Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Yesterday, I received a note (via my site’s contact form) from somebody/something professing to offer freelance services (logo design, video production):

Hi guys, I am a great seller on  [redacted]. I can create videos and logos for you. I work with  [redacted]. and they will recommend my services to you for sure. Please take a look at my gigs and place an order right now. I am the best seller and (site name redacted)  has give me level 2 seller now. Just ask  [redacted]. and they will recommend me to you 100. My profile is  [redacted]. You will find all services there. Order now! Discount 🙂

I ignored it because of its spambot odor. And I don’t have any need for such services.

A couple of hours later I received this (from same user name):

“I send spam backlinks to your website and now I request that you order my gigs to remove them. If you do not order, I send more spam backlinks to destroy your site. You understand me?

“Please order now from  [redacted] and let’s be friends.”

Uh…Let’s be friends?


Pro tip: If you’re looking for freelance work (or friendship)  from me, I’d recommend taking a different approach than threatening my property. And don’t get me started on why we CAN’T be friends.

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The Stay-Put Meetup

“One afternoon, I went to a content strategy event in my pajamas. How it got in my pajamas, I don’t know.”

–Groucho Marx *

In late 2017, one of the cofounders (a self-described ‘snow chicken’) of the West Michigan Content Strategy Meetup (WMCS) suggested we convert our events to a lunch and learn, webinar format so we could avoid Michigan’s chill-weather for a few months.

Winter Sports

Winter Sports

I am not a snow chicken. I like cold weather. I like snow. Hell, I even like shoveling snow. However, I acknowledge there are three core beliefs that unite all humans:

  • Nobody likes driving in snow (or sleet, or freezing rain, or any reduced-friction conditions).
  • Finding host venues, on a monthly basis, for a networking group is freaking exhausting.
  • Everybody loves lunch.

So, I cast a “hell yeah!” vote for that idea.

It was clear that cost was the biggest barrier to webinar events. Thus, in order to go forward with these online meetups, we (or at least I) needed to revise our expectations for the webinar platform. The biggest revelation was that we didn’t really need a self-registration feature.

Long story, made shorter: we elected to have our conversations on Google Hangouts, that could be live streamed, or replayed on YouTube. Since we aren’t building a sales funnel, we don’t need your contact info. With YouTube as our delivery vehicle, you can show up at the time of the live event, or you can watch it later.

At this writing, we have done three of these events (see them here). We are planning to do more, and we are not limiting them to frightful-weather months.

Why would we? These events provide a great opportunity to share our learning with the world. Depending on the season, and your preferences, you can watch a webinar-meetup at your convenience, over a cup of mulled cider by your fireplace, or with a mug of craft beer on your patio.

In your pajamas.

The WMCS Meetup still does in-person events, too. We are planning one for later this month (details forthcoming). In April we did a lunch-and-learn webinar one day, and the very next day we did an in-person event here in Grand Rapids.

If you have an idea for a content-strategy topic about which you’d like to present–or your just want to learn about it–you can send me a direct message on Linkedin. Or you can contact me here. I would love to talk further about your topic.

Also, please join us at our one of our future in -person events, or our next webinar (info about both will be posted here).

*OK, I paraphrased Groucho…the actual quote:

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“Little Assholes”

Every high-gravity story on a news site is going to have its share of toxic commentary. I ignore most of it. Though it’s particularly distressing that people  are getting their knickers in such a twist about the National School Walkouts this week.

A lot of it, is  typical “in my day” “what’s the matter with kids today?”  sort of drivel, though a high percentage of it is incredibility mean-spirited. If the commenter has nothing  of substance  to say they tend to play the  “Tide Pods” card.  As if their generation never did stupid shit.

Several of the districts in my area are supporting the walkout and that has a lot of local going off the rail. One women referred to the student-protestors as “little assholes”.

Give me a break, already.

Kids in school today, were born into a state of perma-war; they face a $20 trillion+ debt, due to over 50 years of deficit spending; they endure mind-numbing drill-and-practice for standardized testing; many go  without recess, gym classes or extra-curricular activities.

And as a bonus they live with the daily worry of getting perforated by a high-capacity weapon.

If they make it out of high school, they earn the privilege of decades of student-loan payments and the thrill of competing against artificial intelligence for jobs…..

None of these of these circumstances were created by today’s K-20 students. Prior generations owe it to today’s youth to let them protest.

Now, please use the comments section if you’d like to  regale us with your stories about how tough you had it as a kid.


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Let’s Hunker Down, Meetup, and Learn About Brand Video

I don’t see or hear many people that agree with me on this, but I am fond of winter in Michigan. I love walking in snow, on a sidewalk or in the woods. And I love the few months of breathability between fall and spring allergy seasons.

I even enjoy shoveling (there, I’ve said it).

Though I realize that I’m in the minority. Most people I know detest winter. However,  regardless of whether  people like or dislike  a northern winter, I think you’ll find that hatred for some  seasonal nuisances  is nearly  universal:

  • Unsafe driving conditions
  • Finding street parking in the premature darkness.
  • Scraping ice of a windshield

Since the West Michigan Content Strategy Meetup has been in  existence, the organizers have talked several times about hosting webinars: to allow us exchange ideas about innovative content ideas and best practices, while we avoid ice-slicked roads and pitch-black dinnertime skies.

Next week, it’s actually happening and we will be welcoming  branding virtuoso, Dennis Ryan:

Dennis Ryan

Dennis will be joining us from balmy Minnesota. And you’re all invited.

All of you!

Please join us for a live webinar, “Brand Video: Evolving Beyond a Selling Platform” where will all have the opportunity to learn about the importance of video in your branding-messaging mix.

This is a free event, no registration is required. You can join  the live stream at the YouTube page at  the appropriate time. Please see event details summary below:

    • Title: Brand Video: Evolving from a Sales to a Learning Platform
    • Date: 12/13/201
    • Time: 12:00-12:35 (EDT)
    • Location: YouTube Live Event
    • This is a free event
    • No registration is required
    • Event will be available for later playback

Hunker down and tune in from  the warmth of your office, your home, or your favorite cardio machine at the gym. Please feel free to share the event details with your friends and colleagues.

Also,  consider joining our Meetup. We’re West Michigan-based, but have members from many far-away places. All are welcome.


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