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Showing posts from January, 2015

Let Us Remember - Then Let Us Forget

Auschwitz memorial services are about remembering. Those who forget the past are doomed to see it repeat itself.
But the ultimate point of remembering is forgetting. We want to move on with life and deal with one another in perfect faith, like innocent children who haven't yet learned the terrible ways of the world.
G-d teaches us through example. We ask for forgiveness and are forgiven. It is as if nothing happened.
Unfortunately some people distort G-d's ways out of evil intentions. They deny the past and pretend all is well in the present.
Think critically, and do not be fooled.
___ All opinions my own.

Text of New Cyber-Vandalism Response Toolkit

Disclaimer: This toolkit is only a collection of suggested best practices. No warranty is expressed or implied.

Cyber security for social media should be the #1 concern of anyone communicating online in this way. A federal working group has developed an outstanding guide, useful to any public or private organization. I want to help promote this message and so am cutting and pasting the text below; also posted it to SlideShare. You can customize it for your organization.

DigitalGov's Justin Herman brought the federal working group together; congrats to him and the team: Alla Goldman, Information Sharing Environment, Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Ashley Wichman, GSA; Dan Kenny, GSA Emerging Leader Program; me (I work at NIST); David Hamm, State of Minnesota; Debra Harris, Defense Finance and Accounting Services; Jacob Parcell, GSA; Jessica Milcetich,; Jordan Higgins, Defense Intelligence Agency; Jody Bennett, Department of State; Justin Herman, GSA; Kat Mull…

10 Reasons Not To Miss "The Interview"

Weekends are for movies and if you don't know what to watch the next time you power up Netflix on your Roku, I would highly recommend "The Interview."

Unfortunately the marketing of this movie was so bad that they almost totally ruined my interest in it. But I should have known that if Seth Rogen and James Franco were involved it was going to be a certain kind of funny, and it absolutely was.

Here are 10 reasons you absolutely have to see this movie:

James Franco's portrayal of the host, which is so funny and over-the-top it makes the movie.The screenplay, which is hilarious - these lines are so rich I can't quote them enough: "America tried that before and it didn't work." "That doesn't mean we shouldn't do it again."The intelligent worldview of the movie, which is that wars are just as much fought through communications as guns, that both are equally powerfulThe plot, which allows us to talk about real issues by combining reality an…

How To Fire All The Bureaucrats

Today I had to take care of a small errand and was struck by the inefficiency with which government works:

Before walking in the door, I couldn't figure out which instructions applied to me. I could barely even find them on the website.The appointment system was telephone-based, a frustrating waste of time.Once in the appointment all the forms were paper-based and an ink signature was required.I am familiar with the government tendency to resist change and avoid new technology until it's absolutely impossible to ignore it.

Nobody wants to take a risk and get into trouble.Nobody wants to get automated out of a job.Nobody wants to collaborate if that means losing their power.These are natural human tendencies and I totally understand them. But they're not productive for our society. In the example above:

How much time is going to get wasted manually reviewing and transferring the paper data to a computer system? How many dead PDFs are we going to create and then try to integrat…

A Personal Reflection This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2015 and I should be talking about his vision.

But instead I am thinking more about Malcolm X.

Both men were powerful civil rights leaders. But each espoused a different approach; whereas MLK believed in diplomacy, Malcolm X stood for directness.

(Including his open belief that Jews control the economy and are exploitive of African-Americans, for which he was called anti-Semitic, a charge he denied.)

From The Autobiography of Malcolm X: "A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.""I have been always a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it." Malcolm X was a Muslim and it is his pure sensibility I think we need today to confront the global war against radical Islamic terrorism. He promoted tolerance as a general principle: "I am not a racist. I am against every form of racism and segregation - EVERY form of discrimination. I believe in human beings, an…

"Labor Day," A Chick Flick On Steroids (Filed Under: Kate Winslet)

Last night I had the chance to pick the movie (Netflix) and I went to the "Romantic Movies" section and Andy went "Oh, no...." It was either this or "Jayne Eyre" and I went with this because KATE WINSLET. I say to Andy, "That's Kate Winslet, she was in 'Titanic,'" prompting Andy to say "I hated Titanic" but then, kindly "you did sit through the Zombie show." The movie started off kind of slow but then again as Andy said, "high budget" and I got the feeling it was going to be good. IT WAS GOOD. IT WAS TOTALLY GOOD. I guarantee there is going to be a night when you're sitting around, feeling extremely female and feminine and romantic and womanly and you'll want to watch a truly quality movie on the caliber of "The Notebook" that makes you cry your bleeping head off. WATCH THIS! Andy was making jokes throughout the first part, i.e. "Look I've fallen in love with a criminal" and I w…

Real Branding Is For Worker Bees

The fantasy and fallacy of courses in brand is that consultants work like The Wizard of Oz. You think we stand behind a curtain, flipping switches and pulling levers, cogitating and ruminating. Until, like a pregnant woman, our water breaks. And a fully-formed, living, breathing brand pops out into the world, ready to "rock and roll" and accumulate more and more equity on behalf of its creator. Ha! The truth is, we consultants - client-side or consulting-side - are nothing more than teeny, free-floating space stations in an infinitesimal galaxy of stakeholder planets. And there are many planets in your galaxy, even more than you know. Every time a resident of one of them utters a breath, your brand has been not just represented but re-created. It's like a giant game of Operator. And the impact is magnified by every action these stakeholders take. Remember, it is the experience that defines the brand image in the customers' mind - talk is cheap, actions matter and people j…

The Spitball (a family memory)

A classic Andy Blumenthal story. He wrote about it in his blog but I have to tell you how it went down from where I sat.
We go into the pizza place last night for fries. A bunch of teenagers sits right next to us and they are normal kids - loud.
All of a sudden a spitball lands on Andy's ear. You should have seen his expression, it was like WTF, and I could see he was a little bit startled. He picks up the spitball and we just look at it. 
I'm thinking, uh-oh because if you know Andy you know that sending a spitball his way is not a good idea.
I go "don't worry, they're just kids," etc. typical mom trying to keep the peace.
Suddenly he picks up one of my French fries and his hand is kind of wobbling...before I know it he lets his hand fly and the fries have landed in the kids' camp.
One of the girls in the gang must have said something, I didn't hear it or see her expression, but the Mashgiach (kosher supervisor - who is a kid himself not much older than th…


That elusive, incredibly valuable quality we call a "leadership brand." Really, what we mean is "charisma." What is it? Who has it? How do you get it? Can it be taught, or bought? Or is it something you're born with? As a little girl I used to watch Sunday morning political TV. I remember how the panel went at it on that show,The McLaughlin Group. And they would vote on the issues throughout the show, and at the end. "Issue 1!" John McLaughlin, the host would say, and Eleanor Clift and John Buchanan would go at it. "Issue 2!" then round and round. Always McLaughlin would have the deciding vote, and always he'd be right on in my mind...because you know what? He was electable! Even though McLaughlin was a moderator, asking for the expert opinion of others, he was the real leader. He had that secret ingredient. Very few people have true charisma, which is why so few are electable. In fact it is not something you can teach, buy or acquire. It is so…

Comment: The First 20 Minutes of "Century of the Self: Happiness Machines"



This is a seriously good show. It's going to take me a while to get through, but in just the first few minutes I learned about:

The connection between WWI propaganda and the birth of modern advertising, marketing, branding and public relationsHow "public relations" got its name - as a better-sounding substitute for propagandaHow Freudian theory was used to sell cigarettes to women
If any of this sounds good, I highly recommend watching this show. I'll keep posting comments as I watch it.


All opinions my own.

A Comment On Tim Hill's "Entering The Third Age Of Branding"

Here's the article:

Respectfully - the first and second age of branding, agree were about functional then emotional/symbolic value respectively. The third age of branding, perhaps could be defined age the age of the brand hijack by people (per the book of that name). True we are bombarded by brands and look at them in the context of a total experience. But the point of branding today is to deliver an authentic human experience - almost like buying a friend. This is why employee branding has become primary (because they must believe) and why social media matters (because we talk to each other over the brand's official language - per the Cluetrain Manifesto.)


All opinions my own.

Bookmark This: "Century of the Self"

Just ran across this amazing 4-part BBC series available completely free on Vimeo. It is a study of the use of Freudian theory for the purpose of propaganda.

Part 1: "Happiness Machines"Part 2: "The Engineering Of Consent"Part 3: "There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed"Part 4: "Eight People Sipping Wine In Kettering"
You can also see it as a series of 16 shorter clips on YouTube.

I really like the way Maria Popova summarizes the show in her weekly (free and excellent) newsletter BrainPickings:
" utterly fascinating four-part probe into the depths of consumerism and democracy. Though it focuses primarily on how those in power have used Freud’s theories to manipulate public opinion and perception, the series delves into the richest and most profound layers of 20th century culture, from the hidden mechanisms of advertising to the civil rights movement to the inner workings of political belief systems — all whilst mana…

How You Treat Me When The Chips Are Down

"She has a million excuses for not wanting to get together with me," she said. "Maybe she's actually busy," I replied. "'s the same pattern, over and over again. When the chips are down, she's never there." Because they've studied marketing, so many marketers are completely blind to Branding 101. And the axiom: Our favorite brands are like our friends. There for us in bad times, not just sometimes but primarily. I'll tell you a secret: American Airlines sucks. And if I have any choice about it, I'll fly JetBlue even if the fare is higher. Here's why: Every single flight with JetBlue is like hanging out with your friends. On American you feel like a prisoner doing jail time. Let's start with the employees, because they are the single most important part of every brand equation. JetBlue employees joke around. They give you PopChips and a drink. You get a TV for the duration of the flight. It's delightful to be on board - …

who separates darkness from light

God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. - Genesis 1:3-5The essence of business is honesty. Meaning three things: The conceptual ability to distinguish "valuable" from "valueless."The concrete ability to execute on this and earn money.The moral conscience to earn in a way that ultimately benefits people.(Note: You can have business sense but no conscience, but if that is the case you're ultimately going to be blinded by greed and your business decisions will be bad, because biased.) Not everyone has business sense, but U2's Bono does. The band's "360°" tour was the highest grossing concert series of all time, with gross earnings of $736,421,584 (Wikipedia; event photo by Luka Krstulović). When he isn't singing, Bono spends his time helping the poor, another reflection of his capacity to separate worthwhile time investments from bogus ones. A couple of days ago, while in recovery from a terrible accident, h…