Happy New Year 2014

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A Big Thanks to Cheez-It For Sending Me a Great Holiday Present ** Social Media Changes the World

It is a very exciting time that we are living in, with the advent of all different forms of social media a person like me can catch they eye of The Kellogg Company and have them send me not only a Holiday present but also a House Warming gift. How did this happen? I guess I mentioned a few times that I loved Cheez-It and someone from Cheez-It/Kellogg’s contacted me and asked if they could send me some gifts in appreciation for showing them the love. Pics are below of what they sent and their new product #Grooves is really good!

I am excited for the day when more people, people of power and influence, understand what can be done with social media. How they can make better products, satisfy people’s needs better. That day will come and I am going to help get us there!

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GAME CHANGE: Social Media Trounces Traditional Media — Beyonce Style

Image 123I don’t think most people understand the impact of what Beyonce did; I see it as a complete game changer and something that will change media, advertising, PR forever. For those that aren’t aware Beyonce created a new album and released it along with videos for each song. The album was released on iTunes and sold 600,000 units in one week in the U.S. and over a million worldwide. Why is this so significant and exciting? She did no media tour, there was no advertising blitz, no sitting down with Dave, Jay and the rest. The album’s success was all from social media. All from tweets, Tumbler, Facebook. Word spread like wildfire and her album is already the second most downloaded on iTunes for all of 2013. I can’t overstate how important this is and what a huge change it is from the tradition way people sold things. The book tours, the endless interviews, the press events. In 1995 Sony spent over $45million to promote Michael Jackson’s HIStory album. This release cost nothing.

We really are at a turning point with this kind of success with social media. Now, of course, everyone isn’t Beyonce and doesn’t have the audience and fans that she does, but it is a look into the future. Social media and what comes after it will be the driving forces in advertising and publicity. Even with me, I have this blog and my twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare accounts and they all have strong followings. I don’t have a media conglomerate behind me, but yet I can get global readers. Global response to my tweets.

The possibilities are endless. The day will come where people look to social media, and what evolves from it, for their news and any information they want to know about. In the future we won’t be stuck paying for 700 channels we don’t watch, we will be able to pick and choose what we want to see and what we want to pay for. Beyonce doesn’t realize it but she has single handedly turned the advertising industry on its head.

Most companies don’t understand the impact that social media could have for them. We are at the dawn of what will be a revolutionary time. As we saw, the Arab Spring all came about by social media. Direct communication between stores and their customers can lead to a better experience and more revenue. Every business can benefit from social media.

I am very excited about this, it has huge implications for the future and I for one am glad I am a part of it. Congrats Beyonce and stay tuned, a lot more to come from me!

Sunday Talk Shows News Media #MTP Reviews and Commentary

ImageYou might ask yourself why I watch Meet the Press when I am so critical of it. The answer to that is simple; MTP had been the gold standard for many years; it spawned an entire industry. It should be the best and it simply isn’t. David Gregory is a horrible moderator who always seems more interested in getting his point across rather than learning new information from his guests. His ultimate goal is to make news on  the show, to garner publicity. This is not an admirable goal for an alleged ‘journalist’ to have. It’s obvious MTP is having problems in the ratings by the way they keep switching around their format, sometimes different every week. The panel is there, then they sit there while other guests are being interviewed, then they come back. This isn’t shaking things up, this is providing an inconsistent and often incoherent format. I am just happy that Gregory has stopped trying to push that web extra he has sometime during the week. Another knock at MTP, they are relying too much on NBC/MSNBC talent and should seek opinions of others. A month or so ago they had Chris Matthews, whom I enjoy watching, on shamelessly promoting his new book.

Today’s show was disappointing, as most have been. Gregory had an interview with Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) on to discuss the U.S. and Global Economy. Lagarde talked about strong growth and low unemployment in the U.S. now and thinks 2014 will be stronger. Gregory doesn’t ask, know, or understand why the U.S. unemployment rate is 7.0%. Lagarde, a so called expert, thinks the rate will lower next year to the mid 6% range. Now, how can you live in the U.S. and not know all of the questioning of that official rate. How can you not ask the expert, who also doesn’t seem to know, how accurate that rate is. I have heard and read so many estimates about the real unemployment rate, the real number of unemployed people. I have heard ranges of 13% – 28% unemployment rate. Longterm unemployment, I have heard a low of 4 million (the official U.S. government rate) to a high of 89 million. The exact number isn’t the point, what the point is is that we have a longterm unemployment crisis. Our expert shoo-shoos and dismisses it. Gregory is more interested in if Lagarde will run for president of France. This could have been such an opportunity to have her, or some other economists, on and ask, what’s going on. What are the real numbers. What will it take to get these people back to work. But no, it’s just a waste of people’s time to watch. NBC News you can do better.  Your Grade: D

We switch over to CNN where some of my favorite anchors are. I like Candy Crowley, and I really like Barbara Starr! They are both bright women who report the news well and ask good questions. CNN has been going through lots of changes recently. They got rid of one of their best talent, Soledad O’Brien, I think she is great and should have been kept on. Try getting rid of Peirs, Wolf, and many others!

Then we switch to Reliable Sources, which I usually watch while typing emails. This morning they were talking about that Neanderthal from that duck show. I have tried to not mention him or the show because I believe in not giving any publicity to people I think are despicable. On Reliable their were 3 guests talking about the uproar and how it was so blown out of proportion. And also that he articulated what many Americans believe in homosexuality from the bible. First off, do you feel the same way about anyone that’s been divorced, anyone who works on Sunday, anyone who disagrees with the notion that blacks should be slaves and women should be property? Or do you cherry pick from the bible and only hold gays out for ridicule. Newt Gingrich, married 3 times, how could anyone that believes in the bible not have a problem with him? What is the most despicable about the comments from the star of the show is his talking about sin, talking about homosexuality in the same breath as bestiality. If you are a true bible thumper and outspokenly shun your divorced friends, ostracize people who have affairs, refuse to associate with people who work on Sundays, your words might have some credibility. But they don’t, because I haven’t seen anyone do those things. Freedom of speech? Sure, I am all for it. But, when you work for and are representing a company you can’t always say everything that pops in your head. Otherwise that company, only concerned w their bottom line, might fire you. Me? I am self employed so I can say anything I want.

Getting back to the Sunday shows. I think George Stephenopolous is one of the best interviewers out there so I haven’t watched his show yet. I also think Chris Wallace gives an excellent interview and haven’t watched him yet.

We deserve a better news media.

The War on Christmas ** White Jesus and Santa ** And Other Hypocritical Things

IMG_1835I wonder if the people over at Fox News make things up just to rile up their audiences and boost their ratings. Or is it just the stupidity of the people who work there who come out with these statements. In the Santa is White piece Megyn Kelly was obviously not kidding when she said both Santa and Jesus were white. Is that small mindedness, coming from such an insular place that the thought of Jesus as being blonde blue eyed and white is just a given; the thought he could have been something else just too far out of the question? I don’t think her statement was racist, I think it was ignorant. I don’t watch Megyn Kelly, so I can’t comment too much on her performance or attitude but from what I did see, it looked like an insecure over compensating young woman making a fool of herself. I am thinking that a Jew in the Middle East wasn’t white.  And from something I read it said the bible (which I have never read) never once refers to Jesus’s looks. And this is so everyone would feel embraced by him.

The War on Christmas? This has to be just something Fox thought up to rile people up. There are a few aspects of this nonsense. One is seeing the 10 Commandments in government buildings — if you will recall our government is based on the separation of church and state. But, I see nothing wrong with places like the White House having a nice big Christmas tree and also having a Menorah. But, what really gets people, Fox people, riled up is that they think it’s un-PC to say Merry Christmas. They think saying those words are seen as discrimination against those that don’t celebrate Christmas. Guess what? It’s fine to say Merry Christmas, there is nothing wrong or offensive about saying that to others who celebrate Christmas. So, no, there is no war. Bring it on and keep saying it. I said it today to my PT. What I prefer to say, for me, is Happy Holidays. Why? Because I don’t know what everyone’s religion and beliefs are, the New Year is also a Holiday so to me Happy Holidays covers everything and everyone. But that’s me. Anyone else can make up their own mind.

I’ve noticed something extremely hypocritical recently, coming from the left. Whereas most on the left demonize, with good reason, the tea party, they are following a similar trajectory. I have noticed people on the left freaking out if you criticize President Obama at all. To me that’s just complete bullshit. If you criticize him for his policies and how he carries them out that’s fine. If you are in the GOP and only want to see Obama fail, that means you want to see our Country fail. If you want to see our Country fail you should move out of this fabulous Country, renounce your citizenship and be gone. If on the other hand you bring up criticism of the president that could make the Country better that is a good thing in my book. Those that can’t handle criticism of Barack Obama need to get a life. No one is above criticism. You can think what I am saying now is complete bull shit, and if you do please comment on that and I, with an open mind will rethink my positions. If you respond by saying “you are a fuckhead and have stupid opinions” I won’t pay attention.

Our goal should always be to make life better for people, especially people who live here in the U.S.  I call on anyone who is reading this to try to do something to better the people in our Country. It might be a tweet that inspires others. It might be saying let’s sit down and work this out. I have my blog and other social media accounts to make life better; not to increase traffic or be more popular.

This time of year is the time we should reach out to the needy, help who we can and stop with the idiotic self inflicted internal wars. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and more importantly a Happy 2014. No, this isn’t my last posting of the year. Just wanted to wish those that are reading this some good cheer.

Mid Week Round Up ** Fed ** Walt ** Iran ** Healthcare

IMG_0095I just noticed I haven’t written a posting in a long time.  So it’s time for me to weigh in on what’s been going on the last week or so. First let me start with Walt Mossberg being let go by the Wall Street Journal, today was his last column. I met Walt once, when I was working at WSJ he came and spoke to the advertising sales team. He started his column in 1991 when no one but techies were writing about technology. His weekly piece was to talk technology to a non-technology audience. Brilliant actually, especially so early on. Over the years he became a first read and his opinions well respected. I read every review he wrote about products I was thinking of buying. I have tremendous respect for Walt and I think this is a very bad move on the Journal’s part. I hope he lands somewhere soon, I will continue to seek his advice.

The Fed tapering off the quantitative easing because the job market is showing strength? That’s such bull shit, the job market is weak and fragile, unemployment is at crisis levels. For more details look back at other postings on here, I don’t feel like going through my views on the job market. All I can say is that anyone who thinks the jobs market shows strength is delusional.

Iran? I don’t buy their game. Not to sound like John McCain but I don’t think we should ease any sanctions on them until we have verifiable proof that they are destroying their nuclear program. They say they want nukes for energy, yet what they are building are nukes for at a grade that’s for weapons not energy. Not to mention they are sitting on one of the largest reserves of oil in the world. Where did I read that line about a young naive president so eager to make a deal with Iran that he would make a bad deal. I think that’s what is happening.

Healthcare? Ok, this is such a huge cluster fuck it’s difficult to sort it out. The GOP is staking everything on bringing down ObamaCare. Since  the Obama administration did such a horrible job explaining the new law they handed the GOP the gift of lying up a storm and scaring people to death. The GOP is winning this war right now; which is amazing since the alternative is no healthcare. The botched roll out with the website made things so much worse. And president Obama being caught lying about keeping your doctor if you want is a blow he might never recover from. Now, if we get back to healthcare itself we should know why this law is good. How is it helping people? I have been on the site and have no idea which plan would be appropriate. I have spoken to a few of my doctors, they have no idea what to do about ACA, which carriers they would accept and which they wouldn’t. When you go on the site it’s not like shopping for Aetna v United Healthcare; it’s more like choosing between Joe’s healthcare v Pinewood. It’s hard to pick your health insurance when not one name is familiar. The point should be better healthcare and a lower cost. I have not seen that yet.  I hope to though.

More to come!

The Stupidity “Makes Me Wanna Scream” #Jobs #Economy

IMG_0290I just sat thru a discussion on @CNN where Candy Crowley was talking about the economy and if we had turned a corner to prosperity. She had 3 guests on, an economist from Moody’s, an economic writer for the New York Times and a financial campaign advisor. All the guests agreed that the economy is on the mend, they haven’t felt this strongly about job growth in years and basically think we are getting back on our feet. How can people be so ill informed; especially when they work for the leading companies in the world and are economic analysts? As Michael and Janet said, ‘it makes me wanna Scream!!’

In addition to the uninformed information they were discussing, the economist from Moody’s mentioned how consumer confidence is up (people spend more when confidence is up); not 4 minutes later Candy, not contradicting the economist, brings up a CNN/ORC poll showing if people think the Country is going in the right track or wrong track (similar if not identical to Consumer Confidence); their most recent poll shows in September 50% of the Country thought we were headed in the wrong track. Today? That number has climbed to 59% of the Country thinks the economy is getting worse. This is in line with most current polling and completely contradicts the Moody’s economist.

When they finally get around to talking about longterm unemployment, they say we should do something about it. The jobs reports have shown no decrease in the number of unemployed or longterm unemployed people in 3 years. I am not an economist and I can see why the official unemployment rate keeps dropping.  Why can’t real live economists come on and explain this in a way probably better than I can. The unemployment monthly survey only lists unemployed people if they are looking for work. Millions have been so discouraged with their job search that they have stopped looking. When they stop looking they are not considered unemployed; thus the rate drops to 7.0%. If the overall amount of unemployed people is the same as it was 3 years ago when the unemployment rate was 9.5% the only reason for the drop in the rate is people stopping looking for work because there aren’t any jobs out there.

A few other tidbits glossed over or ignored:

  • Creating 200,000 jobs per month has never been considered a strong number. It’s always been considered a break even number – the number you need to keep up with population growth. Now they are talking about 200,000 jobs created as a miracle.
  • We are still about 2 million jobs short of where we were in 2007.
  • The new jobs that are created pay significantly less than the jobs that were lost after 2008. To the tune of families earning 2/3 less than they were earning.
  • 23 million people are involuntarily working part time because there aren’t enough full time positions available.

It’s a sad state when you turn on a news program on CNN and hear economic opinions from Moody’s and The New York Times and have it be so half assed and incorrect that you might as well be watching Fox News! There is a reason 59% of the Country is pessimistic about our economic future. It would be nice if they had accurate information.

I think I need my own TV show or station to give people what they need to hear. Not what they want to hear.