Too Big to Fail

George Bush announced today a $7000 bailout plan (per person) for obese Wall Street Bankers. “They are just too big to fail,” he stated. “We have no idea what went wrong,” he added.

Too Big 2 Fail?

Too Big 2 Fail?

Published in: on September 26, 2008 at 8:06 pm  Comments (1)  
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Top Nine Topics Bloggers Blog About

Credit to Technocrati for the survey of 1000 bloggers that identified them. They also noted that most bloggers say they cover about 5 topic areas covering multiple topics in their blog.  

1. Personal/Lifestyle Issues

2 Technology



5. Computers

6. Music

7 Film

8 Travel

9 Business

To me, the most interesting finding was that books did not even make the list. Blogs about books are a natural, but this trend has not yet caught fire. While blogging taps into the creativity and time/energy of authors, they are certainly among the best writers, so their blogs should be quite central to the blogosphere.

Published in: on September 24, 2008 at 2:09 am  Comments (2)  
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On a lighter note- McCain Cartoon

Please check out the following link:

Published in: on September 23, 2008 at 3:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ten Reasons To Not Use Top Ten Lists



  1. We know its a meme and you are trying to get links.
  2. You are not David Letterman.
  3. There’s nothing special about the number 10.
  4. Everybody is doing it (see #3).
  5. Who made you the one to decide what is “top”?
  6. By number 6 you have lost half your readers.
  7. What if you run out of reasons before 10?
Published in: on September 20, 2008 at 11:40 pm  Comments (1)  
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Women Who Blog are Not Neurotic

A recent post by Kitsune discussed blogger personality styles.  He noted research that revealed that all bloggers are more open to new ideas and creative, but some also may be  more neurotic. The observation that female bloggers score high on “neuroticism” needs a closer look.

As a psychologist, blogger, published test author and digger, I am fairly qualified to dig a little deeper. The study uses the five factor model, and two of the three rersearchers who did the cited study are females. The term neuroticism is “old school” in psychology and fell into disfavor many years ago, partly because of gender bias issues.  That doesn’t mean the research cited didn’t mean anything, it just says that we need to be careful how we interpret it.

The dimension in question really gets at a tendency to be open to emotions, especially the negative ones. I can believe that female bloggers may be more emotionally available than me (and most of the other male bloggers), and possibly even more vulnerable. But the use of the label “neurotic” has long been used to diminish women and keep them down as second class citizens. Women in general and especially female bloggers are not only first class, but more often than not, they are classier, at least than the male bloggers I have met.

One of the ways women bloggers have a leg up on men is that they are more open to their emotions. Rather than call this “neurotic” why not, instead say women are more interpersonally sensitive?

Groupthink and What’s Wrong With Social Networking

Ever wonder why the herd mentality is holding back social networking? Consider if you will the lens of Groupthink.

Groupthink is a social psychology concept, that might well be a useful concept to apply to social networking. I was reminded of this by a recent post by Klezak’s social marketing blog on applicatons of Group Theory. Groupthink happens when a committee or group does not live up to its potential and instead stifles thought that is outside the mainstream. Analysts credit Kennedy’s mistakes during the Bay of Pigs fiasco to groupthink. He put the best minds of his country in charge, and they blew it because no one spoke up.

This could explain the tension between groupthink reactions like pimping your profile on Myspace and spammers on digg and related sites, on the one hand, and innovative uses of facebook like Help a Reporter Out and other creative ways to wag the tail.

So what does this suggest about how social networks can be improved? Well we need to find a way to encourage as many people as possible to use the current socail networks in an innovative way, and to find ways to voice their new or different thoughts. It doesn’t matter if most users put glitter on their myspace pages, or shout a gazilion marketing sites on Digg. But what does matter is that we find a way of standing out with good ideas. At the moment, to break away from the pack you either need to know how to right a catchy title to your StumbleUpon post or name for your facebook group.

But what if someone developed a ranking system for blogs, or websites, that awarded “authority” better? Can someone out there come up with a way in which to reward to creative ideas (and posts)? I know many of you will say that web 3.0 will solve the problems of web 2.0 with some organic solution, but I think we need to promulgate a means for real skill, expertise and creativity to be nurtured rather than submerged.

PR Notes

The Brooklyn Book Festival which is this weekend, features famous names ranging from Jimmy Breslin to 2008 Bobi Literary Award winner author Walter Mosely.

Todd Defren blogging at PR Squared discussed whether or not Bloggers are media. His conclusion- that we are something more, is worth pondering. Most effective bloggers not only know how to work the 24/7 news cycle and the information behemoth once known as the internet, but also we know how to swim in the living breathing Web 2.0. In addition to being knowledgable, we are also on the cutting edge of the culture. That’s a far cry from “reporting.” We are the leaders and they are the followers — reporting, more often than not.

The Book Tour Blog, a California based blog that was started by authors anounced a partnership with IndieBound, a socially conscious movement that suports Independent Bookstores. This should mean author events at their stores will be automatically added to their calendar.

PR Community-

Peter Shankman , whose helpareporterout (HARO) service has been very popular, hosted a teleseminar on the 9th of September co-hosted with Bad Pitch Blog co-founder Kevin Dugan.

I noted an account by a marketing intern Richard Millington of his positive experience as an intern and wondered if we all should not all be using interns more. Not only is it free or inexpensive help when you bring an intern into your community, but of course the young guns bring new ideas and paradigms. Also, a useful post on recent changes in building blog traffic by Mark Cahill is interesting.

Published in: on September 12, 2008 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Change and Variance, a Statistical Look at Politics

Change is the big buzz word in this election, but let me raise up instead variance, a statisticians way of thinking about change. If you are for change you are for having things vary. The more they vary the less predictable they are. Thats a statistical fact. The more Obama succeeds at convincing us he’s all about change, the more fear we will see however, from Joe Public. Because while some change is good, in times of stress most people also want some predictability too. The Republicans have in recent years played the fear card, and McCain, who stands for “just a little change” is trying to offer change thats not scary, while the other guy’s is dangerous. The fact that he is the traditional white male surrounded by lobbyists and big oil is in some way reassuring to some who might otherwise take a gamble on a black man or an idealist but not on an idealsitic young black man who wants to change several things.

I was teaching my introductory class in psychology today and realized this basic tension is being played out in our election. I was talking about how research that is predictable and close to the ground serves one purpose, and innovation typically results in research with greater variance, and this research typically does not get published as easily. If McCain is re-elected it will because he sold the USA on just a little change, and not anything scary. If Obama wants to counter that he should consider labelling McCain’s change as scary as well. I bet his better minds could scare up (ahem) some examples of scary McCain change.. like what he will do with Iran, and with nuclear waste, and with his choices for the supreme court.