So, where are your manners?

Social Media is like a cocktail party.

Your mother raised you better than that.

So, this will totally be unbiased, right?

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Look, I love Coke. I used to cram my dorm room mini-fridge with the 12-packs, and hoarded those precious, precious buy-one-get-one-free coupons like Smaug hoarded gold. I mean, me ‘n Coca-Cola go way, way back.

But I haven’t been drinking as much of it lately. Because…calories. And high-fructose corn syrup. And beer. Look, you live in the same town as Cobra Brewing and try not to enjoy that deliciousness, ok?

Turns out, I’m not alone in cutting back on the soda. In the U.S., consumption is down for the tenth straight year, with more folks drinking water, even sugary water-type beverages, than diet pop.

But hey! No worries! Sure, we’ve all been told both diet and exercise contribute to health and well-being, but there are some researchers out there saying that what you eat and drink really isn’t that big a deal!   Continue reading

So, didja miss me?

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With a new job and new responsibilities, I’ve been horribly remiss at blogging. I hope you can find it in your heart or other internal organs to forgive me.

As a peace offering, and to get back into the swing of things, I wanted to show you an example of lateral thinking. An example that involves power tools.   Continue reading

So, let’s talk about video

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Well, cats and kittens, I’ve had video on the brain for a while. It started with the tiny camera of tininess. The Japanese-only instructions are slowing me down, can’t lie, but I have figured out how to shoot stills. (They’re gorgeous, but they don’t move.)

DFWSEM’s speaker for May 13 is a factor, too. You haven’t heard? Casey Henry. Wistia wiz. Video marketing guy. He’ll be presenting on how to use video to up your marketing mojo.

And of course there were the roughly 197268345716234 articles about 2015 being the Year of Video in Marketing. Hey, they weren’t wrong. We got Periscope and Meerkat just this year, after all, making web streaming practical just about anywhere with WiFi. And we even got free apps to shoot and quick-edit right from your phone.   Continue reading

So, I have a new hero. And so should you.

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If you’ve been playing along at home, you know that lateral thinking is sort of my thing. Why? Dozens of reasons. Because it leads to creative solutions. Because mental play strengthens thinking skills. Because it can introduce new life into existing narratives…

Because sometimes, it’s hilarious.

Don’t believe me? I have a wonderful new example. Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky, to the fine and ancient city of Manchester in the northwest of England.

But first, a quick heads up. This story is slightly off-color. And deeply immature. Which is exactly why it made me laugh.   Continue reading

So, how do you deal with setbacks?

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Look, I love me some Google. I use Gmail. I think G+ is superior to Facebook. Google Maps has saved my bacon more times than I can count given that the roads in DFW seem to exist in a state best described as “a non-Euclidian construction nightmare that would terrify Clive Barker.”

But Google? Darlin’? Sweetie-cakes? You suck at transparency.   Continue reading

So, here’s Thought Experiment #12

Time for a Thought Experiment

There’s always time for lateral thinking.

In previous Thought Experiments, I’ve asked you about everything from coffee to evil. But as a card-carrying nerd (No, really — I have a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent ID I got from the Marvel Experience, and if that isn’t a nerd card I don’t know what is), I think it’s time we got down to the good stuff.

Comic books.

Oh, comics. How I love you. From the goofiness of the Golden Age to the grittier-than-thou late 80s and 90s, that four-color art form warms my heart. Cliche monthly titles or sprawling graphic novels that challenge the form. Sophisticated storytelling like Neil Gaiman’s epic Sandman. Insightful coming-of-age work like Ted Naifeh’s Courtney Crumrin. Inspiring brilliance like Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel. And I can’t forget artists and inkers…

I’m going to stop before I start babbling.

Comics are having a serious pop culture moment, and they owe a lot of that success to the idea of the superhero. There are all sorts of other stories, of course, but when we think of comic books, we think of fluttering capes and quips made under pressure and feats of superhuman coolness.

So here’s the experiment: If your brand was a superhero, who would s/he be? What sort of costume, powers, and backstory would set him or her apart from the others? Maybe your brand is a driven anti-hero detective. Or a conflicted beacon of righteousness. Or a compassionate, regal visitor to the world of men.

Why would I ask this?

Because you, buddy, ought to be thinking about what makes your brand unique.

Go ahead. Give it a think. See what you get.