September 30, 2010

30 Days. 30 Bloggers. $11,474.

Through 149 individual donations, we were able to provide 573 people in the Central African Republic with clean water for the next 20 years during our #30water campaign.

That's awesome! Thanks to all of you who donated. I hope you enjoyed learning about an awesome new charity in charity: water as well.

More importantly, I want to remind you to give your money away. I know it's hard. But you'll get addicted to it. It's such good stuff. And if you can find the right charities (exclude Boy Scout fundraisers and Football team raffles), it's amazing what you can do with even a little amount of money.

Go change the world.

September 29, 2010

The Cell Phone is Dying

I'm having a nice dinner with my wife.
I'm taking a nap.
I'm out with my friends.


Oh wait, that's my phone. How is this convenient again? Well, it is convenient to be able to make calls wherever you are. But rarely to receive them.

How often does your phone ring when you think, "Yea! I've been looking to be interrupted!"? No, much more likely, you go, "Ugh, I'm not walking the 10 ft. over to the table to see who it is."

That's why I like the idea of texting to set up a phone call, but my friends still think that's weird. It may be weird, but I bet it's the future.

September 28, 2010

I Scared a Police Officer Yesterday

They're doing construction in my building, so he didn't hear me walking behind him. I was looking down and flipping through e-mails on my black cell phone, when he must have felt my presence. He glanced behind at me, and instantly stumbled forward while reaching for his belt.

Then he quickly composed himself and said, "Good morning." I replied with the same and didn't realize what had happened until a few seconds later.

He thought I was holding a gun.

Now, let's run this out to its inevitable conclusion. Because these policemen rightfully have their eyes out for suspicious things (someone carrying a gun). Yet, if you look around the college campus I work at, 99% of students are walking around, heading to class, head down, eyes on their phone. If this policeman got confused, somebody, somewhere, is going to try banning black cell phones for national security reasons.

As far as scaring a police officer, yeah, it felt pretty good.

September 27, 2010

How to Make Something Go Viral

This is probably one of the most popular questions I receive from my clients.
"How can we make something go viral?"

Well, you can't. You can't make something become insanely successful. That's why Hollywood makes so many bad movie every year. Because it's really hard to guess what the masses are going to love.

But the odds are it's not going to be some cheesy promotional video about your product...unless you're Old Spice. So, all you can do is go one of these two routes, and hope for the best.

#1. Be hilarious.
For something to become viral, it needs to have mass appeal. Not sophisticated humor. Not impress your buddy with how clever we are. Think physical comedy. Think someone falling down. Think 3 Stooges. Think "surprise".

#2. Be captivating.
Ok Go's music videos all go viral. And none are really funny. They're simply extremely elaborate. You can't take your eyes of them.

Your product isn't that compelling. Your market isn't that broad. So, you have to do a 1-off of your traditional market messaging to have any chance of going viral. And like Old Spice, brand it well so that your benefits come across while being either hilariously funny or genuinely captivating.

September 24, 2010

Non-Unionized Union Workers

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Working Stiffed
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Thank you The Daily Show for pointing out inconsistency wherever you find it. This is a MUST-SEE clip.

Note: you will find this creepy and slightly uncomfortable.

September 23, 2010

Raffles: An Even Odds Gambling Fallacy

I don't like raffles.

I don't like pools where you don't pick your team. I don't like the lottery.

But I like "gambling" as investment. As long as my winning is dependent on my intellectual superiority, I'm in. Otherwise, where's the fun?

September 22, 2010

Jumping to the Wrong Conclusions

People in bad marriages don't like hearing you're in a good one.

In fact, your good marriage, rather than convincing them that a good marriage is indeed possible, may wrongly convince them they simply married the wrong person.

30 Bloggers. 30 Days. $30,000 Update.

So far, we have provided 460 people clean water for the next 20 years. Think about that. Simply ridiculously awesome. 1 week to go...

September 21, 2010

Wedding Tips for Guests and Future Participants

The next time you're at a wedding, when the bride's coming down the aisle...look at the groom's face.

Typically my favorite part of the wedding. And you can learn a lot from it.

Me? Oh, I was bawling at that moment during mine.

Which leads me to Tip #2 if you're not married yet. Don't take pictures beforehand. That moment is too magical to ruin it by seeing your future spouse ahead of time.

September 20, 2010

Twitter Doesn’t Suck. You Suck.

You might not understand Twitter. But, that doesn't mean it sucks. In fact, let's get over that whole crazy Luddite judgmental attitude toward technology we don't currently utilize or understand.

If 160 million people are using something, trust that these people must be finding value in it. (Seriously, I've never played Farmville, but it has to be awesome/addictive for so many people to play it)

"Oh, you tweet stupid status updates about how you're 'going to the bathroom.' Twitter is stupid!"

Ok, no one does that. In fact, Twitter is far more professional than Facebook. And that's what I see Twitter as. A networking tool. Facebook helps you stay in contact with people you already know. Twitter helps you meet people based on like interests you would never have met in the outside world.

I've made new friends on Twitter. I've gotten new clients on Twitter. And yes, I started following celebrities on Twitter, and now, host a podcast with a leading Hollywood writer.

Twitter doesn't suck. You suck.  So, shut up and come follow me.

September 17, 2010

Parenthood: Season 1

Parenthood: Season 1 was one of the best seasons of television I've ever watched. But, again, through bad marketing, it created faulty expectations among potential viewers, including me. And it's why I've only caught up just now, right as season two begins.

Last fall, you may have seen Parenthood preview commercials about a guy scared of his over-excited girlfriend wanting to have a baby. You may have seen a mother embarrassing her children outside a school.

But, the show is not a comedy. Well, it's funny. But, it's West Wing funny. Hilarious. But, it's a flat-out drama. Heart-wrenching. Beautifully written. Extraordinarily educational for current and future parents.

Where do I rank this show. It's Office: Season 2 good. It's West Wing: Seasons 1-3 good. It's Parks and Recreation: Season 2 good.  It's that good. Check it out.

You have just been evangelized to.