ever go out in real time. There are so many programs and platforms that offer the ability to schedule posts and have workflows set up so that posts can be approved prior to publishing. Establish a process so that every tweet is scheduled for a minimum of 15 or 30 minutes from now and another employee approves the post. That person doesn't even need to be involved in the social channel or an approved social practitioner, but there needs to be another set of eyes on every post. Think about it this way: Social media is no less or more important to your business as email, web copy, print or broadcast ads. Do you let emails, print ads, radio or TV ads go out without having at least two people look at them for typos, message and brand standards? No? Well then why would you think less of the impact social can have on your brand? As an agency, is 15-30 minutes worth keeping a multi-million dollar contract?

To wrap up, there is no consensus on the Chrysler-NMS issue, but ultimately it doesn't matter, what's done is done. However, we can all learn from and build on what happened to Scott Bartosiewicz, Chrysler and New Media Strategies to make sure it doesn't happen to you and your company.

For a further dive into the aftermath, check out a great article from Advertising Age - Chrysler's Twitter Controversy Teaches Us 'Brand Journalism' Is a Lie.

  • Do you have a QA process in place?

  • Would you look down on a brand who doesn't tweet for themselves?

  • Would you have fired NMS?

Let me hear it in the comments!

Monday, March 14, 2011

SXSW Interactive 2011: Day 3 in review

Social media analytics. Twitter thinks they have one of the most open public APIs. Raj from ViralHeat disagrees that it is good enough at serving the needs of his clients. Jason Falls is a fabulously entertaining, engaging and informative speaker, if you are a newbie or small business owner. Every small business owner who is interested in getting involved in social media should be reading his work at social media explorer. But here begins my rant:

They have spent the first 20 minutes talking about tools. We still aren't talking about which KPIs are important.

It's frustrating that nobody seems to want to answer the question. They either don't have it or don't want to give up an edge. How long until people stop trying to avoid the ROI question by saying "it shouldn't matter"? My feedback on the panel: we understand that fans & followers isn't important. We want to talk about measuring cost per lead. Let's hear from someone who delivered a solid engagement & financial report. Sick of people avoiding it. Show us the numbers. It's nice to hear Raj from Viral Heat talk about cost per lead from social, but this is FAR too hypothetical. Get actionable folks!

The panel talks about how social is only a sliver of your marketing/branding budget, but here's where I massively disagree w/ panel. You wouldn't not track ROI of email or a print campaign. It's all part of the mix and should be measured accordingly.

I think it's time to have a real reporting & measurement conversation when we get back to the MSP. I'm annoyed by "panels" has an interesting dashboard creation tool. I will be checking it out when I get back to the office on Wednesday.

Then I went to a core conversation session on getting social at regulated industries. The conversation leaders are from healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Interested to see if they talk about SOX at all, or just worry about HIPPA or FINRA. I'm so impressed, got right into it, that yes, we are all regulated in some way or another, it doesn't mean that you can't get involved in online conversation, just that you should be careful what you say!

My thought about alleviating the fears of legal & c-suite in regulated industries: create an FAQ and try to anticipate their fears and concerns, then come with answers. Work with legal on the answers to the concerns and have a policy pre-established. There are plenty of samples online that can act as a starter for you. Look at Facebook and blogs and twitter and YouTube accounts for competitors across the country and do a content audit. What are their high-level themes? How can you turn at into an editorial calendar? How do they respond to account questions? How do they approach the ethical wall? What happens if you do break the rules and get caught? Then, create a report mockup that will show the return and how you will measure success. Come prepared and get the approval.

Now one just for me. Hockey & music. Hells yeah.

Brian Jennings from the NHL is paired with  from Versus and folks from Interscope Records and an entertainment consulting firm talking about how the NHL worked with artists from Interscope on a strategic alliance to pair artists with sporting events. They focused on Eminem's releasing "Not Afraid" as the theme song to the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.

My takeaways:

  • Highlight player playlists. Great idea. Now, package it to iTunes as a download special every week & push to

  • Interscope/Aftermath uses Facebook & twitter comments re: artists & songs in staff meetings as focus group. That's ROI

  • NHL fans are richer and more educated than other sports. We're better looking too.

  • NHL gets 15-17 million unique people per month engaging with their brand and messaging.

  • Millions of dowoads of songs as a result of placement in NHL & Madden gaming franchises

  • Bands now want to do free shows and tour with Lord Stanley's Cup? Great concept for sponsorship.

  • NHL concentrated on developing their digital presence and get there first. Look at NHL social, awesome section of

  • Goal is to get people to be fans of hockey instead of only their favorite team. Tactic was to concentrate on events

Saturday, March 12, 2011

SXSW: Day 2 - The Morning

After realizing that the left turn arrow from Cesar Chavez to Congress en route to the Hyatt was not working, and sitting through multiple cycles, then avoiding the confederate re-enactors on their horses and with their wagon pulled by donkeys we got in 15 minutes late and filled with road rage. First session of the day was "social media: the next generation of business engagement" and I found it to be yet more 101 level information on how to get buy in and really high level KPIs and the difference between KPI and ROI. There was a little discussion around how your metrics should be dependent upon your objectives, etc. Frankly, if you don't understand that by this point, you're facing a bigger problem than not having the right metrics.

Anyway, next session will be "seed & feed: cultivating self-organizing communities" or "to reply or not to reply? Facebook conversations". Everyone must attend at least one core conversation session. Wow. Get smart people in a room who are passionate about a concept and let them talk and share. Its a fabulous way to spend an hour. Discussion around community and the issues corporations face when involved in community, especially if it's not about the products, but rather about a concept that happens to deal with their customers base. Take PartnerUp for example: the community is not around Deluxe products or services. In fact, we don't want it to be the kind of place that is a group of people talking about how much they love us (I'd rather see that on Facebook & Twitter), but instead thank us for providing a place where small business owners can find people to answer their questions around starting, marketing, funding and running a small business. Even if we aren't the people who answer the question, we provided the place and brought folks together, we want to make small business owners happy. That's the key to community managers, we are a group of people who want to create happiness in the world. I like that idea. Do you buy it?

SXSW Interactive 2011: Day 1 in review (including video!)

For a "southby" virgin, the first day can be a little overwhelming. Daunting. Intimidating even, and that's without the trade show floor even being open! Day one was good. A mixture of enlightened conversation (does any brand really only need 100 "fans" if they're the right 100?) and disappointment in a logistical #fail (it shouldn't have been surprising that big brands talking about their marketing budgets were going to get a huge audience), culminating in a fabulous bbq dinner from the good folks at and conversation around the Chrysler - NMS fiasco with other big brand social marketers (only one of whom wouldn't have fired NMS). Anyway, it was good day, and I'm looking forward to more today (though I definitely don't need to attend any more of the parties. I'm too old for the loud music and dancing buffoons).

Friday, February 25, 2011

A huge step back in gender relations

According to "A Strange Stirring" author Stephanie Coontz, the best predictors of a man's happiness with his wife are 1) how little criticism he gets and 2) how much sex he gets.

The best predictors of a woman's lack of criticism and sexual attractedness to her husband is how much housework he does.

Essentially what she's saying is the more housework a man does the less his wife will criticize him and the more sex she will give him, thereby making him happy in his relationship. She says it is really that simple. No discussion about support, communication, honesty, economic stability, child-rearing, commonalities, stimulating conversation or emotional connection.

That's the most perjorative, condescending, sexist drivel I have ever heard. Wow. I had hoped we had moved beyond traditional gender roles.

So what say you, dear readers? Is it really that simple? Are those "Porn for Women" books and calendars that accurate?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011