n. (1) (slang) (golf) The condition of scoring an eight on any one hole, generally regarded as a very poor score, because the maximum number (par) for any golf hole is five. The origin of the term is in reference to what the number eight (8) looks like on its side. (2) The social observations, adventures and sliced tee shots of Marc Levin, friends and family.
The annual back-packing trip with the UCSD kids brought us to Cottonwood Lakes and eventually to the top of this rock... Mount Langley. This had to have been the toughest hike I've completed... more challenging than this one or this one due in part to the elevation.
After ending the trip early by one night due to the cold temps at night, I swore to myself I'd never backpack again but like all traumas, the pain is fading and upon return of my rental gear, I began to covet a new three-man tent for next year's trek.
I wonder how many people have neglected their blogging "duties" in favor of quick hits on twitter. I definitely fall into that camp and I'm not happy about it... for a few reasons.
First of all, my blog acts as a bit of a self-serving diary of my thoughts on a great number of topics from cartoons to social media to advertising to cars and of course... golf and family. Twitter does provide you with a time-line of your tweets but realistically, I can't say I've looked back at any of them with great interest the way I do with my personal blog. Furthermore, how many people stumble upon one tweet and then look at past tweets for more insight into a person... a blog is different and it's a more complete picture of a person and their thoughts beyond the 140 characters Twitter limits you to.
Secondly, Twitter allows you to purge your thoughts without much thought and 99.999% of the time, that's enough to satisfy my need to write a blog post. That's unfortunate because without that outlet I may ponder the issue a bit more, develop the content, find a photo to accompany the story and hyperlink liberally to make a more complete story. I miss that art and creative outlet. Damn you Twitter!
Lastly, I think Twitter's dominance over blogging is also a social comment on people's diminishing attention span. Why say in 500 words that can be told in just 140 characters?
Am I giving up my Twitter account? Not quite... but I might be holding back some tweets in favor of a more developed story.
It has always frustrated me to see companies act in their long-term worst interests only to satisfy the large investors and Wall Street that pressured them. In this context, it's never enough to earn a hefty stream of revenue, spending less than you're making which results in a profit. Any small (privately held) business or individual (earning a paycheck, paying monthly bills and stocking enough away for a rainy day) would call that a "WIN." Obviously, it's great to continue to earn more each year (growth) but at the same time, if you manage to continue churning out profits year after year... you should be content. Being content is not / was not enough for Wall Street.... and they suffered the same fate they imposed on other businesses as a result.
When publicly held companies are forced to show double-digit percentage growth month over month, they leverage an otherwise healthy business to deliver the results. CEO's are compensated by the publicly traded price... rather than the true health of their business and as a result make poor decisions.
I think there is a case to be made for having *fewer* companies on the open-market. For some high-growth companies it makes sense or those that pay dividends to it's stock-holders but it would seem that the vast majority are there for the wrong reasons ... for the big-pay day on the day of their IPO, vast sums of cash infusion for no need and over-extended growth in a market that really couldn't support it.
Starbucks for example... great product, great marketing but it was the pressure of Wall Street investors that said, "That's not enough. What other food are you going to sell? Why don't you add more stores? Why don't you source the coffee cheaper? Why don't you pay the labor less?" And now what? Starbucks may have eeked out more profit following that mantra but now has to retract and fire it's employees. Was it worth the gamble? I would argue it was not because at the end of the day, where is that extra revenue they earned? It was presumably stuck in the share price which is a mythical figure and has since (along with the rest of the market) imploded. Thank You Wall Street.
It's been widely assumed that capitalisim works and when you have the finaical community encouraging growth, it's in everyone's best interest. The problem comes with unrealistic growth expectations that result in over-leveraging and over-borrowing to meet a short-term goal. Wall Street encouraged it and is now (as we all are) the victim of their own mantra... growth at any cost, even the long-term health of their own firms.
The tag-line, "To serve man" was already taken and had a lasting impression that we were serving up people for food. ;-)
CNN, instead, chooses to position itself as being able to: "Inform, Involve and Empower" it's customers wherever they access CNN whether it be: cable, web, mobile or podcast.
In the category of "inform", there are multiple sources one can be informed by. It's the unique organization that can "involve" and "empower" those to act upon what they are informed by. CNN delivers on that promise in a number of ways [trying not to sound too much like a sales-guy] but a recent study released really drove the point home for me.
'The Vitrue 100 measured the top 100-brands in the online space in terms of "...usage, size of the social media environment and the magnitude of the conversation." CNN ranked #2 just behind iPhone and ahead of Apple, Disney, Xbox, MTV and Fox News (the next closest news competitor at #19.) What does this all mean?
CNN appears to be the dot-com news service "of record" for the vast majority of "web 2.0izens." Twitter a news item? Post it on Facebook, Digg or your blog? Chances are... you're going to use CNN as your source to inform others, involve your users and potentially empower those around you to do something.