Diving Off the Fiscal Cliff: Bring on the Pain

Not the Real Thing, But Close Enough

If Congress were a frat party, and the fiscal cliff was the jump from the roof to the three foot swimming pool, I would be the meat head in the letter jacket chanting, “Jump! Jump!” I wrote a post about it a few months ago. This may be the Ritalin and the excitement of Friday talking, but “let’s do it, bro. Bring on the pain”. I’m among the most at risk. I provide social media marketing services in a vulnerable market. But I’m a patriot. I love America, don’t I? I want to balance the books now rather than later (like we really have a choice). Will we starve? Or will we pull together? Do we need Christmas gifts this year? Or next? Even one? Can we carpool more? Can we hike outside, and have potlucks and camp fires? It will hurt badly but if we hurt together will it really be the bad? Will it give us an excuse to do more things for free, like cook, clean, spend time with our families, and excercise? Let’s do it, baby. I’m not afraid anymore  (I HOPE).

Sidenote: In Europe they have a different word for Fiscal Cliff. Austerity. Ours is better. JUMP! JUMP!

Save The Country

The mountains of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

It seems to me the people with whom I most often argue about suburban sprawl are those from the country.  So let me clarify. I live in the city for two reasons. Reason 1: It’s awesome. Reason 2: I want to save the country. People move out to the country all the time because they want to be surrounded by nature. They want solitude. The problem is they’re not the only ones with that idea. More people move there, and more. To escape, you have to move even further into the country. It never really stops. I can’t enjoy one or two acres of woods, especially not when I can see through them to another lot of houses or a highway. I  do enjoy, unscarred wilderness as far as the eye can see. Just the planet Earth, the way God made it.  When I was a boy, my grandparents owned three horses and a pony. They had a few barns, a few tractors, a few pastures. My grandfather only owns an acre or two himself. The rest of the land around him was hundreds of undeveloped acres. We literally dashed through the woods on a one horse open sleigh. The first to go were the woods to the west. The high school doubled in size. The woods to the north gave way to an apartment complex. Today, the woods to the south and the east are completely gone; cleared to accommodate the ever expanding trailer park down the road. There are no woods surrounding my grandparent’s house anymore. I know, it wasn’t his land. They can do whatever they darn well please. But I won’t be a part of it. Especially because I live in a place that has more than tripled its developed land  when it’s lost more than a third of its population. What’ about cities that have tripled their population? I live in the city so there is a country left to love. McLean said it best, I’m City Born, but I Love the Country Life

4 Reasons Why Social Media is the New Community Newspaper for Local Businesses

The transition of traditional media hasn’t really effected large corporations, has it? Febreeze will simply buy less network television spots (or buy them for less money) and reach their target through a CPM (Cost Per Thousand) basis on Hulu, YouTube, or a number of different video platforms. Ditto radio to Pandora. Ditto major newspapers to their online versions, or major blogs or pure play news sites. Even those local businesses who could afford some traditional mass media usually relied on their community newspapers as a stalwart guarantee for a Return on Investment (ROI). As community newspapers see their readerships decline they consequently fail to provide the ROI they historically have. Fear not, local business owner. It may take a bit more time, but social media will provide you with the same (if not far better) marketing safety net (if there is such a thing).

1). Target By Geography. The same way that bought ads in the Pleasantville Bee to only reach residents of Pleasantville, you can target Facebook and other social media ads by town, zip code, etc.

2). Community Support. Your ad ran next to the junior high school honor roll or the story of the new addition to the public library and it was good for your image as a supporter of the community. Post, tweet, and/or blog photos of your business being active in the community and post/tweet them to the pages, blogs, or Twitter accounts of the organizations/individuals you’ve helped.

3). Response. Your All Time Favorite, Ms. Business Owner. Grandma Brown physically cut out your coupon out of that paper and she physically brought it in to your store, and you physically saw it with your own eyes. That’s what made it better than any other form of advertising. Her grandson won’t do that. And Social Media isn’t the place to sell. But you can post special offers and promote them with promoted tweets or Facebook’s promoted posts. Then track with analytics and how many came back to the store (if offline).

4). Inexpensive. The Mayberry Monitor sold full page ads for $300 and Facebook bids CPC (cost per click) between 50 and 75 cents for most categories.

Of course, Social Media can do far more for you than the community newspaper ever could. But that’s for another post.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

 

Scrooge asks the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, “Are these the shadows of things that will be, or are they shadows of things that maybe?” I am an unapologetic free market capitalist (mostly). But the third spirit of Christmas haunts me with his vision. I see five years from now, maybe one year from now, retail stores open at 5am on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day  for the whole day. If we MUST have rock bottom deals on Thanksgiving Day at 8pm this year, why shouldn’t we have them earlier? If we can’t resist aggressive discounts for the sake of spending one entire day out of the year with our loved ones, let us please not make that decision for the employees of the stores. Many of them are single mothers. Others are grandparents who couldn’t fully retire, and students who (in such case) might not be able to come home for the holiday. Think of someone who you loved and lost. What would you give to spend a few more hours with them? Anything? Not the early bird savings on an Amazon Kindle Fire? This is the transaction we make. But we make it for someone else.  If there is a profit to be made, it will be. Sam Walton is not Ebeneezer Scrooge. He haunts us as the cloaked deathly skeleton of Christmas Future. We, the consumer, are Scrooge. It is we who will decide if Bob Cratchit spends his Thanksgiving folding thermals at the Gap, or in a food coma next to Tiny Tim on the living room sofa.

“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead. But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me.”

Please ask your friends and family members to abstain from shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

How To Fix YouTube Channel App For Facebook: YouTube For Pages Not Working

If you’re trying to add the YouTube app from involver to your Facebook page, you may be seeing an error like

HTTP Error 500 (Internal Server Error): An unexpected condition was encountered while the server was attempting to fulfill the request

Then when you click Reload it says

YouTube for Pages
This application is already installed for all applicable pages.

I’ve found it very hard to find the solution on Google. Many people try with different browsers, and I believe it’s a an issue with cookies. Here’s what I did.

Using Google Chrome,

1). Unistall the YouTube for Pages app

2). Download the app again

3). Go to My Apps tab on your Facebook profile, click on YouTube app

4). Install YouTube For Pages app, select which page you want

5). Fill out information

6). The whole time be watching for the cookies icon with the red X through it in the far right of your address bar. Once you see it, right click the icon and allow the site to set cookies.

7). Add your YouTube user name exactly as it appears on YouTube

From most of the forums, I’ve read, the issue always seems to be cookie-related, no matter the browser. Did this help? Please share this post, if it solved your problem.

Mark Paul Gosselaar Is Still Trying To Ruin My Life

Damn gorgeous charlatans.

Saved By The Bell aired from 1989-1993, when I was in elementary school. High school would be awesome. I would have my own radio show. I would steal our rival’s mascot. I would sleep overnight in a shopping mall and work at a beach resort with my friends in the summer. Don’t get me wrong. I loved high school. But I can’t think of any equally remarkable experiences off the top of my head. I bought it though. Saved By The Bell, American Pie, Can’t Hardly Wait, and PCU all supercharged my expectations for highschool and college. Thank God, I never watched Entourage. It took me twenty odd years to let it go. I wouldn’t hold it against Mark Paul either, if he weren’t trying to do it again. Now he and the guy from Road Trip are high profile lawyers that goof around in court, play video games on clients’ time, and get paid handsomely to do so. Real life isn’t awesome, Gosselaar. Our lives will be more similar to Mr. Belding than to Zack Morris. Just let us go, Gosselaar. Let us share Tyler Durden’s Fight Club realization that we are not special. Of course, I’ll probably never command an underground army of men or destroy half an urban center, either. Aww, shucks.

What was your 90s TV/movie expectation that you couldn’t wait for?