Tuesday, March 31

How fake news upends journalism and technology; why it damages society at large

Photo by Joël de Vriend on Unsplash

Let me begin by admitting that I am naive when it comes to editorial integrity. As a child, I wanted to grow up to be Lois Lane. I wanted to be a reporter of high editorial authority and integrity.

I started my writing career over twenty years ago and have always been overly cautious to write the truth. Not only did I verify sources, but worked with additional editors whose job was to fact check every word that I wrote. The idea of putting my reputation behind falsehoods was beyond my ken. I owed truth to my readers; it is my responsibility.

When Propaganda became news

“Fake news” is the new term for misinformation. The practice of misinformation (disinformation, defamation, libel, false news – take your pick), has an incredibly long history. As early as the first century BC, political misinformation was used to overthrow Mark Antony in Rome. This is nothing new. Propaganda machines have inflamed elections, religions and opinions as long as humans have an agenda.

Not only written words but films have been used to sway public opinion. Just like edited video on the internet today, Leni Riefenstahl swayed sentiment to bolster the Nazi mission during World War II.

The term is attributed now to the media who have personal (or paid) agendas. Even when leaders are quoted, the quotes are appended or abbreviated to match the desired storyline. The news is no longer the subject, building the writer’s fame seems to carry equal weight. Media is now a vehicle for persons to build their personal brands in attempts to become highly paid influencers.

Monday, January 7

Best Beauty Treatments for the Self-Starter

One day in the future (or maybe it was yesterday) you’ll walk by the mirror, pause, and do a quick double take. “What’s that”? You draw your face close to your reflection and run your finger over your face. “Hmm, that wasn’t there yesterday.” Or look at your hands?

As the months and years go by, no matter how careful we are with nutrition, our skin ages. A December 2018 study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine proved what we suspected to be true, skin loses the ability to form fat as we age. Once that discovery is combined with what we already know about diminishing collagen, skin becoming thinner and depletion of hyaluronic acid (which keep the skin hydrated by promoting collagen production), the prognosis is obvious. Our skin becomes more fragile and thinner. The effects of environmental damage take their toll too. Escaping aging is impossible.

Believe me, I see this conversation happening across every channel and within all generations. We're obsessed with the youthful, natural glow we attribute to health, wealth, and happiness. I'm sure you've seen the hashtags: #selfhacking, #selfstarting, #selflove, #selffocus, #selfempower, #selfcare, #workingit. These powerful hashtags posted from positive people, symbolize that they’re doing things to improve themselves and their lives. Doing something proactively to help yourself, albeit mentally or physically is an admired state. We know we need to take step to give ourselves the extra push to give ourselves more confidence to power forward. It’s what we do. It’s all good.

Tuesday, October 30

Human Connections with Your Customers through the Marketing Experience Matrix

For marketers, what is this matrix? In the movie, The Matrix, it was a rebellion against machines. In the instances laid out here, it’s about 21st century business communications between your stakeholders (customers) and your organization. Whether you are a service company, retailer or a brand, today’s customer demands more from you than in the past.

Here is where all your multi-channel marketing all blends together into an enticing and successful customer journey. This engagement matrix will be online or offline. In any strategy like this it’s important to connect with your customer in a positive, personalized manner. Although this is not customarily a part of traditional marketing methods, even the user experience on your website is a part of it. People no longer tolerate hard-to-navigate websites, they just move on to the competitor’s seamless digital experience.

Tuesday, May 29

When Technology Black Swan Huawei Blueprints Future Vision, people listen

Black swans are the ultimate outliers. They have the ability to surprise and disrupt the status quo.

I was recently in Shenzhen and was permitted access to Huawei’s campus. I know I didn’t see it all, but I saw enough to get me thinking. I had heard lots of stories, but reality was even more interesting. Seeing and talking to the people gave me new insights. I’d heard that in China, tech employees worked 10 hours straight a day. Not really. The offices, campus and the university (yes, a University where all employees study) are perhaps even more modern and inviting than many I’ve seen in the United States.

It was hard to take in everything, but I was fascinated by the fact that Huawei  founder Ren Zhengfei’s office overlooks a most exquisite man-made lake.  This lake is open for anyone to walk and enjoy. Most interesting was the fact that black swans were imported to live in the lake. It wasn’t until I had returned home that I realized their significance. Black Swans!

Upon reflection, China’s Huawei is the ultimate black swan. Rare and unexpected, its employee owned (privately held) status allows it to disrupt common business models and even technology. There are no outside shareholders to answer to and they foster the philosophy of “we’re all in this together” as well as collectivism. Huawei looks at the world considerably different than the majority of the Interbrand 100 companies. (In 2017, they were number seventy on the list and are the youngest technology manufacturer on the list.)

Founded in 1987, they’ve risen from obscurity to one of the top growing brands in the world. According to the 2018 China RepTrak® study, conducted by the Reputation Institute, Huawei has been ranked as the most reputable Chinese corporate brand in their home country. In the study, “How to Win on Reputation in China: Understanding Chinese vs. Multi National Companies,” they out-performed Apple (a one time a classic black swan) in terms of transparency and open communication “Compared to Apple, Huawei is 2x more genuine”.  They are clearly the fastest rising 31 year old startup.

Black swans catch the competition by surprise. Huawei began their journey as a small telecommunications supplier, but quickly grew from home spun to acquiring major contracts. The black swan strategy is clear in their progress. Rather than going after telecoms in economically advanced major cities, Founder Ren chose to go after rural areas where competition was small and need was great. At a time when The Art of War was a popular tactical and strategic philosophy, he chose to "surround the city with the countryside." Huawei would cover the provinces with employees to support and service their equipment, signifying their devotion to a customer-centric philosophy. After being hugely successful in the countryside, they soon conquered the metropolitan cities.

Monday, February 19

The Top 5 Secrets To Selling On eBay

Lots of folks tell me they want to become an online seller. Too many try to tell you how easy it is and others don't want to put forth the effort to make a few dollars. In my experience, every dollar in helps out towards extras at home and with family.

Bottom line? It isn’t simple – especially the part where you actually try to make a profit. You have to keep up with changes in the marketplace — like shifts in consumer buying behaviors — study from tried and true experts, and practice!

The best place to get a feel for any online sales is to begin on eBay. I’ve written many bestselling books on the subject, and I’m a Top Rated Seller on the site. Remember that you can’t make a dime if you don’t actually list anything, and you probably won’t be successful without making a few mistakes.  My newest book, eBay Business All-in-One For Dummies 4th edition, answers just about any question you may have from sourcing products to staying in line with the tax man.

But, you can also learn from the successes and mistakes of others. So in this post, I want to offer some advice on how to create listings that sell – and how to earn the most profits from those sales!