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Archive for March, 2010

Procrastination On A New Level

It is very likely if you are reading this blog, you are participating in the American past-time of procrastination. You do it. I do it. All of us have done it at least once, today. Unfortunately, I chose to procrastinate on three aspects of my life, regarding: my eyes, my teeth, my body.

I finally acted on arranging appointments to my eye doctor, my dentist, and my physician. It had been over two years since my last eye check, four and a half years since my last dentist visit, and over seven years since my last physical. It is pretty embarrassing to admit that, considering that I have been covered by insurance fo all three types of treatment for the last year and a half.

Remember: preventative care is usually covered 100%. Cost should not be a factor.

Unfortunately, for part of the time period where I did not go on my checkups, cost was the only factor.

I was in college for a large part of my hiatus, and not covered by insurance. My income came from a weekend bartending and serving job that paid the bills, and allowed me to live comfortably in a college town. Did I have the money to get a regular physical, or an eye exam, or a regular cleaning? Absolutely. I chose not to spend my money on maintaining my health. It was something that could be pushed back until I was covered by insurance.

I chose to procrastinate on maintaining myself. Today was the day of reckoning.

Earlier this month, I finally had my eyes examined, only to find that I needed a new prescription. Could this have been caught earlier? Yes. I chose to procrastinate.

Today, I finally had a physical, which as of now, went well. I am awaiting the results of multiple blood tests for such things as cholesterol, diabetes, among others. If something does come back wrong, could I have prevented this with going to regular checkups? Very possibly. I chose to procrastinate.

Also today, I went to the dentist. To sum up that experience in a few words: there is a saying: ‘put your money where your mouth is.’ That is exactly what I will be doing, as my money will no longer be in my bank account. There is no need to ask the question; yes, this could have been prevented with regular checkups. I chose to procrastinate.

Because of my procrastination from years past, which had me believing that I can use my money to party, eat out all the time, buy frivolous material items, I am paying far more in terms of my health, and many times more in terms of dollars.

Procrastination is never worth it. Never. Especially when it comes to your health.

The lesson to be learned here: if it has been longer than a year since your last checkup of any kind, get checked out immediately. Your small short-term investment may save you thousands in the long run, or even your life.

~J

@jasondouglas

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Minneapolis, St. Paul, Thank You! Now, Let’s Collaborate!

March 18, 2010 5 comments

Yesterday was one of the more interesting and fulfilling days I have had as a professional. Most of us know about #Unfollowgate. If not; check out my previous post on #Unfollowgate and its impact on the Minneapolis and St. Paul online community.

Between the hundreds of views, 18 comments, numerous public tweets, re-tweets, even more direct messages, and even some text messages and calls, the outpouring of support for me was astonishing. Thank you all very much for that.

I want to get away from #Unfollowgate and move onto the larger issue: how to make the Minneapolis and St. Paul online community more collaborative, more unified, and considered as a true leader in the online marketing space.

I have been going over what Chris Brogan said when he was here at the Minnesota Business/Reputations event, about our shortcomings as a community. It would have been easy for him to say ‘Minneapolis/St. Paul, y’all are great! Keep Truckin’!’ for a cheap pop. He did not do that, and I thank him for that. For him to say (paraphrasing) ‘you have the talent here, you don’t have the collaborative atmosphere’, and to call out Pittsburgh as his numer one community was gutsy. He travels and connects with enough people from each community where I trust his opinion more than others.

This should be a wake up call for our community. We do have the talent, we have the case studies, we have the clients, we have the passion (as was shown yesterday). How do we combine all that and more to help our community move to the head of the online marketing class?

Let’s start a discussion answering a few questions. As a community:

  • What are we doing right?
  • What are we doing wrong?
  • What are your concerns about the state of online marketing?
  • What do we want to do?
  • Where do we want to go?

Minneapolis, St. Paul, metro area, Minnesota: your thoughts?

#Unfollowgate: How This Effects The Minneapolis/St. Paul Online Community

March 17, 2010 31 comments

True story. There is Watergate, Monicagate and numerous other ‘gates’. There has been no ‘gate’ that has captivated my attention. There has been no ‘gate’, until today that I have been involved in, until #unfollowgate.

In the last couple months, I have noticed certain people who have been quick to comment on certain tweets I have sent out. Monitoring the situation, I evaluated what I was sending, was it useful, entertaining and/or relevant? I overanalyze most everything in my life, so adding this to my plate was not ideal. Regardless, I never want to offend anyone, and try my best to be conscious of what I say.

That did not help.

This morning, I had someone tweet the following:

I just unfollowed @jasondouglas Checking in at work on FourSquare violates my view of ICEE #NothingPersonal.

I was shown this by a co-worker, who was as stunned as me. Being unfollowed is not uncommon. Being called out and made an example of to the world over something as petty as checking in on Foursquare where I work however, is bothersome.

Before moving forward, for those who do not know what ICEE stands for, here are the definitions:

  • Inspire
  • Connect
  • Entertain
  • Educate

All of the above are great rules to abide by when tweeting. It would be nice to have your tweet achieve all of the above. It is more difficult to inspire, connect, entertain, and educate in 140 characters than the average person would assume.

What is gained by calling someone out for not following your interpretation of the above ‘rules’? Isn’t unfollowing someone the opposite of connecting?

One person tweeted this to the unfollower:

so then what tweets don’t Inspire Connect Entertain or Educate? I think that covers any kind of tweet thats been written.

Agreed. I find it difficult to not achieve one of the four ICEE guidelines in any tweet that myself and any other Twitter user has ever sent.

In my experience in the social media community, I have been met with open arms by almost everyone I have connected with online and in real life. I have built and am building some great relationships with people I would not have been connected to if not for social media.

When someone calls me out, uses my name, and accuses me of not being inspiring, not being a connector, not entertaining, and not educating — all the while telling me it is not personal — I strongly disagree with that. Online or off, when you use someone’s name and use accusatory language, no matter how subjective it is, you have made it a personal attack.

This is why I monitor the conversation around my name in most every online channel. I need to make sure that my name is not being smeared by anyone. This is something I highly recommend doing ASAP; check to see what comes up in search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others; see if there are any groups or fan pages created talking about you or people with the same name. Make sure you own your name. You are a brand.

Once the above tweet was sent out, I had 20 DMs in my inbox within the first five minutes asking if this was real. Unfortunately, it is.

When I attended the Minnesota Business/LaBreche Reputations event with guest Chris Brogan last month. Brogan made a statement about the Minneapolis and St. Paul online marketing community: We do not collaborate, we are too exclusive. It is a lot easier to fight a war with a large army. By not working together, the MSP area is not at the top of the online marketing communities where it belongs.

Behavior that I experienced today is exactly what Brogan was talking about. The MSP community does not benefit from someone trying to throw someone under the bus for self promotion. That is not how an individual becomes a true influencer. Any community that has people like that actively participating in the community is not a healthy community. If the MSP community wants to become a legitimate leading community, behavior like this must cease.

After numerous tweets from my army supporting me (thank you all :-))  the person tweeted the following:

“I won’t be publicizing my ICEE theory removes. Tweets should Inspire Connect Entertain Educate. Apparently is causing a stir.”

I wish he had thought of that before attempting to humiliate me.

I feel sad knowing our great community took a step back yesterday. I hope that our community learns from this and are able to take two steps forward.

This is not the first #Unfollowgate in the history of Twitter. I want to hear your #Unfollowgate story. How was it handled on both sides? Was there a reconciliation?

~J

So My Mom Joined ‘Tweeter’… I mean Twitter…

March 12, 2010 4 comments

I believe my Mom meant Twitter; I am going with that anyway.

Two days ago, my Mom and I were talking about random topics. Suddenly, I hear her slip in ‘so I joined Twitter today… I’m following you…’. I did a double take when Mom said that. It was in fact true, my Mom was the newest person on Twitter!

For a moment, I was excited to hear this. I thought it would be a good way for my Mom to get involved in the social media world. I then thought “oh crap! My Mom can stalk me on here!”

It made me think for a minute: am I the only one with a parent on Twitter? I did a twitpoll about it, of which had surprising results. Of the 13 respondents, eight had a parent on Twitter. That seemed like a high number to me. I know that many of my friends have parents on Twitter; the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is the 35+ group. On Twitter, my perception is that it was a community dominated by youth. That perception is becoming more wrong by the day.

With my Mom on Twitter, it will not be a game changer. She has no idea how to tweet. Yes, she can look at my stream, then question me about it later, or ask about what my friends are saying, or ask what RT means. I welcome her to the community, and hope that they welcome her with open arms.

I hope she knows what she got herself into 🙂

~J

My Academy Award Winning Oscar Speech

March 8, 2010 3 comments

People always have those moments where you act as if you were the batter in the World Series, 3 balls, 2 strikes, 2 outs, bases loaded, down by three. Of couse you hit a grand slam, duh! That was one of my dreams as a kid. Being an athletic kid, I also thought about hitting the game winning shot in the NBA finals, a Super Bowl winning touchdown catch, or a putt to win a PGA major.

Until tonight, I never dreamed about what I would say as the winner of an Oscar. As I watched the 82nd Academy Awards, I thought to myself ‘if I won tonight, what would I say?’

Here is the transcript of my speech (note, I do not get cut off by the music, it is my dream).

‘Tonight, a dream came true. Not necessarily just my dream, but a dream of countless others who have invested their time to me. This award goes to them.

I would like to thank my family: my Mom, for raising me how she did, for teaching me to never settle. Thank you.

I would like to thank Amanda, who during our short time together, has been as supportive as one can be. Thank you.

I must thank the doubters out there… this reaches most all of you who have known me, so give yourselves a pat on the back. I was never fortunate enough to have a lot of people unconditionally believe in or trust me. Maybe I should be thankful for them… they helped shape me to who I am today.

Not everyone is as driven by doubt as I am. I was able to channel anyone’s doubt into energy that helped me succeed at anything I touched.

For those out there who do not have that drive, they need someone to have faith, to have trust, and to believe in them. Please believe in someone. There is someone right now who is close to you who needs someone to believe in them. There are people out there far greater than I ever will be who need only one person there to be behind them. If you believe in someone, the possibilites are endless. Please believe.

Believe. Love. Respect. Trust. Follow that, and this world, someday, may get its head out of the sand.

Thank you all.’

That’s my speech. What would you say in your speech?

~Jason

Personal & Professional Perception: The Difference?

March 2, 2010 6 comments

I have been a professional marketer for almost two years. One of the most important lessons that I have learned, and now preach: ‘it is all about perception’. And that is not about how you perceive yourself, but how your peers, your competition, your friends and family perceive you. You can dictate how others perceive you. Unfortunately, it is not something that people choose to take seriously in every aspect of their life.

As a professional, I learned quickly that something you say as yourself can impact how others perceive and respect you as a professional. I understand why a few of my friends have separate twitter and Facebook accounts for their personal and professional voice. That is not the right option for me, as I do my very best to show my personality while maintaining my professionalism.

Two recent events are the inspiration for this blog: one involving a famous athlete, the other a more personal encounter. I will start with the athlete in question, who is Tiger Woods.

Since Woods became known to the general public, he has had a near flawless record as a person. Known as a family man committed to his wife and children, dedicated to his charitable endeavors, Woods had everyone believing he was not only the greatest golfer, but an ideal, morally correct person.

We were wrong.

Since Thanksgiving, Woods has been in exile, hiding from the press, from friends, and the game he excels at. He has stepped away from golf until further notice, and has been in a rehab facility, attempting to recover from his alleged sex addiction.

Now, the perception on Woods is as a person, he is a cheater, not-trustworthy, and lacking integrity and loyalty. It does change my perception on Woods as a professional. Golf is a game based on trust, following the rules, (not cheating). He is severely flawed as a person when it comes to this. When considering the greatest golfer of all time, I do consider who they are as a person. For that reason, it will be difficult for me to consider Woods as the greatest to play the game.

During my trip to NYC, I met a PR guy who while I was unfamiliar with, was told by other PR professionals that he was ‘the guy to know’, a ‘PR rockstar’. People who have such praise bestowed on them must be doing something right. This guy must be good at what he does if there are people from Minneapolis, Atlanta, and even Dallas openly holding him in a high regard. Before meeting this PR guy, I checked him out on various social media channels. His tone was condescending, full of self-righteousness, and overly pompous. In the interest of fairness, I went into meeting him with an open mind.

When introduced, I was instantly turned off by his inability to look me in the eye during our handshake. A blatant act of disrespect for no reason. While out, another person introduced me to the same PR guy not knowing I was already introduced to him. To my surprise, he again failed to even glance in my direction. My opinion was already set in stone because of his disrespect during both introductions, among other interactions and observations that evening.

My perception of the PR guy is as a person, he is a complete piece of crap. If I worked at a company that wanted to work with him and/or his employer, I would do all I could to make sure that would not happen. If the PR guy is as disrespectful as a professional as he was to me on a personal level, I cannot imagine how he acts to clients. It is a complete shock that anyone holds this person in such a high regard.

How people perceive you as a person and as a professional, for most people, are two completely different buckets. For me, those buckets are one in a package deal. If I encounter someone who is a nice person, but (extreme example) is convicted of running a ponzi scheme, my perception of that person would change, and rightfully so.

I want people to perceive me as a very passionate, kind person willing to help out anyone when possible. I want people to perceive me as a very passionate, driven, intelligent professional who works his butt off to do the best job possible on any sized project. I hope that is how people perceive me, for that is how I perceive myself. However, that is up to you to determine that.

My question for you: can you separate your perception of someone as a person and as a professional? Share an example of when your perception changed due to learning more about someone.

~J