I don’t care about Black Friday. I say Christmas season starts the day the tree comes home from the farm…
Tech, Sports, Marketing, Politics, Start-ups: not always in that order.
I don’t care about Black Friday. I say Christmas season starts the day the tree comes home from the farm…
So with my sister due to give birth any moment – or not for another week – I’ve had a chance to revert back to the way people used to communicate, via phone. It made me think about a few things.
1) The whole social media experiment breaks down when there are a few weak links in the network. Once you realize Aunt Betty doesn’t have an always on internet connection, the phone needs to be part of the plan again.
2) Without an efficient one-to-many communication system, poor dad is stuck repeating the same message over and over to everyone who calls.
So here’s what a digitally savvy couple needs in order to communicate with both their digitally savvy and non-digitally savvy family and friends.
Any other thoughts? What would make communication more efficient?
Now I’m just waiting for my #ParkaParty avatar to arrive…….
In the meantime, here’s a fun little Flickr slideshow from the web site to show some of the folks who have donated.
It appears the time has come – or maybe it had already – in which clever entrepreneurial types can more easily game the social media system.
Now that we’re a good 4 to 6 years into companies leveraging social marketing programs, we’ve finally infiltrated the marketing directors who still don’t quite get the concept of building meaningful relationships. We’re reaching a few decision makers who want quick fix solutions and simple metrics that don’t really correlate to anything actionable.
This article from Social Media Today talks about the proliferation of social scoring. In concept, it seems like a natural evolution. Why pay the same CPM to reach everyone, when you can pay a little higher CPM, but buy fewer impressions, to just reach the people who matter most?
But I think the principle breaks down when you take into account that once you use some arbitrary calculation such as “Klout” score, you have – by definition – developed a real world game in which the prizes are monetary. Rather than spend our time on some casual puzzle game, why wouldn’t we develop ways that we can get on Virgin’s VIP list.
This “Game-ification” of our online lives is not a new concept. Scott Dodson talks of it in a very eloquent and interesting manner. But once we’re using our social profiles, or creating alternate social profiles, to try to game retailers and get on their influencer list, we start to see the business benefits of social media breakdown.
It seems to me that soon we’ll start to see a separation between companies run by marketing directors who are managing social programs with made up metrics, and those who actually understand their customer base. And if you find a company with the former, go run up your Klout score and get free stuff…
Here’s wishing that everyone has a safe, enjoyable and warm Thanksgiving.
Pretty amazing play here, to get Encino (Calif.) Crespi High into the State Playoffs.
It’s a cold, miserable gray day, which is fitting given the reason we are all congregating together.
I’m not sure what to expect when I park my car in the Mariners lot south of the stadium, walk down the stairs, and cross the street to the southwest corner of the stadium.
We’ve all been to this place a hundred times, but never with our heads full of these emotions or these thoughts. We’ve never entered this place without knowing what to expect, or not knowing how to act.
It doesn’t take very long to realize this is going to be a tough environment to maintain composure. Right at the front gate, a small memorial has been created. Notes and flowers from fans, a few rye bread, salami and mustard sandwiches, and some handwritten notes from fans to Dave Niehaus, the man they are here to pay respects to. There’s a large posterboard from Seattle’s biggest fan, Big Lo, “I put away the Mustard, I put away the rye, I put away my Mariners shirt, and now the My oh My. Thank you Dave. You will be missed.”
It’s hard to stare too long at any one item, or even the shrine, for fear of losing it. And so I go inside the stadium, foolishly thinking it could possibly be less emotional inside the actual temple of the game itself.
Inside it’s dark, and just as cold. The roof is closed. There’s really only one thing to see – the line. A single file line starts at home plate, extends on the edge of the field parallel to the first base line, makes a right turn at 1st base and heads up to the concourse, where it makes another right turn and goes back toward home plate, then down the 3rd base concourse, and all the way down to left field.
The crowd is made up of fans of all ages. 60 year olds who saw the first game in the Kingdome, 7 year olds who don’t know why their parents have brought them. Men, women, couples, they are all represented.
The place is pretty quiet – it’s hard to talk when you are biting on your lip. You hear a few memories being shared. But mostly we all just wait in line. It gives us a lot of time to reflect. There’s no rationale for the 2 hours we’ll meander in line, just to get a few seconds in front of a makeshift memorial at home plate.
But this death is bigger than a memorial for a single man, a single icon. It’s an inflection point in the lives of all baseball fans in the Pacific Northwest. Baseball is unique, because when we walk in a stadium to watch a lousy 2010 Mariners team, we’re not really there for Michael Saunders. We’re there to remember and share stories about the time we saw Ken Griffey’s first Mariners at bat, or when we jumped fences to get out of the $3.00 General Admission section, or when we ignored our dates the last 3 innings of Randy Johnson’s no-hitter.
When we weren’t at the game, listening to Dave reminded us that we needed to get back to the stadium soon, that we were missing out by doing whatever else we were doing.
But more importantly, listening to Dave put us back in a place when it was ok to bring our glove to the game. Because we listened to Dave when a 7pm game meant having your mom pick up your 3 friends at 4pm so we could be there for batting practice at 5pm.
And so now we’ll have two eras – Dave and Post-Dave. The Post-Dave era begins now, a definitive moment on a timeline that we hoped would be infinite. We all had to grow up a little while we stood in that line. For folks my age, our baseball grandfather had passed away. The connection between us and the grand old stories of baseball past.
We don’t get to pretend we’re young anymore. The grand old stories of the past now include 1995, Gaylord Perry and Diego Segui, and we’ve suddenly become the caretakers of them. We’re not learners anymore, we’re teachers, and I’m not sure I was ready for that switch.
But back to Safeco for a moment, where nearly 2 hours after beginning my trip in line, I get to the makeshift shrine. It has some fantastic pieces of history, including the scorebook from the first game, and Dave’s Hall of Fame plaque. And I don’t know what to do. Do I take a picture? Do I smile? What’s the respectful thing to do? what I want to do is just stand and absorb everything I’m feeling, and channel it into some sort of productive emotion. But there are another 1000 people behind me in line, so I have but seconds, not the hours I would need.
Dave’s family stands next to the shrine, along with his long-time broadcast partner Rick Rizzs. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to stand there for 4 hours and shake hands with 3,500 people you’ve never met, all of whom want to share the pain of your loss, even though they’ve never met the man themselves. It must be the most complex, insane, yet gratifying feeling to see how many people cared about a person you were so close to.
The whole of the two hours was too much for me, and while I don’t break down inside the stadium, the sheer force of trying to control those emotions probably wrecks my psyche for a week. But it is clear I am not alone in my struggles. Everywhere I look, grown men are looking away at walls or the ceiling, in an obvious attempt to hide their wet eyes from their wives, sons and grandkids. Women are more willing to let the tears flow.
And then it is time to leave. I want to stay longer, because the next time I enter the stadium it will feel different. It won’t be the same safe house from my memories, and all connection to the Kingdome will be lessened. The next time I come in, it will be someone else’s house, with a different spirit, a different feel.
Eventually, reluctantly, slowly, I walk out of the stadium. I pass the shrine again. And I cross the street without looking back.
Thanks KIRO-710 AM for putting this montage together. Hard to think of anyone in the city whose death would touch such a wide range of people.
If you’ve had conversation with me lately, you’ve probably had to hear me tell the tale of Niki, the Senior JV player who got called up to varsity for the last game of her senior year for Senior Night, and got in a fun 15 minutes of play at the end.
Well, the story gets better. Here’s a story from the Seattle Times from last night’s Girls High School State Tournament:
Defending Champs Skyline Advances | Girls 4A State Soccer
SAMMAMISH — Fresh off its ascent to the No. 1 spot in the nation, top-ranked Skyline immediately went out and validated that status.
Two quick first-half goals and stout defense propelled the Spartans one step closer to their third consecutive Class 4A state championship with a 5-0 win over Mount Rainier in Tuesday’s first round of the state playoffs at Skyline High School.
Junior forward Michelle Bretl scored her first high-school hat trick and has four goals in the postseason for Skyline (17-0). She leads the team with 15 goals this season.
The Spartans’ depth showed, as well. Reserve Niki Gerlach, a senior playing in her second varsity match after a last-minute roster switch when Nicole Candioglos came up ill, booted in a rebound shot in the 78th minute. Gerlach, listed on the roster as a team manager, had been playing on the junior varsity.
“With Niki, it’s kind of a fun story,” said Skyline coach Don Braman. “On Senior Night, she had an assist and nearly scored a goal and was kicking herself, so it was fun to see her stick one in the net. She has worked hard.”
If you’ve ever sat on the sidelines and wondered why you are putting in all that effort for no guaranteed payout, this should remind you.
So I’ve seen way more college football than I expected to this year. In addition to more Husky games than usual, accompanying a graduating senior on some college tours gave me the chance to catch games at WSU and Oregon. A few quick notes:
Anyway, every year I throw out a stupid idea for the BCS, and this year I’m early. I’ve shifted my opinions some for a simple reason. College Presidents love the Bowl system. Think about it. If you are the President of Penn State, every year your team will make SOME bowl. And for 2 weeks in the middle of cold-ass December/January, instead of being bunked up in Happy Valley, you get an all expense paid vacation to someplace warm. For 2 weeks, you and your 100 closest friends get to live the high life in a place that isn’t under 12 feet of snow. Why on earth would you ever give that up for a playoff system?
So my focus this year is not on the BCS schools. It’s on the non-BCS conferences that always feel screwed. Here’s what I say to you.
You need to be flexible. And you need a “Champions” League.
If you want a National Championship shot, you need to make sure all your top teams have a harder schedule. But the big guys won’t play you. So you need to get creative.
All of you non BCS conferences need to split into 6 team mini-conferences for football. So you play 5 “conference games.” Then, all the top non-BCS conference teams roll into a 7 team “Champions League.” So your schedule looks like this:
Why do this? Well here would be the 7 team gauntlet for the non-BCS Champions League if we implemented that today:
Now tell me that if Boise St or TCU runs the table with all the best teams from all the best non-BCS conferences, that they don’t deserve a spot in the Big Show?
Anyway, that’s this year’s dumb idea.
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